Cathedral Park Micro Wedding, Portland Oregon.

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Xzashia + Jon's #microwedding at #cathedralpark was anything but 'trendy' and I am here for it. Their day was the perfect mix of #modern elegance and #vintage flare. Even with everything going on in #Portland, Oregon these days, their wedding was absolutely to die for.

Lauren and I actually shot this wedding together, despite the incredibly small gathering size and it was everything we hoped for and more. Jon fashioned a Green Tuxedo that complimented by the tall grey arches of the underside of the bridge and the beautiful green, late summer foliage. Xzashias dress with the embodiment of simple elegence and beauty with a simple capped 'semi-off the shoulder' sleeve. The two of them together were just the definition of suave.


The morning of this wedding was actually a total blunder for me. My husband was supposed to board a flight to Idaho Falls at noon but missed his flight since he accidentlaly read the departure of the returning flight, so we had to run around and try and get to the bank to buy a new ticket since the airline he was flying with didnt have any other flights to Idaho Falls this day and he couldnt leave any later. There goes $600(yes im making a cringe face right now while typing this just like you are reading this). I finally got his butt on a plane and halled booting back over to cathedral park.

We got there at around 2 and it was forecasted to be almost 100 degrees. We definitely got lucky when the cloud covered rolled in and it was in the mid 70's for most of the afternoon. Xzashia didnt want any of the extra mumbo jumbo for her wedding day so we didnt photograph any of the getting ready, or an exit, which was kind of a bummer for me personally, since I absolutely love these parts of the wedding day almost more than the actual wedding itself. It was kind of a weird experience to not have to mentally put forth the effort to capture creative ring shots, flat lays of invitations and perfume bottles with ribbon and the brides shoes, but there are plenty of other weddings we get to do this at so i just tried to count it as a mental break blessing.

The wedding started at two and the other photographer i was shooting with, my personal and good friend Lauren, was rounding the bend on 38 weeks pregnant with baby number 2 (who shes recently delivered, happy, smiling, healthy chunky baby boy named Luke, CONGRATS GUYS BTW). So we posted her up towards the front of the aisle and i was running aroind like a mad woman trying to get all the angles of the ceremony., by choice naturally. (look how cute Lauren is btw) (you can follow her at https://www.instagram.com/loashleyphoto/ and see more of her work at https://www.loashleyphotography.com )


The ceremony was absolutely gorgeous. Xzashia and her dad walking down the aisle towards Jon got me fogging up my viewfinder with tears (thank God for back of camera LCD' live view ameyyeeriteee?!). Their two little boys watching as their parents vowed their love or one another in front of their closest friends and family. Just the whole thing was to die for. It wasn't a long ceremony but it was full of emotion, especially from Jon.

I didn't know them super well personally, but I learned a lot about them, through working with them. I learned they have some rocky family relationships on both sides and also have had a rocky past between rhemseles. They have two little boys, Jackson and Nehamiah. They had Jackson when they were really young after going back and forth, on and off since Sophomore year of high school so the face that they stuck it out and ended up coming full circle to this point of committing to spending the rest of their lives together in front of everyone they care about the most, was just such a beautiful event to watch unfold.

Micro Wedding at Cathedral Park in Portland Oregon
Cathedral Park Micro Wedding

After the ceremony they didnt have a reception but they did celebrate their marriage with cake cutting, a first dance and a big group photo (my personal favorite part).


Photographing this micro wedding was an absolute blast and it really got me thinking about my own wedding and how I value the memory of the tiny beach elopement more than I would have really cared about the memory of our initials on customized napkins.

Wedding photographers live in this weird paradigm where we see thousands of different ways individuals plan and design their big day. I mean, it is the entire purpose of our job as photographers to capture all the little details nobody is going to remember two weeks after the wedding. What we also see is the big hustle and bustle to make weddings these extravagant events, and don’t get me wrong, I am here for all the extra details, I love them, but what we also see is four years down the road when we have these amazing wedding pictures of an amazing day that a bride spent weeks preparing and planning, stressing and arguing over, but the marriage they represent is no longer in existence.

From a cultural standpoint, large weddings with thousands and thousands of dollar’s worth of custom floral arrangements, a custom designed wedding dress and tiny expensive details down to initials on plates, napkins, glasses, etc. are all the rage, but strong marriages are not. That’s why these small micro weddings with few attendees but so much emotion and intimacy have a special place in my heart. Elopements too. There is just something so special about a small, intimate gathering where two people express and promise to love and care for one another through thick and thin. I mean, think about it for a second, all the most romantic TV shows, books, movies have secretive weddings… (I mean hello, Rob and Talissa Stark in GOT?! Jaimie and Claire from Outlander? Jim and Pam Eloping at Niagara Falls?! Ben & Leslie from Parks and Rec? Need I say more?).Small intimate micro weddings will make my eyes gush like the PNW coast during a winter king tide way faster than any largescale, elaborate wedding will.


