Archive for LGBT Weddings

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. ūüôā

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

Mo + Stacey | Mountain Biking Wedding at Horse Creek Lodge

I’ve been waiting all year for this wedding!!!

Mo & Stacey are two of the most genuine people I’ve had the good fortune to meet since moving to Bend. We hit it off immediately over pints of cider and gushing about wedding plans, snowy adventures, and their dog Georgia. We started our photo-relationship with their engagement session at Edison Sno-Park just outside Bend, which contrasts so beautifully with their summer forest wedding at Horse Creek Lodge in McKenzie Bridge.

The day started like any other… with a mountain bike ride. A dozen or so wedding guests joined them for a few “laps” around a forested trail system near the lodge while designated friends and family continued set up for the ceremony and reception later that afternoon. Both Mo and Stacey agreed that it was a great way to get some energy out while spending time with friends. I’ve seen morning yoga sessions, river floating, fishing trips, and hikes as well.

They got ready together while guests began to filter in and enjoy the teahouse tipi, lawn games, photo-booth, and scenery. When it was time for the service to begin the guests made their way down a wooded path with photos of the brides on either side; they were greeted by a sage smudging before entering the clearing.¬† Both Mo and Stacey were walked part way down the aisle by their parents and Georgia; after a family hug the parents found their seats at the front while Stacey & Mo high-fived their way down the aisle – their roomie, Alicia, played her guitar and sang for the processional. A close friend Jenni officiated the ceremony while radiating love and joy over them; another friend John Paul made their rings and passed them between guests for blessings. Thoughtful vows were exchanged that were serious with a pinch of humor followed by placing a ring on the other’s finger. Another friend, Beth, read an original poem that she wrote for their wedding that left everyone who wasn’t already crying in tears. …this was my FAVORITE part. ūüôā

I asked Stacey & Mo what they thought about their special day. Here’s what they had to say:

What was your favorite part of the day?
Mo: The Ceremony. Stacey doing 15 push ups in a wedding dress. (it totally happened!)
Stacey: The Ceremony- looking out at all the smiles and the teary faces of our most favorite people….and sharing the most pivotal experience of my life with all of them. All of the hugs!

What are you most looking forward to in married life?
Mo: More adventures!
Stacey: Not planning another wedding. (lol!)

What advice do you have for others?
Mo: Make lists, ask for help, invite people you want to build community with.
Stacey: Make lists and make more lists, Smaller is better- invite those closest to you, and those that you want to pull even tighter into your community.¬† Delegate tasks…don’t do everything yourself.¬† Ask for help – friends are resourceful and are always happy to help!
Soapbox: In some of our initial emails it was brought to my attention that planning a wedding and attempting to hire vendors was a bit of a daunting task. Each time Mo would email a potential vendor she would have to preface it with the fact that she and Stacey are a same-sex couple hoping to work with them. Fortunately there are sites like A Bicycle Built For Two – a LGBT/Queer wedding website – which is where they found me. It hadn’t occurred to me (privilege) that one aspect of wedding planning/vendor hiring that could be particularly stressful for queer couples is coming-out over and over and over again to strangers via email. Is this person LGBT friendly? Friendly vs. Affirming? etc. In our current climate being part of the LGBT community is hard enough. Planning a wedding is hard enough. Doing both probably feels impossible sometimes. …which to me is complete crap! Nobody should feel sadness, fear, pain, or loss because of who they love. If you are fortunate enough to love and be loved by another human being hold on to it with everything you have. …and give a big middle finger to anyone who tries to take that away from you. Mo & Stacey: I adore you both, your love for adventure, your fierce commitment to your community, and the work you both do. Thank you for letting me celebrate you!!!

Venue // Horse Creek Lodge

Rings // John Paul Designs

Catering // El Sancho

Music // Cascade Crescendo

Photography // Amanda Photographic

Everything Else // DIY

Mo + Stacey | Snowy Adventure Engagement Session

When you meet a couple as adventurous as Stacey + Mo you obviously have to go on a snowy adventure engagement session with their pup Georgia.

We headed out to Edison Snow Park near Mt. Bachelor after more than two months of serious snow fall. Even though most folks in the Central Oregon were over the snow by the new year, we were ready for more fun, post-holing, and snowball fights. We even found an igloo!!! The sun was shining, but you could see the snow clouds that encased Mt Bachelor and occasionally sent a flurry of snow our way. Georgia was having lots of fun running around and having snowballs thrown for her, but she couldn’t understand why we would stop for several minutes at a time for some lovey dovey photos. “Come on guys! There’s more snow up the trail!!!”

