Amanda + Steven's day was simple yet extravagant -- one of my personal favorites from 2022. The beauty of have an intimate ceremony is all the flexibility to make your day your own and allow the day to flow as it goes. Amanda was such a champ and decided to plan it all herself so unfortunately I don't have many vendors to tag, but she pulled it off and the details were perfection. Their day took place at the house Steven grew up in right in the backyard of Smith Rock State Park (dream real-estate, am I right!?). With a quiet morning getting ready in separate rooms, we made sure they didn't see one another until their first look and private vow reading. We then were able to take all the family photos before the rest of their guests arrived. One special aspect to their day was when Steven and all the important men from his life went to at his neighbor's house for a celebratory drink before the ceremony. They laughed, they cried, and they cheered about that had passed and all that was to come. It truly was such a beautiful moment to witness the bond and trust these men had created with one another growing up. The ceremony was short and sweet as they were just so excited to finally be wed! The reception was so fun with drinks, corn-hole, and appetizers for all. The dinner took place in the large barn which allowed so much light and air with the open garage doors. We snuck off just in time to take the most gorgeous bridals in the desert canyon with the sun setting behind them. Having epic bridals at Smith Rock and spending as much time as possible with their friends and family from afar were both of equal importance to them, so we were only gone about 30 minutes before we decided to head back. I never want my couples to have to choose between photos versus actually making memories with their loved ones, but before throwing out the idea of a sunset bridal session, 10-20 minutes away often is all you need to still get some amazing photos that you won't regret taking. Their night ended like any good night should end -- dancing, good conversation, and let's be honest -- some comfier clothes!! ;) This day was truly a honor to be a part of.
Amanda left me the sweetest review following her day:
"Lauren was not only easy and professional to work with, but she was so sweet, warm, kind, and fit right in with our family and friends. But that’s not the best part. Her eye for detail and her promise to capture the love we had for one another, our children, family and friends came through beautifully in her photos. I do not have the right words to say other than, thank you Lauren for exceeding my expectations. Photography was one of our top wants for our wedding and she captured our day beautiful. I will forever be grateful for this invaluable gift."
If you are wanting to plan your own Smith Rock State Park wedding or elopement, here are a few things to know:
- You will need a permit if you want your ceremony to occur on the grounds. You can do so by reaching out to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for availability and approval.
- There is a daily parking pass fee of $10 per car (or you can pay $30 and your parking is covered for the whole year to any Oregon state park!).
- The mornings and evenings are quite cool while the afternoons are hot, hot, hot. Despite this, the influx of visitors to the park still come between 10-6pm generally for a day's trip, while people start heading home closer to sunset as they need to get home for the night. While the park is large and there's always room to evade other people during peak hours, the best time for lighting are near dawn or dusk anyways, so it all works out! :)
- Make sure to work with your wedding team (especially your photographer!) on the timing and location of the event so make sure all the elements are considered. If you are having family or friends along with you, keep in mind their ability to handle the terrain depending on where you want to get married.