Home » An Elegant and Earthy Camp Wedding in Oregon

An Elegant and Earthy Camp Wedding in Oregon

by Staff

On their first date, Madeline Tomseth and Mikell Warms talked for more than eight hours. On their second the very next day, they decided to take a long walk along the Willamette River with Mikell’s dog, Ice, and get lunch at the food carts nearby. “After a muddy walk along the river, a short chase after Ice, spilled curry, and a dead car battery, it had become evidently clear to the two of us that we had found something really special,” Madeline remembers. 

The adventure was just beginning. “Five years later and we’ve scaled Mount St. Helens, seen a full solar eclipse, snorkeled in Hawaii, backpacked through Yosemite, joined a bowling league and won a championship, learned how to mountain bike, started new careers, and moved to Boulder, Colorado,” she says. “We’ve also found that we still enjoy each other’s company when we’re forced to be with each other 24/7 thanks to the pandemic.”

Just as the shelter-in-place order was given in 2020, the couple escaped to their family’s cabin along the John Day River in Oregon. “I had been carrying the ring around for about a month prior, waiting for a great opportunity to propose. I thought that weekend might be a great time to do it,” Mikell shares. His immediate plan was foiled when they arrived at the cabin. “It was dark and freezing and smelly as the power had gone out sometime that week. I thought, ‘There goes my plan!’” But, the next day as the couple shared a cheese plate and beers on the porch at sunset, the opportunity finally arrived. “It all worked out perfectly,” Mikell says. “With all that was going on in the world and with all the fear and uncertainty around our lives at that moment, I felt closer to Madeline than ever and knew that she was the only person in the world who made me feel truly at peace through all of it.” 

The ring, too, was special. “More than 25 years ago, my dad and I went out for a father-daughter date,” Madeline recalls. “He wanted to get my mom a new ring and let me help pick it out. I loved the idea of having my ring hold some family significance, so when the time came for Mikell to propose, he asked my parents for the ring I helped pick out so many years ago.”

“We really wanted our wedding to encompass all the activities and moments we missed most from the previous year: mountain biking, running, dancing, live music, good food, and sharing memories together,” Madeline says. Oregon—where Madeline grew up and the couple had lived together for five years—was the perfect fit. “We wanted a venue that captured what we love about Oregon—dense forests, rivers, trails, and natural beauty—and a place where people could come for an upscale camping vibe for the weekend,” she says.

They found all that and more in Loloma Lodge, and pegged planner Manda Worthington of Mae&Co Creative to bring their glamping vision to life. “I had followed Manda for years and knew once we got engaged we’d want her to plan our wedding,” Madeline shares. “Manda approaches each wedding as its own. She really took the time to get to know us and created something that was beyond what we could ever imagine.”

Read on to see all the rustic chic details of Madeline and Mikell’s adventurous August 14, 2021, wedding in McKenzie Bridge, Oregon, as planned by Mae&Co Creative and photographed by Jordan Voth.

“Our color scheme was classy and soft, but also masculine and earthy,” planner Manda says. “We wanted to choose colors that would complement the forest and feel inviting and beautiful. Our palette consisted of taupe, navy, mauve, black, rust, and deep green.” Madeline envisioned a fairytale, she says—but one that “wasn’t too feminine or over-the-top girly.”

“Manda and her team worked with Carta Plena to create a camp logo for the weekend; the design is two Ms in the shape of a mountain,” Madeline says. “They completely knocked it out of the park.”

The couple started the morning together, with coffee and a walk along the river with their dog. “Then, we walked around the campground visiting with all our family and friends,” Madeline says. “We didn’t feel rushed, and were really just so excited. We consistently took purposeful pauses throughout the day to spend time together and take it all in. We felt so grateful and loved.”

Eventually, though, it was time to part ways and get ready. “I don’t wear much makeup, so I wanted my look to feel natural, but with a bit more glam,” Madeline says. “My makeup artist did a shimmer eye with a summer glow and natural lips.” Her hairstylist, however, never showed. In a pinch, “my friend Kylie came in with coffee and a mimosa, and we chatted it through. I didn’t want to be messing with my hair all day, and an updo felt like too much for an outdoor wedding in the forest. We ended up going with natural, long curls, and I loved it.”

The finishing touch was a spray of Bond No. 9 New York The Scent of Peace. “It’s my favorite scent—I’ve worn it for over 10 years.”

“I wanted a gown that was fitted, classic, and chic,” Madeline says. She also wanted it to work well with her petite frame. She found all that in Kelly Faetanini’s Grecian princess-inspired heavy crepe Phoebe gown, with off-the-shoulder straps and buttons from bodice to hem. “I knew as soon as I put it on that it hugged in all the right places, but would also allow me to dance through the evening.”

Her accessories were minimal but meaningful. “I wore my mom’s diamond chandelier earrings that she has had since I was a kid. I vividly remember asking her, 20-plus years ago, if I could someday wear them for my wedding,” Madeline says. “She made that wish come true.”

Shoes, however, were a challenge. Madeline had some height difference to make up—Mikell is 16 inches taller—but they would be saying “I do” in rough terrain. “I needed a tall shoe that I wouldn’t break my ankles in,” she says. “I wore chestnut-colored See by Chloe platform sandals that were incredibly comfortable but gave me the height I needed. I was able to dance in them all night.”

