Sneak Peek | Margaret and Drake – A Bridal Veil Lakes Wedding

by Jessica Hill Photography in July, 2014

Wow. The love, the emotion, the flowers, the decor, the fun…. Margaret and Drake’s wedding was a knock out event and I can’t wait to share the rest soon! (Especially pics of Margaret and her son, Harrison performing Fancy!) Luxe Event Productions coordinated and Green Dandelion created the breathtaking bouquets.

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Jessica Hill PhotographySneak Peek | Margaret and Drake – A Bridal Veil Lakes Wedding

From A Bride’s Lens | Choosing the Bridesmaid Dresses

by Jessica Hill Photography in July, 2014

My wedding is less than three months away. OMG. So very excited to marry the man of my dreams! Today’s post is about bridesmaid dresses and this was a much bigger deal than I thought it would be. All is well now, but I wanted to share some of my experience with you guys, to let you know you’re not alone!

At first I wanted to do the whole mismatch dress thing, because I like the idea of having the girls wear something they feel comfortable in and it’s not so neat and tidy. However, the mismatch dress idea really works when you can go shopping with all the girls and really see the look side-by-side. It looks weird if one of the dresses is a shiny fabric, or one is 8 inches longer than the other, but they are both purple. I do feel like very similar dresses, for instance the same exact color dress in all different styles looks best in photos. I think JCrew does this well. My sister (MOH!) was planning her trip to teach english in Thailand, so we didn’t have much time to find the perfect dress. We started hunting and hunting we did! We went to many different stores looking for the right look and I starting finding that so many of the dresses looked the same, and oh-so bridesmaidy. Although I did like the idea of going with a unified look, I wanted something unique, oh and it also has to come in a size 2 and a size 16 to accommodate my beautiful group. So the hunting continued… Around this time I started asking around and a bridesmaid friend who was in a mismatch dress wedding told me that it was much more stressful having to pick something out that you would hope the bride would like rather than just being told what to buy. And the hunt went on.

What color? I do think that the bridesmaids dress truly sets the color palette for the day as it’s the largest amount of color in one location throughout your photos. At first, I was thinking nudes and blush tones, which is so stunning and timeless, but not really “us”. For the overall concept of the day we want a casual and fun garden wedding with old-world class. We decided on deep blues and taupes and ivories. The blue is like a peacock blue color, almost teal. SO pretty!

I have photographed a lot of bridesmaids and I wanted to share a few that stood out to me as particularly inspiring for my own wedding. If you like their style, click on the image to take you to the full gallery. Enjoy my dress reveal at the end as well! Keep scrolling and enjoy!

Annie’s bridesmaids wore BHLDN and I loved the color and the bow details. So pretty.

Desiree’s and her ladies went classic vintage for their Portland wedding at the Benson Hotel. Always love the timeless black dress look.

April’s winery wedding looked perfect with the subtle lavender shade, and it was flowy and light for hot weather.

Lea’s crew all wore mismatched teal lace dresses at her wedding to Andy at Anderson lodge. I think this group pulled off the look really well!

Brianne’s girls looked fun and bright in berry tones. Perfect for their Hawks View Cellars wedding in Oregon famous wine country!

Mailee’s team had the incredible opportunity to wear lehengas, or traditional Hindu wedding attire to their Portland Art Museum wedding.

Callie’s ladies went for a deep purple complimented by pearls for a very Jackie O, vintage look.

Amy’s Castaway Portland wedding included beautiful blues and lace, it was dreamy.

Here are those cute Anthro. dresses from Annie’s wedding. Pockets are fun and oh-so handy.

Anna’s girls wore blush tones in a floor length chiffon. It doesn’t get much classier! The light pink is so flattering.

Again with the class! Kelsey and her ladies looked oh-so very elegant and timeless for their Left Bank Project wedding in Portland.

So much beautiful silver draping on these bridesmaids dresses! Kelsey and Josh brought the style to their gorgeous urban Portland wedding.

Mismatched yet chic bride and bridesmaids dresses at Opal 28 in Portland. Remember to click on any image to see the entire post!

So cool and different to do a print! Love the sunny and bright color from Kate’s lovely group! This image was also published in a magazine in Hong Kong. Pretty cool.

Anna’s tribe showing off the back side of their light pink dresses at their Lake Oswego wedding.

