Tag Archives: destination wedding
I value silliness and dancing every bit as much as solemnity and romance. A world without all four would be a less inviting world, and an incomplete picture of the family life in my own household. That said, not everyone is a silly person, and certainly not all of the time. Balance is key. Welcome to one of the most balanced weddings I have ever had the privilege of photographing. Lauren and Ben have an amazing connection to each other, and their friends… which, for me, is often the highlight of full weddings. A stark contrast to the airy solitude of an elopement, love as a community is equally beautiful to me. What an honor it is to see so many people join their lives together among friends and family. This one will stick with me.
A few of my favorite highlights: Their wedding hashtag is one of the best I’ve seen. BEN + LAUREN + KO = #BELOKO. Dinosaurs always go with weddings, whether a tie clip or stuffed friend… it’s science. Voodoo doughnuts will drive to your wedding and serve guests right out of the truck, if you’re in their delivery zone. Inflatable donuts just feel right at a reception, don’t ask me why. The dancing was woven throughout the entire day, it might as well have been another member of the bridal party. The coordination was top-notch, Alyssa and her team made my job easier (a nice change of pace), and I am not easily won over by coordinators, and I do not suck up. Most importantly, I will remember this wedding most for the looks Lauren and Ben gave each other. It’s all in the eyes.
A massive shout out to my homegirl Tara for shooting with me and covering for my friend who bailed on me last minute for a really good reason, not that I will never ever ever ever let him live it down. ALSO, if you’re into pie, baking, or Tasty videos… check Lauren’s work out, she’s amazing. HER INSTAGRAM, and HER NEW TASTY VIDEO.
Long live love, silliness, and dancing 🙂
VENUE – BRIDAL VEIL LAKES
COORDINATION – CHAMPAGNE WEDDING COORDINATION
DONUTS – VOODOO DOUGHNUTS
Start with an engagement session hike to a waterfall, and end with a laser show at a historic Sugar Mill. Sounds like a winning combo, right? It’s easy to get caught up with the locations and details in this industry, it practically force-feeds Pinterest-worthy moments to you, at times. Hell, it’s easy for brides to feel so much pressure over the perfection they view online that the process can feel like a weight due to comparing your day to someone else’s, and not an airy nimbus ride to happily ever after. Don’t misunderstand, the details and location are not UN-important… they are as much a part of making the day as anything else, but they are secondary to the lasting stuff. The vows, the relationships, the family, the memories. Plan your wedding, your way, absolutely. If you love being on-trend, own it. If you’re looking for something minimal and uncommon, don’t feel the need to justify it to anyone, just do it well and the people who appreciate your work will mean all that much more for looking outside of the box with you. And for the traditional bride, who wants all the classic accouterments, remember there is a big difference between being #basic and being timeless (not sure who gets to decide being”basic” is bad, after all).
I’ve had a few conversations with burdened brides lately. I get it. You want everyone to have the best time of their lives, feel taken care of, sidestep any drama, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a few friends walk away just a little bit impressed with your hard work. Here’s some unsolicited advice: make a really good plan, put in the work ahead of time, then hold on to it loosely the day of and be present. Your wedding should be a time where you allow yourself to have the time of your life, and be taken care of, do your best not to start any drama, and if you’re feeling particularly sassy…
walk away just a little bit impressed with your own hard work.
Jessica and Jared had an amazing wedding, full of perfect and imperfect moments. Some moments went better than planned, and some plans had to change. Weddings, and life, are like that. We only get so many spins around the sun, enjoy them with the people most deserving of your time. Weddings are beautiful, stop and smell the roses. Or lasers, whatever you’re into.
WORDS OF ADVICE FROM THE BRIDE: The advice I would give to any bride-to-be: To the DIY brides, choose your projects carefully, start early and utilize your helpers (and fiancé!). For the organized brides, write out a schedule and contact list for your vendors and helpers, it will help you feel prepared. And for every bride, this day is not about the details. Focus on having fun every step of the way, from trying out caterers and cake tasting to getting ready with your bridesmaids and of course dancing the night away with your best friend.
Sometimes in life you have to call an audible. It’s tough to see what is coming your way until it stares you in the face. Football season is starting, so you get a football reference, but I promise it makes sense. Urban Dictionary time: For non-football folks, it means “to decide what to do at the last second after seeing all possible options and obstacles that come up. It comes from football, seen when the quarterback goes up to the line of scrimmage, sees a defensive alignment he wasn’t expecting, and adjusts by yelling out a new play.” There are occasions when planning a wedding and you realize things lined up differently than expected. Audible time.
Alyssa and Adam switched from planning a good-sized Oregon wedding, to a small destination event in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, where Alyssa has family. Fun fact, if you ever go, wear your fitbit… it’s fun to see how much more you walk when that’s your best option. 18 miles and 58 flights of stairs later, we spent a memorable day in the rain, visiting landmarks like the Castle, the Charles Bridge, the square with the Astronomical Clock, and some sort of magic luck-dispensing genitalia statue. I really don’t know what to tell you about that one.
Everyone involved in the wedding treated me like family, and that’s not an exaggeration. I sat with them at dinner (hellooo duck and polenta at Villa Richter Piano Nobile), and I stayed with them in the flat (I think it had 58 flights of stairs all by itself). It’s always such a privilege to be invited into people’s world at their weddings. The stillness of the private moments, the boisterous joy of the celebration… being along for the ride is quite the honor.
Cheers to the many happy decades to follow.
WORDS OF ADVICE FROM THE BRIDE: Weddings are hard, stressful, and often result in a large consumption of wine mixed with tears of frustration and happiness. I might sound pessimistic, but I’m not. I want to offer counter-advice to every article written telling you that planning your wedding is filled with nothing but stress-free happiness. I should add, despite all the stress that came with planning, I can honestly say our wedding was perfect for us and the best day of my life. I had more fun and felt more love than I ever could have imagined.
My best advice is to make sure the wedding you have is the one you want. Don’t let other people influence your decision, and recognize that it can be a stressful process, and that’s ok. If planning sucks, grab a bottle of wine and vent to your sister, best friend, mother, dog, or whoever will listen until you laugh about how ridiculous everything can be. Honor what you and your significant other want, in the end that’s what is going to matter for that day, not to mention the rest of your lives. Most importantly….have fun! You’re getting married, and that is definitely something to celebrate. I promise you, your wedding will end up exceeding all your expectations, and you will feel more happiness in that one day than you had imagined… if you let it.