Archive for Pacific Northwest Wedding

Darlene & Joel | Elopement at Silver Falls State Park

Elopements are sooooooooooo good!!!

Darlene + Joel had been engaged for awhile, and were in no particular hurry to have a ceremony. They wanted to focus on other things like moving to Bend, buying a house, building Darlene’s business, and trying to start a family. They knew they didn’t want a big wedding and the more they thought about it eloping really felt like the right thing to do. …especially after they modeled for me last fall. 😉 On a soggy day at the end of March I met them, along with Joel’s brother Jesse and his husband Jai, at Silver Falls State Park just east of Salem. I was hoping that the rain would have deterred people, but the parking lot was crowded with tourists that wanted to see the main South Falls. Darlene looked BEAUTIFUL with a tiny baby bump (it’s a girl!) and DIY bouquet of lilies and rosemary. Everyone carefully walked down the muddy path, making sure not to step on Darlene’s dress, and gathered at the base of the falls on the far side of its misty pool. Jesse was the official ring bearer, while Jai officiated a perfectly written ceremony – smart guy even laminated the paper. After some portraits on the bridge we made our way back up the path, accepting congratulations along the way, and enjoying some bubbly at one of the park’s many picnic tables.

A very tasty lunch and cake awaited us at The Wild Pear in Downtown Salem. …I had the banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich).

 

Q1: What was your favorite part of the day?

Darlene: My favorite part of the day was saying our vows down by the waterfall. The rest of the world faded and it was the two of us in this beautiful setting. It was surreal and yet my senses were heightened at the same time. I loved the vows that Jai wrote for us and they fit us so well.

Joel: The getting married part. Having my brother there and my bro-in-law marry us was really special.

 

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

Darlene: Because we’ve been together for awhile, and acted like we were married anyways, I think I’m just looking forward to a continuation of that and entering the next phase of our lives together and seeing what parenthood will be like. I feel like we are on the same team and here to support each other through that, so I can’t wait to see how we both grow and evolve as we start our family.

Joel: Building our lives together and going on adventures.

 

Q3: What advice do you have for others?

Darlene: For weddings – Focus on the day being about the both of you, not worried about making the other happy or getting what you want, but making the wedding and celebration be an expression of your relationship together. Have it be totally “you” and don’t worry about what everyone else typically does – just do what feels right for the two of you. For relationships – listen to each other and truly honor where the other person is coming from, or what they need. It won’t always line up with what you need, and there will be compromise, but acknowledging each other goes a long way.

Joel: Do what’s right for you. Don’t live your life for others.

Ally + Patrick | Winter Wedding at Green Villa Barn


Tiffany blue and silver sequins covered the floor under the bare edison bulbs at Green Villa Barn just outside Independence, Oregon.

There aren’t many indoor venues outside Portland for winter weddings, but Ally + Patrick created an elegant space for their friends and family to celebrate their union. The weather was off and on all day with wind, dark clouds, sunshine, and rain… you really never know what you’re going to get at the end of February in the valley.

Ally’s bridal room was in full hustle-mode with all five bridesmaids doing hair and makeup at once. Mimosas were plentiful as was laughter and tears, smiles and hugs. The girls were all sporting leopard print robes with their hair in curlers when they gave Ally their gift to her: A book full of cards, photos, notes, memories, and love. Ally held it together remarkably well until she got to a photo of her Grandma and the tears wouldn’t stop for a solid five minutes. That’s what happens when you have two bestie MOHs! The guys arrived later and immediately took advantage of the foosball table upstairs before getting ready. In typical groom style Patrick and his groomsmen were casual, low-maintenance, and obviously hiding their giddy excitement for upcoming festivities.

Every wedding has elements that are specific and unique to the couple; Patrick’s boutonniere carried a charm necklace with photos of his mother’s parents, while Ally’s bouquet had a necklace with both a chicken and hummingbird charm tied around the stems.  The opportunity to include a piece of your family and wear it on you is such a special practice that brings even deeper meaning to a day already full of joy.

 

Q1: What was your favorite part of the day?

