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November 24, 2020

Wedding Feature: Allyn + Jake

We were so honored to play at Allyn + Jake’s gorgeous wedding. Like so many engaged couples during this pandemic, Allyn + Jake did not have the wedding they originally planned. However, as plan after plan changed, love always remained. We are excited to share their journey as a couple: how they met, how they adjusted their wedding during COVID, and how they managed to create an incredible final result filled with joy and love.

Tell us the story of how you two met.
Jake and I met through mutual friends in Asheville, North Carolina, just a few months before he was moving to Portland, OR for work. This meant our first year together was long distance, but it made for fun meet 
ups in both Portland, Asheville, and even Paris.

What made you decide that this was the right person to be with for the rest of your life?
Allyn: Our first year together was so incredibly easy despite living on opposite sides of the U.S., so it was a major clue about how much I trust and love him. Also, our entire relationship has been extremely serendipitous (like the rainbow that came out after our engagement), so not only did I know in my heart that he is my person but the universe is always telling me the same.
Jake: I just knew she was my person. She embodied everything I wanted in a partner but her genuine kindness stood out as something I never wanted to lose.

What do you enjoy most about each other’s company?
Allyn: Jake is my home and I can be my truest self with him. There is no greater gift a partner can give you. He is also very witty, so we get to laugh a lot. 
Jake: Allyn is so easy going and has unwavering positivity.

How was your experience with Emerald Empire Band?
Literally, I can not say enough good things about this band. To start, Richard, their manager, was always so communicative, and helpful. He was reassuring about any wedding stress I had, and he even helped talk me through some some crazy song ideas that I was scheming. He really was an amazing person who genuinely cared about making our wedding day special. Professional, supportive, and kind. Win, win, win. Then, the band! I asked them to learn 2 different songs for the ceremony and they brought them to life in ways I could not even dream. They were so kind and fun, and REALLY made the wedding come to life. We only had a quick champagne toast for our reception, as we had more of an elopement, and the 3 musicians (Jamar, Jonathan, and Derrick) played jazz for this part of the evening. They were REALLY amazing, talented musicians who are also just good people to have around you on your wedding day. We were honored to have them!

What was your favorite song you danced to at your wedding? 
We didn’t plan a first dance, since we had more of an elopement, however my dad and I did get to dance to a song (Summertime) that he used to sing to me to put me asleep when I was a little girl. It was very sweet. Share one special memory from your wedding with us. As cliche as this sounds, just having our family around us was the best part of the day. We had originally planned a 200 person wedding but canceled it due to COVID and just had our immediate families present. This was such a hard decision and we SO missed our friends and extended family, but the love our immediate families brought that weekend made it all feel so intimate and surreal. Jake’s father was the officiant and we were in the Biltmore Conservatory surrounded by family and 1,000s of tropical plants, so I will never forget those moments. The words, the love, the beauty, and holding hands with Jake as said our vows to each other was unforgettable.

What changes did you have to make to your plans due to the pandemic? Do you have any advice or great solutions you found that you would like to share for other couples?
We definitely planned 2 different weddings! The first was a 200 person wedding and then the second, as mentioned, was with just our families. My advice would be to look for the silver linings! Yes, we missed so many people, but wow, spending your wedding day with just family is so sweet. I also got to book my dream venue, since we were eloping with a few people vs having a large wedding. Most importantly, pick your vendors wisely. They are your TEAM and honestly I was with them most of the day (photographer, videographer, planner, musicians, etc). So, interview lots of people and choose people who you would want to spend the day with, regardless! Their personalities add a ton to the day! I was so lucky to have my team.

Photography by Sam Weddings