Holly and Stephen planned their wedding rather quickly and didn’t miss a detail in the process. They chose a sunset wedding ceremony in Stephen’s mother’s backyard. Along with a smaller gathering of their closest friends and family, the said vows under an arbor covered in classic white roses and foliage. And even better? Holly’s mother built the arbor and decorated it!

First though, we arrived just as Holly and Stephen each finished getting ready. Holly’s sister has a few adorable children including two daughters that make sponge curlers look great.

oregon wedding photographer at backyard wedding in forest grove

forest grove wedding photos of bride getting ready for the day.

With ceremony planned for sunset, they chose to have a first look to allow for more portrait time without being rushed and spend more time later in the day with their guests. Joe and I arrived quite early in the day to scout for good locations. The property is deep into Forest Grove and surrounded by farms on all sides, so we had lots of rural driving and quite a few options even in the midday sun.

forest grove wedding

bride and groom pose in front of vintage truck at backyard weddi

Surely I’m not the only one amazed that Holly did her own makeup? Photographers tend to get very nervous when they here this is the plan of the day but Holly rocked it!

best wedding portraits at rural backyard wedding

It’s always an honor when a couple devotes a larger chunk of their wedding budget to photography – and a little bit of added pressure as well! We truly enjoy working with couples that appreciate great photography and are willing to invest not only their money but their wedding day time with us. While we were scouting, I found this alcove of trees just off the road. I had a little hunch that Stephen and Holly would feel the same way about it that I did.

forest grove wedding portraits

best autumn wedding photos in oregon

It was a warm day for Lucy so she only made a short appearance – but any bulldog in a tutu makes quite the impact no matter how short the time.

couple's bulldog in a tutu at wedding

father of the bride escorts daughter down the aisle at backyard

When you’ve a family friend that is a judge, it’s the perfect officiant! Judge Litzenberger created a short and sweet wedding ceremony. Check out the hand-made arch by Holly’s mom in the background of their backyard wedding ceremony!

detail at backyard wedding ceremony

backyard wedding ceremony with white rose covered arbor

Voila Catering did a superb job at the wedding! I may have sampled the mashed potatoes and they were soooo good.

voila catering photos at backyard wedding in forest grove

With four bottles of anniversary wine on which guests could write a message, you knew this was bound to happen at some point, right?

anniversary wine bottle wedding detail

best autumn wedding photos in oregon

oregon wedding photographer at backyard wedding in forest grove

sunset wedding photos of bride and groom at backyard wedding

I love the winter light when we get it, the soft, draping quality of it. But there’s really nothing like an autumn sunset and Holly and Stephen’s wedding day had it in spades. Most of the surrounding fields had just recently been cut for hay and grass seed – a perfect location for sunset wedding portraits.

forest grove wedding

best autumn wedding photos in oregon

sunset wedding portraits at backyard wedding in willamette valle

best autumn wedding photos in oregon

sunset wedding portraits at backyard wedding in willamette valle

Back at the house, cocktail hour was dwindling into dinner and twilight. In addition to the arbor, Holly’s mother arranged the table centerpieces though Holly hired Jill at Starflower for the bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres.

best backyard wedding photos

flower girls relaxing at backyard wedding reception

kids being kids at backyard wedding

best backyard wedding photos

One of the benefits of rural living is the space! Stephen’s mother had multiple lawn games set out and Stephen along with his buddies made use of the horseshoes after dinner.

lawn games at backyard wedding in oregon

best backyard wedding photos

We closed our wedding coverage with a couple night portraits, and Holly has a few words of advice to close the post as well: “Your wedding day goes by so fast, remember to try to take a few moments throughout the day to really take in everything that is going on around you. It will be the best day of your life and you will cherish those moments forever.”