Real wedding: Amy + James

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pink and red bouquets

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From the bride:
James and I met at a mutual friend`s wedding in Osaka, Japan.  We both noticed each other but I was the first to approached him and we really hit it off.  We connected on so much from the beginning–our deep connection with Japan, our curiosity, our passion for a good challenge, and a priority of always having a good time. At the time, I had just moved from Oregon to start a new job in California and James was living in Korea, so after we had this amazing meeting we both had to go back to our respective lives.  James was very good about keeping in touch and a couple months later, he moved to California.  I had never done anything like this, and I thought at times, “Is this nuts?“  But we felt so sure about it.  We were (and still are!) so in love. A year after we met, James proposed to me on the bathroom floor (that’s a whole other story!), and it totally caught me by surprise and I was elated!  Soon after, we decided to move to Osaka together, where it all started, and also where we currently live.
Although we currently live in Japan, we were set on having our wedding in Oregon, where I grew up.  We have many loved ones there and Oregon is so beautiful, we couldn’t imagine having it anywhere else.  This made planning a bit interesting at times, but thanks to my awesome friends, it worked out beautifully.
Our wedding day was like a dream. A really amazing dream that we didn’t want to end! We kept it small and celebrated with our closest friends and family. Our ceremony was held outside at Howell Territorial Park on Sauvie Island, and 20 minute drive outside the city.  The park used to be a private residence, along a dougfir grove, apple orchard, and farmhouse.  It feels very natural, personal, and earthy. James’ brother played the guitar while leading the wedding party, and grandma accompanied James down the aisle which moved James to tears. My dad walked me down the aisle, it was all so meaningful and emotional. The whole thing was so memorable especially because for only the duration of our vow exchange, it poured rain. A downpour! It was unexpected and we had to move into the trees and everyone was soaking wet. But it was so magical–to be standing in a grove of dougfirs with all of our loved ones and only the sound of rain and the smell of the forest surrounding us. We loved it!
We headed back downtown for our reception, that was held at The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel. A very beautiful venue that has an industrial and vintage feel to it, and a clean palette perfect for making our vision come to life. James and I put a lot of personal touches into it–we had old family photos, we sewed and shibori-dyed the table runners (with big help from my dad!)–a special homage to my cultural background, we picked out the wine ourselves, and we also had our instant camera that we use a lot that doubled as our guestbook sign in.  We wanted to carry on the feeling of our outdoor ceremony to the indoors, so we had lots of greenery in addition to the beautiful flowers.  Our dinner was made with local and seasonal ingredients, we had delicious carrot cake, everything was amazing. We had so many loved ones give toasts that were so moving, we probably dried up our eyeballs of tears for about a year to come! I accidentally shoved the cake up James’ nose which confused him and made him choke–and while I was feeling a bit bad about that, he got me back good. James’ friend who is a DJ made us a mix that got us all dancing, even grandma. The entire evening was lots of laughing, goofiness and fun.  It was such a personal, heart-warming day.

Planner: Social Hour Events
Florals: Selva Floral Design
Venue: Ace Hotel / The Cleaners
Cake: Le Cookie Monkey
Rentals: Something Borrowed
MUA/HAir: Studio Luxe

[images from Hazelwood Photography]

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Real Portland wedding: Kelsy + Demond

grey & white chevron invitations

wedding dress & green centerpiece

bride & groom reading each others notes

portland wedding

purple green and yellow bouquets

bride and bridesmaids in grey

heart sunglasses

groom and groomsmen in grey

bride and bridesmaids in grey

yellow shoes

grey and yellow program

green & yellow boutonnieres

mr & mrs banner

tented wedding ceremony

exchanging rings

displaying polaroids at wedding

button favors

yellow chevron table decor

succulent terrariums with billy balls

ice cream bar at wedding

green centerpiece

yellow wedding cake

cutting the yellow wedding cake

I knew our wedding was a success when the first thing Demond said the next morning was “can we do it all again?”.  I could not have agreed more.  The entire experience was more than we could have ever imagined, filled with so much love and happiness.  We truly could not have done it without the support of our amazing family and friends…fortunately we know some pretty talented people to boot!  We were on a major wedding budget so when it came time to start planning, we narrowed down to what we could actually afford then enlisted the help of several of our friends for everything else.  We really wanted to keep it modern and fun so we tossed the traditions and really focused on things we would appreciate (i.e. food and music).  One of my favorite memories from the evening is scarfing down a giant burrito in my wedding dress.

We didn’t spend a lot of time hunting for the perfect venue.  The Jupiter Hotel was the second place we visited, and after meeting with their event coordinator we both knew that was it.  They let us use the space however we saw fit and gave us the freedom to choose our own caterers.  We already had our heart set on using our favorite food truck, Koi Fusion, so this was a huge plus in our book.  We were fortunate enough to run across our florist and photographer through referrals, both of whom completely got the vibe we were going for.  Once we got the “big stuff” out of the way everything else slowly fell into place.  We tried to keep the planning process as stress free as possible with little celebrations when we crossed something off the list (this may or may not have been an excuse to crack a bottle of wine on a Tuesday).

I feel so fortunate to have had resources such as Pinterest and wedding blogs to search for inspiration (seriously, what did brides do before the internet?!) but there also came a time when I felt completely overwhelmed with all the ideas floating around.  My advice to brides who are planning is to pick a few things that are really important to you and your vision and stick with it.  You don’t need to do it all. When your day finally arrives, it’s so important to just let go and soak it all up, cause it goes by quick.  Some of the best memories are the ones that aren’t planned — a surprise serenade by grandma during speeches, the giggle of our ring bearer during our first kiss as bride and groom, the sound of dads voice during our father-daughter dance.  Embrace every moment because it’s really freaking awesome.

VENDORS

Photographer: Hazelwood Photo
Venue: The Jupiter Hotel
Catering: Koi Fusion
Cake: made by family member
Gelato: Bonta Natural Artison Gelato
Bridal dress: Maggie Sottero purchased at Bella Brides
Bouquet and boutonnieres: Solabee Flowers
Terrarium Centerpieces: DIY (all materials purchased at Solabee)
Chevron Table Runners rentals: Ultrapom
Groom Suit: Men’s Wherehouse
Ties/Bowties: Speak Louder (Etsy)
Guys shoes/pants: Nike Shoes & JCrew
Groomsmen ties from Etsy seller: Speak Louder
Gals shoes: Urban Outfitters
Invitations and programs: designed by Jessica Steiert (friend of bride) / printed through Zazzle
DJ: Street Dream Mobile DJ’s
Wedding Day Coordinator: Amy Davidson (friend of the bride and groom)
Officiant: Andrew Swalko (friend of groom)

[images from Hazelwood Photo]

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