Intimate Portland Waterfall Elopement

There are very few times when I use the acronym ‘OMG,’ but after seeing this stunning wedding with the most stunning waterfall backdrop, I couldn’t resist one big ‘OMG.’ This gorgeous elopement is so intimate and special captured with ease by Her and Everything. You won’t want to miss a second of this elopement here.

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From The Bride… Our wedding day was beautiful, romantic and meaningful because we did exactly what we dreamed of without thinking what it would mean to anyone but each other. Oregon has been in my heart since I was a small girl in the 5th grade. A research paper on Crater Lake and Portland, OR and my heart was completely taken. I grew up in Texas and though I traveled often there was something mysterious and beckoning about the northwest. After finally visiting, I knew it was magic. The waterfalls especially awakened my soul in a new way so I always dreamed of getting engaged or married beside one. Matthew proposed at Crater Lake in Oregon (which was amazingly gorgeous) in September of 2014 and we chose to get married as soon as possible. Different ideas swirled around but the only one that really stayed true to who we were was a private February Portland waterfall elopement.

We live in Oklahoma and searched out the perfect wedding location via google images and videos posted online from elopement sites around Portland. I stumbled upon Wahclella Falls and knew at once this was where I wanted to promise my life to Matthew.

We wanted the ceremony to be private, laid back and as carefree as possible which was easy with such a wonderful group of people. It made the day even more perfect that the above are some of our dearest friends. Plus, they didn’t mind hiking a mile in to the wedding spot with all the camera gear and a drone!

I had never seen the waterfall except from online photos until the day before the ceremony. It exceeded all of my wildest dreams and expectations and upon seeing it, Abby and I danced around and laughed like giddy schoolgirls. When the rest of the group hiked in we were all taken away with the beauty of the location. It is other worldly and confirming even more how perfect this location was. One of my childhood dreams was becoming a reality in less than 24 hours.

The next day, I got ready with a group of girl friends. My hair and makeup were done by the amazing Kassandra Sommerville, a Portland makeup artist and hair stylist. My dress was from BHLDN. The bouquet, flower crown and boutonniere were made by my talented friend Bailey from Forest and Field Creative. She foraged for local greenery and stopped along the Portland roads to pick flowers and branches from the side of the road. The only guidance I gave her was to make it wild…and she did. My belt was an Etsy find because all other rhinestone belts were way too pricey. We had Pips donuts and lavender chai lattes while listening to records. The day was full of peace, sunshine, laughter and joy. We took our time and snapped plenty of photos while eating the most amazing treats. Finally it was time to meet the boys at the beginning of the waterfall trail for the first look and all I could remember thinking was how badly I wanted to see my Matthew because I had missed him all day. I piled into the car with Abby and Lauren and we drove the quick 45 minute drive out of the city into the Columbia River Gorge to the Wahclella Falls trailhead.

That first look was everything I had always imagined it would be. Matthew had never looked more handsome! He was standing there with his back towards me and once I reached him and we made eye contact neither one of us could stop smiling. I was just so happy to be close to him again. If there are soul mates then he is definitely mine. We took a few photos then gathered our troop and hiked the one mile trail together on a 60 degree sunny day in Oregon. Seeing people’s reactions was probably one of the funnest parts of the day. So many high fives, well wishes, photos taken, claps and congratulations were given. People smiled as our train of people approached laughing and just so happy to be alive.

We made it to the spot we had planned to for the ceremony and all took position. Jordan guarded the spot perfectly and didn’t allow any unaware hikers to disturb the moment. The ceremony itself was about 15 minutes long with personally written vows, communion, prayer and the exchange of rings. The only part of the ceremony I wished differently was that the wedding band I picked out was to arrive a week after our wedding. We ordered it too late and there was no way the company could get it there in time. I was upset but Matthew ordered me a silver band to wear at the ceremony which would be switched after the other came in the mail. I was so sad inside that the ring I would say my vows with wouldn’t be my actual wedding band but I suppose not everything can be perfect. As we got ready to exchange rings, Matthew pulled my band out of his pocket and it was the exact one I had hoped for! It arrived early and my sweet man kept it a secret from all of us until that moment. I was just so happy in that moment! Speaking of rings, my engagement ring belonged to his great grandmother and is close to 105 years old. So amazing.

We finished the ceremony, let the other hikers join us on the trail then climbed rocks, walked across bridges, hiked into the falls and so many other things to make sure the photos were perfect. So many times I would slip off a rock and Matt would hold me up or push me to a place I could get my footing. Luckily, I was wearing wool socks and hiking boots the entire time. Best decision of the wedding, besides marrying Matthew.

We took hundreds of photos and cuddled and kissed and danced all through the trail. It really was one of the most magical days of my entire life. And it was something I had dreamed of since being a small girl. I am so lucky to have found a man who is just as adventure driven as myself. He truly is my courage and my joy. It’s an honor to be Matthew’s wife. After the photos were completed, we drove back to Portland for a small reception with local friends. It was all entirely sweet and personal and exactly what we wanted. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Photography: Her And Everything | Videography : Owl And Anchor Studios | Floral Design: Forest And Field Creative | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Ceremony Venue: Wahclella Falls | Hair And Makeup: Kassandra Sommerville | Bride’s Belt: Lucy Bridal Boutique | Donuts: Pips Original | Video: Owl And Anchor Studios

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