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Wanted: Betrothed seeking something different in a wedding


Heirloom Experience looks to team with engaged couple to create a wedding experience

It started with the desire to collaborate with other artists and creative folks in the area on something larger than themselves. Less than two months later, “The Heirloom Experience” is underway and includes 10 vendors and artists in Newberg and Portland.

“I tried to think what could we all work on for a while and I couldn’t come up with anything,” said Benjamin Holtrop, the George Fox University student behind the project. “I’m a wedding photographer and I realized weddings are the perfect setting where a whole bunch of creatives could come together and do their craft and do it well for the sake of someone else.”

The Heirloom Experience is an opportunity for an engaged couple to win free and discounted services for their wedding. The services range from photography and cinematography to calligraphy, flowers and apparel design.

“I started by contacting artists I know personally and some companies, like the florist, companies that I’ve always wanted to create a relationship with,” Holtrop said.

The project launched on Valentine’s Day, shortly after its inception in December. Couples can apply if they meet two criteria: they are engaged and plan to marry in 2014. The application includes some serious questions, like names and basic wedding details, to the more obscure, like what type of sandwich would you be and why.

“We wanted to get to know the couple,” he said.

“I think what we’re looking for is a couple who really values aesthetics and a couple who would represent our brands really well.”

But the couple should also be looking for less of a contract with vendors and more of collaboration.

“It’s less about bargain hunting and more about the ability to maximize creativity on a minimal budget,” said Megan Clark, cinematographer.

Although Holtrop said couples could save at least $6,000 if they are selected for the project.

“I think it’s through our passion for what we do and our passion for our craft that we’re wanting to do this, it’s less about the money,” he said. “But we want to work with each other, we want to work with the couple and help them create what they wanted.”

With eight applications submitted in the first week, Clark said the selection process will really be about finding the couple who shares their values, both in marriage and in creative vision.

“For all of us here our view of marriage is very holistic, it’s a very lasting commitment,” she said. “I think that’s something that goes for art too. We wanted that to be rooted in the relationship as well.”

Looking to the future, Holtrop said he hopes to put together one wedding experience a year, and is already lining up places to feature the first finished package.

“My plan is to submit the wedding to some well-known wedding blogs,” he said. “One is in Australia (and) I already told them about the project. They said were looking forward to this wedding, they kind of got dibs on it.”

But overall, Michal Nakashimada with Ensue Photobooths said it’s about an opportunity to work together and bless a couple.

“It’s all young couples who are applying with maybe not the biggest budget, but (who) value creativity,” Nakashimada said. “People say it’s the best day of your lives, we’re excited to bless people through this.”

For more information or to apply, visit www.benjaminholtrop.co. Applications are due March 14.