I cannot WAIT to share Pete and Joran’s gorgeous orchard wedding!
I cannot WAIT to share Pete and Joran’s gorgeous orchard wedding!
A sneak peek from Aly & AJ’s first dance at their backyard wedding in Salem, Oregon.
Let me just start off by saying that this shoot was so much fun. Not only did I get to work with two amazing actor/models, but I am notoriously good at bargain shopping (thanks, Mom!). Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely think that there are things worth paying full price, and things that are worth a high price tag. It’s all relative and generally speaking, you get what you pay for. So, if you can afford to hire professional hair and makeup artists for your wedding, definitely do so. The same is true for florists, caterers, and wedding planners. They’re worth every single penny they charge, if not more. They aren’t “overpriced,” they simply value themselves. If you can swing the designer shoes and gown, I say go for it! It’s YOUR wedding day, after all.
Some couples, however, are on a very tight wedding budget. Maybe it’s all they have to spend, or maybe they’re saving up for something else, like a honeymoon or a home. Whatever the reason, I get it, and you really shouldn’t have to justify it to anyone. So, if you want my opinion (and I may be a tad biased), book a good photographer, and then go from there. Prioritize everything. Are the $900 shoes a must have or would you rather spend that money on a gown? Maybe you want to opt for fewer guests so that you can afford the caterer you’re dying to book. Perhaps you have a killer venue in mind, but you can only swing it if you have a dessert bar, instead of a full dinner. Guess what? It’s YOUR wedding and you can do whatever you want! Sure, you may get a few people questioning your plans, but I promise you that five, twenty, or fifty years from now, it won’t matter. It just won’t. What will matter is that you married the person you love. Period. Doing it your way means you can look back on your wedding photos (see what I did there?) and fondly remember the day that was perfect for the two of you!
Okay, now that you’ve seen the photos, I’ll fill you on on all the details. First of all, the dress. I found this dress (brand new with tags) at the thrift store for $5. I embellished the bodice for an additional $1.47. The shoes, from Shoeland in Atlanta, were $12.99. Yeah, that’s it. For adorable peacock feather t-strap platforms. The veil was a DIY project, which totaled about $1. The pearl ring was purchased at a thrift store for $1.99 and the peacock feather ring was purchased at Cato in New Mexico for $2.99. The bouquet was a DIY, using flowers from my yard, so those didn’t cost us anything. The headpiece was $2.99 and the bracelet was $1.99, both from Burlington Coat Factory.The groom’s outfit was all pulled from his closet, so again, no additional cost there. So, everything seen here totaled about $30. Yep! So, the biggest thing to take away from this is to be creative. Think outside the box! Hit thrift stores, yard sales, and department stores. Try your hand at making things, like veils and bouquets. Shop for vintage dresses online, look into renting a gown, or even borrow one from a friend!
It is always a privilege to work with Kate Miles of Kate’s Couture, who is based out of Scio, Oregon. This talented young designer recently won a spot at Portland Fashion Week, as an emerging designer (you can read about the show HERE)!
So, any chance I get to work with Kate is just so wonderful.
This dress, titled Candelight, is no exception to her beautiful collection. The vintage inspired gown features actual antique lace and glides over the body beautifully. It is elegant, understated and timeless. This dress would be ideal for a variety of settings, including a woodsy area, like the one seen here, a backyard, beach, or even on a yacht. Like most of her gowns, it is a one-of-a-kind design and is actually available for sale! You can contact Kate directly, through her
website (listed below) about purchasing Candlelight.
Because she is a couture designer, Kate often does commissioned work for weddings and special events. So, if you’re looking for something non-traditional and something thatyou’re not going to find in bridal shops, I encourage you to talk to
Kate about a custom design! She even designs dresses for brides who live out of state, mailing the dress
back and forth (or traveling with the dress) for fittings along the way.
The flowers shown here are a simple DIY bouquet, made with just three hydrangea blooms of varying colors. Sometimes simplicity really is best. The fabulous makeup artistry is by Laura of Kiss & Makeup in Salem, Oregon. The hair was done by yours truly, as well as the DIY veil. Our locations were a combination of my my studio and a park nearby in downtown Salem. Last, but not least, our gorgeous model was Kenzie Carter of Salem, Oregon.
Although this was a styled photo session, I love doing bridal sessions with real brides. Some book their session prior to their wedding, while other like to book after their wedding, either alone, or with their spouse. Doing bridal shoots on a separate day really takes away from the pressure and time of the wedding day photography, allowing the bride and groom to enjoy more time with their guests.
This session was shot with a Canon EOS-3, using Portra 400 film, processed and scanned by The FIND Lab.
One of last year’s brides had a gorgeous dried flower bouquet, which can be seen HERE. Her bouquet was purchased off of Etsy (link is in that blog post), but because I love to support local businesses, I went and found Hammelmans Dried Flowers, LLC. They primarily do online sales, but they were kind enough to let me brows their warehouse and choose some flowers for a DIY bouquet. They grow the flowers there on site, which can be purchased while they’re still fresh, or after they’ve dried them. Their selection is enormous, beautiful, and so colorful!
Because our shoot was a a fun mix of pink, plaid, and voodoo donuts (full shoot can be seen HERE), I went ahead and chose some hot pink and yellow flowers for our fun bouquet and boutonniere. Dried flowers are surprisingly easy to work with.
If you are looking to make your own dried flower bouquets, I highly recommend Hammelmans, which is located on 950 acres in beautiful Mt. Angel Oregon. You can find more about this business by clicking the links below.
Kel Ward Photography is based out of Salem, Oregon. Areas of coverage include Salem, Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, Sherwood, Albany, Eugene, Corvallis, Jefferson, Turner, Keizer, Woodburn, Wilsonville, Silverton, Stayton, Dallas, Hillsboro, Lincoln City, Bay City, Bend, Vancouver, Battleground, and all surrounding areas. Also available for destination weddings and other travel. Kel Ward Photography specializes in Black and White photography, in both film and digital mediums. Color photography also available. Coverage includes weddings, funerals, birth, childbirth, portraits, families, senior portraits, and boudoir. Outdoor and on-location are preferred.