What better place than the Oregon coast to serve as an awe-inspiring and ethereal engagement shoot setting? Incorporating the beauty of trees and the sea, Ally and Suyi’s Cannon Beach engagement session offers an artistic array of grand and intimate moments. Beautiful beams transcended through the forest landscape, as if the images are illuminated by the love between the two of them. As the two strolled along the sand, the soft light’s reflection resulted in a gorgeous glasslike surface. The ethereal and heartfelt imagery captured by Grace and Jaden Photography tells such an engaging, natural narrative.
Holly Stalder is in the business of turning romantic reveries into reality. A Portlander with a penchant for lace, Stalder designs one-of-a-kind wedding gowns that are available at the charming storefront, Diamond Sea Bridal. Whether they’re dripping with elegant detail or vintage flair, her gowns are inspiring works of art. Get to know the designer and story behind the custom dress line below:
Tell me about the inspiration behind your bridal line.
I am fascinated by lace and it’s delicate beauty, the drape of silks, the movement of tulle.
How would you describe your style?
Vintage glamour with a modern edge.
When designing and creating your wedding dresses, what type of bride
do you envision?
I love brides who want to be one of kind on their wedding day.
What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had working with a bride?
I once had a client who came in with a photo of a one of kind dress that I had made 5 years earlier and wanted me to remake it. It had a really specific lace that I salvaged from a vintage dress. I told the bride that their was no way I could make it or sadly even something similar. I tried to get her into a new design, but she left to look at vintage dresses and used dresses that day and FOUND THE DRESS in the photo! She bought it and brought it back in and tried it on for me, it fit her perfectly. It was so unbelievable!
What is one of your favorite dresses you’ve designed and why?
I made my own dress and that was a really great experience. I laughed at myself because I didn’t know what I wanted, even though I work with wedding dresses every day.
How does your location of Portland influence your work?
Portland is a great place to be a designer. Designers can keep their prices lower here than in a lot of cities because overhead so much lower, so you don’t have to be wealthy to have a dress designed and made.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
I love the cake cutting. I love cake decorating and would probably be doing that if I wasn’t making wedding dresses.
What is your favorite love story?
Romeo and Juliet – the ballet, movie, or the book.
Local talent Aran Galligan of Aide-Memoire Jewelry provides couples with artisan signifiers of their commitments to one another. While her refreshingly meaningful designs are impossible to forget, her pieces aren’t the only reason why Galligan will be remembered. She utilizes her metalworking magic to aid the causes close to her heart. This means Aide-memoire makes monthly donations to a range of charities and is committed to eco-friendly, ethical materials. Get to know Galligan and her business a little better below:
Tell me about the inspiration behind Aide-Memoire.
I wanted to create simple, beautiful, and understated wedding jewelry, and to not compromise my values in the process. Minimalism (functionality, truth to materials, and beauty through simplicity) and the Japanese aesthetic Wabi-sabi (where beauty lies in the imperfect mark of the hand) are definitely my guiding design principals.
Have you always wanted a business of your own? What were some of the first steps you took to pursue your business?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to have a business selling things that I made. Even as a kid I was always trying to start handmade businesses. I’m an avid reader and researcher, so any time I take on something new I devote hours of reading and research to it. I am a sponge that tries to soak up as much information as I can – so reading lots and lots of business books and blogs, as well as lots of research into ethical supplies.
Aran Galligan at work
Oh, so many things. I love that I am creating future heirlooms. That the pieces I make will go out into the world and be worn everyday, and hopefully passed down to future generations. I love that I can provide a space for couples who don’t feel like they identify with the main stream ideas of what a wedding should be. That I get to work with Adam and Vivian, who are both fantastic jewelers in their own right, and so fun to work with. That everyday in different with different challenges, which keeps my brain active.
Tell me about one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had working with couples.
When marriage equality was passed in Washington it was an amazing time to be here. Many of the couples that I met with have been together for 30+ years and their relationships were finally recognized. My eyes would tear up on a regular basis hearing their stories, and celebrating this win with them. It is wonderful to be a part of such a historic time.
You’ve utilized your talents to touch the lives of others through your business. Why did you decide to do this? How has Aide-memoire touched your own life?
I felt that there was an opportunity where I could create a business that was in line with my values, where honesty, integrity, inclusion and giving back were key components of it. I feel so fortunate to have such great customers that also value that. When I started out focusing on wedding rings, I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it. As overly-lofty as it may sound, I love that I am able to make some difference through my business.
