Excited to finally share this untraditional Hoyt Arboretum elopement with you! Leslie and Sam decided to elope to Portland from Canada and were the most relaxed and fun couple ever. Their day was totally unscripted and was such a blast to capture, and the Redwood Deck at the arboretum was the perfect spot to start!
I met them on a Monday afternoon at Hoyt Arboretum in the beautiful Washington Park area of Portland. When Leslie got out of the car in this incredible gold sequin dress, I knew we were in for a fun afternoon. We made our way down to the Redwood Deck for a wedding ceremony surrounded by giant old growth trees and the prettiest late Autumn sunshine. In true elopement style, it was just Leslie, Sam, the officiant and I. Plus a few passers-by to say congratulations. We even had a random guy at the visitor center sign the marriage license as a witness.
After a short and sweet ceremony, in which the two almost forgot to exchange rings because they were so excited, we explored the park. The way Leslie’s gold dress bounced light in every direction was just stunning. And the emerald accents they chose for shoes, tie and earrings paired so well with the lush greenery of the forest. We climbed trees, drank champagne and then headed downtown for a little city fun.
Leslie and Sam’s one request for portraits was that we find the Prefontaine mural, both being avid runners. I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to do with that request, but it ended up being my favorite part of the day. When we got there they both changed into custom black and gold Nike’s, crushed a beer and I had them show off their best track skills. Then they asked if we could go to a arcade down the street, because they wanted to play NBA Jam. Um yes, yes we can. You should have seen the guys face who was working the place when we all walked in. Classic. I love a couple who likes to indulge in fun competition. My husband wins at everything, every time. But I still try to beat him, and one day when I do, it’ll be my proudest day ever.
After the arcade we explored the city a little more and ended on my favorite dock. Taking in the sunshine and enjoying each others company before they started making all the phone calls to family to tell them they had eloped. When I asked what their plans were for the rest of the evening they said they were going to get a pizza and go to the Blazers game. Best day ever? I’m pretty sure they nailed it.
When planning an elopement at the Redwood deck in Hoyt Arboretum, remember to call and reserve it! This ensures no one else is fighting you to get married at the same time. I also think it’s best to elope here on a weekday, so you have more of the park to yourself for photos and fewer onlookers. The nice thing about the huge trees is that they create a natural canopy to the elements. So if it’s a little misty out, or really bright and sunny you’re protected from both and are almost always guaranteed beautiful photos. For this reason, I think it’s one of the best places in Portland to elope!
Hair/Makeup: Brittany Blanchard
Flowers: Sammys Flowers
Dress: Badgley Mischka
Officiant: The Wedding Judge