Before heading back for lunch we warmed up on the gate of the truck with some hot tea. …woulda been the 40oz of hot chocolate that I brought, but Mo + Stacey were on a no sugar cleanse. Which sounds like the saddest type of cleanse on the planet, but hey whatever you need to do to feel tip-top is good by me.

I can’t wait for their wedding this July on the McKenzie River …with silent disco. Yes, this is happening.

Paul + Gary | Black Tie Gala at Silvan Ridge Winery

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Hello everyone! Happy Wedding Wednesday!!!

Today I’m sharing another wedding that I second shot for Stevi Sayler last summer.

Let me just say that it is always such fun to work with Stevi, whether she’s the primary photographer or I am, we are a POWERHOUSE together and I don’t understand why anyone anywhere wouldn’t choose the two of us to rock their wedding photography. Yep, tootin’ my own horn on that one!

This particular wedding was on a beautiful sunny day in July at Silvan Ridge Winery just outside Eugene. The grooms Paul & Gary were just the sweetest, most chillax, good humored grooms that ever existed. …and they knew how to throw a proper event/party! Black tie with plenty of glitz and glamour – Gary’s black sparkle Jimmy Choo shoes were the envy of the everyone and I’m not going to lie that I considered how quickly I might be able to steal them and run. After a first look and some portraits in the vineyard it was time for their ceremony. All of the guests were a mess of tears watching these two exchange rings and vows. The sun finally got down behind the ridge line and everyone went inside for a very yummy plated dinner.

For Gary & Paul – who plan the Charlotte Pride Festival – the night wouldn’t have been complete without a crazy brilliant performance by Delighted Tobehere.

The End! Ooh wait… check out Stevi’s blog post of this wedding for even more photos!
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Emily + Elizabeth | Sequins and Birds at The Pacific Tower Seattle, WA

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If there was ever a wedding worth me traveling for…
A wedding photographer’s dream is to work with a couple that are deeply in love, have solid visual chemistry, trust their creative team, and have families that are equally as excited and supportive as the couple themselves. Emily + Elizabeth are that couple.

I made my way to Seattle the day after Thanksgiving to prepare for their wedding the next day. Needless to say I wasn’t excited about traveling on Black Friday, a day when I normally don’t even leave my house, but the trip was thankfully uneventful. I was rewarded that night with a yummy dinner with my second shooter, Stevi Sayler, and her longtime bestie Hannah at her Seattle apartment. Stevi and I planned the next day, had some wine, and finished the evening with Exploding Kittens (it’s a card game – no kittens were harmed. I’m not a monster).

The morning was cooooold, but clear and sunny. I had a chance to talk with E&E about changing the first look location to a really lovely spot across the street from the hotel called Four Corners. Initially they were worried that it would make the day and transitions more difficult; I reassured them that not only would it likely make the first look easier since Emily was getting ready at the hotel, but that the scenery and lighting would be well worth the change in plans. They trusted my professional opinion and we went for it. Four Corners did not disappoint.

It was a busy morning with friends and family preparing the 8th floor of the Pacific Tower that overlooks Seattle. The excited brides planned long tables to diagonally fill the space where their guests would both watch their ceremony and enjoy a second Thanksgiving feast. Each table was named after a bird to follow one of the sweetest relationship stories I’ve ever heard…

Emily and her cousins were riding in the car together one day. One of them was looking through an online dating app and swiping passed profiles she wasn’t interested in. Soon the others added commentary including the work “Duck” whenever she would swipe passed one and “Goose” when she would give the profile a thumbs up. Fast-forward to early in Emily’s relationship with Elizabeth… there was a gathering with Emily’s family and upon seeing the way they looked at each other one of Emily’s cousins pulled her aside and asked, “Is she your Goose?”

With their siblings by their sides as bridesmaids and bridesmen and Emily’s uncle officiating these two read their vows of support, promises, and love to each other while the sun went down behind the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle lights began to glow behind them. Happy tears, laughter, and love swept over the whole building as the wedding ceremony ended with a kiss and transitioned into a sequin filled dance party.

I wish E&E many many many long happy years together being each other’s gooses.

