GLL: Congratulations on your recent wedding, you looked stunning! Tell us how and why you chose your GLL gown?
I had been looking for a gown for months, trying on dresses in Portland and Seattle. Nothing felt exactly right. I had discovered GLL years ago on a wedding blog, as I am also a wedding photographer. I had contemplated multiple GLL dresses over a few months, and let me tell you, it was hard to choose! I wish I could have had 10 weddings to wear all of them. However, when the Francis first came out, I discovered it via the bride it was designed for, Sara Francis’ IG, and knew I HAD to have it. I wanted something elegant, yet bohemian, something romantic and at the same time free spirited. It was so comfortable and easy to dance in and move in, and I felt so beautiful and graceful all night.
GLL: So tell us, how did you both meet?
John and I met through a mutual friend years ago, and reconnected when I officially moved to Portland. We ended up discussing life, books, travel, childhood on the back porch of a venue for a concert until close. Not long after, we took a road trip through the southwestern United States together. People told us we were crazy, that 2 weeks together nonstop in a car that soon after dating, we would either hate each other or be in it for the long haul. By the end of the trip, we had already talked future and life together.
GLL: Was it love at first sight or was it a slow burn kinda situation?
When we initially met years before, we were both attracted to each other, and had an instant connection, but we were living in different cities, dating other people. When we reconnected it was like coming home to myself, talking until the early morning, finishing each other’s sentences.
GLL: What first attracted you to your partner?
His humour. I thought he was so funny, and I still do. He makes me laugh on a daily basis.
GLL: And the proposal? How did that go down?
There’s a little town in Central Oregon, Sisters, OR that I grew up spending summer camps at, camping with family and friends. It holds a special place in my heart. I took him along with me to Sisters a handful of times over the course of dating, and we always stopped along the way at this forest of aspen trees to take a photo. We had a photo for every season, but Spring. John took me camping 30 miles south in order to convince me to “take a spring photo there.” I had no idea he was planning on proposing, and so I was being difficult, wanting to go to another place that I had been wanting to hike for sometime. After a pretty severe windstorm that blew our tent over where we were camping we ended up on back roads in the dark at 2 AM, driving for an hour to find a spot less windy and more covered. We ended up 5 minutes from our tree forest by luck! The next morning he proposed while taking our “spring” photo.
GLL: How did you feel on your day and how did you style your GLL look?
I felt calm that morning, surrounded by all the ladies in my life that I love the most. I was a little nervous before walking down the aisle, but as soon as I saw John’s face, it was like the room melted away. I had really wanted to wear a dramatic necklace like a squash blossom, but the neckline of the dress is so stunning itself, that I felt it took away from the dress, so I opted for big, drippy gold and pearl earrings that were locally made in Portland. The sleeves are also so unique and dramatic that I decided on no bracelets or other rings. I wore chunky rose suede strappy heels from Madewell to accent my dress, as the dress parts at just the right place to show off some stunning heels. I also had eucalyptus and some greens woven into my hair, just a few to keep it simple.
GLL: Where did you get inspiration from for your wedding?
From wedding blogs like Hello May, which is very bohemian, the GLL real weddings, Free People’s blog full of DIY stuff, and other weddings I had seen as a photographer.
GLL: Describe your wedding in 3 words…
Intimate, Joyful, Loved.
GLL: What was your most memorable moment?
When we walked into the reception and saw our community and everyone we loved in one place, surrounded by so much love.
GLL: What was your wedding song / playlist?
I walked down the aisle to: “Here Comes The Sun” by the Beatles. We walked back down aisle, our recessional song, to: “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne. Our first dance was “Keepin It Real” by Mason Jennings. Father/Daughter dance was “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison, and Mother/Son was “Loves Me Like A Rock” by Paul Simon.
GLL: And where are you honeymooning?
The Greek Islands.
GLL: What did you find the easiest and hardest thing about planning a wedding?
The easiest were those moments where I wasn’t having to make decisions, and I was making things. As an artist, I am definitely not the most organized, so planning was a tad stressful. But moments like when I hand dyed all 100 indigo shibori linens for napkins/place settings I was able to not think and just create. The hardest thing about planning was all the things that go wrong during planning, and trying to problem solve multiple things at once. Our outdoor reception venue canceled on us 3 days before the wedding due to rain and thunderstorms. I had to find a venue, reorganize, slightly replan and notify guests in a very short amount of time. We definitely got lucky and found a historic indoor venue that was perfect within the same day. The next 3 days were pretty hectic though.
GLL: Any top tips or advice you can give fellow GLL brides (beauty, health & wellness, planning etc)?
One thing to remember, that I wish I would have done earlier, is don’t feel bad asking for help. I had so many friends and family constantly asking me what they could do, but I didn’t want to put anyone out or take up too much of anyone else’s time. When I couldn’t do it alone, those 3 days of replanning before the wedding, I had to reach out, and I realized that I had so many people who were excited and wanted to help. I should have reached out earlier, especially those moments that ended in tears of stress. Planning and hosting one of the biggest events and parties of your life is a big task. Not one person can do it all. Take care of yourself, and remember, it is just one day. The most important thing isn’t who isn’t coming, who did or didn’t get you a gift, if it rains or the venue changes on you last minute. You are committing your life to someone you love enough to spend your whole life with! When something goes wrong, remind yourself of that. All else is just a small detail. When the wedding is over, the marriage is what last a lifetime. Also – get a binder to organize everything! Vendors, contracts, receipts, floor plans. Then on the day of, hand it over to your coordinator and forget about it. It will save you from going to crazy.
GLL: Describe your GLL experience…
A few things I remember are how comfortable I was all day, it was like the gown was a second skin, so soft and stretchable. I don’t get the chance to dress up super often, we are pretty outdoorsy, so you might normally find me in hiking clothes or flowy boho tops and jeans or shorts on nights out. This was definitely the most beautiful dress I had ever worn, and I didn’t realize how sweet it would be to hear, “you look amazing!” “that dress!” “congratulations, you look stunning!” all night. It sounds cheesy, but I really did feel magical.
GLL: What does marriage mean to you?
Committing your life to the person who is not only your lover, but your friend and partner. Tying yourself definitively to your other half. Not someone who makes you whole, but someone who encourages and helps you to forever find that wholeness within yourself. That person who, when the initial feelings of butterflies and honeymoon stage ebbs away, is your best friend, your confidant, your biggest champion. Marriage is probably one of the hardest things one can enter into, but also one of the most rewarding and vulnerable things.
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