Wedding Planning

Emily and Michael’s Lovely December in Portland, OR Wedding by Anna Jaye Photography

I’m partial to this wedding not just because I live in Portland, but also because it is freaking gorgeous. Oh, and it is a December wedding and, not-so-secretly, they are my fave.

I’m partial to this wedding not just because I live in Portland, but also because it is freaking gorgeous. Oh, and it is a December wedding and, not-so-secretly, they are my fave. You can tell that bride Emily has a knack for creating an aesthetic, in part because of her career in graphic design. Every detail is on point, refined and elegant. This is a fantastic example of how to make a wedding feel like the holiday season without the help of animatronic elves and truckloads of tinsel. Thank you so much to Anna Jaye for sharing!

What was your vision for the day?

Warmth and modern elegance. We wanted to incorporate natural materials and warm lighting to create an intimate experience filled with personal touches and lots of love. We both love Christmas and it has always been a special time of year for us so we knew we wanted a winter wedding. Overall we wanted it to be a memorable experience where everyone felt comfortable and loved, with special design surprises throughout.

Can you talk about any DIY projects you did or specific details that had special meaning to you?


As a graphic designer I was probably more involved with the overall design of the day than most brides and I had a very specific end goal in mind. I wanted it to be unique to us and feel like a wedding made for us.


I first worked with the very talented Matt Tapia, a hand lettering artist, to create our logo and name mark and I designed all of the paper goods. I then made rubber stamps using the design and stamped custom cocktail napkins and added stamped touches to our printed pieces.


I also worked closely with Elaine Lemmer, an incredibly talented florist at Branch and Bloom (who also happens to be my mother), to create the overall floral/decor vision for the day. We selected all of the containers, flowers and succulents and curated the entry table, photos, signage, guest tables, ceremony decor and cake table, all with modern elegance in mind. I really wanted family to be a big part of the wedding so we featured framed family photos on the guest book table.


I also had our card box and guest book customized with our names and wedding date. The card box is made of wood with a metal latch and etched plate and the guest book is a gorgeous hand-stitched leather bound book with our last name debossed in the cover. I wanted pieces that we could display in our home for years to come and continue to fill with memories. Etsy was an amazing resource for these!


As our ceremony ended we really wanted everyone to feel like they were a part of the experience. So, we had our Reverend ask everyone to stand and in unison say: We now pronounce you man and wife. It was unexpected and everyone loved it! It brought the energy in the room up and was a great lead into our kiss and exit.



Did your wedding location hold a specific significance to you?

I always wanted to be married in a church and I fell in love with the simplistic beauty, stunning lighting and vaulted ceilings at the Eliot Chapel. The Forestry Center was the perfect location for our reception. The wood building with high beam ceilings was the perfect backdrop for a blanket of white flowers, succulents, candlelight and metallic touches.



Tell us details of the events surrounding your wedding.


All of my husband’s family came from out of town. Most from New York, some from Oklahoma and my uncle came all the way from Madagascar. For many of them it was their first time to Oregon, so it was wonderful to have them here and extremely special for my husband. They stayed and celebrated with us for a week after the wedding and we had an early Christmas, celebrated birthdays and made up for lost time. It was wonderful.



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


Have fun with it. I did a lot of planning up front right when we got engaged and everything was still fresh and super exciting. I then was able to take a break for a few months and just enjoy being engaged.



Photographer: Anna Jaye Photography

Ceremony venue: Eliot Chapel at First Unitarian Church

Reception venue: World Forestry Center

Dress: Norma by Watters, purchased at Ania Collection

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Accessories: Bride’s bracelet, necklace, fur stole, gloves, and purse were vintage.

Earrings: Tiffany (gift from groom)

Veil, hair piece, garter & sash: August Veils

Men’s attire: Men’s Warehouse

Catering: Food In Bloom

Event Planning: Muse

Flowers: Branch & Bloom

Cake: White Rose Bakery

DJ: Eric Wright at All Wright Music

Ceremony music:  Collage Music

Videography: Shields Films

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