Bethy and Dan’s Hoyt Arboretum elopement is pretty much everything you could hope for in a winter Portland wedding: a mix of beautiful lighting and a little light mist, a bride who didn’t care at all about her dress dragging through the mud, and majestic redwoods surrounding them all throughout the ceremony.

I’m going to start with one of my favorite photos of the entire day, Bethy lacing up her boots. She’s known for these boots and their (skip down later) blue laces. It’s a mere coincidence it also provided the something blue for her to wear on her wedding day. Beyond that, though, don’t the rollers just make the photo?

bride gets ready for portland elopement at hoyt arboretum

portland wedding photographer at intimate winter wedding

While she finished getting ready, I photographed the dinner setup downstairs. They rented a house on the Willamette River for the getting ready portion of the day but also for a catered dinner after their intimate wedding at the arboretum. Since it was all set to go, I documented the gorgeous winter tablescape for them as well.

hoyt arboretum wedding photographer

winter wedding tablescape ideas in portland oregon

portland wedding photojournalist at hoyt arboretum elopement

bride wears something blue at winter wedding elopement

When I first met them, Bethy and Dan were planning on having their corgis at their ceremony. Unfortunately, they didn’t handle the rehearsal too well so they stayed home for the rest of the day. Still, bow-ties on corgis? How could we not?

portland wedding photographer at intimate winter wedding

portland wedding photojournalist at hoyt arboretum elopement

groom gets ready for redwood wedding ceremony

Dan was trying very hard to be patient waiting for the ceremony to begin! Also, did I mention Christmas Eve was a bit of a chilly day to be outdoors for extended periods of time? We encountered torrential rain that morning and the muddy pathways of Hoyt Arboretum as a result, then sun throughout the getting ready portion of the day and straight on into mist for their ceremony. It’s the first time I can say I wore hiking boots to photograph a wedding!

winter wedding ideas at hoyt arboretum

buddhist wedding ceremony at hoyt arboretum

portland wedding photographer at intimate winter wedding

winter wedding ideas at hoyt arboretum

The Redwood Deck is the perfect size for a Hoyt Arboretum elopement – just enough space for a handful of chairs and still small enough to create the intimate wedding feel they hoped for on their wedding day.

christmas eve wedding on the redwood deck at hoyt arboretum

redwood deck wedding ceremony in hoyt arboretum elopement

portland wedding photographer at intimate winter wedding

A good family friend of Bethy’s helped arrange all the flowers they purchased for the wedding day. Bosko wasn’t there to actually put the wreath on Bethy’s head earlier in the day but fixed her up after the ceremony.

hoyt arboretum elopement photos on christmas eve

redwood wedding photos in hoyt arboretum

And then… into the woods for their redwood wedding portraits.

hoyt arboretum elopement photos on christmas eve

winter wedding ideas at hoyt arboretum elopement

winter wedding portraits in portland's hoyt arboretum

hoyt arboretum elopement photos on christmas eve

Bethy hoped for a bit of snow – because really, who wouldn’t want a bit of lilting, softly falling snow on a Christmas Eve wedding? No snow, but plenty of mud! Luckily she’s not the type to care! Dan had to help with her veil and dress quite a bit as it heavier and heavier throughout the day as it picked up more moisture.

winter wedding portraits in portland's hoyt arboretum

portland wedding photographer at intimate winter wedding

Bethy and Dan were absolutely delightful. When we first met they were very persuasive and nearly had me believing they would be horribly awkward in every photo. Now I can officially say they were wrong and show it right here. It was so fun photographing their Portland elopement!