Andy and Alea | The Croft Farm | Eagle Creek Fire | Portland Wedding Planner
Having their wedding in the Colombia Gorge was an easy decision for Alea and Andy! Andy’s family has had a lake house there for fifty years and they were thrilled to have this excuse to share this special part of the world that was so near and dear to their hearts with their family and friends. They landed on a Rehearsal Dinner at their family’s lake club, followed by a morning triathlon before the wedding at Wauna lake (a yearly tradition every 4th of July for them), and the wedding ceremony and reception at the beautiful Skamania Lodge.
The weekend before the wedding, the Eagle Creek Fire broke out in the Colombia Gorge. After a couple days of closely watching the fire, once the fire started to jump the Colombia River to the other side, we all knew that it was going to be best to relocate. Even if Skamania Lodge and Wauna Lake stayed unaffected, the level of smoke in the area was too much to bear! Fearlessly we all accepted the reality and began making other plans. After many phone calls and emails, Andy stumbled on The Croft Farm online. They happened to have the weekend available and very graciously embraced hosting the wedding.
It was a whirlwind of a few days, but we successfully were able to find a new caterer, florist, transportation, hotel guest lodging, rework the rentals and layout, and update all other vendor logistics. It was a huge team effort, and everyone jumped in. There was a shuttle team working on the shuttle plan, a hotel team working on locking in last minute room blocks in Portland and calling guests to get them taken care of. It was truly a remarkable experience to be a part of… amidst a time of devastation, vendors, guests, bridal party members and family all went out of their way to help and worked together and making it happen! A groomsman was even able to surprise Alea and Andy with a re-organizing the Triathlon in Portland to mimic the one they were supposed to have at Wauna Lake- kayak rentals and all! Everything was falling into place and felt like it was all meant to be.
The weather miss-haps were not over, however. The morning of their wedding day, out of nowhere, showers came into the forecast. We were too far into the install to bring in a tent, so we moved forward with best wishes, with the back-up plan of all squeezing into the small dancing barn if need be for dinner. The weather held through the outdoor ceremony, and right at the end of cocktail hour the skies opened up and we had a complete downpour! We had to scramble to break down the reception and save what we could from the rain. The plated dinner was quickly transitioned to buffet and guests squeezed together in the barn at as many tables as we could possibly get inside.
Needless to say, Alea and Andy went through both Fire AND Rain on their wedding day!! And I have to say, they never once lost their positive attitudes and smiles.
Don’t worry though, this story does have a happy ending! The amount of love that was in that small cozy barn that evening was felt by ALL. Every detail from the amazing food from Chefstable, to the jars of candy brought out later in the evening, to the late-night pizza that was delivered at the end of the night. Every touch was even that much more appreciated by guests.
And need I mention, thanks to Jesse of Event Team Entertainment, they had the BEST dance dance party I have ever seen. They partied until 12am!
At the end of the day, this experience really showed what was important in a wedding celebration. It’s not all of the perfect design details, it is celebrating your love and creating beautiful memories with your family and friends that makes the day the most memorable.
And last but not least, here is a highlight film from the very talented Moving Pictures!
Wedding Planning + Design: Whitney Werts & Company
Photographer: Kim Smith MIller
Venue: The Croft Farm
Caterer : CHEFSTABLE
Rentals + Lighting: West Coast Event Productions
Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rentals
Videographer : Moving Pictures
Flowers : BLUM
Dessert : Baker and Spice
Hair & Makeup: Cassandra Kennedy
Groom’s Suit: Tailor’s Keep in San Francisco
Bridesmaids dresses: Joanna August
Ties: The Tie Bar
Music/Entertainment: DJ Jesse from Event Team Entertainment
Paper Design + Details : The Tie that Binds