About a week ago, Kaela sent a text to a few of us showing the forecast for Portland. It indicated it was supposed to be sunny, and she asked us to pray that it would indeed turn out that way on her wedding day. How delighted I was to wake up Saturday morning and see the fog clearing into sunshine. Crisp but clear...without even the sharp sunlight glare...making for great outdoor photography. And, I think it should be noted, today, as I type this (Sunday), it was nothing but gloomy rain with that in the forecast for the next 10 days... You were blessed Drew and Kaela!
Downtown Portland - their wedding venue was only about a block from where we spent our first married night, the Hotel Vintage Plaza.
This picture was put up today on Facebook, by Bethany Small, their photographer. I'm sure the weather was chilly, but talk about stunning outdoor shots!
The venue for Drew and Kaela's 2:30 wedding and reception was Portland State University's Smith Ballroom. They had a HUGE guest list (400+!), so it had to accommodate a large group.
As Kaela had asked us to use our camera to photograph the folks in attendance (so she'd be able to have visual memory of the crowd, vs. just pics of her and Drew). So, of course, I picked the folks I knew the best to begin asking to pose and smile.
The most recent of our Thursday Night Ladies to get married....Elaina and her husband, Brad. It's crazy to realize that they are almost at their first year anniversary.
More of our TNL, Amanda and Leah.
And, this beaming couple - on a rare occasion (date night) without Whitley.
Heather introduced us to one of her best friends, Casey, and her boyfriend and mutual friend of Heather's Matt.
While Kaela and Drew didn't plan to offer "a full meal" for the wedding, the food was plentiful. They had assorted sandwich rolls, a "Chips Bar", scones and jam/cream/honey, petite fours, and shortbread sticks. It was all delicious. After they cut their cake, three different kinds of cupcakes were offered to the guests.
Mikayla was such a faithful photographer pal. John had planned to do most of it, however, we quickly discovered he was rather inefficient as he got involved in friendly, lengthy conversation with every person he went to photograph. ;)
It's been so great having Heather in town... she just blends right in with all of us. After the ceremony, Brian and Kelli Ross, the Whites, and Heather all went to dinner together.
It was so difficult to not just point the camera in Elsie's direction 24-7. She is so ADORABLE! After Christi did her part as a bridesmaid, their family joined the Whites and us at our table.
These two little flower girls stole the show...so adorable!
But, then, Kaela walked in and everyone forgot completely about those adorable little girls. Kaela was BREATHTAKING. I immediately teared up...
John and I didn't want to compete with the "Professional Photographer" Drew and Kaela had for the ceremony, so we didn't take a lot of pics of the ceremony. But, it was beautiful. It was officiated by John Jaskilka.
After it was over, we caught a fun one of Christi walking back down the aisle.
Following the ceremony, Drew and Kaela disappeared for about 20 minutes to take a breath and rejoice with their wedding party. Later, these pictures were posted by them to Instagram, so they also took some selfies... =)
Finally, they re-emerged and the party officially began!
Elsie was excited to have her mommy back!
And, then, the first dance for them, and then with their parents.
"These shoes were made for dancing, right?"
In fact, Elsie was so ready to dance, she couldn't wait until Drew and Kaela's solo dance was over.
Elsie had a good time meeting the littlest flower girl.
It felt like forever before we finally got a chance to greet the bride and groom. And, while it was short and sweet, it was filled with lots of love and big hugs...
They had a photo booth set up and it was enjoyable watching folks get into it.
They also took some time snapping shots of all the guests in attendance who had lived with Kaela at the Trinity House (or lived in it period) - and then a shot of all of the guys who had lived at the AO House with Drew. Definitely a fun CCF love story!
We slipped in to be next in line with the photographer to get a shot of those of us, "Thursday Night Ladies" in attendance celebrating with Kaela on this special day.
We passed our camera off to Ali Mertz, knowing she'd be staying until the end as Jacob (her finacee) was a groomsman for Drew to catch the parting shots pictures. We also encouraged any pics of the dance party that was going full force when we left.
So, these shots were stolen from others on Instagram as we didn't stick around until the end.
The VERY HAPPY COUPLE - headed off to a mystery location for their first night and then on a plane to Maui for their honeymoon.
It is such a gift to attend a wedding when you feel so very confident about the bride and groom - and how they'll "make it work". He pursued and waited, and proved himself mightily to be up to the challenge of being all that Kaela needed for a husband - while Kaela sought the Lord and insight from every one she could turn to for the right direction to take every step of the way. They faced some pretty heavy obstacles that don't need to be chronicled here, but I believe it was the sort of stuff that just drew them closer together in joint dependence upon the Lord. I suspect, with all of the anxiety Kaela felt about the actual wedding day and having it all "turn out perfect" (while being the center of attention - which she loathes!), I think the actual "marriage" aspect might turn out to be pretty smooth for these two. We've all joked that they've treated each other just like they've been married the whole time they were dating - so I think it will just be a wonderful adventure for them to finally be able to live together, and actually live life by each other's side - with the other one now becoming their sole focus and partner in decision making (vs. the awkward stage when you are still living at home and trying to honor parents, etc...). I'm thrilled for Mr. and Mrs. Gilges!