Design-Forward Backyard Wedding on Film

November 9, 2023

Grant and Sean had an international crowd of loved ones for their backyard wedding in Oregon. Theirs was anything but your typical backyard celebration with the beautiful Siletz River as their backdrop. Their design-forward celebration focused on connection. These film wedding photos give you an immediate sense of how these two fit into a much longer story filled with love and intention.

A Backyard Wedding: Part of the Family Story

Grant and Sean wanted their backyard wedding to be easygoing. They said, “We just want everyone to enjoy themselves, celebrate and eat a good meal surrounded by nature.” Nevertheless, they very much viewed their wedding as part of their longer family stories. As soon as I spoke with them about their wedding plans, it was easy to see why. 

This backyard wedding took place at Grant’s family property on the Siletz River. Both Grant and Sean love the landscape and were excited to host their friends and family there. The river became a key character in their wedding photos. Their ceremony took place with the river as a backdrop. We also got portraits with their sweet dog Olive on the docks.

As graphic designers, they said, “art, design, life and work are definitely all wrapped up together for us!” Their event design embraced the area’s natural beauty and complimented it with earth-toned florals and simple but elegant decor. Their candy-orange cocktails brought the brightest pops of color to the calm palette. 

On the day of the wedding, we took some photos at the family cabin. Grant and Sean had been fixing it up with Grant’s parents. We made sure to take photos there since it has so much character and meaning for them. I loved the dramatic lighting in this space. It was really different from the soft natural light outdoors, and it gave their gallery great variety.

Timeless, Nostalgic Film Wedding Photos

Whether I’m photographing a backyard wedding, swanky restaurant celebration, or intimate elopement, I always ask my clients a question: How do you want to feel when you look back at your wedding photos? 

Grant and Sean had a thoughtful answer that I connected with wholeheartedly. They wanted timeless over trendy. They also wanted the images to communicate a sense of place since this land is so important to their family story. Those goals worked well with their third: warm, candid images. 

Neither Grant nor Sean wanted overly posed or staged photos. They wanted the focus to be on people enjoying themselves in the moment. That went for their portraits as well. Instead of putting them in very editorial poses, I prompted them to connect with each other and focus on being present. Their images show so much joy and tenderness as a result.

Best of all, in my opinion, Grant and Sean wanted film wedding photos. They said, “We like your work with film and would appreciate a more documentary and artful approach to the day.” Film is  such a great way to portray those moments because it’s a tangible, nostalgic medium. It shows a wedding day exactly as it is with all the warmth and joy that entails.

Thank you to the vendors who helped make this backyard wedding so amazing.

Planner: Cameron VonClevenger at Vibrant Table 

Photography and Super 8: Andreia Claro

Catering: Vibrant Table

Cake: Erin Sosnowchik 

DJ: Martha Twoshakes and the Jerk

Do you want timeless, nostalgic wedding photos on film? I’m a Portland wedding photographer, and I’m looking forward to documenting your story. Inquire with me here