There's a lot you can take from this real wedding feature ... the advice from the interview with Diane and Paul is priceless!! We love that they acknowledged their 'wedding day theme and concept' from the very beginning and carried it out in each element ... from the save-the-date cards to Diane's architectural dress to the venue they chose. It's also really great to learn how a couple who lives in Seattle (my town, too!!) planned a destination wedding in Portland, Oregon. As a bride who lived in Seattle while I planned a wedding in Cannon Beach, Oregon, I especially understood their wedding planning process. All good stuff here :) Enjoy!
Psssst ... you gotta check out Paul's GROOM Converse ... so rad!!
Our florist was Jordan from Blum Design in Flowers. We absolutely loved the work she did for us. She’s such an amazingly sweet and talented artist. From the beginning, she really understood our vision and helped us come up with centerpieces that went with our contemporary, modern theme. She was so patient with us as we changed our centerpieces multiple times. Our guests raved about how beautiful and large the pink peonies were!
Paul and I had different tastes in photography, but we both felt that picking the right photographer was critical. We interviewed several photographers and Yasmin Khajavi Photography just blew everyone away. We felt instantly connected to her warm and inviting personality. She happened to be from my hometown too! We were impressed by her fancy camera lenses and her ability to capture the moments in an artistic way. She was just amazing and kept us calm and having fun during our whole day. Most of all, we love how she always closes her emails using her signature line: “With Care, Yasmin”
I had a couple friends who do hair and makeup professionally to assist me and the mothers on my wedding day. It worked out well because I had a multiple looks throughout the day, so it was nice that they were with me all day to help make the style transitions.
For my bridesmaids, I sent them to Blowout Portland – A Blow Dry Bar – to get their hair and makeup done. The ladies at Blowout did a fabulous job and all my bridesmaids looked beautiful! I liked how at Blowout Portland, all my bridesmaids could get ready at the same time, rather than having to stagger appointments. What probably would have taken 3-4 hours with two individuals took 1.5 hours with 5 stylists. After my own hair and makeup was done, I took a limo to the blowout bar to take photos with my girls there – it’s such a cute place!
I went to 5 different stores before I found my dream dress. But when I found it, I had that “a -ha” moment where you know you’ve found the One – kind of like when I met Paul, I knew he was the One! I found my dress at Ania Bridal Collection. Ania’s approach is a little different than other bridal stores that I’ve been to where you walk around picking dresses. You first meet with your consultant and describe what elements you are looking for in a dress. The consultant then pulls dresses that match your criteria. I told my consultant that I wanted a dress with a sweetheart neckline, rouched bodice and a skirt that had interesting details (i.e. ruffles or architectural detail). My consultant managed to find a dress that exactly matched my criteria! It was the first dress I tried on there and the moment I put it on, I knew it was the one - WTOO by Watters' Liane!
We hired Jessica Church of Bash! Events NW to do comprehensive planning and day-of coordination. Since we were planning the wedding from Seattle, having Jessica in Portland was an absolute necessity for the leg work that we were not able to do from a distance. Jessica caught on to our vision quickly and made it even better! Her experience in coordinating events kept us on time, but allowed us the flexibility to deviate from the schedule when something good was happening. She has an uncanny knack for remembering all the details and running the wedding day flawlessly! All our guests commented that everything ran so smoothly! She did so much for us, we couldn’t have asked for a better coordinator.
Initially, we were only allocating a small amount of our budget to our invitations; however, we decided that the Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations would give our guests the first glimpse into our vision for our wedding – what Paul termed the branding and marketing of our wedding. We worked with Lindsay Zogas of Paper Bloom Invitation + Design Studio to come up with a logo and theme that we carried out through our wedding from beginning to end. Lindsay was such a pleasure to work with and so patient with our meticulous design edits!
Our search for a wedding venue spanned 3 states: Washington where we currently reside; California where Paul is originally from; and Oregon just because it was in between the two states. After numerous phone calls, quotes, site visits and extensive spreadsheets, we decided on a destination wedding to Portland, Oregon. Our first priority was selecting a venue for the reception since a majority of the finances would be spent there. We selected The Nines Hotel as our reception venue because it perfectly matched our vision for a space that was modern, clean, and sophisticated with a luxe feel. We were ecstatic to discover a space complete with elements of modern art from ground up. We also loved that the Urban Farmer would be catering our reception, and it reflected the Northwest with its concepts of using sustainable local grown ingredients prepared simply and elegantly. After selecting the reception venue, we toured many churches nearby to find a ceremony venue. We selected the First Baptist Church since it closely reflected our faith and was architecturally distinct from other area churches.
We consider ourselves foodies, and food is a critical part of any celebration, especially great food. The chef at the Urban Farmer restaurant at The Nines Hotel also caters the weddings. The food was exceptional! Guests had the option to choose from 3 entrees – Hickory Smoked Flank Steak, Miso Butter Fish and Faro Risotto. Guests were also delighted to have a late night menu of Wagyu Sliders, Mini Brie and Arugula Sandwiches, and Okinawan Sweet Potato Frits. Everyone raved at how good the food was compared to typical wedding food.
From the very beginning, we wanted a very contemporary/modern look with lots of white and clean lines. In terms of décor for both ceremony and reception, we felt that since we had selected such beautiful venues, we should not recreate the look. We felt it was best to go minimal in décor and only enhance what was already in the space. For the reception, we felt that lighting was critical in setting the tone for the evening, but often overlooked by many couples due to the cost. Our phenomenal wedding planner really embraced our vision of the play on light and came up with the idea of using modern white lamps as centerpieces. These lamps became our major project. After countless trials with different sized lampshades and bases to get the perfect proportions, we ended up renting white vases from West Coast Event Productions and putting them together with LED lights and lampshades from Ikea! We focused on a mostly white theme for the tables with touches of pink from peonies. In a big reception hall up lighted with our wedding colors navy and pink, each table of white would be an intimate space for our guests to mingle. In addition to the white theme, we incorporated the use of Plexiglas/Lucite into the table numbers, cake stand and card box to complete the modern chic look.
Remember to take time during wedding planning for little date nights to just catch up and enjoy each other's company. It's so easy during wedding planning to not take time to check in with each other and just get straight to wedding to do's. During our 1 year of wedding planning, it felt like every time we saw each other, we had wedding decisions to make and appointments to go to. At the end of the day, the wedding is just one day in the lifetime of a marriage. So it's important to have a good foundation going into it. Lastly, make sure to take little moments throughout the wedding day to savor everything - the emotion, the sights, the smells, the sounds. The wedding day goes by so quickly and before you know it, that 6 month or 1 year's worth of planning is over.
Photographer: Yasmin Khajavi Photography
Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church of Portland
Reception Venue: The Nines Hotel
Flowers: Blum Design in Flowers
Catering: The Nines Hotel
Wedding Cake: Dream Cakes
Wedding Coordinator: Bash! Weddings and Events
Cinematographer: Focal Point Digital Media
Bride's Dress: Ania Collection
Stationery: Paper Bloom Invitation + Design Studio
Bridesmaid Dresses: Nordstrom Wedding Suite
Beauty: Blowout Bar
Rentals: West Coast Event Productions
Transportation: Portland Pedicabs