Bridesmaid Dress InspirationDrumroll please! Here’s the elusive winner in the middle! It’s an embroidered knee length dress by Tadashi Shoji. Although they make it in a ton of colors, the “starry night” blue goes perfectly with our autumn wedding. I love the jewel tone and vintage inspiration and I’m so excited to have all my nearest and dearest friends with me. <3
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Jessica Hill PhotographyFrom A Bride’s Lens | Choosing the Bridesmaid Dresses

Gina and Jesse | A Portland State University Engagement

by Jessica Hill Photography in July, 2014

Gina and Jesse are sweet as can be, and will be getting married this August! Since they met on the PSU campus about 5 years ago, we decided to include a little of their love story in their photos. So, we photographed at the Portland State University campus, around and in a few of the cool buildings there. This ended up being awesome, because we dodged an insane rainstorm! Phew! I fell in love with their pup, Wally, who is a natural in front of the camera. We ended the shoot in Forest Park and love the juxtaposition between the urban vibe and the natural look. I’m SO excited for their wedding this August and can’t wait to share those pics too! Gina’s stunning hair and makeup by the talented Jein King.




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Jessica Hill PhotographyGina and Jesse | A Portland State University Engagement

From a Bride’s Lens – Choosing a Wedding Dress

by Jessica Hill Photography in June, 2014

Choosing a wedding dress was probably one of the most stressful things about my wedding planning process so far. Originally, I really wanted to wear my Mom’s dress from the late 70’s. Once I tried it on, I realized that I would have to completely redesign the dress to fit me and be a bit more modern. So, with my mom’s dress as inspiration, I went out shopping with a few of my bridesmaids. I thought it would be simple and I would just go and try on gorgeous dresses, and have that magical moment and say YES to the dress, without any doubts… Boy was I wrong!

One thing they don’t tell you is that the dresses you will try on will NOT fit you. Most samples are in a size 10 or 12, but wedding dress sizing is very different than anything else. While one may normally wear a 4, you could very well be a size 10 or 12 in your wedding dress! (yet another reminder to go to bridal boot-camp!) So whether the dress is too big and you have tons of clasps and clips holding you in, or if it’s too small and you have to hold it up to your body to see your self in it, it’s definitely not the ideal shopping scenario. It’s VERY difficult to see a dress on you if you can’t see the true fit, so be sure to ask lots of questions, talk to your seamstress before you buy and make sure to keep an open mind. I still asking questions and looking at photos and I actually have two dresses! Oh brother!

The first one is absolutely beautiful and I purchased it at a sample sale for a great price. It’s a silk trumpet dress and features a sweetheart neckline with small lace detailing. I absolutely love the way that it looks on me. However, the more that I thought about it, the more that I realized that this dress did not match the wedding venue at the organic farm and seemed heavy in comparison to the light romantic vintage flowing look that I really wanted to go for, inspired by my mom’s dress. My second dress, which is ordered but has not yet come in yet, matches the wedding venue and the theme perfectly and cost quite a bit more. I obsessively google photos of my dress online to see it on different women and how they wore it, and in some cases I’m beyond excited about it, and in other’s I’m a little nervous about it, and from the sounds of it, this is totally normal!

Even though many brides say that the moment they tried on the dress, they knew it was the right one. I WISH I had that happen to me! I think because of being a wedding professional, this has caused me a lot of headache. Because I’ve photographed some of the most beautiful dresses ever made, including Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Dior, Lanvin, Prada and Elizabeth Fillmore to name a few, this was a HUGE decision. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful dresses go wrong with poor alteration, over or under-styling, or a horrible fit. Although I tried on at least 15 to 20 dresses, and a lot of them were gorgeous, not one of them truly screamed at me;  “I am your dress take me home now!” However, I had the closest encounter with a stunning layered lace dress that I can now call “my dress”.

I, of course, don’t want to give too much information away here, but when I started to truly think of the dress, I knew I wanted lace. I started to hunt for different types of lace and lace patterns and I became fluent with alencon versus chantilly. The dress decision that I made was based on the patterns in the lace and how the lace was used.  I can’t wait to reveal the final dress to you after the wedding date, but here’s a bit of my inspiration in the whole insanely beautiful process. I was really happy my mom was there for me in the final stages of this process, which made my decision easier and couldn’t be happier with my dress. Please remember to click on the image to view more inspiring pics from each wedding. 

Love Sachiko’s satin dress here for the elegance of her downtown Embassy Suites wedding.