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Blooper/Pro-Tip: Mostly likely a situation specific for two ladies tying the knot, or even more specifically two ladies who are both wearing dresses, make sure that your dress materials aren’t so likely to get stuck together when you go in for a kiss (like lace + bedazzled beading). …or your photographer will have to very carefully and only slightly awkwardly separate you. lol. Thanks to Stevi for catching this #photoglife moment.¬†

Amanda Photographic is available throughout the Pacific Northwest and American Southwest for weddings big and small. I would be happy to discuss details with your via coffee or Skype and hear all about your wedding day vision. …tell me your love story. Contact me today!

Best of 2015

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.

Favorite Dress
Emily + Collin | Conway Ranch, John Day, OR

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Favorite Groom Attire
Rosalinda + Jeremy | Cathedral Park, Portland, OR

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Favorite Bridal Attire
Erika + Matthew | H&H Ranch, The Berkshires, Mass/NY

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Favorite Tie
Sarah + Ben | Old Iron Ranch, Shedd, OR

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Favorite Ring
Anna + Andy | Historic Old School, Albany, OR

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Favorite Floral
Amy + Michael | Bridegport Brewery, Portland, OR

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Favorite Cake
Brittany + Patrick | Family Farm, Junction City, OR

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Favorite First Look – Tie!
Stephanie + Tim | Green Villa Barn, Independence, OR

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Favorite First Look – Tie!
Favorite Invitations
Elizabeth + Emily | Pacific Tower, Seattle, WA

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Favorite Venue
Erika + Matthew | H&H Ranch, The Berkshires, Mass/NY

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Favorite Wedding Party Creative Photo
Madison + Scott | St. Mary’s Church, Corvallis, OR

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Melissa + Lauren | Sparkles, Dogs, and Love in Bend, Oregon

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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!

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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‚Äôs Eve! I‚Äôm very excited to work in this new landscape‚Ķ like really really excited! So if you‚Äôre recently engaged or know someone who is, especially in Central Oregon, I‚Äôd 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!


Last Friday, June 26th 2015,¬†the SCOTUS ruled that same sex marriage [or as I like to call it … Marriage] is legal in all 50 states; overruling any remaining state bans. I cried as my facebook, twitter, and instagram all blew up with the happy news and rainbows! My thoughts immediately turned to all the couples out there, in the US and worldwide, who had been waiting for 10, 20, …50+ years for this day. How best could I honor the moment, their love, and this long awaited justice? As a wedding photographer my focus is always on telling a love story, so that’s what I’m going to do…


>>> Love Wins Giveaway <<<

During the month of July I am hosting the #lovewinsgiveaway to honor three (3) LGBTQ couples with a portrait session. This could be an engagement session, a couple-in-love session, an anniversary session, or whatever feels most appropriate to celebrate your love and commitment to each other.

To Enter:

1. Post my #lovewinsgiveaway image on instagram, facebook, and/or twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag in your post.

10 couples will be randomly selected at 5:00pm (PST) on Friday July 17, 2015.

Those 10 couples will then tell me their love stories, via a questionnaire, and I will announce the 3 lucky winners at 5:00pm (PST) on Friday July 31st.

two sweater wearing grooms on the oregon coast for their wedding #lovewinsgiveaway


1. Session must be completed in the 2015 calendar year.

2. No cash value. Cannot be transferred to another party. 

3. Giveaway covers session cost only. Winner is responsible for any additional costs or travel necessary outside the Willamette Valley, Ore. 

4. First round recipients (10 couples) will be randomly selected, final recipients (3 couples) will be chosen by Amanda Photographic. All decisions are final and at the discretion of Amanda Photographic. Please do not attempt to undermine or bad-mouth recipients, especially in an attempt to get me to pick you instead. It just makes you look bad. 

Joni + Jennelle | Celebrating Love at Laurelhurst Park

It was a dark, seriously dark, afternoon as I made my way up to Portland for a lovey-dovey photo session with Joni + Jennelle. Did I mention that it was threatening rain the whole day as well? Well it was… but we weren’t going to let that deter us. I was coming up for Corvallis and Joni was skipping out of class early so that we could start our session before sundown; we were committed!

Joni + Jennelle got engaged (YAY!!!) over the summer during a super stealthy picnic photo opportunity set up by Jennelle in Cathedral Park. A few months later they went up to the courthouse and registered for a Domestic Partnership. When J+J are able to legally wed in Oregon I know that it is going to be the most super rad wedding EVER! You see J+J are co-owners of a little boutique bartending outfit called Mint + Mirth. They will build a custom cocktail recipe just for your event – then be there to prepare and serve it to your lovely guests. This is actually how I met J+J… They contacted me about participating in my September Stylized Wedding shoot and designed the perfect cocktail for us.
… I’m getting off track, Joni + Jennelle are such a lovely couple with a great sense of taste and style. When I saw some instagram pics of them at the courthouse we immediately started convo’ing about doing a photo session to celebrate.

