Category Archives: Featured Weddings

wedding of tim sohn and lily seidler in glide oregon

Featured Farm Wedding: Tim & Lily in Glide Oregon

This wedding was out of a story book, and it is fitting that it would be so poetic given that the groom Tim Sohn is an accomplished writer for Outside Magazine, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, and the New York Times. He also spends summers in Alaska in Bristol Bay working as a salmon fisherman and penning his first book. Very cool guy.

I first met Tim seven or eight years ago in Bend when I was playing at a martini bar downtown and he came in with a pack of friends he was driving across country with. They were very into the music and I guess I talked them into buying a few CDs. I definitely remember them because Tim told me he wrote for Outside that night, and I thought it was the best thing to meet an outdoor writer at a gig, and it made me happy to live in Bend.

Most of the gang from the cross-country trip was at the wedding, and I had the incredibly flattering experience of having the boys all come together and sing along with me to a song I wrote called “Backroads” that I suppose became their theme song for the trip.

The wedding itself took place on the Mont Alto Ranch, a beautifully maintained historic property on the North Umpqua River that belonged to Tim’s side of the family. I will let the photos speak for themselves, but I did not want to leave this magical place and these sophisticated, yet incredibly sweet people. I even got to catch up with an old acquaintance Corey Arnold, whom I’d met during some travels down in Panama who fishes with Tim in Alaska and is an amazing photographer of the ocean and its creatures.

They had some very cool choices for wedding songs including Lay Lady Lay, You Look Wonderful Tonight, and Diamond’s on the Souls of Her Shoes. They had a few requests for the reception too, including Romeo & Juliet which I’d always wanted to learn.

Lily works for Prada, and got an inside deal on her dress, which looked specifically stunning on her, and I have a hard time imagining anyone else pulling it off.

I played this gig with cellist Kieran McManus from Portland who not only put up with me for two days, but found us an awesome place to stay on the river when our first camping option was shut down due to forest fires.

Over all this Oregon farm wedding was an memorable and nostalgic experience on the banks of the North Umpqua River in Glide. Congratulations and thank you so much Tim & Lily!

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Black Butte Ranch Wedding Sisters Oregon

Featured Oregon Gay Wedding: Lucas & Spencer

July 31, 2015
Black Butte Ranch, Sisters, OR
Theme: Outdoors, Nature
Colors: Sand, Green
Prelude: Classical Instrumental
Wedding Party & Processional: Canon in D
Recessional: Their own recorded song from iTunes
Post Ceremony: Instrumental versions of our wedding pop song repertoire.

Black Butte Ranch in Sisters Oregon is one of our favorite venues in the region, and the union of Spencer & Lucas was the first Oregon Gay Wedding for the Ashlings, so we were really excited about this one. The day was picture perfect with the Cascade Mountains reflecting perfectly off the small lake in front of the lodge, as paddle boarders lazily floated by.

The couple was dressed in elegant light sand-colored suits with matching vests underneath, with contrasting red and blue polkadot neckties. They entered on huge Clydesdale horses who were more interested in exploring the beautiful property then properly transporting the grooms for the processional, but how can you blame them? Once back on track they delivered Spencer & Lucas to the back part of the aisle and they walked down together as we finished the most emotional section of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. We got to hear the story of how the couple met, and there was a lot of emotion in the crowd as they read their vows.

This couple was truly international. They had friends visiting from literally all over the world. The DJ set up as we were closing up shop, and I was able to steal a photo of the couple together amidst the announcements and gratitude speeches. The rest of these shots are taken by Powers Photography Studios out of Portland, and they are incredible photos. Enjoy!

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Featured Wedding: Wedding of Colin Conway & Emily Mastrangelo

Prairie City, Oregon
At the Conway Ranch outside of John Day

Theme: Rustic Chic
Colors: Gold and White
Prelude: Classical Instrumental
Wedding Party Processional: Trumpet Voluntary
Bridal Entry: Canon in D
Recessional: Wedding March
Cocktail Hour Reception: Upbeat Americana and Wedding Repertoire

The most striking thing about this wedding was the setting. Colin’s parents own a weekender ranch a few miles outside of down with panoramic views of the Strawberry Mountains. The property is surrounded by hay fields and the caretaker’s horses peacefully graze in the distance. The red barn was given a good sweep for the occasion and in preparation for the late night party, and chandeliers hung from the ceiling with fresh hay strewn on the floors. Dinner was presented on one long table in the back yard accented by gold candleholders and tea lights strung overhead. Fresh flowers everywhere complimented the subtler white and gold theme.

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The weather broke 100 that day and the ceremony was thankfully moved back a few hours, allowing the cooler afternoon breezes in to everyone’s relief. Little water misters hung everywhere, also giving some quick comfort as you walked past and were subtly covered with tiny cold droplets.

While the majority of the evening took place in different areas around the main house, the ceremony itself was out in the hay field. One of my favorite parts of this ceremony was that no one saw the bride until she made her entrance at the ceremony. What a classy and dramatic touch. It is so common these days for the photos to take place before the ceremony, so most get to see the bride (including the groom) before the ceremony itself. It just made it so much more dramatic and emotional.

