Category Archives: Oregon

Sponsored Post: Sweet Delilah Farm

As spring arrives for those us here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re thinking about flowers—and so, we’re thrilled to feature Sweet Delilah Farm, an amazing queer-woman-owned business in Portland, Oregon. Chelsea Willis, the owner/farmer offers flowers and floral design for weddings, events, and area businesses, as well teaching classes and running a CSA-style flower subscription. She’s passionate about gorgeous flowers and lovely weddings as well as LGBTQ couples, sustainability, and social service—and we’re excited to share her story with all of you today!

If you live in Portland, contact Chelsea for all your flower-related needs, and let her know you found her through A Bicycle Built for Two—we’re so grateful for her support of our community.

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Tell us your story! How did Sweet Delilah get started?

Sweet Delilah Farm was a dream I didn’t entirely realize I had. Growing up, I always knew I wanted land, but I didn’t ever foresee how it would manifest itself. After I met my wife and began spending more time on her farm, I realized that working on the land feeds me, and as luck would have it, a piece of property in the same neighborhood came available. I didn’t even think twice—I signed a lease and began the trial-by-error process of learning how to farm. I love what I do and I love finding ways to give back to the community. The flower design came as a natural partnership. My favorite thing to do is have couples come out to the farm a few weeks before their wedding so they can see what’s growing. They get to see the plants that their flowers will be cut from. It’s a true farm-to-bouquet experience.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Such a hard question! I have so many. Right now my favorite part is watching all the seeds I’ve spent hours and hours planting begin to grow. It’s such a cool experience and some much needed color after the intense winter we’ve had here in Portland. I also absolutely love teaching classes and watching people get excited about getting dirty, playing with the flowers, and creating something they didn’t know they could.

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Tell us about the classes you teach!

I love making learning accessible to everyone. I do everything from floral crowns and Ikebana [the Japanese art of flower arrangement] to flower essence and herbalism classes. One of my favorite recent projects was an Ikebana arrangement for a luncheon for some Japanese tourists. I took Ikebana courses while I was in school and fell in love with the form.

My all-time favorite kind of event is probably our bridal luncheons. We invite the bridal party out to learn how to make whatever kind of flower arrangements they want, and then they get to experience a farm-to-table lunch right there at the farm.

What is your favorite flower for a bridal bouquet?

My favorite flower right now is either ranunculus or sweet peas. They both bring very different shapes into a bouquet. Ranunculus are round, but they come in the most amazing colors and textures, and the sweet peas are long and tall and airy. They can bring a dynamic to a bouquet that no other flower can achieve—plus, they smell outrageously good!

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What are three questions couples should ask about flowers? What’s something you wish more people knew about flowers or floral design?

  • Ask where your flowers are sourced from, I don’t think a lot of people realize that most of the flowers their choosing are not in season and are flown in from other countries. Sourcing locally, while it can be a bit pricier, uses less resources. And there is something really beautiful about the authenticity of honoring the climate you’re getting married in.
  • Ask your florist to do a site walk-through with you. Most florists will do this—and it is really important to get in the space together.
  • Ask your florist what’s in season. There could be things growing in your backyard that could be exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box.

Sweet Delilah provides flowers for couples wanting to take the DIY approach—what advice would you give to couples who want to do their own flowers?

First, I would ask them if they are really sure. I love the DIY idea, and my mom and close friend did the flowers for my wedding; however, it’s A LOT of work. Flowers can be finicky and have lots of different needs. If you decide you do want to go the DIY route, my best advice would be to take a couple floral design classes (a great idea for a date night!) beforehand to get an idea of just how much work it will be. Another option is to do some DIY and get some things from a florist, i.e. have your bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres, and big pieces done by a florist, but make your small centerpieces. It’s important to have time to relax and connect with your friends, family, and partner before the big day, and doing any big DIY projects can interfere with your downtime before the wedding.

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Tell us about your proposal/partner/wedding day! What were your favorite moments?

My now-wife and I met just about a year ago, when I walked up the driveway to her farm to volunteer. It was love a love-at-first-sight situation. She followed me around asking questions while I weeded and 6 months later we got on a plane to Denver (where I’m from) and got married with 10 of our closest friends and family.

My favorite moment of my wedding day was the moment I got all the way down the aisle and we grabbed each other’s hands. It was such a surreal moment filled with emotion. I’ll never forget it. I didn’t think about it then but I guess you could say we eloped. This year on the same the date we’re having the big wedding in Portland for all our friends and family. It’s been a wild year but also a magical one.

