I first met with this sweet couple in May, at their church in Portland, for their wedding consultation. After saying a quick hello, Preston skipped out for a little while. Rachel and I wandered through the church and she showed me the places where each even would take place – the ceremony, the getting ready area, the reception. We sat and talked about her ideas, and it felt like talking to an old friend. After meeting in the church, we sat in the back of my Subaru looking at wedding album options. Preston arrived back at this time, took a keepsake photo of Rachel and I sitting there, and gave me the yummiest chocolate chip cookie I’ve had in a long time (which I gladly devoured, despite just having eaten at Off the Waffle before our meeting).
We then held their engagement session at Silver Falls (I still need to blog that one!!), and had a blast laughing and walking through the falls. Afterwards, Preston gave me some yummy lunchmeat that they had gotten on their way to the session.
That was one of my first adventure sessions, and early on I learned a very valuable lesson. That is, you need to have a clear action plan about where and when to meet, AND what to do if someone is running late, because cell service doesn’t always work in the middle of nowhere and you can’t always count on having wi-fi. So then if one of you makes a wrong turn, runs into traffic, or… whatever, you have a game plan.
Anyhoo, segway over.
The day of their wedding I dropped my stuff off at the church and then headed to Rachel as she was getting ready.
We then headed to Laurelhurst Park for Rachel and Preston’s first look. Being a naturally more introverted person, Rachel held back until her friend and sister could pick her up in their car. “I can’t believe this is all for me.” She said.
There is something really special about old towns. There is this feeling of history and grandeur that’s hard to explain, but you FEEL it. It’s this feeling that’s both comforting and awe-inspiring. “So many people have come before me,” and “Now I’m a part of the history of this place.” This is true of any old town I’ve visited. But in Portland, you have this feeling PLUS the fact that everything is so lush with greenery – majestic redwoods, hundred-year-old rhododendron, ferns and moss, punctuated with deciduous trees all aglow with the colors of autumn… there’s something simply magic about it.
After their first look we headed to the church. The ceremony was so beautiful. The joy in their hearts was evident on their faces as the congregation said prayers, greeted their neighbors, as they took and gave communion. All for them, and their coming together over God.
The hall was simply but beautifully decorated. There were lots of high windows that created some really dramatic and warm light.
The reception was full of toasts and speeches of their friends, remembering moments they shared together. There was so much laughter, and so many smiles. They shared a classic cake smash during their cake cutting, which both of them were great sports about (I personally would prefer to never have a cake smashed in my face).
And then, just as Rachel was about to give a special dessert to Preston, Preston’s mother took a fall that sent her to the hospital for observation. As we waited for the paramedics to arrive, her friends and family surrounded and supported her with their arms, pillows, and cushions. She joked about how all this fuss was being made over her. She ended up heading to the hospital for observation that night, and is presently in recovery at rehab.
After his mom was safely into the hands of the Paramedics (huge shout out to this group of professionals), Preston ended up finding the dessert Rachel had prepared for him. (Rachel, you need to tell me what it was!!) The group moved back in to dancing and festivities. That small crowd sure can tear it up – as I photographed from the stage, I felt the floor shaking as everyone danced and jumped to “500 Miles.” As usual with these two, I didn’t leave empty-handed. I left with a gorgeous handful of flowers, and a couple of gluten-free, vegan cookies.
Preston, I hope your mom recovers by leaps and bounds. Rachel, you are simply so sweet and wonderful, and I loved getting to know you guys. Best to you both.
First Look: Laurelhurst Park
Ceremony and Reception: St. David of Wales Episcopal Church
Cake: family friend
Bartending: family friend
Ceremony Music: family friend
DJ: family friend
Dress Designer(s): BHLND
Bouquet and Boutonnieres: Natalie Parks
Hair and Makeup: Bekah Joy
Planning and/or Coordinating: St. David’s Coordinator
Videography: Gregg Brekke Photography