Can I just say how much I love this couple! Nicole and David are the absolute best. After 3 years of dating, they got married last weekend at Rock Springs Ranch in Bend, Oregon with a rustic and romantic wedding with an outdoorsy vibe.
Nicole and David are so down to earth and fun. They love riding their horses, enjoying sunsets and having bonfires together. Not to mention they love hunting together! Which is why they have antlers throughout their wedding. At their engagement session we went to their favorite place to hang out and did all the things they love (except the hunting). I’m hoping we will get back out to the lake and splash around with their horses for trash the dress session!
So how’d these two get engaged? (I know, I love the details too!) Nicole planned a photoshoot in a place that is super special to them – the place we took their engagement photos. He popped down on one knee in the middle of the photo session with the horses in the background. Amazing right?!
Nicole did such a great job planning for their wedding day. She had all the little items ready to be photographed and knew just where she wanted to have photos taken. I love brides that know what they want, especially when they trust me fully to capture their memories.
My favorite comment Nicole made was,“most adventures consist of the worst roads and Bob Seger on repeat”. I mean, how can you not get along with someone like that? Did I already say I love this couple?! They are fun, spontaneous and totally go with the flow. Which was great on their wedding day.
It was so hot the day of the wedding and I was running around getting everything photographed before the flowers wilted. We even avoided the sprinkler system while taking photos in the barn with a little more running. Then the heat got to me and I got a little sick. In 15 years of photographing weddings, this has never happened. Nicole’s parents took care of me as I took a little break to feel better. Her family is just amazing. On the wedding day nothing should take attention away from the bride and I know I stole a few minutes of attention, which breaks my heart! But like I said, Nicole went with it and had a great attitude. I feel so lucky not only to have such wonderful clients who know that things just happen sometimes, but I also to have an amazing husband/second photographer. I’m honestly not sure how people shoot with different 2nd photographers all the time. Josh and I know how each other shoot and can take over the other’s job in a heart beat. It’s great if we are caught off guard or if I get a little nauseous.
He took over and captured some amazing photos, including shooting the entire ceremony with the sun beating down on us. I managed to recover once the sun started easing off and was back in action by the first dance. The rest of the night was full of fun, dancing and documenting these two as they spent time celebrating with their closest friends and family.
Congrats David and Nicole!! (And thanks again for being so awesome!)
Nicole’s grandmother was part of the wedding too. Her hankie was sewn into the under side of the dress so she can be right beside Nicole the whole day!
Nicole made the invitations herself!
Styled shoots are always fun I’m surrounded by such amazing talent! Thanks to all the vendors who came together to create a beautiful space for Mount Bachelor Village Resort in Bend, Oregon.
I’ve photographed weddings here before but I never knew how many amazing spots there are for photos! When I arrived, Hank (the venue coordinator), quickly showed me to the secret spot where you can see down into the valley where the Deschutes River runs. He said that he really wanted photos here to show off the property, then he apologized for the bad direct-sun lighting as he saw how unflattering it was. We scheduled this shoot around the busy vendors and not by best light. Seriously, we shot from 11a-1p, midday! It was a true make-it-work moment and we did!
I always tell my clients that I’m not a golden hour only photographer. I don’t need the perfect light to make people look beautiful. I actually like the challenge of tough lighting, so this was fun! And it totally worked! Our amazing models look great!
And a special thanks to those models too! They were not pros, just two people willing to be in a few photos. I love working with people who just trust what I’m doing and go with it. These two did just that. Because they trusted me, I was able to get genuine emotions even on a fake wedding day.
Look at all this amazing food from the in house and very exclusive catering crew: Who’s Catering! Personally, I can’t resist the bacon.
All American Military Backyard Wedding
This military backyard wedding wedding could not have been more beautiful! I absolutely love when couples choose wedding venues that are close to their hearts and this wedding was no exception. The wedding started at the beautiful Oxford hotel in downtown Bend, Oregon. The ceremony was held at the groom’s parent’s ranch in Tumalo, with the reception at their friend’s wedding venue down the street. The Miracle Barn was a very fun are, perfect for any country reception and Ashley and Alex had a blast!
When Ashley went looking for a new apartment in New York City, she had no idea that one apartment would change her life forever. Ashley and Alex met on the steps of the apartment that once was Alex’s and would soon be Ashley’s. Taking notice of her, Alex casually gave Ashley a business card, knowing that “moving in the city is not fun”. After a few emails back and forth while Alex was off at military training, they both went on with their lives. A few months later, once Alex had graduated and was back in New York, he contacted Ashley asking if she had received any of his mail? They agreed to meet for a drink and so she could give him his mail. The rest is history…
Now, Alex and Ashley both call that apartment home.
With that apartment bringing them together, it was certain that it had to be part of their engagement story. While packing for an Oregon vacation, Ashley’s friend begged her to go out for a quick drink before she left. On her way out the apartment building her friend handed her a stack of mail with Alex’s name as the return to sender. Confused, she stepped outside to see Alex on one knee. Each letter in the stack of mail contained one word spelling out “will you marry me?”.
