Real Wedding | Mandy & Zach’s NYE Wedding

Saying “I do” on the biggest party night of the year.


Today’s love story features a lady who might just be my sparkle-sister separated at birth.  You may remember her as the creative genius behind the Moroccan Bridal shower I posted about a few weeks ago.  If you recall, I was swooning at first sight of Mandy’s blog, Ciao Darling, and shortly thereafter I got a few glimpses into her wedding and be still my heart.  This girl has mad style and a life full of spirit!!!  New Year’s Eve Wedding, Sequined Dresses, Feathers, and some GOLD DIY Projects?  Holy Gobstobbers Swooners.  Mandy does it all and she does it with sparkle!!

Without further ado, feast your eyes on Mandy’s happiest day.

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Mandy and Zach Riggar

December 31, 2011 at Portland Center Stage the Armory: Portland, OR

Get to know Mandy, our swoon worthy bride:
I am a born & bred NW native while Zach is from Southern California & grew up in Oregon. We live in a trendy neighborhood of Portland and absolutely love our city life. We love being active & the city provides the perfect location where there is always something to do. We also love to travel & have been fortunate enough to travel many places together, including our honeymoon in which Zach entirely surprised me on the location. I work for an interior design & design/build company in the Pearl district (blogger by night! ;) ) and Zach is graduating from a top 15 marketing business school with his MBA and continuing his position at Intel.

Once upon a time…
Zach and I are high school sweethearts. We met when I was 15 and he was 17…over 8 years ago! Many years of our relationship have been long distance since we are two years apart in age (including both studying abroad in college). It was so much fun to finally move in together in 2010 & really begin our lives together. 4 months later we were engaged & on to another adventure!

The Proposal Story

Zach decided to plan our 7 year anniversary celebrations. From this moment, I had an inkling he might propose, but the entire day went by with no occurrence. I could not believe Zach was acting so relaxed if he was in fact going to propose! We got dressed up & he took me to the restaurant we celebrated our very first valentines day together. (I have menu’s from both nights, one dated 2004 & one dated 2010, framed in our kitchen.) He then took me to Pioneer Square, where the annual giant Christmas tree was just set up. He finally got a tad bit nervous (although the man is fantastic under pressure), got down on one knee onto the wet bricks and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I told him to get off the wet bricks so not to ruin his pants & he responded, “I’m not standing up until I hear a better answer than that!” No idea what I was thinking when that came out first instead of Yes! Unknown to me, he had a friend their photographing and my family watching. Once he pointed them out, my sister came sprinting around the corner with my parents following. They all joined in the excitement and we celebrated at the nearby Nines Hotel rooftop bar with a bottle of Prosecco.

Swoon Worthy Wedding

My inspiration behind the day was classic black & white with some extra sparkly flair. We wanted our wedding to be a giant celebration and a night to remember for everyone, not just us. Although it was black tie attire, we didn’t want it to feel too stuffy so kept playful elements in mind when planning details….My favorite details were all the sparkly items we incorporated– our wedding colors were definitely “sparkly.” J The bridesmaid dresses, the gold DIY mason jars, the NYE paraphernalia, the DIY birch tree alter with sparkly ornaments, the mini champagne favors; all were adorned with some form of sparkles and made for a fancy, yet playful style.

Experience their Wedding

My favorite thing about our wedding was that every single moment was one of those “I’ll never forget this moment” moments. From the minute I woke up (to my sister playing “I’ll say a little prayer for you”) to seeing Zach for the first time to  toasting with our bridal party before the ceremony to taking that last deep breath before walking down the aisle to getting married!! To our final kiss at midnight + everything in between. Walking back up the stairs with Zach as husband & wife and being alone for the first time, was our favorite private moment. We both really started crying for the first time that day & I can’t even describe how happy my heart & soul felt. Those 5 minutes were precious and absolutely necessary for us. We toasted each other with our Ninkasi “Nuptiale” & devoured our delicious hor’s d’ouerves while trying to grasp the idea that we just got married!  After that, it was all celebration time! My other favorite moment was being announced as “husband & wife.” We turned the corner to meet at the top of the grand staircase with Chris Brown’s “Forever” playing & every single guest was cheering so loud, we were completely shocked & overwhelmed with love/support. We boogied down the stairs & through an impromptu “spirit-hand” tunnel into cocktail hour.

I wanted to incorporate as many thoughtful items as possible into our wedding day. Since none of my grandparents were alive or able to make it, I pinned my grandmother’s broach onto my bouquet & wore my other grandmothers fur coat to the rehearsal dinner. I borrowed my mom’s fur coat for the wedding day that my father got her during their ski escapades to Sun Valley in their 20’s. I also wore the TOMS shoes my sister got me for her wedding day the previous summer. We drank champagne out of my parents silver champagne flutes that they received for their 25th wedding anniversary. My mother’s side of the family has a cake-cutting knife that has been passed down through multiple weddings, so we used this to cut our cake with. It was important to me to incorporate these personal details into our big day to celebrate family traditions and start our own.


Photographer: Niki Rhodes Photography / Venue: Gerding Theater at the Armory, Portland Center Stage / Catering: Vibrant Tables / Cake: Dream Cakes Judy Reese / DJ: Event Team Entertainment, Shawn Whittmore / Make-up: Carrie Hamm, Make Up Artist / Hair: Sarah Evans, 77 Salon / Hotel: The Nines / Live music: Bride’s uncles / Dress: Jim Hjelm via Ania’s Bridal / Tailoring: Anna’s Bridal, Lake Oswego / Bridesmaid dresses: variety of boutiques & online stores

12 Responses to “Real Wedding | Mandy & Zach’s NYE Wedding”

  1. Alexa

    Love Love her wedding. So sparkly and love that it was in NYC. Also adore their proposal story, that’s so cute they met in high school! :)

  2. Brynn {chartreuse & a twist}

    What a totally lovely story…I love hearing other high school sweetheart stories :) Those sequined bridesmaid dresses are to die!!! Gorgeous sparkly details and such a sweet couple! XO brynn

  3. Aubrey

    So absolutely gorgeous…they will never top that NYE celebration! (c: I love the sparkly bridesmaid dresses, so perfect!

  4. Lisa

    They make such a GORGEOUS couple!! I love their story so much, and they threw one heck of a beautiful wedding! Love the sparkly bridesmaid dresses especially :)

  5. The NOW Stylebook

    GORGE! I love the cake topper & all the personal touches like your grandmothers’ coat and broach on the bouquet. Very sweet!! xoxo Elizabeth


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