Clouds, cows, and a lot of emotion. That’s what I remember most from this wedding, despite there being no shortage of memorable pieces. Pulling off a surprise guest for the bride, guests wheeled in on flatbeds, keg stands a plenty. If I had to choose a single image as the tentpole for this wedding, it would be the couple on hay bails in the clouds. If I was pressed to select one moment… it would be the groom, Logan, taking his hat off, tears in his eyes, as he watched Deshea walk down the aisle. All the feels. An old school classiness that you just don’t see that often. It defined this wedding for me.

That brings up a couple points I think are worth mentioning. First, if you’re a bride or groom planning a wedding, deciding between a first look and waiting for the ceremony can be tough. It’s much more practical to take portraits before the ceremony, after a first look, but that may not be the way you’ve always pictured your day. Waiting for the ceremony still holds a sentimental place in the hearts of many people. Which is right? Which is better? It really depends on what is most important to you, and the constraints you have on your time. If you don’t have 1-2 hours to spare on portraits after the ceremony, do a first look. If you have always dreamed of seeing each other for the first time down the aisle, there’s your answer. Just know that I’ve seen plenty of wedding with an emotional reaction to a first look AND walking down the aisle (ahem, this one). You won’t lose anything if you find you really need to do portraits beforehand. I really believe that.

Secondly, have the wedding that is right for you. Chateaus, forests, or hay-bails. Elopement or 500 person event. Find the thing that makes you happy, and do that thing. You can make a field classy, and you can dirty up the dancefloor of the priciest ballroom with some Ludacris. Marry the right person, plan the wedding that suits you.

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    Katy and Ben threw one of the most memorable parties I’ve ever attended. The food, the tents, the jumping in the pool, the helicopter getaway. Is this real life? It was this day.

    I am a sucker for any shooting that involves the water. Rain, lakes, rivers, oceans, all of it.  Ending up chest deep in the pool right before the send off is my kind of jam. These two are equally my kind of jam. The sweetest, most in love couples are always my favorite brides and grooms to photograph. I definitely love artsy people, moody vibes, and things that stray towards fashion… but for wedding work, I care less and less about “cool” and more about “real.” The quirky oddness of the 200-2010’s will probably be fun to look at in 30 years, but there’s no hipster pose that can stand up to genuine emotion. This is where I want to go with my work. Couples like Katy and Ben make me all the more sure of it. They had a beautiful wedding, with so many fashionable and exciting elements, however; the emotion of the day will forever be what I remember. And the pool. But really the emotion 😉

    HUGE thanks to my friend Kayla Roper for shooting with me.

    Words of Advice from the Bride: 

    The most important thing to remember on your wedding day is that regardless of what happens, at least in 99.99% of circumstances, at the end of the day you’ll be married. Our day was filled with inclement weather, a chauffeur who locked the keys in the car, cakes with the wrong cake toppers and I’m sure 100 other mishaps of which I’m not even aware.

    Ben and I were only engaged for three months but we still felt very invested in the details we worked hard to create for our friends and family to enjoy. I’m thrilled with how it all turned out. Some of the challenges even led to eventual highlights. For instance, I was initially disappointed the wedding day forecast was full of rain. The rain forced us to put up tents, which in all honesty, ended up transforming our venue into an even greater space than I could have imagined. The 30 minutes we were forced to wait at the church for a replacement vehicle led to some our favorite bridal party photos. Speaking of photos… document, document, document.
    It is impossible to catch everything that happens at a wedding with more than 20 guests. Ben and I had roughly 190 people. I felt like I missed half of my friends and half of what happened. When people tell you the day will be a bit of blur, they mean it. One piece of great advice I received was to take a few moments throughout the day and soak them into memory. I will truly never forget my Mom and best friends tying me into my dress; the things my dad told me prior to walking down the aisle; a few moments I stole with my groom, brother and teary eyed coach; basking in a glorious Eugene sunset; jumping into the pool in my wedding dress; and steeling kisses from my new husband under the dance floor. Even with all those wonderful memories, I missed things. Lots of things. Spend money on a good photographer and videographer. Lasting documentation is a saving grace. It allows you to relive in perpetuity all of the time, effort and money you put into your day.  Photos and video, in my opinion, are truly the most worthwhile investment of your wedding day.
    As with most in things in life, your wedding day is what you make it. Things never go exactly as planned. Allowing yourself to roll with punches, find the good in the bad and genuinely enjoy the experience will serve you well. My hope for you is that like me, at the end of the day, your greatest joy will be realizing you were blessed to find the love of your life, marry your best friend and have a wonderful time celebrating this lifelong commitment with your family and friends.

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    • Bethany Joy Gilbertsonamazing work as usually, jay!

    • Bruce SearlBeautiful work Jay!

    • Heather ElizabethSo freaking good. You seriously keep getting better and better. Still one of my favorite photographers.

      you rocked this wedding.


