A Rustic Outdoor Wedding at a Historic Wedding Venue

Real Weddings

As they attempted to escape the same New Year's Eve celebration, Emily and Cory—both single and new to Portland, Oregon—bumped into each other at the exit. "We had such an enjoyable conversation," Emily recalls. A friend snapped a picture of the pair, declaring them a match before they had even exchanged numbers. "She was right," the bride now says.

The couple wed nearly two years after that fateful fete, in an outdoor August ceremony that emphasized "the beauty and simplicity in marriage," Emily says. "We wanted to recognize the wealth of gifts we've been given that brought us to such a day of thankfulness, namely marriage, friends, nature and God."

The bride—a South Carolina-born Southern belle—fell for the weathered facade of Bybee-Howell House and its adjoining orchard. "I love distressed furniture, which is so often found in old beach homes," she confesses. "The kind of furniture that doesn't compete with natural beauty, but allows weathering to become a loveliness of its own."

She says, "The wedding sort of took on that feel, letting the orchard, the house, Mount St. Helens, and the beauty of the land and individuals speak for themselves."

The couple credits Commonwealth Rentals for the flawless design of their big day, and its bevy of beautiful details. "They took a vision of simplicity, nature and the sobering beauty of marriage," Emily explains. "They visualized and created the perfect backdrop to our day."

Emily says the couple's wedding included "wonderful vintage furniture and timely ideas that accentuated the land and wedding party."

The bride donned a sweet Sarah Seven dress for the wedding—a soft, layered look that she accented with a handmade veil by Jade Rose McArthur, earrings from her mother and gold shoes from her sister. Bridesmaids dressed in blue.

The groom paired Banana Republic pants with an Oxford shirt and handmade leather suspenders. His groomsmen emulated his casual look in matching attire.

Emily wears not one but four weddings bands—each is a family heirloom, she explains. Her engagement ring was once Cory's grandmother's ring.

Blush roses, Queen Anne's lace, lavender, and thistle—arranged so loosely they appeared as if just gathered from a garden—comprised Emily's bouquet.

The couple served mint mojitos and wine to guests who lounged on the grounds of Bybee-Howell House.

"There was no dinner," the bride explains. "Instead, we served pie for the afternoon. It was a pie picnic, with light fruit and cheese appetizers." Baguettes and cherries—among other delectable fruits—were laid out for guests to serve themselves.

Decor was as uncomplicated and carefree as the food. A smattering of blue hydrangeas were set beside an odd antler or antique book.

The couple's cake was a single-tier frosted confection adorned by dried lavender.

As two of the Parson Red Heads covered California Stars by Wilco, the couple enjoyed their first dance.

"We had a two-part honeymoon," the bride says. Emily and Cory enjoyed the comforts of a bed and breakfast and the challenge of Mt. Hood. They also spent a week in a beach house on South Carolina's Pawley's Island—complete with distressed furniture, we assume.

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Commonwealth Rentals || Ceremony Venue: Bybee-Howell House || Reception Venue: Bybee-Howell House || Bride's Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven || Bride's Veil: Jade Rose McArthur || Groom's Tux: Banana Republic || Rentals: Commonwealth Rentals || Entertainment: Parson Red Heads || Photography: James Fitzgerald III

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