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.
Rachel and Kaleb’s rustic backyard wedding was not exactly like most others. These two have a great sense of humor and chose to tie the knot on April Fool’s Day. Their wedding day was full of gags and surprises, but their love for each other was no joke. I seriously cannot get over how much they were made for each other. It’s evident in every moment they shared together and I truly feel lucky to get to be such a big part of a couple’s day like this. Every single time!
As if I didn’t love this couple enough the second I met them (okay, to be fair, I only met with Rachel at the consultation and didn’t meet Kaleb until a few weeks before the wedding, but still…), every single thing about their wedding spoke to me and what I love most about a wedding. Rachel and Kaleb were married in his parent’s forested backyard, overlooking Wychees Creek in Sisters, Oregon.
I arrived at the house and met up with their wedding coordinator, Magadalyn of Bend Weddings & Events, where she was setting up the tent for the reception. I photographed some details while I waited for Rachel and her family to arrive. Rachel chose colorful pieces of fabric set on stark white linens for her tables, which she decorated with rich flowers set in vintage vases sitting on rustic aspen tree stands. Vintage framed chalkboards welcomed guests.
Rachel truly epitomizes the sentimental bride. She chose to wear her mother’s wedding gown, which was altered to fit her growing belly. You see, Rachel was seven months pregnant on her wedding day. And, in true form, they chose to add a touch of humor to the hanger her dress was hung on. Did I say how much I love these two?
Before Rachel slipped into her gown, I spent a little time photographing the details that help make the day so special. One thing I love about a carefree bride is the fact that so many of her details are pretty laid-back. Rachel chose the cutest pair of turquoise Converse sneakers, adding her “something blue”. Comfort is key! Here’s a few of my favorite details.
The bridal party consisted of our bride and groom and their two handsome dogs. Love that they had ties for them to wear and carabiners that they clipped the rings on!
Once Rachel was ready, we headed into the bedroom to photograph the getting ready images. I always cherish this time with the bride, as I get to witness special moments she shares with her mom and other loved ones.
As Rachel puts on the finishing touches, I headed downstairs where Kaleb and the family waited for the ceremony to begin. I love catching moments as they unfold, especially when the family is just doing their thing! I promise, I did not stage any of this!
Another thing I love about sentimental couples is that they incorporate things they, or others, have made into their weddings. Kaleb and his father built this amazing arbor out of aspen trees for their ceremony site, which overlooks Whychees Creek. It seriously blew me away! Such gorgeous detail and craftsmanship went into this. Such a perfect thing for their rustic backyard wedding!
I just knew this would be a fun wedding as Kaleb and his parents were all celebration and joy walking down the aisle arm in arm! The rest of the processional was filled with family members, all there to love and support Rachel & Kaleb. As Rachel walked out of the house with her parents on each arm, Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” began to play. Such a perfect song for these two!
The couple’s good friend, Brent Allen, officiated the ceremony. They said their vows and exchanged rings under the gorgeous spring Central Oregon sunshine! But, being that it was April Fool’s Day, the family had a little prank of their own planned. Rachel & Kaleb sealed their union with a kiss, only to look out at their friends and family who had Disney character masks pulled over their faces!
After the ceremony was over, we gathered all of their friends & family in attendance for a large group photo. This was a big group, so I had to head to the second story deck of the house to get the shot. As I went into the house, I caught our new bride & groom in a sweet moment together. I sent them out to join the group and I went upstairs to get the photo.
After the ceremony, the family formals began as guests enjoyed appetizers, drinks and music. We chose to use the beautiful aspen arbor that Kaleb & his father worked so hard on for the formals.
I also got a few bridal portraits of Rachel. She looked absolutely stunning in her mom’s vintage laced bohemian wedding gown!
After the family formals were done and we sent happy parents and siblings off to mingle with the guests, I took Rachel & Kaleb out on the property to do their formals. This is hands down my favorite part of the wedding day! It’s so fun to work with couples so in love, right after they have said their vows. Here are a few of my favorites from their formals.
Kaleb wanted to do some photos by the old barn, which was quite a walk from the ceremony site. Instead of making us all walk, he grabbed the family chariot and we all headed down to the barn!
It was time for the reception and the party! Dinner was provided from the Shred Town Food Cart and guests enjoyed pies and various other desserts brought by family & guests. The couple also had their own cake, complete with a knocked up bride wedding topper. So fun!
There were some awesome speeches given and it was time to cut the cake. Oh boy, these two pranksters sure didn’t disappoint!
The couple enjoyed their first dance where one of their sweet dogs decided to join them! So stinking cute!
Kaleb is a drummer, so naturally there was a live band providing the entertainment. Brent Allen & His Funky Friends delivered and had everyone on the dance floor in no time! The couple chose to play a game to get people out dancing, called pick a stick. Your color was called, and everyone with that color had to get on the dance floor. People were flapping their wings like chickens and doing the robot in no time! Of course, I had to get right in the middle of the action! A few cameras strapped to my body never stopped me from bustin’ a move! I love dance floor photos when everyone is getting down. I had a hard time picking, but here are some of my favorites from the night!
Before the time was over with me, there was one last thing that needed to happen. Rachel & Kaleb wanted to do a bouquet toss and a garter toss. What transpired next was one for the record books! Seriously, these two are the best pranksters ever, so it just goes to say, April Fool’s Day was the best choice for their wedding day!
Rachel & Kaleb, it was an honor to photograph your rustic backyard wedding! May your love continue to grow. I can’t wait to meet the newest addition to your family, who will be arriving any day now. Congratulations!
Venue: Groom’s parents’ house
Dress: Bride’s mother’s dress
Event Planning & Coordination: http://www.bendweddingsandevents.com/
Flowers: Karen Brynelson
Tent Rental: http://www.centraleventrentals.com/
Hi, I’m Erica, a lifestyle wedding photographer for sentimental, free-spirited and natural couples. If you are getting married, I’d love to chat with you. I still have some availability for 2016 & I’m currently booking 2017 weddings. Hit that contact me button and let’s talk!
Oh man I love the colors, absolutely beautiful, they look so happy!
Such a beautiful and fun wedding!
Agreed, best custom hanger ever!
I love the bright pops of color in the accessories and in the flowers! This looks like it was an amazing wedding full of all the love and emotion that there should be. I love that it is unique and full of family and friends! The giant group shot is so fantastic!
Thanks Corey! It was absolutely a beautiful day.
Thank you so much Erica, reading this and seeng the pictures again brings tears to my eyes…you captured the true essence of Rachel and Kalebs love!
Beautiful photographs! I’ve never heard of anyone getting married on April Fools. That is so much fun!
So much fun!
Omg these are beautiful but man I LOVE the humor in the wedding day…. the hanger, the cake topper and the garter joke! Hilarious!
omg what FUN people!! I love all the little touches to this wedding– and the colors are just so amazing! She is too adorable– and you did a wonderful job capturing their sentimental moments!
Thank you, Jenae!
Wow .. Just awesome!!!
Thank you, Sue! I agree. Such an awesome couple and a great wedding!