Ally: My favorite part of the day was seeing everyone dressed all snazzy and supporting us. Also marrying my best friend, of course.

Patrick: My favorite part of the day was dancing in front of my friends and family with my wife.

 

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

Ally: I’m looking forward to lots of adventures.

Patrick: Setting and achieving goals together. Starting a family together.

 

Q3: What advice do you have for others?

Ally: My advice for wedding planning is don’t sweat the little stuff and enjoy the process!

Patrick: Support the bride because lots of pressure and things going on that week of.

 

 

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

Andrea + David | Winter Wedding Par-tay at Flinn Block Hall

Andrea + David (Ox) have the kind of love story that you read about in fairy tales.

They met in college while studying abroad in Berlin. David is from Boston and was attending college in Maine; while Andrea is from Oregon and was attending college in Los Angeles. …talk about the stars aligning. Upon returning to the states they each finished their programs while dating long distance. After graduation they both moved to the Bay Area before heading east for NYC – can you image planning a wedding in Oregon when you live in New York?!?! David proposed on a Friday at the park near their apartment before embarking on a dinner and city strolling filled evening.

When you’re planning a wedding 3,000 miles away from where you live it’s important to work closely with those that live near your wedding location. Andrea’s mom assembled a family work party to get Flinn Block Hall ready the day before and morning of the wedding. I was amazed at how seamlessly everything came together and impressed by how elegant and pacific northwest inspired everything looked. The decorative sprigs on each napkin were my favorite – bay leaf and rosemary. Everything had purpose and meaning like the table filled with portraits of couples from both of their families. The day was sunny, but cold… like 15 degrees kind of cold. Despite the occasional freezing gust of wind Andrea, David, and their wedding party were troopers enough to agree to outdoor photography. Hey, at least the ground was frozen solid and not muddy…

As is my new-ish habit I asked Andrea + David for their perspectives on their wedding day with a few questions:

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

David: My favorite part of the wedding day was seeing Andrea come down the aisle with her parents.  When everybody stood up and turned to look at her, it was a really special moment and one that I’m glad to take with me.

Andrea: Of course it’s so hard to break down such an intense and emotional and beautiful day and say what my favorite parts were. I think my top three moments, where I felt the most overwhelming love and emotion, were: 1) The first look! It was SO exciting and joyful to finally reconnect with David again after a morning apart, and to see how amazing he looked in his suit 😉 2) Walking into the ceremony with my parents. The moment we walked into the room, I knew it was going to be such an emotionally intense experience, and it just got more so the closer we got to all our friends and family. Seeing the love on everyone’s faces as we walked down the aisle, and being supported on either side by my wonderful parents was overwhelmingly beautiful. 3) The toasts! Each of them was so heartfelt, and being able to sit next to my new husband while we laughed and cried (happy tears) together was pure joy.

What are you most looking forward to in married life?

David: I’m most excited to have a partner in crime that I can always to to lean on, and celebrate the ups and downs for life with.  Sounds corny but it’s true.  Also, in the more near-term, we’re going to take our first world voyage together to Europe — to England to see my relatives who couldn’t make it to Oregon, Berlin because that’s where we met, and Paris (because we’re married and it’s romantic, duh).

Andrea: I am looking forward to continuing to make a beautiful life, home, and partnership together. I am so excited for the tangible and intangible ways that our love and relationship will deepen and expand now that we have made this formal, public commitment to one another. I look forward to continuing to learn about David, about myself, and about love through our years together, and to be able to share those years with our family and friends.

What advice to do you have for others?

David: My advice for others on their wedding day: let go of the stress!  There’s so much that goes into planning your wedding day and you always want to be perfect.  But letting go of the stress of having *everything* happening really lets you enjoy your big day.  It’s amazing to realize the room is full of people that are rooting for you and are so happy to be there, so just open up and enjoy the day as it comes.

