Beth Olson

Shop Local

The Politics of Shopping

Shop... and Resist

Portland’s Pretty

The Woke Wedding

I’m committed to curating an accessible collection of local businesses that matches the mission of our photo shoot (see: The Woke Wedding: Not Enough Local Wedding Professionals Cater to People of Color—So I Made it My Mission to Find Those That Do), and whose beliefs align with intersectionality. Along with vendors I’ve worked with, I’ve also included vendors mentioned in my essay that I can personally recommend (which is to say, they provided zero microaggressions). Safe spaces are essential for marginalized people, and the following individuals aren’t radicals—just companies where people like me can feel safe expressing their business needs, free of discrimination. This #wokewedding file can just as easily serve as a resource for all couples planning their union of love.


DRESSES

Ania Bridal

Twitter: @aniabridal
Instagram: @aniabridal
aniabridal.com
796-9170
Shopping for my wedding dress consisted of squeezing into a tiny sample size then subsequently crying into a complimentary glass of champagne, because none of the floor model dresses were large enough for me to envision my dream gown. Even though I loved my dress, the experience really should make you feel flawless. Despite this being an imaginary ceremony, Ania Bridal made browsing through their selection of dresses for brides of all sizes a joyous experience.


MAKEUP

Peter Asio

Instagram: @mr.ladymua
Peter saved me from looking messy in all my wedding photos, and even made a house call for our trial session. He has eight years of makeup experience and trained as part of the Portland freelance team for Anastasia Beverly Hills before dedicating his life to makeup artistry.

Rayna Thomas 

Instagram: @raynaxoxo
facebook.com/RaynaThomasMUA
“I love weddings! I adore the magic, and you can definitely feel the love when you walk into the venue on the big day,” Rayna says. She thrives as a local artist with several years of experience doing runway shows and bridal makeup.


HAIR

Kendra Jones at Beauty Embodiment

Instagram: @beauty_embodiment
(360) 721-9494
Finding a stylist who can do my hair texture—let alone special occasion hair—added even more anxiety to planning a wedding look. Kendra specializes in many styles and was able to work on both girls regardless of their curliness and to enhance their natural beauty.


PHOTOGRAPHY

Beth Olson at Twisted Aisle Weddings

Instagram: @twistedaisleweddings
twistedaisleweddings.com
(541) 868-4392
“A lot of people seem concerned they’re not ‘photogenic,’ too ‘weird,’ or aren’t ‘cool’ enough to have amazing photos,” says Beth Olson. “I’m a ‘no judgment zone.’ There’s essentially nothing a couple can dream up that’s too tame or too weird. If they’re being true to who they are and having fun with their celebration, I’m 1000 percent on board.”


CAKES

Tier PDX

Instagram: @tierpdx
cortez.marchessault@gmail.com
Baby cakes are the next big thing for sure, and Tier PDX has tasty cakes of all flavors. Kristina Cortez-Marchessault will help you realize your sweetest wedding dreams.


FLORAL

Saria Abubo Dy at Rue Anafel

Instagram: @rueanafel
rueanafel.com
(801) 560-6709
“I was taught at a young age that beauty can be anything,” Saria says. “It really depends on the way you or the thing is presented or holds itself.”


VENUE/CATERING

Urban Studio / Pearl Catering

Instagram: @pearlcateringpdx
pearlcateringpdx.com
765-8058
This blank-slate venue located in the Pearl can transform into whatever you imagine for the big day. And don’t forget, people only remember two things other than the ceremony: music and food. Katie Carver from Pearl Catering expertly perfected our menu, and a year later my bridesmaids are still texting about our reception’s delicious Truffle Mac and Cheese.


DRINKS/CATERING

Heart of Celebration

Instagram: @heartofcelebration
heartofcelebration.com
Party makers who can create cultural menus minus the appropriation, they specialize in everything from custom cocktails to fried plantains. The wedding food options are endless and unforgettable.


PLANNER

Justine Broughal from Together Events

Instagram: @together.events
togethereventplanning.com
(971) 266-1279
A bridal planner and a self-proclaimed ally to people with diverse backgrounds, Justine loves being able to create an incredible space for people to start their lives together.


RENTALS

Sherine Iskandar of Vintage Meets Modern

Instagram: @vintagemeetsmodern
vintagemeetsmodernpdx.com
432-3993
Vintage Meets Modern is exactly what it sounds like: a classic combination of old style and current designs. According to owner Sherine Iskandar, “We seek out the unique and quality pieces that will wow our clients and their wedding guests, and if we can’t find it, we search for the right local talent to custom make it for us.”


Pillar Ilo of Vintage Mingle

Twitter: @vintagemingle
Instagram: @vintagemingle
vintagemingle.com
568-1653
I moved from Connecticut where “vintage” is almost a dirty word. I truly respect and envy Pilar as a fellow vintagehead who keeps her ear to the street in her quest to hunt down all the best estate sales. Any Portland bride searching for a timeless look can depend on Vintage Mingle for all the rare and exquisite vintage treasures.


GALLERY

Gallery 903

Twitter: @gallery903
Instagram: @gallery903
gallery903.com
When one of our photo shoot artists was a no-show, we dashed to this modern art gallery. Gallery 903’s Herschel McGraw didn’t hesitate to loan us a painting, which added even more beauty to our project.


MODELS

Kanda Mbenza-Ngoma
Twitter: @kmbenzangoma
Instagram: @kmbenzangoma

Ashleigh Elizabeth
Instagram: @ashleighelizabethc
facebook.com/ashleighelizabethplusmodel

And let’s not forget our gorgeous plus-size models who are available for paid gigs by contacting their booking information.


Other vendors mentioned in my essay:

Bloomsberry Floral
bloomsberryfloral.com
971-206-4677

Meredith Bacon Photography
meredithbacon.com

Paradox Productions
djpdx.com

La Joconde Cakes
lajocondecakes.com


Further reading:

The Woke Wedding

Not Enough Local Wedding Professionals Cater to People of Color—So I Made it My Mission to Find Those That Do