For their June wedding, Portland, Oregon, couple Elinor (she/her) and Jessica (she/her) wanted a casual and fun vibe, complete with a picnic, food trucks and flower crowns. The brides got ready together, forgoing a first look for couple’s portraits before the ceremony.

A color palette of lavender, blush and navy blue complemented the greenery of the orchard where Elinor and Jessica tied the knot. Both brides and their wedding parties wore faux flower crowns in their wedding colors in lieu of bouquets, letting the natural beauty of the setting speak for itself. The nearlyweds walked down the aisle with their parents, entering from opposite sides of the ceremony space at the same time.

For the party, one of the bride’s aunt and uncle went to the farmer’s market and bought as many lavender and blush bouquets as possible to adorn the reception tables. Elinor and Jessica kicked off the festivities by sharing a first dance to “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert. The couple shared their love of food with a banquet-style picnic and a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream truck that kept guests coming back for more.

We caught up with the two brides to hear more about their fun summer wedding.

Tell us your love story!

We met on the dating app Her and were the first woman either of us had seriously dated. After our second date, Jessica knew it was about to get real enough that she needed to come out to her family. Both our families have been supportive from the start. We got along so well, and it was easy to fall in love. We like the same books, shows and music. We communicate the same way, and our life goals are in alignment. We started talking long-term early, like within a few months. Worried we might move too fast, we would say, “we have nowhere to get but we like where we’re going.”

We moved in together in Elinor’s house when Jessica’s lease ended, about eight months after we started dating, and discussed getting engaged around the same time. We shopped for rings together, and when Elinor’s ring for Jessica finally arrived, she proposed first over dessert at a local restaurant. Then we went home, and Jessica proposed with a ring we’d picked out together. We had also started talking about the future and decided we wanted to get certified as foster parents sooner rather than later. We started filling out the paperwork after our second Christmas together, starting that process as we were planning our wedding. We were certified a few months after we got married and since then have cared for eight children in our community.

Tell us about the ceremony.

We had our wedding outdoors at Howell Territorial Park. It was a beautiful June day, cloudy during the ceremony and clearing up as we moved into party mode. We wanted it to feel as casual and picnic-y as possible, so we kept the ceremony short and sweet. We had our siblings and very close friends as our attendants, who were all invited to pick their own outfits in navy. We wrote our own vows and read them out of a notebook we’ve used since we got engaged to write each other love notes. A good friend officiated.

How did you personalize your wedding?

Once the ceremony was completed, we went to sign our marriage certificate and set our guests loose on the lawn games and canned wine. Our wedding was light, fun and festive, and it meant we got to spend a lot of time with our guests. Instead of a dance floor, we had a Spotify playlist and a powerful Bluetooth speaker. We wore white because we wanted to, but Elinor knit her own lace top!

What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?

Sit down and talk about what’s really important: budget, guest list, feelings and so on. We wanted the wedding to feel fun, festive and informal, like a picnic, so we booked a park with a bathroom instead of a formal venue and chose food trucks for our caterers. Find ways to make this day really yours, and don’t be afraid to get rid of traditions or expectations that aren’t meaningful to you. Hire a day-of coordinator so you can leave the last-minute details to a professional and really enjoy yourselves.

What advice would you give to vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?

Assume gender neutrality in your copy and your contracts. Show queer couples up front in your marketing. Don’t make us feel like the token queers you’ve booked this year. We’re just people in love who want to spend money on a big party.

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Photographer: Aaron Marineau
Coordinator: Elisabeth Kramer
Venue: Howell Territorial Park
Brides’ Attire: BHLDN
Rings: EMS Estates; Shane Company
Catering: Pidgin Hole
Dessert: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Truck
Games: Power of Love

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