Archive for Central Oregon Wedding

Tim + Emily | Spring Woodland Wedding at Aspen Hall, Bend Oregon

Second shooting for Gina Cholick.

It’s that time of year where I get to share the photography from weddings that I was a second shooter for this past season. For those of you that aren’t familiar, it has become increasingly common for a wedding photographer to bring on another professional to assist them on a wedding day. This has so many benefits to it and is absolutely worth the investment if it’s not included in your photographer’s service. The second shooter covers alternate angles during the ceremony, helps wrangle family and wedding party for portraits, will work with one of the partners while the primary photographer is with the other, shoots boat loads of candids and reaction photos while the formal portraits are happening, and fixes clothes, hair, makeup, etc. Sometime photographers will use the opportunity to second shoot to learn and gain experience in a highly competitive and high pressure field… personally I only use established professionals for second shooters, but will bring on an assistant or third shooter if someone reaches out to me. As an established professional myself, I really enjoy second shooting for other pros! It gives me an opportunity to make connections with other photographers, try new ideas/techniques, and sometimes diversify my portfolio.

Tim and Emily’s wedding had a certain coziness to it. I’m not sure what it was exactly… but it felt extra welcoming and chillax.

Aspen Hall is a local event hall next door to one of Bend’s larger city parks – Shevlin Park. The hall is surrounded by walking/hiking trails, a fishing pond, Tumalo Creek, and of course aspen trees. Tim and Emily had an outdoor ceremony under a rustic arbor decorated with flowers and greenery. Their indoor/outdoor reception was centered around the photo-booth, dance floor (indoor), and shaded bar (outdoor) featuring local Deschutes beer and custom pint glasses. Toward the end of the day we took advantage of a glowy sunset for some romantic post-ceremony portraits at a nearby overlook.

Enough talk… more photos!

Venue // Aspen Hall

Planning + Coordinating // Shine Events

Floral // Woodland Floral Design

HMUA // Astacia Christenson + Kerry Schoales

Catering + Bartending // Bleu Bite

Music // DJ Sir Juan

Photo-Booth // Adventure Box Photo Booth

Photography // Gina Cholick + Amanda [Photographic] Long

Robin & Russ | Moody Boho with Jewel Tones and Skulls

When it’s one of your own getting married you just can’t hold back!

Robin is the hair and makeup goddess behind Desert Rose Bridal Styling. Her seamless blending, bold moody eyes, and refined hair styles are, in my opinion, her signature look. So when she announced that she and Russ were tying the knot the whole wedding community was bustling with excitement! If there was one thing everyone knew to be true, Robin & Russ’ wedding would be GORGEOUS… and it really really was.

The reception tables were my favorite part of the design and styling. Rich blue linens, mismatched chairs and jewel toned glass, centerpieces ranging from full blooms to delicate cloches to gothy skulls lined the tables. Everything was placed with intention and created an intimate reception spaces for the cold night ahead. One hiccup was the weather… as is common in Central Oregon the Fall can be unpredictable and turbulent. The original plan was for the ceremony to be in front of the tipi with Smith Rock State Park in the background. During set up we had to make the call: outside and risk everything getting ruined plus a rainy ceremony? Or inside where everything is safe, but it’s dark and there isn’t enough room for everyone (anyone) to sit. We went with inside; then just as the ceremony was getting ready to start everything settled down and the sun broke. Such is (wedding) life. …that’s probably a good analogy for marriage actually. Ha!

The creative teams worked through the morning and early afternoon to get the spaces just right; full of floral arrangements, heat lamps, boho decor, candles, string lights, and a prettiest geode cake I’ve ever seen. At the Clubhouse, Robin was working her own magic in the bridal suite with her sisters and soon-to-be step daughter, while Russ was managing their two little boys and rubbing elbows with family. Soon guests would start to trickle in and take in the views from around the Tuscan Stables and enjoy the pre-ceremony cocktail hour that included a rosé that they made from grapes grown at a small vineyard on the Ranch at the Canyons property. With a limited guest list everyone was there because they had deep ties to Robin & Russ. There was laughing and crying, hootin’ and hollerin’, all the hugs and all the cheers! The entire day felt so intimate and personal, like we were all getting a first hand glimpse into their life, their family, and their love.

Kate + Katie | Elopement at Shevlin Park

I don’t always have the pleasure and opportunity to spend time with my couples before their wedding day.

