Living continents apart – the bride in England and the groom in the United States – Eleanor and Max reunited in Portland for a foggy wedding ceremony under the St. John’s bride in the stunningly beautiful Cathedral Park. Surrounded by their immediate family members and their photographer Kim Smith-Miller, the couple radiated pure joy as they exchanged their vows and spent their fist afternoon as husband and wife wandering through the park and the streets of Portland. These two and their beaming smiles will seriously warm your heart!

Oregon elopement

Eleanor, 28 & Max, 42

Portland, OR

Wedding Date: October 19, 2013

Number of Guests: 4 (Max’s Dad was unable to attend the ceremony due to health problems but we were able to spend time with him after the ceremony)

Wedding Ceremony Location: Cathedral Park, Portland

Wedding Reception Location: We didn’t have a conventional reception but we went for brunch at a really nice place called Accanto after our morning ceremony. We kept the afternoon free for a bit of wandering and a celebratory slice of pie before an evening meal at Laurelhurst Market Restaurant.

garden rose wedding bouquet

laughing bride

bride and groom on park bench

bride and groom walking down the pier

bride and groom under bridge

cute bride in vintage dress

bride and groom looking up at bridge

Why did you have an intimate wedding?  

We’re both quite private and it just felt right to have a small ceremony with immediate family.

Cathedral Park elopement

groom coming to meet his bride

bride in Catedral park

bride waiting for groom in Cathedral park

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

I don’t think we came up against any major challenges! We felt very similarly about how we wanted our wedding to be so making decisions about the ceremony and how we would spend our day felt very easy. As Max and I are currently in separate countries (he’s in America and I’m in England), I got a little anxious about organizing the trip over to America for myself and my family. Silly as it sounds, I think I was at my most stressed-out when packing my suitcase!

groom with rose boutonniere

bride in vintage dress

bride and groom portrait

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No – we had decided that we would only have immediate family at our wedding day.

bride with mother and sister

groom and mother portrait

family wedding portraits in the park

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

No, we did not encounter any issues, but I think having such lovely photographs of the day has helped – it means that we have been able to share memories of the day with other people who are important to us, like family members in England.

groom waiting for his bride

bride walking to ceremony in Cathedral park

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The whole ceremony felt special. The weather created a very distinct and memorable atmosphere. The St. John’s Bridge was shrouded in fog as we made our vows (interrupted by the odd foghorn from the river) and then the sun burst through as we walked around the park down to the water.

wedding ceremony in cathedral park

wedding ceremony in cathedral park

officiant giving groom rings

park wedding ceremony

bride and groom holding hands at ceremony

bride and groom exchanging rings

bride and groom first kiss

bride and groom in the park

bride and groom holding up marriage certificate

What were the highlights of the reception?

I really enjoyed the spontaneity of not having a conventional reception. At the time, I was worried that we didn’t have a particular plan for the afternoon (aside from brunch and an evening meal) but meandering through the Portland streets was a lovely way to spend the day.

bride and groom walking in cathedral park

bride and groom under weeping willow

bride with rose wedding bouquet

bride and groom laughing

wedding portrait in cathedral park

bride and groom in cathedral park

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The best thing was not having to worry too much about coordinating and organizing so we could enjoy the day and focus on what was important to us.

bride and groom walking down pier

bride and groom on dock

foggy portland wedding day

bride and groom looking up at bridge

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Go for it!

bride and groom underneath bridge


Photography: Kim Smith-Miller

Flowers: Botanica

Hair: Bliss Spa and Salon

Officiant: Reverend Maureen Haley

Dress: Vacation Vintage on Etsy