Where do I begin with these two?
Hillary (HK) and Josh stole my heart the moment I met them. I had actually seen HK around Corvallis the last few years at various events, but honestly she seemed waaaaay too cool and I was intimidated by her awesomeness. Josh had moved to the Willamette Valley at the same time Hillary did, but since I don’t run marathons or do triathlons I guess I didn’t really have a way to bump into him. …Hillary should have though, but she didn’t until last year when Josh was in one of the fitness classes that she was teaching at OSU. You can read more about their adorable beginnings on my post with their engagement session photography.
HK & Josh planned a small ceremony and reception at one of their favorite places – Historic Soap Creek Schoolhouse. This is a popular stop for runners and cyclists who are playing nearby on the Lewisburg Saddle or in Peavy Arboretum/MacDonald Forest. It was actually one of the things they discovered they had in common, so it only made sense to celebrate their love at a place they now enjoy together. Speaking of their obsession with fitness, HK actually had to buy a new outfit the day before her wedding because her shoulders and upper back had gotten too muscular to fit into her original dress. I kept texting her to stop lifting things… she would hear none of it. Almost every aspect of their day was handmade/DIY crafted by themselves or their community – Vegan treats, decorations galore, bouquet, boutonniere (I actually made it that morning and was super proud of how it turned out), cake, table settings, party favors, floral arrangements, and more!
They started the day with a trip to the local farmers’ market to get flowers for the bouquet, reception tables, and school house steps. The Saturday market in Corvallis is crazy town, so we left as quickly as we could to start work on the reception location – LUC restaurant. Everything was coming together so beautifully, and the day had only just begun!
I met up with HK at Epic Day Spa for hair & make up while Josh was getting ready back at their house in the country. I was immediately blown away by her bold eye make up and salon curls… she is my ultimate Bad Bitch Bride. Once everyone was ready to go we met at the schoolhouse to begin with a first look and move into some portraits. It was a perfect day outside, even though the ground was a little soggy and soft from recent rains. Tears… so many tears filled the first look and I knew that happy crying would be the theme of the day. I wasn’t wrong. Every time a new guest arrived they were greeted by smiles and watery eyes. Neither Josh or Hillary made it more than 3 steps into their processional before they started crying and not one of their guests made it through the ceremony without wiping their eyes. A total of 28 people watched as HK’s brother, Sean, played the violin, poems were read, and rings were exchanged. Hillary’s Grandmother, Pauline aka Bubbie, was the guest of honor and glowed with pride as she watched her youngest granddaughter say her vows and each of them stomp on a glass to honor HK’s Jewish heritage. Her Grandmother also gifted them her 25th anniversary ring – which HK was veeeeeery protective of and I can honestly say suits her so well.
After a mini champagne reception at the school house everyone made their way back into Corvallis for a delicious dinner at LUC.
This was my second of three (so far) tiny weddings this year and I have to say that I’m becoming a huge fan! The couple get to enjoy their day and guests more, can focus on quality details, and the size helps slooooooow down the day. All of these are excellent things to consider because let me tell you, wedding day blur/amnesia is a real thing. I’m absolutely not saying that you shouldn’t have 150–300 people at your wedding if that’s what you want. If having all of your family, new and old friends, and colleagues at your wedding is the most important thing to you then you should definitely definitely do that. …but man, I’m really liking these tiny weddings.
Congratulations to Hillary & Josh! Here’s to many many many years of friendship and wedded bliss…
Hillary has started a new fitness program specifically geared towards engaged couples – Shreddin’ for the Weddin’. Looooooooove it!!! You can follow her on instagram (@oregonbridalfitness).
I have a few more available dates for the 2016 calendar, and 2017 is starting to fill up! Contact me TODAY and we can gush over wedding details over coffee or skype. …tell me your love story.
