Central Oregon holds a special spot in our hearts, as it’s the place where we met (in photography class no less) and where we began our journey into photographing weddings. Every time Daniel and I have the opportunity to photograph a wedding in Bend or the surrounding areas, we feel so lucky to be back where we started. This time, Jeff and Leah brought us back home for their House on Metolius wedding. Jeff and Leah booked us via Skype since they live in Salt Lake City. But a few months before the wedding, we got together in person at a coffee shop in Bend. Luck would have it that on the same weekend, we both just happen to be visiting our families whom live there and of course, it was the perfect time to talk up close and personal about their wedding. Sometimes there are jitters meeting a couple for the first time but Jeff and Leah immediately felt like old friends. Over cups of coffee and Nancy P Bakery’s famous baked goods, we got way off topic on life topics, like living in Salt Lake vs. living in Portland, and our favorite places to eat and drink in our cities. When it came time to talk about wedding details, it was clear that we already had been booked by the perfect couple for us. Low key, easy going, and simply wanting to host a beautiful party for their family, Jeff and Leah are pretty much the perfect clients.
Their wedding day at House on Metolius arrived a couple months later and just like at the coffee shop, Leah welcomed us with a huge hug. Instead of offering coffee, she offered champagne and leftover pizza from the rehearsal dinner. Seriously, this is a match made in heaven! And I’m not talk about Leah and Jeff, who are also the perfect match! Their wedding day followed suit in a lovely, low key way. Britt & Bixby had planned the day so well for Jeff and Leah that we were well taken care of when it came to logistics. Ashley of Actually Ashley Events was our lead coordinator for the day and she was so much fun to buzz around the property with. If you’ve never been to House on Metolius, it is simply the most rustic yet elegant wedding retreat in the middle of Camp Sherman outside of Sisters, Oregon. There is no cell service. Cows graze on a large pasture next to a bustling river. (You guessed it, The Metolius!) You immediately feel relaxed here. Even on a wedding day where so much is happening at once.
The ceremony was held on the lawn with Mt. Jefferson looking on, Jeff and Leah perfectly framed between two tall trees. They had skipped the first look and saw each other for the first time as Leah walked down the aisle with her dad. While we always support first looks for efficiency purposes, it was pretty darn magical to witness and capture them seeing each other for the first time in that moment. The two exchanged tearful vows and a friend sang a song with guitar accompaniment that held us all captive. After sealing it with a kiss, the party moved from the lawn to the reception area near the main house where guests made their way through a delicious dinner from Bleu Bite catering (also, the nicest people who fed us so well! Thank you!), lawn games, a candlelit whiskey/cigar bar and dancing from Central Oregon’s best DJ, Flip Flop Sounds.
Before the dance floor got really down though, we took Jeff and Leah out for one more portrait session as the sun set over Mt. Jefferson. Our newlyweds quickly let the party and the cameras melt away, dancing together in the fields, acting a little silly (giddy?) and embracing each other in the perfect evening glow. This wedding just made us feel good, to photograph and to be present for. Thank you Jeff and Leah for giving us the honor of being your photographers. We can’t wait to visit Salt Lake!