Since you’re in the midst of wedding planning yourself… what are your tips?

Take moments away from wedding planning to breathe and reconnect with your partner. It can be a lot of work, and it can get overwhelming. Find the humor in all of it and keep laughing with each other.

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What’s your favorite song to dance to at a wedding?

“At Last” by Etta James. I’m a sucker for a good slow dance.

Why do you love working with LBTQ couples?

The obvious answer would be because I’m queer, and the truth is that I think it’s important to feel like you can connect with your vendors. A wedding is an intimate experience whether it’s big or small. It’s a huge life experience and you want to feel completely comfortable with the people who are making your big day happen. I want my couples to feel like I really “get it.” LGBTQ couples have had to fight harder for the right to have their marriages legally recognized, and that’s a fight you can only understand if you’ve gone through it yourself. It makes something about getting married even more special.

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What else would you like readers to know about you?

The flower farm is just the beginning of my dream. My ultimate goal is to have a bigger piece of land where I can facilitate retreats and have programs for youth who have aged out of the system but have nowhere to go. My background is in psychology and social services, specifically with youth, and my life’s work won’t feel complete until I am serving that demographic.

Besides working on the farm, how do you like to spend your time?

I teach yoga, hang out with my 2 mini dachshunds and drink tea. Lots of tea.

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We’d like to thank Chelsea of Sweet Delilah Farm for sharing her story and her images—and for her sponsorship of A Bicycle Built for Two. We love her, and we know you will too!

If you’re a photographer, planner, or other wedding vendor interested in being featured in a sponsored post, drop us a line! We’d love to talk to you.

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Wedding: Kaysey & Jacque

From Kaysey: Jacque and I married on a beautiful autumn day in Portland at Holocene, a local club/venue that hosts many queer dance parties that we have enjoyed over the years. Out friends and family did a brilliant job decorating and bringing the warm colors of autumn into the room. My little brother sang an original song as we walked down the aisle. Our best friend Mark married us, and we all nervously giggled together. We served tacos and cupcakes and spent the night dancing to our favorite songs. It was the most joyful room I have ever been in. My advice: make the ceremony your own. If you want to be political, poetic, spiritual, religious, traditional, radical—do it! We chose an excerpt from the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision during our ceremony, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. I’m so grateful to be married to this strong, sensitive, beautiful best friend of mine!

Photos courtesy of Shaylee King Photography.

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Event Credits

Cakes and Dessert: Saint Cupcake - http://www.saintcupcake.comCatering: Taco Pedaler http://tacopedalerpdx.comLocation: Holocene—Portland, ORMusic: The PDX DJs http://thepdxdjs.comOfficiant: Mark MartinezPhotography: Shaylee King http://www.kshayleephotos.comStationery: Melinda Haines// Make-Up and Hair: Gina Campbell http://www.ginacampbellbeauty.comVenue: Holocene Portland http://www.holocene.org
Also posted in Attire, Cakes and Dessert, Caterer, Credits, DIY, Dress + Dress, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Officiant, Other, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, Two Dress Wedding, United States, Venue | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Engagement: Kaysey & Jacque

From Kaysey: Jacque and I met and fell in love in graduate school in the fall of 2013. Almost three years, one dog, one cat, and three apartments later we are getting married on October 1st (stay tuned for wedding pictures)! We had our engagement photos taken at a popular picnic/sunset gazing spot called the Skidmore Bluffs in Portland, OR, where Jacque proposed to me last summer. We wanted to capture a unique and meaningful part of this beautiful city where we met and fell madly, wildy in love.

Photos courtesy of Shaylee King

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Event Credits

Location: Portland, ORPhotography: Shaylee King (http://www.kshayleephotos.com)
Also posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Elopement: Tiffany & Stephanie

From Kim, Tiffany and Stephanie’s photographer: Tiffany and Stephanie recently moved to the Pacific Northwest and love spending time outdoors, so naturally when planning their elopement they chose the Columbia Gorge as their venue. Keeping it short and sweet for fear of “ugly crying,” we met up at a trailhead and enjoyed a sun-soaked, heartfelt ceremony at the base of Wahclella Falls.