After many moves, you settled down in Seattle. How does the environment and style of the Pacific Northwest inspire your work?
Seattle style is very casual and simple, which was a big draw for me to move here. Seattlites tend to be practical and down-to-earth. I love how many couples ride their bikes in to see me. It is so easy to connect with other like minded people here. My concrete ring reminds me of rock or stone (and really resonates with a lot of rock climbers):
and the wood bark textured ring is inspired by all the magnificent trees out here:
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
Without a doubt that it brings friends and families together to celebrate and recognize the relationship.
Be sure to check out all that Aide-memoire Jewelry has to offer here.
Nothing says “the Pacific Northwest” more than the beautiful backdrop of this Columbia River Gorge engagement shot by the Portland-based photographer, Jessica Hill. Incorporating one of the region’s favorite activities of hiking into your engagement shoot not only allows for access to breathtaking scenery, but also meaningful romance. The candid shots of the couple helping each other up the inclines serve to symbolize their start to a lifelong journey of climbing through life together. The vibrant greenery, stunning waterfalls, and rugged rock of the natural setting helps to showcase and amplify the natural connection between the couple.
It was love at first “like” for Carly and Jeremy, whose initial interaction took place over Instagram. A follow from Jeremy and a few double-taps from Carly led to many long distance dials and Skype exchanges, but screens could only suffice for so long. After a month, Carly decided to buy a plane ticket to visit Jeremy in the Lone Star State. As it turns out, the purchase button wasn’t the only thing that clicked. “I knew [that I wanted to spend my life with him] the immediate moment I bought my first plane ticket to see him.” Once the two met eyes in the San Antonio airport, their future really took off. Jeremy instantly sensed that he was going to marry her too.
Downtown San Antonio proved to be a very special spot for the two of them. It was there that the two strolled the famous Riverwalk for their first date and shared an extravagant Valentine’s dinner date upon Jeremy’s return from deployment. They also returned to the scene of their first date for a rather “hot” proposal, fueled by their mutual love of Taco Bell. “Whenever we would go to Taco Bell, I would toss him the fire sauce that had the message “Will you marry me?” on it, just jokingly passing the hint along.” Carly explained. One day, Jeremy finally took the bait. Mid-Riverwalk, Jeremy stopped Carly and handed her the fire sauce. Confused, Carly started to laugh, then, she shared, “he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring I had been eyeing for forever!” Tears of joy and applause from bystanders followed the sweet, yet spicy, gesture.
To incorporate their love story, the couple infused a little Texan charm into their Pacific Northwest nuptials. Carly’s mom made a Ranch style entrance to the ceremony with wooden fences and a welded K for their last name above a gate entrance. She also made an “all NW arbor” with cedar posts from her backyard and deer mounts donated from family members. All of the flowers for the wedding were homegrown as well.
Carly and Jeremy’s wedding came together just as they’d envisioned. Carly let out a sigh of relief when Jeremy loved the dress she’d kept concealed, and he was “absolutely stunned” to see his beautiful wife. They both cherished being around those they loved the most during their wedding, but, now that it’s over, being married is just as special. Jeremy says best part is “waking up to her every day, knowing I get to spend all of life’s great moments with her.” If you ask Carly, “it’s a sleepover every night. We can stay up late and talk about anything and eat whatever we want. It’s honestly just so much fun.” Enjoy the story of Carly and Jeremy’s Lake Crescent wedding day with the beautiful images captured by Samantha McFarlen.
With such an effortless, modern aesthetic, it’s hard not to fall in love with the brilliantly-branded brainchild of Gaby Bayona, Truvelle. Her simply stunning dress creations have helped turn brides across the country into visions of understated elegance. With her successful 2014 and 2015 collections and the latest 2016 collection’s launch, it’s easy to see that Truvelle is showing no signs of stopping. Get to know the hopeless romantic behind the Vancouver-based line below:
Tell me about the inspiration behind Truvelle. Was it more of a light bulb that went off or a gradual dream you nurtured? Truvelle happened organically, stemming from my experience at my mum’s custom dress shop. I had just graduated high school, and was spending my free time designing graduation gowns in shades of blush, ivory, and gold. I was surprised to find that brides – not graduates – were the ones resonating with these gowns; people were looking for something fresh and I had accidentally stumbled upon the answer. Fast forward three years later, I decided to break free from the custom dress world to start Truvelle under the premise of modern wedding gowns.
