Fires Be Damned!

 In Oregon Weddings, Portland, Real Wedding, Wedding Photography
Bride and Groom in garden.

Adrienne and James had originally planned to get married at Bridal Veil Lakes on September 15th, 2017. They had chosen Bridal Veil Lakes venue because the Columbia River Gorge was where they had spent the first of many dates traversing the woods around the Northwest, and wanted our friends and family to experience all that they love about Oregon. Unfortunately, on September 2nd, the Eagle Creek Fire started ravaging the heart of the Columbia River Gorge and the surrounding areas, including Bridal Veil Lakes.

The couple was in constant contact with their chosen vendors during the early days of the fire, swapping updates and news reports. About a week before the wedding, it became clear a backup plan was needed. Everyone jumped into action to find alternative venues in the area. Collectively, two dozen locations — few of which the couple had seen in person — were called, and fortunately, Jenkins Estate was available and willing to host this sweet couple, their family, friends, and vendors on such short notice. The Oregon wedding community truly came together showing great compassion to all those affected by the fire. The couple held out hope for as long as they could, but with their wedding just five days away and the fires still raging, they conceded and committed to Jenkins Estate. Adrienne explains, “It may not have been our first choice, but it was a beautiful outdoor venue that offered us the intimate, woodsy vibe we were hoping for. And, we were so appreciative of the overwhelming generosity we felt from the venue owners of Jenkins Estate, and their commitment to helping make our day just as special,” states James.

Even though Adrienne didn’t see the estate in person until the wedding rehearsal, she trusted everything would fall into place. And it did.

In the span of just four short days, they rearranged the wedding design and notified their guests and vendors of the change in location, timing, transportation…all the event details that needed to come together.

Botanica Floral Design brought the grounds to life with a rich, vibrant array of floral and foliage arrangements. Botanica combines their passion for flowers with their passion for the environment to create designs that are both beautiful and gentle on our planet.

Josef, the owner of Botanica, is all about using local, sustainable and organically grown flowers whenever possible and creates in a chemical free environment. Not only do they compost and recycle everything possible, our favorite thing to note is they try not to use floral foam. (Floral foam is petroleum based and not bio-degradable.)

bride and groom sunset portrait at Jenkins Estate.
Bride and Groom portrait in garden.
The bride’s foliage bouquet was full of eucalyptus, oak, magnolia, raspberry, jasmine vine, maidenhair fern, rosemary, hemlock and berzillia. The Best Dog wore a collar of eucalyptus, olive, peris, leather fern, and acacia. Their ceremony site had hanging hoops adorned with eucalyptus, aster, stock, hydrangea, peris, lisianthus, Italian ruskus, olive, and oak foliage. Farmhouse tables were lined with baby blue eucalyptus and the signage had finishing touches of olive foliage, Italian ruskus, hydrangea, lisianthus, yarrow, and eucalyptus. Simple accents of olive foliage, craspedia, and marigold completed the cake. And so, despite the last minute rearranging, their wedding went off with fiery magic on September 15. The couple repeatedly heard comments from guests like, “I cannot believe this is your ‘Plan B.’ This place is stunning!”, “This is the most incredible setting for a wedding. It’s so intimate and romantic,” and “It’s as if the wedding was supposed to be here all along.” And they agreed!

“Through this experience, James and I were reminded that a wedding isn’t about a venue, the backdrop or all the tiny details. Those things help, of course, but it’s really about the couple and the commitment witnessed by everyone they love. All we ever wanted was to celebrate and share with our family and friends all the beauty that is the Pacific Northwest. And we did just that, under a canopy of trees and twinkling lights. Fires be damned.” Adrienne said.

About the fire: The Eagle Creek Fire was a destructive wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon and Washington and was first reported on September 2nd, 2017. The fire burned 50,000 acres, and burned for three months, before being declared completely contained. As of May 29th, 2018 it was found still smoldering in some areas.

Best wedding advice ever in our opinion: James had the coordinates for Bridal Veil engraved on his wedding ring, and Adrienne had them engraved on a necklace. They briefly considered having them updated, but ultimately decided to leave them as they are – a reminder of the adventure that preceded their wedding, and of how important it is to remain focused on the important things in life.

This beautiful wedding was featured in our Fall 2018 issue. Check out all of our past issues, along with our newest issue, here. Happy planning!

The Wedding Vendors:
Planning + Coordination: Pearl and Roses Wedding Planning
Photography: Hazelwood Photo
Dress: Designer: Stella York, The White Dress Bridal Boutique
Menswear: J. Crew
Catering: White Pepper
Hair + Makeup: Blossom and Beauty
Photobooth: Happymatic
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