I still remember the awe I felt the first time I ever went into St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland. It was for midnight mass about ten years ago and the Cathedral was standing room only. The combination of the choir and the stained glass and the murals was mesmerizing. Ever since that night, I have wanted to shoot a wedding in this special place.

This summer, Brian and Jacqueline offered me the opportunity to shoot a St. Mary’s Cathedral Wedding — something I have been dying to do for almost a decade! What I loved about Brian and Jackie’s day is that it was wonderful mix of Catholic tradition and formality and casual celebration.

Their St. Mary’s Cathedral Wedding started with the bride and groom’s photos in the church courtyard. Brian and Jackie decided against seeing each other before the ceremony, so we worked with each group privately. The ladies were stunning and looked amazing. The groomsmen were a lot of fun and had plenty of goofy ideas for photos (see pillar photo).

Monsignor Brennan’s ceremony was beautiful and full of tradition. It was very personalized to Brian and Jackie and was complimented with the amazing Cathedral Choir. It was breathtaking.

After the ceremony, all guests went to Brian and Jackie’s home for a relaxing and casual backyard celebration. Touches of elegance were included to tie the ceremony in with the reception.

Jen at Awe Productions did an amazing job with setting up the event and keeping the day running like clockwork. The bride and groom were able to sit back and enjoy the party as Jen made sure every detail was addressed. Pearl Catering presented a beautiful selection of entrees and sides which guests enjoyed under large tents. Encore Mobile DJs kept guests entertained and dancing well into the evening.

I loved the little personal touches–like fresh Oregon Cherries for guests to enjoy. All in all, Brian and Jackie’s day was a great balance between tradition and casual fun.

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The greater Portland Metro Area has so many fantastic venues that I rarely get to repeat a location. However, when I do get to revisit a wedding venue, it is almost always a McMenamins property and usually the McMenamins Grand Lodge.

The McMenamins Grand Lodge is such a special venue. Its interesting history and beautifully maintained historic buildings are such a treat for a photographer. And of course McMenamins hospitality is always warm and helpful.

When Craig and Virginia told me they had planned to celebrate at McMenamins Grand Lodge, I was excited to be a part of their day. Summers at the property are always beautiful and picture perfect.

Craig and Virginia had wonderful weather on their wedding day, which meant their celebration could be held in the gardens surrounding the Children’s Cottage. Large redwood trees served as a beautiful backdrop to their “alter” and guests were treated to a delicious outdoor meal and yard games.

The wedding day itself was full of personal touches. I loved that the couple invited Virginia’s son to participate in a sand ceremony symbolizing their new family bond. I also loved that the bride chose to go with a brooch bouquet hand made by her mother over the traditional floral accents. Virgina’s gorgeous tea-length dress was perfect for a garden party and the royal blue and silver theme was such a refreshing touch to a perfect day.

This sweet couple was such a joy to work with. Their day was elegant, but laid-back. Guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I also LOVED their cake decorations made from engagement photos we shot earlier in the year! That was a first for me and something I thought was really cool.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Craig and Virginia’s day. It was such a wonderful celebration…

 

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cmtd_2016_sponsorbadge

We are very excited to announce that Acorn Studios will be the official photography sponsor of Committed! Portland’s alternative bridal show. Committed! is more like a wedding reception than a business-card collecting bridal show. It is full of cool new ideas to help you plan your one-of-a-kind celebration.

Make sure you mark your calendars and plan to attend this fun, party-like event and fashion show. Oh! And stop by our table to say, “Hi!” to the Acorn Studios team.

This is one bridal event you WON’T want to miss!

Friday, October 21, 2016: 5pm–9pm
Committed! by Luxe Event Productions
Castaway Portland
1900 NW 18th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97209
committedevent.com
events@luxenw.com

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I love how powerful photographs are. As I was going back through images from Nick and Rachel’s Cornelius Pass Roadhouse wedding, I was instantly transported back to their wonderful day. I have photographed many a Cornelius Pass Roadhouse wedding, and I am always amazed how different each one was.

I typically photograph weddings in the octagonal barn in the cooler months–fall, winter and spring. So a Cornelius Pass Roadhouse wedding outdoors was a wonderful treat!

One of the things I really appreciated about Nick and Rachel’s celebration is the personal touches and the simplicity. It was so beautiful. It wasn’t over done. The couple focused on what they loved and what showcased their personalities.

Rachel’s dress was a custom-designed tea length dress that was spectacular. It was made by a fashion designer friend and it was every bit of perfect. The lace, the flare, everything. It was so beautiful, especially when complemented by the bridesmaid dresses in varying styles and shades of lavender and sage.

When it came to the flowers, I loved the simplicity. It felt very country and mixed nicely with the rustic barn. The couple had gone out to a lavender farm a couple days before the wedding and hand-picked all of the lavender for arrangements and decorations. Since everything was so fresh, the smell at the ceremony and reception was amazing. (If you didn’t know, I have a serious lavender obsession!)

I loved that Nick and Rachel decided to opt out of the traditional wedding cake and served pie instead. However, they didn’t completely ignore tradition and did cut a cake–that looked JUST LIKE a pie. It was incredible.

Some of my other favorite personal touches were during the ceremony and speeches. Nick and Rachel had a friend officiate the wedding. When he started out the ceremony with “Mawwage. Mawwage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.” and had everyone laughing, I knew it was going to be great day. (I mean, who doesn’t love The Princess Bride?!)  I don’t think Nick and Rachel knew he was throwing that into the ceremony, so their response was priceless.

Not to be topped by the officiant, the maid of honor’s speech had everyone practically on the floor laughing. From her perfectly delivered Seinfeld quotes to sharing that her bedazzled eye patch made her feel like a James Bond villain, she had guests in hysterics.

I always love a Cornelius Pass Roadhouse wedding. They are rustic, yet elegant. They always perfectly casual and always so personal.

Congratulations, Nick and Rachel!

 

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Living and working on the west side of the inner city, I often forget how beautiful the farmland is east of the urban boundaries. As I was driving out to Mike and Lisa’s country wedding at East Fork Country Estate, I enjoyed rolling hills, small family farms and even a small peek of Mt. Hood (overcast weather prevented a full view). I felt as though I was transported to another life, even though the venue sits only five miles outside of Gresham.

Photographing Mike and Lisa’s country wedding was such a pleasure. This fun-loving, outdoorsy couple have a wonderful chemistry and zest for life. They met on the job while working with children, and it is evident how amazing they are when you see their calm, caring nature.

Everything about their day was relaxed, fun and elegant–the perfect country wedding! Guests enjoyed spending quality time with the couple’s puppy (you think babies get passed around a lot?!), laughing at the priceless speech by the father of the bride, and acoustic music by Andrew of John Ross Music. (Andrew is AMAZING by the way…)

As guests entered the venue, they were asked to sign a large slice of tree trunk instead of the standard guest book. It was a wonderful way for Mike and Lisa to turn their guest list into a beautiful piece of wall art! Guests were also greeted with small nibbles and beverages.

The flowers chosen for the wedding were over the top stunning. I am not sure if I have EVER seen such a vibrant purple. I was in awe. Botanica Floral Design hit it out of the park on this wedding. Absolutely stunning!

The couple also chose a lot of small, personal touches for their celebration. Mini cupcakes by Saint Cupcake delighted tastebuds, and who can ever resist Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwiches?! (I’ll take two, please!)

Spending my day with this amazing couple really was a joy. Oh, and as far as wedding photography goes…BEST GROOM RESPONSE TO A FIRST LOOK EVER! Check out the photos of Mike’s reaction. Priceless. 🙂

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