What do you do when you’re not really into the idea of planning a big wedding? You elope!
…but first you have to get engaged. Last spring J+A took a vacation to Hawaii (jealous) and as you might expect wanted to do some exploring. They started on a short side-trip on their way to Hana to a quite little town; as they walked down the dilapidated road they found a beautiful secluded beach. They sat there watching the waves crash on the rocks when Aaron took Jessica’s hand, knelt down on one knee, and asked her to marry him! In her own words [she] was not expecting this! …ummm I’m pretty sure that’s the idea. lol!
Jessica + Aaron wanted something low-key and scenic for their ceremony to stay in line with their overall personalities and love of the outdoors. They invited Aaron’s brother and a few close friends to be witnesses and officiate – they spent the weekend cooking, playing games, and enjoying the fresh powder. I loved how personal they made everything, while still keeping it very simple, proving that meaningful is always better than basically anything else. Instead of rings they chose to tie a knot using two colors of climbing rope – because they’re the adventurous type – and picked a knot that each piece played an equal role in its formation and strength. They shared vows that focused on loving each other for who they are as individuals as well as supporting growth and deepening their relationship. Though I have to say that my favorite part was that everyone was wearing snowshoes or yaktrax, oh yeah AND that we celebrated with rootbeer floats at the local diner after the ceremony!!! …because that’s how we role in Central Oregon.
Q: What was your favorite part of the day?
Jessica: My favorite part of the day was spending time with everyone and feeling an overwhelming sense of joy that was present in every moment. From cooking breakfast, to getting ready, to the drive over, the ceremony itself and the celebration after. It wasn’t stressful or rushed at all. We all just had time to be together and enjoy each others companionship.
Q: What are you most looking forward to?
Jessica: I am looking forward to sharing more adventures together, to being beside each other through life’s difficulties, and to celebrate the good things that happen every day.
Q: What advice do you have for others?
Jessica: Advice is to keep things simple and personal. Once planning my wedding became about making it a special day for me and Aaron, and not worrying about the “norms” or what other people would like, I was able to relax and I actually was excited about the process. Hunting down each element of my wedding outfit, developing the knot-tying ceremony, and scouting the perfect location for our ceremony with Aaron were all fun parts of the pre-wedding process. It was kind of crazy how quickly the ceremony buzzed by, and thinking how much time and energy was put into crafting that 5 or 10 minutes of scripted behavior. Being surrounded by the right people in an inspiring place made it easy for the rest of the day unfold. And having [Amanda] there to help guide us through the day was invaluable so she could capture all the special moments that we’ll now have to remember forever in photos. That took a lot of planning and thought off of my plate.
Venue // Fort Rock State Park
Photography // Amanda Photographic
Floral // Summer Robbins Flowers
Literally everything else // DIY
What can I say about Danna + Uriah?
These two are crazy stupid in love, super cool rockers, and have excellent taste in champagne!
I met up with Danna a couple weeks before their elopement date to get to know her and work on a logistical plan for their day. It was going to be a simple day with all the best visual elements of a full wedding; she had a cocktail length beaded dress (YASSSS!!!) and flowers from Summer Robbins, while Uriah had a gray suit and would be sporting his vans (Perfect!). They reserved a cabin at Brasada Ranch just outside Bend where they would have their sunset ceremony and we planned to take all their photos around the property before hand. Everything went according to plan except for one teensy thing… it snowed like 2 feet just days before! This elopement just turned into a winter wonderland of freezing amazingness!!!
Danna + Uriah met at a local bar when he put her favorite band, Clutch, on the jukebox. “You don’t even know who that is!”, shouted Danna. “Yea, I do!”, he replied and proceeded to put every single Clutch song into the cue and sang ALL of them with her. Awwwwww! The next night Uriah made her dinner – chicken and kale – and it was looooove. But Danna was moving to Costa Rica, so they spent every available waking moment together. After awhile in Costa Rica Uriah reached out asking her to come back and immediately whisked her off to Mexico for a sunny vacay where he proposed.
I am so excited for these two! They share such a wonderful love of adventure, life, and of course each other.
