Dramatic, hazy entrances, silent wedding vows, 234 air plants and not a white wedding gown in sight. When I say that I love planning offbeat and alternative weddings, Hazel and Jeremy’s wedding at Union/Pine in Portland is exactly the kind of party that I’m talking about.
It’s been months and I still can’t get enough of the witchy vibe or their vintage, boho vision, which could be summed up as scattering a collection of their favorite houseplants and vintage doilies from their families around the venue and calling it good. Now, I hear you thinking, “That sounds like an eclectic mess that will never work out,” but I have to tell you that their wedding aesthetic was absolutely magical!
On top of that, these two creative introverts had one of the sweetest and most unique wedding ceremonies I’ve ever been to. After entering through a (literal) fog, they stood amid an assortment of old rugs, trunks, and doors that were perfectly mismatched. A bridesmaid in a black lace dress knelt before them and presented a chalice, into which they poured glittering liquid that swirled together – and shared a drink.
But my absolute favorite moment was something that I’d never seen done before: silent vows. Hazel pre-recorded their vows to Jeremy and we all shared a powerful few moments together as we watched him react to what he was hearing.
On top of that, this couple and wedding party had some of the best wedding outfits ever. The groom, Jeremy, wore a gold floral suit vest and jacket. Our bride, Hazel, floated around Union/Pine in a gold sequined dress with a red hooded cape, a golden crown of laurels topping off their bright blue hair. At Hazel’s side, one bridesmaid sported a goth glam look while another wore a navy dress with body armor jewelry reminiscent of Danerys Targaryen’s Game of Thrones style. Everyone looked fucking magnificent. (While also completely eschewing that whole matchy-matchy wedding party thing. Drool.)
I’m gonna remember this one for a while, y’all – and so will you once you see the pictures and hear Hazel & Jeremy’s take on their Portland wedding.
How did the two of you meet? What was your engagement like? Who proposed and how?
We met at a metal show. Mastodon, Gojira and Kvelertak. We kept seeing each other and smiling in the pit. We’d catch each other singing along and smile some more. Jeremy barely worked up the courage to ask for Hazel’s number after the show was over. Hazel was so shaking so bad from nerves, they nearly dropped Jeremy’s phone and were terrified they hadn’t typed their own number correctly. We got along, traveled between Eugene and Portland to see each other until Jeremy moved his way up to the big city. He was only supposed to crash at Hazel’s place for “a week, maybe two TOPS,” and we haven’t really spent a day apart since.
Jeremy proposed to Hazel during the solar eclipse: August 21, 2017. Engaged life was different – a lot of old skeletons got brought to light that sucked to deal with, but neither of us could really imagine a future without the other, so we worked hard and fought to find happy middle grounds. Hazel arbitrarily liked the idea of waiting until 2020 to get married during the dreggy, crummy end of winter and we were lucky enough to snag February 29th – Leap Day – for an extra-fun, unconventional date. We were absolutely so lucky to have not planned for even a single week later what with COVID!
(Cindy’s note: SO LUCKY! We literally locked down four days after their wedding!!)
What was your favorite part of wedding planning?
(Y’all, do you want some really goddamn good pies for your wedding? You need to hit up The Pie Spot Portland. They were so tasty! I may have eaten more than one… I may also have taken some leftovers home for later…)
What was the hardest/most stressful part of wedding planning?
Dealing with the cookie-cutter wedding stereotypes and breaking free from the gross traditions that highlight gender inequality! Also having lived in several places and coming from a large family, we found it difficult to edit our guest list down.
What made you decide that you needed or wanted to hire a wedding planner? Why did you think Aisle Less Traveled was the right choice?
Feeling in over our heads. Knowing we needed to be doing things, but unsure of what those things were. Aisle Less Traveled was the perfect wedding planner to help us know when we needed to play by the rules (and what those rules were) and when it’s ok to break the rules.
How did you pick your wedding location and venue? What were you looking for when you started searching? Did you find it?
We knew about how many people we’d invite and wanted a place that could act as both the ceremony and reception space. With that in mind, we just got on Google and started poking around. Found a great place close to our house and that met most of our needs.
What were some of your favorite moments of your wedding day?
The whole day was something of a blur, making it hard to pick just one moment that stands out! Everything went great and everyone was happy.
What are some of your favorite wedding details?
Drink glitter, air plants that doubled as decoration/party favors, Instax (Polaroid) guest book, and disposable cameras were all huge hits! Using live plants was a guilt-free way to buy many more houseplants than we’d normally indulge in!
Tell us about the music you chose for the important moments of your day.
We curated a list of songs that were meaningful to the both of us, which ended up a mile long. So we stuck to the list for key moments, but a lot of them didn’t get played at the end of the night because we decided not to give people musical whiplash and let them just dance to fun ’80s hits instead. The vibe’s more important!
If you were planning your wedding and getting married all over again, is there anything you’d do differently?
Check to make sure the venue can handle sound, especially in high volumes with loads of people chatting. Maybe renting more soft furniture or wall hangings to dampen the echo.
What was the best or most valuable thing you spent money on for your wedding?
As a couple of thrifters it felt strange but we allowed ourselves to splurge on our wedding outfits and are really glad we did. It’s not every day you get to wear a crown!
Tell us about your wedding budget. How did you plan for and prioritize your spending?
We were completely shocked by every single price tag we came across; our original budget was a laughable pipe dream looking back but we managed to get everything we ever wanted for under $15k in the end.
Is there anything you’d skip or spend less on, knowing what you do now?
Edible glitter. You don’t need to spend over $100 on drink glitter, turns out.
What makes your wedding an Aisle Less Traveled wedding?
Non-conventional humans. Queer, non-binary bride. Feminist, offbeat groom.
All in all, it was a dramatic and emotional wedding that fully embodied who they are as a couple and within their community. And that last bit? That’s what makes a perfect wedding day.
Meet the Wedding Pros
Every great wedding is backed by a team of incredible wedding professionals. I can do my best work when I’m working with the best people. Here are the ones who helped me make this wedding happen:
Wedding Venue: Union/Pine Portland
Photography: Scott King
Plants: Jeremy & Hazel’s personal collection
Doilies: Handmade by Hazel’s great aunt and grandmother
Doors, Rugs, Furniture, and Additional Decor: Great Jones (formerly Classic Vintage Rentals)
Catering: Crave Catering Portland
Dessert: The Pie Spot
Wedding Management: Aisle Less Traveled, of course! (Learn how we can plan together here.)
Ceremony Dress: Teuta Matoshi
After Party Dress: Magpie Vintage
Crown: Anna Marguerite (Etsy)
Necklace & Earrings: Moon Serpent Jewelry (Etsy)
Hair: Cate Norman at The Fancy Salon
Nails: Yaaas Nailed
Hair & Beard: Drew the Barber
Tailoring: Portland Alterations