I love the rich detailing on Kelly’s satin dress for her upscale and opulent Sentinel Hotel wedding!

Erika’s sleek silk dress looked amazing on her and flowed with her movements.

Love the off-shoulder neckline on Desiree’s vintage inspired satin dress for her Benson Hotel wedding!

The mermaid flair makes curvy bodies look so good! Brianne looked amazing at her vineyard wedding. Remember to click the images to see more from each wedding!

In LOVE with Lea’s open back lace wedding dress. I think this fits her woodsy wedding venue beautifully.

Here’s Erika working it in her gorgeous Nicole Miller gown with a stylish black sash. Perfect for her downtown Blue Hour restaurant wedding.

Rachel’s flowing and unforgettable Oscar de la Renta gown fit her nautical wedding perfectly. The draping is SO pretty!

Sandra’s lace off-shoulder dress looked sensational on her and fit her vintage art-gallery wedding in the best way!

I love the structured feel of satin for a ballgown wedding!

Cara’s Allure dress looked impressive and pretty at her intimate Hotel deLuxe wedding!

The lace dress with a blush underlay is SO in right now and may be exactly what I was looking for! Wink Wink!

This Monique Lhuillier is quite popular, but it never goes out of style! Timeless and elegant.

The soft vintage look of Allison’s wedding from Langdon Farms is subtle, beautiful and ideal for an outdoor affair.

The cap sleeves from Kat’s dress looked sharp and stylish and gave her dress a key-hole back which is both sexy and subtle.

The stunning back from Kat’s dress! Her dress fit the ceremony beneath a big oak tree at Council Crest park wonderfully.

The texture and flow of Stepanie’s Wtoo dress made her Timberline wedding all the more memorable!

I haven’t even started on shoes! These ones are a winner in my book, timeless, vintage and elegant!

April was a stunning bride in her lace Allure Couture dress, complete and not overdone with a glitzy belt.

In love with the simple styling from Cat’s Youngberg Hill Vineyards wedding. She kept it clean, classic and timeless.

A close-up detail of the intricate lace at the bottom of Cat’s Monique Lhuillier gown.

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Jessica Hill PhotographyFrom a Bride’s Lens – Choosing a Wedding Dress

From a Bride’s Lens – Choosing a Wedding Venue

by Jessica Hill Photography in June, 2014

The venue is probably the most important aspect of your wedding day. It sets the stage for the celebration and allows your family and friends to glimpse in at you and your partner’s personal life a little and start to truly understand you both.  It also allows for out of town relatives and friends to visit your hometown and your hood. Here’s a little about our adventure in the venue choosing process.

After Evan’s unforgettable and meaningful proposal on the Pacific coast of Ecuador, we started chatting about our dreams and ideas for our wedding day.  I knew I wanted to be married in a spot that was surrounded by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, which is why I moved here 7 years ago and love it more and more each day. Evan is originally from Montana and grew up in and on the mountains. His one request was that there was a view of Mt. Hood at our wedding venue. Luckily I had heard rave reviews about Mt. Hood Organic Farms and I loved its glorious beauty and that it’s all inclusive for us. They have an incredible farm to table in-house caterer, a day-of coordinator (although I do recommend full-service as well, more on this later!) and all the tables. chairs, linens and everything else you need on site. Also, since I haven’t photographed a wedding here yet, I like that the venue has it’s original meaning to us as our wedding venue.

But… To be honest, all in all, it could have been easier. Our venue decision might have been one of the more stressful things about the wedding planning process thus far. The distance between the small city of Mt. Hood and Portland is a solid hour and a half. The big question became whether to host the pre and post festivities, including the rehearsal dinner and picnic, in Portland or Hood River with a lot of pros and cons on each side. It sort of sounded like Hood River, Portland, Hood River, Portland, for a few weeks… The airport location, the cost of hotels, the transportation needed, it all became a factor.

Ultimately we decided to host the weekend in Portland because it’s home to us, and then transport guests to and from Hood River on the day of the wedding. We have a ton of family and friends from our college towns , Ann Arbor and Missoula, family in Montana, Michigan and Florida and a bridesmaid coming in from Asheville, TN. This is exactly why we chose the venue we did, to take every moment of our wedding weekend and give our nearest and dearest an incredible tour of this great city and its surrounding beauty. A few large nice busses will drive guests through the majesty of the Columbia River Gorge, complete with a stop at Multnomah Falls and onto our venue overlooking the mountain majesty. Compete with a welcome BBQ picnic at the beautiful, Mt. Tabor Park, I think we made the BEST decision and I’m so excited to see it all come together.

