Hayden Lake Winter Wedding

Melissa and Joe, with family and friends by their side filled the Hayden Lake Country Club with unbridled love and happiness.

Brides spend their mornings being doted over and loved on by their nearest and dearest and Melissa’s day was no different. Except she was the last daughter to wed to the love of her life and literally everyone was beaming and weeping over her joy. I have to say I teared up many times throughout the day. The love these two have for each other is palatable. Let’s talk about it…

Couples always ask us for wedding day advice and our response is always the same. What do you want for your day? There are no rules. There are a few things we love best though… Like exchanging gifts as you are separately getting ready in your rooms. Something about this moment refocuses a busy morning on your hearts and each other.  

We like to arrive for wedding day photography just as the last touches of bridal makeup are being applied. So that’s what we did. While her bridesmaids helped her into her dress, the guys and Erik were already working on candid moments and portraits. It was time for Melissa to meet Dad for the last time as HIS little girl… The last of his daughters he would give away to start new lives with their loves. It was beautiful. 

Melissa and Joe decided on a “first look” a private, quiet opportunity to see each other before the aisle walk. (This is one of our favorite things because we have lived it and have witnessed it so many times.) This first look allows a moment to breathe, a moment to savor each other, and a quiet time to take in this new beginning together.

Hayden Lake Country Club has one of the most incredible winter lake views we have ever seen. Today, during one of the craziest winters we’ve had in a long time the clouds gathered over a frozen lake and mountain range. With this scene and a couple so overwhelmed with love for each other I had to focus my efforts to keep my camera up and ready when all I felt compelled to do was stand there and smile.

We look for love. We might suggest a few ideas of where and how to stand, but mostly we talk to encourage reaction and emotion. Before you know it, it’s time to get married. Melissa and Joe’s vows are deep in God and protected by their bridesmaids and groomsmen. Everyone in the room was present, supporting the new couple in thought and prayer.

It wasn’t until the reception though, that I really lost it. The speeches were heartfelt and sincere, then Joe’s young son brought the house down. He told everyone in the room how happy he is to have Melissa be his mom and through the sweetest tears ever said, I love you. (Gosh guys…) Of course, we were there and I had a quick sec to get it together before the dances started. I will never forget that moment. I will never forget this day.

All the best, Ornellas Family, now and always.

Winter Spokane Club Wedding

When you know, you know. That’s pretty much how it happened for Tim and Yadira this winter. They met, they fell in love and decided to tie the knot. They actually met with us just a couple short weeks before the big day to talk about wedding photography and we are ever so grateful they did. Their families came together to put on a dream wedding, elegant, and the absolute perfect way to start a new life together.

Located at the downtown Spokane Club, this winter wedding started in the beautiful fireplace banquet room where vows were shared and a unity candle lit. I love weddings, that’s no secret. It’s really no surprise that I get a little misty-eyed during ceremonies as I quietly work behind my camera… But this was a particularily emotional day for me… My grandpa had passed away just the day before. I couldn’t avoid reflecting on my grandparent’s marriage. My grandma enjoyed almost 66 years of marriage with the love of her life, and endless memories took shape and grew with each generation of experiences under that overwhelmingly big umbrella of love. A lifelong commitment is something to be absolutely cherished, through it’s ups and downs, successes and trials, new beginnings and eventual losses; and God willing, with a whole lifetime of happiness and family surrounding you. This is our wish for Tim and Yadira. For all our newlyweds… A lifelong journey together with a love that grows and encircles everyone their lives touch.

Sure, a few tears were shed, but there were far more smiles of complete and utter joy for the couple of the hour. Guests enjoyed a three course sit down dinner, dancing, and cupcakes in the Spokane Club’s open and glowing ballroom. Before we knew it, the bubble getaway was at hand… All the best to you, your families, and your friends.


* Tim served as a US Marine and wore his dashing dress blues to marry the girl of his dreams. Yadira found the perfect fitted lace gown and dusty pink bridesmaid dresses. Makeup by Alyssa Walsh finished Yadira’s flawless look.

A Browne’s Addition Engagement

A whole new life begins exactly when two people fall in love and the hopeful question is asked. Will you marry me? She said yes. You bet she did, you give her all the loving happiness she has been looking for and will ever need.

Michael & Emily met in Browne’s Addition, just west of downtown Spokane, so it made perfect sense to start a chilly winter engagement right where it all began. Stops along the way had to include the gold tone brick wall outside of The Elk and the El Que… (Speaking of the El Que – swing by sometime for their delicious street taco style eats!) And what’s a snowy winter morning without a cup of joe at Caffe Capri? We stopped in and let the happy couple talk and swoon over Italia coffee before rounding out our photo walk along the downtown Spokane Maple Street Bridge. So much laughter and excitement with this gorgeous couple! Can’t wait for their wedding!