lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-15lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-28lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-20lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-4lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-1lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-41lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-34lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-8lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-27lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-9lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-40lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-32lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-38lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-21lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-33lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-13lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-5lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-3lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-232017-01-26_0071lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-142017-01-26_0073lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-26lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-36lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-43lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-29lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-16lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-18lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-31lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-19lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-17lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-2lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-1lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-24lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-39lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-22lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-25lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-42lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-11lake-oswego-wedding-photographer-10     Tara and Brandon chose to celebrate their wedding day on a peninsula jutting out into the beautiful waters of Lake Oswego.  The location fit the couple perfectly, as they have spent ample time boating around the lake with their friends and family.  Tara prepared for the first look with her closest girls in the adjacent boat house, and the rest of the events unfolded throughout the scenic private property.  A highlight of the day was the celebratory champagne boat ride for Tara and Brandon, which they enjoyed immediately after their ceremony.

The evening was filled with joy, laughter, + amazing food.  Although the forecast promised rain, we were blessed with beautiful sunny skies and an amazing sunset.

A few words from Tara about their love story and wedding day:

How did you two meet?

Brandon saw Tara working out at the gym. Tara was very focused on her workout and wasn’t aware she had caught Brandon’s eye. At the end of her workout she said good-bye to a friend, who Brandon also knew. Brandon inquired about Tara with the friend and learned that she would be at a birthday party that Friday night. When Tara showed up to the party, guess who was standing next to the birthday boy awaiting an introduction?

 Tell us about your proposal and love story:

Tara and Brandon were celebrating New Year’s in one of their favorite places, Black Butte Ranch. The couple, along with their beloved furbaby, Tulee, were on a beautiful, sunny crisp walk enjoying the Cascade mountain range when Brandon dropped down on one knee and popped the question. Both Tara and Tulee said yes!

 

 Tell us about finding your wedding dress:

I wanted to feel sophisticated and sexy. I visited two bridal salons and found my dress at the second location. There are so many beautiful silhouettes and styles of dresses and I could have picked several, however, I stayed true to how I envisioned looking on my wedding day. My dress was a sheath fit, with a low cut back and cathedral length train.

 

 What was the inspiration/vison for your wedding day?

Old Hollywood love story. I was drawn to a vintage look with a modern day charm.

 

How did you choose your venue?

Our friends have the most stunning views and property on the lake in Lake Oswego. When they offered their home for our wedding, it just felt right because we spend so much time on the lake. The views and atmosphere on the property give way to late, fun nights dancing under the stars.

 

Any DYI elements?

Yes, I had a crew of talented women help create our center pieces. We covered wine and olive oil bottles with rose gold spray paint and added touches of gold and silver glitter to some. We also dipped candle holders and votives in glitter for extra sparkle around the venue. For the wedding, white and light pink flowers were placed in the bottles and led lights were set in the votives.

 

What was your favorite detail of the day?

The chandeliers hanging in the trees above us as we said our vows. It was a splurge that was definitely worth it and made the day for not only us but our guests.

 

What was your most memorable moment?

Our first look. Brandon’s reaction was priceless – glad we have it on video!

 

Three words that sum up your day:

FUN! Beautiful and perfect.

 

What advice would you give another couple planning their day?

Hire a wedding coordinator – Bite the bullet and spend the money! It was priceless having my coordinator take care of all these crazy situations happening behind the scenes, which I thankfully learned about after the honeymoon.

 

 

 

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“There is only one happiness in life… to love and be loved.”2017-01-06_0002I joined Jamie and Mitchell on a brilliantly sunny day in North Portland for their engagement session. 2017-01-06_00032017-01-06_00042017-01-06_0005Oregon light in the fall is some of the absolute best for photography, I could live (and photograph) in fall always.2017-01-06_00192017-01-06_00202017-01-06_0007This image (below) is one of my absolute favorites from their session!2017-01-06_00082017-01-06_00092017-01-06_0010I try to set aside some time during engagement sessions to photograph the ring… Mitchell did an amazing job picking Jamie’s out, don’t you think?2017-01-06_00112017-01-06_00152017-01-06_0017blogtest-12017-01-06_00162017-01-06_0014Jamie looked so stunning in the blue dress, especially against the warm late Autumn tones!2017-01-06_00222017-01-06_0013I loved taking a few minutes at the end of the shoot and doing something fun… and something so “them” with Jamie and Mitchell!2017-01-06_0021

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Jamie and Mitchell are such a fun, joyful couple.  They joined me at Kelly Point Park in North Portland for their late Autumn engagement photos, dressed in gorgeous blues and pinks that complemented the fall weather so well.  We were blessed with gorgeous light and gorgeous color- two things you certainly can’t take for granted in the Northwest.  I left my time with Jamie and Mitchell feeling encouraged and inspired- these two have such a fun energy and I cannot wait for their wedding next summer.

