Cassandra and Ian got married in such a whirlwind they didn’t have time to plan a big wedding or run off to a pretty destination for engagement photographs. When Cassandra mentioned an engagement session was something she always wanted to do I immediately started brainstorming, throwing out ideas for a session that would be perfectly “them”. That’s when I came up with the idea to tell their engagement story, documenting places around Portland that hold special meaning for her and Ian.
Luckily Cassandra loved my idea and quickly chose 5 locations to explore. We chose a date, loaded into their car with a few cups of coffee and set off for a day of local adventuring.
Throughout this blog post you will find Cassandra and Ian’s engagement story, as told by Cassandra, interspersed between photographs of quirky old houses, Portland cityscapes, and local landmarks.
The Tube – It was Thursday November 5th, 2009 when I ran into Ian at the Tube. We had known each other since I was in high school, through mutual friends, but it had been several years since we’d seen each other prior to that night. I was out with some girlfriends, who all left the bar we had been hanging out at without telling me, and I was now left trying to get a particularly dedicated gentleman to kindly leave me alone. In an effort to ditch him I told him I was meeting some other friends at a different bar. He insisted on walking me there, and the only bar I could think of within walking distance happened to be the Tube. The Tube has been a lot of things; a punk rock bar, a hip-hop showcase, a tiny venue for unknown bands and DJs, a total shit hole. It also happened to be the bar Ian was hanging out at that night, alone. I walked in the door and saw him, relieved that someone I actually knew was there. We said our hellos, I sat down next to him and leaned over and told him “You need to kiss me. The guy behind me will not take a hint, or no for an answer.” Ian obliged, and that’s where it all began.
Patricia Court – This was our first apartment. 500 square feet, with a murphy bed and a basement so creepy I would never go down there alone. Ian signed the lease in June and we spent the whole summer wandering around Northwest Portland, drinking wine out of travel mugs and laying in the park talking about what kind of dog we wished we could have. We bought a record player and would listen to our favorite bands and dance in our tiny living room. We didn’t have cable, or the internet, so we would spend our nights playing games or with Ian reading to me. We carved pumpkins for Halloween, and got our first Christmas tree. It was a tiny apartment, and parking in the neighborhood was a nightmare, but those were some of the most blissful days of our lives.
1933 NW 23rd Place – After moving out of Patricia Court we briefly lived in another apartment, which we had to leave due to the new dog we adopted (Sandy) making too much noise for our downstairs neighbor. Luckily, we found this one bedroom house with a backyard for the same amount as we were paying for our apartment. It was built in the late 1800s, the bathroom floor was severely sloping into the ground, and we dubbed it The Hipster House. It was so quintessentially Portland, with an organic co-op grocery store at the end of the block where I once bought a quart of orange juice for $7. We threw parties whenever we wanted, inviting bands to play and setting up kegs in the backyard. We even had a disco ball in the living room. I would cook dinner almost every night, and we’d walk Sandy all around the neighborhood and up to Forest Park. I carved our initials in a tree in the backyard, and this was the house we lived in when Ian decided to buy me an engagement ring.
Chopsticks – When Ian and I first started dating one of his New Years resolutions was to get over his fear of karaoke. Chopsticks is, and forever will be, my favorite karaoke bar in Portland. I’ve celebrated countless birthdays and holidays and plain old Friday nights here, and we have since accomplished some of our greatest duets on the Chopsticks stage. We didn’t have a traditional wedding; I planned the entire thing in 3 weeks, we got married at the courthouse, and wanted to have our reception somewhere our friends could really party. After a cocktail hour downtown, we had everyone move to Chopsticks to finish out the night. One of my best friends sang “With or Without You” for our first dance, and I’ll never forget being on the dance floor, surrounded by our friends and family, twirling around with all the camera flashes and everyone singing their hearts out. It was perfect.