Wedding Insiders Podcast

Our founder (and Mother Hen), Nora Sheils, recently chatted all things Bridal Bliss on the Wedding Industry Insider podcast!  Nora shares her story, how she has built our team, the value of working on your business, rather than in your business, how to effectively lead and best advice for all aspiring planners. She also gave a little teaser on a new startup she is working on that will be relevant for all wedding industry vendors and couples alike! For more details check out Rock Paper Coin.

Big thanks to our friend and podcast host, Eddie Babbage from Timeline Genius, for having Nora on!  She was honored to be in the company of so many wedding industry inspirations like Sasha Souza, David Tutera, Donnie Brown, Kristin Banta, Alan Berg and so on. Enjoy!

Bridget + James

 

 

Bridget grew up with Lewis & Clark College as her backyard playground, so when James proposed, it made perfect sense to get married there.  When we met, she described a boho-chic relaxed wedding for her big day and we accomplished just that!

The ceremony was held in the cobblestone with a to-die-for altar area by Blum Floral Design.  A circular arch dripping in greenery and floral surrounded the couple as they said their vows in a ceremony performed by James' father. 

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour around the reflection pond while also enjoying the beautiful grounds with stunning views of Mt. Hood to boot. Guests enjoyed a variety of lawn games, from corn hole, giant Jenga and Connect 4 which was placed amongst  a relaxing colorful lounge area provided by Classic Vintage Rentals.

As guests made their way to the dinner tent, escort tags were strung along vintage bottles collected by the bride's mother, which also served as a sweet personalized favor. 

Vintage silverware, blue patterned china, and Reidel glassware adorned the long reclaimed wood tables. Blum dolled up the gold chandeliers with dripping greenery while also providing a variety of herbs in terra-cotta pots and blooms with cream, green and pops of coral in vintage medicine bottles for the table tops--the cutest! Guests enjoyed a family style dinner service by Devil's Food Catering, a delicious semi-naked cake by Dream Cakes and danced the night away with music provided by Event Team Entertainment.  It was an amazing night! Big thanks to Oregon Bride Magazine for featuring this one-of-a-king wedding!!

Working with Katy from Bridal Bliss was an absolute dream. Aside from being an awesome person she made the entire wedding planning process completely stress free and fun. (I am easily overwhelmed by planning and coordinating events so this is a huge accomplishment!) Every time we met at the Bridal Bliss offices Katy always had a little champagne waiting for us. From our first meeting, Katy immediately knew the aesthetic I was going for and set us up with all the best vendors to help bring that vision to life. She is also clearly well-respected amongst her fellow coordinators and event vendors. Our photographer, caterers, florist, and others all gushed about how amazing Katy is and I couldn’t agree more. Our wedding was absolutely gorgeous. Katy was also fast-acting and when the historic arbor that we were supposed to be married under collapsed weeks before the wedding — she stepped in and arranged for getting us a discount from the venue AND worked with our florist to create a floral arbor arch last minute. I had full faith that whatever she had in mind would be beautiful and it was insanely gorgeous. We feel so lucky that we got to work with Katy and grateful for her amazing work making our dream wedding a reality! Thank you Katy and thank you Bridal Bliss!!
— Bridget + James

Coordination: Katy | Photographer: Deyla Huss Photography | Florist: Blum Floral Design | Rentals: Party Place + Classic Vintage Rentals | Caterer: Devil's Food Catering | Cake: Dream Cakes | PaperGoods + Chalkboard Signs: Letters + Dust | DJ: Event Team Entertainment | Transportation: Foursom Golf Carts

 

Vida + Ed

 
Bridalbliss.com | Portland Wedding | Oregon Event Planning and Design | Aniko Productions

I've known Vida and her family for as long as I can remember, so when she asked me to help with planning her wedding to Ed, I was incredibly honored.  With a venue like the Portland Art Museum, our possibilities were endless.  Vida and Ed really wanted to showcase Vida's Iranian heritage and we definitely kept that in mind during the planning process.

Bridalbliss.com | Portland Wedding | Oregon Event Planning and Design | Aniko Productions

Their ceremony was performed by an Iranian-American officiant, Nilou Nouri (who also happens to be my talented cousin) who married the couple using not only Farsi, but also translated the ceremony in English as well.  Vida & Ed said their vows in front of the Sofreh, designed by yours truly, using pieces that Vida's grandmother had brought back from Iran specifically for the wedding as well as other items each symbolizing well wishes to the couple.

