This Couple DIYed Their Portland Wedding at Home From the Ground Up

No detail was too small for Kate and Bill’s Portland-style wedding at home, full of handcrafted details, locally sourced food, vintage décor, and tons of homegrown flowers. The couple’s cute craftsman house has been a part of their relationship since day one. They’ve worked on it together for years and after getting engaged decided to shake up the traditional marriage ceremony and tackle their biggest project yet: building their backyard wedding from the ground up. Everything possible was DIY’d and sourced from home. They grew the majority of their flowers in the garden, where they spent months before the wedding landscaping and renovating the yard, building the ceremony gazebo from scratch and refurbishing the garden shed into a well-stocked bar. We love how their home was transformed and bursting with life and even a bit of Portland rain couldn’t dampen the celebratory mood. The Foxes Photography captured this beautiful union coming together and all of the unexpected details, like the incredibly sweet motorcycle getaway amidst a shower of flower petals.

The Couple:

Katie and Bill

The Wedding:

Private Residence, Portland, Oregon

We wanted to shake up the traditional backyard wedding and make it something spectacular. We wanted to put fun in every corner, and ensure that it will be a party to remember. We wanted it to speak to who we are and show off what we are capable of. I’m pretty confident we nailed this.

We started planning our backyard wedding thinking we could save money and use what was left on our house. This did not happen. When you think about all the things a venue and traditional caterer would typically provide (forks, tables, toilets etc) the cost of rentals really starts to add up. We certainly invested in our house for the wedding, but it seriously busted our budget. 

It was pure joy. Then, of course, walking down the aisle, friends and family all around and the love of my life waiting for me. Riding away on our motorcycle, amidst a shower of flower petals. When is started raining andI thought everything was ruined, and finally when I realized it was just a little rain and everything was going to be great.

Our house has played a big part in our lives since day one. I actually had to cancel our first date since it coinsided with the final signing and handing over of the keys. We have loved working on the house together and consistantly challanging our relationship with bigger and bigger projects. Why not make this the biggest one yet? We knew we were going to spend a lot of money on our wedding, andwe wanted to be sure we got something to keep in the end.

As a Portland wedding we had to represent with a food truck, which we did in spades with the Wood Fired Pizza Truck (Maiale Di Volo). Our family whipped up some great big salads and put together charcuture boards for an all out feast! We decided to abandon the typical tiered wedding cake in leau of 10 full cakes from a local bakery (Papa Hydens) This worked out to cost less and tast WAY better than any “wedding” option. Of course, Bill prefers cookies to any other desert so his mom put together a cookie spread to dream of.

We wanted the day to be fun, so every chance we got we added some fun to vibe. We knew we wanted a live band but neither of us were really that into the traditional pop music wedding bands. We did some research and went with swing band (Jenny Finn Orchestra) knowing that the dance steps are pretty simple and really fun!

The Wedding Team:

Photography – The Foxes Photography
Catering – Maiale Di Volo
Cake – Papya Hydens
Live Music – Jenny Finn Orchestra
Hair Styling – Yvette Zaverucha
Wedding Dress – Cocoon Silk
Groom’s Apparel – John Helmer
Rings – LaRog Brothers Jewelers
Rentals – Something Borrowed


Congratulations to Katie and Bill for transforming their home into the beautiful wedding of their dreams and special thanks to The Foxes Photography for sharing this super-creative celebration with Junebug! For more backyard wedding inspiration, check out this epic and eclectic DIY backyard wedding in Texas!

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8 Tips for Nailing Your Engagement Photos

November 22, 2017 | nicole

photo by Blush Photography

With the holidays just around the corner, engagement season is nearly upon us! Whether you’re engaged already or you think the big question may be coming soon, we want to offer a few tips we’ve learned over the years for nailing your engagement photos. From what to wear to where to go, keep these eight things in mind before your upcoming photo shoot!

photo by Olivia Strohm

1. Wear something you’re comfortable in.

You’ve probably read some form of this tip before, but it really is the most important thing. If you choose clothes that are too tight or clingy, you’ll spend your whole session picking at them or covering up. If you choose something you’ve never worn before, you’ll be worried about how you look in it or may discover it’s actually terribly uncomfortable, which can come across in your photos.

Choose outfits that make you feel like a million bucks. If you do purchase something new, take it out for a test run (hello, date night excuse!) with plenty of time to launder it before your session in case of a spill or other mishap. As much as you consider how your engagement outfits make you feel, think also about how they’ll photograph during your session. For the ladies, we recommend choosing pieces that flow nicely as you move, especially if you’re doing your photos outdoors.

photo by Anni Graham

2. Steam or iron your outfits ahead of time!

Speaking of what you wear, be sure to de-wrinkle your clothes before your session. A photographer’s least favorite question is “can you just Photoshop that out later?” and oftentimes having things like wrinkles retouched in your photos comes at an additional cost per image. Save yourself the stress and get wrinkle free ahead of time!

