Modern Weddings/Real Weddings

An Oregon Orchard Pizza Wedding (With An Adorable ‘Meet Cute’)

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Cute Mt Hood Oregon Orchard Wedding – Simply Splendid Photography 40

You all know about ‘meet cute’s right? The funny, kismet way a couple meets in a romantic comedy? Well, today’s real couple has the most adorable ‘meet cute’ – who knew backing into a Jeep would lead to a lifelong commitment over wood-fired pizza? And if that’s not enough, their proposal story – written from the groom’s point of view – ummm guys, get out the tissues this one’s a tear-jerker.

Then, set in an Oregon orchard beneath Mt. Hood, was Danielle & Ryan’s equally adorable wedding-day. With illustrated maps, push pop confetti poppers, a botanical cake, custom coffee bean favors and wildflower bouquet we can quite decide which of the many (and many more) personal details photographed by Simply Splendid are the cutest.

And of course, we must touch upon how we crave the “pizza wedding” invite. Do you too first ask your bride & groom friends “what’s for dinner?!” when they invite you to their wedding? If pizza is on the menu, we’ll come running.

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Cute Mt Hood Oregon Orchard Wedding – Simply Splendid Photography 46

Our Love Story

It all started with a dent the size of a basketball in Ryan’s black Jeep Grand Cherokee. I remember thinking, “Oh my God, did that crunch mean I hit that parked car?” It couldn’t have. I couldn’t have hit the car. I did. I left a purple sticky note on the Jeep’s windshield apologizing with my number and secretly hoped that maybe the owner of this car wouldn’t call.

That night the phone rang and it was him, the owner of the dented Jeep. To my surprise, he was laughing. Ryan told me not to worry about the dent. But I insisted that we meet at a mutual location to exchange insurance information. At the end of the call, he had finally agreed to meet but assured me not to worry about it.

Ryan told me, “look for the tallest guy in the room.” When I arrived I didn’t see any men of above average height, so I chose a table. I found a cozy spot and pulled out my insurance card, ID, notebook, and pen only to realize that this table didn’t face the door so I wouldn’t see him walking in. I moved to a better table; sat down, pulled out all my things again, and realized that this table was sticky. So I picked up my things and moved yet again. When I sat down this third time, I realized that the man who had been sitting at a booth across the room was walking towards me. “You must be Danielle,” he said. I thought, “Oh my God, this is the dented Jeep guy. He just watched me move to three different tables.” How was I to know that he was the “tallest guy in the room” when he was sitting down?

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Cute Mt Hood Oregon Orchard Wedding – Simply Splendid Photography 5

The Proposal

It was the first time Danielle had visited my home in Rhinebeck, New York. She traveled by train (because we already learned about her questionable driving). In the days she visited we explored various towns near my childhood home. We walked the streets of Saugerties, New York and stumbled across a small tree with several tags hanging on its branches. Most of the tags were blank, but some had wishes written on them. Danielle was in love with the idea of this tree.

I had an overwhelming feeling after dropping Danielle off at the train station when it was time for her to go back home. This feeling made me drive back to Saugerties to write “I wish to spend the rest of my life showing my girlfriend how much I love her” on one of those tags.

Now we jump ahead four years, Danielle and I were living in Colorado for a little over a year. Our time in Colorado yielded many great memories and one BIG question. I scratched my head for a good long time while finding the right way to ask Danielle this question until I remembered the first time she visited my hometown and the wish I had made years ago.

The small town of Louisville, Colorado didn’t have a wishing tree. My solution was simple, find the right spot that has a tree, any tree, and create a wishing tree.

I told Danielle that I had a dinner planned and that I want her to think of some wishes and to have them written down. She had a lot of wishes written down. After she finished hanging all of them on the tree. I pulled out my one wish: “I wish to spend the rest of my life showing my wife how much I love her”. I asked if she could hold my jacket and in one motion slid a box from the jacket pocket. It was in this moment that I asked Danielle to be my wife.

We realized that wishing trees have kinda become our thing, so we kept with the tradition and had a wishing tree of our very own at the wedding. A Magnolia tree, to pay homage to Danielle’s father who passed away. Our guests filled it with wishes and a year later this beautiful Magnolia, wishing tree is now planted in our yard.

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Cute Mt Hood Oregon Orchard Wedding – Simply Splendid Photography 8
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The Dress & Attire

Ryan went for a more relaxed, casual vibe, and decided against a matching suit. He chose to customize a sport jacket and shirt. And of course, he had to wear his signature sneaker: Vans.

Our nephew followed his lead in a similar non-matching suit and identical sneaker.

As for my dress, I visited the studio of a local designer, Lena Medoyeff. And immediately fell in love with her handmade dresses. The trouble wasn’t “Did I find it?” it was “How could I choose just one!” So, I didn’t. I chose two. Up until the day of our wedding, I still wasn’t 100% sure which one I’d decide to wear. I realize that may sound crazy, but I was seriously in love with both dresses. In the end, I wore the French silk crepe wedding dress and have never felt more beautiful.