Venue // Brasada Ranch – Powell Butte, Oregon
Dress // Bella Brides – Bend, Oregon
Hair & Makeup // Robin Schneider of Desert Rose Bridal Styling – Bend, Oregon
Dress & Hair Comb | Bella Bride Bend, Or
Menswear | Revolvr Bend, Or
Location | Open Space in Sisters, Or
Theme // Glamping (Glamorous + Camping)
Colors & Patterns // Red plaid, Navy, Yellow, and Espresso
Venue // Five Pine Lodge Coordinator // Everything Else Events Photography // Amanda Photographic Florist // Summer Robbins Flowers Cake // Foxtail Bakeshop Bar + Papergoods // AE Creative Dress // Bella Brides Hair & Make Up // Edge Hair & Make Up Menswear // Revolvr & The Alley Tablescape Rentals // Special Occasions Misc Rentals // The Inkwell
At the beginning of this year, shortly after moving to Bend, I was excited to photograph a styled shoot for Everything Else Events. Extra exciting was helping them find local vendors to feature, which gave me a great excuse to make connections with some of my favorite people in Central Oregon!
If there’s one thing that Central Oregon has no shortage of it’s SUNSHINE! While I never wish for rain at a wedding, I do usually wish for a nice overcast or big billowy clouds to help shield myself and my couple from the harsh sunlight. Heather + Tyler’s wedding at Dee Bar Farms in Powell Butte gave me a big lesson in the how to work when there’s no hope for shade and also about the beauty in the vibrant colors the direct sun produces.
The day was hooooot. I felt bad for the guys in their three-piece suits and for the bride in her GORGEOUS, but heavy, gown. Despite the heat the entire wedding party kept a high morale the entire day and danced their booties off late into the night. Dee Bar Farms is a working quarter-horse ranch, boarding, and training facility. They’ve recently opened up their front pasture and open-sided barn for weddings and small events. An adorable bridge takes you to the tiny island with a single willow tree that’s surrounded by an equally tiny mote filled with frogs and tadpoles; while the Cascade mountains from Bachelor to Jefferson sit quietly in the background waiting for sunset.
It’s difficult for me to pick a favorite part of the day… there were sooooo many great moments! 1. Silly bridesmaids going the extra mile by fanning Heather under her dress to help keep her cool. 2. Cheeky Minister. …seriously the best ever! 3. Ring Bearer Dogs!!! Dozer + Diesel were the most well behaved ring dogs I’ve ever seen and completely worked their entrance song “Who Let The Dogs Out?!” 4. When the flower girl, Regan, stopped the show because her little shoe came untied mid aisle. Her brother even tried to help by gently attempting to push her down the aisle. Lol! 5. The entire wedding party line-dancing to “Boot Scootin’ Boggie” for their reception entrance. 6. Tyler’s …ummm enthusiastic dance for taking off Heather’s garter. Just watch Magic Mike to get an idea. I could easily name a million more things that were wonderful about this day, but then you’d never get to see the photos.
Here’s what Heather + Tyler had to say about their wedding, what they’re looking forward to, and what they’d like to share with others.
1. What was your favorite part of the wedding day?
Heather : That’s a hard question, every part was amazing! Some of my favorite moments included finally being announced as Husband and Wife and then the incredible dance party!
Tyler: When I first saw my beautiful Bride followed by the dogs walking down the isle and dancing with people we haven’t seen in a long time.
2. What are you most looking forward to in married life?
Heather and Tyler: For people not asking when we are going to be married 😉
Heather: We’ve basically lived the married life for a while now, so it will be awesome to finally be able to call Tyler my Husband.
Tyler: Heather has been in my phone as “wife” since soon after dating, so now that name has finally come true. Excited for Heather and I to share the same last name.
3. What advice would you like to share with others?
Heather: During the planning process and day of, take time to breath and take it all in. It will all come together in the end! Having a ladies craft night was one of my favorite planning ideas. Nothing better than crafting for the wedding with drinks and a great group of girls. The wedding day goes by too fast, allow extra time for everything! Relationship advice: Never hang up the phone or go to bed angry.
Tyler: Embrace all the chaos, even though it seems stressful at the time, you are still creating lifelong memories. Relationship advice: No matter the argument or situation, your wife is always right (so I’ve been told).
