St. Johns Wedding at The Colony - Portland Wedding Photographer


A St. Johns Wedding at The Colony in Portland, Oregon set the scene perfectly for Katie & Roy’s magical day. Interestingly enough their original venue had a clerical error and ended up double-booking them. This resulted in their original venue cancelling on them a month before the wedding while Katie and Roy were living and working on the opposite side of the country. But Katie and Roy are just the kind of couple that know how to roll with it and remember what truly matters most to them. The couple said - “Whenever we thought something wasn't going to come together (or a caterer stopped responding or a venue cancelled...), we kept reminding ourselves that, at the end of the day, we're getting our favorite people all together in the same place at the same time.  The worst case scenario is we order a ton of pizza just hang out with our best friends and family -- that's a pretty awesome worst case.”

The Details


Through the help of their family and a whole lot of luck, Katie and Roy were able to book The Colony a month out and boy, did this venue deliver! Upon entering The Colony, you feel yourself drawn to the industrial light fixture in the foyer, and are then meandered through cozy rooms and vignettes for lounging. Upstairs are two apartment-type suites that the couple and their wedding parties were busy getting ready in. While downstairs, a relative had built a custom wooden shelf to serve as the arbor that each of the wedding party members would set a lantern or a flower hoop on when walking up the aisle at the start of Katie & Roy’s wedding ceremony. This took place in the grand ballroom which had tall ceilings and golden chandeliers that elevated the grandiose feeling of this moody and romantic wedding. The space was easily transformed from dreamy ceremony spot to magical dinner reception - that I found myself comparing to the Hogwarts dinner banquet hall (Harry Potter fans put this venue on your list)! Sizzling-hot paella from Crown Paella was served up in the BIGGEST pans I have ever seen in my entire life. It was definitely a meal to impress all the senses!  Stunning florals assembled by Small Yard Flowers brought the magic into the ballroom and lined the ceremony aisles and reception tables with romantic and moody blooms fitting with the vibe of Katie & Roy’s Portland Wedding perfectly!   

George the Magical Suit Guy

With the bride & groom looking both fine & divine, Roy nods to who they call the “magical suit guy”. “I got my suit from Sak's Fifth in Chicago. It was my first time getting a higher-end suit, and the guy who sold me the suit was named George. He sized me up by looking me up and down while wearing a puffy jacket, and got me a suit that fit perfectly without ever pulling out the measuring tape.” Katie adds, “He also was able to guess Roy’s job (which is rather obscure) and shoe size (even when Roy told him the wrong size)!” 


Their Proposal Story & Why They Made Their Own Wedding Rings

“When Roy proposed, he sent me on a scavenger hunt around our apartment (hiding things in special mugs, the washing machine, suitcases, board games...). The final note was about how we've built a home and accumulated so much together (I think he used the term slug sludge), and asking me to marry him. He then gave me a paper ring that he made (it was even adjustable) and a promise that we would make our own rings. When I told people we were going to make them, everyone responded with something along the lines of “That's so Katie.

Roy wanted a perfect circle that had a good weight to it, which he felt symbolized marriage well. I wanted a twist instead of a gem -- this mobius strip had a nice never-ending feel to it.  It was also two toned, so it has two pieces of white gold (different mixtures) joined with a rose gold seam. It was a really amazing experience too. Allison from Ringed PDX was really great and fun to work with. I think one of the best parts is that the rings aren't just a gift or symbol and they don't just carry the happy memories of the wedding or the proposal, but remind us of the super fun experience of making something together.”


Piñata King

As the reception ramped up, guests were able to listen to heartfelt toasts, watch a father-daughter dance, listen to the karaoke mother-son duo (Roy and his mother), get their wild dance moves on while DJ Casey was mixing tracks, and take a swing at the candy-filled piñatas! I may be a little biased, but I think Roy scored the winning swing - let me know if you agree in the comments! 

All in all, it was a wonderful St. Johns Wedding at The Colony - congratulations Katie & Roy!


Main photographer: Marissa Solini Photography (aka Me!)

Second photographer: Micky Bones Photography

Venue: The Colony

Dress: Almond Tree Wedding Boutique (Phoenix, AZ)

Hair: Blow and Go PDX

Suit: Sak’s Fifth Avenue (Chicago) 

Florist : Small Yard Flowers

DJ: Casey with Stumptown DJs

Rings: Handmade w/ Allison at Ringed PDX

Caterer: Crown Paella

Cake: Papa Haydn

Kind Words from the Couple

Marissa did the photography work for our wedding, and was wonderful. She put a lot of care into the composition and proofing of our photos.

For the shooting itself, she has a relaxed attitude which generally pulls natural postures. Her Instagram is relatively representative of the sorts of “poses” you can expect; she’ll tell people roughly what to do, but she won’t pose every last limb, opting for more of a natural feel to everyone’s stance.

