Gorgeous Outdoor Wedding Overlooking the Columbia River Gorge

Micaela Dea and Curtis Clauson

Photographed by: O'Malley PhotographersLocation: Quincy, Washington, United States

“I was immediately drawn to her,” remembers Curtis Clauson of the moment he first met Micaela Dea. “I was instantly comfortable around her, like we had known each other our whole lives.” Unsure if she would say yes, he asked her to join him at a music festival at The Gorge Amphitheatre for their first date. “[We] ended up talking, dancing, and singing together, ultimately falling in love,” muses Micaela. “I knew after that weekend that he was the one I was going to marry!” 

Six years later, Micaela and Curtis exchanged vows just minutes from where they spent that life-changing weekend. “We fell in love on our first date and also fell in love with the view, so it was really cool we got to get married there and share that with our family and friends,” affirms the groom. Since Micaela was in her final year of dental school, she relied heavily on Callista Osborn of Callista & Company to help her organize the big day. “I did most of the research, with help from Callista of course, and then presented the options to Curt and he chose his favorite,” she tells of their process. They selected a timeless, natural theme – “Gorgeous at The Gorge” – to complement the venue. 

Guests took their seats facing the picturesque vista and attendants processed down the aisle as string renditions of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” were played. “The ceremony was the most important to me,” declares the groom, noting they took their time to find the perfect officiant, desiring “someone who had a strong faith, knew our relationship, and would be in our lives after our wedding,” he adds. “We both decided my dad would be perfect.” They exchanged vows in front of a crescent-shaped floral installation of low, lush blooms that enhanced, yet did not obstruct, the incredible views of the gorge and Columbia River. Micaela reminisces, “It was such a special and beautiful ceremony – definitely one of the highlights of the entire day!” 

Following cocktail hour, which featured entertainment provided by the bride’s cousin and her band, the newlyweds and their loved ones found their seats for the alfresco reception. Much like the ceremony, the romantic décor showcased tones of sand, whipped apricot, and dusty mauve to suit the surrounding landscape. Twinkling bistro lights were suspended over tablescapes, which featured a base of creamy linens topped with textural centerpieces comprised of delightful florals in the warm, neutral palette. Place settings showcased elegant top-fold menu cards emblazoned with the newlyweds’ custom crest and each guest’s hand-scripted name. 

“I’m very crafty and always knew I wanted to take on at least a few projects for our wedding!” confirms Micaela. She worked with her father to create the wood-block table numbers, along with the wooden frames that held the linen signage for the fête. “Callista had an idea to do a large guest book display that evolved into a photo wall where guests would find their photo and write us a note,” shares the bride. Leading up to the nuptials, Micaela and her father crafted the display and also gathered photos of every guest in attendance that they had taken over the years, which delighted unsuspecting attendees. 

Micaela also had another surprise in store: She had her mother’s traditional Chinese qipao reception dress from her 1990 wedding secretly altered. “It features a beaded dragon and Phoenix, which represent luck, loyalty, love, and joy. Together, they signify husband and wife,” explains the bride, who changed into the gown for the magical evening. “Curtis, my parents, grandparents, and all of our friends and family were so surprised and loved that I included such a special dress and tradition into our big day.” 

As their best man shared in his speech, “It was never a question of if they would get married, it was always a question of when,” and the day Micaela and Curtis became husband and wife – in the same location where they fell in love – was more perfect than they could have ever imagined.