Updated: Jun 29, 2020
The first wedding of the 2020 season could not have been more magical if it had tried. With the looming dark cloud of Covid19 tried and failed to darken the happiness and light that was to be celebrated on the Hopfer family ranch on June 20, 2020.
As is typical Oregon style, the weather was a humid 82 degrees, with swollen thunder heads idly floating by, threatening the wedding party with a few weak droplets before moving on to unleash its storm elsewhere. The cattle the family raised happily snacked on green grass in the fields next door, oblivious to the celebration about to take place, while the sheep (which were NOT to be photographed - the bride has a vendetta against them) warily watched the proceedings.
As like most brides, Emilys dream dress was a boho lace with sleeves. But once her bridesmaid showed her the perfection of the pure white ballgown Emily rethought what she envisioned to be "the dress". A trip to Charlottes with her mother and Maid of Honor gave her the answer she needed. The dress was everything she was looking for, comfortable and classic, with the ability to style her gown exactly the way she envisioned it to be.
Emily accented her perfect dress with the most incredible looking cowboy boots ever seen. A one of a kind design from the miraculous Bill Clemons from Clemons Boot Company. Emily confesses that she is currently going through a 70's thing right now, and with the blank slate provided by Clemons, she created the grooviest, most colorful boots you could lay your eyes on. Vintage gold and blue earrings set off a sweet heart necklace that Emilys dad had given her mom.
As with every aspect of this wedding, the grooms suit was entirely custom made. This cobalt blue suit was accented with a tie marbled in the sunset color scheme. A matching python snake belt complimented cowboy boots; a surprise gift from the bride who had to painstakingly keep the much sought after belt secret until the day of the wedding.
I have photographed quite a few cakes in my time, but the shag carpeted golden beetle cake takes the cake (pun intended) of best cakes of all time. I have been following Emilys inspiration wedding board for some time now, and have seen some quite extraordinary ideas being pinned. The cake, perched atop a 150 year old cast iron fountain found on her grandparents property, perfectly incapsulates the unique and quirky natures of Mitchell and Emily, and although the design of the cake was ultimately left up to Emilys mother, she too saw no other way around the final decision of this confectionary majesty. (Sorry mom! But we humbly thank you!)
And if golden beetles wearing top hats and veils is not enough, perhaps the exquisitely designed red velvet armadillo cake would steal the spot light for the most amazing cake ever created. Years of Steel Magnolia talks between Emily and her mother came to fruition just weeks before the big day. While Piñatas might be a Hopfer family tradition spearheaded by Emilys papa in years past, perhaps the tanked kingly armadillo has now found itself at every major family event.
I highly recommend checking out Ragean Cakes. She is a wizard with sugary things.
Staying true to Mitchell and Emilys unique style, their rings, a handcrafted design from Young in the Mountains, featured unique stones. Mitchells ring features a Morenci turquoise and petrified wood, while Emilys ring is a peacock turquoise with a trillion cut diamond crowned at the top.
The floral arrangements were put together by Freckled Fleurs in Grants Pass Oregon. Megs meticulous eye for anything floral was able to take Emilys sunset color palette to create the wedding bouquet of her dreams. Coral Charm Peony's, Quicksand Roses, Sweat Peas, Clematis, Kiss Me Over the Gate, Tweedier, and Stock and Statice were some of the flowers which made this stunning arrangement.
Emily wanted to bring the feel of a cathedral outdoors. "If we believe in any sort of higher power it is certainly in the natural world around us. I wanted to do something with the altar that represented the sanctity of that." Emily explains. Her altar, entirely hand crafted by herself, was made out of recycled materials and was hand dyed with alcohol ink. Gracing the aisle was dried willow branches, with bracken ferns, grasses, ceanothus and daises that had been tediously collected and dried.
If this mystical wedding couldn't get anymore magical, the bride was chauffeured to her wedding in a horse drawn carriage by Rune and Catherine Lassesen, long time family friends of Emily and her family. "If I Needed You" by Emmylou Harris and Don Williams led Emily down the aisle to the eagerly waiting Mitchell, who tried very hard not to cry (though I did see tears welling up!)