A Handcrafted Portland Wedding

September 10, 2012 in
Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Mackenzie & Nick Raz
Cotton Flower Press

We are Mackenzie and Nick Raz – letterpress printers and the owners of Cotton Flower Press. We spend our days designing, hand-mixing ink, and printing on our antique tabletop press.

Because of who we are and what we do, we knew our wedding would be handcrafted from start to finish. Of course, we wanted a large part in the creating because craft has always served as the foundation of our relationship, but we were also eager to collaborate with other makers in the process.

When envisioning our wedding, we had three adjectives in mind: handmade, simple, and spring. April 21 was the fourth anniversary of the day we met, so we let the season dictate the flowers and the menu, and kept our fingers crossed for unseasonably dry weather.

The main thing Nick wanted was for the wedding to be outdoors. If you’re familiar with the weather patterns in Oregon, April isn’t much better than December when it comes to agreeable weather. Nick held his ground, and I think we can both agree we’re happy he did. Our wedding day couldn’t have been sunnier, and the apple orchard couldn’t have been a better setting for our intimate ceremony.

We shuttled 40 of our closest family and friends out to an orchard on Sauvie Island, a river island only 25 minutes outside of Portland. It’s a place that’s always been our getaway from the city, and a place where we connect with nature and each other. We had a very short ceremony officiated by Nick’s uncle, followed by apple cider in the park and a bus ride back to the Ace Hotel in the heart of downtown Portland. Our guests enjoyed local beer, wine and a completely Oregon-harvested vegetarian meal.

Locality and sustainability both play a large part in our daily lives – from going to the neighborhood farmers market to supporting local businesses – and we wanted them to be a strong influence in every part of our wedding. Our registry only contained items manufactured in the USA, we used local vendors whenever possible, and made whatever we could  ourselves (candles in recycled glass jars, cloth napkins, recyclable table runners, leather books for our handwritten vows, my shoes). One of Nick’s favorite collaborations throughout the whole process was working with local designer Adam Arnold to design his outfit from scratch.

It was important for us to steer clear of a “cookie cutter” wedding. We wanted it to be completely evident who we are as a couple and what is most important to us. Letterpress is a passion we’ve discovered and fostered together, and we made sure its presence was felt, from the invites and gift baskets to the vintage wood type on the dessert table.

Our wedding day was incredibly heartfelt for so many reasons. After 18 months of pouring sweat, tears and love into everything we made and creating messes in every room of our home, we finally got to share all of our projects with the people who know us best and have supported us through it all. I’ll never forget the feeling of walking into the reception space and seeing all of our visions realized. The light in the room was lovely and ethereal, and it was all exactly as I’d imagined it to be.

The best part? We’re married and our family of nine (that’s right: two dogs, five chickens, and the two of us) is official. And as much as the details mattered to us, nothing matters more than that.

All photographs by Bryan Aulick Photography.