Matt + Tessa: A Love Story

Matt & Tessa got married in July at one of our very favorite venues, Log House Gardens in Keizer. They started dating in 8th grade and tied the knot 9 years later! They grew up together, went to every dance together, went to college together and are now spending the rest of their lives together. Their wedding was a sweet mix of whimsical, fun, and rustic elegance, featuring mason jars, logs, a candy bar and delicious cupcakes. We had the best day with Matt & Tessa and their friends and family...we can't wait to see what the future holds for them!

DJ Apogee Events
Cupcakes:Sugar Sugar
Cutting cake: Kondeterio
Bartender: Just Us Girls
Decor: Danner & Soli
Flowers: Andersons
Bride Dress & Bridal Party: Davids Bridal
Groom & groomsmen: Men's Warehouse
Bride Hair: Mckenna Simpson with Ms.Tease Salon

A Stress-Free Wedding Day

Ok, so a completely stress-free wedding day might be a bit of a stretch, but we CAN help you have a joyful day.  You see, we like what we do, and we do it A LOT.  There are a million people running around putting the finishing touches on decorations and flowers and the dessert table and your makeup and...well, pretty much everything.  So step back, breathe, and let our timelines for the photos give you some respite from the chaos (for a little while, at least).  When you're relaxed and happy, your photos are, too.  The proof is in the picture:

There are several ways for you to plan your timeline, and we will work with you to make the absolute best use of your time. For those couples that are open to having a "first look", we have a recommended timeline that we have found to be the easiest on the bride and groom and their families, as well as maximizing our photo coverage.  What's our recommended timeline look like, you ask? Like this!

  1. Getting Ready Photos: 30 minutes
  2. First Look + Bride and Groom Formals: 60 minutes
  3. Bridal Party Photos: 30 minutes
  4. Family Formals: 30 minutes
  5. Bride and Groom regroup / Photographers prepare for ceremony: 15 minutes
  6. Ceremony
  7. Additional Family Portraits, if necessary, with any extended family members that were not available prior to the ceremony: 15 minutes
  8. Reception: Time to Party! At this time, we will coordinate our remaining time with your wedding coordinator and your DJ, to ensure that we capture all the important moments of your reception.

...Ready, Set, Go!

For couples that are willing to do a "first look", we can do all of your getting ready photos, family photos, first look and formal photos of you and your spouse, as well as all of your bridal party photos -- all before your ceremony! The best part of taking care of these photos right up front - you are fresh and looking your best and still have energy. We have found that couples that are willing to get as much of the "formal portrait" stuff out of the way as possible before the ceremony have the most relaxed and fun time the rest of the day. Its really hard when you have your ceremony, and then still have to take care of all those really important photos - especially when you really want to visit with your guests and get the party started!

The easiest way to start your timeline planning is to plot the definite times, and work around them - for example, the ceremony start time, the time you are allowed to arrive at your venue, and the time you need to leave the venue.

1. Getting Ready Shots (30 minutes):

Our couples should have all these items ready for the detail and getting ready shots prior to our arrival:
– Rings (all THREE rings if there is also an engagement ring)
– Dress
– Shoes
– Garter
– Bridal Jewelry
– Both bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets
– Anything else you want a picture of (i.e. invitation, sign, or any other special memorabilia or garment you’ll be wearing that day)

At this time it is important to note that we would also be taking photos of the bride getting the finishing touches to her makeup and getting into her dress. Some dresses take at least 15 minutes to get into, so make sure to leave room in the timeline to account for this; as well as travel time if the bride is getting ready off site from her venue.  Also, we know that getting ready can be hectic and thus the getting ready room becomes a tad disheveled.  Please make a conscious effort to assign someone to tidy up before the getting ready and detail shots begin to help keep us on track and make your photos look their best

2. First Look + Bride & Groom Formal Portraits:

This is your quiet moment, the chance to privately see your soon-to-be spouse... to soak in the day, enjoy each other, and get ready for the excitement ahead. After you've had a few moments, we'll dive in to your formal portraits.

3. Bridal Party Photos (Bridesmaids and Groomsmen) (30 minutes):

Please be sure that ALL bridesmaids and groomsmen are picture ready at the set upon time. The goal is to get as many photos prior to the ceremony as possible. We will do the bride's side, the groom's side, as well as photos of the entire group, and the bride and groom with each individual member of their bridal party.

