When we first started our little business in 2013, we did so guided by a true love for photography (of course), and the gentle, constant prodding of many good friends. But we were maybe slightly naive as to the more personal implications of placing this type of creativity in a marketplace. It cannot help but sound corny, but when you make that initial connection, sign that contract, and show up on the day, you really do become a paragraph in a greater story. You fall into an organic, living thing - a relationship, a family, a life.
The story of Caitlin + Alex is too long and delightfully complicated to fit into one humble blog post - many people at this particular event laughingly reminisced on the "ships in the night" nature of their initial courtship - but let's just say it went from the Midwest, to Spain, to Portland, OR...and who knows where from here. This wedding was a homage to every aspect of a vibrant and adventurous young couple's very existence, with special guests from across the world, and family & friends represented, from childhood to college.
A bus trip out to Vista Hills Vineyard, where the wedding was set for the following day, waffle brunch at Babica Hen in Dundee, and then to the park for a trivia night - something dear to the hearts of Caitlin + Alex - all while hanging with family and friends, and enjoying the Bunk Sandwiches food truck. This is how it's done.
This is why we kinda insist on being there on the day of the Rehearsal - and to be honest, we're surprised that couples are surprised that we'd want to. There is simply no better way to familiarize ourselves with the people, places, and personality of the event. And often, we get many of our best candid shots when people have that Pose switch set to Off.
And then it was the day of the wedding. We met the Bridal party downtown as they got ready in style - and, being Portland, we were provided with an excellent juxtaposition to the scene.
From there, it was back to Visa Hills - this time, for real - and the day became a beautiful blur.
Neither Wade nor I are sure why the groomsmen shot is of them cutting wood, but we like it.
Wade and I actually teared up a little at this point. There were beautiful speeches from all of the readers, but Caitlin's vows to Alex, especially, made me stop mid-shot and pause. Even when editing, weeks later, the emotion remains present. Just, stunning.
One of the things that Wade and I found to be unique about this particular wedding was this: at every event we are quickly able to place people and determine where they fit in the bigger picture. Caitlin + Alex's wedding was the complete opposite. I had a tricky time remembering who was whose sister/best friend/brother, because both sides of the family were so deeply entwined. That young man with his arm around the mother-of-the-bride was not a son, or a nephew, but a friend of a relative from the family of the groom, and so on. It was pretty incredible, and very indicative of the nature of these two families, and the couple themselves.
Everyone at this wedding was a dancer, and they weren't afraid to bust several moves. There was even a mass pants-dropping at the last call, arms around each other, swaying, singing along to Billy Joel's The Piano Man. Only the second last of many nods to tradition, new and old - the finale being the couples' first s'mores in front of a woodfire. Messy, and adorable.
How lucky, we are, to now live this life. We do this not because we need to, but because we love to - and along the way, we get to experience the milestone joys of wonderful people. Being able to share with them a documentation of those events is incredibly fulfilling, and humbling, for the trust they place in us to do so.