Wedding Day Plans

It’s that time of year again, when newly engaged couples are making plans for their upcoming weddings. With the two biggest Will-You-Marry-Me holidays having just passed (Christmas and Valentine’s Day), a lot of engagement rings have been presented. Now it’s time to plan! Planning a wedding can be a full time job which is why I suggest hiring a full time professional to facilitate those plans. I’ve worked with quite a few wedding coordinators over the years and highly recommend Green Eyed Girl Productions. Kandice and her team at Green Eyed Girl are completely up to date on all the latest wedding trends. Kandice was with me at Eagle Rock Lodge (along the beautiful McKenzie River)Eagle Rock Lodge wedding photographer as the bride and groom braved the wet weather in this image. Definitely check them out!

Another decision to make, and it’s usually the first one, is where to have the wedding. I’ve been truly blessed to have seen so many of Oregon’s amazing venues, from the Coast to the Cascades, from Portland to wine country; the only hard part about finding the right venue is which one to choose! Some of my favorite places are The Sandtrap (a McMenamins property in Gearhart on the northern coast)McMenamins Sandtrap Inn wedding photographer,                                                                                            Deep Woods (in Veneta)Deep Woods Events wedding photographer,

Diamond Woods (near Cheshire and Monroe)The Inn at Diamond Woods wedding photographer,

Chateau Lorane (near Eugene)Chateau Lorane wedding photographer,

The Gerding Theater (in Portland)The Gerding Theater wedding photographer,

Beckenridge Vineyards (in Dallas, Oregon)Beckenridge Vineyards wedding photographer,

Mt Hood Organic Farms (in Hood River)Mt Hood Organic Farms wedding photographer,

Bridal Veil Lakes (also near Hood River)Bridal Veil Lakes wedding photographer,

Atavista B&B (in Harrisburg, Oregon)Atavista B&B wedding photographer

and Broken Top Club (in Bend).Broken Top Club wedding photographer

Once you’ve got your date set and your venue picked out, it’s time to start looking for the other vendors who help make your Big Day complete. If you’re hiring a DJ, there are a few I recommend, in no particular order: Bass is Loaded (ask for Rick), DJ Stoltz (ask for David) and Barry McGuire (of BMAC Productions). From country to hip-hop, these guys not only keep the music flowing, they are also great emcees.

One of the most important parts of any wedding is the food; all your guests will remember what they ate at your wedding so it’s important that you visit as many caterers as possible to make sure you get what you want (especially since they will all provide sample tastings!). There are a number of caterers I’ve worked with over the years and, again in no particular order, these are a few I can recommend:

Flavors (based out of Eugene), DeAngelo’s (out of Portland), Elephants (also out of Portland), Cornucopia (out of Eugene), and Wild Duck (out of Eugene).

After the meal, of course, comes the wedding cake. Wedding cakes have come a long way since the days of the traditional 3-tiered white cake with the little plastic figures on top. Nowadays you can get cakes to match any theme, in all sizes and colors. A few of my favorite wedding cake makers are The Sweet Life and Market of Choice (both in Eugene), and Papa Haydn’s (in Portland). Just like the caterers, these folks will also give you lots of tastings so it’s a good idea not to visit too many on the same day 🙂

A lot of brides these days (ok, most brides) are searching Pinterest for inspiration. Be sure to check out my own Pinterest pages!

Chris & Ashley at Bridal Veil Lakes

I always like to include a collection of images of the bride’s bouquet. This one was taken at Bridal Veil Lakes, about an hour east of Portland. There are many ways to do this and one of my favorite is to have the groom stand behind the bride and have them both clasp the bouquet together. I then frame the image so only their hands (with rings!) and the flowers are showing, with a little bit of wedding dress and tuxedo in the background. Whenever I start this sequence I always tell the couple they can relax their faces, since I’m only focusing on their hands. I happened to look up during this particular shot and saw very nice, unguarded expressions on both their faces. No time for fill flash, or to adjust my metering for the bright sky behind them, but I got the shot. They loved it!


Bridal Veil Lakes wedding photographer



Finishing touches

There are lots of places for a bride to get ready: a hotel room, her parents’ house, a bridal suite at the wedding venue, etc. This, however, was the most scenic place I’ve ever seen a bride receive those finishing touches. Another Bridal Veil Lakes wedding.

Bridal Veil Lakes wedding

Since I have this image as part of my collage (above post), I figured I may as well say a little more about it. Ashley & Chris were married at Bridal Veil Lakes, located 50 miles or so east of Portland. While the venue is somewhat remote, it’s definitely worth the drive! If you’re thinking of visiting the area, I would recommend staying at the The Edgefield in Troutdale. On this particular day, in mid-May, the weather was perfect and so was the wedding.

Bridal Veil Lakes, continued…

Bridal Veil Lakes really is an outstanding wedding venue. Once Ashley & Chris got away from the crush of family and friends, we took a walk next to the lake. The filtered sunlight was just perfect.