Anna and Justin | Portland Wedding Photography

Anna is a singer and she works with the developmentally disabled. Justin works in the medical technology field. On the surface they seem like two very different people, but when they are together it’s easy to see why their relationship works. The two  have a perfect, quiet understanding of each other; something about them is just always in sync. It’s subtle but beautiful – even when they’re not obviously interacting with one another, you can feel it when they are in the same room together. I think this is one of the truest forms of love you can find – the unspoken kind that fills the room when you aren’t looking. It’s the respect, gratitude and understanding that you have for your partner that speaks for itself.

I actually met Anna and Justin about a year ago when I shot their engagement photos on a scorching hot summer day, so it was wonderful to continue getting to know them when I shot their wedding this past spring!

The two were married on May 29, 2011 at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Portland, with a reception at The Kennedy School (a fabulous McMenamins property in the Portland Metro Area that I highly recommend!). If you’re not familiar, the Kennedy School is actually an old elementary school that the McMenamins brothers renovated into a gorgeous venue with hotel rooms, multiple bars and restaurants, gorgeous gardens and of course, a “gym” to celebrate in! We started the day at around 10am in the McDonald room- a converted classeroom with the words to “Old MacDonald” written around the top of the yellow walls. It was adorable and the soft lighting from the old windows provided the perfect set for Anna to prepare for her big day.

Anna got her beautiful dress from Marcella’s Bridal in Spokane WA. (PS – you can click the photos to see them bigger if you want!)

Anna’s shoes were by Coloriffic, and her stunning flowers were done by Leela at Bright DesignLab. And yes, that is actually a type of lettuce in the bouquet! It was a really fun, modern twist to the traditional bouquet.

Anna carefully wrapped two lockets around her bouquet, keeping images of her deceased father and her severely developmentally disabled sister (who was unable to attend the wedding) with her at all times throughout her day.

She made sure to help little Mia get ready too! She was one of the best-behaved flower girls I’ve ever met! Smiles all day long.

Anna and her mom have a beautifully close relationship after all that their family has been through; she wore her mother’s engagement diamond as her necklace for the day.

As soon as the girls were done getting ready, we headed out to the beautiful gardens to do their first look under a large Sequoia. Justin read over his vows while he was waiting.

After taking a few portraits, we took a few group pictures out in front of the property, as well as in the boiler room – my favorite!

From there it was time to head to the church! In elegance, of course. The limo drive didn’t stop the guys from spending the entire trip talking about football through, haha. Boys will be boys.

The church had beautiful natural light so once we arrived we took the rest of the group photos in front of the alter there.

And then it was time for the Catholic ceremony to begin!

I liked how Justin’s parents walked him down the aisle, arms locked together.

Anna’s mom looked so proud!

As I said, the church had incredible light!

The full ceremony lasted about 85 minutes.

Blessing the rings!

Anna and Justin signed their marriage license as part of the ceremony – I really like it when couples do this! It allows everyone to share in this moment.

They were blessed by all their family and friends.

And at last, it was time to kiss the bride!

Once back in the limo, it was time to celebrate!

Lots of kisses and laughter amongst friends!

The reception was held in the gym at the Kennedy School. It was elegantly decorated with green and purple, but still retained the playful atmosphere reminiscent of an old gymnasium!

The cake was stunning!

I loved the classic look of Anna and Justin’s rings as well.

All the catering was done by McMenamins – so tempting!

As always, the babies at the reception got a lot of love!

And some older guests decided that being a baby seemed like a good idea… haha!

We took a few more quick portraits outside before dinner was served – I love how relaxed they look in these ones!

After dinner their friends and family gave some heartfelt speeches that made everyone laugh, and a few people cry.

And then it was time for their first dance!

Which quickly morphed into dancing with their parents, in-laws, and everyone else!


After some dancing fun, Anna took the microphone and sang a special song for her mother – such a sweet gesture.

Finally, it was time for cake!

And before I left for the night, we headed into the hall to take some parting shots!

Congratulations Anna and Justin! I had a great time getting know you both. I hope you are enjoying your new life together!

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