Alex and David were married on the 28th of February within Blackberry Hall, at McMenamins Edgefield.
Alex and David were married on the 28th of February 2020 during a ceremony and reception within Blackberry Hall, at McMenamins Edgefield Hotel in Troutdale Oregon.
When I arrived at the Edgefield Hotel, I found Alex getting ready with her wedding party in the very last room at the end of the long hall in the main part of the hotel. Her room was full of clean light, a joy for any photographer to find!
I’m a firm believer that no bride wants pictures of them before hair and make up are done, so I plan to arrive about 30 minutes before the dress goes on. This allows me to capture the make up touch ups and all of the little details going on around her.
Alex was such a relaxed bride! Her bridesmaids were working hard to tie up all the loose ends, allowing her to just get ready and set for the first look. I spent some time with them, and then headed out just across the hall to see if David was ready to go. I had arrived at Mcmenamins earlier in the day to scoop out the first look location, and myself and my 2nd shooter would be bringing them down separately to avoid any accidental sneak peeks.
The McMenamins Edgefield Hotel has 6 different options for ceremony locations, yes, six!! One of them is the Administrators House Yard. This area can only hold up to 100 people, but it is gorgeous! Because Alex and David had a larger guest count and it was due to be a cold February evening, they were set up to have their ceremony indoors at Blackberry Hall, which left the courtyard of the Administrators House free for our first look. It was perfect!
I headed down first with Alex and tucked ourselves around the side of the courtyard. When David came out, we set him up looking away and arranged for Alex to tap him on the shoulder. I LOVE first looks. I really feel like this private moment is incredibly special for the soon to be husband and wife. It always relaxes both the bride and groom, allows them some quiet reflection time, and gives us an intimate few moments to photograph.
We honestly couldn’t have asked for better weather in February. It was bright and sunny midday, with only a slight chill in the air.
After the first look we dove right into bridal party pictures and even some family photos. It’s nice to get some of the formal portraits done before hand, because this saves us time after the ceremony (allowing the bride and groom to get back to the party sooner!)
As we walked through the grounds over to Blackberry Hall we realized it was starting to get chilly as the sun began to dip down, and everyone was thankful to move inside to find some warmth.
The ceremony went off without a hitch, and the groom had a few choice words that had everyone laughing. It was such a lighthearted and special event! The ceremony was followed by some more family portraits with family members that had arrived since that afternoon shoot, and Alex and David and I were able to steal away for a bit during cocktail hour for some final couples portraits.
Traditionally most weddings that I’ve had the pleasure to photograph have a time set aside for the maid of honor and/or best man to give their blessings and toast the couple. Alex and David opted to have an open mic toasting. Meaning ANYONE that was invited to the wedding and was there to celebrate could take a moment to come up and say a few words. It was so special to hear from siblings, parents, grandparents, even aunts. It was obvious that these two share deep bonds within their families that will be carried over to their own marriage.
Their reception was SO MUCH FUN!! The buffet food provided by McMenamins was delicious, and the guests were able to complement their dinner with the McMenamins handcrafted ales, wines and spirits which are only available at their locations. The whole hall had a very relaxed and friendly vibe. It was the sort of wedding where you instantly feel like part of the family.
Alex & David, thank you so much for including me on your wedding day. I am so thankful we were able to have such a great celebration and party right before COVID-19 shut down the rest of the early 2020 wedding season. I hope this luck and good fortune carries on throughout your marriage!
If you're a bride interested in having your wedding at McMenamins, find out more information here.