East Fork Country Estate, Damascus, Oregon.
The Proposal: Craig and I had gone ring shopping at Sherry’s Jewelry Box in Tigard. We looked at several beautiful settings, but I pretty much had my heart set on a Halo-style setting. Sherry pulled a beauty out of the case, and I loved it from the start. The center, where the diamond would sit, was empty, allowing us to choose the stone we wanted. There were several small diamonds that encircled where the center stone would be and two larger diamonds sitting to the left and right of the circle. The band separated into two bands on each side in the front and then reconnected to form a solid band at the back. Each of the four sections contained five diamonds. The bling was awesome! My favorite part was the four peek-a-boo diamonds – two on top and two on the bottom that you literally have to “peek” to see. Sherry went to the back and came out with two very special diamonds with beautiful color, cut and clarity. We settled on a 1.23 carat sparkler that made my heart sing.
Since we didn’t have all the money we needed to purchase the ring right then, we put it on layaway with no certain time frame to pick it up. I knew we would work at getting it paid off during the next six months or so, but unbeknownst to me, Craig had plans!
We had started taking dance lessons at Arthur Murray. It was much harder than it looked and progress seemed slow. We had less than two months of lessons under our belt and were watching other couples perform “spotlights.” A spotlight is a specific dance that is practiced and practiced until the couple feels comfortable showing off their talents in front of the studio. A few couples had performed their routine and over the microphone I hear “Next up is Pam and Craig.” Everyone is cheering, and I say to Craig, “we don’t have a dance prepared. Why are they announcing our names?” Craig confidently marches me out to the dance floor, the music comes on and we begin stumbling – yes, stumbling all over each other’s feet. I am so embarrassed! All of a sudden one of the instructors comes walking towards us. (One person later told me they thought she was coming to help us since we obviously were having trouble.) She hands Craig a small box, and he drops to one knee. It was at that point things started clicking and making sense what was about to happen. He opens the box, takes my hand and says “Pam, will you marry me!” I was jumping up and down with excitement, screeched out a “YES”, and we were mobbed by all the happy dancers and instructors. What an amazing proposal. I will remember that night forever!
Our vision for the day: Was to have a ceremony that heralded our strong belief that marriage is a covenant and life-long commitment between God and each other to be best friends, lovers and companions until we leave this earth. We wanted to share this time with our families and close friends and to especially incorporate our grandkids into this happy occasion.
The planning process: We were searching for the perfect (although affordable) venue to accommodate both our ceremony and our reception. Once we found the location, most everything else was done via the internet. Pam LOVES internet shopping and jokes that by far her favorite on-line find was Craig. (We met on Chemistry.com) Etsy played a big part in planning, as it was easy to coordinate colors, styles and things we liked. One of the best things was every piece we purchased came from a different part of the world. From Poland, Russia, England to Florida, we loved the fact that people from all over the world had provided pieces for our wedding.
For our venue: We chose East Fork Country Estates in Damascus, Oregon. From the first time we visited we felt comfortable, loved the property and view and the Abernathy’s were a warm, friendly couple we knew we would like to work with. The view was spectacular. With lots of options for beautiful photography and a spectacular view of Mt. Hood, this venue had everything we wanted.
The Dress: Pam looked to the internet once again to search for dresses. Almost immediately THE dress popped off the computer screen. On a site called BHLDN the Emma Embroidered Petal Gown was the most beautiful dress ever. With a V neck in front and in back, the dress was covered in small petals. Cream at the top and ombreing into a soft blush pink at the bottom with a small train at the back, it was my big splurge at $1295!
The shoes: seemed to be a quick and easy find as well. They were a beautiful rose pink taffeta fabric that seemed to have a beautiful sheen to them. A strap in the back crossed over the top of the foot and placed a beautiful rose off to the side at the top of the foot. The heels were a good four inches, and I knew these would get me down the aisle, through pictures and would most likely be coming off after that!
Jewlery: Etsy was the place for jewelry! It definitely took a little longer to find just what I wanted, but it did offer a lot of choices. I searched “pink” and “rose quartz” trying to find the perfect look. I didn’t want to detract from the dress, so I zeroed in on something with a subtle color that would fill the V-neck of the dress. I settled on a delicate sterling chain with rose quartz stones hanging loosely along the edges of the necklace and a larger stone at the bottom center. Rose quartz drop earrings and a matching bracelet completed the set. The headpiece was a birdcage veil with a large pink fluffy feather held to the veil by a crystal broach.
Hair: I wore my hair pulled up and back with a braid starting on the left and continuing low across the back of my head. Makeup was soft pinks and grays to accent my dress and color scheme.
The groom’s attire: consisted of a handsome medium gray suit that had just a subtle sheen to it. A cream shirt and tie in a pink, gray and silver pattern and matching pocket squares completed the dapper look.
Wedding Theme: We wanted a soft, subtle, romantic feel for our wedding. Peonies seemed the perfect flower in our minds to accomplish this. The bridal bouquet was primarily cream and soft pink peonies with a few roses added. The maid of honor carried a bouquet of cream peonies. Destiny arranged the table bouquets made up of peonies, baby’s breath, alstroemeria and mums – beautiful!
