A Festive Winter Wedding In Portland, OR (9)This stylish winter wedding comes to us from Nora of Bridal Bliss, based in Portland, Oregon! Here’s more about the wedding from Sarah, the lovely bride:

After seven years together, Carter and I had already built a life together and were eager to make our union official. Right off the bat, we knew we wanted to get married in downtown Portland, Oregon, where we had both spent most of our lives. We were also both set on a festive, winter wedding. We toured a handful of venues varying from hotel ballrooms to modern warehouses.

See more after the cut!

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The venue we fell in love with was the Gerding Theater at The Armory. Gerding Theater is this gorgeously renovated space that is home to Portland Center Stage. Hanging lights, high ceilings, exposed brick… I could go on and on about what makes this space breathtaking and unique. But what made it special to us on a personal level is that Carter’s dad’s architecture company did the design and renovation of the space in 2006. Carter’s dad says The Armory is his favorite project their company has ever done. So not only was the venue beautiful but it also had a little piece of Carter and his family in it, which was my favorite thing about it.

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Once we chose our venue, everything else started falling into place. Of course I had a vision for how I wanted the wedding to look, but most importantly Carter and I wanted the ceremony and reception to feel personal. As I mentioned, the venue we got married in meant a lot to us. We also asked a family friend to officiate the ceremony. We spent many a late night DIY’ing party favors with the help of my mom and bridesmaids. One of my bridesmaids, who also happens to be a graphic designer, worked with me to design and print all of our signs, menus, programs and favor tags. We had my oldest friend read a poem during the ceremony. And I wore family heirlooms pinned into my dress and my mother-in-law’s diamond earrings in my ears.

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You may be surprised to know that Carter was actually fairly opinionated about our decor. I think everyone expects the groom to care about the food and the music, which of course he did, but he also had three main styling requirements: lots of twinkle lights, lots of candles, and lots of sticks coming out of the flowers (really!) Luckily, my husband has great taste and of course it was his wedding too, so I made sure to work with my mom and our wedding planner – the two people aside from myself who were most involved with the planning – to incorporate all of his ideas.

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On my end, I wanted the wedding to feel festive, glamorous, sparkly and a little bit rustic. I absolutely love any and all things glittery, so of course my dress was sparkly and sequin bridesmaid dresses and sequin table linens were must-haves. My favorite part of the styling process was actually styling the bridesmaids. On the day of the wedding, I surprised the girls with faux fur wraps to keep them warm, earrings hand-picked for each maid, and personalized pajama sets to get ready in. My Matron of Honor received a little extra sparkle in the form of a pave’ bracelet. Carter got his groomsmen Hugo Boss shoes, pocket squares, and socks. He got his brother, who also happened to be his Best Man, an engraved straight-blade razor.

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All of the wedding party gifts were topped off with mini bottles of Fireball whiskey to help shake any pre-aisle jitters.
Before the wedding, my bridesmaids, mom, step-mom, sister-in-law and I got ready at our condo. It was a full house but it was a blast hanging out with the girls and having a glam squad come and doll us up. Carter and the groomsmen got ready in the building right next door in one of the groomsmen’s condos.

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We were married in front of a backdrop of candles and twinkle lights, just like Carter had wanted. The wedding party walked down the aisle to a string trio playing “I Can’t Help Falling In Love” by George Weiss and I walked to “One Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. Our family friend who performed our ceremony focused on love, partnership and how Carter and I were both lucky enough to be marrying our best friend. And then it was time to party!

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We spent the rest of the night eating incredible food, enjoying each others company, and dancing the night away. An hour before the wedding ended, we surprised the guests with late-night treats: chicken and waffles, caramel-covered popped corn and mini pies! It was perfect. My husband, mom, bridesmaids and wedding planner helped me pull off my dream wedding and I couldn’t be happier! Carter and I are so grateful to have been able to start our life together as husband and wife surrounded by all our family and friends who mean the world to us.

Congratulations Sarah & Carter and thank you Nora for sharing! For more information about Bridal Bliss, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

What do you think about today’s real wedding? Let us know in the comments below!

Wedding Coordination: Bridal Bliss
Photography: Jessica Hill Photography
Flowers: Zest Floral and Events
​Rentals: The Party Place
Pies: The Pie Spot
Wedding signage, menus, programs, escort cards, favor tags: Bridesmaid Maggie from Irving Street Prints
Wedding dress: Allure Bridal via AniA Collection
Bride’s wrap: Alex Bridal
Bride’s shoes: Ivanka Trump
Bride’s earrings: David Yurman
Bride’s bracelet: Nadri
Bridesmaid dresses: Ann Taylor
Bridesmaid wraps: Phenix Dan
Hair & makeup: Face, Body, Beauty
Groom & groomsmen tuxes: Calvin Klein via Men’s Warehouse
Groom & groomsmen pocket squares: Banana Republic
Groom & groomsmen shoes: Hugo Boss
Engagement and wedding rings: ABC Jewelry
Guestbook: Shutterfly
DJ: Chad Dowling Productions
​String Group: Duo Con Brio
Catering: Food in Bloom
​Transportation: Lucky Limousine
​Invitations: Marsupial via Bridal Bliss​

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