4. Bride and family/Groom and family portraits (30 minutes):

To keep the timeline running smoothly, it is important that any family members on your shot list arrive on time and are picture ready. We also love to have a "family coordinator" - someone that knows the people on your list, and can help us call out/find the people you have listed in the correct combinations. This will speed up the process for family portraits tremendously.

5. Ceremony Prep: 15 minutes

About 15 minutes prior to the ceremony, we will be finding our positions and setting up equipment, as well as getting candids of your guests arriving to the ceremony site. 

6. Ceremony (time varies):

During the ceremony, our goal is to be as inconspicuous as possible. We won't miss the important shots, but we also will not be standing obtrusively in front of your guests for extended periods of time.

7. Additional Extended Family Portraits: 15 minutes

This is a great opportunity to grab a few more portraits for family that was not available prior to the ceremony - grandparents, cousins, etc.

8. Reception:

Let the party begin! For the remainder of the night, most of what we photograph will be candids. We will capture ALL the special moments - the grand entrance, first dance, father/daughter/mother/son dance, bouquet toss, garter toss, cake cutting, photos of your guests dancing, and the grand exit. During this time, we can snap a few photos of you with anybody who wasn’t part of the formal portrait hour earlier. We also love if there is a chance to sneak you away later in the evening to capture just a few minutes of that beautiful "golden hour" of photos with the sun gently setting.


A Very Special "Special Day"

Your wedding day is often referred to as "Your Special Day."  Joe and Esther are a couple that really put the "special" in special day. 

These two are a young couple, but when you watch them together, you become convinced they are old souls that have been connected for eons.  Esther is an antique collector and Joe is a farmer, and every sweet detail of this wedding was the absolute best representation of their love for each other and who they are as individuals. 

They have an amazing community of family and friends that treated this celebration like the party of the century.  Everyone gathered together and put in so much effort helping to create this beautiful wedding to celebrate this union. 

There are no more words to describe this wedding and the bond between these two - just feast your eyes on the wedding itself!

Congratulations, Joe and Esther, on your Special Day!


Jenna and Rick

Recently, we came across a story of a very public proposal between two very public people.  A heavy metal rock star and an actress, to be more precise (and now you can all Google it if we didn't already give it away).  Anyway, while it was a wild proposal by a wild fellow (and there was just a little cursing involved), something about the story touched us.  He brought his gal up on stage with her two kids in tow.  He asked for her hand, but then she asked him, "Will you love my children forevermore?"

He said yes.

One of the things that is so beautiful about weddings is not just the coming together of two people, but of two families.  And in many love stories, this includes kiddos. 

Rick and Jenna may not be heavy metal thrashers, but they are rock stars in each others' eyes.  And this past weekend, Jenna married Rick - and his adorable daughter.  We had the joy of photographing their engagement session as well as the wedding, which included this very photogenic little girl... 

Congrats to these two rockin' lovebirds - may you love each other, and that gorgeous little girl - forevermore in you new little family!


Leanne and James - this couple was a showstopper.  Leanne is a good friend, and we were honored to capture her special day.  The attention to detail in their Sunriver wedding was impeccable, from Leanne's unique choice of a bridal sweater and skirt to James' custom monogrammed tie clip.

However, someone else stole the show (at least momentarily) at this wedding, almost outshining the bride and groom...the bride's adorable son!  This guy was the definition of dapper and charming, and we just couldn't get enough of him.

This guy had the duty and honor of walking his mama down the aisle, and he took his job very seriously.

After we recovered from that boy's cuteness and the beautiful ceremony, we took some time to reflect again on the lovely attention to detail that this couple put into their day.  Handmade napkins at every place setting, fabulous party favors, and lest we not forget the bride's amazing red-orange strappy sandals that added just the right flair to this party - like we said, a real showstopper!  Congrats Leanne and James!

The Next Chapter

Engagements, weddings, pregnancies, babies...we get to photograph the next chapter that is a BIG DEAL in your life.  However, for so many of us, the next chapter isn't just these moments, it's every day in between.  We were reminded of this last weekend as one of our HHWP couples celebrated their first anniversary.

Jaclyn and JJ had a standout wedding ceremony at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom in downtown Portland last May. They marched their giddy-little-selves around for all sorts of fabulous photos, because they were so darn excited they were bursting.

Like most of our HHWP couples, we've kept in touch with these two since their wedding.  We've been able to see how they've reveled in their first year of marriage.  The Crystal Ballroom location reflected their awesome personalities; the wedding ceremony reflected their love for each other; but its all those "normal" days after the wedding that we see reflecting their commitment to each other - the next chapter.  Happy Anniversary!