A Classic Blue Celestial Wedding at Urban Studios in Portland, Oregon

A classic blue celestialwedding at urban studios in portland

Earlier this year, as in before the coronavirus pandemic when life was normal and we were all hopeful for an epic wedding season in 2020, I was asked to be a part of an incredible styled shoot and be featured on NW Wedding Underground, or NWWU for short.  NWWU publishes video interviews and venue tours on their wedding blog showcasing different Portland area wedding professionals.  Click on Episode 5 to see the full episode of our styled shoot on NW Wedding Underground!  Click here to see Flowers by Alana’s specific feature on the NWWU blog as one of their recommended wedding florists.  All photos were taken by Crystal Genes Photography, and all videos were filmed by Dane Casperson of Casperson Productions.

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Urban Studio is a gorgeous wedding venue in the Pearl District of Portland, OR

A month before the shoot, I met with the photographer Crystal Genes, the wedding planner Ashley Lachney of Alston Mayger Events and Natalia, the event director of Urban Studio to discuss color and theme ideas for our upcoming featured shoot.  I was thrilled that we decided upon a celestial themed wedding shoot in classic blue, the Pantone color of the year.  The walls of Urban Studio are painted a dusty blue gray, and they have these neat movable white walls that set the ceremony altar space in various ways.  I was excited to get to work designing a celestial altar installation that would use one of the white movable walls.  At first I was envisioning a metallic crescent moon using gold painted PVC pipe, but opted for a babies breath installation in the shape of a crescent moon instead.  I formed the crescent moon using 1-in hex chicken wire, filled it with babies breath, and suspended it on the movable wall backdrop by strong fishing line.  Along the top of the altar installation above the babies breath moon, I suspended greenery vines called Southern Smilax, which brought in a hint of being in a moonlit garden setting within the urban venue.  A wooden sign in the words of “To the Stars,” laser-cut by sign designer Modern Birch Co was the perfect touch to complete the celestial altar installation.

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The flowers I used for the classic blue wedding palette included blue delphinium, blue thistle eryngium, pale blue hydrangea, white anemone with dark blue, almost black centers, white mink protea with deep purple centers, white escimo roses, soft silvery dusty miller, various varieties of eucalyptus, dark burgundy scabiosa, and Ligustrum berries (also known as Japanese privet.)  We wanted a palette that spanned the entire blue spectrum from very soft pale blue to very rich, dark berry tones.  I was most excited to score the white and deep purple mink protea at the wholesale flower market to complete the classic blue palette!

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There were so many magical elements to this celestial shoot.  Our bride models were married in real life, which I believe makes for the best wedding shoot when the models are authentically in love!  Kristen donned a gorgeous metallic head crown fit for a goddess, and wore a stunning wedding gown designed by Hayley Paige, (a bridal designer who’s recently been in the news for making masks for medical workers out of wedding dresses!  See the story here.) The Hayley Paige “Yoko” gown was acquired from the Portland Bridal shop Brides For a Cause, and was a strapless, Ivory colored, fit to flare, mermaid style gown with a silver beaded bodice in geometric art deco designs, perfect for our celestial themed wedding shoot.  April wore her own blue wedding suit, and hair and makeup on both brides were done by the talented Mandy Harlan of Glamology.

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The extremely talented high-end wedding cake designer Catherine Sewell of Sewell Sweets designed a luxuriant, celestially painted, four-tiered blue wedding cake complete with an edible gold crescent moon and sun design.  Catherine is known for her incredible artistic skills in creating realistic looking sugar flowers and painted cakes, and has been featured multiple times by Martha Stewart!  Beneath the stellar cake, we added a wreath made of loose greenery plus crystals and stones by Forest Stone and Sea.

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The wedding planner, Ashley of Alston Mayger Events styled an incredible reception tablescape complete with gold chargers, various metallic candle holders and geometric shapes, crystals from Forest Stone and Sea, gorgeous crystal drink ware, and stunning deep blue linens.  Most of the tablescape rentals came from The Party Place.  Atop each place setting were round, moon-like menus adorned with constellations, designed by Black Thistle Co. I can imagine the ethereal feelings that would be invoked by guests at an night wedding with these celestial elements.

Audiovisual production company, DThree Productions brought gorgeous lighting elements to the celestial styled shoot. They illuminated the walls with blue lights in several places, and cast fun, playful lights in star shapes down the aisle.  How cool are the star lights on her dress?!!

