Happy new year, everyone! Want to know how I spent my New Year’s Eve? Excitingly enough, I was both a wedding guest and a photographer. For the first time in my 10 years as a wedding photographer, I shot a friend’s big day! As you can imagine, it was a pretty memorable night. What made it all so special was that this was Sue and Colin’s ceremony, and I’ve known them since they were just a few months into their relationship.
How It All Began
I met Sue in June of 2015 at a bar crawl in Fremont and we ended up hanging out the whole night. That’s when I met Colin, too. They’d started dating in March of that year and from what Sue told me, they were still in the beginning stages of their relationship and we’re getting to know each other’s quirks. Being a total romantic, I was giddy about the whole thing! Even though we’d just met, I was so excited at the thought of them growing as a couple.
The story of how they found each other is honestly just as endearing as they are. It all started while Sue was dog-sitting. One day, she took the pup to a local dog park where Colin and his four-legged buddy also loved to go. The two dogs started playing, which in turn brought Sue and Colin together. He was brave enough to ask her out for a drink that night!
He thought she was for sure going to say no, but much to his surprise, she said yes! He said he thought Sue was out of his league, but she was instantly drawn to him and thought he was adorable. It totally sounds like a rom-com plot, but their real-life romance was off to an amazing start.
What’s so cute to me is that Sue wasn’t typically a romantic person before meeting him, but Colin turned her into one. When she talks about him, she can’t help but gush! It’s just the sweetest thing to see.
The Empress Estate Wedding Venue
The wedding was held at the Empress Estate, which is a big, beautiful property in Woodland that sits at the top of a hill. The ceremony itself was in a separate space overlooking the estate in a brand-new building that is able to hold larger weddings. It was so gorgeous!
The space is designed to blow guests away with stunning chandeliers, a wrap-around deck, and windows with a great view overlooking the city. The scene was made even more beautiful by the sunset that day. That was a huge perk, and Sue and Colin were actually the second couple that was able to use this new building for their ceremony!
Pulling Off Being A Guest And A Photographer
Having the honor of photographing their wedding day is something I’ll always cherish. I’m now at the point where all my friends are getting married, and being able to capture wedding photos for them brings me so much joy. So how did I swing being a guest and a photographer? Well, I needed some backup. Because the wedding was in Woodland, which is closer to Portland, I decided to find someone I trusted from that area to help me out.
I enlisted the help of an amazing photographer named Rick. He understood the role that I’d play earlier in the day and knew that he would mostly be taking over during the reception. Thanks to him, I was able to put on my New Year’s Eve dress and enjoy my time as a guest! I wrapped my arms around my boyfriend, Brian, and celebrated with close friends while occasionally stepping behind the lens. Rick, I can’t think you enough for helping me stay present in such an important moment.
Should I Have My Wedding On New Year’s Eve?
It was such a wonderful event and the fact that it was held on New Year’s Eve made it unforgettable. I’ve photographed a few NYE weddings in the past, but I honestly chose to photograph this one only because it was for a close friend and all my other friends were going to be there. Otherwise, I’ve decided to take New Year’s Eve off in the future. That said, I still think NYE weddings are incredible.
Figuring out what to do on New Year’s Eve can be such a hassle, and if you’ve ever looked into making plans at local clubs and restaurants, you know that it can be so expensive. New Year’s Eve weddings, however, save guests every headache associated with the holiday! You get all your loved ones together for the most glamorous night of the year to celebrate your new journey. If you ask me, it’s a great idea for everyone involved.
NYE weddings let people have all the fun of dressing up and going out without having to deal with huge crowds, high costs, or long lines. Plus, there’s food, good wine, great company, and lots of love to go around. It doesn’t get much better than that! Sue and Colin, thank you for giving all of us that opportunity. It’s a night we’ll be talking about for years to come.
Since we’re on the subject of the new year, let’s talk about resolutions. To be honest, I’ve never really come up with resolutions myself. I always kind of thought it was silly, but I decided to do one this year. I started it about two months ago, and my resolution is to get into great shape.
A huge part of what’s made this possible is having a personal trainer. I know it’s a massive commitment both with time and money, but I’ve tried everything from Orangetheory, group cardio to yoga and weekly trips to the gym. Sadly, none of that has really worked. In fact, there’s even a gym downstairs in my building and I still didn’t go!
That’s why hiring a trainer was crucial. It keeps me accountable. Knowing that someone else is relying on me to show up and work hard keeps me motivated. My overall goal is to make my training so consistent that it becomes a habit, and so far, I think I’m headed in the right direction. With that said, I hope that 2018 is full of love and happiness for you and that you reach every one of your goals in the year ahead!
THE CREATIVE CREW
PLANNER / VENUE / CATERING / CAKE: EMPRESS ESTATE KATIE MAYBERGER • FLORAL DESIGN: TWO POPPIES FLORAL • DJ: JAZZ IT UP PRODUCTIONS • MAKEUP/HAIR: BEAUTY BY BRE • THE DRESS: ROMASHKA BRIDAL • THE TUX: NORDSTROM • PHOTOGRAPHER: • JULIANNA J PHOTOGRAPHY • SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER: IRON & RYE PHOTOGRAPHY