>><<< Vendor Love >>><<<
Photography // Amanda Photographic
Venue // Historic Soap Creek School House
Reception // LUC
Floral // DIY – Farmers’ Market
Decor & Papergoods // DIY
HMUA // Miranda – Epic Day Spa
HK Outfit // Mod Pod
HK Crown // Ruby & Cordelia’s – Etsy
Josh Suit // Nordstrom
Cake // DIY
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
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.
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!
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
…but first I’d like to answer a couple common questions that photographers get about second shooting. 1. Do you work for (primary photographer) all the time or do you have your own business? If you’re reading this then you know that I have my own business, but when I’m second’ing for another photographer I’m theirs for the day. I do not promote or talk about (if I can at all avoid it) my business; I don’t even bring business cards with me. Nope nope nope. It’s even better when the primary photographer seconds for me also so then we both get to experience working with and for each other. For myself hiring a second shooter, it’s critical that they are experienced enough to work on their own; I didn’t hire them so I could babysit and tell them what to do. I give general directions, make sure that they’re familiar with my style and expectations, then walk away. …which is why I only hire other professionals. If an inexperienced photographer wants to second for me I ask them to come as an assistant first, or work on a wedding or project where I’m still covering the whole wedding on my own and their photos are a bonus. You might say, “How’s someone supposed to get experience if nobody will hire them?” and I’ll answer that I will hire them, but not for a wedding where I neeeeeed them. It’s too high risk, and if you know me you know that I’m not much of a risk taker when it comes to my business (read: baby). 2. Who’s in charge here? They (primary photographer) are! Unless it’s just me there, then I am, but I’m still working from the primary’s instructions/guidelines. 3. You guys make a really good team. Why don’t you just have a business together? This gets asked A LOT when I work with Stevi Sayler. No matter who’s primary or second we are a great team and work together as often as we can. We both not-so-secretly wish that the other didn’t want to be a primary photographer so that we could always work together, but we’re too happy that each others’ businesses are doing well to mess with it. Plus when you’ve worked so hard to build a business, a brand, and a style …let’s just say you’ll have to pry it from our cold undead zombie fingers. Then we’ll eat you.
Anyway… back in March I needed a second shooter for Rosalinda + Jeremy’s DIY Portland Pi Day wedding. Since this was a geeky, colorful, offbeat couple I knew just who to call for my #2 – Beth Olson of Beth Olson Creative. I don’t recall the order of events, but she also needed a second shooter for this wedding in May so we worked out an even wedding for wedding trade. Easy peasy. Usually, as the second shooter, I’m hanging out the Groom + Groomsmen before the wedding while the primary hangs with the Bride. One thing that I enjoy most about working with a second shooter (besides getting double the awesome varied photography during the ceremony) is that both people get a photographer’s full attention. Folks often say that it’s the Bride’s day, but photographers know that it takes at least two people to make a marriage and that both of them are equally deserving of our thoughtful service. Grooms are NOT props. John + Erin are such a fun and laid-back couple; the day was full of love, laughter, and happy tears. Their ceremony and reception was at the beautiful, urban-rustic Union Pine in Portland’s East Side. Even though it was early May we can all recall what a screamin’ hot spring/summer/fall we had last year… this day was no exception. Everyone stayed in good spirits as we routinely and gently dabbed sweat off the wedding party’s faces.
Here are a few of my personal favorites from the day. Enjoy!
Want to see Beth’s blog post from this wedding? Click here.
As you may have read in my previous blog post 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!
I know that I’m a little behind on my Wedding Wednesdays and that you all are sitting on the edge of you computer seats …like every day waiting for me to post another wedding (right?). Well here you go!
Ian + Amy planned a beautiful wedding at Eola Hills Wine Cellars just off Hwy 99 in Rickreal, Oregon. Everything about it was timeless, classy, and completely THEM. Splashes of purple and lime green, their favorite colors, made their way into everything from flowers to clothes, napkins to ties, and of course the grapevines did their part. Other personal elements were added everywhere: the groomsmen all wore “fun socks”, Amy wore the locket the Ian gave her as a wedding gift (knowing that she didn’t have a necklace picked out… good work Ian), their siblings made up most of the wedding party, they sang a duet during their reception, and who could forget the choir performance during the ceremony directed my Ian’s Mother.