Andrea: Enjoy the wedding planning process! The wedding day is beautiful and joyful, but it is only one day, and it goes by quickly. So be intentional and present in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the wedding, as those are very much a part of the event as well. Be grateful for the opportunity to take on such a fun and fulfilling project with your dearest loved ones (fiancé, parents, in-laws, grandparents, friends, etc.), and cherish the quality time that it brings to you. Yes, there are stressful moments, but if you keep the big picture in mind, I think it can be such a rewarding experience, and one to look back on fondly.

Aren’t these two seriously the most adorable flower girls ever?!?! Flower Grandmas for the win!

 

#1 Grandson!!

 

Bridesmaid, Amy, saw one of her idols at the wedding Harley Jane Kozak (Andrea’s aunt) and made sure to have me on standby when she went up to say hello.

 

Venue // Flinn Block Hall   Decor // MoB – DIY   Catering // Valley Catering   Cake // Andrea – THE BRIDE!   Dress // BHLDN   Bridesmaid’s Shalls // Downtown Austin   Suit // Suit Supply   Groom + Groomsmen’s Ties // Hobo Ties   Rings // Brilliant Earth & Blue Nile   Flowers // Market of Choice   Invitations // Etsy   Programs // Ari Vance-Borland

Marissa + Russ | …who’s cutting the onions?

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I think that most of us would agree that wedding planning is stressful.

My thoughts are that if a relationship can survive planning a wedding then the couple is off to great start. …I mean think about all the skills you need to successfully plan a wedding. Communication, decision making, compromise, budgeting, dedication, and a BIG one – gracefully handling when things go wrong.

Well if we’re using those metrics as a way to gauge the longevity of a marriage then Marissa and Russ are going to be married for like a million lifetimes.

I met them both to discuss engagement portraits, but not wedding photography because they were going to get married in Utah and had already booked someone there. I liked them immediately and was super sad that I couldn’t be the one to photograph their wedding day. ::insert sad face:: A couple months later we met up at the Painted Hills for their engagement session, but not before I got an email from Marissa saying that she’d been in a 4-wheeler accident and was now sporting a sizable forehead scar and a very broken wrist. …but they were determined to have this session on time. Ok. When I arrive it’s HOT outside so Russ is getting read to change out of his (much cooler) sport shorts and into his jeans only to discover that he packed a pair of Marissa’s jeans by mistake. Ummmmmm …that’s ok we can roll with this. Careful placement and composition omit the shorts in 99% of the images.

Over the next few months wedding plans fall apart, things are replanned and replanned again …and again. Nothing will stick! I finally get an email from Marissa to ask about my availability in October because they’ve decided to scale everything back to the essentials only and are getting married in Oregon. Of course I wasn’t happy to hear about all the trouble they’d had, but I was so happy that I would get to be there to celebrate them. I only have a couple dates available for that month but as luck would FINALLY work in their favor I was available for their original date!

Planning continues to be an issue for these two as the universe really puts them to the test. But NOTHING in the ‘verse can stop these two or diminish the giggly-googly-eyed love that they have for each other. Seriously, I’ve never heard a couple giggle so much. There is one MAJOR thing that goes right for them – after Marissa’s accident she had to do tons of physical therapy to regain use of her wrist and hand. …her left hand. Her goal for the entire process was to be able to wear her wedding ring and hold her bouquet with her left hand. It was an enormous undertaking, but she worked hard and was so proud to show Russ that she’d reached her goal during their first look.

Congratulations to Russ & Marissa!!! I know that you will be together loooooong after the sun burns out.

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Hannah + Tim | Celebration of Love & Life at Green Springs Inn

