A Handmade Portland Wedding: Gretchen + Darby

This wedding feels perfect for a Friday – lots of fun colors, DIY galore, a pretty multicolor petticoat plus lovely photos by Ben Blood. Gretchen + Darby both have a love of art and creating things and were on a pretty limited budget, so they decided a DIY wedding would be best. They literally handmade almost every item for their wedding, including cloth napkins, picnic basket liners, placecards, table numbers, dessert trays, 500 origami swans, guestbook puzzle, invitations, party favors, bridemaids necklaces and boutonnieres – wow! Of course, they had a lot of help from friends and family in their craft parties they threw almost every weekend where friends would come over and help them – such a great idea for those looking to do lots of DIY projects! Gretchen + Darby wanted their wedding day to be very non traditional, fun and relaxed and I think they did just that. Congrats to Gretchen + Darby!

rainbow petticoat

 I saw the idea online for a multicolor petticoat and took ideas from different dresses I liked for the top. Jennifer, who works with Ania Bridal, sewed it for me. I then made the hairpieces with leftover toile from the wedding dress.

groom in yellow tie

groom in yellow tie

first look

groom in yellow tie

rainbow color wheel

bride and groom

color block wall

bride in sunglasses

For the bouquet, we grew wildflowers in our backyard and picked up some flowers at farmer’s markets the day before the wedding. My matron of honor’s mother Candy Hadley, arranged the bouquets and the centerpieces. She did a fabulous job – just what I envisioned.

folding chairs

What song did you walk down the aisle to? Flora’s secret by Enya. We exited to Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

wooded wedding

wooded wedding

wooded wedding

puzzle coloring guest book

wooded wedding

My cousin Christy flew up a few days before the wedding. We put together picnic baskets with a variety of homemade salads (black eye pea butternut squash, quinoa, beet and goat cheese, tuna salad, egg salad, macaroni), croissants, veggies, chips and bubbly. We opted for a dessert table instead of a cake. My cousin made all our favorites – brownie bites with butterscotch chips, oatmeal caramel bars, mini carrot cake whoopie pies with cream cheese filling, mini chocolate chip cookies with espresso filling and rhubarb pie! My cousin is amazing! 

colorful dessert bar

wedding bicycle ride

Most memorable moment of your wedding day? The whole day was a ton of fun, but the highlight for both of us was the bike ride from the Hoyt Arboretum to our after party dance party. There were about 30 of us all riding across Portland in our wedding attire.

wedding bicycle ride

bride and groom

rainbow petticoat dress

Any advice for those planning now? DIY weddings are a fun way to save money and a great way to make sure your wedding really reflects you, but they are a lot of work. Make sure you have someone delegated to carry out all the details on your wedding day, because its crazy and goes by way too fast! We also want to thank all our family + friends for all their help!

vendors: photography: Ben Blood // venue: Hoyt Arboretum + Secret Society Ballroom // wedding dress: Jennifer with Ania Bridal // shoes: Oh Deer // bridesmaid dresses: Calypso St Barth // hair + makeup: hair by Jessi at Tiger Tiger Salon // groom suit: Dutchess Clothier

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  1. this is so fun and colorful! i love how it their personality shines through all the details!

  2. The dress, the corsages, the bouquets…. awesome!! I say for DIY weddings just be sure to plan far in advance! Pinterest will be your best friend for organizing ideas and cookie dough freezes well for the reception. AKA you can make the cookie dough far in advance and just worry about baking them closer to time.

  3. Super cute! Where did you get all those chairs?? We have been scouring thrift stores for those old colorful plastic lawnchairs for ever but never find any good ones and we just want a couple for the house, not a whole party’s worth! Nice work!

  4. I love the colors and the bride’s dress. And the boutonnieres are so cool! The puzzle guest book is a really neat idea too.

  5. Really FUN ! ! !

  6. always a treat to see ben’s work on here! loving the especially fun couple and plethora of colors!

  7. Love, love, love the brides colorful dress!

  8. Oh my gosh, I love it! So perfectly Portland.

  9. Oh wow! I love this color palette, especially how she integrated it into her dress. What a fun wedding! Love the sunglasses, too.

  10. love the bride’s shoes, the shiny wedges

  11. Loved the dress is perfect! é divertido, lindo e o casamento todo em DIY ficou charmoso. Vou me inspirar nesse casamento, principalmente no vestido.


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