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Cute Mt Hood Oregon Orchard Wedding – Simply Splendid Photography 27
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The Venue & Vibes

We chose to have our wedding at Mt. View Orchards, a third-generation family farm nestled at the northern base of Mt. Hood, Oregon.

Because we wanted to create a relaxed, casual, family gathering atmosphere, we decided to forgo many traditional wedding reception items, barring our first dance, the mother-son dance, and the cake cutting. Lawn games were provided and silliness was encouraged by our photo booth.

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Cute Mt Hood Oregon Orchard Wedding – Simply Splendid Photography 30

The Planner

I was very fortunate to work with my sister, Sarah Prevost, while planning our wedding who has experience working in the event planning industry. She brought so much creativity, organization, and expertise to our wedding. In fact, Sarah’s wedding inspired our own.

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Favorite Moments

The outpour of support from our family from set up to tear down.

At the end of the night, we had to break everything down and clean up. We had so many family members stay behind to help us that our venue kept telling us that we had to send people home! We had people rinsing dishes, carry furniture, loading things in trucks, on ladders taking down garlands, etc. Even the rental company said, “No one has ever helped us load quite like this before.” We were touched that it truly felt like a family occasion and our families were ready to jump in and help.

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The Ceremony

Our ceremony was an intimate open-air gathering held in an orchard row of century-old Golden Delicious trees. Our family and friends sat on benches among these fruitful apple trees. Our wedding party consisted of our wedding officiant (my best friend’s mother), our nephew, and our dog. Crafted with our officiant we wrote our ceremony and vows which allowed us to personalize and emphasize this special moment in our lives.

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Cute Mt Hood Oregon Orchard Wedding – Simply Splendid Photography 39
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DIY Details

All the chalkboards were a wonderful collaboration of work from a trio of artistic talent. Ryan’s mom and aunt designed and chalked all the boards and brought my vision to life in a way that surpassed my own dreams. Most of the chalk work was hand drawn.

My brother-in-law, a graphic designer, designed the logo of the “H” surrounded by apple branches, which was then reproduced onto chalkboards, labels, and onto other wedding decor.

My other brother-in-law made the kids table (which doubled as a large chalkboard for them to make their own chalk creations).

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The Reception

For our reception, we wanted to continue our emphasis on family by serving a family-style dinner. We offered a selection of artisan wood-fired pizzas, fresh salad, and freshly-picked fruit from the orchard.

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Cute Mt Hood Oregon Orchard Wedding – Simply Splendid Photography 43
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The Cake

We could not say enough about our cake! Anna Henricks of Sweetheart St. Johns made our delicious and botanically inspired wedding cakes. Our 9″tall cutting cake was vanilla bean buttermilk cake with passionfruit vanilla curd, chamomile fennel whipped cream, red fruits, and vanilla bean frosting.

We also opted for two 1/2 sheet cakes. One was a golden almond cake with vanilla-rose cheesecake sabayon, apricot preserves, wildflower honey frosting, and fresh lemon thyme. The other was a lavender honey buttermilk cake with lemon curd, fresh peaches, lemon Verbena whipped Cream, and Vanilla bean frosting.

The cakes were topped with fresh fruit from the orchard and edible flowers and herbs.

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Cute Mt Hood Oregon Orchard Wedding – Simply Splendid Photography 10

The Favors

We had the honor of working directly with a local Portland coffee roaster, Trailhead Coffee Roasters. Their coffee is organic and sustainable. Not to mention, we LOVE it! We chose to gift our guests with whole bean coffee grown by women farmers in a bag we collaboratively designed with Trailhead. Their coffee bags are hand-printed in house; they blend the colors and roll the ink on every bag! We opted to print Mt.Hood on the coffee bags, as this mountain provided the backdrop of our wedding. We were fortunate to work with such a company that harvests their coffee with care and allowed us to share our favorite blend with our favorite people. Guests were also able to taste Trailhead coffee on our wedding day as we had a local barista, The Coffee Bus, serving our guests Trailhead coffee paired with their own homemade coffee syrup flavorings.

We also welcomed each guest with a tote designed in collaboration with Anthony & Stork. On the tote is a map of the area in which our wedding was held. As most of our guests traveled in order to be in attendance we wanted to provide them with a keepsake to remind them of their stay.

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Family Heirlooms

My mother-in-law gifted me a piece of lace from her wedding dress (which was hand-sewn by her mother). We thoughtfully wrapped the piece of lace around my wedding bouquet. My mother gifted me her wedding ring set right before I was about to walk down the aisle. I treasure both these heirlooms with my whole heart.

With our invitation suite, we also included a custom designed recipe card and encouraged our guests to share a family recipe with us. We displayed these cards in a recipe box for wedding guests to flip through at their leisure. Many family members appreciated this thoughtful touch to contribute to our marriage and pay homage to familial heritage. We even had people asking us to send them multiple recipe cards because they couldn’t choose just one recipe to give us!

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