Columbia River Gorge Wedding
This Columbia River Gorge wedding started when Sumitra reached out to us hoping to find photographers that could help them craft a day that celebrated their community but also built a timeline that gave them plenty of freedom. We love helping our couples plan their perfect day and celebrate in a way that is meaningful to them. They were so sweet and fun, and we could tell from our first call that we would become fast friends and couldn’t wait for their Columbia River Gorge wedding.
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We met Sumitra the morning of their Columbia River Gorge wedding at the private residence where they planned on having a small golden hour ceremony with their closest friends and family. We were sure to photograph the beautiful henna she had done the day before and spent some time getting to know their wedding party. Hanging out with the groomsmen, they saw the trampoline in the backyard and wanted some pictures of them bouncing around. After getting ready, we rode together up to Vista House, a location that Sumitra had envisioned their first look taking place. Sumitra had mentioned Vista House on our first call together and we knew that this spot would be perfect for them. It was only a short 10-minute drive from their Columbia River Gorge wedding location, and as Sumitra rode with us we chatted about their wedding day and the trip she and Zane had planned for the coast for their honeymoon.
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Columbia River Gorge Wedding | First Look at Vista House
We arrived at Vista House during high noon and even in the harsh afternoon light, Vista House has killer views of the entire Columbia River Gorge. Depending on the time of day, you can use the ever-changing shadows the building casts for even lighting. Situated over 700 feet above the Columbia River Gorge, it allows for some pretty incredible sights, especially at sunrise and sunset. Because of its dome shape, it was easy to hide Sumitra from Zane on the side of the building furthest away from the parking lot. Even Though their wedding was on a Saturday, we still had most of Vista House to ourselves, which is pretty unheard of. We were definitely lucky as this is a super popular area on the Columbia River Gorge.
Zane arrived and after setting up for their first look, these two shared the sweetest moment together. We spent a little time with their wedding party laughing and exploring Vista House together before heading back for their ceremony.
Having a first look before their ceremony allowed them to all hang out and celebrate together before their Columbia River Gorge ceremony, giving Sumitra and Zane an opportunity to relax and take in the day with their pals.
Columbia River Gorge Wedding | Backyard Ceremony
For their Columbia River Gorge wedding ceremony, the backyard was perfectly gorgeous. Their friends and family came together to craft a beautifully and intentionally decorated space for them to exchange their vows. Their Portland florist also created an incredible floral backdrop for their ceremony. Having their small ceremony here allowed them to have complete privacy and not have to worry about the logistics of using public spaces.
Their family friend officiated their Columbia River Gorge wedding ceremony and everyone that was there to witness was moved to tears, followed by huge smiles. They were surrounded by their family and friends as they exchanged the sweetest vows and sand ceremony.
As the sun began to set, they spent time laughing with their friends and family and shared a sweet first dance under twinkle lights in the softest blue-hour light. They shared incredible food together and the best homemade chai tea we have ever had in our lives. We’ll definitely be talking about it for years to come.
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Waterfall Day-After Couples Session
Sumitra and Zane wanted their Columbia River Gorge wedding day to be focused on their community, but also wanted private wedding portraits that allowed for an experience. We met up at one of our favorite waterfalls for a “day-after” session that gave them the freedom to have the perfect experience. We met them in the parking lot of Latourell Falls and took a short walk down to the base where they were able to exchange the sweetest words. We knew we also wanted to revisit Vista House, where they had shared their first look, in order to glimpse the sunset views.
We followed each other up the winding 5-minute drive and met in the parking lot. We spent about half an hour drinking in the views and following the sun as it started to dip below the Columbia River, snapping photos until we lost every bit of sunlight. We stayed well past sunset laughing and chatting until sleepily walking back to our cars with the biggest smiles on our faces.
Want more elopement inspiration? Check out this Cape Kiwanda Elopement.