Here’s an idea… how about relaxing on your actual wedding day, enjoying time with family and friends, and then have your photo session the next day? That way you also get to dress up twice… and let’s face it who doesn’t want to wear their wedding dress at least one more time! Without being rushed for time, Megan & Brandon got to relax and make the most of their photo session… and for Megan it meant not stressing about getting the gown too dirty on the actual wedding day. “It was so fun to adventure around Big Sur & not be afraid of getting my dress dirty since I didn’t have to think about having a ceremony later. Our photos are something I will cherish forever. Danielle is SO talented and fun to work with!“
Danielle being DANIELLE POFF, who’s work I adore! She’s done a beautiful job of these images. Megan & Brandon had slightly different ideas of what they wanted for their wedding… he wanted an actual wedding, she wanted to elope. After some research Megan came across the perfect location in Big Sur and promptly fell in love with it. Some unforeseen circumstances saw them having a surprise ceremony back home on family property in Kentucky. Megan tell us, “We told all of our guests they were coming to a party celebrate our marriage since we were eloping. The party was nautical themed and we even built a small “boat dock” and surrounded it with sand, so technically I could still get married in the sand. During the party we showed a video and when it was over we walked out and were married by our grandfathers. It was so special and fun! I opted not to hire a photographer for our ceremony because I still wanted to have our photos taken by Danielle on our honeymoon in California and I’m so glad we did! She was completely understanding of our change of plans and I couldn’t have been more thankful.“
HOW DID YOU MEET? Brandon and I met through a mutual friend who kept telling us about one another, but at the time neither of us were too interested in seeing anyone. One day I received a phone call from him trying to set us up on a date, which happened to be to a Nascar race in Bristol, Tennessee. I was a little skeptical because we live several hours away from Bristol, so even if we didn’t hit it off our first date would be an all day event. Plus, I’m not a huge Nascar fan, but I agreed to go. I can’t say our first date was very romantic, but it was so much fun! Brandon was such a gentleman and he still is to this day.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL? Brandon proposed on the beach at night in Jacksonville, Florida. It had rained almost our entire trip, so one evening we went on a movie and dinner date. After dinner I asked if we could take a walk on the beach. We walked out to the water and were standing ankle deep when he popped the question. His proposal made up for our not so romantic first date!
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I’m not a very high maintenance girl, so I knew I wanted a simple wedding dress. My mom, aunt, and I went on shopping trip to Knoxville, TN. I can’t even remember why, but we decided to stop and look at dresses in David’s Bridal on our way home. My wedding was still almost two years away and we didn’t even know where we were getting married yet, so I definitely wasn’t planning to buy. I ended up picking out a few dresses to try on and bought the first one a tried! Despite having no wedding plans, the dress ended up being perfect for our surprise wedding and day-after California photo session with the amazing Danielle.
ANY DIY OR BUDGET ELEMENTS? We were on a budget, so our ceremony/party was completely DIY, from the invitations, to the decorations and flowers, to the food. I have an amazingly talented aunt and she worked so hard to make our wedding beautiful. For our photo session with Danielle, my bouquet was DIY. Brandon and I spent the day driving down the beautiful California coast and stopping along the way to pick wildflowers. I put the bouquet together just before our photo session. I loved how it turned out!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Don’t worry about tradition or what everyone else wants you to do, just do what your heart desires. Remember, a wedding is about celebrating the start of a marriage, so plan and prepare more for your marriage than for your wedding. Don’t sweat the small stuff, just have fun & enjoy every moment because the wedding and the honeymoon come and go real quick!
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? After our ceremony/party we a had a campout with a few of our best friends and family. We stayed up all night & it was an absolute blast! No, not your typical wedding night, but I wouldn’t change it for a thing. We had so much fun! Like I said, everything doesn’t have to be traditional. For our session with Danielle, I loved getting in the water in our wedding attire. The pictures turned out awesome!
I have a lovely heartfelt Oregon wedding for you today from OLIVIA ASHTON PHOTOGRAPHY. The inspiration for Stephanie & Neil’s wedding was exactly as it should be, their love, and the idea of bringing two families together into one. The couple focused on how best to represent themselves, and went about creating a romantic, nostalgic atmosphere for their guests – one that also showed off the beautiful Pacific Northwest. They ensured they’d all have a great experience, with a stunning view on offer, excellent drink, food and music and course a thoughtful ceremony.
HOW DID YOU MEET? Neil and I met when we were both traveling. I was on my own, and Neil was with a couple friends. We both ended up being a part of a grassroots tour that helped organize our travel from Bangkok, Thailand to Singapore. Technically, we met in a small village outside of Bangkok.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Neil proposed as we were backpacking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington during the late-summer of 2012. It was kind of wonderful to be so excited, and not be in cell reception to share with anyone else for a couple days.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I went to a three different boutiques in Portland- two when my mom was in town, and one with a couple girlfriends. I was at the boutique with my girlfriends when I found my dress. Then I found it on sale from the designer directly! It was a little big, but I worked with a great seamstress to make it my own.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?Olivia snapped a beautiful photo that captures it all for me – it’s the black and white one of Neil and I embracing just after the ceremony. We walked out the aisle together into this wooded cove-like area; a moment away from everyone (the wedding party and all other guests filtered out another way). We were so overwhelmed with emotions at with what just transpired, we just embraced and took it all in. We felt so incredibly loved by each other, and our community that day.
