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Reception Style: 3 Stylish Tableaus at The Colony in St. Johns

These moody, glam, and Tokyo-inspired wedding designs prove any time's a good time to celebrate.

1) MOODY BOHO

Warm woods, enchanting florals, and … macramé? For Maria Taylor, owner of event planning company Fern + Grace, The Colony in St. Johns offers an ideal backdrop for her fanciful, free-spirited reception vibe. “The Colony is a beautiful blank canvas with endless possibilities,” Taylor says. Dramatic florals from Portland Bloem, including lush arrangements of French parrot tulips, cymbidium orchids, white fenice roses, yellow acacia, ranunculus, hellebores, and more, mingle below a sculptural chandelier of foraged mossy branches, yellow acacia, cymbidium orchids, and wispy Agonis. Rustic, handshaped dinnerware from Noble Arrow Ceramics in matte black and charcoal gray strike a stunning contrast to gold flatware and that dreamy macramé table runner from Something Borrowed Portland, while hurricane glasses and dark votives further set the tone for romance.

BOTANICAL INTERESTS
Making a case for bold botanicals, Vintage Mingle’s custom invitation suite contrasts vintage floral illustrations with vivid colors and textural dimension. Inspired by the moody boho vibe of the day, the invitation is wrapped in watercolored vellum, while a silk ribbon and custom monogram sticker hold it all together. The nature-inspired spirit carries through to the Rhodes Wedding Co custom engagement ring and bewitching favor by Kayla Burke Design, in which moss and lichen foraged from the Pacific Northwest are encased in a crystalline cast of resin and quartz.

SWEET DECADENCE
Tiers of chocolate velvet cake from Sherwood-based baker-extraordinaire The Hungry Hero put a sweet finish to the day. Layered with hazelnut-cream cheese buttercream, homemade caramel, and a sprinkling of fleur de sel, it’s as decadent inside as it is out. French macarons, blackberries, and Bosc pears poached in white wine and spices top the confection off with a fun, woodland-like whimsy. In the glass, Taylor tasked Messina Bitters to create the affair’s signature drink—a Grapefruit Sparkler with local vodka, Messina’s grapefruit-cannabis bitters and a splash of ginger beer.

BRIDESMAID BEAUTY
Jenny Yoo’s flowy Blake gown in fig ($270 at The English Dept) creates a romantic tableau alongside vintage jewels from Gem Set Love. Multi-charm thin bracelet ($985), amethyst and pearl necklace ($595), and pearl and enamel earrings ($1,195)

RESOURCES
Event design and glassware: Fern + Grace
Flowers: Portland Bloem
Printed goods: Vintage Mingle
Dinner table, chairs, table linens, cake table, cake stand, and flatwareSomething Borrowed Portland 
Charger, dinner plate, and cake plate: Noble Arrow Ceramics
Dessert: Hungry Hero
Cocktail: Messina Bitters
Favor: Kayla Burke Design
Bridesmaid dress: The English Dept
Bridesmaid jewelry: Gem Set Love
Hair and makeup: Kirstie Wight

2) DAYTIME GLAM

In a city like Portland, it’s no surprise brunch weddings are bigger than ever. And just because the sun’s still shining doesn’t mean you can’t make it a formal affair. Elizabeth Sheils and Nora Sheils, coordinators for Bridal Bliss, carry the sunshine in to their daytime reception with warm, vibrant touches throughout their tabletop scene. Blooms from Seventh Stem, including ranunculus, roses, tulips, Japanese sweet pea flowers, oranges, and greenery, bring Classic Vintage Rentals’ Dakota farm table, farmhouse chairs, and tufted bench to life, while hand-lettered placards and menus from HeyHalle, fresh citrus, and glasses of Argyle sparkling wine and Westmount pinot noir invite guests in to take a seat. “We thought it would be fun and different to infuse these vivid colors through flowers, food, and fresh produce,” notes Elizabeth, who describes the day as perfect for the pair who “puts an emphasis on local food and enjoys a little day drinking!”

LOCAL FLAVOR
Upon arrival, guests are greeted with welcome bags flush with favorite brunch bits—think sparkling wine and St. Germain, Stiegl’s grapefruit radler, tangy ginger soda from Portland’s own Pok Pok Som, and darling mini doughnuts from Pip’s Original. Before heading home, friends and family can sink their teeth into boozy pops from local treat maker Sloshy Pops. Their Better Than a Greyhound pop combines New Deal Distillery gin with fresh grapefruit juice, orange bitters, and candied blood oranges into frosty, brunchtime bliss.

BRIDESMAID BEAUTY
Jenny Yoo’s glimmery Julesgown in rose gold ($285 at The English Dept) adds just the right level of glamour to the day. Vintage jewelry from Gem Set Love completes the look. Goldfill wide floral bracelet ($325), 18K yellow gold and citrine ring ($995), and rhinestone drop clip-on earrings ($68).

