I moved to Portland this last year and have absolutely fallen in love with it, for reasons evident in this real wedding. Sally and Jon were married surrounded by gorgeous green forests and fun, interesting friends (two things Portland has in abundance). Thank you to one of my very favorite local photographers, Bryan Rupp, for sharing this with us!
What was your vision?
My vision for a beautiful, crisp, fall, outdoor wedding went down the tubes when my sister, who lives in India with her husband and two daughters, could only come for more than a week if we held the wedding in the spring. So we settled for June 2nd (June in Oregon = 99% chance of rain) and as a result, an indoor wedding. On the plus side, my sister got to come out to Oregon for two whole months with the kiddos. What a treat! I'm so, so very grateful for that time together. And the wedding was absolutely beautiful. We found a way to compromise on the outdoor wedding by finding the perfect indoor/outdoor venue. Also, it was cool enough that we were able to build fires in the fireplace, which made my June wedding in Oregon feel oh so cozy.
Wedding colors: Yellow (bride's favorite color), navy and peach.
Flowers: We wanted them to look easy, like freshly picked wild flowers. Everything was in season and local (big savings) except the tulips. Jon studied in Amsterdam, so tulips were a must!
Music: Jon is a huge music fan so this was his project. We wanted music everyone could dance to but wanted to stay clear of the cheesy Macarena and Electric Slide stuff. Jon suggested we go with a 50's 60's R&B sound. After about 10 interviews with DJs we found the perfect fit with Ian Armstrong who not only knew his stuff, but played vinyl! He was also a breeze to work with. Even my Hank-Williams-country-lovin' family got down to a little James Brown!!
Wedding favors: We wrestled with the wedding favors for a while. We wanted to send people home with something practical. So, we decided on food. And what better food for a camp setting than trail mix (also known in my family as GORP --good old raisins and peanuts)? Except, I hate raisins. So, Jon, my sister and I went to the bulk food section of a local grocery store and picked out all the stuff we'd want in a trail mix. Lots of different chocolate chips, sesame sticks, peanuts, banana chips, you name it! We mixed everything in our brand-new giant cooler and filled 120, 12 oz. Ball jars. Then, we topped each jar with a chocolate gold coin just for fun. We had a bunch of burlap left over from the runners and used that to add some style. Then we tied handstamped thank you cards to the lid. It took about a full day to get materials and assemble everything. With all the help though, it was a ton of fun.
Escort cards: Instead of labeling each table with numbers, we used park symbols. Jon and I picked out our favorite symbols like, fishing, ranger station, snow shoeing, and playground. Everyone received an escort card with their name and park symbol. It made assigning tables fun, because we got to put people at tables with symbols we
thought they would enjoy. We, of course, sat at the "four-wheel drive road" table.
Did your wedding location hold a specific significance to you?
My husband and I both value adventure. We love to camp, we love exploring and we love Oregon. With so many guests coming in from out of town, we also wanted to get in as much time with them as possible. The Youth Camp at Silver Falls State Park was perfect. We had the whole place to ourselves for two days. There were more than enough places to explore and our more daring guests were able to camp out in any of the almost 40 sleeper cabins.
What was the most meaningful part of your day?
It's a tie between the ceremony and the speeches. Our good friend, who is a very talented writer, officiated. He wrote the most beautiful ceremony and vows. I cried the first time I read it. The speeches were also very touching. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room!
Did anything funny or out of the ordinary happen?
In the middle of Jon's dance with his mother, my one-and-a-half year old niece walked out onto the dance floor and interrupted them with her own moves. In a "Rafiki presents Simba to the pride" kind of way, my mother-in-law swooped her up, spun her around and then continued the dance with my niece at her hip. All without skipping a beat! It was a very beautiful and generous moment that really captured all the love in the room.
Tell us details of the events surrounding the wedding as well.
Woodburn and Silverton both have some of the best Mexican food in Oregon so we decided to honor that and my husband's Hispanic heritage with a Mexican Fiesta themed rehearsal dinner. Luis's Taqueria provided the food with fresh tortillas from the tortilla factory down the road. My mother-in-law also carried a custom-made record shaped pinata all the way from New Hampshire. Later that night, the bridal party and I went for a night hike down to one of the waterfalls. Although I wouldn't recommend anyone else do that (it's against the rules and was pretty dangerous!), it was the most beautiful scene. Standing under the falls with the night sky and my favorite girls with
me was the best way to spend the night before the wedding.
How did you know your partner was "the one"?
We had been together for over six years before we got married. So, I can't really say there was one defining moment. We've been through a lot. But, even when we struggled we still managed to make each other laugh. Also, I think we look up to each other. I have a tremendous amount of respect for my husband. He makes me want to
be a better person.
Any advice you'd give new brides who are just getting started?
Find ways for those you love to own a part of the special day. Don't be afraid to release creative control! Some of my favorite details were contributions from our closest friends and family. For example, my aunt designed the cutest parking passes and Jon's buddies played our ceremony music. I wouldn't recommend that "Uncle Joe"
cater the entire event, however. Big stuff is best left to the professionals. You don't want your guests working too hard on the day! What you might do is include him in your decision making process or find a caterer that is open to making his signature potato bacon salad, for example.
Photographer: Bryan Rupp Photography
Dress: Marisa from Ania Bridal
Accessories: Family jewelry, shawls from India, courtesy of my sister.
Catering: Catering At Its Best (CAIB)
Event Planning: Kami Aguilera and her team at WedPortland
Flowers: Mayfly Flowers
DJ: Ian Armstrong