This wedding holds a special place in my heart. The bride, Amber, is no ordinary bride to me. She’s my sister, my cheerleader, and a major part of why I am a wedding photographer today.
When I first picked up a camera, it was scary, and let’s be real, I wasn’t very good. But Amber saw something that others, including myself, couldn’t see. She saw my potential and she knew it was within my reach.
At the time, I was working through a divorce, funds were tight, and it was hard to invest in myself and my little photography hobby. Amber didn’t just believe in me, she invested in me. She generously gifted me several of my first wedding photography courses and gave me a spring board to what is now my family’s main source of income. Without her, I literally would not be where I am today. Wedding photography was one of the scariest endeavors!! So when she called asking me who I’d recommend as her wedding photographer, there was no doubt in my mind. It would be me.
Amber is incredible in so many ways. After working as a flight attendant for several years, she knew she wanted more! There were times she’d call me crying, not feeling like she could ever make it through flight school…. I’d give her a virtual slap, reminding her that she has never once failed in her pursuits. So when she got her commercial pilot’s license and became a flight instructor, it really was no surprise to me. She does whatever she sets her mind to!!
Her wedding was absolutely incredible. It was nestled in the most beautiful wine country in Hillsboro, Oregon at the Twin Oaks Airpark where she is a flight instructor, just outside of Portland where her and Phil live. The whole theme of the wedding was focused on a classic, timeless feel with accents of travel and aviation. Every detail of the wedding was significant to them. From the black diamond on Amber’s wedding ring, stemming from her love of geology, to asking one of their closets friends to officiate.
The yellow Cubcrafters airplane sitting to the side of their ceremony added timeless classicism and rather than using live flowers, they hand-folded sectionals (maps, for all us non-aviation speakers) from Amber’s first cross country flight into paper bouquets. The variances in the sectionals made each flower unique and interesting, especially up close.
In the weeks leading up to the wedding, the couple gathered with friends for folding parties, where they’d set up beer and food and spend hours catching up, carefully crafting, and hot-glueing.
The reception moved in and out of the airport hangar, with their open bar serving selections from their favorite Oregon winery & brewery. The PDX Sliders food truck catered Portland’s most popular mini-burgers. The night brought together the most special people from every different aspect of their lives. Aviators, Mormons, bodybuilders, Cheese Heads, and entrepreneurs were all family for a night! Amber and Phil cared so deeply about creating an environment where all their friends and family felt like they were part of their relationship and they did just that.
But there’s one moment from the day that I will never forget… it was dark the music was playing, and people were dancing. Then “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen came on and my family just seemed to gather into a circle with our arms around each other… I set aside my wedding photographer role, giving my husband Joseph my camera, and took on my sister role. I just prayed that someone with a phone would take a video of our insanity as we SANG our hearts out, swaying back and forth eventually erupting into head-banging and jumping. At one point in the song, my brother Richie said “this is a horrible family song” and we all died laughing because it couldn’t have been more true!
Dear Amber and Phil,
I will love you two forever. Amber, I could never ask for a better older sister. You have carried me through the hardest times of my life and have helped me become the person, mom, and photographer that I am today. I could never stand where I do now if it weren’t for your support and confidence in me.
And Phil, my sister would truly be insane if you hadn’t come into her life hahaha. You have been such an amazing steady arm for her and have truly given her wings to fly. There is no one more perfect than you for my sister.
You two constantly teach me so much about what a partnership should look like in the way that you love and support each other. The way you never hold each other down, letting each other dream and chase those dreams. Your relationship is one of the most selfless ones I have ever seen! It was an honor to be your wedding photographer and document your first moments as husband an wife, or rather, your celebration party!
Venue: Twin Oaks Airpark
Planning: Rania Peters
Florals: Amber, Phil, and friends
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka “Ginny” embellished d’Orsay pump
Rings: Miller’s Jewelers
Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN
Hair and Makeup Artist: Stacey Lowe
Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan American Classics Kneeland Wingtip
Invitations: Lauren Hearty
Calligraphy: Sarah Gray
Catering: PDX Sliders
Cake: Simply Sweets by Jen