Paperwork rules the wedding day even if it’s from the background. It starts with the planning notebooks and threads through vendor contracts, timelines and endless checklists. Don’t let it get you down, though… an organized wedding is a happy wedding. Paperwork sounds kind of dry and frustrating but it is the glue that will hold the day together. If you do it right, you can get up that morning and have a fine time knowing that everything is pretty much under control.
For Shannon and Amos, the last piece of the paperwork puzzle was to sign the marriage license. It was fun to watch two newly married lawyers work through the legal language with their Brooklyn judge… each state is different so the three of them were very careful to get it right.
As a photographer, I am always present at this part of the day… it’s usually done shortly after the ceremony so I always check with the officiant to see when he or she is ready. It’s part of my job to find a spot that works for the paperwork and the photography. These two got married at The Armory so Shannon was changing into her party shoes in one of the green rooms backstage… I peeked around the corner and saw this table on the main stage and thought it would make a very interesting space. The judge agreed and off we went!
The first dance as newlyweds is always pretty special. As I watched Shannon and Amos twirling across the floor at the Armory, their smiles kept getting brighter and, soon, the whole crowd was smiling with them. That kind of happy is contagious and that is a good thing. ;0)
I know that when we think of destination weddings, we think of places other than Portland but if the couple and most of the guests are coming in from out of town, that makes this a destination wedding, right? That means our job as local vendors is to make these people happy to be here. Portland’s Armory, also known as the Gerding Theater at the Armory, is a fine place to stage a wedding. I must confess that I was surprised to have a mid-July couple having an indoor event… so many of our local couples are hell bent on vineyards and gardens for their summer nuptials because the weather is finally ready to cooperate. This couple, from New York, were actually quite lucky to be at the Armory… that weekend was one of our recent high 90°s spells. Once inside this sturdy old building, everyone was very comfortable.
A first dance in a cool and interesting space filled with your family and friends… what’s not to like? Come talk to me if you are planning a wedding… there is plenty of information to share. ;0)
Global warming came to our lovely town last week and she has overstayed her welcome. I’ve lived in Portland for 35 years and this last couple of summers have been much less predictable than usual… it might be time to consider getting married in our cooler months… maybe give up on some of the scorching sunny weekends that have always been so popular. This weekend found me at two weddings where we had to change up our portrait plans to save ourselves. In the process, I had to step away from the ideas previously set and aim us in different directions.
Monday’s wedding was set for the Blue Sky Gallery in the Park Blocks… a cool and cozy space for an intimate crowd. Kira and Terry requested that I be available to take portraits of their guests so, during brunch, I looked in all of the corners of the venue to see if I could avoid taking people out into the hard, hot light. A very small space behind the piano and the window display caught my eye so I asked the couple who attended to the bride to come sit for me. I was quite intrigued by the tones and the clothes in that small, graphic space. Since they could be seen from the other end of the room, I was pleasantly surprised to have a steady stream of subjects come play in that space, including the bride and groom.
Engagement Sessions are a great way to see how the whole dynamic might work for your wedding day. There are 4 parts of the puzzle… there are the two of you and then you add a photographer and a camera. When those 4 pieces work well, you get wonderful results.
Tiffany and Jon came to town to wrap up some details and to have an engagement session with me. We started in the Pearl District and wandered over to Union Station for a low profile stab at getting them over the jitters… cameras have a way of making lots of people uncomfortable. If you add that to PDAs, the dreaded public displays of affection, it can take a while to relax. By the time we had gotten up to the Pittock Mansion, the light and the comfort level had both improved. Even though this portrait on the stairs is wonderfully quiet, we spent a lot of time laughing… these two are a great fit and I am looking forward to their August wedding!
On a side note, I always discuss clothing with my clients ahead of any engagement session… a blended or complimentary color palette is a good start. I am not interested in having people match so much as I don’t want their colors to clash or to take away from the faces. Polka dots and awning stripes will never be a good combo. I did get to tease Jon a little about his white shoes… notice how they really pop in the portrait on the right? I’d have asked him for a darker shoe or sandal if I had known. ;0)
Getting married? Let’s take the camera out for a spin and see how much fun it can be!
A sunny Saturday in June found Hannah and Sham exchanging rings on the roof of the Ecotrust… the tricky part was that he had spent the morning at a rock gym and his knuckles were swollen. When I went to watch them sign their Katubah, Sham was soaking his left hand in a bowl of ice water. Rabbi Kominsky was smiling during Hannah’s gentle attempt and we all watched Sham work it into place. The rabbi then went on to tell the crowd what had happened to this groom’s hand… a slight chiding in his voice. ;0)
A little advice from this photographer for all of you… consider the activities that you plan for the days before your wedding. I have had brides in tears with sunburns that will never match the lines of their dress. There have been spider bites and poison oak, nasty bruises and all sorts of minor miseries… and things like broken arms and legs, not so minor, but most of them could have been avoided by thinking a little bit about the possibilities. Take it easy and plan the physical risks for after the wedding if you can. I know that there are a lot of ways to reduce the stress but if it involves messing you up, think twice. Rest, massage, and hydration are the best things to do in the week before… you will feel better and the photographs will reflect that.
Exchanging rings should be one of the easy parts, don’t you think?
Hiring professionals will make your life easier, too. ;0)