Venue // Dee Bar Farms
Photographer // Amanda Photographic
Second Photographer // Mallory Torchio
Coordination // Abigail Colombo
Floral // Ana’s Rose ‘n’ Thorn
Dessert // Liq-her Cupcakes
Catering // El Rancho Grande
DJ // Central Oregon DJ – Eric Van Dyke
Invitations // Wedding Paper Divas
Formal Wear // Cordially Invited
H&MUA // Misty O’Brien
Signage // Kate Mitchell
The story goes that Andrew + Ashley decided that, after what many would consider a lifetime’s worth of adventures together, that it was time to get married. …seriously though, they’ve been to like half a dozen plus countries, challenge each other, work together, have a fur baby, and just opened a chiropractic clinic together. Sheesh! Anyway they decided that they wanted to elope. After participating in a stylized elopement at the end of last year and consulting with the coordinator, Abby of AE Creative, on a real elopement they realized that they would still need witnesses and couldn’t have only an officiant.
Ashley: I asked my Mom to be my witness!
Andrew: Well then I’ll ask my Mom to be my witness! …hmmm I can’t invite my Mom and not my Dad.
Ashley: I also want my brother to be there.
Andrew: It wouldn’t feel right to not invite my brothers too. I mean they live IN Bend…
Both: …this is turning into a wedding. Ok, immediate family only.
Family is very important to both Ashley + Andrew, but so is being super chill and actually getting to spend lots of time with said family.
So with they help of AE Creative they planned an intimate family wedding at the Triple D Ranch, where they all stayed for the weekend, with minimal fuss. Abby brought in Foxtail Bakeshop, Summer Robbins Flowers, Cascade Catering, and The Broomsmen to make the day beautiful, delicious, and worry-free. Andrew’s brother, Phil (The Original Broomsmen), built a simple arbor to be decorated with foraged Juniper branches, feathers, and dream catchers (made by AE Creative) for their ceremony backdrop. Foxtail Bakeshop took advantage of the small cake and full creative license to hand paint flowers and texture on the frosting (“We never get to paint on cake!”). AE Creative also had a lot freedom for the dinner table set up and designed a venue appropriate, Central Oregon based, colorful tablescape with personalized place setting for each of the 17 people in attendance. Summer Robbins crafted a stunning bouquet with seasonal blooms, foraged elements, and a palate that was perfect for this winter wedding. Lastly, Andrew had his friend and fellow fly-fisherman tie a fly boutonniere for each of his three brothers and his Dad.
During their tear-jerking ceremony, officiated by Andrew’s brother, surrounded by their family, it started to sprinkle just a little bit… which actually fit the scene perfectly. After exchanging rings and vows, a kiss, and a wedding-dream-catcher-rocket everyone moved inside to enjoy a roaring fire, s’mores, photo slide-show, and a very VERY very yummy dinner.
…ok that’s enough from me. Let’s see the photos!!!
Coordination + Decor + Invitations // AE Creative
Venue // Triple D Ranch
Bride’s Dress // Free People
Groom’s Attire // Revolvr Menswear
Catering // Cascade Catering
Floral // Summer Robbins Flowers
Cake // Foxtail Bakeshop
Setup + Cleanup // The Broomsmen
Photography // Amanda Photographic
2015 was an enormous growing year for me as a wedding photographer. Every venue was one where I’d never worked before, I booked twice as many weddings, second shot seven more, and participated in two stylized weddings out-of-state. With virtually no off-season at the end of last year I’ve already started on this years’ weddings and I can already say that 2016 going to give 2015 a run for its money. Last year I had the good fortune to do a bit of traveling to photograph some of these weddings – Eastern Oregon, Portland, New York/Massachusetts, Seattle, with plenty of local-ish ones in between. Some of these categories were really really really difficult to pick just one… Note: I didn’t include any of the stylized weddings or weddings that I second’ed for in this favorites list.
Emily + Collin | Conway Ranch, John Day, OR
Favorite Groom Attire
Rosalinda + Jeremy | Cathedral Park, Portland, OR
Favorite Bridal Attire
Erika + Matthew | H&H Ranch, The Berkshires, Mass/NY
Sarah + Ben | Old Iron Ranch, Shedd, OR
Amy + Michael | Bridegport Brewery, Portland, OR
Brittany + Patrick | Family Farm, Junction City, OR
Favorite First Look – Tie!
