If you’re a fan of elegant and timeless celebrations then you’re going to love this Pacific Northwest wedding by MARIA LAMB with it’s crisp green and white aesthetic. Marrying at the bride’s uncle’s Estate in Brush Prairie, Washington gave Athina & Carlos expansive grounds to explore for their photo session. The bride wore a timeless strapless gown from DAVID’S BRIDAL and her bridesmaids were dressed in gorgeous one shoulder lavender gowns, carrying simple bouquets of green and white hydrangeas.
HOW DID YOU MEET? Athina contacted Carlos to purchase concert tickets, and when they got to talking over the phone, sparks flew. Carlos had a feeling about her and wanted to get to know her more. After their first meeting in a football field where she was babysitting two kids (who would become their ring bearer and flower girl), Carlos asked Athina out on what would be the first of many dates together. He took her to a church service, followed by brunch at one of their favorite spots in Portland, browsed a record store and walked around Cathedral Park until sunset. They shared many stories about their families, friends and their faith. On their separate drives home, it was clear to both of them that their unexpected meeting was a part of something much bigger.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Carlos proposed by taking Athina on a re-enactment of their first date together. He presented her with two small boxes at the beginning of date, which she was not to open until the end of the day. Athina had no idea that one held a special note, and the ring in the other. At Cathedral Park during sunset, Carlos and Athina walked down to the water’s edge. Carlos started by telling Athina how thankful he was to God to have met her and that he could see great things coming out of them being together, he told her she had won over his heart, got down on one knee opened one of the boxes and held out her ring. He asked her to marry him and she said “YES!”.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: After trying multiple dresses from different shops without any luck I was having a hard time finding the dress she had always imagined. Someone recommended that it would be a good idea to try every style possible at David’s Bridal to get an idea of what that dress would look like. During the process, I found a dress that I loved the fabric of though it looked weird on the hanger so it was saved for last not even thinking I would like it. When I first tried it on, the dress consultant had not even finished zipping it up when the I said “this is it!”
ANY DIY ELEMENTS? Carlos has always loved digital design though he is an engineer. He designed the invitations, menus, name cards, and most everything printed.
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: The bouquets were made up of white hydrangeas, white roses and baby’s breath. The bridesmaids bouquets had a few green hydrangeas. The table arrangements were composed of simple greenery garland with several hydrangeas in-between.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? First look was amazing since we didn’t see each other since the night before. It was a very intimate and sincere moment.
Photographer MARIA LAMB / Videographer BOND MEDIA / Cake JACIVA’S BAKERY / Florist BRIDE’S AUNT / Stationery DESIGNED BY GROOM, PRINTED BY ANDERS MEDIA / Venue WILLOW LAKE ESTATES / Bride’s gown DAVID’S BRIDAL / Shoes AUDREY BROOKE / Jewellery GIVENCHY & NADRI / Hair BRITTNEY ISAACSON / Make-up LEAH SKELTON / Bridesmaids’ dresses SPECIALTY SHOP / Groom’s attire J. CREW & ALDO SHOES / Planner BARBARA MOHONEN with WILLOW ESTATE LAKE / Music UPFRONT JAZZ BAND
Knowing she wanted to incorporate a lot of natural elements into their wedding Carly took a lot of walks in the lead up to her wedding to Douglas, collecting acorns, pine cones, dried seed pods, branches, and anything else a plant makes in preparation for winter. Added to this was an abundance of warm candlelight and greenery and the result was a welcoming, cosy autumn celebration captured by LEAH BARRY PHOTOGRAPHY in the groom’s family home.
