Our Wedding: The Details

It’s hard to believe that this was 2 years ago. It feels like yesterday and forever ago all at the same time. I have been wanting to put together a post including all the nitty gritty details of our wedding as a way to not only share one of the best days of our lives, but to also capture it all before it became a more distant memory. As a couple, you spend so much time planning your wedding {in our case a year and a half} and before you know it, it’s all over and you have an endless list of thank you notes to write. Below are are the details from the vibe we were going for, to the location and florals, down to the shoes and jewelry that I wore. I tried to cover everything, but if I missed anything feel free to leave a question in the comments, email or DM me!

The Planning

I’ve always been a bit of a planner, love to throw dinner parties and cook for my friends and family so when it came to our wedding it only felt natural to take on planning it. We did enlist the help of a day of coordinator, Cassie Renae, who was so much more than than a day of coordinator and helped me stay on track and organized all the way through the planning process. If you live in the Washington-Oregon area, I seriously cannot recommend her enough, she’s the kind of wedding planner that every woman dreams of. Both of our locations, The DeSoto and Cooper’s Hall, were also extremely helpful in coordinating everything from food and beverages to any additional rentals we might need. It made my job super easy!

We wanted our wedding to feel like a big dinner party in secret garden in the middle of the city. Nothing too over the top with just enough pomp and circumstance to make it feel extra special. We had beautiful florals {more on that below}, gold flatware, and tons of votives juxtaposed with family-style farm tables, an alter with a brick backdrop and an urban winery complete with a garage door.

Our photographer, Alice from MOSCA Studio did a phenomenal job capturing our big day along with all the tiny moments that otherwise could have gone unseen and perhaps forgotten. She came highly recommended from friends of ours who got married in Sonoma several years ago and after a 2 hour coffee date we were sold. We completely trusted her eye and creative direction and couldn’t be happier with the way our photos turned out.

The Location

We struggled a bit with our location. We knew we wanted to have it in Portland and also knew that a large portion of our guests were coming from out of town so we wanted to be cognizant of what we were asking them to do even though we knew that this was our wedding and it didn’t really matter. We loved the idea of having everything in wine country, but many wineries only do beer and wine and when you price out the cost of bring everything in {chairs, tables, tent etc.} the price just kept going up and up.

We settled on a rooftop ceremony and cocktail hour in downtown Portland at The DeSoto followed by a reception at our favorite local winery {and full service restaurant}, Coopers Hall. The benefit of doing this was that both locations had tables and chairs that worked with our vision {we did bring in flatware, linens, plates and glasses}, a relative low food and beverage minimum, and natural greenery and decor that we already loved. It also took out the need to find a caterer so it was like checking 10 things off my wedding planning list at once.

The Florals

I still to this day, swoon over the photos of our florals. Well before we got engaged I had Sea of Roses bookmarked in my mind for wedding florals. Not only did Heather {founder and owner} perfectly capture what I wanted, she’s simply a joy to work with. She is the creative genius responsible for everything from our alter florals to the hanging installation at Cooper’s Hall along with all of the votives and signs. She was also super resourceful such that she repurposed the floral from our rehearsal dinner as well as all of the bridal bouquets at our reception. She has become our go to florist for any party or event that we need florals and/or decor for.

The Food and Wine

You know when you hear all those stories from former brides like “omg I did not even get to eat at my wedding…”? Yea, that was not going to be me. All of the food at our wedding, from the cocktail hour to the dessert bar was sourced locally and seasonally. We also requested that all of the meat be 100% grass-fed and the fish wild caught which I feel like made the dishes that much more delicious. {We did pay slightly more for this, but we also knew that it was important to us and were willing to pay a little extra for it.}. There was always a vegan option and everything on our menu was also entirely gluten-free {except for the bread at dinner} and always had a dairy-free option, but by no means lacked flavor. Pro tip: just don’t tell any of your guests.

