Alison & Chris said “I do” on June 2nd, 2018. This beautiful real wedding was held in the gorgeous Columbia River Gorge with stunning views of the mountains and tons of love. Read on for a beautiful love story and wonderful featured wedding.
The build-up to Chris’s proposal to Alison was a long-time coming. The pair had purchased and furnished an entire home in May of 2017 in Bend, OR. A dream come true for Alison & Chris.
“Our parents were feeling a bit uneasy about the endeavor since we were just boyfriend and girlfriend. An unmarried couple going in on a house together? But we did it anyway!”
Their first weekend of owning the home the pair worked tirelessly to get it ready.
“We slept for maybe 6 hours in a 3-day period. We furnished the entire place and got it up on Airbnb in record timing.”
They say every relationship has defining moments, and for Alison & Chris this endeavor was theirs.
“We had an idea before this weekend that we were the ones for each other, but the idea of getting married had only been discussed a few times. After a grueling weekend of hard work, sweat, and tears (Chris!), there was no need for further delay. We figured that if we could get through that, we can get through anything together.”
Chris set his sights on a proposal date. The weekend of Aug. 22nd. The couple had a planned vacation to California for a 90th birthday party, which happened to fall a few days before Alison’s birthday.
“We figured we’d make a long weekend out of it and spend a few days in the Northern California wine country. The last night we planned to head to the Sonoma Coast highway, Bodega Bay.”
Bodega felt like the perfect place for Chris to propose to Alison. He had lived in San Francisco for a time and would often take trips there to get away from the craziness of the city and reflect.
On the night of Aug. 22nd Chris made dinner reservations and planned a stop at his favorite beach in Bodega Bay on the way. He had her open her birthday present: a big box with a blanket in it, but that was really decoy for his planned proposal!
“As we walked down to the beach Chris started his ‘speech’. However due to his Italian genes he could hardly get through it.”
Finally, Chris said: “Do you know the real reason I brought you here?”
He then pulled out the ring from the camera case and proposed. Alison had no idea the proposal was coming.
“In that moment we both felt like the only two people on that beach, perhaps the entire planet. It was just us in that moment, one we’ll never forget.”
Planning the wedding was a lot of work. The couple had 9 months from proposal to wedding day which Alison felt was the perfect timeline.
“We didn’t need any more time to plan our wedding after 9 months and otherwise it would’ve just been lingering in the distance. We were still able to take our time for the most part and had enough time to get all the details ironed out.”
Throughout planning the wedding Alison found details she could have skimped out on to save time but ultimately thought: “I’m only doing this once, so why not!”
“I ended up doing every little detail myself and I was so happy I did in the end. I love to paint so of course I created more work for myself by making a welcome sign, name cards for everyone and a few more DIY details. It was a fun process, but I’m happy it’s over and I can enjoy married life now!”
Although Alison covered a lot of details leading up to the wedding herself she did hire a day-of coordinator which made a huge difference!
“Hire a day of coordinator!! They were a life saver the day of and I couldn’t have done it without them. My friends and family were really able to enjoy the day and they didn’t have to worry about helping out with any details.”
Her day of coordinator was also a resource through the process if any questions arose. Alison’s best advice for future brides is to follow suit and at least hire a day-of coordinator to help sort through details and relieve your stress on the big day!
When everything came together a few moments stood out to Alison as highlights of her big day. Getting ready, the first look and the walk down the aisle to name a few.
“Seeing my ‘almost’ husband for the first time on our wedding day was one of my favorite parts of the day. Also, walking down the aisle was such a surreal moment.”
Alison said “I do” wearing a gorgeous lace sheath dress from Justin Alexander.
“I went to 6 or so stores prior to Charlotte’s and the staff were by far the friendliest at Charlotte’s. Marj was my consultant and she knew exactly what I was looking for.”
Alison tried on about 4 or 6 dresses and was almost positive she had found the one. There were a few adjustments she wanted to make though so she spoke with Andrea Hoyt of August Veils about her alterations plans.
“This was very helpful and they reassured me the could accommodate the changes I was wanting. I contemplated but soon after said ‘Yes to the dress!’”
Later that night Alison was looking back at some photos and having some second thoughts so she quickly called Marj.
“Marj said to come back in and try on the dress again, so I did. She was so helpful, and I was completely reassured in my choice once I saw it on again. The overall ordering process, to the time I received my dress was seamless. I highly recommend Charlotte’s!”
Venue: Gorge Crest Vineyards
Dress: Justin Alexander
Photographer: Blaine + Bethany Photography
Florist: Lucy’s Informal Flowers
Make-up: Tara Mooney
Hair: Angeal at Icon Salon
Coordination: Wedding Love Notes – Heather Sullivan
Veil: August Veils