There was a tiny marriage in the tiny town of Manzanita last Saturday. Most of Portland was on the beautiful beaches of Oregon this weekend but we only added 7 and a half people to the crowds. Vivian, the littlest of the group, is only two years old so she counts as a “half”, right?
Lisa and Hub walked down to the sands of Manzanita with their closest friends… people that go way back in their lives. This section of beach was a few blocks down from the main drag and it was wonderfully quiet. They stood in a little semicircle on this sunny day with a very brisk, cold wind at their backs. The vows were short and straight from the heart, the rings exchanged and then they were pronounced by one of Lisa’s best friends. As soon as the pronouncement was made, there were whoops and hollering and dancing in the sand by all. Vivian looked on in amazement. ;0)
Then there was champagne and laughing back at the beach house while we waited for the sun to slip down a little more. The newlyweds came back to the beach with me for a few more portraits in the sweet light while the friends pulled the dinner together. When I left, there was BBQ and music and drinks to be shared and I can still hear Lisa’s fabulous laugh.
As a seasoned pro, I get plenty of the big weddings… the ones with all of the rules and expectations. They are certainly the majority. These little ones, though, bring such a sense of sweet inclusion. It is a true pleasure to be a part of a day like this. A wedding doesn’t have to be big to catch the heart!
Let me know if you’d like to talk about getting married, ok?
Delighted is the very best description! The wedding day has finally arrived and sheer delight has replaced the aggravation of all that planning. For Madeline and Lee, the world kept spinning around them as they had their first look… giddy is a good word to go with delighted. They had a chance to flirt and kiss and twirl the dress in relative privacy… things you can’t do if your first look is at the alter.
We were at the Mt. Tabor amphitheater on this beautiful day… Jill, of Starflower, was hanging rose balls on the stage where the musicians were setting up. The flower girl was running in the grass, her long blonde curls topped by a gorgeous wreath of roses… Molli, of Soiree, was manning the clip board and making sure all the pieces were coming together.
For all of you planning a wedding, I think the best advice you can take is to hire your vendors carefully… the professionals will do what they know how to do and will work with everyone else to make it a great team effort. You and your beloved should be able to dance into your day knowing that you have done the planning and handed it over to the people who will make it happen.
Me? I was delighted to be a part of this… I was privileged to watch this marriage begin and I know that the pictures are real and true because Madeline and Lee are real and true. ;0)
Fresh from the first kiss, Matt stopped in the aisle to kiss his new bride again… he’s a keeper! These two had such a perfect start to their marriage… the wedding was magnificent in every way. Friends, family and this astounding blue-sky day… the crowd sinking grateful toes into the lush green grass at his uncle’s house in Estacada. What could be better?
Sweet fortune and good luck will surely follow Katie and Thomas in their marriage… that is the gift of the lions.
Last Saturday, there was a large and festive wedding at Lan Su Chinese Garden… there were Taiko Drummers at the entrance to welcome the guests and a little before sunset, the Lion Dancers snaked into the lush greenery of the garden to perform for the happy couple. It was a first for me and it was wonderful! I saw small children looking fascinated and worried while the older folks were smiling at this ghost from their pasts… all of this to the loud drums and cymbals… you can look at photographs of it but I think it’s best experienced close up, in person. In a perfect world, everyone would see each other’s traditions… seems like it would make for a better understanding. ;0)
Some images that I post are from quite some time ago… given the new tools and the learned skills, I like to see how different the images can be from my original working. Meg and Trevor got married in 2006 and it seems like a lifetime back in my digital world. The cameras have improved immensely and the range of the tools in PhotoShop are so much more sophisticated… it’s a treat to pull an old file and run it new again. I don’t know if this is something other photographers do or not. I used to do it with my negatives as my darkroom skills improved… even film wasn’t a static thing.
I guess it’s like a good marriage… you learn as you go, you polish the old things from time to time… you remember.
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….