Amelia and BJ caught sight of each other on their first day of college, meeting during orientation in September of 2012. “We were in the same dorm and became good friends quickly, then started dating a year later,” they say. After graduation, they spent four years in a long-distance relationship, traveling through Oregon regularly to see each other. In August of 2020, says the couple, “BJ proposed on a beautiful stretch of the Oregon Coast where Amelia used to live—on the drive that we used to do to see each other before we moved to Portland to be together.”
During their engagement, Amelia, a farmer and freelance florist, was working at Vibrant Valley Farm in Portland, Oregon, which inspired the couple chose to host their 115-guest wedding on the property. “We loved sharing that piece of her life with all our guests, and that much of the food served and flowers used to decorate came from the farm,” the say. The duo planned the details themselves, but turned to Amelia’s aunt, wedding planner Bridin Clements, for advice and day-of assistance. “She helped us think through all of the logistics that we otherwise might not have considered,” they say. “Our venue is a working farm on an island, not primarily a wedding venue, so there were lots of logistics to coordinate such as transportation to and from the farm and renting generators so we could power the lights in the tent and mics for the ceremony.”
Other friends and family pitched in during the ceremony and reception—which took place on August 21, 2020—too, providing live music for the processional, mixing margaritas during cocktail hour, and building a canopy for the ceremony space. The overall effect was just the kind of relaxed, welcoming, and fun event the couple had hoped for. “We wanted it to be a special event without it feeling too formal or prescribed,” they say. “It had been so long since we had seen many of our guests and we wanted it to feel like a big, family party.”
See more details of the day, as photographed by Marcela Pulido, below.
Amelia chose a bias-cut silk slip dress from Lena Medoyeff, which she accessorized with a sheer silk cape. “The dress felt simple and timelessly elegant, and made me feel beautiful—without being overly feminine in a way that didn’t feel like me,” she says. “The cape was my favorite part of the wedding look! I took it off after the ceremony and it felt like I was wearing an entirely different outfit.”
She kept her beauty efforts subtle, asking a friend to twist her hair into an updo that accented the gown’s low back and opting for a last-minute, at-home manicure. “My dad painted my nails the morning of my wedding,” Amelia says.
BJ wore a gray suit from Indochino and a white dress shirt, foregoing a necktie to stay in line with the wedding’s casual atmosphere.
The couple made a few adjustments to typical wedding party roles on their big day; Amelia asked her brother to serve as her best man and BJ invited his sister to be his matron of honor. Other loved ones also served as wedding attendants, each choosing his or her own outfit. “We were very hands off with choosing the wedding party attire,” says Amelia. “Our friends have great style! We sent them our color palette and let them choose anything that made them feel special.”
A floral palette of late summer shades—peach, apricot, yellow, burgundy—came to life in aisle and altar arrangements from Indigo Gardens; the flowers were the easiest part of the planning, says the couple. “We chose our good friend Leah Rodgers to do our flowers and trusted her completely to create beauty with all the abundant local flowers that are available in Oregon in August,” says Amelia. The bride’s sister and father also built a shade sail canopy to cover the ceremony area.
The bride and groom each entered the ceremony with their parents, while the bridal party lined the center aisle and a guitarist played “Bless the Telephone” by Labi Siffre. “We continued a special tradition from Amelia’s parents’ wedding: bringing the wedding rings into the ceremony by passing them along a gold ribbon,” says the couple. “Amelia’s mom saved the ribbon she had used at her wedding, and during our ceremony our wedding party carried on this tradition by picking up the ribbon along the aisle and passing the rings up to the front along the ribbon. Not only was this meaningful to us, but it was also hilarious in practice! Our friends basically figured out how to shoot the rings down the ribbon as fast as they possibly could, making all of us crack up—it brought levity to the start of the ceremony and was more special than we could have even imagined.”
Amelia and BJ wrote their own vows, exchanging them at the edge of a field of waving grass and flowers. “We planned diligently, but when the day of our wedding came, the minuscule details didn’t matter one bit,” they say. “We were so happy to be celebrating our love with all of our family and friends that most of those details melted into a beautiful background.”
At the end of the ceremony, the newlyweds joyfully exited the ceremony area without noticing that the music for their recessional, “Mr. Jukes” by Grant Green, hadn’t started. “The generator we were using to power the sound system at our ceremony site died right as it was supposed to play!” says the couple. “We were so blissed out and happy we didn’t realize until much later!”
After the ceremony, the newlyweds took photos around the property, including by the glamping tent where they planned to camp after the reception. “Our dear friends decorated the tent we stayed in with flower garlands, furniture, snacks, and Champagne,” they say.
The expansive fields and late-summer flowers of the farm provided a stunning natural backdrop for the reception. Dramatic clouds rolled overhead, while the multi-hued green landscape and pops of bright blooms showed off the venue’s raw beauty.
Handmade escort cards, each featuring a peach, purple, or yellow flower, were displayed on a simple board near the reception tent.
After the couple’s cocktail hour, where a close friend mixed “very strong” batches of Manhattans and margaritas, the bride changed into a sleeveless Charlie Brear jumpsuit with fringed cuffs. “I was ready to party!” says Amelia.
The couple placed centerpieces with large, colorful blooms in ceramic vessels alongside simple bud vases filled with wildflowers. Cream-colored linens and plates were a neutral backdrop for the colorful runners—a DIY project the bride tackled. “The week before the wedding, Amelia dyed more than 200 feet of gauze table runners with marigolds she grew at Vibrant Valley Farm,” says the couple.
The family-style menu included salad with green goddess dressing; porchetta-spiced chicken with eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, and caponata; potatoes with basil pesto and summer squash; grilled corn and peppers with nasturtium; and braised greens with cherry tomatoes.”We worked with our caterer to design a menu that really highlighted the produce from the farm,” says the couple.
For dessert, they served a “massive” tres leches cake with strawberries from their favorite local taqueria. “BJ and his dad picked it up the day before the wedding and drove it to the farm in the back of Amelia’s pickup truck,” says the couple. “Apparently the cake was such a big hit that we almost didn’t get a slice!”
Amelia and BJ remember their reception toasts as their favorite part of the night. A highlight was the speech from BJ’s best friends.”BJ’s entire side of the wedding party got up together to give a speech,” says Amelia. “They were all roommates in college and shared some hilarious stories about their time living together.”
After the wedding, the newlyweds roadtripped down to Los Angeles; they’re planning a larger post-nuptial getaway for the winter. Their biggest piece of advice for anyone in the thick of wedding planning? “Trust your vendors!” they say. “They are experts and definitely do not need to be micromanaged to do great work.”