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Oregon Forest Wedding at Horse Creek Lodge | Kathy + Patrick



September 12, 2019


Valerie Savercool


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.

From amazing scenery, to a close knit group of guests, to an amazing couple – this Oregon forest wedding had it all!

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.

Ever heard the old saying that rain on your wedding day is good luck?

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!).

Oregon Forest Wedding

wedding dress hanging from wood log cabin in woods

wedding bands and forest themed wedding invitations

groom's brown leather shoes and tie

bride holding bouquet in middle of forest

blonde bride holding large, colorful bouquet

bride and bridesmaids holding bouquets in forest

man in suit doing up tie

groom doing up tie and standing with best man

groom and groomsmen dancing in forest

bride standing over wooden table in dimly lit cabin

wooden table name place holders and green ferns on white linens

bouquets and dinner menu laid out on wedding table

bride walking toward groom in forest

groom turning to look at bride in forest

bride and groom kissing in forest

bride and groom kissing in forest

groom walking down aisle with parents on either arm

bride walking down aisle

bridal party standing at altar duing outdoor forest wedding

wedding ceremony taking place outside in forest

guests wiping tears away during intimate forest wedding

bride and groom first kiss during outdoor forest wedding

bridal party cheers during forest wedding portraits

wedding cake and catered meal during wedding reception

bride and groom first dance under string lights at Oregon forest wedding

bride smiling while dancing

guests giving speeches during intimate Oregon forest wedding

guests laughing and clapping at outdoor forest wedding

bride and groom cut cake during wedding reception

bride and groom dancing with guests at wedding reception

guests dancing at outdoor wedding reception

guests dancing at outdoor wedding reception

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.

A first look allows you to sneak away from the busy-ness and bustle of the day. Having a few minutes alone together before the ceremony is such a great way to start your wedding day.

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!

Shooting group or family portraits before the ceremony is a lot of fun, and can save time for eating, drinking, and dancing. You know, the important stuff. 😉

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!

The night ended with dancing and one hell of a party! Everyone was loving the drink cart and the wide open sky in the woods. They also loved the fact that they didn’t have to go anywhere after – the beauty of a destination wedding!

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.


If you love this Oregon forest wedding, you may also love this Columbia River Gorge Wedding, or this Urban Vancouver Wedding!