Wednesday, May 11
Cannon Beach Wedding | Renee and Ramon
I had the privilege of speaking with Renee and Ramon about their Portland wedding which took place last September. Renee is an architect, so location for her wedding was high priority. We prayed for fog and clouds (for diffused light :) and we shouldn't have expected anything less. I've never shot a wedding in the rain before. When you have such a breath-taking backdrop, well, it's a photographer's dream.
Carli: How/why did you end up picking the location you did?
Renee: On my first trip to Portland, just four months prior to the wedding, I fell in love. The streets were lined with lush greenery and exotic flowers layered upon picturesque, mountainous landscapes. The greenery in the neighborhoods was even more abundant! There were no grass lawns and in it's place, landscaped gardens manicured to the square inch. People joke that in Portland everyone's a farmer!
I wanted all my guests to enjoy Portland and all its parts that I fell in love with, however, for the ceremony I wanted to be in a natural, peaceful landscape. My sister discovered Cannon Beach, only an hour and a half drive from Portland-- an easy day trip. After, intense research of this place (having never been there!), I had this feeling, I just knew it'd be great. Google Earth was my best friend! I reviewed every Google Earth user-uploaded-photo on and surrounding the desired ceremony site to find the best location! Success!
Carli: Who designed your invitations? Did you have a theme to your wedding and if so, what was it?
Renee: I knew I wanted to design our wedding invitations and my background includes endless hours of AdobeCS and sketching. Again, I love greenery, nature, trees and leaves-- one of the main reasons I love Portland. My architectural background influenced my affection for lines and I quickly fell in love with the Ginkgo leaf, picking leaves up off the street and trees to take home and frame. I also designed my pleated wedding dress (with an old friend) and as I developed my dress through sketch, I noticed its similarity to the gingko leaf and began to draw ginkgo leaf after ginkgo leaf, thus inspiring the whole theme for the wedding. It seemed perfect to have my hand-drawn ginkgo sketches on the invitation.
C: What made you decide to have a destination wedding?
R: I love to travel. I grew up traveling and it became an addiction. It made sense to have enjoy a long, celebrated, wonderful weekend traveling with my close family and friends.
C: Was a destination wedding easier or more difficult to plan than you originally thought?
R: It's so much easier to plan since you have a limited amount of people! Of course you can have more people if you want to invest more time planning and of course more money, but I LOVED the intimacy of our small wedding and the incredible landscape. Also I planned the whole thing in exactly 2 months-- so it had to be small!
C: What is the most memorable moment?
R: I LOVED the beach exploration photos just after the ceremony! After vows, kiss and portraits, Carli and John photographed the most amazing session of the wedding party having fun, running down the foggy, grey beach, climbing the rocky cove adjacent to our ceremony site-- I know I keep saying this, but it really was incredible!
C: Describe your wedding. How many people attended?
R: I wanted the most simple wedding, with the most simple dress, in the most stress-free environment, but, lots of fun and elegance were still key! I'm happy to say we achieved all of this in a small intimate setting of only 25 guests. With a small group you're allowed to include more luxurious favors to your guests. We were able to rent cars for the day trip ceremony at Cannon Beach, treat them to other dinners, drinks and brunch throughout the wedding weekend in the best restaurants around Portland!
C: What vendors did you use?
R: First and foremost, InkedFingers! We had the most amazing photos which never cease to receive endless compliments! Also Blue Hour was an amazing restaurant and reception venue with their own Pastry Chef, Alissa, who made the most incredible cake I've ever put in my mouth, and customized the design per my wedding invitation! And Sage, from Sammy's Flowers did an amazing job. Every vendor we picked went above and beyond!
C: Any words of wisdom for those thinking of a destination wedding?
R: I believe if you find a destination that really speaks to you, your wedding can feel more personal. Find a place that evokes you and your significant other's personality. The right place can really make your wedding feel like 'yours'. Also, if in a beautiful place (the reason you would pick that place!) you would only need a minimal budget for decor. One more thing, it doesn't have to be too exotic to make a big statement. At first we planned to get married in a friend of a friend's olive grove in Andalucia, but quickly shot it down because of the feat of traveling with parents, grandparents, etc. There are so many beautiful domestic sites to take advantage of!
C: Final thoughts?
R: Don't get caught up with little moments of frustration, everything works out in the end!