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Laura & Bryan's Rainbow Wedding

Laura and Bryan were married at the Oaks Pioneer Church in Sellwood, Portland. Although the outside of the little white church makes it seem plain and simple, the inside is ornate and lavish.

My photography coverage started at the SMILE Center, a small reception and meeting hall in Sellwood, about a 10 minute walk from the Oaks Pioneer Church. I met with Laura and her friends to set up lighting and take some photos of the reception hall decorations. When I arrived, I noticed a colorful dress hanging in the entry way, and couldn't believe it was Laura's wedding dress! She had purchased it on Etsy and couldn't believe it was so well-crafted and bright. The theme for the decor was alpacas, and they were artfully (and stealthily) arranged on all of the tables, piano, and other furniture.

Laura got ready to the "Getting Ready Song"... if you haven't heard it, it will break the ice; it's pretty entertaining.

Laura's dress was had a corseted A-line with colorful flowers and tulle for the skirt.

Laura had encouraged her entourage to wear bright colors to add even more color to her wedding celebration.

The amount of detail on this dress was astounding.

The Sexy Getting Ready Song was a hit!

We took a few shots outside SMILE Station because it hadn't started raining quite yet, as I loved the warm lights and brick pathway.

Once Laura was ready, I headed to the church to catch Bryan and get him ready for their first look. Bryan's favorite color is pink, so he painted his nails accordingly. His socks and shirt really nailed the rainbow theme.

Bryan (groom) shows off his pink painted nails.

Laura and Bryan had their first look behind the church, as almost all of their guests had already arrived and were standing in front of the church, and the couple didn't want an audience for their private and intimate first look.

The couple also took some formal photos with their friends and family, taking a few fun and goofy ones. Their wedding party was in rainbow attire to add to the rainbow theme!

After the first look, the Rabbi gathered everyone at the entrance to the church and asked all of the ladies to head inside the church, and all the gentlemen to walk to the backyard of the church to have separate blessings ceremonies in preparation for the wedding ceremony.

Although the prep ceremonies were separate, they were simply to bestow blessings and love onto each nearlywed. Both Laura and Bryan were surrounded by family and friends offering her advice, favorite memories, and blessings for their union.

Once the men's ceremony was done (it went a little longer than the women's ceremony), everyone walked from behind the church, singing a Jewish hymn to start the processional. After the processional, Bryan and Laura took turns circling one another to symbolize the creation of a new family circle and forming a "wall" of protection around their new family unit.

Their ceremony was heartfelt, with family members from both sides coming to speak or read blessings under the chuppah. To do the ring exchange and final pronouncement, the Rabbi asked for everyone (literally *everyone* to form a tight circle around Laura and Bryan. We all smushed forward in a ring of love, me included, for the final portion of their ceremony.

I absolutely LOVED being so close during the final portion of the ceremony, but ended up having to clear a path to encourage the recessional out the doors of the church. The couple finally cleared the circle of friends and loved ones and just ran out of the church in celebration.

The couple finally cleared the circle of friends and loved ones and just ran out of the church in celebration.

The 3 of us kept moving after the ceremony and walked through the streets of Sellwood towards the SMILE Station. We took photos in a few spots, including on 17th and crossing Tacoma Ave.

We even stopped and took photos at the cutest furniture shop: American at Heart Ltd. on the corner of 13th and SE Tenino St. They had the cutest rocking chairs!

It started drizzling, so we headed into the reception, where the newlyweds were welcomed by all of the decorative alpacas and so many merry guests! Bryan and his mother had worked together to produce a song from lyrics Bryan had written for Laura. Bryan's mom and stepdad played and sang Bryan's song, which was so heartfelt that Laura and other listeners cried. It was a perfect ending to the formal celebration and truly highlighted how much love Laura and Bryan have for one another.


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