August 6, 2021
In this day and age, you’ve likely heard of the concept of manifestation or the law of attraction. The idea of putting a certain energy out into the world and having it return with what you seek. While there is more to it than simply thinking something once and having it come to fruition, sometimes the universe does deliver moments of wonder like that. That was the case with Amanda and Meghan’s love story and enchanted Oregon forest elopement.
In their words during their elopement planning, “our ultimate dream would be a [location with a] waterfall and a bridge, surrounded by greenery.” With a little help from yours truly, that’s exactly what came to be at their Oregon forest elopement. Sometimes, things are just meant to be. That is one of the magical qualities about Oregon (and why I love being an Oregon Elopement Photographer) — whether you’re seeking a mossy woodland wonderland, a majestic waterfall backdrop, or following the call of the mountains — the nature opportunities are endless and nothing short of extraordinary. If you’re needing some help planning your own Oregon elopement, head over to my one-stop-shop of a guide here with every piece of information you could need!
“I knew I loved her almost immediately. There were a lot of little things right off the bat that made me think ‘Wow, wait, do I love her already?!’ and it sounds so cheesy to say it was love at first sight but I really think it was. The second time we hung out, I went to watch her play kickball and I just knew: I needed to be her girl and we were going to fall madly in love and that would be it.” — Amanda
“I feel as though I loved her from the moment we came together. My whole life I felt as though I was searching for something. Searching for something I couldn’t see or touch but something I knew was missing. From the moment we came together, I knew that something was Amanda. From the moment we came together, I was home.” — Meghan
“This is both our second marriage and we both had large weddings. We both wanted this day to be about us, our love and our commitment to one another. We wanted to be surrounded by the beauty of nature because it makes us happy and feel extremely grounded. We wanted the intimacy that an elopement offers.”
Opting into flower crowns are a gorgeous way to add just a little bit of extra sparkle and pizzazz to your wedding outfit, often for a very inexpensive price. They also aren’t new and trendy by any means: flower crowns have been around for centuries! Early notable uses included the Ancient Greeks wearing them to honor their gods. (check out this page for some more cool history on flower crowns!) Need some excuses to rock your own flower crown on your wedding? Here are some awesome benefits:
“Meg told me one night, months before my proposal, as we took a minute to look at the night sky before going inside, that if I ever asked her to marry me, she’d like it to be under the stars. For my proposal, I rented out our town’s planetarium for just the two of us and took an unsuspecting Meghan to star gaze. About halfway through the planetarium show, the sky changed to reflect the night sky of the night we met, and one of our songs started to play and I got down on one knee. After she said yes, we watched the stars change to morning sky and danced to a few more songs before meeting up with some friends for a surprise celebratory dinner.”
“I wanted to ensure my proposal to Amanda was just as magical and special. I wanted to incorporate as many special moments throughout the proposal day as I could, so I sprinkled little hints here and there based on things that were meaningful to us. As we met at the gym, we started the day off by attending our Saturday Crossfit Class where we went through a workout that was specifically created with our anniversary date in mind. Our anniversary is June 5, 2019 so our workout was 6 Power Cleans (June), 5 Push Jerks (5th) and 19 Ab Mat Sit-Ups (2019) for an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) in 20 minutes (2019). Amanda did not catch on. 😉 Then we went to lunch at the restaurant we first visited together, followed by taking the dogs on a walk at Dorris Ranch — which was also the first place we went together with our pups.
As for the proposal, Amanda and I both really love The Office. So I secretly put together a video for Amanda like Jim did for Pam at the end of the series. I decorated the gym (where we met) in white lights, beautiful balloons with warm white lights, candles, and had the video at the end of the “aisle.” I played Amanda the video and when it was over, I had her open a gift that contained the tea pot that Jim gifted Pam in a Christmas episode. Inside the teapot was a heart shaped box containing her engagement ring. I got down on my knee, told Amanda she was everything and asked her to marry me. It was absolutely magical and I am so grateful I was able to give her the proposal she deserved.”
“The number one piece of advice that I can give any couple is to make your day about each other and no one else. The best gift you can give yourselves is to be with each other and for each other every moment of your day. Oftentimes folks get caught up in trying to please others that they forget what is most important during their special day… each other. Take the time to take care of each other, set boundaries, stick to them and remember that the only people that need to be happy with your special day are the both of you.”
To hear more from Amanda and Meghan about their Oregon Forest Elopement, head over to their blog feature on Dancing With Her!
Elopement Tip: When thinking about your elopement experience, if “peaceful” and “secluded” are in your dream day experience (like they were for A and M!) and you’re looking at eloping in a popular place, I highly recommend utilizing an early weekday morning for your adventure. There’s nothing like the feeling of walking through the forest and being the only ones there besides the birds chirping and singing in the forest canopy above. On Amanda and Meghan’s elopement day, we were able to experience the increasing roar of the waterfall as we got closer to the suspension bridge, with the entire area to ourselves. Pure magic!
The other perk about weekday mornings is an empty parking lot. On this day, we arrived at the trailhead around 7:30 am and were the only cars in the lot! When we returned to the parking lot several hours later though, we saw the exact opposite: the lot was completely full, and cars were lining up on the shoulder of the road as far as we could see. Not quite the vibe these two wanted, if we had started later in the day!
Photographer – Marissa Solini Photography
Florist – Small Yard Flowers
Ceremony Location – Drift Creek Falls
Hair & Make-up – DIY
Officiant – Jeff Earnest (Friend)
Amanda Wedding Attire – ASOS (link to item)
Amanda & Meghan’s Shoes – NoBull (link to item)
Meghan Wedding Attire – Lulus (link to item)
Alterations – Natalia’s Alterations
Vow Books – Target (link to item)
“We cannot say enough good things about Marissa. Honestly, we could write pages and pages for a review. When my wife and I started looking for vendors for our elopement, we knew it was not only important, but necessary, for us to find folks who are inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community. Obviously, as a queer couple, we needed to feel comfortable when it came to who we had working with us. When we turned to Instagram for photographer suggestions, Marissa was recommended. I posted screenshots of several photographers to my Instagram story and Marissa actually reached out to US first! It was a small gesture that made her really stand out. We instantly clicked and could tell that she was not only inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community, but a clear activist for many marginalized communities. After talking with her for a while, looking over her gorgeous portfolio, and seeing that she donates part of her proceeds to non-profits, our decision to book with her was an easy one.
Once we booked with her, it was clear Marissa was going to be so much more than a photographer. Marissa got to work right away figuring out our needs and suggesting local, inclusive vendors. She put together location lists and Airbnb suggestions. She answered countless questions. She scheduled hour long FaceTime conversations. Her help in our planning was immeasurable. Planning even a very small, outdoor elopement proved difficult through the pandemic, but Marissa was with us every step of the way. Two date changes, location closures, in-person meetings cancelled, so much anxiety, last minute decisions, etc. etc.; Marissa never even flinched. She was so easy going and helpful. Not to mention, she’s also FUN. My wife and I both consider ourselves camera shy, but Marissa made the process easy. Our photos turned out so beautifully. She truly captured the day as it was. Looking through them feels like reliving the day and we’re filled with love all over again.” – Amanda & Meghan