Cooper’s Hall did a phenomenal job with the menu. We started with two salads: an Arugula Salad with local strawberries, sugar snap peas, optional pecorino, almonds and a lemon-thyme vinaigrette and a Summer Lettuces salad with grilled corn, optional ricotta, pepitas and picked gypsy vinaigrette. We offered three main course options: Roasted Salmon with grilled peaches and tomatoes, and a Grilled NY Strip with grilled heriloom zucchini, salsa verde, and cherry tomatoes, and one side of, of course, Charred Cauliflower. We still to this day get compliments on the food at our wedding.

We paired Cooper’s Hall Chardonnay and their Malbec with dinner, but also had their full bar {and wine on tap} open to any guest that wanted a different drink or a cocktail. Because Cooper’s Hall is a full service restaurant, they have liqour license, something that most wineries in wine country do not have.}.

For dessert we opted for a small cake and a dessert bar all from Petunia’s Pie and Pastry. The cake was a vanilla cake with a vanilla buttercream frosting and a mixed berry compote and fresh local berries inside. It was like a strawberry shortcake on steroids. Despite my firm belief that you one can never have enough frosting, we went with a semi-naked cake because I just love the look of it. It fit perfectly with our “laid back black-tie” vibe.

The dessert bar had strawberry cupcakes with vanilla cake and strawberry buttercream frosting and “Thin Mint Brownies” that were reminiscent of a dessert my Mom always used to make for parties. All of the desserts were entirely gluten-free and vegan, {as I said, tell no one} and let’s just say that we only had the piece of cake that we saved for our one year anniversary left.

The Music

We tried to go with a small band for the reception, and even considered a DJ, but there’s nothing like a great 7-8 piece band with great vocals. We went with The Blue Wave Band after seeing one of their performances and being blow away by their version of Beyonce’s “Love On Top”. For our ceremony and cocktail hour on the roof, we had two guitarist.

The Bridal Party


Bridesmaids dresses were one of the things that I struggled with most. For starters, I didn’t really have a vision for a bridesmaid dress which caused me to procrastinate on it {something I would not recommend}. I loved the idea of everyone choosing their own dress in a given color palette, but also recognized that I was probably a little too particular to pull that off without giving myself unnecessary anxiety. At the same time I know how frustrating it can be to buy a dress that you don’t really like or need for more money than you would have liked to spend and that fits terribly. I really wanted my bridesmaids to feel good in what they were wearing even if it was my wedding day.

Ultimately I settled on everyone picking their own dress and I think it worked out perfectly. The only dress I picked was my maid of honor because I personally fell in love with it and found it on a second hand site for under $100.

The day before the wedding I gave all my bridesmaids the most comfortable pajama sets {I bought myself a pair too} from Eberjay to wear while we got ready on the day of, and in true Sarah form, a copy of The Woman Code by Alisa Vitti. On the day of, I wore a white robe {also by Eberjay} to get ready in.

Groom & Groomsmen

Chris and the groomsmen wore tuxedo’s. Chris didn’t have a tuxedo {and loves fashion just as much as I do} so he splurged and got a custom made tux from Suit Supply and black dress shoes by Enzo Bonafé. The groomsmen rented their tuxedo’s from Black Tux on NW 23rd.

The Look


I knew early on that I didn’t want my hair or my bridesmaids hair over produced. I gave my bridesmaids the option to do their own hair, which all of them did and they looked gorgeous.

I decided on a low updo to show off the line of my strapless dress. It was also August and I am a chronic hair toucher so I knew that I needed something pulled off my neck and away from nervous fingers. I absolutely despise overly done updo’s and knew I wanted something that was a little messy and slightly undone. Luckily my hair stylist, Tessa Matsis Smith {the hair genius behind my head of hair} was on the same brain wave as me and nailed it. She even pinned it such that when the dancing started I could easily pull out the bobby pins and it was as if I had just curled my hair.


I knew early on that I wanted to have a “green” make-up artist – someone who specializes in doing makeup using clean, non-toxic makeup. I also wanted someone who specialized in a natural look. In my day to day life I try to use non-toxic products, including makeup, and I didn’t want my wedding day to be any different. My Mom also has extreme skin sensitivity and I really wanted to her to be able to participate in all of the pampering on my wedding day. All together I thought this would be impossible to find, but after a few quick Google searches I found Kristen Arnett and immediately scheduled a trial. I would soon find out that I had hit the jackpot of makeup artists.

