Everybody’s got at least one, right? Well, how about the To-Do List on your wedding day?
You have seen the lists in every bridal magazine out there and you have dutifully kept a running notebook to keep your list manageable, right? Are you with me so far? On the day of your wedding there are some things that should have been done just to keep you from tipping over into insanity. The vows should be written and transcribed into whatever format you plan to use… doesn’t matter if it’s a nice paper on a fancy clipboard or a Kindle. What matters is not having to do it at the last minute. Stress is not a good thing on a wedding day and every little bit of non-stress is wonderful.
In the week before, your To-Do List should have clipped the tags off of any clothing… it should have taken care of manicures and pedicures. It should have figured out the seating chart and it should have packed your necklace and earrings in a place where you can actually find them. And don’t forget the socks, belts and ties on that list. Lots of the little stuff on the list will take up a great deal of time and energy if it goes sideways on your wedding day.
Wishing you a happy and carefree day!
Cannon Beach on a bright Saturday afternoon… pretty much a winner!! Cassondra and Reece lucked into a sunny June day for their wedding on the beach… they made a driftwood arbor and surrounded themselves with friends and family. The only hard parts in the planning were working around the tides and working around the crowds that flood this tiny town on pretty summer days. The rest of the planning was chock full of sweet little details and a really great a cappella group. The Cannon Beach Community Center was the choice for their reception and it was decorated to the hilt with beachy goodies like saltwater taffy and sea glass scattered among the netting and the shells on each table.
Cassondra’s dress was the reimagined dress that her mom wore in 1974… it was perfect for her. There was new beading and lace and a lot of love put into the redesign… a special family friend was responsible for most of that. She couldn’t be at the wedding but maybe these pictures will help her know how beautiful it was.
Meanwhile, amidst all of the details and the sunshine, these two sealed their sweetness in such a way that you know it will go on forever… they have been a couple for a very long time and will continue to travel well together… I imagine Cannon Beach will forever be a special place for them. ;0)
It’s a mid October evening at the lovely Zenith Vineyard… Oregon is stellar this time of year and so very easy to look at!
The cocktail hour is coming to an end behind me as the guests make their way from the big porch into dinner… I turned to take in the moon rising over the ceremony site, to take a deep, cool breath before the next half of the day gets rolling.
I stayed to take this picture because they are all inside and missing it. A very important part of wedding photography is to catch all the parts. Many couples don’t realize how much they will miss on that special day … their focus is going to be on their guests. Pretty much a wall of people all day between them and many little vignettes that they won’t see unless the photographer is paying attention.
All of your vendors are important… they are going to make the day look nice and make sure it runs right. The food will be great and the music will be over the top if you have done your homework, right? So plan your perfect day, hire the professionals so that you don’t have to worry about every little thing… dance like you mean it and trust that it will all work out. ;0)
There is a dictionary app on my iPhone and every day, a new word. Some are pretty easy but some of them are so unusual that they stop me in my tracks. Yesterday, the word was paranymph. On hearing the definition, I was astounded to think that I had not heard it before… the simple definition is “A groomsman or a bridesmaid.”!
I can think of many interesting couples who would have loved calling their people paranymphs… it has a forest spirit, steampunk thing about it that would be perfect here in the wilds of the Great Pacific Northwest. These particular paranymphs were having a grand laugh during the group photos at Abigail’s Garden and, considering that the wedding had a Harry Potter theme running through it, they should have known about this word.
Paranymph can be traced to the Greek paránymphos meaning literally “person beside the bride.” It entered English in the mid-1500s.
Maybe we can revive the word and run with it? There might be ancient authors smiling somewhere in the mists. ;0)
It’s great when people are relaxed and having fun during the wedding day… it makes my job much easier.
Let’s make pictures that make you happy!
The Marriage License, the part that makes it legal, begins with a lump in the throat as you stand in line at the county offices. If you go online, you can find out all of the do’s and don’ts involved before you go. At some point it must seem that it’s all coming at you kind of fast. So you get that done and you put it in a safe spot for the wedding day.
In the meantime, you and your officiant should have a short conversation about when you will sign the license. Some people sign it the day before and don’t have to mess with it at all on the wedding day. Others will have to be pulled out of their adoring crowd to sign it on a small, wobbly table before their officiant can leave… there will be photos taken, right? Or they go deep into the back of the church to sign in the daycare room while the crowd waits to throw flower petals… meanwhile, your limo waits.
Photographically, I really enjoy the ceremonies where the couple signs the license at the alter… it is an opportunity to make some very genuine and emotional pictures. You are so much in the moment here and your entire crowd can watch it become real. If you choose this route, please make sure your photographer is aware so that she can be in the right place when it happens.
