Brides Rule the Day at the Jupiter Hotel! It should have been the headline on the Sunday morning paper this weekend!
My two cool brides, Melissa & Mia, brought such a confident spark to their wedding day that the crowd was more involved than many I have seen. It was really great to see the level of happy going on. I can’t wait to work through all of their images… it’s going to make me smile all over again.
In all of this, I finally had a chance to work with the delightful Melissa Coe, an officiant held in high regard here in Portland. I was not disappointed and as we chatted a little during the day, I was pleased to find a kindred spirit in her. Not all wedding vendors are created equal so when I find the ones that fit, I am elated. ;0)
#lovewins! Facebook lit up last Friday morning like shooting stars… it had just been decided at SCOTUS when I got to my desk. It was like watching all the lights come on in a really big city, a few at a time until the skyline is glowing. :0) The hashtag #lovewins ruled the day and I was gratified to see that so many people were happy about this decision. I don’t think I have seen a kinder day in the social feed in a while.
These happy couples have all been married in the last few years… the images were from their engagement sessions. For a couple of them it was more of an uphill battle than seems possible. I cannot imagine someone telling me I can’t marry the one I love! Needless to say, there should never have been a rule that says any of them should be treated differently than the other. I’m very proud to see our country level this particular field… maybe we can get rid of all discriminations if we keep moving forward.
Now that’s it’s just marriage, let’s talk about yours, ok? ;0)
The lyrics to Love Me Tender were rolled into little scrolls and wrapped with glittery gold ribbons… each guest found a scroll on their chair as they sat for the ceremony on this New Year’s Eve. Part way through, the groom’s dad brought his guitar out to the mic and the entire crowd sang with him and the new couple… it was one of the sweetest wedding songs you could imagine… everyone singing and smiling!
Be still… be really still for just a moment. Sometimes I see a chance to make an interesting portrait but I know it will hinge on the ability of my subject to just focus for a minute and that can be really hard to do on a fast paced wedding day.
Tiffany and Jon wanted to have their first meeting on the rooftop of The Nines so off we went… we did several in the bright September sun with Portland all laid out around us. To get to that section of the roof, we walked through this very dark, breezy space with tall shifting panels of gauze. It was sort of trippy and it registered in the back of my mind as something interesting. Just as we were finishing up, we walked past this hallway on our way to the elevator and I got to see it differently. I knew time was tight but I asked Tiffany to stand in the space and to hold very still… I was working without a tripod and I knew that flash would ruin what I was seeing so I turned my shutter way down and leaned hard into the wall. She did her elegant best and we have this glamorous piece as our prize. ;0)
A professional photographer will see the possibilities and make them work… how about that?
Portland’s Courthouse is right downtown in the middle of some of our most interesting architecture and it is at it’s prettiest in the fall. Last Friday, on Halloween, I met with Michelle and Heather at one of the parks nearby. Joined by about a dozen family members, we spent some time taking care of family shots in the fading light. Then the three of us took a photo sort of stroll around the block for some personal portraits… the two of them giggling and smiling the entire time. By the time we got back to the courthouse, it was time to go through the security dance and head upstairs to wait for the judge. Nerves were starting to show and these two propped each other up… thankfully the judge was very kind and the wait was pretty short. I saw a lot of love in that courtroom… these two were well married.
I know a lot of people believe that a courthouse wedding isn’t as good somehow but that’s just not the case. These two young women had decided early on that the whole wedding circus wasn’t that big a deal to them. The three hours I spent with them proved to be a very sweet day indeed. ;0)
Big wedding, little wedding… let’s talk about it, ok?
The Final Frontier is the phrase that comes to mind when I look at this picture… my couple asked me to step into the men’s room high above Portland at the Nines’s Hotel. They have explored the Nines over several visits from Seattle and they really liked the trippy light and the strange colors on the rooftop level. Departures is not always available for camera time but we were lucky to have about 20 minutes to play before they opened it to the popular afternoon cocktails and fine dining crowd.
Our keys to this rarefied kingdom came from Charlotte Bell… she has to be the most helpful hotel event coordinator I have ever worked with! The entire event from start to finish was in the hotel and every section of it came off without a hitch. Charlotte took me up to Tiffany’s room and then was available with her express key to get us to the roof for a first look. From there down to the lobby for group photos and then back to the roof to play before the ceremony. Never once did we have to wait for her and that tells me that my bride and groom were well taken care of.
The planning is important but the people who will be on hand to see those plans through, those people are priceless.
Imagine inventing your wedding as you run through the hills of Portland! That’s exactly what Jen and Mike did and it was a very special celebration. Every day that they run, they take the tram up from the South waterfront near their home and connect with the trail at the top. As the summer evolved, they kept me in the loop, adding bits of their story to our photo plans. On the big day, I walked with the ladies to the tram and we rode up in excited secrecy… he wouldn’t see her until she walked down the aisle. Getting off the tram, we could see the ceremony site below on the beautiful deck at OHSU. Her brother proudly walked her down the stairs and up through the smiling crowd to Mike. Imagine Mt. Hood in the smokey distance and the whole city going on about it’s normal affairs while these two, high on the hill, promised each other forever.
Later this year, they will go to Paris for their honeymoon… I imagine them up in the Eiffel Tower remembering this day. ;0)
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)
A classic portrait will stand the test of time as will the best relationships. Robert and Christopher were able to officially put rings on their 24 years together last Saturday in a bright, breezy wedding ceremony on the roof deck of the new Eastside Exchange. They had the first wedding to be celebrated there, splitting it between the sunny roof and the well designed ballroom a couple of floors below. When the cocktail hour was winding down, I kept them back for a few minutes of private portraits. Since the roof deck is wide open to the sky, the perfect backdrop was the side of the elevator shaft… it gave us a good balance of light and dark for a simple, classic portrait.
The Eastside Exchange is a sweet new venue at the east end of the Burnside Bridge… the views of Portland’s waterfront and skyline are wonderful! Vibrant Table’s Kurt Beadell is the man behind the curtain in this new venue so you can bet the events will run like clockwork and the food is always stellar.
I love that my job is in a different place every day!
Dave was lost in thought a few times as he got dressed for his wedding on that rainy day in May. He was paying close attention to the details so I tried not to intrude very much. There is a process to dressing, yes, but you can bet there is a process to getting ready to get married… an interior conversation that goes on. His best man and his father were in the other part of the suite and we could hear the comfortable humor of two men who were there for back-up. Pretty soon the four of us were downstairs in the library of the Nines Hotel… the men began playing pool while they waited for the women.
Upstairs, Tricia was smiling and sharing sake with her mom and sister… her mood happily contagious. When her dress was finally finished, I asked if she was ready to go see Dave. Her answer was purely visible… a twinkle of an almost tear in her eyes.
There was an amazing day ahead of them…the unexpected stop at the 24 Hour Church of Elvis and the quick drop into Voodoo Donuts before arriving at the Lan Su Chinese Garden… all of the details and flavors of the day swirling through my cameras. I am sure they will never forget their lovely and lucky wedding. ;0)