The only downside to summer weddings this year has been the unusual heat and unfortunately these newly weds didn’t escape it either. In Oregon, even in the summer, you must must must have a rain plan. If you don’t you’re likely to get the only rainy day that month… just because you thought you could predict Oregon weather. Fortunately for these two their rain plan easily worked out to be their oh my god why is it so hot plan. Large tents kept guests cool in the shade and the air conditioned tasting room was oh so comfortable for the reception and dancing. PS good luck getting guests to dance if they’re already melting in the heat.
Two officiants performed the ceremony in tandem and there wasn’t a dry eye within ear shot during Amy + Ian’s vows. The love that they share is beyond measure! Their passion for music, fun, family, and each other will surely carry them through many happy years of marriage. Congratulations Amy + Ian!!!
As is probably clear by the fact that I’m just now posting Mike + Dena’s (July 11th 2015) space love wedding, it’s been a CRAZY BUSY summer. It’s a good problem to have, let me tell ya. By the end of this year I will have photographed more than the last two years …maybe even three years combined! So, apologizes for the delay in showing you all this lovely wedding day that had everyone in happy tears all day long 🙂
You many recall from their engagement session post that Mike + Dena have a very special love. As high school sweethearts Mike was Dena’s first kiss; once they parted for college Mike compared any prospective girlfriend against the chemistry and bond that he shared with Dena. Fate brought them back into each others’ lives about six years ago when Mike had a dream about her and reach out hoping that her email address still worked. It did! Mike was living in Washington DC, while Dena was in med school in Phoenix, AZ. So she did what any reasonable person would do; she signed up for a last minute conference in DC so that she could see Mike for dinner. Duh! They met, fell in love all over again, and the rest is below…
Mike + Dena are a very crafty couple. Between the two of them they grew succulents and sedums for their reception center pieces, collected plastic dinosaurs, made pennants, streamers, hearts on sticks for the table floral arrangements, M&D marque lights, and probably a million other things that I didn’t even realize were hand made. Usually when a couple tells me or their coordinator that they’re going to DIY something, it’s a yellow flag – and easily moved up to orange or red depending on timing, budget, and the couple – but with these two I knew that it would turn out better than anything they could buy. Dena’s family came in early to help with last minute assembly and set up – hooray for big families! We started the morning on Saturday with coffee at Tried & True in Downtown Corvallis, before heading a couple blocks up to the farmers’ market to pick up flowers for center pieces and the bouquets. Dena used to tease Mike that she would walk down the aisle with a bouquet made of kale, so naturally we picked up a bundle of black lacinato kale to incorporate with the flowers. As an artist and detail oriented person the subtle addition wasn’t lost on Mike.
Dena and her sisters fussed over hair and make-up just blocks from their apartment at the Holiday Inn, while Mike and his groomsmen had the half empty apartment all to themselves. …you see aside from being crazy in love, Mike + Dena are so just plain crazy. They moved out of their apartment just THREE DAYS after their wedding to start their vagabond summer/JMT hike/honeymoon before moving to Portland in the fall. More on that in a minute. The getting ready time can be stressful on a rushed wedding day, but M+D made specific plans to have a slow, easy, and relaxed wedding day. This time was used for last minute lettering of seating assignments for dinner, self-addressing postcards for their guests to send to their time-capsule PO Box (awesome), and of course laughing while day-drinking with those closest to you.