Kristen is literally the green beauty expert and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. While she’s done everything from international fashion weeks to celebrity makeup, what I think makes Kristen truly unique is her passion for her clients, her insane depth of knowledge of makeup and skincare, they way she uses makeup to enhance and frame a woman’s natural beauty, and last but not least, her enigmatic personality. I really need to do a separate blog post on Kristen and green beauty because she’s not only helped me embrace clean beauty, but also taught me so much about aging and owning who I am. I loved working with Kristen so much that I booked a one-on-one makeup lesson with her after the wedding and referred both my Mother-in-law and Mom to her. Needless to say, Kristen has become a staple in my life.

But back to the makeup. I wanted a very “natural-glam” look, no heavy eye-shadow or bold lip, just something that highlighted what I already have and she did just that. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more beautiful, and the best part of it all was that my skin felt great the entire day. She did my makeup, both Mom’s, and all of my bridesmaids complete with individual lashes and touch-ups through the ceremony and photos. She was a wedding gift in and of herself!

Shoes and Jewelry

Of course I took this opportunity to splurge on shoes, they just had to be a) so comfortable that I could wear them for 8 hours and something that could wear again. Happy to report I accomplished both of those. I went with a pair of rose gold Jimmy Choo heels with an ankle strap. The only thing I did not consider was the slats in the roof at the DeSoto, my heel kept getting stuck in them!

I wore very simple jewelry because I wanted the dress to speak for itself. I got a simple pair of earrings from Nordstrom and wore my grandmother’s ring along with a surprise bracelet that Chris gave me on our wedding day.


I always wanted to design my own wedding dress for as long as I could remember. And while I didn’t necessarily design it, I got as close to it as I could. My dress and veil were both by Anna Maier, a designer that I had never heard of prior to finding my dress, but one that I will never forget.

I found my dress at Nordstrom in Seattle {almost a year before our wedding}, on a day when there happened to be an Anna Maier trunk show and the designer himself was there. After two hours of trying on dresses, chatting about design and the fashion industry I settled on one of the Anna Maier dresses that I had picked and by that point had met the designer’s wife and had made plans to do all of my fittings in New York where their studio and showroom is.

The dress was classic and timeless with a hint of drama {if there’s ever a day you’re going to wear a dress with a train…} that was made out of the most beautiful lace I’ve ever seen, sourced from the same mills in France as some of the top luxury designers. All of their dresses are semi-couture and made to order based on your measurements so their dresses fit like a glove. Not once did I have to hoist up my dress or sit in a particular way to breath the entire night.

What made this dress so special though, was the whole serendipitous experience of it all. From finding it on a chance trip to Nordstrom with my Mom, to the fittings in New York {where I used to live and work in the garment district} to getting to show my Mom what a showroom is like and how dresses and samples are made, to the relationship I built with the owners, it was more than I ever could have imagined and made our wedding that much more special.

A Day To Remember

Everyone always says it goes by so quickly, and it really does. It goes by in the blink of an eye. I remember waking up the next morning and half-jokingly crying to Chris because it was all over {I’m sure he loved that lol}. We were blessed with little to no family drama; friends, family and unbelievable vendors supported us in what we wanted to do rather than telling us what we should do which allowed us to really plan the wedding that we wanted. Sure we cared a lot about what our guests would think, or like, but ultimately we were able to plan the day that we wanted.

If I could offer a few pieces of advice to any bride or soon-to-be-bride out there reading this it would be to not get caught up in what everyone else wants, what you think other’s want, or what everyone might think. Consider what is important to and resonates with you and your partner and make decisions from that place rather. Remember, your wedding is about you and your partner, starting a life together.

My other piece of advice is if you’re running late… f*ck it, it’s your wedding. We were an hour behind getting ready and as a result shifted around our photos and ultimately missed getting photos that I would have really like to have {like a photo of me and my MOH 🤦🏻‍♀️}. In the grand scheme of things it’s not that bad {I do have a great polaroid selfie}, but I wish that I had said “it’s ok we’re going to be late” rather than rushing to get to the ceremony where we ended up waiting anyway.



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