Reception Style: Wine & Spirit
Portland designers serve up thoughtful celebrations at Coopers Hall, a winery and taproom in the central eastside
-Photographs by Wendi Nordeck-
1. Winter Wonderland
“We adore winter weddings,” says Bridal Bliss owner Nora Sheils, who worked with her lead coordinator Elizabeth Coor to style a snowy-season celebration. “There’s just something extra romantic about this time of year,” Corr adds, “when all you want is fireside cuddling with the ones you love!” The event they envisioned—cosmopolitan yet organic, refined yet intimate—plays out beautifully in Coopers Hall, a high-ceilinged former body shop that’s now all clean white walls, sleek metals, strings of bare lights, and tantalizing wooden wine casks. The palette of cream, navy, and subtle sparkle comes to life with textural touches like luxurious faux fur chair coverings, wooden table runners, fluffy bay leaf garlands, and pops of Black Watch tartan. Unfussy silver charges frame crisp china plates, wrapped with patterned napkins, topped by Paper Bloom‘s classy menus (the monogram repeats on favor tags and the invite), and tied with grosgrain ribbon. Impactful lanterns complement the venue’s towering windows—take a peek outside with your sweetie: if you see snowflakes, fertility and prosperity are in your future.
THE HEAT IS ON
When the weather outside is frightful, wouldn’t it be delightful to make a statement by gliding down the aisle wearing a floral muff? This gorgeous bouquet alternative includes lush cream ranunculus and spray roses, bay leaf, and fragrant eucalyptus—a streamlined nod to the reception’s ample arrangements of garden and spray roses, anemones, clematis, snowberry, gooseneck loosestrife, dusty miller, bay leaf, eucalyptus, sage, and jasmine vine. Continue the toasty trend by thanking guests with plush Nate Berkus throw favors, tucked into wooden boxes by the door for guests to grab before ducking out into the chilly night. Attire: Siri white rose-embossed silk shantung ’50s-style evening dress ($490)
PLAID ABOUT YOU
For this wintry fete’s sweet finale, AK Cake Design‘s Allison Kelleher composed a polished, modern confection. The top tiers of her fondant and chocolate ganache covered vanilla butter cake with vanilla and chocolate buttercream fillings are wrapped with custom-printed edible wafer paper, the latest trend in cake decorating. She coordinated with Paper Bloom‘s Lindsay Zogas to ensure the tartan design was a perfect match for the sophisticated, digitally printed invitation suite. Similarly, delicate sugar roses echo the ivory blooms in Zest Floral‘s softly elegant bridal bouquet and edited boutonnieres.
SPIKED HOT COCOA
Warm hands and hearts with mugs of chocolatey decadence. Present with monogrammed gourmet marshmallows atop pretty straws and ample drifts of whipped cream. Try these unexpected combos:
-Tequila + peppermint schnapps
-Grand Marnier + pisco
-Vanilla vodka + amaretto
-Irish whiskey + Baileys + stout syrup
Attire: Siri metallic silk melange bubble skirt cocktail dress, $290
Guests will love Coppers Hall’s malbec! Balance all the imbibing with hearty comfort-food hors d’oeuvres.
Event Design, China, Chargers, Chair Covers, Mugs, and Marshmallows: Bridal Bliss
Cake: AK Cake Design
Flowers, Lanterns, Votive Holders, and Antlers: Zest Floral and Event Design
Printed Goods and Laser-cut Wood Table Numbers: Paper Bloom
Catering, Chairs, Glassware, and Cutlery: Coopers Hall
Table, Wood Runner, and Wood Pallet Backdrop with Deer Head: Royce’s Prop Shop
Throw Favors: Target
Dresses and Crystal Drop Earrings: Divine Designs Bridal Boutique
2. Crab Feast
“Growing up on the coast, I’ve always had a soft spot for messy, family-style crab feeds,” says Heather Hollern, owner of Quince Flowers + Events. Here she brings that affection for the sea to the city—Coppers Hall’s open, airy atmosphere make it a natural fit for the outside-in idea. Staged on tall wooden tables with bar stools, her tastefully casual design avoids feeling overly thematic or cartoonish by making fabulous food the decor’s key component: rich, tender Dungeness crab is piled center-table for guests to grab between bites of crusty bread and sips of sweet, snappy Kiwanda Cream Ale from Pacific City’s Pelican Brewing Co. The spread is also proof positive that personalization need not cost a fortune. Hollern sourced gauzy cheesecloth runners, smoking planks (used as dinner plates), and flour sack towels (that served as napkins) all from Whole Foods, and she gave mismatched thrift store silverware flair by dipping the ends in tangerine paint. Graphic lanterns and vibrant floral arrangements round out the fun, any-season scene, no sand required.