“Alyssa of Color Theory Design Co is so incredibly talented, and her approach is sustainable,” Madeline says of her floral designer. For the bridal bouquet, Alyssa crafted a group of unique white florals with earthy texture from grasses and branches. “It was minimal and modern, while also being romantic and classy.”

“Being six-foot-five, Mikell never had a suit that properly fit him, so the goal was to find him a suit he can have for the rest of his life,” Madeline says. So, he went custom, and was fitted for a dapper Loro Piano navy suit at Balani Custom Clothiers. He accessorized with his late grandfather’s watch and Madeline’s father’s ring. 

We’re pretty private people, so we knew we wanted to spend some moments alone throughout the day,” Madeline says. The first look was “very emotional, but also grounding.” 

We couldn’t decide who would share their vows first, so Mikell suggested we play rock-paper-scissors.

It was also when the couple shared their vows. “We each wrote our own vows and read them privately to one another; we spoke from the heart and honored each other as well as our partnership,” Madeline says. “This was one thing we knew we wanted private from the moment we got engaged. We wanted to just focus on each other.” She continues: “We couldn’t decide who would go first—I’m incredibly indecisive—so Mikell suggested we play rock-paper-scissors. It was a lighthearted and playful moment for us.”

“Each of my friends is so beautiful, unique, and has their own sense of style,” Madeline says. “I wanted them to be comfortable, and to find something they truly felt beautiful in. I gave them our color scheme and they all chose their own dresses.” Styles in shades of apricot, moss, and marigold came from Jenny Yoo and BHLDN.

Groomsmen went with navy pants and white shirts, with ties selected by the planner to fit the overall decor. “They were each gifted National Parks Pendeleton socks that corresponded to the National Park Mikell had hiked with them.” 

“All of our decor was meant to feel like an enhancement to the forest surroundings,” Manda says of the lush grasses and florals. “Our ceremony consisted of lined with planted flowers and grasses—literally, drilled into the dirt, one by one, by our florist. Our arbor was meant to be wild and whimsical, but staying away from too many blush or pink tones because we wanted everything to have a masculine elegance.” Pendleton blankets covered rustic benches for guests to sit on, warming up the space. 

Madeline and her father walked down the aisle to a rendition of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” by family friend Bill Keale.

The couple had shared their personal vows privately, so they went more traditional for the ceremony, officiated by their friend Mike Rafferty. “Mike customized everything,” Madeline says. “It was sentimental, lighthearted, and so reflective of us.”

“We had custom bottled margaritas—our favorite cocktail—made by Public Provisions for our escort board,” Madeline says. “Keeping with the ‘glamping’ theme, we thought having them put in soda bottles perfectly fit with our upscale but approachable vibe. Guests could pop open a bottle and enjoy it then, or they could choose to take it home and enjoy it later.” The bottles were labeled with names and displayed on a custom board that also featured their wedding logo. 

We wanted to create the perfect juxtaposition between elegance and earthiness.

“The dinner and reception area was covered in a blanket of twinkle lights, making the entire space feel almost otherworldly in the middle of the forest,” Manda shares. “Tables had raw, natural linens and modern black taper holders mixed with taupe pillar candles. Our floral arrangements were comprised of earthy elements such as rocks, dirt, grasses, plants, and branches. We combined these unique arrangements with smoke-colored crystal glassware and organic stoneware dinner plates to create the perfect juxtaposition between elegance and earthiness.”

The signature drink list had four options: spicy and regular margaritas, a negroni spritz, and a PNW Old Fashioned with Woodford Reserve bourbon, pear brandy, fig leaf syrup, aromatic bitters, and lemon oil.

Leaning into their campground theme, Madeline and Mikell had to have s’mores at their wedding. 1927 S’mores Company offered four gourmet options from its mobile cart, including the fudge moose tracks s’more with cocoa grahams, bourbon salted caramel marshmallows, and creamy peanut butter sauce. 

“Because I’m from Oregon and Mikell is originally from Texas, we wanted a menu that reflected our backgrounds,” Madeline says. “We went with a Pacific Northwest-influenced barbecue that used fresh, local produce.” On the menu? Smoked pork shoulder with pickled celery, summer corn on the cob with pimento and lime, heirloom tomato salad, and garlic-brined grilled chicken.  

The newlyweds danced to “Some Kind of Wonderful” by Grand Funk Railroad. Madeline and her dad later took a turn to Garth Brooks’ “The Dance,” and Mikell and his mom swayed to “Mother” by Sugarland.

“Mikell had seen [the band] Royale play at a festival in Coeur d’Alene back in 2019,” Madeline recalls. “He called me when he was there and held up the phone so I could hear them play. When we got engaged, I immediately called Royale to see if they were interested.” Despite not hearing the band herself until her wedding day, Madeline was blown away. “Their range was crazy, and they played so many favorites for the entire crowd; all of our guests loved their energy,” she says. “After missing live music in 2020, we loved bringing the vibe of a small private concert to our wedding.”

Camp concluded the next morning. “We had breakfast burritos and coffee catered the morning following the wedding,” Madeline says. “It was nice to have a moment with everyone before we all traveled home.”

Looking back, she wouldn’t change a thing. “It was over 103 degrees, there was a fire 10 miles from our venue on our wedding day, and there was no AC,” she shares. “Everyone was so hot and sweaty, and still had so much fun. You can’t plan for everything on your wedding day, so embracing all that came our way made it so that we could just focus on each other and be present.”

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