In the mirror is a familiar face… the bluejeans are crumpled in the corner and you are feeling the slight edge of the veil on your bare shoulders. It’s been a long time in the planning mode but here you are… dressed and polished to a high point you don’t quite recognize. And, yet, it’s you all along. Familiar is about to change for you and your other half in so many ways… it will take some time but you will see the differences as the years go by. The two of you become more of a team than you ever thought possible… if you are lucky, it only gets better. Old, comfortable familiar becomes new and better familiar and life goes on.
Today, though, is the day to look in the mirror, before the ceremony and all of the people descend on you and see just who you are about to become. It can be quite magical. ;0)
Lauren married Dustin on a warm September evening in Abigail’s Garden at Oregon City’s Abernethy Center. Geranium Lake Flowers staged a fantasy night flavored with Harry Potter references and the night went on for many lovely hours. What I know is that the planning paid off and these two are off on their new journey… new worlds are ahead.
Instead of a Unity candle, consider a Sands Ceremony… you might be sweetly surprised by how personal it can be.
At it’s simplest, a sand ceremony involves a blending of two different-colored sands into a single container. The meaning is clear: The blending of two lovers, into an inseparable unit that is their marriage — the joining of their lives. Hard as it would be to separate out those grains of sand, that’s how difficult it is to separate these two people. Like the Unity candle, this Sands Ceremony can be done at any point in the marriage ceremony… it’s also not going to be too dependent on wind conditions. I have seen couples who are blending their families bring the children forward to add colored sands of their own and I have seen sands from around the globe incorporated into the mix… a way to pull your histories together.
The vessel you choose will dictate the shapes of the sand layers… I would advise trying a couple of containers ahead of time so that you have an idea what sort of artistic piece you might have after the wedding. You should also take into account that it will need to be transported carefully so that the layers stay distinct… this is not something to throw into a purse and take to the reception. ;0)
Michelle and Heather will have this reminder for many years to come.
Again, anything that makes your wedding day more personal is a good thing.
Let me know if I can help!
Remember when wedding photos were kind of stodgy? Attitudes have changed over the years in the best way!
Posing a wedding party used to be about symmetry and well dressed people on their best behaviour… the men all on one side with their hands folded in front and the women all turned just so with their matching bouquets lined up. I have worked a little against this for many years, trying to fit it to each client’s need for their real friends vs the staged lineup. The prevailing attitudes have brought a wonderful sense of fun to the whole process. These days, I’ll do one or two staged set ups for the older generations but if I can get the wedding party or the family groups to play in front of my camera, I feel like I have done my job very well. Many years down the road, you should be able to look back at these pictures of your family and friends and recognize them as the fabulous people in your tribe… not just a well dressed group you happen to know.
I’m hoping there will be a day soon when the brides and grooms follow their own hearts instead of blindly checking off a list in a magazine… make the day your own and have a blast!
Happy to be along for the ride! ;0)
Your best friends should definitely be gathered into a group portrait at your wedding… it’s a no brainer! Some of my clients ask ahead and put it on the to-do list. Some get to their party and realize that it is a good idea… either way, it’s something you may not be able to do as often as you like. If you were to ask me, I’d say to try for this shot right before dinner. The wedding and the cocktail hour have happened and everyone is in a fine mood by then… the pressure is off and the smiles will be easy. Give your photographer a minute or two to find the right place for the size of your group and the rest of it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. The image will go down in all of your history books forever. ;0)
This tribe of best friends had a heck of a good party at the end of August. The wedding was in a private shared garden and then they moved the crowd to the beautiful rooftop of the Eastside Exchange… a perfect venue for a Portland summer night.
Come make some history with me… it will be a gas!
Planning on having framed prints from your wedding reception? You have seen them… usually a nice portrait framed in a fat mat so that the guests can all sign it, right? Tiffany and Jon had this sweet little piece designed for them as a way to include their silly Corgis and their guests all in one place. The fingerprint inks were chosen for leaf colors and it was fun watching the guests decide where to place their leaves on the tree. If you like the idea, there is a Pinterest page with some cute ideas on fingerprint art. It’s a nice, modern version of the signing board.
The Nines Hotel made sure they had a good sized and carefully covered table stocked with cleaning wipes for after the prints… if you decide to set one of these up, make sure your guests can clean their fingers, ok?
Next time I go to Seattle, I’ll expect to see it hanging in their cute home. ;0)
I meet some of the nicest people in this work… these two were a lot of fun throughout the entire process!
