From a Bride’s Lens
Choosing your wedding flowers

Oh my goodness! Our wedding is in exactly one month from today! It’s been quite the adventure, and I’m excited for September 28th, 2014!

Sometimes it feels like wedding planning is an all-consuming never ending to-do list! I had no idea how layered it was; figuring transportation, hotels, family coordination, table seating, ceremony readings, and all the other 38290684 details. However, It’s been amazing (and quite handy) to photograph all of the incredible weddings that I’ve documented throughout the years. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t and there are so many inspiring ideas from my 2014 brides that I’m seeing weddings in a whole new way! Vintage furniture lounges have been so cool, that we decided to add it to the budget!

I LOVE flowers! From the time I was a little girl, I’ve always loved gardens, trees, flowers and the woods. I have a magnolia blossom tattooed on my shoulder, inspired by the tree in front of my childhood home. Making small gift bouquets for friends is one of my pastimes and have taken classes in flower arranging. I see flowers as natures art.

Flowers and weddings go hand in hand and I always anticipate the bouquet of each bride, what color, what type of flowers, what shape… The bridal bouquet is always my favorite detail to photograph. Since we are getting married in late September, I’m going for an elegant, organic theme that hints at autumn, without being too Thanksgiving-y. A lot of these weddings have influenced me and I hope you’re inspired too! Please click on each image to see the full blog post and check out my inspiration board!

In love with the vintage tray Margaret and Drake used to display the boutineers. I think boutineers are an often overlooked wedding detail.

Organic, free form flowers in a gold compote make me swoon. LOVE!

Love the variety of blush tones and deeper earth tones. Such a pretty bundle.

Ted and Tresa had a gorgeous autumn wedding and used a lot of oranges and earth tones, along with wildflowers. It’s so earthy and inspiring!

Whenever there are berries in a bouquet I smile! The textures and colors are dreamy and happy!

The vintage doily and the deep blue lace dresses complete an elegant and timeless look with a little vintage flair.

This creamy and beautiful bouquet was made of of english garden roses and it smelled incredible! It’s classically beautiful and traditional.

Adding pinecones into winter bouquets is a great way to make it feel like winter, without being Christmas-y.

These ferns make me think of fairies and elves for some reason. Love them! Not too heavy, but so very whimsical!

A cool boutineer from my favorite mid-century modern wedding. We are adding our color (teals) into the wrapping ribbon, but in velvet.

Such great colors! Sadly, it’s not peony season in September- one of my favorites!

The dusty miller and eucalyptus leaves add a woodsy element that I like.

Adding hops into a bouquet is a fun idea for a brewery wedding! Love the textures here.

Dahlias! Yes please- so big and fun looking. I never knew dahlias could be so big until I moved to Portland! Love the oranges in there.

Vintage brooches on the stems of a bouquet makes it a little more meaningful. I’ve seen beautiful memorial lockets and small photos as well. Such a small, yet thoughtful detail.

Succulents in a bouquet are so incredible, as they can be replanted so you will always have a little part of your wedding bouquet.

Cute and rustic idea for a ring pillow- a wood section with a bow looks way better than those cheap white silk things.

Medicine bottles are the new mason jars.

Hand picked bouquet for a picnic wedding in the woods. Daisies and dahlia’s make a cute combo.

um. could this be any cuter? Hand picked bouquets in vintage vases and table names of their pets, painted by the couple! Remember to click on any of the pics in this post to see more from that wedding!

Lavender and roses for a provincial inspired wedding at Portland Art Museum. All the guests left with a sachet of dried lavender for a bath or a drawer.

Succulents as favors are a darling table addition and will last a long time, once replanted. Sadly, not so great for destination weddings.



Jessica Hill PhotographyFrom a Bride’s Lens | Choosing your wedding flowers

From A Bride’s Lens
Choosing the Bridesmaid Dresses

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
Jessica Hill PhotographyFrom A Bride’s Lens | Choosing the Bridesmaid Dresses

From a Bride’s Lens – Choosing a Wedding Dress

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.

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

From a Bride’s Lens: My own wedding experience!

– The Love Story-

It was a warm August night and I was excited to see my dear friend, Kirstie and meet up at an industry event at the Elysian Ballroom. With a black pencil skirt and a peplum top and heels, I felt happy and excited to have a night out in the middle of a busy wedding season. We had a great dinner and a blast at the Elysian Ballroom open house. Kirstie and I felt (and looked) like we were on a set of Mad Men at the stunning venue!

Kirstie was texting a friend of hers that night who was already at Ron Toms. I was just going to head home, but she convinced me to hop across the bridge to one of my favorite bars. I was thinking I would just stop by for one drink and be on my way. She was grabbing a spot in line at the bar, as I made a dash to the bathroom line, which was particularly long for a Thursday night. Waiting and realizing my heels were killing me, I hear a friendly, yet confident question lean my way; “Hi, how has your night been?”

I turned around to look in the direction of his voice, and then our eyes met and I felt an immediate sense of connection, like a bolt of lightening and a beautiful smile came across both of our faces. I was staring into the eyes of an intelligent, creative, kind and gorgeous man and the butterflies were on. We started chatting and when my turn came, I scrambled into the bathroom and screamed a little. I was glowing and beaming and I had to remind myself to breathe! I had never experienced “love at first sight” before and even questioned if it existed, but after meeting Evan in line for the bathroom of all places, I know it does.

Our wedding will be at Mt. Hood Organic Farms on Sunday, September 28, 2014 and I am still screaming a little through every step in the process of this incredible journey of being a bride. Sometimes screaming out of stress and frustration and sometimes it’s pure happiness and excitement.  I truly had no idea how layered and complex the wedding planning process was before now.

I want to share it all with you; the ups, the downs, the little details, my dress woes, DIY invites and more. I realize I have a lot of knowledge to share in the wedding world, as I’ve documented over 400 unique couples at this point. I’ve seen perfect brides have a complete meltdown, I’ve seen a missing groom, (yeah, he never showed…) I’ve seen huge families tear up with complete joy together and I’ve been a witness to a few elopements. One thing remains though; it’s just one day.

I want to welcome you to my world of wedding planning from a bride’s lens. Stay tuned, this is sure to be an interesting few months!

From the industry event, the same night I met Evan! Kirstie is one of my four bridesmaids!

My first time snowboarding and I only fell 200 times!

Guests at a family wedding.

Triple Falls hike!

Jessica Hill PhotographyFrom a Bride’s Lens: My own wedding experience!