I cannot say enough good things about Allison and James’ charming backyard Portland wedding. The first time I met with them we spent 2 1/2 hours over a video chat and I learned so much about who they are and how they love. I was taken in immediately. They met from two different towns – Selwood and Salem – and their story began in an unexpected place: the Woodstock Cafe. And it all started with a simple swipe on a dating app.

In January 2022, while the world was still adjusting to life with masks, fate brought Allison and James together. And yes, they first met with masks on. It was a chance encounter in the cafe that led to warm drinks, a brisk walk, and a shared love for discussing what makes a house a home. They toured several nearby walk-in homes for sale, where else can you go on a January day in the pandemic and keep warm? Sparks flew as they discovered common values and dreams while asking each other key questions about what they valued in a home. Great questions to ask on a first date, right?  After a year of dating, the topic of marriage arose. Life and love took flight.

Their charming backyard Portland wedding day was a reflection of their unique love story. Set in a friend’s backyard near a wooded area, it was a charming location for their 70 guests. They took a moment to connect with each other in the woods before the ceremony, a symbolic step (or in their case a fun piggyback ride) before embarking on their new journey together. A special tea ceremony with their parents held deep cultural significance and added a beautiful touch to their celebration.

The reception was a catered lunch with lawn games and even a pop-up bounce fort for the kids (and big kids at heart). The Kona Ice truck and local Thai food catering, while a Papa Hayden cake added sweetness to the occasion.

For Allison and James, their charming Portland backyard wedding was not just about tying the knot but about celebrating their love, their unique journey, and the blending of their families and friends. Both sets of parents, in their 70s, were there to witness this joyous occasion, and some traveled afar to be a part of it.

We’ve traveled far and wide to exotic settings photographing the most profound weddings, yet we also know “the exceptional” can be found in a charming Portland backyard wedding too. One love. One Life. It is beautiful.

A bride riding piggy back on a groom through a wooded forest during their charming backyard Portland wedding.

A bride getting ready with soft warm light flare spilling through the room with flowers in another room while getting ready for her charming backyard Portland wedding.

Bride and groom simultaneously getting ready in two rooms during their charming backyard Portland wedding.

Bride and groom in the woods embracing each other with beautiful backlight wrapping around them. Portland wedding by Jos WoodSmith @josandtree

A lovely photo of a bride and groom laughing and holding each other in a wooded area moments during their charming backyard Portland wedding.

An intimate backlit photo of a bride and groom in a wooded area during their charming backyard Portland wedding

A bride piggy back riding on the back of the groom through the forest with her face lit up laughing during their charming backyard Portland wedding

A high above perspective photo of a bride and groom exchanging vows during their charming backyard Portland wedding

A bride crying and laughing while receiving the grooms vows during a charming backyard Portland wedding

A black and white photo of the mother of the bride laughing hysterically during a charming backyard Portland wedding ceremony

A bride and a groom exchanging rings during a charming backyard Portland wedding

A bride and a groom exchanging rings from a low photography perspective during a charming backyard Portland wedding

A joyous bride and groom exiting their ceremony during a charming backyard Portland wedding

A bride and groom signing their marriage certificate during a charming backyard Portland wedding

Portrait of a bride and groom seen through colorful flowers during a charming backyard Portland wedding

An emotional best friend hugging a bride just after the ceremony during a charming backyard Portland wedding

A comical photo of a young girl and a mother holding up a table cloth looking at a young boy hiding near a cooler under the table during a charming backyard Portland wedding

A bride and groom jumping and laughing in a bounce house during a charming backyard Portland wedding

A bride and groom sliding and laughing down the front of a bounce house slide during a charming backyard Portland wedding

Creative portrait of a groom nosing with a young girl and the father looking through the eye of the needle during a charming backyard Portland wedding

An emotional hug between the groom and a best friend during a charming backyard Portland wedding

An expressive photo of a mother of the groom laughing while hugging a bride during a charming backyard Portland wedding

A bride and groom toasting to ice cream during a charming backyard Portland wedding

An ecstatic groom laughing and holding his arms up with a bride also laughing in a get away car during a charming backyard Portland wedding

A drone photo of a bride and groom walking through the forest hand and hand during a charming backyard Portland wedding

a bride and groom walking with a little boy in a wooded area with big blue billowing clouds and trees during a charming backyard Portland wedding

Photographer: Jos WoodSmith | Wedding dress: David’s Bridal
Suit: J. Crew | Cake: Papa Haydn
Food: Bangkok Station Thai Street Food
Ice truck: Kona Ice of North Clackamas
Original date location: Woodstock Cafe

Ambassadors & Affiliates: Geekoto | MagMod | Holdfast Gear | Aftershoot | Visual Flow Lightroom Presets | Superfeel | Fundy Designer | DVLOP