A Scenic, Nature-Inspired Wedding in Oregon
Ariel and Kyle
Who said blind dates can't result in meeting "the one"? Ariel, now a graduate student at UCLA and Kyle, a personal trainer, have family to thank for setting them up. Ariel's sister and one of Kyle's closest girl friends worked together playing matchmaker through a triple blind date, which led to the couple's first one-on-one outing at a soccer game in Portland, Oregon, where they were living. The rest, as they say, is history.
On their one-year anniversary, Kyle knew he wanted to propose and thought hard on how to pull it off. "Ariel likes surprises, but loves ruining them even more," he says. "She is the person who wants you to tell her what she's getting for Christmas in July. So, I knew in order to pull it off, I would have to lie to her, tell her that she figured out what we were were doing to satiate her suspicions, and allow the plan to unfold as I wanted it," he explains. Accordingly, the week before their anniversary, Ariel's parents were coming out from Maryland and the family were going to head to Bend, Oregon, for Memorial Day weekend—this acted as the perfect cover-up. The couple headed to the Pronghorn Resort and was lead to a room, where chocolate-covered strawberries and wine were set up on the balcony. Assuming it was just part of their one-year celebration, Ariel opened her anniversary present (a large box full of tissue paper) only to unexpectedly find a ring box in it. Kyle got down on one knee and popped the question—his plan had gone off without a hitch! He brought his fiancée to celebrate with her family, where he had one last surprise waiting—his family was there, too, allowing everyone to enjoy this momentous occasion together. "Yes, our engagement started out with a lie, but it was for her own good!" Kyle says.
The couple wanted to get married somewhere in the Portland area, and while browsing nearby venues, Ariel came across Mt. Hood Organic Farms, located just an hour away. "We both love spending time on the mountain and appreciate the beauty of Oregon's landscape, so it seemed like the perfect place for us," she explains. For their big day, Ariel and Kyle focused more on choosing elements that felt true to their personalities, rather than having an overall theme. They stuck with a neutral color palette that fit their vision while allowing the beauty of the surrounding landscape to speak for itself.
A year after their engagement, on May 29, 2016, overlooking the incredible backdrop of Mt. Hood, Ariel and Kyle tied the knot in front of 195 of their closest loved ones. The day started off cloudy and chilly, but the sun came out just as their ceremony began, shining down warmth on both their love for nature and each other.
Deckle-edged save-the-dates were foil-printed in rose gold and mailed out in burgundy envelopes, all designed by Amber Moon Design. This was the first introduction of calligraphy by Anne Robin, which reappeared throughout the stationery and event itself, including the oversized wax seal affixed to the invitation's petal-fold enclosure.
Ariel asked Etsy artist Miss Design Berry to create a custom piece based off a photo of the mountain view guests would have at the wedding. It was originally intended to be a print for guests to sign, but the bride loved it so much she opted to frame it as is. A smaller version of the piece was also included in the invitation suite along with a soft peach enclosure holding the response card and envelope, a map, and other information for the wedding weekend.
The Welcome Bag
The couple offered their guests a warm Oregon welcome with a screen-printed tote bag full of local goodies such as a miniature bottle of Adelsheim wine, Pitch Dark chocolate, and a bag of Stumptown Coffee Roaster's house blend. The soft pink artwork that appeared on the letterpress itineraries was also tucked in.
The picturesque backdrop of Mt. Hood blew Ariel and Kyle away, but they also felt that the place perfectly represented them as people. "It incorporated everything we both love," the groom says of their shared connections to nature.
Knowing there would be a Monique Lhuillier trunk show at her local boutique, Divine Designs, Ariel called the store and had some dresses brought in especially for her to try on. However, as soon as she put on this tulle-layered number with a white lace overlay, she knew she had found the one. "I love how deceptive the skirt is—it actually has very few layers, so it's very light but still has that large skirt look," she says.
The Bridal Accessories
The bride complemented her gown with Ippolita earrings, a clutch from BHLDN, nude Loeffler Randall shoes, her mother's garter from her own wedding (which functioned both as her "something old" and "something borrowed"), and a sapphire ring that her mother had made for her. The sapphires were taken from jewelry from her great-grandmothers, and each of her sisters also has the same band. To add a little extra something special, Ariel got Jo Malone perfumes especially for the wedding. "I wanted a special scent for that day that I thought Kyle would like, so I combined those two smells [orange blossom with wood sage and sea salt]," she explains.
In keeping with the wedding's soft neutrals, Ariel thought, what better color than classic white for her bridesmaids' dresses? The Badgley Mischka gowns were from the same collection, allowing her ladies to choose a style that suited each of them individually while still looking cohesive.
