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 – Sunday: 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.