Oregon Coast Wedding at McMenamins
This was my first Oregon Coast wedding and I hope I’m able to do many more. The atmosphere is provided in just the landscape so having a wedding here is an added bonus. The seagrass, soft sand, and funky greenery had me so inspired. Maybe it’s because I didn’t spend much time at the ocean as a kid but I will forever be enamored by this place.
Andy & Ellie planned their intimate ceremony at a private residence on the beach in Gearhart, Oregon and then moved to McMenamins for a lively reception. They put so much thought into the vibe of their day and I’m so grateful to have been invited to photograph.
McMenamins was a wonderful spot with craft beer, mountain views, and a boutique hotel for guests. I’ve always loved staying at McMenamins properties for their creative style. Every room and hallway is different like from another time. If you’re wanting to add a bit of history to your PNW wedding I highly recommend.
Here’s some words from the couple…
Why did you choose the venue?
The Oregon coast is a special place for both of us. Ellie’s family has been spending summers in Gearhart for fifty years and counting, and some of Andy’s earliest memories are of digging in the sand at Cannon Beach. We love taking weekend getaways down to Ellie’s family’s vacation home, and wanted to share that experience with all our family and friends on our big day. Now every time we go back, there’ll be another special memory tied to an already magical place.
What aesthetic were you going for with the design? Any elements that you were particularly happy with?
We wanted everything to feel natural, fun and comfortable—high quality without being too formal. We were selective about taking on DIY projects, and were really happy with the ones we focused on. For the table numbers, Ellie pressed flowers from our back yard and our parent’s, put them in picture frames, and our good friend Tessa (@pinelettering) wrote the table numbers on the glass. We ordered custom coasters, which Andy stamped guest names and table numbers on the backs of to use as escort cards—he built two library card style boxes to hold them at the reception. For the ceremony arbor, we gathered drift wood which Andy and his dad Greg assembled together and our florist Josef (@botanicafloraldesigh) decorated with greenery—it was a perfect backdrop our the ceremony. Perhaps not everyone noticed all the little details, but we enjoyed working on them together and we were happy to see them come together on the big day.
What was your favorite memory of the day?
It’s impossible to pick just one, it was so incredible to bring so many of our favorite people together, share the day with them, and wind up married at the end! The most talked about moment is certainly our flower boy’s performance coming down the aisle. He did well at first, tossing flower petals on his way down the aisle until he got to the front. Then he got very excited when people clapped for him, spiked the basket on the ground, and started running victory laps around the attendees until his parents managed to coral him. Couldn’t have planned a cuter moment… you just never know what a three year old will do next, and we’re thrilled Lynnsey captured the memory so perfectly.
Any advice for future couples?
Do what makes you happy, even if that means bucking tradition (it’s your day!). You don’t have to follow the wedding planning playbook to a T. Serve ice cream for dessert if you don’t like cake that much. Switch up the typical order of events so you can spend more time enjoying whatever you’re most excited for.