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.
A few months ago, I wrote a little sneak peek of Sarah & Joe’s rustic Oregon lodge wedding, but I finally had a chance to sit down and tell the whole story. I met Sarah & her mom at the wedding show last January and later that month I did Sarah & Joe’s engagement session along the Deschutes River. These two share a wonderful love, both for each other and with their four children. Truly, they embody everything it is to be a partner, in love and life.
Their rustic Oregon lodge wedding took place at Skyliner’s Lodge, a historic ski lodge ten miles west of Bend. The lodge no longer serves a ski hill, but it does headquarter outdoor camps for kids, as well as private events such as weddings like Sarah & Joe’s. It’s such a neat lodge, with dark, rustic timber walls situated among the tall pine trees that are quintessential Central Oregon. The ceremony site overlooks Tumalo Creek and there’s a large dance floor that makes for the perfect outdoor wedding.
It was a gorgeous August day and I arrived as all the girls were getting their hair and makeup done. I went to work photographing all those important details you don’t want to forget. After all, Sarah spent a lot of time making all the signs herself. She is very talented!
As the ladies were all putting finishing touches on their looks, the guys were busy getting ready too. Joe & Sarah surrounded themselves with lifelong friends and amazing family and it really showed. They had so much love and help on their special day!
As Joe and the guys did formal photos, Sarah and her girls had the finishing touches done with their hair and makeup and stepped outside for a photo in their beautiful robes. Then it was time for Sarah to put on her dress and get ready for the first look!
The timeline for these two ended up going way off track, but seriously, you would never know it! They all handled it with such grace. I totally dig my carefree couples! As Sarah was getting her gown on, Joe was waiting to see his bride for their first look in the pine trees surrounding Skyliner’s Lodge. We had to move quickly to get their first look in before the ceremony started, but with the help of my amazing second photographer, we made it happen! The photos tell the story better than I can.
After the first look we quickly move into our formal bride and groom portraits. I love getting to spend this time with couples. They get some quiet, romantic time before the ceremony begins and the love just radiates from every ounce of their being. Sarah and Joe are no different. You can really feel their love and devotion to each other. In addition, having my second photographer there really helped with the tight timeline we had to make beautiful portraits and get our couple back in time for the ceremony to begin. I had to include a behind the scenes image she took of me setting up this shot.
It was time to head back to to the lodge to get ready for their ceremony! We still had to put on the boutonnieres and make sure everyone was in place in time for these two to walk down the aisle. Shortly, this ceremony would begin.
The outdoor ceremony for this rustic Oregon lodge wedding overlooking Tumalo Creek has such an intimate feel. There’s just something really special about Skyliner’s Lodge. Surrounded by their family & friends, Sarah & Joe said their vows. Their ceremony was so sweet, with their four kids all part of the wedding party, watching as their blended family became one.
Now that that ceremony was over, it was time to take the bridal party and family formals while their guests enjoyed music and a cocktail hour before dinner. The afternoon light was so gorgeous and we took advantage of it for beautiful portraits.
Now that all the formal portraits were done, it was time for dinner outside as the gorgeous Central Oregon sun was setting. As I finished my meal and waited for the toasts to begin, I made sure to capture a few more details from Sarah & Joe’s day.
After dinner, it was time to toast to the bride and groom. So many people that love these two stood up and spoke. I was seriously moved to tears with some of the amazing words that were spoken. It really spoke to the kind of people that Sarah & Joe are.
Next, the lovely couple had their first dance together and then Sarah with her dad and Joe with his mom. I have a hard time not crying with these sentimental moments, especially when one of your own wedding songs is played. Joe and his mom danced to the same song my husband and his mother danced to fourteen years ago. It got me!
Then, it was time to cut the cake, although Sarah & Joe chose to have pie instead of the traditional wedding cake. I love that they made this day about them! And, boy did they have fun with those pies!
After Sarah & Joe cleaned up a little, it was finally time to get the party started! Sarah and Joe had the traditional bouquet and garter toss and then the DJ turned on the dance tunes and everyone got out on the dance floor to celebrate.
I was so honored to be a part of Sarah & Joe’s rustic Oregon lodge wedding this past August! I truly wish them a lifetime of happiness. From the love they shared together, and the love they received from their family, I know they are starting off their marriage full of support. Congratulations you two lovebirds!
Photographer: Erica Swantek Photography
Venue: Skyliner’s Lodge
Wedding Gown & Suits: The Bridal Suite & Special Occasion
Bridesmaid Dresses: White Arbor Bridal & Formal
Flowers: Woodland Floral
Hair: Christina Jackson, Zante Salon & Spa
Makeup: Kim Nase
Catering and Bar Service: Bow Tie Catering
Tables & Chairs: Bend Party Rentals
Linens: NW Laundry Services
Officiant: Mark Worthington
Rings/Jewelry: Fred Meyer
Invitations: Alexa Nelson Prints
Decor: Bride’s own
Second Photographer: Casa Bay Photography
Hey, I’m Erica a lifestyle wedding photographer for sentimental, free-spirited and natural couples who love celebrating in the outdoors! If you are getting married, I would absolutely love to talk to you. Just fill out the contact form and let’s get in touch. I am based in Bend, Oregon but I travel for love!