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3 Continents Unite at Joyful PDX Wedding

Tony and MariaFamily members literally gathered from far and wide to celebrate the big day for Tony and Maria. The wedding was held yesterday at the luxurious Sentinel Hotel in downtown PDX. Tony’s African roots were well represented by loved ones who crossed the ocean for the big event including his Mom who lives in England and his Grandmother who traveled from Zimbabwe. Born in So. CA, Maria was happy to have her Grandmother attend from Los Angeles; as well as local family members and friends. The spirit of harmony was felt throughout the ceremony and reception … so much joy filled the room it was palpable. And you gotta love it when guests dance before, during and after dinner. That’s my kind of party. The newlyweds will honeymoon in Cancun before returning to PDX where the bride is an esthetician and the groom is a software engineer for Nike. Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Tonderai Nemarundwe. May the love and harmony that graced your wedding day remain with you always!

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Best Day Ever for Jessica and Doug

Jessica and DougSeven year sweethearts, Jessica and Doug, exchanged vows yesterday at the West End Theater in downtown PDX. The bride walked down the aisle to Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years and the newlyweds marched out to One Republic’s Good Life.  Navy, tangerine and ivory were the colors of the day. Bridesmaids wore variations of gowns in navy satin and the groomsmen looked sharp in charcoal gray suits, dark blue shirts and navy ties. Following the candlelight ceremony, guests were invited to the upstairs ballroom for cocktail hour and dinner. Special touches for the reception included a large framed seating chart hung on the brick wall outside the ballroom and custom labeled wine bottles indicating table numbers.

After a honeymoon in the Dominican Republic next week, the couple returns to their Portland home on Hayden Island. Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Smedley! May the spirit of your “Best Day Ever” remain in your hearts forever.

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Keeping Kids Happy at Your Wedding

gift bagsThe biggest challenge with having little ones in or at your wedding is keeping them entertained. Kids get understandably antsy – all that hurry up and wait! Being seen and not heard while the bridal party gets dressed, photographs get taken, guests arrive … that’s a LOT of being on your best behavior. I’ve seen all kinds of attempted “wedding kid control” over the years. The BEST solution? Keep them occupied. If you don’t have the luxury of a relative or friend who can be a Mary Poppins on site; provide age appropriate activities so they can entertain themselves. Books, puzzles, hand-held games, disposable camera, mini-water bottle, clear gummy worms … items that are noise and mess free. Putting it all in a customized tote makes it portable and special. MyLovingTree from Portland, OR makes adorable canvas bags with lots of custom features. In addition to personalized names, you can select skin tone, hair color and outfit. Lots of options for bridal party gifts, too. Check them out on Etsy.

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Have a Haunted Honeymoon

It’s Halloween season – a perfect time to explore haunted digs for your honeymoon. Haunted Rooms.com provides a listing of the best in domestic creep options. Choose from castles, lighthouses, plantations, traditional hotels and a variety of asylums. Some of the facilities offer tours to enhance the chill factor. The Crescent Hotel (shown here) escorts you to the morgue of this former hospital where you might catch a glimpse of the infamous Dr. Baker who experimented on his patients. Lodging ghosts across the country range from scorned lovers in the lobby to monks in the attic. There’s even a “hand of mystery” in Chicago. If you book the bridal suite at Thornewood Castle in WA, be prepared to share it with the former lady of the house who has reportedly been seen looking lovingly out at the garden. The user friendly website allows you to search hotels by city or state. View if you dare!

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Carpenter Weds His Lady

Gary and SarahThe sun shone, the bell rang out and guests cheered as Gary and Sarah said their “I Do”s last Saturday. Hymns from the score of True Grit provided the processional and recessional music and a giant redwood sequoia (the tallest on our planet) was selected for the couple’s unity ritual tree planting – a perfect choice for this carpenter and his gardener bride. The historic Newell House Museum with its spreading chestnut trees and views of rolling hills was an ideal setting for this down home country wedding. Following the ceremony, family and friends enjoyed a barbeque buffet with all the fixins and dancing under twinkle lights to the music of The SlimJims all-star band. The celebration continued as the newlyweds and their guests camped out in tents, cabins and yurts at the neighboring Champoeg State Park. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Smith! May your marriage be as strong and beautiful as your new sequoia.