Such was the case with Kate + Katie… in fact we met for the first time when they arrived at Shevlin Park to be married. I always encourage my clients to take advantage of an engagement session, we usually meet up a few times to discuss particulars over coffee, I attend rehearsal the day before, then I spend the bulk of the wedding day with both of them. But sometimes even though you’re clients live busy lives in Portland you still feel connected to them the moment you see them walking toward you. I suppose when you’re radiating love and light on your wedding day it’s easy to share that with everyone you see. 🙂

Kate + Katie met through a mutual friend. According to them they were friends for 6 months “…then we weren’t [just friends].” They enjoy spending their time together hiking, traveling, going to concerts, and playing with their dog, Chance. These two beauties were surrounded by their families and closest friends for a very intimate elopement style service performed by Kate’s brother. Tumalo Creek sang behind them as Kate + Katie shared their vows and exchanged rings. They promised the be kind, patient, to love each other for who they are and for who they will be.

Q1. What was your favorite part of the day?

K+K: Our favorite part of the day was standing in front of our family, saying our vows with the river in the background.

Q2: What are you most looking forward to in married life?

K+K: We’re most looking forward to sharing our lives together and building a family.

Q3: What advice would you like to share with others?

K+K: Our advice is to be present and focus on each other.

Venue // Shevlin Park, Bend Oregon Photography // Amanda Photographic Coordinating // AE Creative Dresses // BHLDN Flowers // Donner Flower Shop Rings // Twist HMUA // Julianna Clausen Music //Quinn DeVeaux Reception // 900 Wall

Alison & Austin | Wildfire Romance at Five Pine Lodge, Sisters Oregon

Remember that time when Central Oregon was heavy with wildfire smoke… yea, we all do.

Fortunately for Alison & Austin the Millie Fire didn’t advance far enough to put a damper on their wedding day at Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, Oregon. The air was still scratchy and it “looked like” a thick overcast or fog was looming in the sky, if it wasn’t for the plenty high temps and red glowing sun you’d almost believe it.

Both having Oregon roots, Alison & Austin chose Central Oregon for their ceremony with their love of the outdoors, mountains, and our favorite… beer! They also enjoy “good tv”, eating amazing food, and fun music. In fact their first dates included the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Fransisco and a Stanford vs. OSU football game. “I can’t believe we rooted for Stanford!”, said Alison. Lol! Speaking of fun music, a friend of Alison’s from high school was their live band – professional honky tonk one man show!!! It was glorious.

My favorite parts of the day: Alison’s Trample the Patriarchy unicorn tank top and GORGEOUS blue & gold wedding dress <3, them both working so hard to keep it together during their vows… even though I insisted that they let it out and cry, those custom riiiiiings, forgoing cake for dessert and having Addy Mac’s ice cream instead!

Here’s what they had to say about their special day:

1. What was your favorite part of the day?

Alison: My favorite part of the day was walking into the wedding venue after the ceremony and greeting all of our guests. It’s a really rare thing to be in a large crowd of people where everyone you see is not only someone you know, but also someone you really like! On top of that, I knew that each one of my guests had made a lot of effort to travel to the wedding venue just to show their support for me and Austin. So each time I said hi to a different person, I was overwhelmed with the love their presence suggested and how much each person clearly cared about me. I was left with a very full heart after having everybody I care most about in one place at one time!

Austin: Seeing Alison for the first time and being absolutely blown away! Also the combination of Alison / her amazing dress / the FivePine landscape / the smoky alien sun just made for an incredible scene.

2. What are you most looking forward to in married life?

Alison: I’m most looking forward to seeing how Austin and I change and grow together over the years. We’ve known each other for five years now, and every single year we grow up a little bit and also grow a little bit closer. We challenge each other to be kind, thoughtful, and empathetic people not only towards others, but also to each other and to ourselves. Now that our lives are officially entwined, I hope our insight and care will lead to an even deeper relationship that allows us to support each other through whatever obstacles lie ahead.

Austin: Hanging out with my best friend every day and knowing we get to do that for the rest of our lives!!

3. What advice would you like to share with others?

Alison: My advice for wedding planning is to hire good people (like Amanda!) who clearly know what they are doing and really know the whole process. Then, give them a little guidance on the vision, hand them a check, and let them take over the rest. I had an amazing time on my wedding day and wasn’t stressed during the planning process because I didn’t go insane over every tiny little detail. There were still inane details for which I was the one that eventually had to make the decision, like what color pens I wanted for my guest book and how to display the seating charts. In those cases, I spent a short while looking at options, and then just made a decision, ordered the necessary things from Amazon, and then crossed that action item off my list. You can spend forever optimizing, but in the end, what people really remember about the wedding is how much fun everyone had! No matter how beautiful your seating chart is, people won’t be talking about it for years to come like they will be talking about the smile on your face.