HAVE IT HERE
“The Colony offers such a diversity of spaces that you can create a fun, dynamic guest experience,” says Jocelyn Arnold of Ella Events. “Plus, their attached apartments have great light—ideal for hair, makeup, and getting-ready pictures!” Located in Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood, the former meditation center can accommodate up to 300 people.

GOOD EATS
“We love the idea of styling food into the tablescape,” says Bridal Bliss’s Elizabeth, “as the meal is such an important piece to a wedding day, and yet not often incorporated into the design of a table.” Brunch bites from Devil’s Food Catering include a grapefruit and arugula salad with shaved fennel, candied pine nuts, and pink peppercorn vinaigrette; hot-from-the-oven biscuits with charcuterie, herbed honey butter, and citrus marmalade; and tuna poke with sesame seeds and scallions on homemade taro chips. For dessert, generous slices of Dream Cakes’ orange creamsicle swirl cake topped with buttercream frosting draw the dreamy wedding brunch to a close.

RESOURCES
Event design, marble platter, cake plate, and welcome bag: Bridal Bliss
Flowers, candleholders, and candles: Seventh Stem
Printed goods: HeyHalle
Dinner table, chairs, bench, sheepskin throw, and flatware: Classic Vintage Rentals
Cocktail coupe, Riedel glassware (sparkling, chardonnay, and water), dinner plate, and napkins: The Party Place
Dessert: Dream Cakes
Savory food spread: Devil’s Food Catering
Favor: Sloshy Pops
Bridesmaid dress: The English Dept 
Bridesmaid jewelry: Gem Set Love
Hair and makeup: Kirstie Wight

3) TOKYO TRANSPORT

Combining the clean look of contemporary design with the desire to always give weddings some added elements of fun, Jocelyn Arnold and Sara Bergqvist of Ella Events made their J-Town tableau larger than life. Ornamental flowers and branches from Hart—including hellebore, Japanese lux ranunculus, white forsythia, and Italian eucalyptus—dress Vintage Meets Modern’s white glam reception table, while delectable drinking snacks from the Art of Catering include a duo of sweets—sugar-dusted yokan (a.k.a. jellied treats) made with Oregon pinot noir, and matcha green tea doughnuts—artfully presented on Dina Stoneware, alongside Hank by Henry Nomi chopsticks, both from Kiriko. Jenny Yoo’s Madelyn gown in Lake ($275 at The English Dept) takes the party from dinnertime snacks to dancing late into the night. 18K white gold and pearl ring ($495), costume bracelet with leaf motif and rhinestones, part of a set and worn as a necklace, both from Gem Set Love.

“Sushi rolling mats as placemats worked perfectly, and were only $2.25 each!” —JOCELYN ARNOLD

WARM WELCOME
Trading in the traditional tote bag for a wrapping style known as furoshiki, Ella Events welcomes guests with a taste of East-meets-West: sour plum musubi from Musubi on SE Division; lavender rose white tea from Jasmine Pearl Tea Co in NE Portland; Choya plum wine; geta sandals; mini anime tattoos; and more round out the hello.

PAPER TRAIL
“We love using paper goods as a way to keep an event feeling cohesive,” says Arnold, “you know you’re in the right place when you see the same monogram on a sign that you saw on your invitation.” Ella Events’ sister company Ella Paper Goods designed this eye-catching custom suite, which includes some uniquely smart details, like color-coded place cards so servers know which entrée a guest is having without needing to ask, and an escort seating chart organized alphabetically, instead of by table.

SIPPER CLUB
“We wanted to highlight Japanese drinking snacks as a way to keep guests fueled for dancing,” notes Arnold. Cocktails from the Art of Catering balance the umami of togarashi popcorn with nori ribbons.

RESOURCES
Event design, welcome bag, chandelier, bench pillows, teapot, plexiglass boxes, candles, placemats, and favor: Ella Events
Flowers: Hart
Printed goods: Ella Paper Goods
Dinner table, coffee table, wood block menu holders, wooden easelVintage Meets Modern
Chairs, bench, napkins, glassware, black table number stanchion, tall glass hurricanes: The Party Place
Kimono fabric for table runner, multi-fabric trivets, dinner plate, mug, chopsticks, furoshiki box, and assorted fabrics and scarves: Kiriko
Small stoneware bowls: M.Bueno Pottery
Vases: Notary Ceramics
Drinking snacks, dessert, and cocktails: Art of Catering
Bridesmaid dress: The English Dept 
Bridesmaid jewelry: Gem Set Love
Hair and makeup: Kirstie Wight