The wind was up on that September day in 2000… normal, I’m sure, since Rowena Crest is high above the mighty Columbia River. We had hiked up to the crest from a sweet little private property. Ever the Oregonian requirement, everyone wore sensible shoes even if they carried a party pair.
There was a slightly sheltered circle on the bluff where the ceremony was set to happen. The barn, out in the open, was being staged as a place for a toast afterward before everyone was to hike back down to the dinner party. I remember the bright and unexpected sound of many glasses breaking as they hit the gravel and we all looked over to see the tablecloth losing the battle with the wind. It didn’t deter anyone from enjoying the festivities except for the delicate clean up… that took some patience.
After the toasts, while the crowd started down to the party, we took some sun drenched minutes and played with the wind in front of the camera… it was a treat to see them relax so thoroughly in each other’s company.
Dawn and Jenna were pioneers ahead of their time in this lovely wedding outing but they were so perfectly paired I can’t imagine anyone saying nay to them. They met as bike messengers… a very Portland sort of beginning. After the wedding, they packed up and moved to sunnier Colorado and they have been missed here, no doubt.
As a side note, I have been pulling some old favorites from my film archives because I finally have some software worthy of making scrumptious scans. It is almost like having an actual darkroom again. ;0)
Miles is nine. His mom was getting married and he was to have a tuxedo for the very important job as a member of the wedding. His excitement ran high that April afternoon, including wanting to get dressed many hours too early… when it was time, his mom steered him through the special buttons and the always cool cuff links. His tux fit very well… something that doesn’t always happen with the young guys. He wore it with style and confidence… the very definition of élan. He wore it like he was born to it.
The day started to roll and this kid, the only one at the wedding, was the epitome of a perfect guest. I was happy to watch him engage with everyone like a grownup… he kept up his end in a way that I would love to see more often.
During the toasts, his was solid and emotional and heartfelt enough to bring some tears around the room. Later, as the dancing ramped up, he was invited to run a song with a stint at the dj’s table… happy as could be, disco lights vibrating all around him.
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.
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.
The Aisle Walk is that great part of the day when you have made it past the hard work… nothing but good times ahead, right? Emotionally, this walk is a real mix for most people… sometimes the newlyweds are able to focus on the faces of their friends as they swing by and sometimes they are too stunned to focus on anything except getting out of sight for a few minutes. Mostly, I see huge amounts of joy and the camera loves that. ;0)
Personally, I think this is one of the best arguments for doing the formal group photos before the wedding. The Aisle Walk is the beginning of the face time with your guests and you can bet they are ready to get on with it! If you can dive right into the crowd during a cocktail hour, no one is going to feel left out. Receiving lines and bossy photographers can harsh that vibe in a heartbeat. Plan on getting the “business” photography out of the way early and then, if you and your photographer want a small session of relaxed portraits, it can be done easily.
A lot of my couples opt for a 15 minute session right before dinner… they get to have most of the cocktail hour and then when their guests are starting to jockey for a table, we head out into the softer light and get the romantic shots. Nobody misses you for that short time and, if you like, you can be announced to the crowd when you come back. Party on!
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!
There is something about an old barn on a sunny Oregon day… something very right. We had just finished the larger wedding party pictures and sent the men and women in to freshen up before the ceremony. Meanwhile, Liz and Josh wanted a couple of shots taken with their Maid of Honor and the Best Man… the barn was the perfect choice for this since we were out of the way of arriving guests. This barn has been in the family for ages… both Josh and his brother have grown up here and I like that it is a family member in a sense.
I kept the couple back for a few portraits here knowing that the ceremony was the next big thing ahead… we made some beautiful images in a short amount of time. Lucky that we did because the other 15 minutes that we had planned for afterwards didn’t happen… sometimes it’s just too important to be with the guests who have come so far to see you.
One of the things I try for in every wedding is to have two short sessions carved into the time line for portraits of just the bride and her groom… they don’t have to be complicated and we really don’t need more than about 15 minutes per session. If the light is right and the timing works, you can get a lot done. If you don’t take the time, you miss out on one of the most important parts of the day… the whole reason you are getting married is to be that couple. Special pictures of the two of you that should last you a lifetime.
I hope you will consider talking to me about your wedding, even if you don’t have a barn. ;0)
In our corner of paradise we get to work in soft vineyard light and magical beach light… all of those weddings have a really fine chance to shine. However, you can also count on just the right light in our downtown streets… it’s just a matter of experience and persuasion. I say it that way because I can see the light when it is ready but I have to make my couples understand that the time is now…. the window is limited.
I have a couple shopping me right now who have this dynamic day planned. The only problem I can see is that they haven’t planned any time for really good photographs. They see it in my portfolio and it excites them but they don’t have the time to do anything like it. Wouldn’t you want to have a little input from your wedding professional? Keep us in the loop as much as you can. Just saying.
If you are shopping for for a real wedding photographer, come talk to me… a good fit is worth a lot.
You may recognize the place… the old Round Barn at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse. If you have spent any time on the grounds, you may also know that dogs are not allowed. This photo is a testament to the sweet humans in this trio… they were able to persuade management that Gustav is a one of a kind fellow. He was allowed to be on site for an hour and his behavior was impeccable.