Why bridal dresses? For the longest time, I thought I’d go into engineering! My love for wedding fashion surprised me, and was something that developed the more I did it. Now, the main draw is how traditional wedding rules are breaking – bridal is more creative and exciting than ever.
The “Words from” section on each dress page as opposed to a product description is so fresh and romantic. What inspired this decision? I named my first collection after the women who helped turn Truvelle into a reality. In conjunction with the names I decided to write a blurb about each of them, which ended up being such a big hit with my brides that I decided to make it Truvelle’s “thing”. I really enjoy writing those descriptions – it’s a great way for me to reflect and document my personal life.
How do you envision Truvelle evolving as a brand? Ultimately, I’d want to turn Truvelle into a one-stop-shop for the modern bride.
What was your goal for the 2016 collection? I’d love to be at the forefront of a “wintery” wedding gown trend.
If you had to choose one of the 2016 gowns to wear for your own wedding day, which one would it be? It’s a toss up between Alexandra and Carolina.
What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had working with a bride? I had a stint in London when I first started Truvelle, and during that time I custom made a gown for my very first Truvelle bride. It was such a unique experience – I bought a portable sewing machine and travelled to her home every couple of weeks, sewing it on the dining room table of the Airbnb I had rented. She was an amazing client. I’d hang out with her friends post-fitting and eat pizza with them, talk about life, exchange banter.
How does your Vancouver flagship/studio location inspire your work? I’m influenced by the people around me, so being in a neighborhood filled with so many creative hustlers is a constant inspiration. I also have an amazing team, and want to do the best I can for all of them.
What is your favorite part of a wedding? I admire the community around it – how all of your closest family and friends come together to celebrate love.
What is your favorite love story (in literature, film, or real life)? I enjoy any story where love comes easy but the situation isn’t – yet you’re still able to rise above it.
You can find Gaby’s dreamy dresses at Seattle’s The Dress Theory and Portland’s AniA Collection.
There’s no telling how many times Colin looked for an excuse to go back to the bank where he first laid eyes on the beautiful bank teller, Darcie. From the day he first went to the drive-up with his mother to help her make a deposit, he gladly took on the role of his mother’s personal financial assistant. Darcie, drawn by Colin’s cool confidence, didn’t mind seeing his “crystal blue eyes” again, either. “I knew instantly he had a generous personality and would do anything to help a friend out,” she says. Her character judgment was soon affirmed. “One time before he and I were dating, I had mentioned to him that I couldn’t see very well because my wiper blades were so bad on my Jeep. He took it upon himself to go buy me new ones and switch them out while I was working without me knowing.” It became clear that there was something between the two of them, so they took to a Chinese restaurant for their first date.
Though the restaurant’s food quality was questionable, there was no denying the chemistry across the table. After hours spent laughing and talking, Darcie and Colin walked out to find the season’s first snow. “It made our date that much more magical.” The magic continued as they got to know each other more. When Darcie surprised Colin with the golden retriever puppy he’d always dreamed of having for his birthday, he knew she was the one he wanted by his side. As for Darcie, she knew Colin was a keeper after he passed the family holiday test. “Family is extremely important to me, and Colin fit in so seamlessly. He was cracking jokes and offered to help in the kitchen. He even brought my mom chocolate and wine on his first Thanksgiving with us. That won her over right there.” Thanksgiving turned out to be even more of a promising holiday, as Colin coordinated a surprise dinner with Darcie’s whole family to propose.
Once Darcie saw Colin on the big day, her face lit up with joy and she knew that it would be the best day ever no matter what. Colin was blown away by his bride’s beauty, who was definitely his “definition of perfection.” After the first impressions, the two got to tell hear their love story told in an unforgettable way. Darcie’s aunt, who conducted the ceremony, had asked Darcie and Colin to privately respond to questions about one another prior to their wedding. She read aloud Darcie and Colin’s answers for all to hear, which made the ceremony all the more personal.