For the reception, guests made their way upstairs into the Kridel Ballroom, finding their seats with gold potted succulents which also acted as favors. Tables were set with lush navy linens, gold beaded chargers and gold chivaris. The room was uplit with amber lighting and a navy paisley gobo flanking the stage. A combination of tall and short floral arrangements by Amanda Karam Floral, included garden roses, hydrangeas, greenery and tons of candles.  Devil's Food provided a delicious Persian influenced dinner, everything from lamb kabobs, traditional wedding rice dishes, to salads and more. (SO GOOD!)

Vida really wanted to have a surprise element to her wedding and really give her guests something you don't typically see at a wedding, and she did not disappoint.  With the talented crew from AWOL dance who performed two separate acts during dinner, one on a silk and the other on the ring --both so outstanding, leaving everyone in awe. The most vivid memory of all was the look of pure joy on both Vida & Ed's face all evening, I have never seen a couple truly enjoy every single moment of their wedding day the way the two of them did.  It was so great to witness. It was an incredible evening and one for the books! 

 
As a recent Persian bride I sincerely and whole-heartedly recommend Katy Haley from Bridal Bliss as a wedding planner!!! She’s very experienced and well skilled as a general wedding planner, but she really excels in providing support to those of us that come from all corners of the world. My wedding was a blended cultural wedding, a blend between my Persian family and my husband’s Protestant American family. Katy is sensitive to fulfilling your personalized cultural needs as a bride and groom, she’s also adept at supporting all family involved. She was willing, at all times, to be in contact with the mother and father of the bride (me). She understands that your wedding involves many important and influential family and friends, and she won’t hesitate in addressing their needs and desires, if needed too. With that said, she keeps the bride and groom’s desires, wishes, and dreams her top most priority. I was so relieved as a bride that Katy could take over, and dialogue with my family and please them, so that my husband and I could enjoy our wedding day fully and completely. You don’t need to listen to me tell you she’s wonderful; just listen to our wedding guests. Every Persian and non-Persian wedding guest said, “Our wedding was the best wedding they’ve been to in all their lives!!!” It felt simply wonderful that our wedding day was emotionally fulfilling for everyone: our family, our friends, and us, as bride and groom. Thank you sooo much Katy, we couldn’t have asked for a better wedding planner and better wedding day!!!
— Vida + Ed, via Wedding Wire

Coordination: Katy | Florist: Amanda Karam Floral | Catering: Devil's Food Catering | Desserts: Dream Cakes Kyra's Bakeshop Bon Bon Bakery | Beauty: Mitra Momtazi | Photography: Aniko Productions | Rentals: Barclays Event Rentals | Officiant: Nilou Nouri | Videography: Moving Pictures | Stationary: Crave Design | DJ & Sound: Event Team Enterntainment | Performers: A.W.O.L.

 

Christelle + Jon

 

If I were to describe my perfect client match, it would be Christelle + Jon.  They have super fun personalities, and their goal was to show their guests a good time but knock their socks off at the same time.  If you know me, you know I love a "wow factor." Christelle loves flowers, Jon loves food and beverage.  Seriously...my perfect match. We planned their Art Museum wedding in three months and no detail was left untouched.  When I say no detail, I mean it...we even prettied up the elevators!

The day started out for both sides of the wedding party with toasts and fun at The Benson Hotel. After an emotional first look on The Benson's iconic stairs, the crew made their way to the Portland Art Museum for photos with the tight-knit family. As Christelle + Jon signed the Ketubah nearest and dearest, guests dressed in Black Tie left their cars with valet and filled in the ceremony.  They were greeted by classical music from Duo Con Brio, custom kippas and programs filled with petals to toss at the newlyweds, and all were blown away by the stunning floral chuppa. 

After the traditional Jewish ceremony, Cocktail Hour began in the Sculpture Garden outside with delicious hors d'oeuvres and an open bar.  Post-mingling, guests rode the decked out elevators up to the Kriedel Grand Ballroom for the dinner and reception.  Jaws dropped at the fab custom escort card wall, over-the-top floral entry, stunning orchid floral chandeliers, gorgeous centerpieces, hand-calligraphed chargers, floral based bistro tables and elegant linens and lighting to highlight it all. Devil's Food catered a five course meal paired with high end wine selections and soon after poured Cristal for the toasts. Crystal, Jon and their guests danced the night away, and the gals kicked of heels for champagne colored flip flops while the guys took a break outside for cigars and scotch.

