Portland Oregon Wedding
As an adventurous wedding photographer residing in the Pacific NW, Portland, Oregon is one of my favorite spots to capture couples. I love the city vibes and the fact that Portland is very close to the moody shores of the Pacific. Not only that, Rose City is just a short drive to majestic mountains and roaring waterfalls.
If you’ve followed along with my work at all, you will know that I love a couple who embraces the unexpected. Willing to think outside the box to make their wedding a true experience. I love putting on my hiking boots, grabbing my camera, and hitting the road. What a fun way to capture your love!
Claudia and Reese were one of those adventurous couples. Committed to holding their ceremony in the heart of the city, they chose some impressive landmarks along the way as a part of their wedding photographic journey. With the ceremony complete, we scheduled an adventure day the following week. We hopped in the car with dress clothes on hand.
The roads we traveled took us to 4 different epic waterfalls for wedding portraits. The diversity of their wedding photos is truly impressive. You’ll see the ways that these two love birds braved the elements to get the shot. I loved their willingness to get wet and their overall spontaneity. Check out these amazing captures that not only highlight some incredible NW locations but most importantly, the love of this awesome couple.
The Heathman Hotel
To help kick off the wedding festivities, Claudia and Reese chose a Portland landmark. It was the perfect spot to get ready for their wedding day. Located on Broadway near the heartbeat of the city, the Heathman Hotel set the tone for the artsy, yet the refined feeling of the day. Built-in 1927 this hotel has always been an inviting place for the artistic and rich culture to reside. As any groom should, Resse and his brother started their day off right with Good Coffee.
As the wedding party readied themselves the atmosphere was warm and obviously very exciting. Friends and family marveled at the moments as the finishing touches took place. It doesn’t get any better than good natural lighting and it was amazing how bright and airy the lighting of The Heathman was.
The library was the perfect spot to photograph the fellas and the crisp natural lighting made the bride and her family shine. I also loved getting to photograph the details of this wedding backdropped by the textures and history of this fine hotel. Everywhere I looked there was a quaint corner, antique rug, or unusual architecture to use in a shot. As a Portland, Oregon wedding photographer, I recommend The Heathman as a great choice to get your wedding day started.
The Rose Garden
After Claudia and Resee were both dressed to the nines, we headed to The Rose Garden for a first look and some beautiful portraits. If you’ve been to Portland, you know that the Rose Garden is another famous spot to land. The endless sea of colorful roses is breathtaking all around. Portland’s cityscape is on display in the background with snowy mountains showing off too.
It was late April and the roses all throughout the garden were in full bloom. The international variety of roses in bloom was impressive, to say the least. Being a wedding photographer in the city of Portland left nothing to be desired on this day. Every shot in the Rose Garden was a brilliant contrast of Claudia’s stunning white dress against the burst of colors all around. Reese looked sharp too and the first look was so special in this PDX landmark.
Next, we headed to Cathedral Park to meet up with their family for their ceremony. They chose this well-known, historic landmark to hold their ceremony. Ceremonies are held under the St. John’s Bridge between the beautiful concrete columns. It’s such an amazing and timeless location.
With the iconic bridge arches setting the scene, loved ones gathered around the sweet ceremony. Joy filled the air as they watched them join their lives together. What a memorable view it was. The massive bridge contrasted the intimate, tender moments throughout their ceremony. The couple’s classic wedding style perfectly complemented this historic setting too.
The stairs provided a grand entrance for the bride and the delicate celebratory petals were the perfect touch. I can honestly say that witnessing love never gets old as I photograph weddings. I enjoy the diversity of wedding ceremonies and the personal moments included. This wedding was no exception. Claudia and Reese sealed the deal in the most charming way. I am so glad I could be there to photograph it all.
With the ceremony and celebration complete, the real adventures with this couple could begin. Two days later we headed up the Columbia River Gorge to chase some waterfalls and photograph portraits of the bride and groom. Being a wedding photographer in the Portland, Oregon area offers so many options for portraits. Wild and splashing waterfalls are some of my favorites.
Our portrait experience started at Latourell Falls, the impressive, and closest waterfall landscape to the city. These falls are a simple 3-minute walk from the parking lot and just stunning for portraits. With plunging waters beside rugged basalt, the tones and textures are impressive. We traded in hiking shoes and athletic gear, as the couple cozied up by the falls for our first portrait backdrop.
The lush Oregon greens saturated by the falls just pop in the images in a way that you can’t otherwise create. The somewhat rugged terrain provided some tender moments between the couple. These were authentic and candid and reflected their love. Getting out of the ordinary provides these unique wedding couple captures. Personally, they are some of my favorite images. Once we got our toes wet, figuratively and literally, it was onto the next Falls.
Next, we had to make a quick stop at Multnomah Falls. This well-known, postcard-ready waterfall was a great spot too. Luckily it wasn’t too busy on this day and we were able to get a few photos. Hiking up to the viewing bridge allowed for some fun perspective. Multnomah Falls really is an impressive sight to take in. It reminds us how expansive and wild nature can be.
It was super fun getting to add this landmark to our portrait list for the day. If you’re photographing weddings in the Portland, Oregon area it’s great to provide your clients with this memorable shot of the falls. You might even see it on their Christmas cards, who knows?
Our third stop was Wahclella falls where we hiked for about 20 minutes. The hike travels along bubbling creeks and through canyons shaped by nature. We were surrounded by the richness of growing vegetation and the cozy vibe of the forest. This couple had great attitudes hiking through the forest in their wedding best (fancy shoes not included!). Once we arrived at the waterfall we were truly impressed.
This waterfall has changed quite a bit due to a forest fire two years ago. While devastating to many of the paths in this area there is some silver lining. Since the fire, several trees have fallen and piled up at the viewpoint. It really does make for an amazing spot for portraits. Rustic bridges led the way to this gorgeous viewing spot. The trees provided extra textures and incredible views to photograph this stunning couple. I love the raw, natural feeling expressed through these shots. Nature and all of its green goodness on display spotlights this beautiful couple in love.
Since we started so early in the day, it was time for a lunch break. Hood River was close by so we stopped at Ferment Brewing Company. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Hood River. The architecture alone is amazing, and their beer and food are phenomenal. This is my go-to when in town. I was able to add to the variety of shots of Claudia and Reese by shooting a few photos complete with some beers to cheers.
I find these moments of connecting with my clients in a casual, personal way so important. Plus, I just really like getting to know people. Taking the time to hear more of their story and find out who they are as a couple always helps inform what I do as well. It always pays to develop more comfort between the wedding couple and myself as the photographer. Plus, I never want to miss the chance to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in the area.
After lunch, we headed to Tamanawas Falls for our final hike. This is one of the least crowded of the waterfalls and is located east of Mount Hood. This hike is about 3.5 miles round trip and is definitely worth braving the rocky trails. This awesome couple was still all in to explore this final spot.
This trail known to be a great spot for camping and hiking boasts rugged, moss-covered terrain. The wet rocks at the bottom of the falls made it more difficult to traverse, but I once again love the candid shots I got of this brave couple.
This day of waterfall exploration really was a fun, memorable way to spend my day as a Portland, Oregon wedding photographer. What a privilege to get to know Claudia and Reese and capture this celebratory season for them. I know they will remember this day fondly and I can already picture some of these breathtaking views hanging on the walls of their home.
Wedding Vendors & Resources:
Officiant: Emily from Rooted and Wild PDX
Flowers: Solabee Flowers