There’s no place like home to have a wonderful wedding! I woke up this morning thinking about how I’d like to give my yard a makeover… somehow that thought process led me to some of my favorite home weddings. This one, from a few summers ago, was an absolute treat! Kristin & Chad have a lovely old home in the Kenton neighborhood and they decided to hold their wedding in their own backyard. They did it up right with a 5 piece brass band playing Beatles tunes, paper lanterns strung in the branches of the big tree and all of the tables on the lawn. Vibrant Table Catering set up a bar across from the front porch swing and the buffet was arranged on the back deck.
I guess the best thing about a home wedding is the utterly relaxed vibe… there is something about being able to take off your shoes as you sit on the lawn with all sorts of other relaxed people… it generally doesn’t happen that way in the big fancy ballroom weddings. ;0)
I wouldn’t have missed this one for the world!
Portland’s Courthouse is right downtown in the middle of some of our most interesting architecture and it is at it’s prettiest in the fall. Last Friday, on Halloween, I met with Michelle and Heather at one of the parks nearby. Joined by about a dozen family members, we spent some time taking care of family shots in the fading light. Then the three of us took a photo sort of stroll around the block for some personal portraits… the two of them giggling and smiling the entire time. By the time we got back to the courthouse, it was time to go through the security dance and head upstairs to wait for the judge. Nerves were starting to show and these two propped each other up… thankfully the judge was very kind and the wait was pretty short. I saw a lot of love in that courtroom… these two were well married.
I know a lot of people believe that a courthouse wedding isn’t as good somehow but that’s just not the case. These two young women had decided early on that the whole wedding circus wasn’t that big a deal to them. The three hours I spent with them proved to be a very sweet day indeed. ;0)
Big wedding, little wedding… let’s talk about it, ok?
Sexy Boy Handsome Team is how the business cards read… they were handed out to the guests just before the toast by the Best Man at Matt and Christie’s wedding. Apparently, that was the subject heading in the e mail that Matt sent out to his groomsmen as the wedding was being planned.The toast that went with it and the ones that followed really played up the fact that these guys are all really good friends. The vibe was easy going and the suits were really cute… the women were cut from the same cloth. All of them, bride and groom included, were a treat on that warm sunny day last summer.
I imagine this crowd keeping in touch as the years roll out… I imagine kids and dogs and some age creeping in but I think that the core will hold for a long time. I hope somewhere in those far away times that they will revisit these pictures and remember a summer day when they were very young.
Making some plans for your own wedding? Make it as personal as possible… you won’t regret it.
Once upon a time, there was a rehearsal dinner at a beautiful California vineyard in Sutter Creek, right in the foothills of the Sierras. Kenrick and Lindy had everyone fly in for this wonderful weekend. They had hired me completely over the phone… we had some long conversations and many e mails and found that we were a good fit. It was nice to get to know them a little better at the rehearsal and to be made welcome into their good crowd. The wedding went off the next day to great success… astounding food, fancy dancing and, for the end of the night, a local bowling alley complete with disco lights.
Fast forward to this coming January and you will find me in Old Town Alexandria happily covering his brother’s wedding. (Kenrick is the man in the cool hat and Chris is the man receiving a really nice bottle of single malt.) For Jennifer and Chris, all of our planning has been over the phone and in e mails but I’m pretty sure I am going to know some of the crowd a little better at the upcoming rehearsal dinner. I can’t wait!
Destination weddings? You bet!
Translation is the rendering of the same ideas in a different language from the original. Jen’s dress was hanging next to her exotic shawl when I got to the condo. The shawl got most of my attention in the initial encounter. She continued getting ready and the chatter was about getting to the Tram on time. I busied myself with some other small details until she got into her dress. Having met her in a pretty casual outfit and then, today, in her bathrobe, I was stunned by how perfectly she and that dress came together. I love it when my clients have such a great sense of what works!
We had our small parade of women walking to the Tram knowing that Mike was waiting at the top. Jen rocked that dress for several good portraits while we waited to board but it was at the top when I saw a space to really make it work… the opposite wall had the same rich base tones as her shawl.We didn’t have more than a couple of minutes but it made all the difference. ;0)
Translation is really what photography is about if you think about it. A special day is set in motion and a good photographer is there to translate it for future enjoyment. When it is done with an open mind and a willing heart, the results are priceless.