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Yoko gown by Hayley Paige from Brides for a Cause

I’d love to know what you think of the Classic Blue Celestial Wedding ideas of this shoot!  Comment below this blog or share comments on my Instagram or Facebook posts!  Contact Flowers by Alana if you’re interested in a virtual wedding flower consultation to discuss your 2020 or 2021 wedding flowers!

~Stay safe and healthy, flower lovers! 

Love, Alana

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Gorgeous celestial invitations by Black Thistle Co.


Tips to Planning a Wedding During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Bride and bridesmaids, wedding flowers, bridal bouquet
Photo credit: Brittney Runnels Photography

You are engaged and starting to plan a wedding!  First off, congratulations!  You are allowed to be excited and grateful, don’t let the current situation make you feel ashamed or diminish your excitement about marrying the love of your life!  Personally, I wake up grateful and feeling great, even amidst this current storm happening worldwide. That can feel weird when you know others are struggling or or stressing out.  Wherever you are in the process, its okay.  If you are grateful and excited for your wedding, feel it and don’t be ashamed!   Here are some tips to help you navigate planning of your wedding during the coronavirus pandemic.

  1. Don’t Stress or Worry.  I know, easier said than done.  But I’m 100% serious.  Stress lowers your vibrational frequency and your immune system and makes you more susceptible to becoming ill.  You don’t have time to get sick, you have a wedding to plan! Take walks, exercise, meditate, find healthy ways to de-stress daily.
  2. Hire a wedding planner.  They will help keep you informed of the ever-changing rules and guidelines for gatherings in your state, and help you navigate any problems that come up during wedding planning.  Wedding planners are worth the investment, because they not only can save you money overall with their awesome tips and tricks of the trade, but they will save you countless hours of stress and worry.  (If you are in the Portland area, I recommend Krystle Clear Events, Periwinkle Events NW, and Peachy Keen Coordination.)
  3. Be realistic about your date.  The Center of Disease Control and Prevention has recommended postponing social gatherings until mid-May.  If your wedding is in the next month and a half, it is time to be realistic and informed, and take the necessary steps to keep you and your guests safe.
  4. Communicate with your venue and vendors.  If you are considering changing your 2020 wedding date, reach out to your venue and discuss your concerns and your options for changing your date.  Then reach out to all the vendors you have already booked.  Keep them informed that you are considering postponing, and find out what dates they still have available.
  5. Understand your contracts.  What are you wedding vendors policies on cancellations, deposits, and changing the date?  As a wedding florist, I require deposits upfront to book the date, and that deposit is transferable but not refundable.
  6. Consider a virtual wedding!  If your wedding date is in the next 6-8 weeks and you don’t want to cancel or postpone, get creative! Have an officiant marry you virtually and Livestream it to your guests.  Have a wedding DJ or musician play music virtually for your guests!  Have a local cake baker make you a couple’s cake!  And have your florist create a gorgeous bouquet, head crown, and boutonniere for the occasion!  Consider having your florist create them in silks, so that if you decide to have a replicated wedding with guests once its safe to do so, you can use your wedding flowers again!
  7. Stay informed. Watch for updates on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and changes in your state’s laws so you can make informed decisions.  Don’t make any decisions right away.  Consider your options, discuss with your fiance and important guests, and sleep on it.
  8. Keep your guests healthy.  Speak with your venue and caterers about what hygiene and sanitation changes they are implementing once gatherings are allowed to resume.  Consider hand sanitizer and hand washing stations at your wedding reception and cocktail areas.  Consider having the MC remind everyone to wash their hands before getting food and drink, or commission a sign maker like Painted Lilium to make a handwashing sign!
  9. Support local designers.  Manufacturing and shipping worldwide has slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, and wedding favors and other wedding details are no exception.  We also need to support our local economies and support local makers now more than ever.  A local dress designer may be able to design and produce your wedding gown sooner than one manufactured and shipped from overseas.  Same goes for wedding veils, wedding favors, and wedding rings.  Consider having your florist put together succulent favors, a local dessert maker to make cookies or chocolate truffles, or a glass artist like Leslie Hand Painted Glass to customize stemless wine glasses for your guests to take home!

Every person worldwide is being effected by this pandemic we are facing, which is unnerving but can also be comforting to know that we are all in this together.  Every industry is effected, and the wedding industry is no exception.  I wish you the best on your wedding planning! Stay healthy and safe and we will get through this!