Victoria Clemens and Nathan Benn Wedding: September 16, 2011

On January 25, 2011 I received an email from a couple in search for a relaxed, calm and beautiful outdoor wedding full of fun, laughter, and amazing food and drinks. Their names; Victoria Clemens and Nathan Benn from Rochester, Minnesota. They were in the hunt for a beautiful location in the Pacific Northwest for their dream wedding. After hundreds of emails, phone calls, and meetings, Victoria and Nathan's destination wedding came together to become an amazing and gorgeous event and celebration.   It didn't take long for the two to decide on a venue, as it was exactly what they were looking for- Skamania Lodge located in Stevenson, Washington, about 30 minutes east of Portland. The two had never traveled to Skamania before but fell in love with the outdoorsy feel and the amazing views of the Columbia Gorge.
(All photos in the blog are from Joshua Rainey based out of Eugene. )
Once the venue was selected, the next step was to decide on a theme for the wedding. After many color coordination ideas-Victoria and Nathan decided on a peacock colored scheme with deep purples, jewel colored teals and greens. We rented a large tent from Peter Corvallis Productions in Portland, Oregon to be filled with elegant lighting through the ceiling liner, which turned out amazing-thanks to Charlie Scherling and his crew from SWANK Audio Visual in Stevenson, Washington. Take a look at some photos of the tent with the lighting:

We also had paper lanterns around the seating area outside of the tent. The couches were also rented from Peter Corvallis Productions.

Now that we had a set location and theme-we really worked on the little details that were needed to put the final pieces of the wedding together. For flowers, I offered to do their centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, and any additional flowers that would be placed around the wedding. Victoria really loved the dark purple calla lilies-which I incorporated in almost all areas. I also included some lavender and ivory roses, spider mums, carnations, orchids and ivory calla lilies. Below are some pictures of my work:

Victoria's bouquet was mostly ivory roses and calla lilies with a mix of the orchids, carnations and dark purple calla lilies.
Nathan's boutonniere was the ivory calla lily with the blade of grass wrapped with teal ribbon.
Here are what the groomsmen boutonnieres looked like-dark purple calla lilies with a blade of tall grass looped around-very simple but very nice!

Here is a shot of the bridesmaid's bouquets-Lavender roses, spider mums, orchids, carnations and dark purple calla lilies.

I love how the bouquets really pop from the teal dresses of the bridesmaids.

For their centerpieces, the bride and groom wanted something very simple and elegant so we had cylinder vases with blue and teal colored pebbles at the bottom. Dark purple calla lilies were placed under water with a floating candle at the top to bring in the extra glow.

Here is a photo of the cocktail table centerpieces:

The ceremony music was placed by the Ariel Consort Chamber Ensemble-which did a fabulous job, as always!

Pastor Carol Myers conducted the ceremony. I have known him for years, working with him at numerous weddings and he is truly one of the sweetest and caring persons I have met! He always does an amazing job at each wedding.

Here are some photos of the ceremony:

After the ceremony, guests made their way over to the Woodland Lawn where they enjoyed cocktails, wine, beer and hors' d 'oeuvres.

Then it was time for Victoria, Nathan and their guests to enjoy a family style dinner that included a greek salad with feta cheese, filet mignon, pan roasted halibut, grilled asparagus and tomatoes, lemon scented risotto, and fresh baked rolls. Dinner was made by Skamania Lodge.

After enjoying dinner with friends and family, it was time for the toast. Nathan's brother, Victoria's  brother and long time best friend made special, joyful and tearful toasts to the couple!

Next, it was time for the cake cutting. Instead of having the typical wedding cake, Victoria and Nathan wanted to choose something that they both would enjoy eating, but also something different than the traditional wedding cake, so they decided to have seasonal fruit pies as their dessert. They ordered their pies from Random Order Coffeehouse and Bakery in Portland, Oregon. The bride and groom decided on three different flavors: Brandied Peach, Tahitian Vanilla Salted Caramel Apple (my favorite) and Oregon Cherry. Boy, oh boy were they delicious! But to keep the tradition of the "cutting of the cake,"" they did go with a small chocolate cake with marionberry filling and frangelico buttercream frosting from Sweet Melissa's located in Hood River, Oregon.  

Victoria and Nathan then had their first dance to "La Vie En Rose."


The rest of the evening was full of dancing, laughter, fun, visiting and memories as DJ Luke King  from Groovaholiks played a wide variety of music for the wedding party to enjoy!

As a way to say thank you to all of their guests, Victoria and Nathan went with a very cool idea for their wedding favors. The bride and groom had thought of a "Pacific Northwest" table covered with wonderful things you would find in the pacific northwest-being that majority of their guests flew into the area. The items on the table were:
Smoked Salmon filets:
Snoqualmie Valley Honey Farm flavored honeysticks wrapped with cinnamon-orange tea bags from Marketspice:
Oregon Hill Marionberry Jam:
Milk Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts from Pacific Hazelnut Farms
Pinot Noir Wine from Torii Mor Winery:  

All the favor bags, pie skewers and favors signs were made by Jacquelyn Vaccaro & Deborah Smith found on They did a fabulous job customizing each piece!
Instead of having a book for guests to sign in, the bride and groom had small note cards for guests to write special wishes for the couple and they were placed in a silver box.

Thank you Victoria and Nathan Benn for a wonderful wedding planning experience! I had a blast working with you and meeting your amazing family and friends! It will truly be a wedding I will never forget! Best of wishes to the both of you! May your future be filled with joy, laughter, love and memories!

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