An interview with Ashley & Steve

Tell us about your thoughts leading up to the wedding, did you think about it growing up, did you plan it together? 

Neither of us had really had a “dream wedding” in mind growing, and we can say we probably never imagined having a winter wedding, but once we had the idea, it just felt so right. We both knew we wanted to get married and have a wedding eventually, but it wasn’t until we started talking about our own wedding that we began having ideas of what the perfect wedding would be like. In our characteristic way of usually having poor timing, the day after we got engaged, Ashley had to leave for a month-long rotation in a remote part of Oregon, so the first steps of our planning process were done over the phone and video chat. Ashley didn’t even see the venue in person until after we had locked it down. Given we both have crazy schedules, unpredictable days off, and we are not always in the same location, i.e. can’t easily drive to Sunriver, we did most of our planning via email and phone calls with our vendors. Once we had our venue (which we had within 2 weeks of getting engaged) everything else came together. Most of the choices we made when planning we made together, and it helps we both had the same vision for our perfect wedding.

How did it feel to make your choices and marry one another?

Steve: At the moment I asked Ashley to be my wife I was relieved. But prior to the engagement, I experienced a wide variety of feelings. Namely: hope, excitement and comfort (when I had made my decision). I know that I had found the one in Ashley and I felt comfortable that she felt the same way about me. You grow up hearing stories and see in movies that people sometimes “hope” their partner will say yes. I never had a doubt, though I was scrambling when my elaborate plans I had been working on for 6 months fell apart due to the government shutdown in early 2019. Ashley and I have long joked that we have the world’s worst luck with good timing. This was no different. In the end though, our wedding made up for all of that. We were blessed with a week of snowfall leading up to our wedding day and the big day itself was mild temps and blue sky! 

Ashley: I think I speak for both of us when I say we knew we were going to get married a while before Steve proposed. It was something we had talked about on occasion, and having those discussions was just a part of our relationship. For us, WHEN we were going to get married was really more about timing. When Steve did finally propose, it couldn’t have been more perfect. He certainly surprised me that day, and although I knew (hoped) he would eventually, it was such a special moment for us. Our decision to marry one another was one that happened over the years of our relationship. We have been through ups and downs, lived apart, lived kind of together for a few months at a time when I had rotations in Eugene, but no matter what our crazy schedules threw at us we were always there for each other. I feel incredibly lucky to have met someone who not only understands, but matches, my passion for my career, and also loves to adventure and have fun, sit back and relax as much as I do. We are both the type of people to think things through before making a decision, and the choice to marry each other was one we made together. It’s hard to put into words how it makes me feel, but if I had to, it makes me feel confident and reassured to know my partner is going through life with me. 

Why did you choose Sunriver Resort?

We both grew up in the mountains and have always marveled at the outdoors, especially in the wintertime. Steve’s original plan for our engagement would have had us hiking to a remote fire lookout high in the Oregon Cascades. Due to some unforeseen circumstances we had to change our plans at the last minute which led us to a quick ski getaway in Sunriver. We spent the weekend of our engagement enjoying the beauty of a Sunriver winter and it made for a quick decision as to where we should be married. After seeing the Great Hall in person, our search was over. The venue is a beautiful log lodge that would be the perfect backdrop for our wedding day. The mountains were such an important part of our lives getting to this point, it was a no brainer that our life together should begin with a long trip to the snowy cascades.  

What was your favorite part of the day?

Steve:  The reception was really my favorite part. The ceremony is where your marriage begins and is made official with the signing of the documents shortly thereafter but the reception is really special. You spend months planning this event and round up all of your family and friends to help you celebrate the beginning of your new life with the most special person in it. I distinctly remember (and hope I never forget) how happy I was during the entire evening. From mine and Ashley’s first dance all the way through the final song the DJ played was magical. It was so special to have had that many people travel across the state, country, and world simply to witness our wedding. Those who were there would tell you it was quite the party. I mean, how often does the officiant get up on stage at the reception and karaoke “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks?!

Ashley: I can’t even choose a favorite part of the day. Everything about it was just so incredible and each smaller part had its own place within the whole day, and it was all of those moments together that made it so special and memorable. From getting ready with the girls and my mom and Steve’s mom to our first look (which I will definitely never forget because I was in my sleeveless dress-wearing giant snow boots, literally stuck in the snow and couldn’t move), to stand up at the fireplace making my promises and exchanging wedding vows with Steve during our ceremony to then celebrating with our friends and family. The reception was everything and more that I could have ever hoped for, ending with all of our friends and family singing “Coming Home (Oregon)” by Matt Kearney at the top of our lungs to close off the night. It was an incredibly special moment. It really made us feel so loved to have everyone there together, to celebrate US!

What were your favorite details and why?

We both really enjoyed how well the decor came together. It was our goal to play off the natural beauty of the Great Hall in Sunriver and use natural colors and live greens to make that happen. Summer Robbins absolutely knocked it out of the park. As you can see in the photos, the lodge was gorgeous and it really brought our dream venue to life. With our wedding happening in the winter months it was important to us that the floral arrangements didn’t make the wedding feel like it was an indoor wedding in the summer, while also not looking too much like a big Christmas party. Everything from the garlin on the fireplace mantle down to the boutonnieres were expertly done.  

Why did you choose us?

We chose you guys because of your ability to capture the energy in a photograph. Ashley met with you both over video chat early on in our wedding planning process, and after spending more than an hour chatting, while you were in Bali, she knew Steve would like you guys as much as she did. We looked through many of your albums and the way you photographed winter weddings really caught our eye. It was important to us to have photos to look back on that told the story of our wedding. Your experience with winter weddings was also a big part of why we reached out to you in the first place. We love how you embrace the couple and really try and get to know them and their people in order to really capture the day in a way that is unique to them. Your photographs are amazing and the work you do has blown us away. We have really enjoyed each of our meetings with you, both leading up to the wedding and afterward. 

Do you have any wedding advice for couples getting married in the future?

Planning a wedding can be very stressful. That stress and anxiety seem to build exponentially starting about a month before the wedding. All of the little things that you said “we can take care of that later” suddenly find their way back around and you cannot procrastinate any longer. Our advice would be to not let these things get in the way of how you feel towards one another. We had been told that a wedding is the most fun you never want to have again. After the whole thing was said and done, we can see where that piece of advice comes from. But, to be honest, our wedding was so special that we would certainly go through all of it again to be able to repeat the day and that we experienced. It’s important to block out any distractions that come the day of the wedding. If something isn’t perfect, oh well. The time has come and the best way to stay focused is to simply remind yourself of why you two are here, and that is for each other. Step back, take a deep breath, and remember that all of the planning and everyone’s attendance all happened because of you and your partner.  And in the end, it’s about making your vows to each other and the rest is just the fun that comes along with it. If we had to give a tip, plan your rehearsal two nights before your wedding! We did that, and it worked out so well, it was incredibly nice to have a day in between to relax and recover! 

Photographers: Jos & Tree | Venue: Sunriver Resort
Dress – Essence of Australia (from Ania Bridal in PDX)
Florist – Summer Robbins
DJ – FlipFlop Sounds
Suits – Men’s Wearhouse