From the floral, to the people, to the decor...this wedding couldn't have been more beautiful.  It flowed perfectly and Christelle + Jon were beaming all night.  I loved everything about this event (and so did Oregon Bride Magazine) and working with this wonderful couple was a dream!   

We worked with Nora from Bridal Bliss and she was the best! We only had three months to plan the wedding and Nora was able to pull the wedding we always dreamed of. We wanted to have a simple, classic yet elegant wedding. Nora was always responsive, helped us select the best vendors and led the creative process as well. She was great at giving us good ideas which we really appreciated. I literally had the best time planning my wedding all thanks to Nora for making it an easy process.
— Christelle + Jon

Coordinator: Nora | Cake: Petite Provence | Music: Duo Con Brio | Band: Hit Machine | Florist: Blum Floral Design | Lighting: Portland Art Museum | Photography: Mosca Studio | Videography: Moving Pictures | Catering: Devil's Food | Transportation: Lucky Limousine + White Cloud Luxury Cars | Rentals: Classic Vintage Rentals + Party Place + Ohana Party Rentals + West Coast Event Productions | Paper Goods: Letters + Dust | Beauty: Tabiba Styles + Vamp Beauty | Bridal Gown: Anna's Bridal | Welcome Bags: Glow Gifts

 

Late Night Treats

 

Nobody loves late night sweets more than I do. It's always fun to surprise guests with an evening snack mid-dancing, whether sweet or savory. Check out my segment on KGW's Portland Today with lots of fun options!

 

Sally + Rob

 

I had such a fun time getting to know Sally and Rob!!  They are the most upbeat, fun couple that truly wanted nothing but the best for their special day!!  We traveled down to Sunriver, Oregon to help the pair set up for their wedding weekend.

After several days of fun, family filled events, Sally and Rob’s beautiful August wedding started out with clear blue skies, and happy people everywhere!  Sally and the girls were pampered in their Bridal Suite at Sunriver, by the talented artists with Kate Tuma Artistry. Once ready, Kimberly Kay and Moving Pictures were ready to capture the couple's romantic first look. They were able to finish family and bridal party photos before everyone was picked up by The Bend Trolley, and driven into Bend for the ceremony at The Old St.Francis Church.

Post ceremony, guests headed back out to Sunriver, and were greeted in the Great Hall, with local beers and wine. Dove String Quartet followed the bridal party from the church to set the sound for cocktail hour. Everyone mingled and snapped polaroid shots for the custom guest book, while the couple made their rounds saying hello to all of their guests. Eventually, it was time to transition into the Great Hall for dinner. Tables were set with unbelievable arrangements by Heirloom Floral Design, as well as custom chocolate boxes from the bride's favorite candy shop in Seattle. The talented Ryan Innes played piano as the group dined. After the toast, the bride played an emotional tribute to family and love that left everyone in tears. 

What cures tears?? Cake!! Good thing we had a stunner of a cake from Foxtail Bakeshop to indulge in.  As for the dancing, well there was no shortage. Flip Flop sounds was able to play the soundtrack that took this party long into the night. Sally and Rob, you’re the kind of people who turn days around, and make people smile. I hope nothing but the happiest life for the two of you!

Coordination: Cam | Florist: Heriloom Floral Design | Desserts: Foxtail Cake Shop | Beauty: Katie Tuma Artistry | Photography: Kimberly Kay | Rentals: West Coast Event Productions | Food Truck: Country Catering | Videography: Moving Pictures | Ceremony Music: Dove String Quartet | DJ & Sound: Flip Flop Sounds | Bartender: Twist Cocktails

 

Courtney + Matt

 
Bridalbliss.com | Portland Wedding | Oregon Event Planning and Design | Julia Green Photography

From day one of meeting and working with Courtney and Matt, I knew their wedding day would be wonderful. Not only does the couple adore each other, but they were surrounded with supportive family members who were eager to help. We all worked together to plan the classic, Portland summer, outdoor wedding experience for both the bride and groom as well as the guests.

Typically, we don’t have to worry about rain in September, but the morning of the wedding River Haven Farms was shadowed by rain clouds. Luckily the weather turned just in time for photos and stayed clear until the end of the evening – a wedding day miracle!

