Where do you begin in sharing about two great friends that get married?
Dayn and I have been friends for a number of years, sharing videography, photography, dorky humor, newgrass music appreciation, travel, and other pursuits in common. (You can see some of his videos–including a very clever love song for his girlfriend…–and my comments about him, in this post. And you should check out his website for even more video cleverness.) He’s a great guy, and also an exceptional musician.
When Mandi came into his life a couple years ago, we immediately liked her, and were quite happy to watch their relationship develop. We even almost got to help with their engagement proposal, except that we were out of town. But we were excited to see them get engaged, and planning for a life together.
What I didn’t realize was that Mandi and her family are party-planning geniuses. I kid you not, I’ve been to and photographed hundreds of weddings, but I have never seen one so beautifully designed and detailed as theirs. With the help of Mandi and Dayn’s families and friends, they turned Camp Wilkerson, outside of Vernonia, Oregon, into a country wedding paradise. From the teacups on each table (gifts for the guests to take home), to the most lovely wedding cake (lovingly baked by her grandmother) displayed on an antique scale; from the white picket fence and arbor built for the ceremony to the coordinated bride and bridesmaids dresses/shoes/flowers/necklaces, it was an absolute feast for the eyes. And for the other senses as well: excellent music by musician friends, delicious food catered by a coworker of Mandi’s from The Melting Pot, the smell of campfire and pipe smoke late into the night…it was a delight.
It was especially delightful for me because I didn’t have to photograph most of it! Dayn and Mandi actually asked me, many months ago, what dates I had open in August, so that I could come to their wedding. How’s that for friendship? I had Aisha photograph the wedding, while I offered to photograph their bridal portraits as a gift.
So here are some favorites from the images Aisha took as the lead photographer, and a few portraits I took, just for fun. (You can also view their PhotoBooth photos in another blog post.)
So here’s a good story: Dayn and Mandi love Ray LaMontagne’s song “You Are The Best Thing,” and wanted to include it in the wedding somehow. Dayn decided to swing a surprise. He convinced Mandi to not have it in the wedding, and on the sly, he put together a band of friends. During the reception, they slipped away, set up their instruments, and started in. Mandi was so surprised…it was a beautiful moment. And I couldn’t stop singing the song for days. Congratulations, Dayn and Mandi Arnold! We’re excited for you and look forward to a lifetime of friendship.
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