Zoe & Matt

Oct. 15, 2011 with a ceremony at Laurelhurst Park and reception at Bossanova Ballroom in Portland

As the author of Please Don’t Kill the Freshman, a well-reviewed memoir about her high school years in Portland, Zoe Fisher was used to having fans of her writing—but only one fan was destined to be her future husband. Minnesota native and Portland transplant, Matt Johnson, 31, contacted Zoe, 25, through e-mail in 2003 after reading her book and soon an exchange of e-mails between the two turned into a coffee date. Matt knew he’d like Zoe based on what she’d written about herself in her book but upon meeting her in person, he was positively smitten.
Fast-forward to October, 2010, when Zoe came across a stunning gold necklace charmed with a citrine stone that she quickly fell in love with. Unbeknownst to her, Matt purchased the coveted necklace and presented it, along with a marriage proposal, a month later in their Portland home.

A year later, on a clear Saturday afternoon in October, the couple wed at the base of one of Laurelhurst Park’s beloved towering pines in Southeast Portland. Zoe’s former high school English teacher, Tom Bremer, performed a ceremony written by the bride. As Zoe walked down the aisle, two friends sang “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow,” from the film A Mighty Wind, a song the bride and groom say they love for its romantic cheesiness.

Blending retro with contemporary styles, the couple chose elements that meshed both styles together beautifully, starting with the bride’s attire. Zoe wore a shimmery wine-colored taffeta dress custom-made by Portland’s Skye Blue Can Sew using a 1950s dress pattern Zoe purchased on eBay. With its vintage details—including a full skirt, fitted bodice and ornate metal belt buckle—the dress fulfilled Zoe’s dream of getting married wearing red. Balancing the retro with the now, the bride’s “something blue” was Nouvelle Vague, a groovy, robin’s egg nail polish by Chanel.

The couple also incorporated their favorite movie, 1998’s cult classic, The Big Lebowski, into their wedding. “Matt and I quote the movie on a daily basis,” says Zoe, who discovered that Pendleton Woolen Mills retailed their interpretation of the camel “Dude” cardigans named after Jeff Bridge’s character in Lebowski. “We knew we had to have the sweaters in our wedding,” says Zoe of the four groomsmen’s wedding apparel. 

Moving from Laurelhurst Park to the Bossanova Ballroom in the so-called LoBu section of East Burnside, guests enjoyed locally grown appetizers and dinner prepared by Courtney Sproule of din din Supper Club. As the evening picked up steam, the groom picked up a bass to play a few solo songs before being joined by musician friends to play a set of cover songs.

For their honeymoon, the newlyweds spent two days at Little Creek Cove near Newport before heading back to their home in Northeast Portland. Matt is a senior compensation analyst for Con-way; Zoe is a reference librarian for Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington, as well as a project coordinator for Knowledge Universe, a global education company. Plans to travel to Europe are in the works.

Bride’s ceremony dress: Custom-made by Skye Blue Can Sew | Bride’s reception dress: Cold Shoulder by Aidan Mattox from Nordstrom | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Lauren by Ralph Lauren from Macy’s | Cake: Saint Cupcake | Catering: Courtney Sproule of din din Supper Club | DJ: Kate Blackmore | Favors: Alma Chocolate | Florist: Quince Flowers & Events | Formalwear: Pendleton Woolen Mills, Nordstrom | Hair: Kristi Bullock of Akemi Salon | Makeup: Katy Oberg of Spa Willamina | Photography: Heather Bayles | Rentals: The Party Place | Rings: Jerry Spaulding from the Real Mother Goose (his), Antoinette Antique and Estate Jewelry (hers)

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