wedding & portrait photographer

Kae & Danny planned a byzantine inspired wedding with gold details at Portland’s The Cleaners at Ace Hotel with her Planning and Design company Kae & Ales.

It seemed like a perfect plan. When Danny Skitsko prepared to propose to Kae Yelchaninov over a picnic lunch during a June 2016 road trip to Point Reyes, California, he had it all worked out. He’d arranged to pick up a special pizza: It was their favorite food and the subject of many inside jokes. As soon as she noticed the phrase “Always say yes to pizza” on the box, she had a feeling something was up. But when she opened the lid and saw a pie laden with mushrooms, confusion set in. She said, “Are you serious?” Danny—not knowing that he’d accidentally ordered her least-favorite topping and thinking she’d seen the “Will You Marry Me?” inscribed on the inner lid—replied, “Yes!” There was a moment lost in translation before she noticed his proposal and happily agreed.

Kae and Danny met at a friend’s wedding in May 2014. She was a creative-design manager in Portland; he, a graphic designer in San Francisco. But it wasn’t until the following April, when they joined the same friends for a baseball game, that they hit it off. “Our mutual disinterest in baseball brought us together,” he says, laughing. They eventually began a long-distance relationship, which continued until after the wedding, when Kae moved to San Francisco.

In planning their day, the pair collaborated on an aesthetic that reflected their distinct styles: gilded, decadent elements for her, and bold, playful hues for him. “We looked at planning like an art project,” says Kae of the February 19, 2017, fête. They worked with a florist who used foraged blooms to build a palette, and they drew visual inspiration from Byzantine art, jewelry, and even the costumes in the 2015 film Macbeth.

They scoured their region for a chapel with ornate décor and tall arches—a motif they’d use from invitations to reception—and found it at the Chapel at Providence Academy, in Vancouver. There they exchanged traditional vows before a tight-knit group of 61 guests, with Kae’s sister and Danny’s brother joining them at the altar. Then it was back to Portland, for dinner and dancing at the Cleaners at Ace Hotel, the site of one of their first dates. Pizza wasn’t on the menu, but each centerpiece included a wink to that lunch they’d shared the previous summer: dried mushrooms.

Photography: Maria Lamb | Ceremony Venue:  The Chapel at Providence Academy | Reception Venue:  The Cleaners at Ace Hotel | Event planning, styling, and creative direction: Kae + Al?s  | Catering: Clyde Common | Flowers: Hart  | Stationery: Danny Skitsko design: Dependable Letterpress Printing  | Cake: Papa Haydn  | Music: Blue Wave Band  | Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen; The Party Place  | Bride’s and matron of honor’s dress sewing: Velonia Boutique & Tailoring  | Bride’s accessories: Mignonne Handmade crown: Twigs & Honey veil: BHLDN earrings: Rachel Comey  | Makeup: Beth Level Artistry  | Groom’s suit and tie: Hugo Boss  | Guest books: Oblation Papers & Press

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