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Caution, wedding porn ahead. So, here’s the story of the wedding as told through the lenses of friends and family. The gorgeous Owen Carey professional pics are still to come- but this will be a great start for all of you who have been begging for pics.

Where to begin….

How about in the ladies lounge?

ladies lounge

Shhhh…. Flora’s taking a nap.

Meanwhile, here’s what the space look liked before we tackled it:

before the beginning

Rehearsing in the field the day before…

Then the preparations began…

There were a few last minute dishes to be done in the stream….

Briana stream washing

Mocha was worn out before the ceremony even started…

Briana mocha napping

kira setting up

Kira helped get the tables laid out…

morgan setting up

Morgan worked on alcohol (his speciality). The bright blue one we found in a cocktail book- it was called Windex, but we called it “Peacocktail.”

setting the table

Each table was put together to have a mix of styles for glasses and dishes and silverware. It ended up looking like this:

Briana cocktail glasses

more more table setting

apothecary and jelly bellies

place setting

shadowy place settings

setting the table

The hurricane glasses of soups made beautiful centerpieces strung out like jewels along the tables. My dad made the tree trunk trivets, and they turned out beautifully!

The ceremony was set up under the tree…

ceremony chairs

When people first arrived, they got to find their rock from the table…

rock table

Briana rock table tall

The rocks were painted by over a dozen of our friends and family. Each one was unique. On the back of the rock were people’s table assignments.

I was in the tent getting ready…

getting ready

…while the cocktail hour was kicking off up under the trees…

Briana peacock napkins

cocktail hour

alyssa and buchino

After about an hour, everyone was feely buzzy and we were finally ready to start the ceremony.

final prep

our wedding party was busy finding their right places in line…

setting the table with mocha

Morgan’s mom Debi and my son Jack got things started by laying the wedding table. Mocha helped.

morgan and the boombox

We had a little fun with the audience by starting with the traditional wedding march and then scratching over to Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” Morgan was a trooper and held the boom box up in true Say Anything style.

coming down the aisle

We asked each set of parents to come down the aisle and leave something on the wedding table that symbolized their contribution to our relationship. Here’s Jim and Christina (Morgan’s dad and stepmom) just finishing their bit:

christina and jim at the altar

Our bride and groomspeople filtered down the aisle, each dropping off something for the table…

The wedding table

and ended up looking something like this:





I tiptoed up behind everyone (but we fooled them by having the bridal party look the other way)…

Then the ceremony began…

The ceremony

It was bright! Thus the parasol…


Look how beautiful my sister and my sister-in-law look!

Owen taking pictures

Owen snapped some pictures…

being with each other

We took a moment to be with each other


before the ceremony began, while our community was asked to share their own advice and commitments with us on little cards we had scattered on their seats…

Then we made a commitment to Jack…

vow to jackvows to each other

And to each other…

vows to each other

Then we exchanged rings…

ring ceremony

And then, thanks to the powers “invested” in him by “the internet,” Ben pronounced us husband and wife…

kissing the bride

There may have been some kissing involved….

Afterwards, there was much rejoicing:


twin kiss

With many beautiful people…

Beautiful Holly

zoe and lisa

Beautiful alyssa

the aunts

Beautiful Ileah

Beautiful Troy

Happiest sibs

winking chris and troy

dad and chris

Chris and the worm

And some beautiful critters…

Bernard the groomsman

Flora got started on her painting…

Briana painting in progress

painting in progress

People snuck a peek at what the menu had in store…

russ and the menu

We toasted the day with soups…

toasting with soups

green soup toast

savored ahi mango avocado stacks…

ahi mango avocado stack

(with wonton crisps fried in coconut oil)

Then dived into the main course (although without the pig… poor sad piggy)

Briana main course arrives

Briana head table funny

Briana arts powerhouse table

Briana Steph table

Briana head table digging in

Later there were some toasts….