“Marriage is something Alex and I have clearly said is a once in a lifetime. There is no other option but to make it work. It is forever dating your best friend and always keeping the spark alive.” – Ashley
“I bought my dress at The Bridal Garden in NYC where they donate the proceeds to charity. My seamstress built on the sleeves and created my vision”. – Ashley
Bring on the mail! I love that brought the newspaper with their engagement announcement to be officially part of their wedding!!
Once belonging to her grandmother, these pins were added to Ashley’s bouquet as her something old.
Best groomsmen gifts ever! Each one was personalized for each man.
Ashely pinned her grandfather’s all American A onto Alex for the wedding.
In Alex’s own words, “there’s nothing hotter than a girl with a gun”.
This wedding was charming in more ways than one. Right from the start I knew I would get along with Jamie and Gregory. Josh was supposed to shoot their wedding, but after meeting them, I just couldn’t let him. They are so my people!
Not only is Gregory a hilarious theater guy, but he loves everything Harry Potter. And Jamie is a huge Star Wars fan. If you know me at all, you know theater, Harry Potter and Star Wars are three of my favorite things. How could I not fall in love with this couple immediately?
I can only describe their beautiful journey coming together through their own poetic words, “We talked Zen and the art of living in the present and found our Serenity in our first home, a 1981 air-cooled Vanagon named Ground Control. From there we embarked on a journey of countless nights beneath the stars with our home changing each time we put the van in park. Some nights were along the rocky shores of lakes sitting at the foot of snow-capped mountains. Other nights we were lost in the forest, hidden beneath the canopy of juniper trees. The close quarters and constant disconnect from the stresses of the busy world allowed us to see each other more clearly, and our bond only strengthened.” – Jamie and Gregory.
Every last detail of this wedding was incredibly thoughtful. Jamie and greg both love the outdoors so it was only natural to incorporate their favorite outdoor elements into their wedding. Jamie filled bouquet jars with pine tree clippings and adorned them with charms that perfectly described each of her amazing bridesmaids. One loved dogs and had a dog charm, another an elephant while Jamie had a collection of charms. Jamie’s charms also included two of her Grandmother’s rings as a little something old. In addition to these, Jamie added golden branches to her cascading braided hair.
Gregory will forever sport one of the coolest men’s rings I’ve every seen. All the way around is beautiful little trees. Whenever Gregory is stuck in the office he can look down and imagine being surrounded by trees with his beautiful wife.
Jamie described her dress as reminding her of a fancy grandma doily. I think it fits perfect with the charm of this wedding. When mom and dad both cried seeing her in the dress, she knew it was the one for her.
As a thoughtful bride, Jamie asked all of her bridesmaids to pick a Burgundy dress that they could wear again.
The day started with cheers from the groom to his best man with only the finest Scotch, Lagavulin, the preferred scotch of Ron Swanson form Parks and Rec. Seriously, how fun is this couple! Each groomsmen was gifted a flask with their names engraved on it.
Gregory went on to explain, quite seriously, that he’s bring back the 20’s in 2020. I really hope he does because it was the best decade (at least my favorite decade). To start bringing back the 20’s he and all of his groomsmen wore suspenders and knit ties. Josh would have been proud – for years his only tie was a dark blue knit tie. I think his heart broke a little when he had to wear a real tie. I say it’s time to bring this look back, because it’s awesome!
I just need to say that the lobster was even meaningful. The lobster once belonged to Jamie and was passed down to her sweet little nephew who could not put it down the entire day. It was so sweet!
Then we got to the good part… light saber vs. wand. Gregory got his own hand made Harry Potter wand from Oli’s at Comicon and is a huge Harry Potter fan. Jamie has her own light saber and is a huge Star Wars fan. My kind of people. When we met up before their wedding she asked if we could also grab a quick photo of her with her light saber and him with his wand. I immediately said, “Yes!” I needed no further explanation. I love this couple! They even hand sewed quilts as table toppers, Star Wars for her and Harry Potter for him.
Family. Outside. Tacos. These were the three words they used to describe their wedding. Tacos there were! If you have ever had El Sancho you know how yummy those tacos are.
Jamie and Gregory are so far, to this date, the only other couple that has used the Star Wars theme song as their grand entrance song. At our wedding, I let Josh be in charge of all things music, but this song was the only one I really needed to have. It was perfect for Jamie and Gregory too!
Again, I can’t get enough of this couple. We did the traditional cake cutting at our wedding, but we are not cake people. We had a whole table of pie and ice cream for us. Jamie and Gregory went completely without the cake and stuck to only the best in deserts – Marionberry Pie.
When you fall in love from traveling around in your van with your best friend, roommate and love of your life, of course you need to add maps all throughout the outdoorsy centerpieces for your wedding. It’s also a must to take wedding images with that charming little van that you rode in on the way to the spot where he proposed and you said “Yes!”, the van that brought you together and allowed you to escape life and fall in love forever.