Mike arrived to the Bald Hill Barn hours early to help set up the decorations and greet people after they had a lovely 1/2 mile stroll on one of Corvallis’ favorite bike paths. Guests parked at the Benton County Fairgrounds before being bused to the very small Oak Creek parking lot, which is at the far north end of the Bald Hill Park. After finishing photos with Dena and her sisters I also parked at the fairgrounds, but instead of getting on the bus I tied up my maxi dress and biked directly to the barn via the 1 1/2 mile Midge Cramer Path… first time I ever used my bike to get me to a ceremony location.
Dena was brought to the barn to marry her love by her sisters and her parents.
You know that you’re going to cry, well that EVERYONE is going to cry during a ceremony when it’s written by the couple. Dang! Not a dry eye in the barn. The ceremony was personal, thoughtful, and loving. It remembered the past, but focused on their future. It spoke to their bonded love, but honored their independence. After a very enthusiastic kiss Mike, Dena, their wedding party, and their families stayed at the barn for formal portraits, while their guests were led by honorary bridesmaid, Emily, in a post-wedding parade to the reception site back at the fairgrounds in the floral garden courtyard. Once Mike + Dena joined the reception is was party party, cry, party party party, rest, party party party!
First wedding of the year and my no-weddings-getting-rained-on good luck finally wore off.
Rosalinda + Jeremy planned an epic celebration for their DIY, destination, Pi-Day wedding and a little Oregon rain wasn’t going to stop them from having a great weekend!
Rosalinda + Jeremy live near Sacramento, CA – but fell in love with Portland a long time ago. With friends and family already traveling they figured why not have a fun destination weekend where breweries abound?!
The activities started on Friday with a distillery tour followed by games, crafts, and desserts at the Jupiter Hotel’s Dream Box. Most the folks who arrived on Friday were part of the DIY team and in the wedding party – I rarely get to see so many hands busy with wedding crafts. The rain started on Saturday, but it wasn’t so much rain as it was a persistent drizzle. Leave it to the Oregonian in the room to define the exact type of precipitation we were experiencing. The group stayed in good spirits despite the uncooperative weather and we started the morning’s activities/preparations with pie at pi-time on pi-day (3.14.15 at 9:26:53am)… it was perfect and delicious! Everyone had some free time after the pie breakfast was finished, but the original plans to walk to the farmers’ market over the Burnside Bridge were quickly vetoed thanks to the rain. If Rosalinda + Jeremy wanted to give their family and friends a true Portland experience they certainly delivered – fun trip to the market dashed because of last minute rain after weeks of perfect sunny weather. Yep, that’s Oregon!
Fast forward a few hours and we made a quick drive over to a nearby library for some fun with books and portraits before heading to their ceremony location under St. John’s Bridge at Cathedral Park. Waiting for us was growlers full of local beer (notice that the bride’s grandmother knit growler cozies), a bicycle taco cart, and music – BEST WEDDING IDEA EVER! We squeezed in a few more portraits with the wedding party and some kissy faces with R+J before the wedding guests started to arrive in a full sized yellow school bus. Sporting yellow and blue umbrellas friends and family descended on the park and started taking in the tacos and beer! After parents, the wedding party, and Jeremy made their way to the front of platform Rosalinda’s brother, Daniel, walked her down the long stairs to be with her Groom. …but not before a brotherly fist bump. Their good friend, Dave, officiated their ceremony prompting robot dance moves from Jeremy and lots of laughs. A great kiss and lots of bubbles closed the service, after many hugs and well wishes everyone piled back on to the yellow school bus to head back to the Jupiter for the games, crafts, and pie filled reception.
The wedding party and I make a pit stop outside the Downtown Voodoo Doughnuts for a quick photo op, though the line was entirely too long to actually get an doughnuts.
Thank you to my wonderful second shooter Beth Olson and assistant Jessica Lazar
Venue // Jupiter Hotel + Cathedral Park
Coordinator // AE Creative
Flowers // Ali Briskey Designs
Catering // Pacific Pie Co. + Taco Pedaler
Reception Bartending // Eastside Distillery
Growlers // Burnside Brewing Co.