Ed. note: As part of our Wedding Month, we’re going back to a Very Lebowski Wedding, performed shortly after the release of our first homage to the Dude’s sweater. We’ve since made a replica that you can see here: The Westerley. We still love that first sweater, though, and this Portland wedding remains one of our very favorites.
This past fall, Zoe Fisher and Matt Johnson tied the knot under an ancient tree in Portland’s Laurelhurst Park. The bride was beautiful and the groom was handsome, but here at Pendleton, our attention was drawn to the row of attending men.
There they are, standing proud in our Dude Cardigan, Pendleton’s tribute to the Westerley worn by Jeff Bridges as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski.”
I was able to talk to Zoe to talk about her wedding last week, and the first thing I asked her was, did her wedding have an official theme? “It was Portland,” said Zoe. “Just Portland. My husband’s family is from the East coast and this was going to be their first trip out here. So we wanted the wedding to reflect Portland as much as it could.”
Marrying in red is a bold choice. It’s a fantastic color, and Zoe’s dress has a definite Adele vibe. Was it new or vintage? “Both, kind of. I found a vintage 1950s Butterick pattern on eBay and gave it to a Portland seamstress named Skye Blue. She’s into sustainable and upcycled designs, so I knew she’d be up for an unconventional wedding dress. I gave her the pattern and fabric I found for $6.00 a yard at the Fabric Depot.”
And look what she did with it!
The dress was new and old. Zoe added something borrowed and something blue with the Chanel Nouvelle Vague nail polish, owned and applied by a friend.
Zoe was ready to get married in style. But what about the men?
Two occurrences had the bride-and-groom-to-be thinking about having the male members of the wedding party in Pendleton sweaters.
Last December, Zoe saw a feature in Portland Bride magazine that used the Pendleton Jerome cardigan. “It definitely fit in with our theme. Pendleton is the Portland brand.”
Then in May of 2011, The Oregonian ran a feature on the Dude Cardigan, a tribute version of the cardigan worn in a movie that, well, it means a lot to Matt and Zoe. “We’re basically obsessed with The Big Lebowski. So much so that we quote it almost every day.”
The stars were set to align. But a call to the downtown Portland Pendleton store was worrisome. “The ship date was really close to the wedding, and they’d pre-sold most of the stock before it even arrived. We were on the waiting list!”
Zoe decided to go to the store in person to look at other sweater options. When she arrived, associates were unpacking Dude sweaters and making calls. And once Zoe saw the cardigan in person, no other would do.
That’s where Pendleton people stepped in. Sheri Vanderpool, manager at Portland Pendleton, says, “Associate Michelle Seyer worked with Zoe personally, calling all around the country.” Michelle kept calling until she found enough for Matt’s three groomsmen, and Zoe’s best friend Jazz, who was one of her attendants. The sweaters came from every geographic region.
“We bought the sweaters and gave them as attendant gifts,” explains Zoe. “My dad was a little pouty that he didn’t get to wear one, but I said, no Dad, you’re the father of the bride. You wear a suit.” And of course, the groom Matt wanted one, too. He may or may not be getting one for Christmas. Matt will just have to wait and see on December 25th.
The event was captured on film by Heather Bayles, a Portland photographer who allowed us to use these shots (more shots from this wedding, and more examples of her beautiful work can be seen here). Ms. Bayles took the pre-wedding shots at the Nines Hotel and the reception photos at the Bossanova Ballroom. Yes, that’s the groom rocking out with friends at the reception.
The very Oregon flowers were provided by Quince .
A big thanks to Zoe and Matt for allowing us to share in their very Lebowski wedding, and a special thanks to Zoe for sharing all the details that went into planning an event of so much heart, soul and style.
When complimented on her bravery for planning an outdoor wedding in Portland’s fall weather, she said, “Well, we decorated our save-the-date cards with an umbrella.” Did the wedding party have umbrellas, just in case? That idea made Zoe laugh. “We’re natives! We don’t do umbrellas!”
Congratulations, Zoe and Matt Johnson, and here’s to a beautiful future together. And if the Johnsons have inspired you to investigate some creative choices for your wedding, come see us online or at one of our stores. We’d be happy to make it happen for you.
Pendleton wedding gifts: SHOP