photo by Blake Hogge

3. Consider professional hair and makeup for your shoot.

If you feel confident in your hair and makeup skills, you can skip on down to the next tip! However, if you’ve never done makeup for photos or you aren’t really sure what to do with your hair, you may want to hit up the salon before your engagement shoot. Photos require slightly more saturated makeup than your every day look so that you don’t become washed out. Haven’t done your hair and makeup consultation with your wedding day stylist yet? It can be a smart move to schedule that consult the morning before your session to knock out two birds with one makeup brush! (P.S. You can search for hair and makeup stylists in your area right here!)

photo by Eleanor & Pete

4. Make a day out of it.

One of the best pieces of advice we’ve heard from photographers is to make your engagement session part of a day-long date. Not only does this give you plenty of time for photos without feeling rushed, but starting your day in this mindset helps you feel connected and romantic as you head into the photo shoot. Start your day with a boozy brunch or coffee at your favorite spot and invite your photographer to meet you there to grab a few shots before changing locations.

photo by Peyton Rainey Photography

5. Set the scene.

Location is everything, so before heading to your neighborhood park for engagement photos, think about what you really love as a couple and what places reflect that. If you relish over making coffee together and snuggling on the couch with some good ole Netflix, maybe an at-home session is right for you. Are you an adventurous couple who spends your weekends hiking? Take your photos in the forest or mountains, hiking gear in tow. Don’t be afraid to incorporate your favorite activities like riding bikes or taking a canoe down to the lake. Check out our tips for setting the scene for your engagement session and take this quiz to find out where you should take your engagement photos.

photo by Célestine Aerden Photography

6. Schedule your session around the sun.

You may have heard that there are certain times of the day that are better for photos and that’s all because of the light! Golden hour, which is that beautiful time of day just before the sun sets is when you want to shoot if you’re looking for that glorious, golden light in your photos. It’s important to be aware of when the sun is going to set (you can check your weather app to find this out!) so that you have plenty of time to shoot before the light is gone. The early afternoon may sound like a good time for photos schedule-wise, but keep in mind that the light is much harsher at this time because the sun is directly overhead. Early, early morning light can also be magical, so you may want to consider a sunrise session where you arrive at your first location just as the sun starts to rise.

photo by Ricardo Quintana

7. Hire a professional photographer.

This should go without saying, but you are going to get the best photos by hiring a professional to take your engagement photos. Your engagement is such a short and special chapter in your life and your relationship, and you deserve to commemorate that time with beautiful photos together! If possible, we highly recommend booking your engagement photos with your wedding photographer. This gives you an opportunity to get comfortable and connect with your photographer prior to your big day, making for even better photos from your wedding.

photo by Anni Graham

8. When in doubt, kiss!

If you haven’t spent a lot of time in front of a camera (and let’s face it – who has?), you may be pretty nervous or become stiff during your shoot. A quick way to loosen up while still getting great photos is to go in for a kiss! This can help you connect with your partner and forget the camera is even around, which makes for more natural photos anyway.

Do you have any tips for engagement photos to share? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for engagement outfit inspiration? Check out these stylish ideas:

20 Engagement Outfit Ideas for the Guys

15 Fresh and Fashionable Spring Engagement Outfit Ideas

We’re Just Crazy About These Fall Engagement Outfit Ideas

Things Are Heating Up With These 16 Summer Engagement Outfit Ideas

18 Incredibly Glam Engagement Outfit Ideas

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This Couple Dressed to Kill for Their Amalfi Coast Elopement at Villa Cimbrone

November 22, 2017 | colleen

Mountains, the coast, and charming Italian streets – there’s nothing missing from this Amalfi Coast elopement. With their love of traveling and exploring the mountains and coasts, Bela and Daniel decided that there was no other place to get married but at Hotel Villa Cimbrone. They kicked off their wedding day with choosing to get ready together the morning of their elopement – cue the aw’s and swooning. We can’t think of a better way to start your day! After becoming husband and wife, they explored all around the Amalfi Coast and into the town, still rocking their sleek and modern wedding clothes. Hand-in-hand, they spent the entire day together and watched the sunset and moonrise over the water. Matt Lien Photography was there every moment and step of the way, capturing this sweet elopement with his unique use of framing and use of light.

The Couple:

Bela and Daniel

The Wedding:

Hotel Villa Cimbrone, Salerno, Italy

We didn’t want to lose sight of what was important about being married by getting too caught up in so many details. We distilled it down to what was important to us. We decided to elope in Italy, honeymoon then celebrate later back home with our friends and family.

Working with our photographer was a dream! So easy. Matt was professional, yet made the day so fun and care-free. Matt is a great photographer – super cool, so nice, really talented and we cannot recommend him more highly! We are so grateful to him for capturing the day so beautifully.


Elope! We can’t recommend it enough. It was the best day filled with so many laughs, so much love and happiness.

Villa Cimbrone is high up on the cliffs of the Amalfi with stunning views of the coast amongst the most beautiful gardens. We love traveling to mountains and to coastlines, so it was the perfect combination for us.

The most memorable moment of the day was watching the sunset and moonrise over the Amalfi Coast.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Matt Lien Photography
Event Planning – Irene Recupero of La Dolce Vita Events
Venue – Hotel Villa Cimbrone


Thank you to Junebug member Matt Lien Photography for sharing this joyful elopement with us! If you loved the scenery of the Italian streets, then you have to check out this Italian countryside elopement in Florence.

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