The Bridesmaid Box
As a thank you to her helpful bridesmaids, Ariel gifted them with Simone LeBlanc gift boxes. Filled with relaxation goodies, the box also came with a knotted gold cuff and a card that read, "Thank you for being there as Kyle and I tie the knot." Kyle gave each of his groomsmen a nice bottle of wine.
The Bridal Bouquet
The couple worked together with their florist, Natalie Bowen Designs and took advantage of the amazing flowers that grow locally in Oregon. They even visited three farms in the area—Peterkort Roses, Schreiner's Iris Gardens, and Adelman Peony Gardens—to handpick some blooms for use in the bouquets and centerpieces. The result—a rustic, elegant bouquet of peonies, roses, astrantia, hellebores, creeping Jenny, Sally Holmes roses, martagon lilies, passion vine, and black lace elderberry.
Ariel and Kyle's signature monogram by Anne Robin was also embroidered onto custom gray yarmulkes, ready for guests to pick up before the ceremony.
The ceremony took place in the farm's garden, and both Ariel's parents walked her down the aisle as one of her childhood best friends sang Ingrid Michaelson's cover of "Can't Help Falling In Love". The couple was married under a chuppah of peonies, wild mock orange, and dee brush, designed by Natalie Bowen Designs, with the scenery adding to the view. "We could have been married in a cave, or the basement of an office building, and I would have had the same amount of joy I experienced that day. Ariel made the whole thing, everything else was just an added bonus," Kyle says.
While loved ones sipped on the day's signature cocktails (Manhattans and Lemon Drops) during cocktail hour, Ariel and Kyle posed for their first photos as husband and wife, with the snowcapped mountains acting as the breathtakingly beautiful background. "I am really happy that we were able to have our wedding exactly as we wanted it," the bride says. "It felt like the security and comfort of our relationship that we feel with each other every day was felt by all our guests, and the fact that we were able to share that for a day was really special to me."
The reception took place in the property's Apple House, a narrow wooden building with quirky black-and-white tiled floors. Staying true to the wedding's simple, rustic look, Natalie, surprised the newlyweds with hanging greenery (a mix of smilax and dee brush) to complement the existing lanterns. To accommodate everyone, they had a mix of long and round tables, finished off with white linens and cross-backed wooden chairs.
The Place Settings
The bride had seen the Casa de Perrin place settings on Instagram and loved the rose gold flatware and French gray plates from the Heath collection. Her wedding planner, Sunna Yassin used them as the foundation to build the table setting. Printed menus with guests' names at the top added a personalized touch while the varying centerpieces of clematis, ranunculus, peonies, roses, chocolate cosmos, scabiosas, smokebush, wild mock orange, honeysuckle, and a mixture of other blooms subtly brought the table layout together.
The First Dance
Ariel and Kyle had their first dance to a rather unique pick—"I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher. "We wanted something different and it has a vibe to the song that felt very much like us. Plus we call each other babe!" the bride explains.
The couple chose to have a selection of small cakes, rather than one large tiered confection. Guests were spoiled for choice with the seven minimally decorated small cakes that came in three different flavors, courtesy of Windflower Cakes—almond cake with marionberry (an Oregon staple) and cream, chocolate cake with raspberry cream, and vanilla cake with strawberries and vanilla crème.
A quirky tradition started at the bride's eldest sister's wedding and carried on to the rest of the family, the shoe game was one of Ariel's favorite moments of the day. "You each take one of your own shoes and one of your partner's shoes and stand back-to-back. Questions like, 'Who will be the one to change diapers in the middle of the night?' are asked and you each raise the shoe of the person you think," she explains.
Everyone was also treated to another special family ritual, thanks to Ariel's father. "For his toast at each of his daughters' weddings, my dad has performed a song," Ariel notes. "Since baseball has always been his and my thing, he sang 'Sweet Caroline' by Neil Diamond." A nod to her beloved Red Sox, the bride loved how much of a family affair it was with her sisters and mother, as well as the whole crowd, singing along.
Photography, Paige Jones
Location, Mt. Hood Organic Farms
Event planning, Sunna Yassin
Catering, Cultivate Catering
Flowers, Natalie Bowen Designs
Stationery, Amber Moon Design
Artwork, Miss Design Berry
Calligraphy, Anne Robin
Cake, Windflower Cakes
Music, Ground Control
Hair, Kelly Peach
Makeup, Beth Level Artistry
Bridesmaids' dresses, Badgley Mischka
Groom's suit, Ted Baker