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This couple! This family! OMG!
Hannah reached out to me about her wedding photography after she and Tim had decided on Green Springs Inn for their venue. They saw my blog post about Taylor and Carmine’s wedding a couple years ago and wanted the same personal, intimate, emotional, and detailed imagery for their own special day. I knew right away that I was going to love working with Hannah.
Our conversations quickly turned to the very serious nature of why this day was even more important than it already would have been for her and her family. Hannah’s Dad, Dave, had suffered a series of strokes a few months prior it was going to be a huge deal for him to be there to walk her down the aisle. This day was just as much for him as was for her and Tim; she would also carry some of her Grandfather’s ashes down the aisle in her bouquet.
September 30th finally arrived and I pulled into Green Springs Inn to meet everyone in person for the first time and help coordinate the rehearsal. I was immediately welcomed, hugged, and overwhelmed with the wonderful nature of Tim and Hannah’s friends and families that were working tirelessly on setting up tables, lights, chairs, and flowers. Everyone got teary during the rehearsal and I knew that the ceremony the next day was going to be a hot mess of beautiful happy tears. …and it was. 🙂
From the moment I arrived at Hannah’s cabin in the morning it was laughing and tears all day. When it was time for their first look I walked up to Tim and I could see that he was barely keeping it together. When he turned around to see his bride I could visibly see everything melt away… they saw only each other.
What was your favorite part of the day?
T: The first look was amazing. Seeing Hannah so elegant and sexy in such an intimate way was not only breathtaking but comforting as well. Anxieties being high, it brought us back to our center- together. Being pronounced man and wife, and sealing it with a passionate kiss can hardly be beaten… The spark between us in that moment… And then the amazing reception bursting with love and beauty, emotionally and aesthetically.

H: It was a complete tie for first between the intimacy and excitement of the first look, and seeing Tim standing in front of me, bursting with anxiety and joy as my Dad and I made our way down the aisle. In such an enormous moment, one wink reminded us both that this is just an expression of what we already are – life partners and best friends.

What are you most looking forward to in married life?
T: Spending the rest of my life with her. Living this life together.

H: …daily morning kisses as we wake up. Walking through the routine of daily life, watching baseball and playing dice, making dinner. Watching the day evolve into night over red wine on the back porch. But even the incredible beautify of the mundane is not as exciting to me as watching Tim grow into a wrinkly ass curmudgeon!

What advice would you like to share with others (about relationships, wedding planning, life in general)?
T: Try to never go to bed or part ways angry. Say I love you often, every time you think it. Stay hydrated, LOTS of water. To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut: we were put on this earth to fart around, don’t let anyone tell you any different.

H: As for weddings, work from the inside out: what do you want the day to feel like? What emotion, aesthetic, experience do you want to have and share with those closest to you? Remember who you are together, and infuse that into everything. And remember, no matter how organized, how communicative, or how well intentioned you are, you are not in the driver’s seat. You, your fiancé, your family and friends, bought tickets on a roller coaster that will turn left, right, upside down, speed up, slow down, and jostle you in the most unexpected ways…. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Release yourself to the natural energy of the day. Such is life, my dears, such is life.

It was an afternoon of celebration that lasted late into the night. One of my personal favorites was Tim’s brother opening up a bottle of champagne with a small sword!

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High Desert Glamping | Stylized Wedding in Central Oregon

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!

>>> This shoot was featured on Fab You Bliss and Aisle Society <<<

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Kaira + Dave | Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park Wedding

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What on Earth could I have done to deserve such an amazing couple in Kaira + Dave?

I first met them last year at The Big Fake Wedding in Seattle; I learned at their reception that it was Kaira’s sister, Audra, who had encouraged them to go in an attempt to get them to start planning… because she’s a great MOH! I heard from them a few months later about their wedding photography and got more and more excited as their plans came to life.

Before we get to the wedding photography you must know more about these two love birds. 1. They met at a week-long Latvian retreat in Malibu, CA that peaked with a NYE party in LA. Kaira was there with Audra and they both joked that their Mom had sent them on this trip to meet single Latvian men. Kaira and Dave participated in a cooking class together and kissed on the stroke of midnight to bring in the new year. There was just one problem; Dave lived in Florida and Kaira lived in Pennsylvania. They both made trips to visit each month as their relationship got more serious, and when Dave moved to Seattle for grad school he invited Kaira to come with him. Awwwwwww. 2. On Valentine’s Day 2015 Dave surprised Kaira with a trip to Hawaii (totally not jealous). After a day of exploring the big island Dave proposed while they watched the sunset AND an active volcano. 3. The whole wedding was in Latvian, with some of it repeated in English, overlooking the Olympic Sculpture Park and Puget Sound. 4. They had wedding pie… because they’re awesome! 5. Latvians know how to daaaaance. No joke the dance floor was full for like 4 straight hours. Even the bartenders were dancing while pouring cocktails. Dave + Kaira wanted a live band for their reception, so naturally Dave called the Hard Rock Cafe and asked them who they liked for cover bands. The HRC told them to hire The Slacks and now I want them at every single wedding I photograph for the rest of my life.