Guests parked in what looked like a quaint family Christmas tree farm and walked over to the outdoor ceremony where they set gifts on a vintage truck and were greeted with fresh lemonade. The aisle was lined with rose pedals and a string duo played while bridesmaids and groomsmen recessed in. The bride and her father walked down the aisle to the tune of her brother playing guitar and everyone enjoyed the view of the Willamette River. Both the ceremony and cocktail reception area overlooked the river just before sunset then guests were guided to the River Haven’s front lawn where dinner was held under a large white tent.

Dalton’s Northwest Catering served a delicious dinner buffet under the River Haven barn awning and displayed a cupcake bar on couple of wine barrels. Guests sat at round tables with beautiful floral centerpieces and the bridal party sat at a long head table with a stunning floral garland. My favorite part of the day was listening to the heart-felt toasts from family and friends – specifically the childhood memories shared by the bride’s father. The sky was clear until the dance floor opened then it began to rain but the dance floor was protected by the tent so guests danced the night away.

Congratulations again, Courtney & Matt! I wish you a lifetime of love!

We had the BEST experience with Bridal Bliss. Our coordinator was such a pleasure to work with and made our wedding day perfect. Our day was stress free and ran so smoothly! We couldn’t have done it without her! Would highly reccomend hiring Bridal Bliss, they are all amazing!
— Courtney Wanamaker + Matt Yarbrough

Coordination: Melanie | Beauty: Blossom & Beauty | Catering: Dalton's Northwest Catering | Music & Entertainment: DJ Jerm | Photography: Julia Green Photography | Rentals: The Party Place | Videographer: Tyler Cornelison

 

Alicia + David

 

Alicia + David planned their wedding from a distance and only came into town once while planning.  While they were both very involved in decision-making, it was also David's sweet mother, Mardi, who was my local contact.  The week of the wedding, we were forced to execute our rain plan as the weather turned. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens, while beautiful, isn't the best space for rain.  Regardless, with our clear tents allowing us to showcase the gorgeous space, and decked out chandeliers, it couldn't have been more perfect.  

David + Alicia met working in the news at a local TV station.  He as a newscaster, and she as a writer. After a personal ceremony performed by the couple's co-worker at the station where they met, guests made their way under the tent and enjoyed passed appetizers and music by Blue Wave Band

David was intent on showcasing one of his favorite Portlandia details....food carts! We hired Koi Fusion + Pearl Catering's truck which served delicious grilled sandwiches. In addition, there was a yummy salad bar, then Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwiches and cake for dessert.  I can assure you...no one was hungry! Alicia's vision for moody centerpieces with pops of color, all with an upscale rustic vibe (hello gorgeous wood tables!) came to life and quite honestly, the rain made for a cozy reception as the heaters kept guests warm. One of my favorite details was our escort wall, with was created with pens that served as favors (handmade by Alicia + Mardi!) and a moss background.  Such a great way to personalize the wedding with a nod to Alicia + David's meeting. 

After heartfelt toasts, guests cut a rug and danced the night away.  They were handed an umbrella and flashlight for the trek back to pick up their car from valet. A trail of votives lead them through the gardens and ended the night with a magical touch. It was a wonderful evening and a pleasure working with this sweet family!

Living in a different state, and knowing I wouldn’t have much time to spend in Portland before the wedding, I knew I’d need a wedding planner. Everyone recommended Bridal Bliss! Nora was incredible to work with. She made every decision easy, and took all the stress away! You always hear how stressful it is to plan a wedding- but even with my crazy schedule, and only communicating through email, I never felt stressed with Nora on the case! She took all of my crazy ideas and made them happen. She even organized a last minute tent over the entire outdoor space a couple of days before the wedding once we were sure of the rain. Plus, she and her team stayed the whole night with umbrellas to make sure our guests were dry and comfortable. For anyone on the fence about getting a wedding planner- yes, it is expensive- but it is SO worth it. Especially when you’re working with the best in the business. Thanks to Nora and the team, we had a perfect, beautiful day,
— Alicia Pekema

Coordinator: Nora | Beauty: Blossom & Beauty | Catering: Pearl Catering + Koi Fusion | Cakes/Desserts: Helen Bernhard Bakery + Ruby Jewel Ice Cream | Florist: Amanda Karam Floral | Photography: Amanda K Photography | Music: Blue Wave Band + Duo Con Brio | Rentals: Classic Vintage Rentals + Recreation Department + Party Place + Luxury Restroom Trailer | Invites: Rifle Paper Day of Paper Goods: Crave Design | Chalk Boards & Lettering: Letters & Dust | Umbrellas: Bridal Bliss  Transportation: Lucky Limousine + Premiere Valet