Enough about all that serious stuff though, let’s talk details. One of the most ironic parts of Xzashia and Jon’s micro wedding was the fact that Xzashia’s dress got messed up by David’s Bridal, so she had to go pick out a new dress a few days before the actual wedding but LET.ME.Tell.YOU this dress did absolutely everything BUT disappoint. It was so gorgeous on her, and it fell on her body so elegantly. I just couldn’t get over the beads and sequins on this gown. One of my favorite wedding gowns I’ve photographed to date and there was nothing overly stylish about it. I’m a sucker for vintage I know, you don’t have to tell me. '

When Xzashia arrived at Cathedral Park to walk down the aisle she was missing one of her gorgeous green, velvet shoes so she walked down the aisle in her Birkenstocks (like OMG how portalnd can you get?!?) and it was one of my favorite moments of the day. I told her to bring her one shoe along because we would incorporate it into their bridal portraits and we did! Funny story, before walking down the aisle she was making jokes about how she would bet $100 that the missing shoe was literally in her mom’s front yard from one of her two boys and guess where she found the shoe? Yep.


A bride in a white dress and a groom in a green tuxedo in cathedral park

After the ceremony they cut the most adorable wedding cake from a bakery called Papa Haydn located in Selwood, Oregon.(https://www.instagram.com/papahaydnwedding/ ). They shared the most delicious little macaroons I think I have ever had in my entire life. Let me tell you they were absolutely to die for!



Then we took them down to the modern architecture designed concrete stage at Cathedral park where we did some bridals, walked over to the iconic weeping willow tree at the park, did some color blocking on a vibrant orange and blue painted wall along the street and, finally, my personal portrait brain child, some renaissance inspired posed portraits on a bench in the park underneath a canopy of trees where the sun shined through just like a spotlight, just enough to light Xzashia and Jon on the bench. It was such a gorgeous day, I could relive over and over again.


Tips for Planning Your Wedding at Cathedral Park

A Short History:


It’s claimed that William Clark and eight men camped at the site where the park now resides, on April 2, 1806. This spot had been a fishing and camping site for many areas Indian tribes. In 1847, the founder of St Johns, James John, settled on the site and operated a ferry to Linnton across the Willamette River, and nearly 100 years later, the St. Johns Bridge was built on the site with 400-ft towers and a main span of 1,207 feet. Although there are many bridges in Portland, the city of bridges, The St. Johns Bridge is the only steel suspension bridge in Portland.

Sometime around 1970, the mayor of the St. Johns neighborhood, unincorporated at the time, grew weary of the junkyard state of the area under the eastern end of the bridge so he and raised $7.5 million to construct the area into a park. On May 3, 1980 a community celebration and official opening of the park was held.


Availability:


Because Cathedral Park is one of the most popular destinations in the City of Portland, like obviously because it’s so stinking Gorgeous, If you have your heart set on having your wedding, micro-wedding or elopement at Cathedral Park, you should plan to reserve the main ‘stair and stage’ area of the park. This ensures that there won’t be a long line of photographers waiting their turn to use this section of the park on the day when you plan to get married. I can help you reserve the park as part of a wedding/elopement photo package that you book with me, or if you’ve already booked a photographer, feel free to click this link below to book/reserve cathedral park for your big day. You don’t actually NEED a permit, its just a good precaution to take and a small price to pay for officially reserving this spae in your name.


2020 Cathedral Park Wedding Brochure: https://www.portland.gov/sites/default/files/2020-05/ppr-wedding-brochure-2020.pdf


Bridal Portrait Locations:

Cathedral Park is nearly a 22-acre parcel in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland Oregon, so there are a ton of awesome photo opportunities and backdrops for your bridal portraits.

Some of my favorites include:

· On the bridge

· Near the infamous weeping willow under the bridge.

· At the ceremony ‘stage’ location with the underside of the bridge as a backdrop.

· Down on the docks under the bridge with the Columbia River as your backdrop.

· For a more modern, industrial vibe, on the stage in the NE corner of the park just across the street from the dog park.

· This one is going to sound a little funky, but down near the roundabout, near the entrance to the beach beneath the bridge there is currently a beautiful, colorful painted wall of orange and teal that is a hotspot for local portrait photographers.

· If you turn around, directly away from this wall, there is a small path with a bench and a sort of canopy of trees that I loved to use for this specific wedding in the blog post as a sort of natural spotlight on the couple.




Check out some of my favorite images from the day below and scroll to the bottom for information on how you can book Kassi for your 2022 or 2022 #microwedding or #elopement !

Have thoughts on this Blog post?! Share them in the comments!



Interested in Contacting me about your big day? I Offer packages from small, intimate elopements to destination weddings! Fill out the contact form below. I can't wait to hear from you!



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