Melissa & Morgan
This engagement story that resulted in a Gorge wedding is good enough to eat…
“Morgan had plans (and I kinda knew it) to propose on top of Half Dome at the end of our backpacking trip in Yosemite during our 7 month cross country road trip. Unfortunately, there was more snow than expected so they canceled our backcountry permits. On top of that, our truck broke down. So we were stuck, parked in front of my aunt’s house in California while we tried to fix things. We ended up driving north to Napa for the weekend and he proposed there, in a beautiful vineyard at sunset. He was so nervous that he forgot to put the ring on my finger after I said yes!
There’s a funny thing about our engagement story, and that’s the reason I wear a gold band – instead of a diamond. I love good food. I mean LOVE. I was getting frustrated on the road trip because I wanted to try all the local specialties of each place we visited, but Morgan kept reminding me of our tight budget. I knew he was planning to buy a diamond ring. So finally, when we were on our way to San Francisco, and he turned down the idea of going to dim sum (which is a total weakness of mine and SF has the best), I was like, ‘Okay, enough. How much were you planning to spend on a diamond ring?’ And he told me the amount. I said, ‘Okay, so get me a gold band instead, and we’re going to put all the money you would have spent on a diamond into eating delicious food this whole trip.’ So that’s what we did. And I am so, so happy with it! We ended up picking out our gold bands together at a random little shop in Santa Fe, somewhere along the road trip. We nicknamed this strategy, ‘dim sum for diamonds.’ “
Videography: NW Film Co.
“We drove through the Gorge, just by chance, while on our road trip and absolutely fell head over heels in love with the area. We really wanted to move here, but at the time, I couldn’t find a job in the area so we decided the next best thing would be to have a Gorge wedding. It would give us a good excuse to visit often, and we could share the beauty of our Gorge wedding with all our favorite people.”
“We weren’t planning a barn wedding, but I wanted something that was more than a blank canvas. I wanted something that was inherently beautiful. I fell in love with the texture and the light in Tin Roof Barn. It was the first and only venue we looked at after our decision to have a Gorge wedding! We stepped onto the property and were like, ‘Yep.’ “
“I was never one of the girls who liked flipping through bridal magazines, or even thought about what kind of wedding I wanted before I got engaged. However, hosting themed dinner parties is pretty much my biggest hobby, and I relish playing hostess, so this was super exciting for me. I gravitate more towards texture than color, so the decor for our Gorge wedding was all about playing around with textures and materials – antique silver, glass, linen, and wood…”
“Another hobby of mine is antiquing. Few things make me happier than a good Saturday flea/antique market. Early on in the planning, we found a flea market vendor who was selling crates of glass bottles from the early 1900s that he dug up. They were each so unique looking, so that became the main component of the tablescape for our Gorge wedding. Morgan didn’t get too involved in the décor aspect, other than to exercise his veto power (mason jars and burlap were banned from the getgo, for example)!”
“I wore my maternal grandmother’s pearl and diamond earrings. And I had three flowers in my hair. The middle flower was a hand rolled (by Morgan’s aunt) silk flower from Morgan’s mom’s wedding dress. I had my dad’s favorite flower, a gardenia, tucked into my bouquet. (I just realized, right now as I type this, that I forgot something blue!)”
“The lazo ceremony is a Mexican tradition that represents the bond formed between a couple on their wedding day and their commitment to one another to remain united as they walk together through life. We wanted to honor my heritage and my grandparents, who were too old to travel to the wedding, by using my grandparent’s lazo from their own wedding over 72 years ago.”
Melissa’s vows to Morgan might make you smile and think of your own loved one… and wondering where on earth you left your keys…
“Morgan, today I choose you as my husband – with no hesitation or doubt in my heart. I promise to love you for the person you are today and for the person you have yet to become – with all of your strengths and all of your flaws that make you the man you are. I love you wholly and completely. I offer myself as I am in return. I promise to cherish you as a partner and respect you as an individual, knowing that we do not complete but complement each other. I promise to remember that our relationship is a living, growing thing and to give it the care and nurturing that it needs to thrive, through all the seasons of our marriage. I promise to be generous with my praise and gentle with my words. I promise to always take the time to help you find your keys. I promise to choose forgiveness. I promise to stand by your side through all of the years and all that life may bring us. To share the burdens of life’s valleys and the joys of its summits – and to hold your hand on the journey in between.”
“One of Morgan’s best friends from college played the piano for our ceremony. He took songs from our favorite album on the road trip and interpreted them as piano pieces. I walked myself down the aisle. It just felt fitting for me. But my three uncles each handed me a gardenia (my father’s favorite flower) as I reached the altar.”
“Our first dance wasn’t exactly choreographed, but we did take a couple dance lessons to feel more comfortable. We danced to Zac Brown Band’s ‘Free’ which has been ‘our song’ since even before the road trip.
My father passed away when I was young and so his three brothers took turns dancing with me to my dad’s favorite song. It was a super emotional moment for me.”
“There are a lot of moving parts on your wedding day – even with a wedding planner. We didn’t want to burden a friend with any big responsibilities so we asked several close friends to each help us out with one small component. We were glad we did.” Another piece of advice? “Have a plan for your leftovers!”
“Even if you’re not going on a honeymoon, take as much time off after the wedding as you can and make absolutely zero plans. You will need it to recover and want it to reflect on the event and savor the moment.”
Bar + Beverage: Perfect Pour (Seattle)
Beauty: Kristie Wright
Cake: Lux Sucre
Entertainment: Liam DJ
Officiant: Drew Comstock
Photography: Braedon Photography
Rentals + Decor: Barclay’s Event Rentals, Classic Vintage Rentals, Riverhood Rentals, Tin Roof Barn, Union Event Co
Venue: Tin Roof Barn
Videographer: NW Film Co
Wedding Coordinator: Union Event Co
At Tin Roof Barn, we specialize in creating a bespoke Gorge wedding experience for you and your guests. Our beautiful Gorge wedding venue includes many standard amenities such as the graceful vintage wood dining tables and mismatched vintage chairs, antique rugs, and furnishings. For your ceremony, we provide ceremony seating for up to 150 of your favorite people in our ceremony patio as well as an optional covered ceremony location, because, at a Gorge wedding, it’s good to have a Plan B, just in case! Our modern restroom facility, the beautifully appointed Bridal Suite and Groom’s Room, the rustic tin covered Pavilion and massive stone fireplace are all part of the indoor/outdoor Gorge wedding experience. Scenic views of the mountains, forests, orchards, and valleys of the Columbia River Gorge are the background to this stunning Gorge wedding venue and will leave your guests celebrating late into the evening.
The award-winning Tin Roof Barn has been featured on Harper’s Bazaar, The Knot, Green Wedding Shoes, Sunset, The Venue Report, PopSugar, Oregon Bride, 100 Layer Cake, Borrowed and Blue, and Pendleton. If you’d like more details on how to have your dream Gorge wedding at Tin Roof Barn, or if you’d like to schedule a tour of our gorge wedding venue located near Hood River, in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, please don’t hesitate to contact us here!