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Planner: Carolyn O’Brien, Creative Celebrations, www.portlandweddingplanning.com, carolyn@portlandweddingplanning.com
Time in industry: 7 years
Photographer: William James Photography
Businesses involved: The Surfsand Resort, Melissa Coe Ceremonies, Tony Barbon Videography, Basketcase/Cannon Beach Florist, Ocean Spa Hair and Make Up, Simply Cakes by Jae
Wedding date: Sept. 26, 2016
Guest count: Five
The couple: For a brief period of time in 2004, same-sex marriage was legal in Multnomah County, Ore. Anna and Michelle, got married then only to have their wedding later declared invalid. Twelve years and three children later, Anna and Michelle, were living in Texas, and wanted to have a simple wedding incorporating their children and, most importantly, taking place in Oregon.
Involvement: Full consulting
Inspiration: The couple wanted a natural, beach-like feel to the day, with an emphasis on family, children, and fun.

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“Aha” design moment: With many possible locations, Anna and Michelle chose Cannon Beach. Their ceremony incorporated a sand melding in which Anna, Michelle, and their kids created a lasting memory of the day by combining seashells they found on the beach. The backdrop of their intimate ceremony was Haystack Rock and the Pacific Ocean. After the ceremony, they celebrated with dinner followed by a bonfire and s’mores on Cannon Beach.
Most unique design element: Knowing that the most important element of the wedding was for their children to have fun and be involved, I knew floral was important. Not only did the girls have flower baskets, but also each had floral head wreaths and a nosegay bouquet that was part of their mothers’ bridal bouquets at the beginning of the ceremony.  The ceremony took place under a chuppah adorned with coordinating floral.

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Color palette: Green and white
Budget: $4,000
Staff hours: 21
Planning time: Six and a half weeks
Number of meetings: Three phone meetings
Set up/Strike details: This took three hours. The natural wood chuppah arch was set in place on the beach and decorated. Six chairs were positioned under it and a table was set up with champagne for the brides and sparkling cider for the children.
Revenue breakdown: 100% planning
Biggest challenge: The unpredictable Oregon weather was the biggest challenge. It was a beautiful, sunny fall day that was perfect for getting ready and for family photos in Ecola State Park. Then, just as their son was escorting his mothers to the ceremony site, clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped 10 degrees.

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Learnings: If I were to do anything differently, I would have brought coats to the ceremony site for the brides and their children in case of a change in temperature or rain. Even though the weather looks perfect, it’s always a good idea to be prepared with umbrellas, coats, and blankets when coordinating a ceremony on the beach. WPM