Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Real Wedding: Dormae and Brian's Rustic Woodland Wedding

This venue is one of my favorites!  It's so beautiful, it's like an enchanted forest - something out of a fairy tale.  It almost seems like a little fairy should come fluttering out of the trees as you walk along the mossy wooded path next to the pond.   It was definitely the perfect venue for Dormae and Brian's "Something Green" wedding and these images by Scott McNamara really bring it to life.

Here is what Dormae had to say about the venue selection: 
In choosing a wedding location, we only had a few simple criteria. We would start our newest adventure by getting married where we felt most at home: outdoors - surrounded by trees, plants, wildlife, rivers, and mountains; and in the company of our dearest family and friends. The location also had to be conveniently located near the Portland airport because we were expecting many guests from the east coast and various other locations around the country. In our minds, the beautiful Columbia Gorge was the obvious choice! We heard about Bridal Veil Lakes via various blogs and websites. The pictures were so amazing that it looked unreal.  It was the first of several venues that we toured at the end of December 2010. Despite the dreary, cold weather at the time, we were sold upon first glance. None of the other places we saw after BVL could compare. It just felt right.


I knew I would love this wedding the second I saw these rings.  They had their rings made from the same place we had Keith's made - Touch Wood Rings Their rings were made with bamboo, black walnut and dark green jasper that the groom found during a camping trip in the Chetco River.

Dormae's thoughts on wedding planning:
At first, we didn't plan to have a particular theme besides playing up a 'rustic woodland' style, but as the planning progressed, we did lots of research and had many conversations on keeping all/most aspects earth-friendly. We were expecting about 100 guests, but we wanted to keep the day as low-impact as possible because that is how we are in our day-to-day lives. We started jokingly referring to our wedding as 'D+B's Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Green Wedding'. Something Old referred to elements that were either vintage, antique, or already owned by us. Something New referred to elements that were recycled, handmade using sustainable practices and materials, or obtained from eco-friendly sources. Something Borrowed is self-explanatory. Something Green is the result of all of the above!

All the planning occurred in a 6 month time span and virtually everything was done long distance via email and phone. Planning a wedding in northern Oregon when you live in central California is a huge challenge. Fortunately, we had lots of help from our awesome vendors leading up to the day; and from family and friends during the week of the wedding!

Any venue where you can canoe is awesome in my book!

Thumbprint Guestbook Tree by Etsy store Fancy Prints

What was the most memorable part of the day? The whole day was amazing! We've heard many people say that their wedding day was a blur; and that it went by so fast, but we were very fortunate to be fully aware and present in the moment - at every moment of our day. We worked very hard in the planning stages; and we had the help of so many amazing people. Because of this, we were truly able to relax, have fun, and enjoy the company our all of our guests! The best part (besides getting married and our wonderful ceremony, of course) was seeing all of our loved ones together: laughing, joking, reuniting with old friends, making new friends, and experiencing all of the big and little elements that we included to make our time together memorable. Also, everyone seemed to love the canoes!

We wrote the entire ceremony with the assistance of the officiant and a HUGE number of family and friends (over 40 people/kids) participated in various roles. Some cultural elements were included such as a Celtic handfasting ritual, a Filipino veil & cord ceremony, and the exchange of Unity Coins.

This wedding was packed full of thoughtful handmade and DIY elements starting with the Save the Date magnets and eco-friendly invitation suite with hand-drawn map designed by the bride.  They even included a pocket field guide to plants and wildlife of the Columbia River Gorge with their invitations.  

The bride made almost all of the decor including the recycled paper poms, handmade crepe paper flowers, origami pinwheels, tree seating chart, hand painted scrap wood directional signs and program fans.  She even managed to find time to make the paper boutonnieres, corsages and bouquets! 

Every piece of decor or element of this wedding that wasn't DIY was still either handmade or purchased through an Etsy shop. The favors were handmade soap by EO Products and handmade soap decks by Etsy shop crochetgal

Tree seating chart designed by the bride

I love the yellow and white pinwheels

The woodsy themed even tied into the cake table with a forest inspired cake and a wooden cake base by Etsy shop Roxy Heart Vintage.  The whimsical clay cake topper sculpture made to look like the bride and groom with their two dogs was handmade by Lily's Design

Even the confetti was eco-friendly and biodegradable by Ecofetti and how cute is that dress?!?

A huge thanks to Scott McNamara for sharing this thoughtful and gorgeous wedding and to Dormae who planned quite an amazing event.  I couldn't agree more with her words of advice!

Any advice for future brides? If possible, avoid getting caught up in the 'wedding-hype' or choosing things based on what's new or cool or unique or traditional, rather than deciding whether or not YOU actually like it. Think about a party that YOU would love to attend and plan your day based on that. Look into alternative, affordable, and eco-friendly sources for everything. Laugh - a lot - with your fiance/husband! Balance your 'wedding' life with your 'real' life.  Get lots of sleep (I didn't follow this advice much LOL). Spend time together away from wedding-planning! That being said... plan, plan, plan and then hand it all over to those you have trusted to run your event. Ask for help if you need it. Hire a Day-of Coordinator so you can be a guest at your own wedding and enjoy all the fun stuff (he/she may also help to save you money!). Also, definitely hire a fabulous videographer; besides a Day-of Coordinator, this is the one thing most couples regret NOT having at their wedding. In fact, don't be afraid to interview several vendors before deciding on any. On your day, relax, be flexible and try not to dwell on anything - big or small - that did not go as planned. Just enjoy the people around you and each other! And of course, make sure to EAT at your own wedding. :)

Photographer - Scott McNamara Photography
Videographer - Moetic Wedding Films
Day-of Coordinator - EJP Events
Mini Pies - Pie Spot
Band - De Nada Band
Hair & Makeup -  FaceBody Beauty
Transportation -  EcoShuttle
Dress - pre-loved and reconstructed Jim Hjelm vintage-inspired lace dress found at
Bride's Necklace - Tree of Life pendant made from recycled sterling silver wire and mine-free Czech glass beads, handmade by etsy Shop Ethora


  1. You are right, this venue is INCREDIBLE. Wow. Very magical! I'm obsessed with her dress, too! That yellow belt is perfect.

  2. I was the Maid of Honor at this wedding. Certainly the most beautiful wedding venue I've ever been to! Everything was so well though out and all of the organic elements melded together perfectly with the outdoor setting. I felt like I was at a wedding magazine shoot! Highly recommend every vendor and, of course, the venue for any future married couples out there.

  3. I am the brother of the bride and was also the Man of Honor at this wedding. Bridal Veil Lakes was the perfect location for this occasion and everything about the event was awesome.

  4. loving this wedding + all the eco-friendly elements. Great yellow sash too!!

    xoxo, chrissy.

  5. Wow, thanks for featuring this wedding! We at EJP Events really enjoyed being a part of their beautiful day and helping make sure that their unique touches all came out as planned.