Stunning Church Wedding in the Columbia River Gorge

Amari + Matt said their vows in a Catholic ceremony at a beautiful little church in the Columbia River Gorge. She spent the morning with her family and bridesmaids getting ready for the day and once her dress was donned and her flower crown pinned, she had first looks with her niece, the flower girl, who may get the title for most adorable first look; her bridesmaids, who gasped, cried, and laughed; and her father, whose reaction was very dad-like in it's goofy heartwarming-ness.

Church weddings can be challenging to photograph—there are sometimes restrictions on where the photographer can and cannot stand and the spaces often have little light to work. But it's always worth it because of how meaningful it is for couples to feel their church community around them on their wedding day. And when it's followed up by a reception at a gorgeous mountain orchard, you can't go wrong.

I love this venue, the orchards and flowers are so beautiful, and Love Notes Coordination and Wildwood Farm did an amazing job decking the place out with amazing decor and flowers. Since Amari + Matt had a Catholic ceremony and took traditional vows, they made the choice to also read short vows to one another at the start of their reception. It was a beautiful tribute and the perfect way to kick off an amazing night at The Orchard.

As the reception began, so did the rain outside. I love rain but I was hoping to take some quick photos of Amari + Matt in the orchard during dinner and was just starting to curse the weather when Amari asked if we could go for it anyway. She had no qualms about going out in the rain if it meant getting some great photos—a girl after my own heart. Of course I said Yes!! and I'm so glad we did because those moments with Amari + Matt out in the rain were some of my favorites from their day.

Hands down the most surprising, hilarious moment award goes to Amari's siblings, who forwent a toast in favor of a musical number, for which they enlisted the help of a few others, including her parents! The routine was complete with shots, sparkly outfits, and lots of jazz hands!

As the sun began to set it cast the most beautiful light on the garden and I just had to steal Amari + Matt away for a couple more photos. Once we returned, the party got started. Matt and all his guys cut up the floor, and even got the parents to join in! It all ended with a beautiful sparkler exit for The Palms.

Congratulations Amari + Matt!

Vendors: The Orchard at Hood River, Love Notes Coordination, Nate Smith Photography, Wildwood Farm, a&bé, Gorge Wedding Music, Celilo Catering, Wildwood Cakes, Smirk Photobooth Co, Columbia Wine Tours

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