Austin: For the wedding: Make it your own day – don’t be bound by traditions that you think are important to other people. Make your OWN traditions that reflect your values and what has brought you together as a couple. Everyone will recognize the authenticity and embrace it (otherwise why are they at your wedding?!?)


Creative Team

Venue & Catering // Five Pine Lodge & Conference Center  Photographer & Photo-Booth // Amanda Photographic  Florals // Woodland Floral  HMUA // Makeup Mafia  Dessert // Addy Mac’s Ice Cream Second Photographer // Andrew Paul Photography Assistant // Sara Mansfield Ceremony Music // Sam Saunders (Alison’s Brother) Reception Music // Mario Carboni “The Honky Tonk Rebel” Custom Rings // Waylon Rhoads Dress & Suit // Nordstrom

Romantic Styled Elopement at Smith Rock

Every photographer has a place that they dream of working at someday.

Maybe it’s a fancy hotel or resort, maybe it’s a foreign country (Thailand, Morocco, Italy please), or a place with sentimental meaning. For me that place was close to home, and even closer when we made the move over the mountains to Bend – Smith Rock State Park.

I had never been to this Oregon gem until we moved to Central Oregon. Now I can’t seem to stop showing up and suggesting it to clients. The landscape is dramatic and beautiful. A rock climbers paradise, it’s also perfect hikers, bird watching, sunsets, and of course photography. When I decided to do a series of micro styled shoots during the off season I wanted to be there while there was still a little snow to give the rock formations some additional definition and deter the hundreds of people that visit the park on any given day.  The snow came, and came, and came, and then it wasn’t funny anymore because it just wouldn’t stop. Shoots were pushed back so that models could safely travel and vendors could get supplies delivered. For this shoot we ended up losing the snow, but don’t worry it was plenty cold by the end of the day when the wind started to pick up with cold air from the mountains.

Melinda and Brandon are a beautiful couple that were perfect for any styled shoot… mostly because they’re crazy stupid in love with each other. We put Melinda in a two-piece dress with a large skirt to start and changed into a long formal gown with illusion cutouts for a less bridal look at the end. Brandon rocked a rich jewel toned outfit with a funfetti shirt and a pair of hiking boots… duh Smith Rock. We worked and laughed and worked until we were all too cold and hungry to continue.

Now I have to find another dream location. I’m open to suggestions…

Photography // Amanda Photographic

Floral Crown // Summer Robbins Flowers

Dresses // Bella Brides

Menswear // Revolvr

HMUA // Desert Rose Bridal Styling

Snowy Winter Styled Bridal Shoot

It was so cold. Like so cold it took me until June to thaw out enough to blog about this shoot.

But seriously this shoot was an undertaking that required all of our skills, ideas, and fast thinking. Cars got stuck in the snow, flowers were frozen, and there was a frost bite scare after I worked for hours without being able to feel my feet. In the end it was all worth the discomfort. …hot toddies helped.

Thank you to Robin Schneider of Desert Rose Bridal Styling for her vision and coordination of this shoot.

Photography // Amanda Photographic

HMUA // Desert Rose Bridal Styling

Rentals // Peanut’s Gallery

Dessert // Dreamin Desserts

Venue // Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center

Floral // Hart Floral

Dress // Helen Manuell Bridal Couture

Jewelry // Citrine Bling

Model // Rachel Schneider

Jessica + Aaron | Snowy Elopement at Fort Rock

Snowy Winter Elopement at Fort Rock Central Oregon

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

Danna + Uriah | Snowy Elopement at Brasada Ranch


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.

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Winter Bridal at Brasada Ranch | Powell Butte, Oregon

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Venue // Brasada Ranch  –  Powell Butte, Oregon

Dress // Bella Brides  –  Bend, Oregon

Hair & Makeup // Robin Schneider of Desert Rose Bridal Styling  –  Bend, Oregon

Darlene + Joel | Falling In Love With Fall…

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Dress & Hair Comb | Bella Bride Bend, Or

Menswear | Revolvr Bend, Or

Location | Open Space in Sisters, Or