I love that they intentionally chose to spend the reception together visiting their guests – as opposed to doing their own thing. Carly tells us, “I have a tendency to be like a butterfly in social settings and doing so may have led us to finish the evening with two different experiences. We didn’t want that. The sweet encouragement from being surrounded by those that love you most and the joy of celebrating a good thing like marriage was greater because we shared it.“
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: We were on vacation in Michigan with all of his family. After dinner one night, he asked me to walk out to the lake to take pictures of the sunset. It was gray and windy and I questioned his reasoning – but he hoisted his tripod on his shoulder and we set off. Only when he was setting up the picture with me in the frame, did I realize what was about to happen. He set up the shot, pressed record, and walked towards me. He was slightly breathless as he got down on one knee, opened a small black box, and told me for the first time that he loved me. He then asked me to marry him. I’ll never forget the flood of joy and excitement; how surprised I was by the beauty of the ring; and the way the wind blew as we hugged and laughed together.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I had tried on a few dresses at different boutiques and felt like I was wearing a costume. I didn’t want to spend much on the dress but I did want to feel pretty. I ended up purchasing a lace topper from BHLDN and paired it with a simple chiffon dress made by JCrew. The dress was purchased from eBay for $150 and fit perfectly!
ANY DIY ELEMENTS? Having the reception at my in-laws home made much of the wedding budget-friendly. We put a tent in the backyard and moved all of the furniture from inside the house to the tent. We had oriental rugs, floor lamps, leather couches, ottomans, and side tables. It was a simple way to make the tent feel intimate and comfortable without the added cost of additional tables and chairs – or added effort of hiding all the furniture. We did have to sacrifice a sit-down dinner (3 food stations with seating for guests in various locations) but we gained a quaint atmosphere that lent to guests enjoying one another.
FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: I could choose twenty. To start, it didn’t rain. The weeks leading up to the wedding were cold and rainy. We were prepared to handle it but knew that it would make things tight. On the day of, it was warm and sunny, the leaves were multicolored, and the river sparkled. Our guests were able to move around comfortably from the house to the tent and sit in chairs on the hillside overlooking the Ohio River.
We were away taking pictures as our guests were served drinks and appetizers. When we arrived, I had person after person approach me to rave about the band. Apparently, they had left their mics in the living room and meandered through the party with accordion, washboard, and trombone in tow. It was unexpected and welcome entertainment.
Last one – near the end of the reception, Doug’s mom came out with a stack of paper lanterns. I had always loved the idea of lanterns floating in the sky like they do at the end of the movie, Tangled. Even so, I hadn’t said that to anyone much less planned it! She’s thoughtful and had enough for everyone to participate. At the same time, there were people doing the exact same thing on the other side of the river. It was so special.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? My aunt has a tradition of giving a toast, which ends up being more like a skit, at each family wedding. For ours, she had 5 or 6 of my family members acting out the story of our years since meeting in 2009, complete with curly wigs. She’s a master of storytelling and had us all rolling with laughter.
“Modern, chic, effortless and somewhat handsome.” That’s how Sara Gray describes her and husband Shepherd’s personal style, and one they wanted to reflect when the self-confessed jeans-and-t-shirt-great-accessories-kind-of-girl wed her Southern beau. The Portland dwellers, who love to spend their weekends outdoors enjoying the Pacific Northwest scenery (so much so that Shepherd proposed on a romantic hike), opted for a destination wedding in California, amid the spectacular scenery of Durham Ranch and had ERICH MCVEY along to document the occasion. Their neutral colour scheme reflected the rustic backdrop, with touches of slick contemporary styling, like the black and gold pendant lights – one of which now hangs in their home.
“I absolutely loved my bouquet! It featured lots of greenery and a mix of white florals in different textures, with an organic shape overall. My floral designer, Danielle, threw in a subtle hint of blue for my ‘something blue’. It was perfect.“
With top industry professionals like ALISON EVENTS and BROWN PAPER DESIGN – who created an array of beautifully fresh bouquets and table arrangements – on board, the wedding was a polished affair that looked as beautiful as it was meaningful.
“The moment we were announced as Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd Gray, the barn doors opened and we walked in to a sea of family and friends cheering. It was a total emotional rush – the overwhelming feeling of love in the room at that moment was truly incredible.”