Photographs by Kieran Morgan Photography

Some folks are born with a brimming inner toolbox for details. Not only did Pearl District pair Megan Rudebeck and Dennis McMillan construct the star-studded décor seen here for their November 23, 2013, nuptials at Castaway Portland, they built a mint buffet (the bride’s favorite— think minty Tic Tacs, York peppermint patties, etc.) and topped bars with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving–inspired snacks like jelly beans and Poplandia popcorn. “We had so many meaningful and personal decoration ideas that it never occurred to us to do it any way but DIY,” Rudebeck says. Of course, smart planners also know when to call in the pros: Simpatica Catering created a delicious Thanksgiving-style feast, Kyra’s Bake Shop provided gluten-free sweets, and Champagne Wedding Coordination’s Tara Schwecke ensured Rudebeck was free to party in her busia’s 79-year-old lace gown.


Photographs by Kieran Morgan Photography

Team in Training

1) Inspired by their animals-in-space invite design (an art piece commissioned from illustrator Susie Ghahremani), Rudebeck spray-painted plastic critters copper and cut notches in the tops to hold place cards she printed on card stock. “I love going to friends’ houses and seeing their animal on a bookshelf or nightstand,” she says.

2) These avid readers agreed that incorporating books was a must, so they used pages from thrift-store finds to make origami stars that became garlands above the dance floor, aisle runners, and table décor.

3) To create an altar in their nontraditional venue, the couple refurbished a fireplace mantel they found on Craigslist—McMillan built this star-shaped wooden marquee light (using collective workshop ADX) to stand in for the “fire.” Wood and stain came from Woodcrafters, fixtures from W. C. Winks Hardware, bulbs from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co, electrical supplies from Ace Hardware, and power cord and dimmer switch from “Now it hangs on our wall and is hands-down my favorite thing in the apartment,” Rudebeck says.

4) The bride spent months gathering pretty glass jars and tin cans (which she spray-painted copper), and used them to arrange the flowers (ordered from Portland Wholesale Florist) with family the day before.

5) For this string-art seating chart reminiscent of constellations, the couple made a huge sandwich board with refinished wood, and then connected handwritten monikers to table numbers with yellow baker’s twine. •