Hannah + Joel :: A Magical Summer Night

December 02, 2019

Hannah, thank you for taking the time to share your breathtaking wedding with us! How would you describe the vibe you were going for with your venue and decor?

The theme of our wedding was an elegant, romantic, and magical summer night. The evening was planned with lots of candles, twinkle lights, dusty pink roses, and greenery.

When I was searching for a venue, I looked for the perfect combination of natural, wild scenery and manicured gardens. I wanted it to be outdoors but to also have some charm and character.

Gray Gables Estate in Portland, OR, was the perfect combination of all those things. The landscape had a touch of wild, yet it was beautifully manicured. The historic white house and carriage building added all the charm and character I was looking for.

What are some of your favorite or most special memories of your wedding day?

Well, this is a hard one, because there were so many! The first look with my husband was so perfect — that moment when you are finally together and you realize that it’s just you and him forever.

We were in a long-distance relationship for a year and seven months, so that moment of knowing that we would not have to say goodbye again was monumental.

Another special moment was with my parents. I had ordered personalized gifts for both of them that included words of appreciation and thoughts from my heart of how much they mean to me. It was a special and emotional moment that I will always cherish.

Our reception was another favorite part of our wedding day. Once everything else was done and the reception started, it was almost like a sigh of relief and I felt a little more relaxed. It was so fun and entertaining. Getting to mingle and talk with all of our guests was one of the best parts of the evening.

Were there any funny moments or things that didn’t go according to plan?

The only thing that really did not go according to plan was that our sound system kept crackling while my pastor was talking, and we weren’t given mics during our vows like we were supposed to. The videographer recorded the vows though, so I really wasn’t too worried about it. After all the things you hear can go wrong at a wedding, I was pretty okay with a few mic glitches. 

How did you find the perfect wedding dress?

I had some ideas of what I wanted from looking on Pinterest (of course — ha!). I had also been looking at some modest bridal shops online, but they were located in another state. When it came down to making the budget for the wedding, I realized I couldn’t fly to another state just to pick out a wedding dress, so I started looking locally.

One of my friends had gotten her dress a few years prior at a place called The Bridal Gallery in Salem, OR. The first dress I tried on there was the one! I had tried on different styles previously at David’s Bridal, so I knew that I wanted either a ball gown or an A-line. My dress was originally sleeveless and sheer at the top. They did all the alterations at The Bridal Gallery, and I was able to design the sleeves how I envisioned them and add the lining and appliques to make it modest. I also chose a sparkly cathedral veil to go with the sparkles at the top of my dress. It was so much fun, and getting the alterations done to make it modest was easier than I thought it would be!

Any advice for future brides?

Enjoy the planning process! Go to bridal shows and sample the catering; try on dresses and just take it all in. Even if you think you already know exactly what you want, you should still go out and try different things for the experience. Also, plan EVERY detail. You cannot be too detailed when planning a wedding, in my opinion. I drove myself a little crazy with the details and lists, but in the end, it was so worth it.

Plan your heart out, but make sure when your wedding day arrives that everything is going to run smoothly and that you will be able to relax and know that it is all taken care of. I definitely recommend making sure you hire a day-of coordinator (not a family member or friend) to make sure the whole day runs smoothly from start to finish. That way you and your loved ones can relax and enjoy each special moment together.

Anything else in particular that you’d like to share about your wedding or your love story?

When I think about our wedding day, I just feel so thankful. It was everything I could have hoped for and more. It sounds so cliche, but it truly was a dream come true.

I’ve been a bridesmaid in many weddings and helped decorate and plan for others many times, so on our wedding day, I just kept thinking, Wow, I’m really the bride. It’s actually my wedding day!

We are always told that God’s timing is perfect, but it is so amazing to see the evidence of that in your own life. It is the most wonderful feeling knowing that God brought us together and feeling that peace and confidence. His plans are simply the best.

Photos by Teresa Lopez Photography https://www.teresalopezphotography.us/