The Cake: Let’s be different! We opted for an ice cream cart catered by Ruby Jewel. The cart was complete with a pink, hula skirt looking umbrella. With so many yummy hand made flavors to choose from, we tried to find something for everyone. After poling some of our guests and giving serious thought to it ourselves, we settled on Singing Dog Vanilla, Fresh Mint Flake, Peanut Butter Dream, Carmel Bacon Brittle and Raspberry Truffle. For toppings we had Salted Carmel, Marcona Almonds, Chocolate Crack and Chocolate Granache. Shall we say decadent? Everyone seemed to enjoy choosing their flavors and adding toppings. Everyone said they tried more than one and it was a great change from the traditional wedding cake!
Your Photographer: Aaron, from OneBloom Photography was cool, calm and collected. He was familiar with the property and was receptive to our photo-op requests. The wedding flies by so quickly for the bride and groom, and we are anxious to see what Aaron captured that we may have missed, candid moments, and what we will look back on in years to come as our permanent wedding memories.
The Invitations: Very special! Again, thanks to Etsy, we found a woman who would take a photograph we provided to her of both Craig and I individually, transform the photos into somewhat of a cartoonish caricature, and make them look as if they are two framed photographs. On the back of the was the invitation verbage. We received many compliments on them, and comments included that they were fun and different.
Food: Was an important part of the wedding to us. We have attended many weddings where the food is cold when it’s time to eat, and it often doesn’t taste all that good for the price you pay. Diana from East Fork assured us that Erik Youel, aka Chef Du Jour, was their favorite chef and food would not only be delicious, but hot when it was time to eat. We did a taste test at his prep kitchen and loved everything we tried. For appetizers we chose potato cups and tomato and leek tatin. For the main dishes Beef Bourguignon, Wine Poached Salmon, Ricotta Potatoes, Northwest Pear Salad, and a Cheese and Antipasta Platter rounded out the offerings. Diana was so right, Chef Du Jour was an awesome chef!
Honeymoon: Ahhhhh the honeymoon… We did have to return to work for one week before departing on June 28th for 17 glorious days in Maui. We enjoyed a full week of relaxing, wonderful food, a show highlighting some of the dance, chants and customs of the early Hawaiians called Ulelana, swimming and parasailing 1200 feet in the air! We also met a wonderful couple from Kansas City, Kent and Lori Haggard, and went wine tasting at Fleetwood in Lahaina with them. At the end of week one, our friends Carol, Brandon, and Nicole joined us and our adventures continued. We went zip lining at Haleakala, took a walk through the grounds at Ocean Vodka, and then headed to the 10,000 foot elevation at the top of Mt. Haleakala where we watched an absolutely stunning sunset. We were approximately 2000 feet above the clouds, which provided some stunning scenery. As the sun set down through the clouds, the colors were breathtaking. We also visited Paia Town, which is always a highlight of the trip. A surfer, hippy sort of town Paia is full of colors, interesting people and great shopping. I always feel like Paia is a place Jesus would have hung out! Towards the end of the trip everyone except Pam gave surfing a try. I had slipped on a step in the swimming pool early in the trip and twisted my knee. It continued to bother me, so I was a little nervous I might make it worse. On the last day of our stay I got an urge to get my second tattoo. I chose “No Kau A Kau” – for eternity in Hawaiian – on my left wrist. I felt it was a meaningful commitment to both Craig and my love for Hawaii. So, after a wonderful 17 days, we said Aloha! Until we meet again!
Memorable Moment: Craig’s most memorable moment was when Pam read her vows to him and when Tyler and Tiffany gave their toasts. Pam’s moments were also Craig’s vows, Tiffany’s words of support, and watching as people arrived at the wedding. One friend, Shirley, I hadn’t seen in 40 years, but everyone came to support us and celebrate with us. It just seemed so incredible!
Our advice for other couples: Would be to enjoy each moment. So many young couples (and ladies in particular) get so stressed out and worried about every little detail that they forget to enjoy the process. In the end, the guests really won’t remember if every detail came off just like you wanted. So take time to enjoy each other and make memories throughout this happy time.
Credit where credit is due: We want to thank our friends and families for supporting us, loving us and helping make our day special. Also our grandkids, Keagan, Mason, Gavin and Scarlett for being such an important part of our day. We love you so much! To Brandon, Amanda and Regan, we missed you. You definitely would have added a completeness, and we love you too. Keri, what a help! You kept on top of everything and everyone. Thank you for everything. Dave, Wow! Your first wedding and everyone wants to hire you. You were amazing and kept the focus where it belonged. And finally, thank you Jesus for bringing us together. We truly believe it was your grand plan that allowed us to find each other. Help us stay focused on you!
Vendors from the Wedding:
Dancin’ Tunes DJ
East Country Fork Estates
Ruby Jewel Ice Cream
Arthur Murray Dance Studio