The distance the wedding party had to walk to get out to the hay field was actually quite long, and this ceremony was a great example of why it is always so important to have someone to cue the musicians as to when the procession begins, as we started a few seconds late a result. It is always good to have a contact person the day of to manage these little details so we don’t have to bug the bride or groom.

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Given that the photos happened after the ceremony, the cocktail hour stretched out over two hours, and we happily entertained the crowd with a mix of songs from our wedding book and upbeat Irish and Americana tunes. The groom’s father came over and introduced himself and we learned he is the Washington State Senator Steve Conway. He requested we play his favorite song “Black Velvet Band” and even went so far as to bring us a print off of the lyrics. We ended the evening with this tune and I think it made his family very happy.
Overall, this was a very stylish and classy affair with an authentic adherence to the rustic chic theme without going overboard. Congrats Emily and Colin!

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Featured Wedding: Gretchen Smith

Aspen Lakes Golf Course
June 20, 2015

Prelude: Instrumental Mix of Pop and Classical
Wedding Party Processional: Trumpet Voluntary
Bridal Entry: Canon in D
Special Song Mid-Ceremony: Broken Road, Rascal Flats
Post Ceremony: Upbeat Americana and Love Songs

One of my favorite parts about being in the wedding business is getting the chance to connect with people on a personal level about something that is so dear to their hearts and special. Sure, some can be high-maintenance as expected, but the majority are really down to earth and cool, as I think the kind of experience we provide attracts those kinds of people to us.

Gretchen was definitely one of the sweet ones and I really enjoyed getting to know her a little bit as we worked out the kinks of the wedding music somewhat at the last minute. She had an idea that she wanted us to learn “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flats for a mid-ceremony song. This is one of my favorite things to do, and I think if it is done right it can bring so much emotion and meaning to the ceremony as well as making it significantly more memorable. Music goes straight to people’s souls I believe, and by having a four minute pause mid ceremony, it gives everyone time to process the event they are witnessing, while providing a direct window into the story and emotions of the couple getting married.

I have a dark secret that I actually appreciate country pop. There is something incredible about how the songs tend to be perfectly crafted, with a lot of melodic integrity and a lot of storytelling and simple but meaningful lyrics. Sure some are really dumb, but this Rascal Flats song is an example of just really, really solid songwriting. Their version is of course over the top and over produced, but when me and Julie toned it way down and made it folky, I think the lyrics and meaning pop even more.

Chorus:

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others that broke my heart, they were just Northern Stars
Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms
This much I know is true, god bless the broken road that led me straight to you.

Gretchen shared a little bit about her story of her finance as we texted back and forth about the details and I got to learn a little bit about why this song had so much meaning for them.

Some other cool things that happened was her uncle sang the Lord’s Prayer and one of her best friends read a love poem. The officiant stole the show with metaphor after metaphor describing the journey of entering into a lifelong partnership: he told the story of nautical journeys and discovering new lands and how the captains would make the crew burn their ships when they arrived at a new destination.

Another beautiful high summer wedding in an epic setting. Thank you Gretchen for introducing us to this song. Congratulations!

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Black Butte Ranch Wedding Music

Featured Wedding: Brett Williams & Laurie Craft

June 20, 2015
Black Butte Ranch, Sisters, OR
Theme: Roses, Satin, Greens, Outdoors, Nature
Colors: Crème and Champagne
Prelude: Classical Instrumental
Wedding Party Processional: Trumpet Voluntary
Bridal Entry: Canon in D
Recessional: Better Together
Post Ceremony: Half Hour of upbeat Americana and Love Themed Songs

Set on the shores of a small lake nestled at the base of the Cascade Mountains, I think the best word to describe this wedding overall is “stunning.” This is one of our favorite places to play, and the mountains feel so up close there, the backdrop never gets old and Black Butte does a wonderful job maintaining these grounds impeccably. We’ve developed a great relationship with the Wedding Coordinator there, Jennifer Engele and she’s become a great advocate for us, and we really feel at home there!

Beyond our joy at being back at Black Butte, we observed the overall crowd appeared well healed and good-looking in general; a classy bunch who were generous with their compliments when we finished.

The bride definitely stole the day on this one, as she should, appearing like someone out of a magazine.

The tables were decorated with dozens and dozens of white roses, complimenting the bridesmaid’s dresses, which were a satin crème/champagne color. So much white felt both bold and elegant and a harmonious contrast to the setting of mostly greens and blues.

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Julie set the stage with a beautiful mix of classical and contemporary songs on the violin before the ceremony began. She pulled off a great version of Canon in D, and as to be expected the bride was practically in tears by the time she reached the groom. The officiant seemed to be well acquainted with the couple and told some personal stories that gave a beautiful window into the lives of Brett and Laurie.

We ended the ceremony with a special request: “Better Together” by Jack Johnson. I loved the contrast of everything being really classic and straightforward except for this casual and poppy tune by one of my favorite songwriters.

Overall, a very memorable day punctuated by the elegant taste of the bride and the warm and accommodating Black Butte Ranch staff.

Black Butte Ranch Wedding Music

Sisters Oregon Wedding at Black Butte Ranch
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