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Wistful, Woodsy Romance

Lauren Mang

(Above) Rentals from Something Borrowed and The Real Creative.

Inside the lush, leafy walls of Portland’s Leach Botanical Garden, stylists Jena Ralls and Alex Sand, co-owners of the recently launched Portland wedding styling and planning company The Real Creative, set a scene with the modern bohemian bride in mind. “We both grew up in the Pacific Northwest so it’s very much a nod to the PNW bride who isn’t the most traditional, appreciates the outdoors and is inspired by the casual culture here,” Ralls says. “She’s someone who wants an intimate affair that’s specific to her.”


Invitations from The Real Creative. Florals from Swoon Floral Design.

The unexpected color palette of burnt orange, emerald, black and pink takes inspiration from the venue—the table runner was dyed to play off all the greenery—and comes to life via blood oranges and blackberries artfully strewn throughout; a vintage tufted velvet settee from Something Borrowed in Portland; and bold, unstructured blooms (including mums, chocolate cosmos, cymbidium orchids and privet berry) from Swoon Floral Design. Stone elements such as shaved brick place cards hand-lettered in gold-hued paint (its wild script embodies the wild gardens) and a slate tile sign hand-lettered with the phrase “good vibes only” add more natural touches, while a swath of sheepskin on the cake table and wispy feathers perched on escort cards lend a soft, romantic feel. To introduce a modern, almost gothic flair, the duo opted for matte black drip candles and matte black plates, paired with brushed gold flatware and delicate gold-striped tumblers. “It’s all a strange juxtaposition of nature and stylish modern,” Ralls says.


Hair and makeup by Cassandra Kennedy Beauty. Gown and accessories from Elizabeth Dye.


Place setting with rentals from Something Borrowed.


Desserts from Rosycakes. Signage and decor from The Real Creative.

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