Josh + Darla at Suttle Lake Lodge

I know I’ve been raving and gushing about this year’s weddings, but I really truly do feel blessed to be working with the brides + grooms that I am this summer. I don’t know how it happened, but I genuinely love spending time with each of these couples. They’re people who, without weddings or pictures or pretty white dresses, I’d like to hang out with on a regular basis. Josh and Darla are no exception to this group and I could not have been more excited to document their wedding at the Lodge at Suttle Lake. My favorite part about this day was just how intimate and personal it was. With most of their guests coming in from out of state, Josh and Darla made a point of celebrating not just their marriage but also the family and friends who had brought them to this point. Their ceremony was touching and their toasts were tearjerkers, but it all made for the most beautiful day of celebrating their love. I felt so truly lucky to be the one documenting their story.

An hour before the ceremony was set to begin the unpredictable Central Oregon weather showed up for an extra dramatic storm. Despite having to move things inside at the last minute, Darla was all smiles on her wedding day.

Venue :: The Lodge at Suttle Lake Coordinator :: JoAnna Howard at Suttle Lake Resort (I cannot say enough about JoAnna. She's a joy to be around and an incredible professional!) Assistant Photographer :: Josselyn Peterson Hair + Make-Up :: Lori Tompos Videographer :: Captured Memories

Jarod + Katie at the Boise Linen Building

A few weeks ago my big brother married his girlfriend of ten years...tennnn a ceremony in Boise, Idaho. I was prouder than a pig in slop to be his Best Woman for the day (a title I will wear with pride until my dying day). It's hard to put together a post about marrying off your siblings, so I'm including the toast that I gave at the wedding (the one that was included in my best-woman-ly duties). It's wordy, I know, but it sums up everything that Jarod + Katie mean to me... ...

Jarod has spent his whole life bragging about me, but as his spoiled, selfish, whiney younger sister, I will unashamedly take this opportunity to demand just three minutes to brag about him.

Here’s what I know to be true about my brother; If I am ever so fortunate enough to have a son, I hope he’ll have just one ounce of the zeal for life that my brother does. I hope he’ll carry Jarod’s unwavering spirit through life’s ups and downs and trials and hardships and I hope he’ll always come out on the other side with such deep introspection and annoying positivity that, just as Jarod does, makes people want to both kiss him and punch him at the same time. I hope he’ll possess even a hair as much of the exceeding loyalty and intense sincerity that my brother does. And while it may make for a few awkward conversations and uncomfortable situations, I hope he’ll always have the cajones to choose honesty over polish.

But more than anything I pray he carries the same passionate heart that Jarod does. To love anything, and to care so deeply for anyone, as much as my brother does is a gift that cannot be rivaled.

When I think about the people in my life that I do not deserve, Jarod ranks at the top. As a young girl, to have been loved unconditionally, protected so fiercely and cherished so deeply by her older brother, I was – and continue to be – the luckiest little sister in the universe. Because of Jarod I will never know what it’s like to live a day without being loved and adored with such generosity it seems almost unfair. There are few ways to describe this emotion other than to say that I am truly rich because I share his blood.

Katie, thank you for being the strong, independent, passionate woman that you are. Thank you for being even strong enough to love Jarod with every fiber of your being and thank you for not only listening to Jarod’s passionate monologues, but for truly adoring the well from which this fervor arises. As I grow older I’m finding just how deeply I yearn for the people I love most to find their equals in life. The one who makes their heart sing, who makes them better, and who knows them even deeper than they know themselves. You’ll never know how much joy it brings me to see you two fit so perfectly in one another’s arms. Jarod is blessed to be loved by a woman like you. And you are so lucky to be cherished by a heart like Jarod’s.

I hope your marriage is full of a million laughs, a few feisty arguments, a thousand I’m sorry’s, and a billion I Love You’s. I hope you never refuse to keep working and refining the beauty that is your relationship. I hope that as you continue to share one heart and one home, you’ll grow so innately intertwined with one another that you’ll fail to take one step, or breathe one breath, without wondering whether it’s your body or the other’s moving. I hope that when you wake up wondering who you’re married to, you’ll find peace in knowing it’s your best friend. And when shit hits the fan I hope you remember that everything is better when you take a few moments to make out.

Congrats on this exciting new season of life and love. I could not be more proud to call you my family and my friends.

I have to send a million thank-you's to Tana of Tana Photography in Boise for being my assistant for the afternoon. She captured the ceremony so beautifully so that I could be a full-time sister and I'll forever be grateful for her!

Darren + Brenna in Ashland Oregon

I can't put my finger on what about this wedding made my heart so full. Granted, the setting was stunning, the food delicious, the people absolutely gorgeous and the bride and groom just as beautiful on the inside as they were on the out. Their families were fun, loud, big hearted people (just the way we like them) and their vows made even yours truly cry. But Colton and I left Darren and Brenna's wedding feeling like we had just photographed something truly special and genuine and real...and so much fun. This was the type of wedding where, had we not been documenting the day, I'd have wanted to be a guest at the party. Along with their amazing families and fantastic friends, these two made the perfect combination of a day. It was a wedding that was equal parts heartfelt and touching and intimate, while still being a total and complete riot on the dance floor. ...the sweetest blend of everything a wedding should be without anything it shouldn't.

Darren and Brenna began the day at the Ashland Mountain House and it couldn't have been a more beautiful backdrop for photos. Tucked in the trees, this 161 year old home used to serve as a stagecoach stop for those heading west on the Oregon Trail. Today it's one of Oregon's premier bed + breakfast's and provides a stunning location for wedding pictures.

This guy, the deer, killed it on the dance floor (see additional pictures below).

Darren is a brewer for San Francisco's 21st Amendment and created a special brew for the wedding (of which Brenna had the honor of tapping the keg). Darren and Brenna's one-of-a-kind ale is even being served at the brewery this summer! If you're in the area, you must give it a try (and while you're at it, you definitely have to try this one too).

It's not a party until somebody brings an avocado piñata full of lottery tickets and miniature bottles of liquor.