    This Bellingham event embodies so much of what resonates with me at weddings. Deep, emotional responses to the moments of the day. Authentic smiles, not the learned school-picture-day business we all offer most cameras. Great dancing. Personal connections. Wearing her grandmother’s gloves. Faith, coupled with excitement for what could be. Boys making bad decision and sinking on a dock 😉  She works at a food bank. He nervously switched legs before the first look. She hugged the kids she nannies like they were her own. He danced with reckless abandon. The bridesmaid trying to give away the bouquet, apparently uncomfortable with the marital implications. There were so many honest moments, but these three are my favorites.

    1) Near Bellingham, there is a rock that people often paint with messages for special events. I love bookends at weddings. I want a good starting image, and a nice ending image to finish the story. Sometimes I get better bookends than others, but it is my goal. A couple of the bridesmaids called me as I drove up from Oregon and tipped me off that they did some work on the rock, and I thought the rock painted by the bride and her girls was perfect. The morning of the wedding I drove out to the rock, which was back out the highway, very much not on my way, but I felt like I NEEDED that shot to start it off right. So I drove. And I saw nothing. I looped around again. I saw nothing. I called one of the bridesmaids, whose wedding I am photographing this summer, and got some really poor directions (assigning full blame here), plus a description of the colors, etc. Nothing. One more pass is all I had time for before I had to head back into town for the getting ready shots, and then I saw it. The purple had been covered up already. I had to laugh… all that effort for a picture of someone else’s rock 🙂 Perfect. (props to bridesmaid Grace for the shots of the rock pre-Justin)

    2) The bride’s mother is a florist, and has made countless bouquets and boutonnieres, and I am sure she also cannot count the amount of times she has pinned  boutonniere on a groom. On this particular day, she got to pin one onto her new family member. “Of all the boutonnieres I have put on before, I think this one is my favorite.”

    3) After the ceremony, the couple’s recessional took them up stairs to an open area where she absolutely nailed the perfect “I just got married and I am so happy I will now cry” moment. An all-time favorite for me, and it was enough for me to get teary, too.

    Now, the bride and her roommates have been in front of my camera before, for a personal project that was just for funsies. It’s a photogenic bunch, and although the cast of roommates has evolved, I wanted to include a couple here because I have always loved the images, and it was the first time I met her. By the way, all the dresses were from Goodwill, or Value Village, and if memory serves me.. none of the girls spent more than $10.

    Much love to the families having me.



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    • Mike OlbinskiYou killed it Jay…love these so much.

    • Glen and Fiona PhotographersAmazemirizing. It’s all awesome, but the ‘tear’ shots of the bride.. gold!

    • benj haischso much goodness.

    • Wyn Wileyso much beauty.

    • paolo mezzerathis wedding is really amazing! the bride is wonderful, funny, an excellent model.
      a lot of fun in your pics, congratulations!

    • Tara Leigh Nelsonhomie… you have such a gift. that bnw of the couple with her looking to camera. gut punch gorgeous. I mean geez.

    • Mariah GaleSeriously. Saw these this morning and was completely blown away.

    • Amanda K RigieroWOW….no words for how AMAZING this is. You ROCK.

    • Jane in the Woods PhotographieLove her gloves! And her shoes! I wore the same ones 🙂 The photos are so full of life, they are gorgeous.

    • John GaidoshJay – your work makes me want to know everyone you take a photo of. Cheers to you my friend.

    • Meg Manion Sillikeryou have such a way of capturing every emotion for all of us to swoon over. so many stunning images. the b+w of the b+g running away…..flawless.

    • John GaidoshAlso, I hope I’m your first friend on the new myspace.

    • Jay Eadsi don’t see you on there?!

    • mercedesUnbelievably sweet, beautiful wedding. That last one of them running off and her feet barely hit the ground? Love.

    • lydia {ever ours}loving it…all the emotions, the love, everything.

    • ralphEvery time I think you can’t out do what you’ve done before, you go ahead and do it. These are incredible Jay. The shot of the couple just after the ceremony, with the tear down her cheek. Gotta be one of my all time faves. Made me a bit teary-eyed, I’m sayin’ it out loud. 🙂

      Bravo my friend.

    • Jay Eadsgoodness, @[643545987:2048:Tara] . i kind of couldn’t go wrong with the subjects 🙂 thanks!!! you’re a pretty amazing bride, yourself! @[100003786901784:2048:Mariah] i wish we could have chatted more at the wedding.

      @[1153822912:2048:Amanda] – thanks, birthday girl!!!!

    • Jay Eadsthanks homie. kill it with @[386050065267:274:Macklemore] today… i’m excited for you, so glad it worked out!

    • Jay Eadspretty much the best compliment ever. thanks @[1442688728:2048:Meg] so much

    • Jay Eadsalso… i couldn’t ask for higher praise, man. “your work makes me want to know everyone you take a photo of. “

    • Jay Eadsthanks homie!

    • Jay Eadsi loved her entire ensemble… so classy. and grandma’s gloves? are you kidding me!?!?!?

    • Jay Eadsyeah… i cried when she cried. 99% because i was so happy for her… 1% because i knew i had just taken my favorite shot of the day. hahaha.

    • jordan vothSo good, Jay! Love this entire set, well done.


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