I’m a wedding & elopement photographer for laid back couples that value the idea of being married more than just having a party. They want photos that show their true selves and represent their love of nature, and prefer to be more natural than overly posed.
I first met Jennifer at the Cascades Wedding Show last January. I distinctly remember because she and her friend were the first in my booth to sign up for my engagement session giveaway. Jennifer proudly proclaimed she was going to be the winner that day! I knew I liked her right then and there! Although she didn’t end up winning, she still decided to book me for her Aspen Hall outdoor Oregon wedding in November. I met her and Joaquin for tea and we chatted about their wedding and what they were envisioning. These two are so kind and genuine and they wanted this wedding to be all about friends, family and their cultural traditions. I was hooked!
When I arrived at Aspen Hall on a gorgeous, warm, November afternoon, Jennifer was almost ready to get dressed. Her wedding coordinator, Magadalyn, of Bend Weddings and Events, was putting the finishing touches on the ceremony decor and I went to work photographing the details before Jennifer slipped into her gown.
As Jennifer was getting ready, Joaquin was outside trying to relax a bit before his big debut!
As the guests were being seated on the benches overlooking to pond, Jennifer & Joaquin’s wedding party was lining up inside. Joaquin and their officiant began the processional, as family members followed. The ring bearers and flower girls, which actually carried beautiful helium balloons were next. Finally, Jennifer walked out, with Joaquin’s brother, carrying her train down the aisle.
It was time to exchange the rings and Jennifer was making sure that ring was nice and snug on Joaquin’s finger. This girl cracks me up!
After the ceremony, it was time for some family formals before taking Jennifer & Joaquin out for their formal wedding portraits. Jennifer made sure the bulk of her coverage was for their wedding photos in and around Shevlin Park! I love a couple that prioritizes the portraits and allows plenty of time for multiple locations. It’s one of my favorite times of the day.
As we walked through the park, stopping at various gorgeous backdrops along the way, we laughed and talked about their honeymoon plans to visit Cancun. We were heading back towards Aspen Hall when I noticed a huge old pine stump in a grove of aspen trees. It really looked like something out of a fairy tale!
As I was photographing Joaquin’s formal portraits, I caught Jennifer in the background showing off her ring and making me laugh! I absolutely adore these two. I mean, come on. Does it get better than this?!?
The DJ’s had the lights going, the food was plentiful and Jennifer & Joaquin made their grand entrance to the tune of the Star Wars theme song. Did I mention how much I love these two? Cause that pretty much sealed the deal for me right then and there! They know how to have fun!
As they sat down to eat some of the amazing food their family prepared, I made sure to photograph some of the details that went into the amazing feast! Friends and family were busy in the kitchen rolling tamales, as Joaquin’s mother was stirring the incredible Pazole Rojo, which I did make sure to taste! I love how much the the family was involved in this celebration. Everyone coming together to make it happen.
After their dance, the floor opened up and family joined in. Even Jennifer’s grandmother got up and danced. She was absolutely adorable! Jennifer’s brother is a photographer in Virginia and he was getting some shots too, but his mom made sure to get him out on the dance floor!
The women dressed in their traditional clothing from their home region in Mexico, while the men carried large baskets on their backs, draped with beautifully woven tapestries. Joaquin’s brother had the honor of draping a beautiful scarf around Jennifer and leading her in a dance. The wedding guests followed suit and pretty soon the floor was packed with an amazing bounty of gifts being danced around in a circle. It was an incredible experience for me!
Following the parade of gifts, Jennifer’s hair was tied with ribbons, a tradition on her side of the family. Relatives and friends then used the ribbons to tie money into her hair, a spin the money dance. I love how colorful the Mexican culture is!
It was an absolute honor to photograph Jennifer & Joaquin’s Aspen Hall outdoor Oregon wedding! A day filled with family and incredible Mexican cultural traditions. It’s an experience that I will never forget. Wishing this amazing couple a lifestyle of happiness.
Vendors Involved in their day include:
Photography: Erica Swantek Photography
Venue: Aspen Hall
Coordination: Bend Weddings and Events
Dress & Suit: The Bridal Suite & Special Occasion
Hair & Makeup: Sheila Souza, Tangerine Salon
DJ: DJ Lorenzo Avila
Donuts: Richard’s Donuts
Hi, I’m Erica. I am a lifestyle wedding photographer for sentimental, free-spirited and natural couples that love celebrating in the outdoors! If you are getting married in 2017, I would love to talk with you. I still have some dates available. Fill out the contact form and let’s chat!