Allie Hankins and Adam Chang first crossed paths at a mutual friend’s birthday party in May 2016. They locked eyes as soon as he walked in. “After talking for hours, ignoring the rest of our friends, we discovered we grew up around the block from each other and went to the same elementary, middle, and high schools,” the couple shares. “We had been at the same gatherings and New Year’s Eve parties before.” Allie was leaving for grad school in August, but “we were inseparable in a matter of weeks and decided to soak up the summer together, then navigate long distance when Allie left.”
“On our fifth year anniversary, we woke up like any other morning,” the couple recalls. “Allie was brushing her teeth when Adam called her into the library claiming to see a really cute dog outside. Allie quickly finished brushing her teeth, running to the window, but didn’t see any dogs.” At that point, Adam just laughed and pulled a handcrafted memory book off a shelf. He’d made the book for Allie years before, with photos and hand-drawn sketches of special moments in their relationship. Now, he had added a few chapters. “On the last page, Adam said he would like Allie to be his family forever, and asked her to marry him. She said ‘Yes, yes, 100 times yes.’”
For their intimate elopement in Neahkahnie, Oregon, the couple had a vision of something “romantic, personal, and laid back,” they share. “We wanted to have fun with some over-the-top old-world inspiration, but with a modern and organic twist. It was Kinfolk meets Jane Austen.”
“Our whole family stayed at an Airbnb together the night before the wedding. We got to wake up together and cook a big breakfast,” the couple shares. “Before separating to get ready, we all had a dance party with our 1-year-old nephew, Grayson. It was a cute way to start the day.”
Adam leaned into the old-world theme for his unique attire, including cropped striped dress pants and a sage blazer. He accessorized with a pair of Nikes, as well as two gold rings and a gold chain that belonged to his dad. “He styled his own hair in his usual messy-with-a-purpose look,” Allie says.
Allie ordered the Reformation Stars Dress final sale. “The sleeves and cut were old-world inspired while also feeling fresh and current,” she says. But, when she tried it on four days before the wedding, it didn’t fit. “It was too small, and after trying to zip it all the way, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with the dress. I had an emotional rejection and that was that,” Allie remembers.
“My wedding planner helped find a few backup dresses and rush ordered them to ease my emotional distress. But, my florist’s mom was amazing and altered the [original] dress, adding the most beautiful cape. It was the perfect touch, a lightweight georgette fabric that captured the movement and feel of the Oregon Coast.” She continues: “I didn’t see the dress finished until about two hours before I walked down the aisle. I tried it on and immediately fell in love. I felt beautiful and bridal.”
To prep her skin for the day, Allie was a fan of the viral skincare trend slugging. It’s not what you think: Slugging is when you generously apply a petroleum-based product like Vaseline as the last step in your nighttime routine to seal the other products in, then wash it off in the morning. “I did slugging one or two times a week,” Allie says. “It wasn’t specifically for the wedding—I just happen to be in love with moisturizing and have good results with slugging. I typically do Vaseline around my eyes and a thick layer of CeraVe everywhere else.”
For the big day, makeup artist Jenny Bowker used monochromatic rose tones to create a romantic look that enhanced Allie’s hazel eyes and fair skin. Jenny explains, “We decided to keep the eyes understated and [make] the lips and cheeks more of a focal point to really show off her features—she looked like a painting!” Key products in the lineup? Danessa Myricks Colorfix in Desert Rose for the eyes and lips, and MAC Glow Play blush in Rosy Does It.
Adam is my comfort zone, so I knew seeing him before would help all the butterflies.
“We wanted to keep things intimate and laid back, so we definitely wanted to see each other before [the ceremony] and spend as much time together during the day as possible,” Allie says. “Adam is my comfort zone, so I knew seeing him before would help all the butterflies. Being able to react naturally and have silly moments of laughter reminded us how great life is with each other.”
For Allie’s bouquet—and décor in general—the couple was inspired by the season and florals local to the Pacific Northwest. “We kept all the other design details really neutral, letting the organic pastels really pop.” Her bouquet complemented the coastal surrounding.
“We had envisioned a floral-lined aisle in the sand on the coast, and once we found the Airbnb [where we held our reception], we knew Neahkahnie Beach was it!” the couple shares. Wildflower arrangements lined the aisle and altar. “We wanted the flowers to feel really surrounding and close to further create the intimate feel,” they say. Seats were set in the sand for their 10 guests.
The bride walked herself down the aisle to “Like Real People Do” by Hozier, piped through a Bluetooth speaker.
“We wrote our own vows and perfectly both referenced how we love spending time together, even when doing the most mundane tasks,” the couple shares. “Allie talked about how Adam is the most lovely, full-of-life person, and Adam talked about how Allie feels like home.”
“Every moment [of the day] that we got to spend together and focus on our marriage and relationship was the best,” the couple says. “Our first look was an incredible experience. Having time to soak in the energy and love before our ceremony was blissful. We were so excited to share our vows because the nerves were gone; seeing the emotion in each other’s eyes while reading our vows was amazing.” Another one of those special moments? Traversing the coastal landscape with their photographer to capture stunning portraits after the ceremony.
The party reconvened at the rented cabin in the woods, where a tablescape was “designed to really bring together all the details of the day for the guests to enjoy,” the couple says. “The florals were narrow and long, giving a lush feel while still allowing space for the food and bringing a really fresh springy feel to all the other fun details.”
It's a warmth we'll never forget.
“We decided to keep it simple and highlight a fave food options: cheese and charcuterie boards, along with some Dom Perignon,” the couple says. “As we all sat down to celebrate during our little reception, each of our guests went around and shared a toast, which was such a special moment that never could have happened with a larger event. It was so special to be with those we cherish the most and listen to their loving words. The candlelight and setting was soft. It’s a warmth we’ll never forget.”
The duo created a Spotify playlist for the evening that included indie, pop, and ’90s R&B, and chose “Best Part” by Daniel Caesar featuring H.E.R for their first dance. They did things their own way, and would advise other couples to do the same. “Don’t be afraid to follow your heart; do what feels most ‘you’ as a couple,” they say. “It’s okay to not pick what your family might be expecting you to pick.”
Reception Venue Neahkahnie Lodge Manzanita Beach Retreat via Airbnb
Day-of Wedding Coordinator Kayloe
Bridal Designer Reformation
Bride’s Jewelry GLDN
Bride’s Shoes CL by Laundry via DSW
Bride’s Hair & Makeup Jenny Bowker
Groom’s Attire ASOS
Rings Shane Co.
Florals and Event Design Brier + Ivy
Invitations Lettters + Dust
Rentals Great Jones
Photographer Emily Magers Photography