Wedding Planning

Andrew and Michelle’s Elegant Portland, OR Wedding by Powers Photography Studios

There are some weddings that you can just instantly tell were a good time. And if the fun-loving wedding party photos are any indication, Andrew and Michelle’s night was filled with a lot of laughs and smiles. 

Michelle employed my new favorite floral trend: baby’s breath as aisle decorations–clean, simple, and elegant.  And although Portland brides are usually known for their more laidback style, I love Michelle’s drop waist princess gown. Total glam.  Thank you to our friends over at Powers Photography Studios for sharing another wedding gem with us!  And please read below for Michelle’s advice on wedding planning.

What was your vision for the day?

For my big day I really didn’t have any real strict vision or theme but I wanted a wedding people wouldn’t soon forget; I wanted our guests to have a memorable night celebrating Andrew and I’s love and unity. I wanted it to be a formal, elegant, romantic, and fun atmosphere. Growing up I didn’t envision my wedding to be a winter wedding, but the more and more I looked at ideas, the more drawn I was to the colors, the candlelight and just the elegance of a winter wedding. In Oregon we get a lot of rain but I remember talking to my fiancé about how in late January, I swore it was always cold yet dry.

One of the first details I decided on was my colors (navy blue, silver and light blue) and I out of those colors I knew that I wanted the bridesmaids’ dresses to be navy. Having those simple detail decided I was able to shape everything around it. I created the perfectly fun atmosphere that I wanted our wedding to be while maintaining romance and elegance.

Did anything funny or out of the ordinary happen?

In rainy Oregon, our winter wedding was a beautiful sunny day!

Like I said, it was winter and my one of my younger brothers was flying in from Kentucky. This was the time when snow was taking over, what seemed like, the entire country. Because of the snow, his layover flight was delayed and he was going to miss our ceremony. When I heard the news bright and early that morning, I was devastated. Luckily, I still had two of my brothers there and an aunt who was willing to step in to his place. When my brother finally arrived at the reception (right before we were going to make our grand entrance) he walked in and according to him, received a standing ovation. When I saw him, it was a very special moment.

Tell us about your wedding details.

I wanted all the details to complement each other. I chose my colors and then my dress which was a full, drop waist princess dress with rosettes in the skirt. To complement my dress, I wanted fuller flowers so I chose hydrangeas and tons of baby’s breath. To create my romantic ambiance, I used vases of various heights to create dimension along with hundreds of floating candles, votive candles and crystals.

For the cake, the guests were able to choose from a variety of cupcakes flavors (red velvet, chocolate and poppy seed) and of course, Andrew and I had a cutting cake that was beautifully decorated to look like hydrangeas. My aunt was able to make it all for us; all the flavors were so delicious.

For the favors, I had seen a lot of candy bars but knew that wasn’t quite what I wanted. I have a great love of popcorn so I researched different ideas and came up with an amazing popcorn bar. We purchased to-go boxes, added a little ‘Thank You’ emblem and set them out for our guests to bring some home with them. We had 8 different flavors from fruit salad (a mixture of blueberry, grape, cherry, etc.) to chocolate with M&Ms to garlic parmesan. It was such a hit with our guests and served as great little munchies for the end of the night.

For the rest of the details, they all complemented each other and they all had their place. We had a nice sign outside our church that read “Welcome to our love story” that our guests were able to see as they entered the church. We created our save the dates, invitations, and programs all with the same idea. Our food and drinks were well thought out and created an excellent balance throughout the evening. Finally, since the wedding was such a formal event, I wanted to make sure our wedding parties were able to relax and have a good time the night before. We ended up choosing to host our rehearsal dinner at a local brewery and had a pizza bar with appetizers and beer.

How did you know your partner was “the one”?

I knew he was the one when I realized that he truly accepts me for me. I can always say what’s on my mind and just be my honest, true self. I had never experienced a love like this and I never want to let it go.

Any advice you’d give new brides who are just getting started?

My advice to new brides is to take a deep breath and not to get too wrapped in all the wedding plans right away. I was so excited that I wanted to get all my details sorted out right away, I learned the hard way that decisions do not need to be made right away. Give yourself some time to think about what it is you truly want your day to be and it will all fall into place.


Photographer:  Laurel from Powers Studios

Venue:  St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception , West End Ballroom

Dress: Bridal Exclusives (the neckline was reconstructed into a sweetheart)

Shoes: DSW

Accessories:  Nordstrom, Swarovski

Men’s Attire: Vera Wang at Men’s Wearhouse

Catering:  Chef du Jour

Flowers:   Flowers for You

DJ:  Justin from Paradox Productions