Now that they’ve tied the knot, I had the chance to ask them a follow-up question: “What’s the best part about being married?” For Colin, it’s “knowing that I get to spend the rest of my life with the woman of my dreams. Darcie says it’s ” knowing I will always have my best friend by myside through this crazy journey called life.” Watch the story of Darcie and Colin’s wedding day come to life with these images captured by Inspired Productionz:
With up-cycled fabric as her medium, Kim McCormick of Kimmi Designs hand-crafts stunning wedding gowns that each have a story to tell. Whether it’s piecing together a gown with the vintage lace she collects or elegantly updating a bride’s mother’s gown, Kim McCormick has a knack for turning something borrowed into something new. “I just love the creative process and working one on one with brides,” says Kim. Get to know the creative mind behind Kimmi Designs below:
Tell me about the inspiration behind Kimmi designs. Have you always dreamed of designing wedding dresses? My inspiration comes from my love of lace and nature. My grandmother taught me how to sew, and I originally didn’t set out to make wedding dresses. I just kept getting asked to make wedding dresses, and then I realized how much I loved making them. I use up-cycled fabrics and often times a bride will also come to me with an heirloom fabric, such as her grandmother’s curtains, to incorporate into her dress. I love working with heirloom fabrics for wedding dresses because it’s an opportunity to carry the bride’s family’s history into the future. Weddings are so much about family, so it’s very special.
The designer at work. Image by Jenah Smith
What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had working with a bride?
I’ve had so many memorable experiences, but one of my favorite was with a bride named Rachel. She brought me her grandmother’s drapes and went shopping together to pick out the perfect lining. The end result was that she invited me to her wedding, and it was a beautiful outdoor ceremony.
How do elements of the Pacific Northwest transcend into your work? A lot of my brides have outdoor ceremonies, and the Northwest is very outdoor-oriented. If a bride is hiking to get to where she is getting married, as some have, that is a big influence. I want the dresses to be very comfortable, easy, beautiful, and reflective of nature that surrounds us.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
I love when the bride first comes out. Everybody is anticipating her, and it’s a really special moment when the groom sees her. And then the cake is my second favorite.
What else would you like potential bridal clients to know?
Brides are welcome to come and make appointments with me. I also have a small selection of dresses at Pretty Parlor in Capitol Hill. As far as design goes, I have a great selection of lace and other fabrics that I’ve been collecting for years to choose from, so you don’t have to come with fabric of your own.
Be sure to check out Kim’s Etsy shop here.
Rich with earthy elegance, this seaside styled shoot photographed on location at Ruby Beach points to the intimate sentiment of a coastal elopement. Supplying mystery and romance, the hazy oceanfront setting translates flawlessly into these images captured by Fleur de lis Photography. This shoot is far from short of Pacific Northwest charm with its extravagant, organic bouquets by Sara Jane Camacho and adorable mussel shell details. The bride’s effortless open-back gown with a cascading ruffle detail from The Dress Theory supplies just strikes the perfect balance of relaxed and regal. Get caught up in all the magic below:
Photography: Fleur de lis Photography
Planning & Coordination: Alyssa Hoffman Event Design and Coordination
Flowers: Sara Jane Camacho Flowers & Styling
Cake: Tallant House
Rentals: AA Party Rentals
Dress: The Dress Theory
Hair and Makeup: Jamyrlyn Mallory
A wedding is much more than a gorgeous gown, vibrant flowers, and a breathtaking venue. While Ashley and Shawn’s sweet celebration in Forks, Washington had all of those elements, it’s the sentiment and significance of their occasion that truly stands out. Their wedding served as a confirmation of their commitment to one another and the first step towards a lifetime of love. It’s easy to see the excitement and passion emanating from the high school sweethearts in these stunning images captured by Samantha McFarlen.
The first page of Ashley and Shawn’s love story was written when Ashley was a junior and Shawn was a senior. Ashley’s red hair caught the eye of the upperclassman, and he found her to be strikingly humorous. Ashley was flattered and thought him to be quite charming as well. For their first date, Shawn invited Ashley over to his mom’s house to enjoy the comedy classic, She’s the Man. It wasn’t long after till Shawn was thinking She’s the One. “Even though we were just in high school, I knew right away,” says Shawn. When you know, you know, and Ashley knew it too.
Their proposal was picture perfect, as Ashley was surprised to see Shawn standing in the middle of the barn with flowers at a family photo shoot organized by her sister. “I walked over to him and he told me how much he loved me. Then he got down on one knee and said, ‘Be my wife?’” When the wedding day finally came, the two were thrilled to share the special day with their friends and family. The ability to call Shawn her husband after the ceremony was Ashley’s favorite part of the celebration, while Shawn cherished Ashley’s grand entrance as she walked down the aisle towards him.
Now that Ashley and Shawn are officially married, their adventure is only just beginning. Their love will continue to inspire others every day: “I get to date him every day, and I love that we go through everything together, from the good and the bad. I forever have an adventure buddy.” “No matter what happens in life, I have my best friend by my side. She is my girl forever.”
Photography by Samantha McFarlen
Cake by Cora Fletcher
Flowers by Angel Crest Gardens