Oh, and don’t leave the license at home… that just frustrates everybody. ;0)
On a very hot day on top of a very tall building there is a man waiting to see his bride for the first time… let’s call it hope rising. The anticipation is all consuming. The elevator door keeps opening but so far she hasn’t been the one to step into view. In the background, a photographer is watching the emotions run across his face… he is pacing and messing with his tie… he is smiling a lot… he is nervous. He is ready.
Meanwhile, she is rising, carrying flowers and the same sense of beginning. When the door opens, she looks to the photographer and asks quietly which way to go… to the left, she steps lightly into his view.
The photographer catches the beginnings and steps back some to give them a little time… the day will be long and full of intimate and joyous moments… time enough to stay closer.
The first time you see each other on your wedding day can be kind of a fragile thing. Imagine the difference between a private meeting and the very public alternative. From what I have seen, it’s really hard to find the balance when the aisle walk is the first time… talk to your photographer about it, ok?
That space between the church and the party… almost just the two of you in a really cool old car for a nice ride around the park! Back East, when I was growing up, there used to a thing called the Mystery Ride… essentially, after your vows you got whisked away by a friend for a special ride… not knowing where you might be going, only that the two of you were together in a mostly private setting for a little bit.
Rebecca and Jerry have this good friend, the man in the dapper hat, who was gracious enough to be their ride. A classic dark green jewel like this one really beats the regular sort of limo in my humble opinion. We had gotten permission to use a part of the grounds at the Pittock Mansion. We needed a place for the car that wasn’t going to look out of place and the Pittock had just such a space down by the teahouse. It would have been awesome to be up under the carriage way but that was not possible. That car brought some glamour to the romantic portraits… I loved how it helped set the mood.
Afterwards, I had the luck of being right behind them at this stoplight … a polite beep of my horn and they turned to look. I shot this through my windshield… thank goodness it was a long enough light since it was only me in my car! ;0)
Unplugged portraits… besides being a word for a no-phone zone, it might also be the perfect word for the less orchestrated parts of a wedding day.
It’s always hard to get everyone in the same mood for a good group photo until someone, usually a small someone, begins to act up a little. In this case, our rabble rouser was the young one in the grey suit.
One last shot of the family before dinner. Right? We needed an easy place to do one with a late arriving grandmother. The dance floor at Abigail’s Garden was the perfect spot. Well, this group unplugged like professionals while we waited for grandma to get escorted over to us. The best part is that each person reacted so easily… the ones laughing rather than mugging just makes the mix better. We all knew that we had done plenty of the normal ones earlier… unplugged was just right. ;0)
Let’s talk about your wedding!
There is a Eugene neighborhood near and dear to their hearts so these brides made their wedding fit the places they hang out. Anna and Elizabeth chose their reception space first. Hands down, the Falling Sky Deli and Pourhouse was at the top of their list, the go-to place to enjoy the company of friends and great food. Once that decision was made, they expanded the search to find a ceremony site within walking distance. Ninkasi Brewing Company, a few blocks away, proved to be the perfect match. On that sunny September day, the world revolved around a happy couple cheered by many friends and family… all ready to share that Eugene vibe. ;0)
I’m starting to design their wedding album this week and part of that process is the choosing of the images. I’m always pleased to see what gets chosen. The post production at this point is fun… it’s a chance to make each image sing a little. Judging from their choices, this album is going to make them smile for many years to come.
The Ancient Sumerians worshipped the beer they made and praised the goddess Ninkasi for the miracle of fermentation. They understood the value of beer: it gave quality to life.
Getting married? Let’s talk, ok?
Walking to your wedding can be pretty cool. Think about it… maybe it’s just the two of you and your photographer walking from the Nines Hotel to the Chinese Garden. Maybe you have a cool and cloudy day and you have to carry a wrap but nothing else. Maybe your photographer is carrying just the amount of gear she needs for the walking, knowing that her big bag is being dealt with by her assistant who is also moving the car. Meanwhile, your bridal party and family are moving towards the garden, too, bringing all of your stuff. The posed pictures have been done and we have timed it so that you have some spare time to play.
All this means that for about a half an hour, the three of you are making interesting personal images and getting used to each other before you join the rest of your crowd and before the nerves kick back in for the ceremony. There was the stop at the gate to China Town and then the quick dip into Voodoo Doughnuts followed by some sultry shots at the adult theatre with the old marquee lights. Then, just as you were getting a little worried about the time, that nice Pedicab driver gave you a free lift the last four blocks to the garden… just because. ;0)
Portland was a destination wedding for these two and they wanted to be sure to put some Portland into their day… this was a small but heartfelt chance to do just that.