Inspired by the crustacean theme, Hollern chose a strong palette of oranges, coral, and red, mixed with lots of greens and neutrals to keep things grounded. The colors blaze the brightest in the centerpieces, composed of dahlias, roses, gloriosa lilies, parrot tulips, hydrangea, pomegranate branches, and more. “Spindly gloriosa lilies always stand out in arrangements,” Hollern notes. “They look exotic but are grown locally.” Only a deep orange hue carries through in a key word here, a pop of pattern there on simply cool menus, table numbers, place cards, and the invitation suite, all designed and letterpress-printed by Lark Press‘s Jean Sammis, with calligraphy by Alesia Zorn. Attire: Siri orange silk shantung pencil skirt dress ($305)
ALL IN FLAVOR
Count a number of folks with dietary restrictions among your crew? Let them eat cake! This trio of decadent treats—(from back) chocolate with salted almond toffee and ganche, lemon coconut cream, and coconut dulce de leche—hail from popular vegan and gluten-free bakery Petunia’s Pies & Pastries. As with the printed goods, Petunia’s owner Lisa Clark avoided an in-your-face reference to the theme with the dessert. Instead, simple, almost-home-style icing techniques convey the approachable vibe, while berries, citrus slices, and fresh blooms tie in the palette.
“Don’t over-order dessert! Guests are usually full or busy dancing and will eat less than you think.” —Lisa Clark
Custom crab mallets will come in handy during dinner, and make a memorable takeaway for guests.
Event Designer, Flowers, and Lanterns: Quince Flowers + Events
Cakes: Petunia’s Pies & Pastries
Printed Goods: Lark Press
Calligraphy: Alesia Zorn
Catering, Tables, and Chairs: Coopers Hall
Serving Pieces and Glasses: Commonwealth Vintage Rentals
Beer: Pelican Brewing Co
Mallets: Bay Imprint
Dress: Divine Designs Bridal Boutique
3. Library Love
Find yourself hard-pressed for a wedding theme? Look to your hobbies. For example, Nadia Ly, owner of Creations by Ly, dreamed up this lush tableau for style-minded bibliophiles: winsome chandeliers are built from book pages, table numbers are carved out of favorite editions, and stacks of fetching tomes form centerpiece risers. While there’s certainly an air of vintage charm, Ly keeps things feeling contemporary and light by mixing metals and bold patterns with a fresh-picked palette of spring hues: soft blues and blush punched up with brighter pinks, orange, and green. While a similarly graphic tablecloth could overwhelm, these runners crisscrossing the table to expose the wood beneath have just the right amount of impact; matching napkins encircle hammered metal chargers that mirror the handles on the cutlery. (Tip: You can’t beat the subtle high-end feel of silverware that has weight in the hand.) Fanciful bookend decor inspires dinner conversation—perhaps a cheerful, Riesling-fueled debate over the merits of literary hometown heroes Chuck Palahniuk, Cheryl Strayed, and Urusla K. Le Guin.
“Coopers Hall’s blank-slate aesthetic and flexible floor plan easily transform for any wedding vision.” —Nadia Ly
Special plates can make food look like a work of art—just check out this sumptuous slice of Italian cream caked layered with Ayers Creek Blackberry Viennese buttercream and lemon curd creme fraiche. They also make a pleasing pedestal for Oblation Papers & Press‘s elegant letterpress-printed menus. Both that bill of fare and the companion “English Lit” invitation suite were inspired by vintage, tooled leather books and Old World literature, and incorporate Shakespeare quotes. It only makes sense that Blum; Design in Flowers‘ Jordan Gladow would wed dahlias, ranunculus, peegee hydrangea, and dusty miller and David Austin ‘Juliet’ roses in her eye-catching arrangements. Attire: Monique Lhuillier blue silk chiffon gown ($398)
WALK THE LINE
In designing this luxe tower, Papa Haydn East pastry chef Ashley Wilson took a page from Ly’s book with a marriage of vintage and modern motifs: hexagonal fondant tiers alternately feature art deco-inspired geometrics and a subway tile imprint. Gold dragees and a gumpaste magnolia blossoms airbrushed a luminescent peach add palette-pleasing interest. It’s a fine finish for a lavish meal showcasing the best of the Northwest. Pair each dish with its perfect wine, beer, or cider mate—Coopers Hall has 44 on tap.
Crafting wow-moment book chandeliers is easy and affordable—all you need is books, finishing line, and hot glue.
Event Design, Blue Plates, Chargers, Library Lamps, Monkey Bookends, Mercury Votive Holders, and all Book Decor: Creations by Ly
Cake: Papa Haydn East
Flowers: Blum; Design in Flowers
Printed Goods: Oblation Papers & Press
Catering and Tables: Coopers Hall
Chairs, White Plates, Glassware, and Cutlery: The Party Place
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental
Dress: Divine Designs Bridal Boutique
Model: Alissa Holmes / Option Model & Media