We met up at Laurelhurst Park in SE Portland. Like I said it was a dark afternoon, we were working under tree cover, and we didn’t even get started until 3:45pm the day after daylight savings ended (fall back) ūüôĀ We worked quickly – taking advantage of as much color and light as we could find. J+J really brought their A-game. Wonderful fall outfits with color, texture, and completely true to their style. We made a loop around the pond and said our good-byes in the dark. I LOVE seeing couples in love. My heart was so happy while editing their photos that I started texting with Joni before I was even finished. hahahaha! Congratulations to Joni + Jennelle <3

fall leaves with lovely couple in portland oregoncolorful kissy same sex couple after engagement at laurelhurst park in the fallfall engagement portraits in portland's laurelhurst parkportland couple cuddling by the pond in laurelhurst park in novemberfall inspired portraits of same sex couple on the stairs at laurelhurst park portland oregondetails of engagement rings with colorful DIY flower bouquet

Yes, this is a 3″ button of a photo of their cat… whose name I forgot. How could I not use it?

portland couple kissing under a street lamp at laurelhurst park


Brian + Chris | Wedding Weekend at Camp Westwind

First let me say how blessed and honored I am to be part of Brian and Chris’s community. Sooooo blessed!

Throughout their wedding weekend the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” kept occurring to me. But in this case it not only takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to host the most amazing DIY wedding weekend ever!

You’ve seen several blog and facebook posts by me about Brian and Chris’s micro farm – Frasier Creek Farm here, and about Brian’s delicious catering business – Brian Parks Catering here and here, AND there was the double blog post from their lobster party last summer/engagement portraits. So it should come as no surprise that B+C’s wedding weekend would be centered around friends, family, and food. If reviewing the previous posts didn’t turn you into a drooling hungry monster… just wait…

Day 1 – Friday: A small group gathered at the Otis Cafe off Hwy 18. I was told that certain people where there, and while I recognized their names from going over the wedding plans with B+C I didn’t actually know who they were or what they looked like. So instead I waited outside the {very} small cafe and drank my coffee in the sun. A short while later¬†B+C arrived in a large U-haul and in a truck pulling a small trailer. It dawned on me just at that moment that¬†B+C had to bring EVERYTHING they would need for this 2 1/2 day wedding celebration – including enough food to feed 125 people 5 times. Wow.

Fast forward a little bit and we’re arriving at Camp Westwind on the Oregon Coast. A perfectly isolated and at the same time accommodating venue. I actually can’t image B+C having their wedding anywhere else. The small group of people immediately began unloading what we needed for the day and I got to work scoping out portrait locations and photographing¬†¬†the grounds, the beach, and the people working. A few hours later the remaining guests arrived by two small ferries from Knight Park on the other side of the Salmon River from the Camp Westwind grounds. The lodge was bustling with families finding their cabins and discovering all the nooks the near-by beach had to offer. Remember what I said at the beginning that it takes a village to host the best wedding weekend ever? Well every person at the wedding had a job, in most cases a few jobs, during the weekend. Everything from dinner prep, to floral arrangements, to doing dishes, to roasting a whole pig… everyone contributed. I think most couples have the idea that their friends and family are going to help them get everything ready on their wedding day, and most of the time everything gets done with only a few meltdowns or hurt feelings. In this case I was extremely impressed with everyone’s desire to help… I mean really help. Not once did I hear complaining or arguments and Brian and Chris were there the WHOLE TIME supervising and helping to make sure that everything went smoothly and according to plan. Wow again.

Most people turned in early-ish that night. They knew that Saturday was going to be long and awesome.
groom showing helpers how to make DIY flower center pieces for his weddingtwo grooms wait for guests to arrive via ferry to camp westwind on the oregon coast with big black dogDIY floral and mustache arrangements for wedding rehearsal dinnerwine tasting game at rehearsal dinner at camp westwind on the oregon coast

funny story about these truffle pig cookies: you’ll notice that they’re covered in what you would assume to be truffle sugar. well that’s what chris thought too when he covered these truffle shortbread cookies in what was actually truffle salt. a few cookies later and people were asking if they were suppose to be covered in a thick layer of salt. hahaha… the cookies were rushed to the kitchen, the salt was dusted off into a container, and tasty truffle sugar was put in its place. weddings are fun!

