Most of the toasting took place before it got dark. Liz and Josh had their wedding at the family ranch outside of Eugene on a hot summer day. The yard had been set up with long comfortable tables, a dessert table nearby and a well lit dance floor near the house. Dinner ran later than they had planned… the evening turned cooler and undeniably dark. The couple wanted to say thanks to everyone before they cut the cake. Their DJ brought him a mic and the crowd gathered in a little to listen. As Josh pulled out his notes, we all realized what he was up against. He was all set to wing it when the DJ pulled out his cellphone and saved the day. ;0)
The internet has a huge selection of Sunset tables available to help with your planning… even a half an hour can make a huge difference.
The moral of this story is plan your time and spaces carefully, you just might need a little light on a soft summer night.
Anticipation runs high on a wedding day… high enough that even the rain can’t dampen it by much. For Emily and James, the anticipation was enough to drive them out of hiding to watch their guests arriving. All of the formal photographs had been taken and they had been enjoying a glass of champagne and a little privacy… all that was left was to walk across the small space between the house and the hall where a lovely ceremony and dinner were waiting for them. James would finally get to see the cake he had designed and all of their friends and families were on hand to cheer them through their vows. The only VIP missing was their good dog, Davey. ;0)
Gray Gables was the perfect spot for this late season wedding. The party rolled from the great food into the kinetic dance floor and when the lights came up, the crowd went out into the damp with sparklers to light the way to the limo… this couple is a gas and the wedding was just perfect!
Planning your own wedding? Want to chat?
Springtime in Portland is one of the most beautiful seasons we have and we all know it’s because of the rain. Sometimes it actually doesn’t rain. If you have a venue combination that is mostly inside, then you have a fine chance to visit a park or use your own garden for a small portion of your photography. The colors and the greenery are so lush and, when combined with the soft light on an overcast day, well, it’s hard to beat. This lovely shot at Peninsula Park was a stop between the church and the hotel reception on a sweet day in late May.
Since our summers are becoming so over the top hot, I’d like to see more springtime weddings on the calendar… its a sweet look.
Fairytales may not happen to everyone you meet but you know it when you see it. Elena and Leigh have been in love since grade school… they knew early on they were a true fit for each other. When I first met them a few years ago, I had no idea how special this bond was. We started with an engagement session and I realized that it was going to be a deep and important relationship for me, as well. The wedding was perfect and personal and we have since done belly pictures and baby pictures and family sessions. In all of that, I feel like we are related… like we can talk about anything.
I am inspired by these two every time I get to spend a little time with them.
Find the one who truly loves you and love them with everything you’ve got… the world will be a better place for everyone. ;0)
Little charmers like these two can totally make my day as a wedding photographer. I know some people think that a wedding is no place for children and if you happen to be doing a super stylish and grown-up sort of affair, then, ok. Luckily, in Oregon, there are lots of weddings that take place in a more relaxed and forgiving atmosphere… the little kids can be an organic addition to the party.
These two had a job to do… he with the rings and she with a basket of flowers. One of the best parts of any wedding with this age group is watching the rather random process of walking down the aisle to complete their tasks. Everyone turns to enjoy it!
I am about to design a wedding album for this wedding and I can’t wait to revisit these two and a really fine late summer wedding. ;0)
Children ask better questions than adults. “May I have a cookie?” “Why is the sky blue?” and “What does a cow say?” are far more likely to elicit a cheerful response than “Where’s your manuscript?” Why haven’t you called?” and “Who’s your lawyer?”
Go ahead, invite the kids and have a great time!
Time is the name of the game in any relationship. Sometimes it seems like a hurdle to jump and sometimes it’s a runaway train but if you are part of a solid team, you can face it together. Ty and Lamar were partners for 10 years before they were able to marry legally… that’s a long time to want something you can’t have. When the day finally came, I was caught many times by how perfect a fit they were together. We did this portrait a little before the ceremony at the Academy Chapel and that gave them a chance for some quiet time before the whole crowd thing that a wedding becomes.
I am happy to see that our society is moving in the right direction… it’s past time for a balanced world.
Destination weddings can be a lot of work for everyone involved if the planning isn’t up to snuff. When someone has taken the pains to bring me and my gear clear across the country to cover their wedding, I make sure that we do a lot of talking about the timing. It’s a good idea to bring your photographers in a couple of days ahead for a few reasons. The most obvious one being that it’s a way to get past the aggravations of weather and delayed flights. It is a also good way to ensure that your photographers are rested and ready to give you the best coverage possible, and, if any gear gets messed up in transit, your photographer has a chance to get it replaced in time for your wedding. All of that seems like a no brainer to me.
What I offer my clients in a destination situation is a chance to spend a couple of hours outside of the wedding day… most often it’s a rehearsal dinner sort of coverage. It helps all of us to get comfortable before the big day. Jen and Chris had a tea for their families at the hotel the day before the wedding. I took some time with the tea service but when they were done, they asked if I would go with them to get the rings cleaned. You bet! Old Town Alexandria has a free trolly that runs up and down King Street… all we had to do was hop on and go a couple of stops to the jewelry designer. Basically, we got to treat it as an engagement session… it gave us lots of opportunities to do sweet pictures of just the two of them in various places before we took our frozen noses back to the hotel.
I love my job!
The lyrics to Love Me Tender were rolled into little scrolls and wrapped with glittery gold ribbons… each guest found a scroll on their chair as they sat for the ceremony on this New Year’s Eve. Part way through, the groom’s dad brought his guitar out to the mic and the entire crowd sang with him and the new couple… it was one of the sweetest wedding songs you could imagine… everyone singing and smiling!
The Red Rose Ballroom was a perfect venue for this party… Stumbleweed played some fabulous bluegrass and a fine spread was put on by Cheryl’s on 12th
The whole shebang was pulled together by EJP Events… a long time trusted coordinator in Portland.
I hope all of you getting married in the near future will do your homework as well as these people did. It made for a really relaxed and personal celebration and that’s what a wedding should be.
Every bride has a wish list. It’s no surprise that parts of her photography coverage will include items on her wish list. It’s my job to find out what she has in mind… to be sure that we communicate in detail about the parts of the day that she has dreamed about. Case in point, I don’t usually look for a huge landscape with a tiny couple in it when I consider portraits. It is a trend in today’s wedding imagery that sort of baffles me because it takes the emotional content out of view.
Last week, I had a a great little wedding in Old Town Alexandria. The Morrison House Hotel was the venue and my couple really wanted a portrait on the front staircase… they had seen one like it during their planning sessions. It was a classic sort of space and it made for a nice image. It may not classify as a portrait, per se, but I am sure it will satisfy her wish and will remind them of this happy day for a long time to come.
If you are making plans, local or destination, I’d be happy to talk to you!
The grace moments happen without fanfare… you can’t really stage something like this without making it look dorky. It’s not something you can suggest to a couple, it has to be an organic thing. It has to come from them.
Jessica and Phil had a crowded wedding day. Many people and a tight timeline made for sort of a frazzled tone to the early parts. It was most noticeable when we took 15 minutes after dinner to sneak out for some pictures of just the two of them. I watched them exhale and they began to breathe a little easier. Shy of the camera to start with, I asked them if they had honeymoon plans. That was all it took as they started to talk about Cabo San Lucas and the relaxing they’d be able to do there… like a great shiny reward hanging just ahead.
Trust your photographer to find and catch the grace moments… you’ll want to have them for later.