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Mt. Hood Wedding

I have a secret to confess. I like Weddings.

For a long while, my Wedding was the only one I had been to. Growing up I only remember going to One. Who knows why. The only Wedding I had been in was my own. Then I started shooting weddings. They were all very different and unique from the typical ‘norm’ often presented in the glossy magazines I was somehow suckered into purchasing when I was planning my own. Honestly I have had very little desire to photograph Weddings. Then I was asked to be a Bridesmaid and the girls to be Flower Girls in my friend Jill’s Wedding. So Wedding Fever hit our household, 110% spurred on by Araiya, who’s fascination obsession with it began right after Christmas and still continues into the weeks post-event. I have also photographed a few Weddings in the past few weeks. I will also admit I have cried at every single one.

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Why have I cried? I have no overall idea why, but I at some random point get emotionally choked up. It’s been as I have a long lens pointed at the groom choking back tears as his bride starts coming down the isle. Or the overzealous joy of guests uninhibited as they celebrate a new union on the dance floor. Or toasts from Daddies as they raise a glass to the man who has sworn to protect, love and care for his little girl. It’s funny how different the experience is for Araiya. She is more concerned with how beautiful the bride looks, what color the Bridesmaid dresses are and the quantity of petal needed to adorn the isle. Very different perspectives, she and I. Honestly, I had a bit of apprehension as this wedding approached- it would involve travel (6 hours in a car with young children), hotel stays, getting two girls all dressed up then expecting them to walk down the isle all by themselves with nearly 100 strangers staring at them. There were many, many factors that could have made this wedding very, very stressful.

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But as we arrived, rising up the winding mountain road and taking in the beauty of this place, worry subsided and we all realized we were in for a weekend of enjoyment above all else. The mountain was beautiful, the vistas breathtaking, the lodge regal.

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We stayed down a little ways from Timberline Lodge in Government Camp at a small little lodge called Huckleberry Inn. Our room had 3 bunkbeds, a full and a trundle. We could have fit 8 people for an amazing price. Government Camp reminded me a lot of my hometown, I felt quite reminiscent sitting in Chair lift swings, walking by ski race shops and chuckling at the posted requests not to wax skis in the hotel rooms. We wandered in the sun, grabbed coffee at the ONE espresso stand (the owner used to teach for Arts for the Schools in my hometown’s Public School District), and started getting myself and the girls ready. Despite all my practice with curlers, I was the only one who ended up with any pinned to my head.

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When the older girls and I took off to get ready with all the other ladies, Matt and Pia got to hang out by the pool at Timberline Lodge. I think they got the better end of the deal. Despite all the excitement surrounding getting to be flower girls, Tallis broke down to utter refusal to put her dress on, wear tights or shoes, or put the head band in her hair. Araiya was adamant her hair stay straight, though we somehow lured her into a few little curls with a curling iron by the end. The Bride’s mom bought all the girls Barbies, partially an inside joke, but man did they help to keep them occupied while we got ready. During formal pictures the girls became increasingly clingy, Tallis was melting down and I thought for sure she was done. There would be no chance of her actually walking down the isle.

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But she surprised me. As soon as she was handed her little basket and realized NOW was the time to throw petals, she was all into it. A little timidity until her sister took her hand and lead her down to the alter area. However, they both forgot to throw any petals until the last minute, where they promptly dumped the baskets in one heap. It was pretty funny. Even better was for the remainder of the ceremony, shy Tallis jumped around in front of the bride and groom shouting, “I THROW PETALS!” on the top of her lungs. Go figure.

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The rest of the night was really fun. Araiya played wedding photographer, danced, ate cake and was the life of the party.

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Tallis unfortunately fell asleep about 40 minutes into the reception and didn’t wake back  up until we were loading her into the car.

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I had an awesome time reconnecting with some old friends from Grade School (hi Heather & Derek!).

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And taking some awesome pictures of this beautiful place before we headed back down for bedtime. We left early the next morning to head back to Seattle because I photographed another wedding on Sunday night. Guess you could say wedding overkill for sure. Makes me glad I don’t to too many of these!

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[the orange one is taken through a pair of sunglasses, the Vista Barbie is purely a joke for Jill]

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It really amazed me how grown up Araiya is. She will be 4 in less than a month. This was the first of many occasions I will have to come to terms with how beautiful she is and how when she gets all dressed up she is extra lovely. I know 4 and innocently cute will be far easier than 14 and wanting to be far too grown up.

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