McKenzie and Dalton’s relationship dates all the way back to high school. The pair first met through the introduction of their close friends Madison and Darin. It was a football game the night before homecoming and Madison was certain that Dalton and McKenzie would be a good fit.
“Madison was talking me ear off about this guy that I just had to meet. She claimed, ‘Kenzie he would be perfect for you. Maybe he would even ask you to the dance.’ The dance was the following evening and I had no intention of going so I kept trying to shrug it off.”
Madison’s homecoming date, Darin met up with the pair and was just as persistent as Madison, and as certain that McKenzie and Dalton needed to meet.
“It took a bit of persuading, but Darin and Madison managed to talk meet into meeting Dalton. I caved thinking that I would just go say “hi” and that would be it – no harm done.”
Madison and Darin led McKenzie over to meet Dalton and everything changed.
“They led me over to this blue-eyed, blond haired fella with an infectious laugh and the biggest smiled I had ever seen. Darin said something of an introduction, but I don’t remember hearing it. We said ‘Hi’, shook hands and I felt tingles through my arm; I couldn’t stop smiling!”
The meeting turned into a date to the homecoming dance! Then a few double dates and then, four months later, Dalton would ask McKenzie to be his girlfriend.
“Almost seven years later on Sept. 13th, 2018 Madison and Darin stood with us again as we said our vows, signed our marriage certificate and danced through the night.”
McKenzie and Dalton are avid hikers. They visited many trails, camping spots and national parks in the Pacific Northwest throughout their dating relationship. Spending time outdoors was an inexpensive way for the pair to escape and connect.
“In college we were attending different schools so we both spent weekends driving on I-5 to see each other. One particular weekend I packed my bags and made my way down to Corvallis from Newberg to hike a trail we had found in Sweethome, OR. It was a beautiful hike, it looked like we had stumbled into Narnia and we both concluded that it was our favorite hike yet.”
Throughout the rest of the year McKenzie kept lamenting on that beautiful hike in Sweethome and wishing they could go back again.
“A year later I had moved up to Bellevue, WA for my dream job while Dalton was finishing up his last semester at OSU. Three weeks into my new position I was really missing home and my best friend.”
McKenzie packed her bags and drove down that Friday night. It was time for a much needed visit and a hiking weekend at their favorite spot in Sweethome.
“It had snowed the night before, so we had to park the car about a mile from the trail head. Dalton was all smiled and I was too happy to be home that it didn’t even cross my mind that he may have something planned.”
The pair climbed through the forest and found their way up the rocky cliffs through knee deep snow and dense fog. When they reached the first cliff Dalton set down his pack and told Mckenzie to close her eyes and listen.
“I heard rustling as he started to talk about the last six years we had spent together, how we had met, our first kiss and the promise ring he had given me in a hippie hotel outside the Redwood Forest.”
Dalton had her open her eyes just as the snow began to fall. Then, down on one knee, ring box in had he said: “Kenzie, will you marry me?”
“Tears were already running down my face. I didn’t even look at the ring before crying yes and hugging him tightly. Everything in those moments was perfect.”
McKenzie and Dalton said “I do” at the Abernethy Center.
“Through the whole wedding planning process Dalton and I both loved working with our venue coordinator at the Abernethy Center. Karissa was outstanding! She helped us create a night that we will never forget.”
The Abernethy Center also assigned a day-of coordinator.
“Jenny was our assigned day-of coordinator for the wedding and I don’t think we will ever be more thankful for having someone to tell us what to do. Jenny and Karissa took such good care of us.”
Another highlight of the wedding planning process for Dalton and McKenzie was working with their wedding photographer.
“While we had looked around on social media for stunning photographers none of them felt right for our personal style. We really wanted someone who would be relaxed with us, catch all the little moments and have a genuine desire to tell our story.”
McKenzie and Dalton attended a friend’s wedding and fell absolutely in the love with the album the couple had shared. They excitedly decided to reach out to Kierstin Yates Photography!
“Kierstin was local to our hometown and was eager to take us to the Camas, WA trails for our engagement shoot. Amongst purple flowers and tall green grass Kierstin had us laughing and twirling around the whole time. We had so much fun!”
McKenzie and Dalton were so pleased looking back at the photos.
“She amazed us with her talent of capturing the moments you don’t typically see in photographs. Her work caught all the excitement of our engagement shoot and all the joy of our wedding day.”
Then it was time for McKenzie to start searching for the perfect “I do” dress! She came to Charlotte’s not really knowing what she was looking for!
“I had put off looking because I knew styles change and I could Pinterest a million dresses before finding the right one.”
McKenzie was paired with Marj and the two went to work right away!
“Marj was an absolute angel! She sat us down, offered us champagne and talked me through what I was hoping for in my dream dress. She pulled some of the most stunning dresses I have ever seen and asked me all about Dalton, our wedding plans and what we envisioned our wedding day to look like.”
After about five or six dresses, time was starting to run out and the perfect dress hadn’t quite been found. Marj insisted the McKenzie try on just one more dress.
“When she came back into the dressing room I slipped into a satin, form fitting dream of a dress that left me speechless. This was it. This was the dress. It was perfect.”
It’s hard for McKenzie to choose just one favorite moment from the wedding day.
“Every moment was my favorite. It was the best day ever.”
So, when prompted with this question McKenzie asked Dalton what stood out most to him.
“He is so sweet, he said: ‘My favorite part was standing up there with all our friends and family, watching you walk down the aisle.’”
For McKenzie, she says there were all sorts of pieces that made it such a perfect day.
“We both wrote our own vows which made our ceremony so much more personal and emotional for the both of us and the family and friends who had watched us grow together over the years.”
Another special moment for McKenzie and Dalton came right after the ceremony.
“Immediately after leaving the ceremony Dalton and I stepped away from the guests, our bridal party and our photographer to steal a quick ten minutes for ourselves. It was one of the best decisions of the whole day.”
McKenzie and Dalton were able to take a moment and soak it all in, finish crying their happy tears and breathe before rejoining friends and family.
“It made everything so much more real when we took the time to slow down and enjoy a few moments to ourselves.”
Venue: Abernethy Center
Photographer: Kierstin Yates Photography
Flowers: Lush Floral Design
Dress: Allure Romance
Sash: Justin Alexander
MUAH: Portland Makeup & Hair
Cake: FAT Cupcake