Shot on Fuji 400h film

Developed by the Find Lab

Thank you to my amazing friends at Spartanburg Photography for sponsoring this blogpost!

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This time of year is bustling with Christmas parties, baking cookies, gift giving… and engagements!  Multiple studies have shown that December is the most popular month for proposals.  Sentiment is in the air, and the season of gift giving is not only romantic but a fitting time to start planning a wedding.  But not that you’re a fiance, you likely have 6-9 months before tying the knot.  No matter how you slice it, there is a lot of wedding planning to do!

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On the cusp of Christmas eve, I wanted to share my best wedding planning tips for bride getting married in and around Portland, Oregon.   I’ve been in the wedding industry for half a decade now, and I hope these thoughts will be beneficial for newly engaged brides!

Before all else, determine your date and venue.

Meeting and interviewing wedding vendors takes a lot of time and energy, and you’ll likely benefit from securing your wedding date prior to meeting with another vendor who may not be available for your big day!  The look and feel of your venue will also influence the overall vibe of your wedding- and that sets the tone for everything from the choice of your dress to the floral arrangements you go with.  Venues typically require a down payment and signed contract to book the day.  At this point, brides with longer engagements may have snagged many Saturday options.  Get creative with the day of the week you get married on- summer days are long and lend to fun evening celebrations.

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Think about what represents your relationship.

This is something I wish I would have taken more time to do before my own wedding!  Rather than getting overwhelmed with color schemes, floral options, and what style of dress you should have, spend a few minutes sitting down and writing out what it is that truly represents you and your fiance.  Do you spend an incredible amount of time hiking?  A mountain top elopement with your closest friends and family might fit your personalities best.  Are you two all about being with friends and family?  Creating an evening of fun and community may be ideal.  If you love the countryside, a vineyard in the valley might add the perfect view for your ceremony.  Narrow your options down based on what you both love, not on current wedding trends.

Take heed of the weather.

When planning a Portland wedding, we know that rain is a factor in venue and date choice.  What happens if it is to rain on your late July wedding day?  Will you go with the “flow”?  Or do you want to have a venue that provides all inclusive indoor options?  I’ve seen many brides have guest umbrellas at the ready, and I even photographed this beautiful fall wedding in torrential downpour at the Mt. Tabor Wedding tree (see below).  It ended up being a unique, fun and memorable experience.  No matter what you decide, giving a little thought to the weather is an Oregon girls duty.

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Book your photographer once you’ve secured your wedding venue and date.

You’ll want to get that engagement session on the calendar as soon as possible!  Photographs from your engagement session can take anywhere from 3-4 weeks to be processed.  Aim to have your engagement photographs in your hands by mid March so that you can include them in your wedding invitations, if you desire.  Luckily, Oregon has many amazing spots that start showing hints of spring as early as mid February.

Create a Budget

Budget- a word we all love to loathe.  In reality though, having a healthy and itemized budget for your wedding will allow you to prioritize what is best for you, and avoid unnecessary spending on things that don’t matter to you as a couple.  If quality photography that allows you to reminisce in an authentic way for years to come is important to you, set your budget accordingly.  If food and having the party of a life time is important to you, set a large budget for catering and alcohol.   There is no “right” way to budget for your wedding- but sitting down and creating a plan that optimizes what is important to you and your fiance is hugely beneficial.

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Explore the creative vendor options that Portland offers. 

We are so lucky to live in an area that is just thriving with creativity.  We have wonderfully talented wedding designers, planners, florists, calligraphers, and dress designers right here in our own city!  Planning a beautifully inspired and creative wedding could not get any easier than in Portland!  Take your time and be sure to explore multiple options as you build your wedding vendor team.  Ask the vendors you do hire what other vendors they recommend.  You’ll soon have a team of wedding professionals who can bring your dreams to life.

Breath life into your DIY ideas.

I am all about thoughtfully curated DIY ideas.  I’ve seen brides create stunning hand written seating charts, gorgeous paper backdrops, and elements of nature into their own wedding days.  Know the limits of what you have time for and what you need to outsource, and plan a few nights of wedding creativity with your girlfriends or family. And if DIY isn’t your thing- use that time to find the perfect creative vendor who can help you out.

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Relax and have fun.

Hindsight is 20-20, isn’t it?  If I could go back in time, I would slow down and enjoy the wedding process more.  Finding the right dress is a once in a lifetime feeling, as are so many aspects of wedding planning.  Go to brunch with your mom, chat about your dreams, record your progress, and remember that in the end your wedding represents your marriage- which is so much bigger than one single day.

If you’ve read this article and found it helpful, I’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to get email me at jamie@jamieraephoto.com and let me know how planning your Portland wedding is going and how I can help!

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