We were just about finished with the portraits when I reminded Suzanne and Matthew that the party was just ahead. They had both been so focused on getting all of the responsible bits of the wedding day taken care of… so worried that something or someone might get missed. I watched as a visible relief washed over their happy faces. ;0)
The party is the reward you give yourself, the carrot at the end of the planning stick, if you will. The logistics of almost any wedding will drive most people a little crazy if they think about it too hard. When I arrived at the Ecotrust that afternoon, I encountered a stressed out Matthew in the parking lot. He was nervous about so many things. He improved remarkably when Suzanne swept into sight but it wasn’t until after the ceremony and a walk with her to do some portraits that I started to see him come back into balance. These two are made for each other and watching them come to life at their great party was a treat!
So do the homework and get a good night’s sleep. All that’s left is to get up on your wedding day, take the test and then party like you mean it!
Engagement photos can happen anytime… the rules have become much more relaxed and I’m fine with that. These guys, Gary and Steven, jumped the date for legal same sex weddings in Oregon by getting married in Vancouver last Spring. We all went to the courthouse and did the less romantic version to get the wedding done. Now, at the end of October, they will throw a great party for their family and friends. What has been missing in all of this was a chance to take portraits of the two of them in any kind of relaxed and sweet fashion. At the beginning of July, we spent a couple of hours at the Pittock Mansion in an attempt to give them something to hold for the rest of their lives… pictures to frame and take their place on the mantle piece where the rest of their special photographs live…. something to say, look, we are truly a couple and this is a reminder for all time.
Some people will tell you that engagement photos have to happen when you get engaged but that just isn’t the case. Sweet portraits can happen before or after or anywhere in between. It just doesn’t matter. What matters is that I have two people in love and the chance to put that on paper at some point in the relationship. For me, I have had the pleasure to get to know two very nice people and now I get to cover their party in a couple of weeks… how cool is that?
Whenever possible, I go out to a venue about a week before the wedding date to check out the light. Granted, our lovely Oregon weather can be a real game changer but soft cloudy days are fine… it’s the really hard bright days that you need to be ready for.
Large and rowdy group shots at 2:00 on a sunny afternoon? You bet… let’s go over where we can get the best light. Jac and Drew came with me to approve this location… the original plan would have been pretty awful. ;0)
Work with your professional photographer… good things will happen!
The answer is to surround yourselves with family and friends and bring your very full hearts to the table. I can’t tell you what a beautiful day this was but the pictures can! That was possible because Jac and Drew brought it all to the party. This was a back yard wedding of the very best kind and I am so pleased to have been a part of it.
Mandy was a delight to watch as she married her Marty in the low golden light at the temple… incense in the air.
From there to their lovely house full of friends… the kind of intimate, relaxed party everyone likes… a little prosecco, a little pie on a sweet and simple June day.
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 →