Toast part one

toast part three

Ileah toast better

holly toast

family toast

And then cupcakes…

Cupcake tower

And more drinking…


Ben shook

sipping cocktails

And then these guys….

Tapwater guys

Got the dancing started…

first dance


Tapwater led a little drum line through the crowd…

drum line

And little by little people trickled away into the night.

Some folks stayed and joined us beside the campfire…


In the morning was the aftermath…

leftover rocks

wil the day after

cheese aftermath

Briana Basket of soups

The aftermath good

The peahens snuck down to the ladies lounge to see what all the fuss was about…

pea hens checking out the ladies lounge

A good time was had by all….



chinese lantern This is one of the lanterns that Kira and Chris brought back from Vietnam. So pretty! We’re going to borrow them for decorating the dinner area.

Other Vietnam fun stuff:

jack's suit

Jack’s teeny tiny little suit. Isn’t it adorable?

Morgan holding Jacks suit 2

Here’s Morgan holding the suit so you can get a sense of how little it is.

Also, for those of you getting ready to organize your wedding weekend, here’s the basics you’ll need to know in order to camp at Horning’s with us or get a hotel nearby. We can’t wait to see you!

close up glasses on the table

Sometimes, the universe just provides (with the generous help of stepmothers, fairy godfathers and the Yakima thrift store industry). So the glasses pictured above, numbering 114 (plus 18 champagne coupes) represent the total haul we were able to bring back from Yakima this weekend.

Here’s a better picture:
glasses on the table

And here’s the whole tale. Morgan and I took the day off work on Friday to head up to Yakima, Washington with two goals in mind.

1. Morgan wanted to confab with his father around the menu. They had a list of 30 or so potential dishes and they wanted to narrow it down into a menu of about 4 to 5 distinct, delicious courses that were catering equipment friendly. Which meant cooking and tasting all the various possibilities.

2.I wanted to check out the dishes that Morgan’s stepmom Christina had already collected and do a brief thrift store tour to see if I could pick up any more good deals.

Kira and Chris had just gotten back into town, so they decided to hop in the van and join us for the trip. Carson and Melissa met us over there as well.

We had a wonderful evening Thursday night spending time with everyone and hearing the stories of the great world travelers. Morgan’s dad Jim got to try on his suit (a perfect fit!) and the younguns stayed up late getting re-acquainted.

On Friday we woke up to the news that Morgan’s dad’s kitchen manager Tony might have some cut glass serving trays that we could borrow, and had invited us over to take a look.

So we piled in the car and headed over- I thought we might find one or two pieces we could use but hey- any little bit would help. We were, after all, outfitting a wedding for 100 people.

When we got there it was like stepping into a peacock fairy wonderland. His house was decorated with wonderful flamboyant style- bold colors, lots of gold and beautiful collectibles everywhere (even two giant floor vases full of peacock feathers!)

He had pulled out some dishes he thought we could use, and everything was GREAT. He had silver serving trays, cut glass salad bowls, luncheon plates, EVERYTHING. If I saw something I liked, he’d say “I think I have about 20 more of those. How many do you need?”

It was unbelievable. So we walked away with several large stacks of dishes to borrow. Truly a blessing- he was like our fairy godfather! He also works in the theater in Yakima, so it felt like we had a kindred spirit contributing to the wedding.

After that excellent head start I was anxious to get out and get some dish shopping done, and Morgan was anxious to get working on some sample dishes for us to taste when we returned. So we split up- Kira, Chris, Carson and Melissa coming with me to shop the thrift stores.

I couldn’t believe the prices! My budget was about $1 per item, but most places you could find stuff for $ .50 to $ .75 per piece.

We found a bucketload of silverware at the Value Village- a mixture of real silver, silver plate and stainless with cool patterns:
lotsa forks

We had heard that there was a 50% off sale at a nearby St. Vincent de Paul store, so we headed over there and LOADED UP, only to discover to my chagrin that it was a Saturday sale, not a Friday one. D’oh!

