It feels like Holly and I have been friends forEVER. And by “friends” I mean online pals, and by “forever” I mean since early 2016. The sad part about being a wedding vendor is that working with specific couples has an expiration date — after all, the wedding has to come sometime! You work closely together for months and months and months, get to know each other, and then the wedding comes (hooray!) and your communication stops (boo!).
Holly first reached out to me to create custom calligraphy for a champagne bottle, and she had my interest immediately. (You actually may recognize them from their glassybaby proposal I shared earlier!) She and Brenden held the bottle for their engagement / save the date photos and it was the best. When Holly filled me in that they were marrying at Coopers Hall in Portland, I thought, “ooh, winery and taproom. Cool.” Then I actually LOOKED at Coopers Hall and it turned into, “OOH, TAPROOM. COOL.”
This place is GORGEOUS. Truly a one-of-a-kind place to marry the love of your life. Huge open ceilings (it’s an old auto shop!), endless windows, plants hanging from all over, and hello — those kegs! What a backdrop! I’m obsessed.
Jenna Bechtholt took some of the most lovely wedding imagery I’ve seen, and I must have emailed Holly countless exclamation points viewing the gallery. Holly and Brenden’s first look against a dreamy Portland skyline; the creamy colors of a gorgeous bridal party in a quintessential PNW landscape; the uninhibited emotions of Holly’s sweet father. I just love it all.
Keep reading for photos of Holly and Brenden’s big day, along with some fun Q&As with the couple themselves!
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Holly: Everything! But really, my favorite part of our wedding day was our first look. I had been dreaming of this moment ever since we got engaged. I was so nervous walking up to Brenden, I had to stop to take deep breaths every step! That moment was perfect, just the two of us, on a rooftop, with the beautiful city behind us. There were some wildfires going on in Oregon so the air was full of smoke, but that didn’t really bother us, we were just so excited! After this moment, the nerves settled and I just got so excited for everything that was to come that day.
Brenden: Brenden’s favorite part of the day was dinner, seeing everyone together and talking, “seeing my people with your people”, he said :)
Did you take a honeymoon? Was it amazing?
Yes! We ventured to Positano on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, followed by Venice, Monaco & London. We had the most INCREDIBLE trip!! Our favorite place by far was Positano. It was just even more stunning than we could have ever imagined. We spent our days mostly by the water, exploring the Amalfi Coast and having all the seafood, fresh pasta, and Italian wine our little hearts desired. It was so perfect, and we already can’t wait to go back!
Why was stationery an important role in your wedding planning?
Since it was the first impression of us & our style that our guests would see, this was very important to us. We wanted our invitation suite to be simple & classic, but with a little something different. Laura did such an incredible job with a fresh, clean, romantic design that did just that! Also, we ended up incorporating coasters into our suite, which Brenden & I stamped using a stamp that Paper & Honey designed. We love to collect coasters, so incorporating this felt very us! We loved our stationery so much, I don’t see us taking down the one sitting in our kitchen anytime soon!
How did you feel about your stationery after you had it in your hands?
In LOVE. Seriously, we couldn’t have been more thrilled with the final result. I may or may not have almost hugged the UPS man when he walked up to our door. Opening the box to find our beautiful invitations, custom stamps, and envelopes was a dream come true! We had so much fun stamping our return address and our coasters, assembling everything together, and dropping them off at the post office.
What kind of feedback did you receive from your wedding guests?
Our guests loved the suite! We had so many compliments on how simple, yet classic they were. Also, we added a wax seal to the back of our envelopes that our guests loved. There’s not a thing that we would change if given the change to design them again. :)
What advice would you give to couples about to get married?
Holly: Don’t stress! I know, easier said than done. But really, everything will come together, probably even more perfectly than you could have hoped. Also, put yourself (and your fiance’s) wishes first. There were a few things that were stressing me out before the wedding, mostly because I didn’t want to inconvenience someone else. Once I finally spoke up for myself, I felt so much better and was able to go back to focusing my excitement on the day.
Brenden: Decide on which aspects of the wedding are most important to you, and don’t let anyone sway you. If you find something that you want to do, just do it!
What’s next for you two? Travel? Work promotions? DIY projects?
Right now, we’re just enjoying being married and back to regular life! Brenden & I both work in a segment of retail, so this is a super busy time of year for us. After the holidays, we plan to start looking for a house in Seattle. We’re currently renting, but would love to have a place to call our own one day. Oh, and maybe a puppy somewhere in our future :)
Where do you and Brenden see yourselves when you’re old and grey? What do you want your marriage and your life together to have looked like?
We’re planning to stay in the Pacific Northwest to raise our family so we’ll very likely still be in the area when we’re older. The big question is about whether we end up staying in Seattle or if we move to Portland. We love Seattle and we’ve got good jobs here, but the family ties to Portland (especially when considering raising kids) are hard to write off. We’ll keep this as TBD for now :)
We hope our marriage is happy, honest, and loving, no matter what life throws our way. Our marriage and life together will (hopefully) be full of adventure, travel and plenty of memories with family & friends. We hope that when we’re old and grey that we will have built a family and a life that we love!
What is the story of your ceremony and the significance of the plant?
Brenden: We asked my cousin, Nick, to be our officiant over brunch a few months in advance of the wedding. We told him about the general structure of what we wanted the ceremony to look like and picked out the readings but left most of the ceremony (outside of the vows and readings) up to him. He was the one who came up with the idea of planting a tree together. He told us that he had an idea for the homily that was kind of “out there” but once he shared his idea with us we loved it. The tree symbolizes our relationship growing, starting out small (as we were just starting our marriage), but we will have to care for it in order for it to continue to grow. Right now the tree is at my parents’ house in Portland but it will be coming back to Seattle with us after the holidays.
Holly: I loved the idea of the tree! Nick brought this to us when he was coming up with his words for the ceremony. He wanted to do something that would be meaningful, and something we could carry with us throughout our marriage. For the planting, Nick spared me the soil part (and gave that to Brenden); my part was to add the water :) Right now the tree is still planted in the pot, but we hope to plant it in the yard once we buy our first home.
Holly, I’ve said it a million times but: you’re the best. And I miss ya already! Let me meet you in Portland and give you a big hug. xo
Photography: Jenna Bechtholt / Wedding invitation suite, marriage certificate, and calligraphed bottle: Paper & Honey® / Venue: Coopers Hall / Florals: Seventh Stem / Getting Ready Location: The Nines Hotel