Stephanie + Tim | Green Villa Barn, Independence, OR
Favorite First Look – Tie!
Elizabeth + Emily | Pacific Tower, Seattle, WA
Erika + Matthew | H&H Ranch, The Berkshires, Mass/NY
Favorite Wedding Party Creative Photo
Madison + Scott | St. Mary’s Church, Corvallis, OR
Happy Wedding Wednesday!!!
Today I’m sharing photos from another wedding where I was the second shooter, this time for the ever lovely Stevi Sayler of Stevi Sayler Photography.
I had JUST returned from my adventure shooting The Big Fake Wedding – Phoenix and was oh so excited to immediately return to a beautiful (high) desert. Broken Top Club is one of the area’s many resort, country club, golf course venues. As you might imagine based on the name they have a wonderful view of Broken Top Mountain. Stevi and I started our day with a trip around the venue in one of their golf carts to scout out some portrait locations and check on the ceremony site. Once we knew where we wanted to shoot it was a full day of laughing, sparkles, happy tears, dogs, beautiful views, great food, and dancing! Here are a few of my favorites from the day. Enjoy!
If you’d like to see Stevi’s blog post from this wedding click here.
I’m going to keep saying this for awhile: John and I moved to Bend, Oregon on New Year’s Eve! I’m very excited to work in this new landscape… like really really excited! So if you’re recently engaged or know someone who is, especially in Central Oregon, I’d love to hear all about your wedding day vision and how I can tell your love story with my photography. I have several dates this summer and fall still available. Contact me for booking and details!
You know that you’re marrying an interior designer when she can transform a modest horse ranch in Eastern Oregon into a romantic destination wedding location!
For Emily + Collin’s big day the fun actually started the Wednesday prior with a family meet & greet at the local historic hotel. Activities continued through the week with bowling, golf, a hike to Strawberry Lake, and a of course the rehearsal. With family and friends traveling from all over the country, Emily + Collin wanted to give them a welcoming experience with thoughtful ways to spend time together. Themselves traveling from Seattle, WA they weren’t about to miss out on quality family time.
The forecast was calling for temps in the triple digits (104-107 ouch!) so shade, water, comfort, and safety became a top priority as Saturday neared. Personal note: A little over a year ago I gave up my blue belle (91 tercel) for a new-to-me grown-up-mobile and I was never more thankful for features like AC in my life as I made the 5 hour trekked out to Prairie City the day before the wedding. Even though everyone was feeling the heat, the wedding party and family remained in good spirits to keep the morale high for Saturday.
The big day finally arrived and all the final preparations began early in the morning before the heat set in. Emily + Collin separated to get ready and spend time with their respective wedding party folks. Emily, her sisters, and Mom went up the road to the Riverside School House B&B; while Collin and his boys stayed at the Conway Ranch. As I bounced back and forth between the two locations I saw all the planning, all the work, and all the vision come together to set the scene for this beautiful celebration!
We were graced with an overcast to offer a little relief from the heat and make the lighting a little easier to work with for me. The ceremony began with a long walk from the gate through the field to the arch where Collin and the officiant waited for everyone. The flower girls (Collin’s nieces) were adorable walking down the aisle with their Daddy/Best Man/Collin’s brother and enthusiastic with their task. Emily was walked down the aisle by her Mother. After a prayer and some banter it was time for vows and rings. The rings, btw, were made my Collin’s Aunt; this made them even more special to have that personal touch and care put into them. Emily + Collin’s ceremony was beautiful, personal, sweet, and witnessed by the people they love most.
Cocktail hour, photos, family style dinner, toasts, and a barn dance immediately followed the ceremony.
After the sunset the clouds cleared and I was preparing for some epic long exposure star photography… but a very full moon lit up the sky and kept the stars hidden away.
When I called to say my farewells in the morning I learned that they didn’t leave the reception until 5AM!!!
Congratulations to Emily + Collin… who are currently enjoying their honeymoon in ITALY. Jealous.
Now reserving dates for 2016 + 2017. Contact me for availability and full details.