At a microwedding, every detail is unique, everyone is a guest of honor, and the focus of the main event is on each other.
Grace & Paul
Sometimes a person’s name fits her perfectly. As for the poised and elegant Oregon Ballet Theatre dancer, Grace Shibley, 24, her grace was what captured Paul Andrew’s heart on a double date two years ago. As the two sipped champagne at the Driftwood Room, Paul, 27, was undeniably smitten.
From then on, their relationship took on the characteristics of an old-fashioned romance that included flowers delivered at the beginning of each month and time spent with each other’s parents, siblings and extended family. Two years after their first date, Paul asked Grace to dinner at Sellwood’s a Cena, a romantic Italian restaurant that was also the location of their first date. Again, champagne was poured and Paul asked for Grace’s hand in marriage with a vintage diamond ring.
A traditional yearlong engagement was thrown out the window after the couple learned Grace had been asked to dance for San Francisco Ballet. With only six weeks to plan a wedding, the help provided by the couple’s devoted families was the biggest gift of all. “We could not have done it without our friends who feel like family, and our family who feel like friends,” says Grace.
As for the wedding vibe, “We aimed for simple and straightforward,” says Paul. Of course, when your family is one of the most prolific philanthropic families in Oregon, nothing is simple. Paul arranged a private tour of the Portland Art Museum’s Mark Building (so named for his grandparents, Pete and Mary Mark) for the couple’s first look photos. Clad in a custom beaded dusty gray gown by Portland designer Adam Arnold, Grace and her tuxedoed groom kissed in front of one of the many artworks donated to the museum by his grandparents.
When the time came for their ceremony, Grace walked down the aisle of Northwest Portland’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral with her father to the sounds of “Spring” by Antonio Vivaldi. The wedding was officiated at Trinity Cathedral by three significant priests. One from Grace’s childhood, another from Paul’s, as well as Trinity Cathedral’s priest. Preferring not to be the focus of attention, Grace and Paul sat with their guests in the pews during the marriage ceremony. After officially being named husband and wife, the guests and wedding party joined in Trinity’s reception hall for an evening of small bites and champagne from Zupan’s. “Neither of us could imagine seating 250 people to dinner so we decided on a few hours of toasts, champagne, and getting to see those who came,” said Grace. A good friend, and pianist, emceed the reception and played piano in between toasts.
Leaving the reception in a 1940s Rolls Royce, the bride and groom met at Cellar Z at Zupan’s Market in Southwest Portland with their bridal party for an intimate dinner.
Currently Paul and Grace live in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco where Grace is in the corps de ballet at San Francisco Ballet.