There are vintage inspired weddings and then there’s Emilia and Ryan’s vintage Victorian wedding. The couple took the vintage theme to heart, finding their dream venue in Marshall House, a Victorian mansion on the historic Fort Vancouver grounds, but it was Emilia who really took the theme to the next level, choosing to wear a custom Victorian reproduction wedding dress. Wanting to make sure that the dress was authentic, Emilia even donned a waist cinching corset, a petticoat and a bustle to achieve the look. Now, if that’s not commitment, we don’t know what is!

Special thanks to Kari Renee for sharing all the pretty photos with us!

intimate wedding at fort

Emilia, 32 & Ryan, 32

Vancouver, WA

Wedding Date: August 11, 2013

Number of Guests: 55

Wedding Cost: $8,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Marshall House, Fort Vancouver National Park

Wedding Reception Location: Marshall House, Fort Vancouver National Park

Marshall House wedding venue

purple engagement ring

pale wedding bouuet

bride in corset

bride in Victoria wedding dress

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

I have always been intrigued with the Victorian era and I really wanted to incorporate it into my wedding. We found the perfect venue, a beautiful Victorian mansion in a historic national park with a huge wrap around porch, and it could just fit 50 people inside and out perfectly.  We wanted the wedding to be part of the house, not just in it, so I had a reproduction dress made by a seamstress who specializes in Victorian clothing. The goal was for it to be authentic and natural, not ‘costumey’, so authenticity was the key and she did a wonderful job. I find the Victorian silhouette to be very beautiful, and that silhouette is completely lost in modern fashion, so bringing it back was a lot of fun. The dress required a corset, bustle and petticoat to correctly achieve that look.  Overall, I had a blast designing this wedding and if it wasn’t an intimate wedding I don’t think I could have accomplished the look and feel I was aiming for.

Victorian wedding shoes

wedding necklace

make-up brushes

bride getting hair done

bride with victorian hairstyle

groom tying bride's corset

bride in corset

bride in corset

bride getting dressed

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

We didn’t have any really. Choosing to have an intimate wedding really reduced any challenges I might of had and it was all fairly effortless.

bride at fort vancouver

victorian wedding dress

bride in field of flowers

victorian bride

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

We both have fairly small close-knit families, so having an intimate wedding fit perfectly for us. We invited everyone we wanted to be there, close friends and family, without leaving anyone out.

bride with her maids in pink

bridesmaids in pink dresses

bride with black victorian umbrella

groomsmen in field

bride and groom kissing in field of flowers

bridal party portrait

bridal party walking in Fort Vancouver

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

Luckily no.

Chalkboard wedding schedule

Marshall house wedding

Marshall House wedding ceremony

Unity candle ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

Signing the register

What were the highlights of the reception?

The highlight was having everyone eating outside on the porch and enjoying summer. We set up picnic blankets in the grass out front and lawn games to play and everyone was having a great time.

wedding picnic

wedding soda bottles

vintage escort card display

Marshall house wedding reception on porch

Marshall House wedding reception table

reception table on the porch

vintage table setting

pink flowers in blue glass vase


champagne glasses

wedding guests at reception

jam wedding favors

wedding canapes

wedding cinnamon buns

black cat cake toppers

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Having the freedom to do what I really wanted to do and it being manageable. Having an intimate wedding meant I could focus on the little details that were important to us and not have to worry so much about costs and scale. It made it a more personalized experience.

wedding reception on porch

champagne toast

wedding toast

wedding reception

bride and groom speech

bride tossing the bouquet

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

Do it. You can have so much more control over your event and it makes DIY, managing the budget, and reducing stress much easier.

Historic Marshall house wedidng


Venue: The Marshall House – Fort Vancouver

Dress: Christine Hall Designs

Caterer: My Friends & I Catering

Photographer: Kari Renee Photography

Makeup Hair: Portland Hair and Make-up

Cake: Le Cookie Monkey

Cupcakes: Cupcake Jones

Music: John Wayland Harr

Necklace: Rain on the Wind

Engagement Ring: Mag Wildwood’s Closet

Wedding Ring: Bijoux Bela