So we headed back to Morgan’s dad’s place where Morgan and his dad had whipped up some mango jicama salsa to kill our munchies while we were waiting for the rest of the “tasting menu.”

We spent the next 6 hours tasting our way through lots of gorgeous dishes (but I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what, exactly).

The next morning Christina and I headed back over to St. Vincent’s, where we loaded up three carts worth of glassware and plates (without breakign $100). Took it back to the house where everybody pitched in on getting it all loaded up into the back of the car (almost 15 boxes worth!) We drove home exhausted, stuffed, and with our van loaded down to the gills with glass and porcelain of every description.

Sunday I unpacked the boxes, combined it with what we had already collected, and discovered that, except for a few small items and some silverware, we were basicly done collecting all of the servingware and flatware for the wedding. It’s kind of unbelievable when you consider that’s over 400 separate pieces of dishware.

Plus, we came home with a revised menu that we all feel is both delicious and pretty workable with the equipment we have available.

Such a huge relief to know that we’re so close to done on at least one small aspect of the wedding. Yay!


Isn’t this cool? They used painted river rocks as place cards, which makes perfect sense for an outdoor wedding (the napkins do like to go flying….

And the creek has a LOT of river rocks….

Christina, Morgan’s Stepmom, took up the challenge of collecting cool salad plates and blue and green glassware for the wedding.

She sent some pics of her progress so far. Check it out:


Aren’t they gorgeous and antiquey and eclectic? Fairy garden party here we come…. Here’s plates:


Morgan and I got a little collecting done of our own recently. We had decided to escape for a weekend to Bend to clear our heads and get some good work done on that all important, often overlooked portion of the wedding: the ceremony.

The drive was beautiful, curving around the small forested towns at the base of mount Hood and then breaking out suddenly into a long looping drive through sage and juniper scrub. We lost the radio pretty quickly, and instead spent the three hours enjoy the sudden dry heat after a long and dripping winter. As we pulled through beautiful downtown Madras Oregon, we spotted this:


So we HAD to stop. I am, after all, the possibility of joy and abundance, and Morgan? He’s the possibility of Love. So, imagine what possibilities we might discover inside the Possibilities thrift store?

Here’s some of the spoils we found:


I just loved these blue and green coffee mugs with the onion domed sugar bowl, and we were able to also pick up a whole bunch of bread baskets for the tables.

Maybe we’ll weave ribbon through them? Or spray a peacock feather applique down the side…fun stuff to think about.

We had an amazing time in Bend. Isn’t it funny how just one night away from home can have all the restorative properties of a week away (if you do it up right?)

When we got to town it was happy hour and we were both peckish so we popped over to the Bend Distillery tasting room and the woman behind the bar was decked out in peacock colored fedora, corset, feather earrings… well. This seemed like a sign from the gods to us.

Morgan asked about the absinthe cocktail on the menu (because he has been doing some work for Integrity spirits repping their absinthe) and our bartender said she couldn’t know if it was any good- she hadn’t been able to drink absinthe since Burning Man! Turns out she was in the Absinthe bar camp that we hung out at several nights in a row- and, she had been to our camp to get her picture taken! In a split second the world shrunk down to a size you could comfortably stir on a swizzle stick.

We sat at the bar and swapped crazy art in the desert stories with her for a few hours until it was time to go home and change for dinner. Her playa name was GO, and she happened to be headed up to Portland the next day for a Thievery Corporation show (a band we LOVE) that neither of us realized was happening. We ended up trying to get tix, but alas, it was sold out.

Dinner was at Blacksmith, a steak house with a little bit of an upscale Texas vibe and a penchant for fiery tableside service (we had the tableside Bacon Spinach salad but skipped the Bananas Foster- we were just tooo full). Our waitress recommended their version of a cheesesteak, which came on a potato truffle puree (YUM) and had Rogue Creamery Red Hawk triple creme cheese melted over the top.