Documenting dozens of weddings in and around Oregon, I have been so inspired by many of the locations I’ve been to and photographed, from the top of Mt. Hood in the snow, to dining under the canopy of old growth forests to capturing sunset over grapevines in the valley.  My wedding vision of an eclectic garden party in the mountains came together from documenting unforgettable moments in majestic places and I’m so thrilled to share these moments with you. Please feel free to click on any image to lead you to more images from that wedding.



Love the organic elegance from Evan and Suzy’s orchid garden wedding in Pacifica, California.

The view from Gorge Crest is beyond compare and guests tend to hang out and just gaze in awe!

Fresh apples in autumn make for a natural backdrop of beauty

Monica and Ian’s funky, yet elegant reception space at Eco Trust makes for a unique and unexpected wedding venue.

Erika and James had a clean and modern reception at the Blue Hour restaurant in the Pearl.

Light filled rooms of understated tables and modern chairs make me happy. I love how clean and sophisticated it is.

Allison and Jeremy’s wedding at Langdon Farms had that easy-going yet classy vibe that I love.

A picnic wedding in the woods. April and Sam share a bite under a wooden pavilion at Oxbow park.

Courtney and Pete had a friend’s gorgeous backyard in the woods for their ceremony. I love all the trees and their friendly entrance!

Outdoor ceremonies are great but it’s nice to have a bit of privacy around the guests so they can hear the vows and feel connected. Also, it protects from gawkers and any ambient noise.

Croquet! We definitely want lawn games during cocktail hour for guest to chill, sip and snack surrounded by the beauty of the trees and mountains.

I love the idea of relaxed yet fancy weddings. Simple long tables with ivory linens are gathered for a family style meal at Oxbow Park. Remember to click on each image to see more from that wedding!

Overlooking the vineyards, the dinner tables at Hawks View Cellars make for a beautiful reception location. The white chairs and linens are classic and comfortable yet stylish.

The Columbia Gorge is one of our favorite hiking and camping spots. We will be providing transportation to and from our wedding and this is the view from the bus!

Earthy and romantic, I love the branches and fruit trees adoring the ceremony and reception space at Medicine Creek Winery.

Cocktail hour at Stargazer farm in July. Erin and Dylan’s wedding was easy-going, darling and inspired by nature.

Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown Portland is a magical oasis of trees, lagoons, flowers and fish and allows for guests to explore the gardens without being too far from the party.

Becky and Scott’s wedding was simple yet fancy at Leach Botanical Garden. This place is one of my favorite spots for an intimate wedding.

Having a spot to sleep after the party is awesome if it’s AT the party! The tent area at Stargazer Farms was a hit and both families and couples alike stayed under the stars. Our after-party will take place at at campground only 5 minutes from our venue.

The sophisticated, yet charming reception space at Roche Harbor Resort is a great canvas for fun and unforgettable decor.

The alpine glow on the top of Mt. Hood is a stunning backdrop at Sarah and Will’s Timberline wedding.

The tented reception area at Abernethy center has that classic European black and white checkered floor that I love!

Dinner and dancing with this view is relaxing and unforgettable! I love Mt. Hood!

An evening stroll through the gardens at Kate and Brandon’s home wedding made for some romantic images and memories.

The Langdon Farms barn party under the stars! The warm summer nights allow guests to wander and mingle on the lawn.


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Jessica Hill PhotographyFrom a Bride’s Lens – Choosing a Wedding Venue

Margaret Drake and Harrison | St. Johns Bridge Engagement and Family Photos

by Jessica Hill Photography in June, 2014

When I met Margaret and Drake, I could tell how much love they shared with each other and with Harrison. Margaret and Drake are a fun-loving and kind couple with great creativity and big hearts. We wanted to create creative and timeless images both together, and with the raddest 14 year old ever, Harrison. St. John’s Bridge and the Eastbank Esplanade lended stunning backdrops with incredible light for their shoot and I love these photos. We had a blast and even their cute pups, Lucky and Ruby, had fun! Thank you M+D+H! SO excited to photograph their elegant and woodsy wedding in July.

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Jessica Hill PhotographyMargaret Drake and Harrison | St. Johns Bridge Engagement and Family Photos