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Relaxed Elegance at Garden Wedding

Yesterday’s wedding was the perfect blend of elements for sweethearts Danny and Shannon. Held at a private home in the Irvington area of Portland, the celebration combined a lush garden with lawn games, DIY flowers with jeweled dresses and catered cuisine with s’mores by the fire pit. A dining room table at Restoration Hardware brought the couple together (she was buying, he was selling) so it was fitting that they include a salt ritual during the ceremony. The blended salt will be used in their cooking as a reminder of the zest of their wedding day. The bride’s three sisters, two-year old niece and newborn nephew were in attendance as vows were exchanged under the backyard trellis. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and beverages on the patio. The chefs from Art de Cuisine worked their magic in the kitchen creating a lavish dinner that included cedar planked salmon, tri-tip beef and roasted market veggies. In lieu of wedding cake, the couple served triple blackberry cheesecake with a chocolate crust from Papa Haydn. Yum! After a honeymoon in Belize, the newlyweds return to their Sellwood home and life in PDX where Shannon works in marketing research and Danny is completing his masters in statistics at PSU. Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Duncan! May your life be forever flavored with joy and laughter.

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Sunny Wedding for High School Sweeties

ceremonyBest friends for almost 15 years, Kris and Nicole exchanged vows this morning in the lovely Abigail’s Garden at the Abernethy Center in SE PDX. Yellow roses, clear skies and smiles from friends and family made for a sunny start for their big day. Nicole’s parents (in town from Gearhart) walked her down the aisle and readings were given by both the Mother of the Bride and the Mother of the Groom. The couple created a keepsake box for their unity ritual complete with love letters, champagne and a beloved Yankee’s baseball. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a delicious brunch, photo booth fun and dancing under the big top. Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Saalfeld. All your efforts and planning came shining through and resulted in a wonderful celebration for all. Wishing you much joy in the years ahead. cake

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Intimate Wedding by the Sea

A Festive Heart WeddingSunny skies and balmy ocean breezes provided the perfect backdrop for Saturday’s Solstice wedding at The Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach. The bride was barefoot and beaming as were her attendants: daughters Elena and Sophia and best friend, Nadine (who flew in from Chicago for the weekend). Two unexpected guests arrived just before the ceremony began – a pair of seagulls who perched on the rooftop of the Inn and remained until the vows had been exchanged. Champagne and chocolate mousse cake awaited guests in the library following the seashore nuptials. (An extra treat was provided when the groom and best man brought out their guitars for a family sing along.) Next on the agenda: a gourmet dinner in the Stephanie Inn Dining Room featuring wild caught Oregon salmon and Alaskan halibut. The festive day was crowned by a bonfire on the beach complete with guitar music, a blanket of stars and s’mores. A delicious brunch on Sunday allowed for more laughter and hugs before checkout time. The newlyweds will host a reception in Portland and honeymoon in Peru before returning to their home in Phoenix. Congratulations, Dianna and Peter. May the light and joy of your wedding day remain in your hearts always!

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Weddings on the Water Showcase

boatCome experience a wedding on the water. Actually, make that FOUR weddings. During the floating bridal showcase being held on November 9th you can tour the Portland Spirit, the Willamette Star, the Sternwheeler and the Crystal Dolphin to see all the possibilities. Each boat will feature a different themed wedding reception complete with bride and groom, flowers, caterers, decor and more. I’ll be aboard the Portland Spirit representing Adorned in Grace, the nonprofit bridal shop that is dressing all four brides for the event. Hope to see you there! Click here for details and registration.

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Peach of a Pair Wed on Sunday

wedding Santina and Nate Peach was the color of choice for Santina and Nate as they exchanged vows last Sunday in Camas, WA. From the bridesmaids dresses to the abundance of roses … everything was peachy perfection. A unity sand ritual was included in the ceremony and guests kept cool with the thoughtful hand fans which included the wording “My heart is yours forever.” A lavish appetizer buffet reception showcased more peach with the peach themed candy bar and the lovely wedding cake. Turquoise was the accent color and displayed in the ladies jewelry and the bride’s shoes. After a honeymoon in Florence, Italy; the couple return to their careers in physical therapy. Congratulations, Mrs. & Mrs. Pileggi! May your journey through life together be filled with much joy and laughter.

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Here Comes the Bride – 13k of them!

bridesThere were 13,960 weddings in the PDX metro area in 2012.* That’s a wow of vows! Since June is the official kick-off of wedding season, I thought I’d share a few numbers on what is being spent on nuptials. You don’t need to see the charts to guess the number one expense: food. There’s no shortage of ways to spend the bucks for reception menus. Based on the average size reception of 140 guests; simple, appetizers only average about $4k with full dinners going upwards of $10k. Tack on the bar, the cake and the rehearsal dinner and you can see how the dollars add up. After how it tastes, brides care about how it looks. Diamonds truly do appear to be a girl’s best friend. No. 2: the engagement ring (wedding band is extra). Average starting price was $3k with higher end bling going for upwards of $9k. Reception venue came in at No. 3 with a price tag average of $2500 up to $6k depending on location and package. The wedding dress and photographer round out the top five expenses.

So, is anything going DOWN in spending? Well, music for one. Only 25% of couples now choose to use a live band resulting in a savings of between $1500 to $3k. DJ’s provide favorite tunes starting at less than half of that. And it’s not in the report, but I know more brides are on the DIY track opting to be creative with invites, favors and decor. My take on all of this? I’ve yet to hear a bride say “I wish we had spent more money on our wedding.” And how many times does this come up in conversation? “That basil chicken rice pilaf at Jan’s wedding was the best I’ve ever had!” Enjoy your day but spend wisely. It doesn’t take a bank roll to create magic.  Speaking of curbing expenses, watch here for announcement on NEW package deals for savvy brides.

*Source for numbers: Proprietary Surveys; The Wedding Report Inc.2013
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Show Stopper Takes the Cake

DSCN4676My choice for the winning cake at the PDX Bridal Show was this stunning white peacock design by Crave Bake Shop in Lake Oswego. Not only did this cake look amazing in color and detail it was completely GLUTEN FREE. If you are not already a fan of Crave, now there’s more reason than ever to celebrate their GF wonders … wedding cakes. Who knew? Priced right and with lots of scrumptious options, this is one bake shop you’ll definitely want to check out before making your cake choice. And if you’re not in the market for a wedding cake, head there anyway to enjoy their cookies, scones, cinnamon rolls, cream puffs and award winning cupcakes. ALL blissfully gluten free. Thanks, Crave!