Much of this summer Oregon was on fire! I wish I could say that in a punny sort of way but literally Oregon’s timber was ablaze in far too many places. A week before Vernon & Kim’s wedding there was a fire that was creeping close to their venue. Mixed emotions swirled but they decided to hold their breath and hope for the best. As I was driving up for the wedding a large signed blared in bright green letters, “Hwy 138 closed- No detour”. With a lump in my throat, I looked and relooked at my directions. Sure enough the destination of the wedding was up Hwy 138. Trying not to panic or get in a wreck I drove to good reception and called my good friend and DJ for the wedding. She was a few miles ahead of me and reassured me that we were 10 miles from the road closure. I sighed with relief, but then my overactive imagination started to kick in. 10 miles? How fast do forest fires travel? Google, a little help here! Poor reception and google was no help to me. Probably for the best, but just in case I had a plan for an epic forest fire wedding picture for them. Again, did I mention I have an overactive imagination?! As I got closer to my final destination the smoke was thick so I just started praying it would lift. Either way, the way my summer was shaping up smokey was my new soft box! I arrived at the tail end of Kim’s make-up session. She looked gorgeous! I grabbed her details and photographed them and was highly positive I was leaving with poison oak. Somehow I dodged that bullet and never ended up with it, but it was a price I was willing to pay to get great shots.
As I finished these details I noticed a shift in the air. The blanket of smoke had rose substantially but was still doing wonders for my light. The bridesmaids helped with the final preparations to Kim’s ensemble and we ushered the bride and groom to the deck to have a special moment of reveal. Kim looked stunning and I and the bridesmaids were tearfully watching as he caught his first glimpse of her. The way he looked at her made her radiate even more.
The natural scenery around the cabin was breathtaking and before we headed to the venue for the vows, I dos, and the kiss we had to take advantage of the picture opp.
Knowing they were a few minutes behind me I swung off the side of the road and grabbed a picture of the sign leading the guests to the venue. This simple but appointed sign set the mood and I knew I was in for a well done wedding. I was in love with the attention for detail yet keeping it uncluttered so the natural beauty was shining through. Picnic tables never looked so good and she sowed a button onto each tablecloth. Buttons are kind of my favorite and wood buttons make me smile wider. So to say the least Kim and I may be friends for life. Yes, a button spoke volumes to me, laugh all you want but it’s true. When someone comes out with a Facebook quiz of what button appeals to you and how it tells you what kind of people you gravitate to in friendships remember I said it mattered first.
The ceremony was beautiful. The arch that the Father of the Bride made matched the decor throughout the wedding: simple, impactful, and well executed. The minister was thoughtful and well spoken. Short and sweet and not too frilly but perfectly done. They sealed it with a kiss and it was complete.
As we finished the photos the gears started to shift towards the reception. I always love working with my friend, DJ Hope. She’s a true professional and keeps the party going. She readied the crowd to receive the bride and groom and the reception traditions began. Towards the end of my time I quietly snuck the couple down to the river for the final rendezvous of pictures. They took a moment to breathe deep, soak it all in and realize they were now Mr. & Mrs. Keel.
Congratulations Vernon & Kim! I hope you always walk hand in hand on wooded paths and bring joy to each others lives. Thank you again for choosing me to capture your special day… and for using wood buttons!