Kamla & Mark

Oct. 13., 2007 at The Cleaners at Ace Hotel

When Kamla and Mark got together, sparks flew. Literally. After hitting it off while out for drinks with mutual friends in Seattle, the two kept making plans together—without admitting there was romance involved. On one “fake date,” Kamla’s hair caught fire, and quick-thinking Mark put it out with his hands. After about a month, the couple finally confessed that there were figurative sparks flying as well.

Mark proposed during a visit back to Seattle. He took Kamla to an exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery, the scene of their first faux date. They eventually ended up in the James Turrell Skyspace, a tranquil oval-shaped room with an overhead opening where the sky merges with the ceiling. Finding they had the place to themselves, Mark got down on one knee and proposed—with a wedding band. His parents hand-delivered an heirloom engagement ring soon after.

No longer content to take things slow, Kamla and Mark decided on a fall wedding just four months down the road. The plan? Keep things simple and homegrown by selecting as many local, independent vendors as possible. The couple exchanged vows in North Portland’s Cathedral Park, a lush green space with dramatic views of the gothic St. John’s Bridge overhead—and enjoyed teasing out-of-town guests that they were flying all the way to Portland to see them get married under a bridge.

A school bus provided quirky-yet-practical transportation to the ceremony site and then back downtown for an intimate reception at the Cleaners, an event space inside the vintage-mod Ace Hotel. Kamla and Mark draped the room with a canopy of origami cranes folded by family and friends, and served up a family-style dinner by Simpatica that gave guests a real taste of Portland. “One of the coolest scenes was the chefs cooking on their grill they had set up on the sidewalk outside the Ace,” says Mark. “Right there in downtown, as our guests were boarding the school bus for Cathedral Park, they caught a glimpse of that evening’s cedar-planked salmon grilling on an open flame.” When the party finally died down, Kamla and Mark headed upstairs to an “awesome” suite at the Ace (A.K.A. the “superior deluxe corner” suite). Two days later they were honeymooning in Paris.

Today the pair keep up the breakneck pace in their newly purchased home in North Portland. They are currently training to run the Portland marathon; just three days after that huge feat, they’ll fly to Japan to celebrate their first anniversary.

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