I’m having trouble trying to put into words how I feel about our wedding weekend. After much planning and craziness with friends and family arriving in Portland from all over the country (and all over the world!), The Big Weekend arrived so quickly, I felt like the wind was knocked out of me.
Since almost all of our guests were arriving from out of town, we needed to come up with a way that we could all hang out the night before the wedding. This was seriously one of the biggest struggles we had in the wedding planning process since almost any restaurant or conference room basically charges the amount of an entire wedding reception to make a reservation for 80+ people. We settled on renting out the Wallace Park pavilion and having the Bunk Sandwiches food truck stop by instead.
On top of that, since Alex and I do trivia every week, we decided to ask our favorite trivia host, Rain of Rain Brain Trivia to host a private trivia event for our guests. I was a little nervous about this part since trivia isn’t necessarily everyone’s jam, but it was amazing how competitive everyone got and how many unexpected connections were made between family and friend groups. I think it really set the tone of the day of our wedding to have everyone together the night before. Rather than being unable to sleep because I was nervous or worried, I was unable to sleep because my heart was so full and I couldn’t stop going over the laughter and snapshot moments in my head from the day.
The next morning was a blur of preparation. The girls met up and headed to the salon for the beautification process while the boys hit up the Saturday morning PSU Farmer’s Market (more specifically, the Pine State Biscuits stand).
Before I knew it we were at the vineyard getting ready and I found myself struggling to center myself and realize that this is it. I wasn’t nervous or emotional or frantic or obsessed over details and I think the absence of these “typical” feelings surprised me until I realized that they weren’t there because everything about this day was so right.
First Look came more quickly that I think either Alex or I were ready for. We were excited to see each other, of course, but at this point it still hadn’t sunk-in that we were about to get married in a matter of hours.
We made the most of our time before our guests started arriving to take wedding party photos and family photos, but I definitely appreciated when our wonderful officiant arrived and gave me a little “pep talk” to remind me to take a moment to be present and let every emotion sink in.
And I did get butterflies as our guests began to arrive and while I was waiting, hand in hand with my dad before he took me down the aisle, but it was all excitement and love and nostalgia and awe wrapped up in the perfect setting: with all the people I love, with a backdrop like a dream, holding the hands of the love of my life, and with so much love pouring in all around us, it felt unreal. My uncle-in-law told me after the wedding that he saw almost every emotion play across my face during the ceremony, and I think that’s probably true because standing up there I felt everything, time slowed down, and for those few moments it was just Alex and me and our past and future colliding and connecting to pave the rest of our forever.
I could not be more happy with how we crafted our ceremony. It was so perfectly us and filled with elements that were 100% meaningful to the promises we were making each other from having my brother, Alex’s brother, and Alex’s cousin make up the piano/trumpet/saxophone trio that perfectly set the mood (and started the tears for sure) to writing our vows and most of our ceremony ourselves. One of my favorite parts was the reading we chose: I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg, a children’s book that I vaguely remember being in my house growing up, but somehow works perfectly in the context of a wedding.
The rest of the evening was the best party of my life. The love and joy was constant (one of my favorite things about our wedding photos is that there are so many genuine smiles and laughter). The food was excellent, the sunset was insane, and most importantly, the dance floor was packed the entire night.
It was a completely magical weekend—better than we could ever have imagined. We still can’t get over how many wonderful people we have in our lives who expressed so much love and support for us but who also made our hearts sing by connecting so well with each other. It was actually, truly, wholeheartedly the absolute best day of our lives.
Venue: Vista Hills Vineyard // Amazing photography: Hello, Crow Photography // Catering: Pearl Catering // DJ: Perfect Memory // Flowers: Your Perfect Bridesmaid // Officiant: Rev. Cathy Hume // Hair & Makeup: Dosha Salon & Spa