Here’s what Kaira + Dave had to say about their wedding day:

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Kaira: I loved seeing Dave at the end of the aisle as I walked in! After that, dancing to the band at the reception. Also, Dave’s impromptu performance of the Pixies “Here Comes Your Man” was pretty awesome.
Dave: For me, my favorite part was the first look and also dancing to some amazing music at the reception. Watching Kaira walk down the aisle was something of a “life moment” for me that I’ll never forget.
Kaira and Dave: Basically everything, the whole day was perfect!

What are you most looking forward to in married life?

Kaira and Dave: We’re very happy to be done with wedding planning! We look forward to building our lives together as a team: traveling together, hopefully one day owning a home together, and possibly starting a family.

What advice to do you have for others?

Relationship advice: We say “I love you” to each other a lot and try not to take ourselves too seriously.
Wedding advice: Creating a dedicated wedding email account that we both had access to was a huge help. We also used Trello for to-do lists and the seating arrangement. Make sure to give yourself a few days off after the wedding to recover from “post-wedding amnesia.” Just 3 days after the wedding, Dave already lost (and found!) his wedding ring and we both feel very scatterbrained after being so organized all weekend. Go with your gut when it comes to vendors and partners. Everyone we worked with had a great vibe and it showed in how smoothly our wedding went. There were no last-minute surprises!

Enough talk… let’s see some photos!!!

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“OMG this pie is amazing!”

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Katie + Zach | Country Club Chic at The Aerie at Eagle Landing

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What a pleasure it is to watch love grow in two people.

Katie + Zach had a beautiful wedding at the Aerie at Eagle Landing just outside Portland in early September. …you know the time, when it’s still summer, but fall is in the air.
Surrounded by their families and best friends they promised to always be there for each other and to put the other one before themselves.

The last few months I’ve been asking my couples some post-wedding questions and share their answers on this blog. It’s been such a lovely insight into what my couples value in their relationship.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Our favorite part of the wedding day was simply just being able to celebrate a very important event with our friends and family.

What are you looking forward to most in married life?
What I am looking forward to the most in married life is spending everyday with my best friend. Going on adventures, exploring a new city (Portland) together, just being together and seeing what life has in store for us.

What advice would you like to offer others?
Advice would be to have fun and remember everybody is there for you. You can’t possibly control how everything goes, so trust the people you have hired and just have fun. The day goes by in a blink of an eye so just enjoy it. Another note would be to hire a day of wedding planner to be in control of all the details and timing. Lastly, find a pastor/officiant that you connect with. We love(d) our officiate he is great at what he does and he is very personable, it made everything a lot easier.

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If you just can’t get enough of these two check out their engagement session from earlier this year.

Mida + Phil | Summer Love at Lumos Winery

Newly weds in the Lumos Winery vineyard in Oregon's Wine Country

There’s nothing that will make you feel more connected to your family on your wedding day than incorporating their love and spirit into your day.

That’s what Mida + Phil did a few weeks ago at their beautiful wedding at Lumos Winery in Kings Valley, Oregon in the coast range foothills. Family and friends put together the center pieces and set out the table cloths, Phil and Groomsman – Lee – brewed a sour beer, Phil and his Brother/Groomsman – Nick – featured some of their Nectar Creek Mead as well, Mida wore her Grandmother’s dress, and her brother DJ’d. The morning was bustling with everyone working on their respective tasks, but the day never felt rushed or stressful. Instead it felt like one giant family working together to celebrate two people that they all love.

I was completely enamored with their personal details… especially Mida’s jewelry and handmade hair piece! Not to mention the view. Hello!

 

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