This Couple Planned a Bold, Stylish Wedding in the Pacific Northwest
It seemed like a perfect plan. When Danny Skitsko prepared to propose to Kae Yelchaninov over a picnic lunch during a June 2016 road trip to Point Reyes, California, he had it all worked out. He'd arranged to pick up a special pizza: It was their favorite food and the subject of many inside jokes. As soon as she noticed the phrase "Always say yes to pizza" on the box, she had a feeling something was up. But when she opened the lid and saw a pie laden with mushrooms, confusion set in. She said, "Are you serious?" Danny—not knowing that he'd accidentally ordered her least-favorite topping and thinking she'd seen the "Will You Marry Me?" inscribed on the inner lid—replied, "Yes!" There was a moment lost in translation before she noticed his proposal and happily agreed.
Kae and Danny met at a friend's wedding in May 2014. She was a creative-design manager in Portland; he, a graphic designer in San Francisco. But it wasn't until the following April, when they joined the same friends for a baseball game, that they hit it off. "Our mutual disinterest in baseball brought us together," he says, laughing. They eventually began a long-distance relationship, which continued until after the wedding, when Kae moved to San Francisco.
In planning their day, the pair collaborated on an aesthetic that reflected their distinct styles: gilded, decadent elements for her, and bold, playful hues for him. "We looked at planning like an art project," says Kae of the February 19, 2017, fête. They worked with a florist who used foraged blooms to build a palette, and they drew visual inspiration from Byzantine art, jewelry, and even the costumes in the 2015 film Macbeth.
They scoured their region for a chapel with ornate décor and tall arches—a motif they'd use from invitations to reception—and found it at the Chapel at Providence Academy, in Vancouver. There they exchanged traditional vows before a tight-knit group of 61 guests, with Kae's sister and Danny's brother joining them at the altar. Then it was back to Portland, for dinner and dancing at the Cleaners at Ace Hotel, the site of one of their first dates. Pizza wasn't on the menu, but each centerpiece included a wink to that lunch they'd shared the previous summer: dried mushrooms.
The bride's sister, Alesya, was the matron of honor. Kae designed her garnet-hued dress.
One Detailed Dress
Kae's wedding dress was made of oyster leavers lace with a hint of metallic thread.
The bride held a bouquet, made by Hart, of flannel flowers, burnt-orange ranunculus, quicksand roses, chrysanthemums, and a mix of dried palms and mushrooms.
The First Look
Moments before the ceremony, the couple met in the chapel to share a first look. "It was nerve-wracking, but as soon as I saw Danny, I thought, 'Oh, this is going to be fun,'" says Kae. "He's the friend you always want with you."
The Ceremony Location
On the hunt for a venue with Byzantine elements, like arches and intricate detail, the couple landed on the Chapel at Providence Academy. "Initially we weren't planning on getting married in a church," says Kae. "But I'm so glad we did—it set the whole tone for the wedding."
The couple chose traditional vows, in hopes that married guests would feel connected, since they, too, had shared the same words.
The Young Ones
The youngest family members, plus the son of the friends whose wedding first brought the couple together, preceded Kae down the aisle. The MOB made the girls' dresses.
Find Your Seat
A simply designed seating chart led guests to family-style tables at the reception venue.
A Room That Popped
The group crossed state lines to get to the reception at The Cleaners at Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Bold linens and centerpieces accented the room, while napkins tied in knots were placed on each plate. "The reception felt like a giant hug from all our friends—that's actually how we felt the whole day," says Kae.
Forsythia and witch-hazel installations carried the arch motif to the reception. "We wanted it to feel like it grew out of nature," says Kae of the styling.
Danny's favorite part of the day was listening to toasts from his friends and family. "At that point, we didn't have to worry about anything," says the groom. After dinner, the couple kicked off a night of dancing to the tune of "I'll Be Your Mirror," by Velvet Underground.
A Little Cake
Event planning, styling, and creative direction, Kae + Alēs
Catering, Clyde Common
Photography, Maria Lamb Photography
Cake, Papa Haydn
Music, Blue Wave Band
Bride's and matron of honor's dress sewing, Velonia Boutique & Tailoring
Makeup, Beth Level Artistry
Groom's suit and tie, Hugo Boss
Guest books, Oblation Papers & Press