Imagine the day ahead of you… the day you thought would never arrive.
Nicole settled into the limo for the ride to the church and she actually paused for a moment to drink it in. Jon was pulling out of the driveway with his Best Man in the shiny blue convertible, both sharply dressed… looking for all the world like something out of the Kennedy years. The family groups and the wedding party photos had been taken care of in the morning garden, a small brunch had been shared and everyone was now traveling towards the rest of the day. I imagine that each of them was thinking about the day ahead and all were looking forward to it.
Imagine hiring a true professional to help you remember all of the little parts of this marvelous day! ;0)
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.
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)
Alyssa’s sisters had her back from the beginning… they kept her laughing and steady as she made her way to marry Fletcher… you couldn’t ask for more. I posted this particular image to make a point about family shots… I do a ton of them at every wedding. I don’t blog them very often and my portfolio is light in this arena for a reason… I figure each set of clients will have their own range of needs and the varied personalities that go along with all of that. The thing that makes it work is to just show up, relax and let me see what I can bring out of the groups. It should be about the love, not about the poses. I have several of this band of siblings that are plenty formal but we all know that this is the one that caught the true sisters.
Portland’s Lan Su Chinese Garden was the choice for Tricia and Dave’s destination wedding… they came in from Palm Desert to soak up our sweet, damp air at the very end of May. She wanted as many bits of Portland as we could fit into the day so we did a walking tour of the streets between The Nines and the Garden. We were headed to the Chinatown Gate when we stumbled across the new home of the 24 Hour Church of Elvis… I have never seen two people so excited by such a random turn!
From there to the Gate and on to Voodoo Donuts and the Paris Theatre… top that with a free pedicab to the Gardens and it was a stunning beginning to a great celebratory evening.
The rabbi didn’t seem to mind that they were already married in the eyes of Elvis… ;0)
Where to start? Tricia and Dave came to Portland from sunny Palm Desert to get married in our beautiful Lan Su Gardens. Tricia came into the day like a house afire… she wanted to go to as many Portland spots for pictures as possible. Given the window of time we had, she scaled it back to some interesting spaces that we could walk to on the way from The Nines to the Garden. We stumbled across The 24 Hour Church of Elvis… for 50¢ you can get married there… you just have to push all of the right bright buttons and answer the many questions on the screen. It was a lot of fun to watch! From there to the Chinatown Gate and on to Voodoo Donuts and The Paris Theatre… honestly, it was a marvelous carnival mix… we all came away smiling. As we walked, a pedicab driver offered us a free ride for the remaining two blocks… all of this was just the beginning of a great celebration.
Luckily, the rain held mostly until the end of the ceremony and the rabbi didn’t seem to mind that they were already married in the eyes of Elvis.
A lot of credit for this day goes to the vendors… they made it work even when the skies opened…
Dave made an interesting contribution… he designed four Saketinis for the party… the reviews were good! Vibrant Table ran the show and fed everyone a lot of really great food. Page Winograd also of Vibrant Table, did her floral magic, even incorporating some of the family’s antique fans. Finales made a series of delicious cakes… inspired by henna tattoos. Takohachi Taiko entertained the diners with a fascinating drum ensemble. Swingline Cubs got everyone up and dancing. Continue reading →
Melinda and Jason came to Portland from Chicago to get married in our elegant Chinese Garden. They had a marvelous day… I could tell because Melinda’s megawatt smile was visible for miles.
We started at the Benson Hotel for a quick portrait with Addison and then we took pedicabs on a round about tour to the Garden.
It was a truly beautiful and Portland sort of day. Continue reading →
Dana and Claudiu had one of those endless days… really beautiful weather and several locations to play in. We started in Portland’s Rose Garden for family and wedding party pictures. From there almost everyone piled into the gigantic Hummer Limo for the trip to the church. After a brief stop on the East Bank Esplanade, we had a lovely cruise on the Portland Spirit. I don’t get to do the river cruise very often and it’s always a great way to spend a warm summer evening. Continue reading →
Ali and Gretchen met and fell in love at Oxford University… they came to their Portland nuptials trailing traces of English Gardens, Vivaldi, Bach and Robert Frost… a beautiful and charming wedding. The lightly modified Anglican ceremony, the traditional English morning suits (complete with proper cravats brought from England) mixed well with the uniquely Portland locations. Graceful is the word that comes to mind thinking back on the whole day.
My friend Helene has been in the hospital for a week now… she is about to move to a rehab clinic so I haven’t gotten to talk to her for a couple of days. She has lived across the street from me for the last 28 years.
When I moved to this house in 1981, it was Spring…. just like now. Rhododendrons blazing and camellias almost spent from the rains… everything very green. Helene had just lost her husband to ALS. I never got to meet Bill but he was everything to her and she talked about him often. In the later years she complained about the amazing leaf fall from the maple he planted for her… it is now the most handsome tree on the street. She dutifully raked that yard for two months straight every year and sometimes threatened to have the tree taken down but she didn’t mean it. It was good exercise and she knew it.
We have been through a few things together over the years… she was the one person I worried about the most when I divorced my husband of 22 years. I knew she liked him… Glenn was a good man in a lot of ways and, in the neighborhood, he was always a willing hand. I was afraid she might think I had been the bad guy in that transition but she took my hand during my late telling and said she thought he had left me on my own too much. You know, his lack of participation the last 7 or 8 years of our marriage was exactly the reason I ended it. I guess she could see that from across the street. When he moved on, I was the one she called to help change out the light bulbs or hang a plant. We have buried a beloved dog and we have shared tomato crops for several summers.
She is 91 now and her body is wispy and frail. I think she is having trouble eating though the doctors haven’t found anything to point a finger at…. I think her brain is just messing with her. Her long term memory is fine but she is having trouble with the yesterday stuff. You need to know that this is a fiercely independent woman… her mind is completely set on living in her home until it’s done. Right now, that road is barred and I know she is chafing at the barriers in front of her. I don’t think she will get to come home. I am afraid she will spend the rest of her days in someone else’s space and I can’t help her.
Two weeks ago, I went over to her house to reseat her new tomato plant… we had to do a little soil amendment so that it would thrive. When we were done, we stood at her garden gate to chat for minute… the light was very soft in the early evening and I noticed her smile and the pink sweater against the rose bush and lilies on her south wall. I made a concerted effort to take the picture in my mind. I could have gone to get my camera but I knew she hadn’t made it to her salon that week and I also knew that the camera would change the whole thing so it will always be in my head… that last real glimpse before the fear and the confusion. I hope she goes easy.
This is a photograph of Helene taken by her friend Mary T. in the Spring of 2007….