Irene and Nolan met working together in Lincoln. “We had known each other for a few years and had become good friends,” Irene shares. When Nolan invited her to go hiking with him at Hidden Falls she couldn’t resist. “I love the outdoors and waterfalls so it was a perfect first date.”

Fast-forward to Christmas 2016, when Nolan took Irene to her favorite place in the whole world, Silver Falls State Park in Silverton, Oregon. At the park is a 117-foot waterfall with a trail leading underneath. As winter can be wet and chilly, Nolan took Irene into a small cave nearby. “It was cold so I snuggled up to Nolan and felt something in the pocket of his hoodie,” she remembers. “I leaned back and he pulled out the small ring box. I’m not sure if he intended on proposing at that exact moment but it was all I could have dreamed of.”

The bride did most of the wedding planning herself with the help of her mom and grandmother. “My favorite times were searching for unique décor at thrift stores and watching my theme come together,” she shares. “Also, I planned on setting up a teepee for the kids play area, and I tested out my teepee building skills in my living room a few days before the wedding. After it was successfully built, my maid of honor, my mom and I all climbed in and joked around about all of the ridiculous things that would most likely take place during the wedding. The laughter was a huge stress reliever.”

The ceremony was held under a large oak tree in a peaceful meadow. Nolan is of Irish decent, so the couple chose to incorporate his heritage in the wedding with a knot tying ceremony. “It was definitely the most emotional moment for us during the ceremony,” says Irene.

The reception was held a short walk from the ceremony in a barn. Irene’s mom bought sheer fabric to hang in the rafters. “It was quite a bit of work getting such a big barn decorated, but it was simple and gorgeous once we were finished,” says Irene.

Irene’s uncle’s band, a family trio, provided entertainment at the reception. “They set up right outside of the big barn doors and made the outside of the barn just as magical as inside,” says Irene. “They are all amazing and talented musicians, and made my reception classy and cool! I would highly recommend a live band to couples wanting an unforgettable reception.” 

—Darren Elms