Kathy and Patrick had a destination wedding to celebrate their big day. They fell in love with the idea of a woodland wedding, but live in the great big city of Chicago. So, they decided on an Oregon forest wedding. Horse Creek Lodge is a quiet spot in McKenzie Bridge, Oregon, where rustic wooden cabins are nestled into the woods. It’s a beautiful, unique venue for an outdoor wedding.
Family and friends traveled all the way from Chicago to celebrate with them. Patrick is a talented artist and has art hosted in galleries around Chicago. He offered to show us if we ever make it out to Illinois, and we’re definitely going to take him up on it!
Everyone gathered at Horse Creek Lodge for the rehearsal. We met Kathy, Patrick, and all of their guests the night before the wedding. It was so nice to be able to meet the bridal party and guests beforehand. When the wedding rolled around the next day, everyone was relaxed and able to be themselves.
Well, a thunderstorm rolled through on the day of the wedding, narrowly missing the venue. The decor, table settings, and the benches for the ceremony were set up outside! Kathy was a nervous wreck! Luckily, though, everyone rallied together and covered all of the tables and decorations. The rain ended up passing right by the venue, so it was all good!
We arrived shortly after the thunderstorm scare. After greeting everyone and getting caught up on the morning’s events, we started taking photos. We explored down by the river, but nothing overly exciting happened (except for the snake that popped up out of nowhere and scared the sh*t out of Lynn!).
We love when our couples leave time for a first look, and Kathy and Patrick did not disappoint! Patrick and I walked down a quiet path in the forest to wait for Kathy, and I asked him about how he was feeling. He admitted he was nervous, and I assured him that this is perfectly normal leading up to such a big moment. Kathy quietly approached and stood behind him, and the air was just electric. When Patrick turned to look at her, they both exhaled so deeply and smiled so big, that it was impossible not to follow suit. We took photos of the two of them, all alone in the middle of the forest. They were so happy and so at ease together.
After the first look, we headed back to the cabin to take photos and prepare for the ceremony. Everyone was organized and on point for the family photos (which we suspect Kathy had a lot to do with! haha). It’s a really fun way to play around with your timeline. When you do a first look, you’re able to change the whole timing of events for the day, which we love!
The ceremony in the forest was absolutely gorgeous. Towering trees made the most incredible backdrop, and the ceremony itself was so sweet and moving. Once Kathy and Patrick had said their vows and exchanged rings, we headed to the reception. Dinner was catered by a local company out of Eugene, OR. They even had a cool drink cart with tons of hard alcohol and beer on tap!
Kathy’s dad gave the most memorable, heartwarming toast. Apparently, when Kathy was a young kid, she got mad at her dad (for something or other), and wrote “Fat Dad” on a rock. She gave him the rock in a fit of anger, and he had saved it for decades. During his toast, he produced the rock and gleefully recalled how Kathy had been as a child. It was such a unique look into their relationship, and everyone loved it!
We had a blast hanging out with everyone, and when it was time to head out at the end of the night, we didn’t want to leave. After saying goodbye, we left on a happy high. Glancing in the rearview mirror as we pulled away, we saw everyone dancing under the stars, string lights glittering against the towering trees. It was the perfect ending to an amazing, unforgettable day.