ANY DIY/BUDGET ELEMENTS: Neil and I chose the venue because we felt that would say so much about what we valued: being outside in a beautiful, mountainous, garden setting. There was natural décor everywhere. Nothing I DIY did could top that, but we attempted to add pieces that would add to the day. These additives were created with the help of the amazing community we have and included; programs we made & a borrowed instamatic camera for guests to photo-document their arrival, all table centerpieces were terrariums hand-made; most succulents for the center pieces were purchased from our local Sunday farmers market; some were from our own garden.
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: Succulents! We made our own centerpieces, and gifted flowers to guests as well. We did have bouquets made for my sisters (the “bridesmaids”) and I; as well as flowers for our parents and brothers (the “groomsmen”) to wear.
FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: My favorite part of the day was our ceremony. We took time to work on it, but also didn’t previously share with each other what exactly we were going to say to each other. Our friend and officiant had a surprise for us too – he surprised us with gifts during the ceremony. When he was recently traveling in Asia, he bought us two Doremon watches, which he had Neil’s little cousin bring up the aisle to us. This watch was the topic of Neil and my very first discussion, when we met in Thailand. His friends were all talking about Neil’s cool, new Doremon watch, and I chimed in across the lunch table we were sharing with my honest opinion: I thought it was stupid.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Let it be about you. Focus on your most important priorities, and make them happen. The rest will fall into place.
Photographer OLIVIA ASHTON PHOTOGRAPHY | Florist LUCY’S INFORMAL FLOWERS / Stationery PAPER SOURCE / Venue MT. HOOD ORGANIC FARMS / Dress Designer ROSE & DELILAH / Shoes MACYS / Hair & Make-up /BRIDE’S SISTER IN LAW / Grooms Attire MEN’S WAREHOUSE / Caterer CULTIVATE CATERING /Day of Coordinator CASSANDRA CASS / Pie FLEUR CAKES
I’m quite excited to feature this wedding in Richmond Park, London as I used to live not far from there, and I even attended a wedding there once. This is such a beautiful part of London and and PEMBROKE LODGE is a lovely spot to celebrate in! Gorgeous bride Heather wore the JENNY PACKHAM ‘Dentelle’ gown that she actually had all picked out before she even met her husband!! A simple chignon bun ensured she looked picture perfect elegant on the day as these gorgeous images by CLAIRE ESTELLE show. Booking Claire was an easy decision for the couple. “She was the one and only photographer we met with. We had intended to meet up with a few photographers but after meeting her, we knew she was the one. I wanted to email her straight away when we got in, but my husband told me play it cool. Not my style, I emailed her that night! We loved her approach to the day. It was fun and relaxed and really captured the day. We couldn’t have chosen a better photographer. Our wedding guests are still raving about how gorgeous the photos are and how nice a photographer she was. We absolutely loved her!“
“My Mom had a very bad fall two weeks before my wedding and we were worried she wouldn’t be able to fly to England from Canada. Having lost my father, my Mother was going to be the one to give me away. Nothing was going to stop to her from that! What made the day so special for me was that she was hardly able to walk, but she put on a brave face, ditched the crutches and walked me down the aisle.
For our flowers Claire from Love Blooms was absolutely amazing! I basically sent her images and she made them a reality. The flowers were really important to me on the day and I wanted the room to look and smell beautiful. Claire really understood my vision and when I arrived on the day, I was blown away by the amazing job she had done. She’s also one of the happiest and nicest person I’ve ever met! My absolute favourite thing were the table arrangements. We hired candle sticks and did a large round arrangement on the top with roses and hydrangeas. I wanted gorgeous flowers on the table, but didn’t want them to obstruct people from chatting, so the candlesticks were perfect. They were absolutely stunning and just suited the venue and day perfectly! The aisle had jam jars filled with gypsophila tied to the chairs with natural string. So simple and so beautiful.”
“For jewellery, I wore my grandmother’s pearl earnings, my mother’s pearl bracelet and a single pearl necklace my mother gave me on my wedding day. I wanted very classic and simple jewellery on my day and loved how they were my something old, something new and something borrowed (I had a blue ribbon sewn into my dress for my something blue). I was after a fresh clean look for makeup. I don’t wear a lot of makeup day-to-day, so didn’t want to look unrecognisable on the day. The makeup was done by Panda Makeup and both Pamela and Andrea are amazing and very talented.
Andy groom wore a bright navy 3 piece suit and a crisp white Charles Tyrwhitt shirt. He looked so handsome! I never took my eyes off him once when I was walking down the aisle.
We wanted the decor to be elegant but with a rustic touch. I went a bit mad ordering off BHLDN website, but I loved absolutely everything! I mean everything! I had ordered these lovely ombre fans from them. I had no idea what the weather would be like, but wanted them either way! They were placed on each chair for the guests. Honestly, it was as though I had known it would be the hottest day of the year. The fans were the most brilliant thing ever and saved everyone from melting!”