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Event Credits

Location: Wahclella Falls, ORPhotography: Kim Smith-Miller Photography
Also posted in Attire, Credits, Lesbian Elopement, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Minimalist, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, suit, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Anniversary: Joni & Jennelle

From Joni: It’s been five years since the chilly night when Jennelle left a bouquet of milky white flowers on my doorstep. Getting to know her was like seeing an old friend after decades apart. We used to go down to the beach and eat paletas and watch the waves roll in, and just talk and talk all day and long into the night. She would come over after I got home late from work and make me tacos and make me laugh…and this girl is so open-hearted. She helps friends when they are in need, honors her family, gets the tangles out of my curls, pulls over to help people on the side of the road, opens doors for everyone, donates to causes she believes in, looks super sexy in hats, and makes life 100 times more fun. Jennelle knows the words to all my songs and I am lucky to get to spend my days with someone so joyful, competent, and loving.

Maintaining a healthy relationship takes diligence and accountability. I figured five years was worth celebrating, so I coordinated with ANIKO Productions for a surprise photoshoot! Jennelle and I run a small business together, and I let her know that we would be having an afternoon photoshoot “so we could have some good photos for our website.” Secretly, the shoot had nothing to do with our business and everything to do with celebrating our five-year anniversary!

We headed out to one of our favorite places here in my hometown of Portland, Oregon: the Sauvie Island U-Pick Lavender Farm. We’ve spent many afternoons at the farm harvesting strains of lavender for satchels, bath potions, and special cocktail syrups. It’s a very serene environment.

From the photographersWe first met Joni and Jennelle because of their involvement in the Portland wedding industry. And right away we just adored them. They always have smiles on their faces and welcome you with a hug. Their bartending business, Mint and Mirth, has become so popular in this area not only because of their professionalism, but because of their creativity and fun energy. We were thrilled to be involved in Joni’s surprise for Jennelle.

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Event Credits

Location: Portland, OregonPhotography: ANIKO Productions
Also posted in Credits, Lesbian Love Shoot, Love Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Tagged , | Comments closed

Wedding: Amy & Crystal

From Amy: My partner and I tied the knot on August 13th. We had the wedding of our dreams – it was beautiful. So many people said it was the only wedding they went to where they could feel the love. I will admit they were all right. So excited to have this woman as my partner for life!

Photos courtesy of Juliet Ashley Photography.

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Event Credits

Attire: Dhgate.comFlorist: May flowers Portland OregonLocation: Troutdale, OregonMusic: Mobile music Brian SmithPhotography: Juilet Ashley photographyVenue: McMenamins Edgefeild
Also posted in Attire, Attire, Classic, Credits, Dress + Dress, Florist, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, Two Dress Wedding, United States, Venue | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Wedding: Nancy & Wendell

From Carolina, Nancy and Wendell’s photographer: I don’t typically shoot weddings – but when a special story comes along, sometimes you just can’t resist. I know Nancy and Wendell from my Crossfit gym and throughout the last couple of years I’ve seen their relationship model what love is for the rest of us. They’re strong, compassionate, loving and dedicated to each other. After 20 years together, I was honored to be asked to capture Nancy’s proposal, and even happier when they asked me to photograph their wedding.

Nancy and Wendell wanted to make sure the wedding was special and that guests had a great time. So, when the first venue fell through because it would make having an epic party difficult, it seemed only fitting that their dear friends offer to hold the wedding on their beautiful property in the southern hills of Eugene, Oregon.

Now, this is Oregon… so, rain is a possibility, especially in early June. But Mother Nature was simply smiling on them and the weather was absolutely gorgeous! And rightfully so. Unsure about the future of same-sex marriages in Oregon, they originally had their legal ceremony in Washington. But just weeks before this day, Oregon overturned their ban, making this celebration so much sweeter. As Nancy made her way down the aisle, after waiting so many years, there was so much love among everyone there, not a dry eye in the house. Even mine… and that’s difficult when you’re also shooting.

And so we all gathered, nestled in the woods, under a canopy of green, with lights, music, delicious champagne, and partied until late into the night.

I wish Nancy and Wendell a lifetime of love and happiness. I thank them again for entrusting me with documenting one of the most special days in a couple’s life.

Event Credits

Attire: Mr. Formal & David's BridalCakes and Dessert: Haute CakesCatering: Carte Blanche CaterersFlorist: Camillia FlowersLocation: Eugene, ORPhotography: Carolina Reese PhotographyPlanner or Event Designer: Green-Eyed Girl ProductionsVenue: Private Residence
Also posted in Attire, Backyard, Cakes and Dessert, Caterer, Classic, Credits, Florist, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Pants + Dress, Photography, Planner and Event Design, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, suit, United States, Venue, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed
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