wedding tent at sunset on the oregon coast


Day 2 – Saturday: Camp Westwind was busy with brunch prep at 7am. Brian and Chris were up much earlier than that to proof some of the baked goods before putting them in the over later that morning. We’re talking SERIOUS food dedication people. After brunch some of the guests got to work moving benches down to the beach for the ceremony later that afternoon, while others prepared the main dining area for a shmancy dinner, and the rest went on a hike to High Meadows. My second shooter arrived that morning by canoe {BIG Thank Yous to two of¬†B+C’s guests that paddled over to Knight Park to get her… long story that I’m not going to tell here}. I showed her our cabin – we had the cabin with the BEST view, which one its own required a short hike. Once I brought her up to speed on the day’s activities I left for the hike to High Meadow with B+C and guests, while she stayed with the other guests to document all the details they were working on.

Once we got back from High Meadows it was time to start getting ready for the ceremony. B+C had an adorable and HUGE tent right on the beach that they got ready in, which was also right next to the ceremony location. Once dressed in their wedding wares we made a quick trip over to the far side of the beach to the eye of the needle for some intimate portraits of Brian and Chris alone… with their black Briard, and ring barer – Callisto. They aren’t usually a very lovey-dovey couple, but is was their wedding day and you could see the excitement in their eyes as well as their anxiousness to get back to their guests and start the ceremony. I should say that Callisto had not yet been allowed in the water; not the river or the ocean and she was doing a great job of listening to B+C.

The ceremony was beautiful. Brian and Chris walked down the isle together met at the front by their friends and family their ceremony was surrounded by sand, sounds of the Pacific, laughter, and a perfect view of Cascade Head behind them. Like the rest of their wedding weekend the ceremony was about their connection with those in their community, with readings by each of their parents and siblings and the officiant being a friend. A long line of hugs awaited them after they kissed before everyone headed back up to the lodge for appetizers …and by appetizers I mean heaven. The whole pig that had been slowly roasting all day was soon ready and a colorful, fragrant, and delicious dinner was laid out for everyone. Followed by toasts! Cake! Dancing! And a beach bonfire!
bloody mary and mimosa stations at DIY oregon coast weddingwedding guests hiking to high meadow with couple before ceremonytwo grooms at the top of high meadow before their october oregon coast wedding

while we were at the far end of high meadow chris and brian found a geo-cashe! one of the munchkins gave them two things from his pocket to trade for two items from the geo-cashe {two plastic army men}. awwwww

main lodge at camp westwind set up for wedding dinnerDIY flower center pieces at camp westwind oregon coast weddingDIY wedding guestbook and flower arrangementsgroom prepares his doggy ring barer for the wedding ceremonysimple oregon coast wedding ceremony site at camp westwindgroom helping is soon to be husband with his tietwo grooms getting dressed for their wedding togethertwo grooms walking down the beach with wine and their big black dogsame sex couple wedding portraits on the oregon coast prior to wedding ceremonytwo grooms kissing in sweatershandsome grooms saying their vows on a sunny oregon coast daysibling speeches during same sex two grooms wedding ceremony on the oregon coastexchanging rings during oregon coast two grooms wedding ceremonytwo grooms exiting their informal beach wedding at camp westwind with their big black dogtwo sweater wearing grooms enjoying reception food after their oregon coast weddingwhole pig roasted for oregon coast wedding reception with chefsdetail photography of two grooms wedding invitation rings and pocket watchdetails of something old and blue cuff links and wedding bands on the beachbeautiful fall sunset on the oregon coasttwo grooms giving speeches and cutting their wedding cake at camp westwind on the oregon coasttwo grooms eating their wedding cake at camp westwindwedding reception bon fire on the oregon coast in octoberilluminated view of canvas tent on the oregon coast at night


Day 3 РSunday: A continental style brunch the next morning got things started. It was time to pack-up, clean, and take the ferries back to Knight Park. Once again everyone work together to get all the wedding gear back into the trailer and U-Haul, as well as their own gear into the trailer that was heading to the river and ferries. Hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs! So many hugs!

i thought i was being sneaky taking this quick photo of brian’s brother, jeff, and his partner, kurk, …i was wrong. they emailed it to me as soon as they got home. photographer photo-bomb!

Many thanks to Brian and Chris for a wonderful weekend, to his friends and family for their help and making sure I was fed {yum!} and to my second shooter Danae Jones.