When Emily and Joe first contacted us about photographing their wedding, they dropped a few key words that piqued my interest. Karaoke. Taco cart. Beer Pong. You see a lot of people tell us they’re planning an untraditional wedding but what they end up doing is fairly traditional – not so much for Emily and Joe. They planned a wedding with the perfect amount of nods to family history and traditions without having a typical wedding at all. With a Peninsula Park wedding ceremony and a Union Pine wedding reception, they hired a karaoke party us to transport both them and guests around town. They did hire that taco cart as a reception snack towards the end of the night and they started off the reception with brick-oven backed pizza appetizers and Mediterranean family style food on the tables. Emily had her bridesmaids in dresses that suited them, Joe and the guys in casual clothing that still had a dapper air to it. And most of all, it was FUN. It was laugh-so-hard-you-pee fun.

To start the event off on the right foot, they made their own save the dates. Emily’s family hails from NJ and had to plan their travel into town, so save the dates were key! Did I mention they like to have a good time? You might pick up a clue here or there if you opened up their save the dates.

DIY save the dates with stamps and craft paper

peninsula park wedding ceremony, union pine reception

Portland wedding photographer Turn Loose the Art at Union Pine w

They found a wonderful rental through AirBnB for Emily and the girls to use the morning of the wedding. With polished wood and concrete walls, I would have happily shot the entire day there! It fit Emily perfectly and was located just up the hill from their first look location. And what a first look it was! Up in Northwest Portland, Emily walked down several flights of stairs with their bridal party looking on – just in time to see her bop Joe on the head.

bride and groom's first look in Northwest Portland

bride and groom's first look in Northwest Portland

Gorgeous wildflower bouquets and ivy-covered walls lent a lovely garden setting. Nevermind we were actually at the end of a grubby cul-de-sac with trash strewn about. We always say we’ll take photos anywhere so long as the lighting is right – and we aren’t kidding!

unique bridal party photos at Portland's Peninsula Park

bride and groom's first look in Northwest Portland

Portland wedding portraits with Mt. Hood

Joe’s the Portland native and chose a Peninsula Park wedding ceremony – and since I hadn’t been there before, I didn’t even realize how perfect it was till we arrived! Tree cover in globes and with guests gathering around on three sides, it was an unconventional but very photogenic setting.

groom waits for bride at portland wedding by turnloosetheart.com

wedding ceremony at Peninsula Park

Peninsula Park wedding ceremony by turnloosetheart.com in Portland

I found myself leaning into the expressions of the ceremony. Emily tried to kiss Joe mid-vows and remembered at the last moment she was supposed to wait for the kiss, resulting in a little “awwww, man” gesture that had the entire crowd laughing.

best oregon wedding photography at peninsula park wedding ceremony

Peninsula Park wedding ceremony by turnloosetheart.com in Portland

portland wedding ceremony at peninsula park

Peninsula Park wedding ceremony by turnloosetheart.com in Portland, Oregon

And then, the fountain. Something I didn’t know about Emily until her wedding day? Never, ever dare her. She’ll do it. Especially if she finds out that in more than 10 years of photographing weddings, I’ve never seen this happen before.

bride and groom run across the Peninsula Park fountain after wedding

wedding ceremony at Peninsula Park

unique bridal party photos at Portland's Peninsula Park

Then, onward to their Union Pine wedding reception! The karaoke party bus might have started out in the 70’s by the looks of it – all the more charming.

bridal party does karaoke on the bus en route to Union Pine wedding reception

union pine wedding reception photos by Turn Loose the Art

taco cart at union pine wedding reception

union pine wedding reception photos by Turn Loose the Art

DIY photo booth at Union Pine wedding reception in Portland

beer pong wedding games at Union Pine

To Emily and Joe: I know you had a great time on your wedding day, but I hope you know how much fun we had as well! It was a blast. Oh, and the tacos were just as delicious as you promised.