Indescribably delicious.

Over dinner we enjoyed a bottle of Walla Walla red wine that Holly had gifted to us for the trip and talked about how to incorporate all the people we love into the ceremony without putting them on the spot. Some good ideas developed we think. One of which will involve a 1984 era boom box, if we can find one. Heh heh heh.

The drive home the next day was mellow, lovely and quiet. When the forest sprang back up as we rounded the mountain it was a shock at first (all these giant trees! All this water! All those flowers! It just seemed so…extravagant.) then incredibly beautiful. The abundance we live in here in Portland is so easy to take for granted when you are surrounded by it all the time. A little desert scrub and brown horizon line helps to put things into perspective.

And the dish hunt continues! Maybe there are more possibilities in our future…?

Last year when we first started talking about how we wanted the wedding to feel, we kept getting drawn back to this one display window we had seen at the Anthropologie across the street from the Armory.

It was a long wooden plank table that was set with mismatching china in blues and greens, mixed in with tree stumps and ferns… as though somebody had decided to take their grandmother to tea in the forest with the elves. Lots of natural forms on the china, but all a little bit random. Being a die hard dish fanatic, I was immediately inspired.

We could just rent plates and cups and forks- its what a caterer would do if we were using a caterer. But they would be white and bland and it would take a fair amount of dressing up to give the tables some “personality.”

What if, I wondered, (my dish addiction starting to take over my hind brain), we could pull together a collection of borrowed, found, and bought dishes and glassware that were kind of eclectic, but with an over all 1920s to 1940s sensibility? We could strew the tables with ferns, wildflowers and peacock feathers gathered out at the property and that way, the table settings themselves would provide the proper mood for the reception….

Stuff like this:


and this

and this….



well… you get the picture.

Could I do this for the same amount of money as renting plates, silverware, glassware, etc? And more importantly, wouldn’t collecting all this cool dishware be more personal and more FUN than renting?

Still sounded like it might be a lot of work. But then I heard from my mom that she was going to be finally able to “bid” on some of the things from my Great Grandmother Smith’s estate and did I want anything?

My great grandmother ran a dairy farm in Ohio and had 12 kids and lived to be ninety seven. She was also an estate sale junkie.

So yes. I wanted something. “Every cut glass servingware item she’s got,” I said, “and all the silverware you can grab.”

Mom returned from Ohio with several beautiful cut glass serving dishes of various kinds and 20 place settings worth of mismatched real silver.

Well.. That put me well on my way, now didn’t it? Plus all of those items would add so much meaning to the wedding. It would be like my Great grandmother got to quietly contribute to our wedding in the best way she could- by helping to lay the table.

So now I’m on a mission, and I’m hoping you can help.

I’m looking for serving dishes and dish sets in blue, green, or white (maybe a splash of brown). Old fashioned looking, rather than seventies, if possible.

Maybe you inherited a set from your great aunt that just really isn’t your style. Or maybe you had a party, bought a stack of plates, and haven’t used them since. Those two pretty cut glass wine glasses that don’t go with any of your other table settings? I’d like to borrow them. I’ll return them in good condition, and you can rest assured knowing that they’ve been put to excellent use- toasting the future of some folk you like. If you’d just as soon be rid of them, I’ll gladly accept them as a donation.

What have you got hanging around back in that upper kitchen cabinet of yours? Would it feel at home in a faerie dinner in the forest?

Could it use a little field trip to shake the dust off? Let me know.

Here’s some more pics for inspiration:




I have know idea if we can afford it yet (so many decisions still await!)
But I LOVE the idea of these plantable favors and paper goods.

2-12-bucket-of-love_t You take the paper home and plant it and it comes up wildflowers! And once the plot blooms, the flowers come up again and again, eternally renewing (just like we hope our relationship will).
Wow. I am such a sap sometimes. But seriously. How great are these?