As for the final proofs, she brought out amazing colors in all the photographs. Our venue had inconsistent lighting, which made me worry about how the photographs would turn out, but Marissa did a great job. For our wedding album, she chose a beautiful color palette and tone, and kept it consistent throughout the entire set: not only was each photograph beautiful individually, it cohered really well as an album.

Some of the angles she found for both the posed and candid shots were inspired. Our guests couldn’t stop gushing about how great the work was. One of my friends who does photography work looked at her photos and said: “Wow. I’m becoming a better photographer just by looking at these pictures.”

All and all, we’re really happy with Marissa and would recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer or general photographer in an area she’s willing to travel to.
— Katie & Roy

Oregon Forest Elopement - LGBT Wedding Photographer

The Tale of Two Loverjacks

Drift Creek Falls Styled Elopement

Romance. Rainfall. Ruggedly handsome men. Mix that all together for an epic Oregon Forest Elopement in the woods with two Loverjacks! The word “Loverjacks” is a word that real-life couple, Eduardo & Jeremy, penned after going to an Earth Ball party in 2017 at a Corvallis brewery, dressed up as lumberjacks.

When I think of how to explain Loverjacks, I think of Ed and I trimming our beards together, or our home construction projects, or cutting down our Christmas tree. We love doing all that PNW guy stuff with a romantic twist.
— Jeremy
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Couple

Once I heard the meaning behind “Loverjacks”, I knew it had to be the theme of the shoot. I connected with an ace team of vendors who each did their part to contribute to the overarching theme in support of this Oregon Forest Elopement for this same-sex couple. Drift Creek Falls Trail in Otis, Oregon provided the perfect backdrop - towering Douglas Firs amongst a mossy wonderland, a wooden suspension bridge that bounced under each step and made you feel a little braver after crossing it successfully, and an awe-inspiring waterfall - powerful and majestic all at once.

Poppies and Paisley Floral created two matching boutonnieres of her own interpretation of the theme - beautifully intertwining seeded calyptus, snow berries, dried magnolia buds, and pittosporum elements.

Oregon Waterfall Elopement Invitation Flatlay
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Couple
Oregon Forest Elopement Boutonniere

Suits were borrowed from Oregon State University’s Theatre department and allowed us the freedom to mix and match jackets, shirts, and pants. The eclectic lumberjack-inspired look pulled together plaid patterns, dark blues, warm grays, and shades of brown that matched the suede elbow patch details on Eduardo’s jacket to the brown tweed fabric in Jeremy’s vintage jacket.

Paperjam Press customized one of their wedding stationery sets with the names of “Eduardo & Jeremy” including a special request to create blank vow cards with their initials. At the beginning of the shoot, I surprised the couple by handing them the blank vow cards with a pencil and asked them each to write a heartfelt letter about how much their partner means to them. When we got down to the waterfall, I had them read their letters aloud to each other.

Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Vow Cards and Rings
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Couple Holding Vows
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Reading Vows

Just A Dash prepared a box of homemade fruit hand pies that the couple could not stop raving about. Since we had to hike 2 miles to our destination, we needed a dessert that the couple could celebrate with, but also something to survive the trek in. Instead of the traditional act of feeding your partner a bite of cake at the wedding - we decided to take a Loverjack twist and have Eduardo & Jeremy feed each other a hand pie, while standing in the center of a hollowed out tree trunk, in the pouring rain.

Okay, so the pouring rain wasn’t entirely planned, but in Oregon you start to learn how to work with the rain and welcome it as a friend on any adventure. Extra dry socks are a must though!

I hope seeing Eduardo & Jeremy’s Oregon Forest Elopement inspires you to make your special day your own and not be afraid to incorporate your personality, and adventurous spirit!

Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Couple in a Tree
Oregon Forest Elopement Hand Pies
Oregon Forest Elopement Hand Pies and Stationery
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Couple in a Tree
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Kiss
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Kiss
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Kiss
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Kiss
Oregon Forest Elopement
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Rings
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Kiss
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Wedding Bands
Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Waterfall Kiss

P.S. This Oregon Forest Elopement Same Sex Styled shoot was recently featured in the Fall 2018 issue of Wedventure Mag! The magazine itself is high-quality, beautifully printed, and filled to the brim with inspiration for adventurous elopements and weddings in the Pacific Northwest! Here’s me smiling big with my feature! If you want to get a copy of the magazine yourself, you can order a copy on their website or find copies in Oregon locations of Market of Choice, Safeway, Walmart, Powell’s Books and Fred Meyer.

Marissa Solini Holding Wedventure Mag
Wedventure Mag Oregon Forest Elopement
Wedventure Mag Oregon Forest Elopement
Wedventure Mag Oregon Forest Elopement