Fun Coeur d’Alene Wedding Chapel Spring Wedding

Fun Coeur d’Alene Wedding Chapel Spring Wedding

(Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)

Katie & Chad – 05/21/16

Venue & Wedding Details:

The Coeur d’Alene Wedding Chapel has stood as a proud sentinel at the corner of Wallace and 7th in the “Garden District” of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for over 100 years.  This majestic white brick church and adjoining garden are skirted on all sides by lush greenery and vibrantly colored blooms; a stark contrast to the blanket of grey rain clouds enveloping the city on this cold May day.

We enter the garden gate and are immediately greeted by the tranquil gurgling of a water feature on the outdoor patio, followed by the happy bustling of preparations being made inside the tulle-laden reception hall beyond.  We wound our way through the historic chapel and found our beaming bride in an interior room smiling from ear to ear as she looked at herself in the full-length mirror.  Katie’s golden blonde hair swept up in curls at the nape of her neck just above her hands as she nervously adjusted the jeweled necklace at her throat.  The smile she wore at that moment lit her face the entire day, a testament to the vivacious and lighthearted spirit of this bride.

Moments after our arrival the groom and his entourage of family and groomsmen filled the opposite end of the building with deep laughter and palpable excitement.  Metal clanked against itself and the steady cadence of crutches approached.  We hurried to divert our dashing groom, Chad, away from his waiting bride until we were able to prepare the couple’s first-look encounter.

When we found him Chad stood proud in his dressing room, laughing and joking with his friends and soon-to-be son.  Other than the cane ever-present by his side and the brace forcing his pant leg to wrap tautly around his leg, no one would have even suspected that he had suffered a traumatic injury to his leg just two weeks earlier.

It was clear that Chad would let nothing stop him from marrying his bride and creating a family with her from this day forward.

Even though we knew Chad was a trooper, we wanted to be mindful of his comfort throughout the day.  The Coeur d’Alene Wedding Chapel’s garden and grounds offered us several picturesque areas to photograph the couple and their wedding party without putting undue strain on our groom.  We began the day’s adventure with the “First-Look” location.

Chad and Katie wanted to exchange notes they had lovingly hand-written each other prior to seeing one another on their wedding day; a beautiful, private sentiment.  We led Chad to a quiet room away from the rest of the group and had him stand with his back against an open hallway door.  We brought Katie through the hall to the other side of the door.  Back to back, the couple reached tentatively around the door and gently held each others hand before exchanging notes.  They opened the notes in silence, each wiping away joyful tears as they read.  Soon enough the tears turned to laughter and Katie shyly crept around the door to see her man.  The first-look is often the most heart-felt and emotionally evocative moment of the day for us … this day was no exception.

We let the couple talk and adore the sight of one another for as long as we could before excited family started spilling into the room.  As much as everyone wanted to start the festivities early, we knew there was still much to do before the “I Do’s”.  A break in the rain gave us good reason to round-up the handsomely dressed wedding party and head outside for group pictures.

Instead of trying to hide Chad’s injury, the couple encouraged us to incorporate it into the images of the day:  We playfully used crutches to create a saber arch over the couple while the wedding party threw out their best jazz hands and theatrical poses; Chad made Katie giggle in a candid moment while balancing in a child-like swinging pose at the front entrance of the chapel; The groom and his court sat in the garden feigning sophistication while showing off colorful socks (and Chad’s brace); and Chad’s use of his cane while dancing at the reception was truly a sight to be had!

As the rain picked up again and guests began to trickle in, we returned to the inner rooms of the chapel for privacy and some one-on-one time with the bride and groom.  We chose to photograph in the groom’s dressing room because of the unique stained-glass windows along one wall and the rich woodwork throughout.

The shadows played on the faces and bodies of the couple, offering dramatic lighting and sultry composition.  We wanted to offer a timeless look at this couple’s love and affection for one another without reminding the viewer of Chad’s compromised state.

Sure, it was fun to capture images which poked fun at the unfortunate timing of the injury, but this is a stunning couple and they deserve to be photographed well also.

During the ceremony the couple exchanged personal vows of love, loyalty, and deep commitment to build each other up in Godly faith.  Not a dry eye remained after Chad knelt down and gently spoke directly to Katie’s son.  He vowed to not only honor his bride, but stand as a loving and nurturing father to the boy forever more.

As should be expected, this amazing couple is loved and supported by some pretty outstanding family and friends.  The wedding reception was filled with joy, laughter, scrumptious food, sweet homemade treats, and sooo much lively dancing!  Speeches made drew a picture of two wonderful people who had been living fulfilling lives separately, yet waiting for partners who appreciated the deep bounty they had to offer.  Clearly, their faith and strong personal character would lend themselves well to building a lasting bond between these two gentile souls.

We snuck away from the celebration while the party was in full dance mode.  The clouds had parted, and stars shone brightly in the crispy, night sky.  The passing of the rain and the exhilarating warmth which radiated from inside us made us appreciate the tepid evening air.

As we drove away and I replayed the day’s events in my mind, I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NLT) “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”  I believe Chad and Katie take the truth in this statement to heart … Not just in their acceptance of larger life events (such as past heartaches), but also the grace with which they handle smaller annoyances (like a broken leg on their wedding day).  We honor their humble spirits and wish them a lifetime of joy together!

Highlight of the Day:

Jeremiah and I have an infinite soft spot for blended families.  Watching Katie’s heart fill with love for her groom as he poured his love out to his new son was just the kind of thing that makes our hearts brim with hope.  Parenting is difficult, and step-parenting exponentially more so.  However, with the right heart toward the children involved, there can be so much healing and closeness that comes from the creation of a new family unit.

Voice Behind the Lens:

Indoor wedding and reception venues offer year-round convenience, romantic backdrops, and cozy nooks … where they challenge photographers is in color, light, and space.  Jeremiah knows the ins-and-outs of photographing at the Coeur d’Alene Wedding Chapel better than any other venue; he has photographed more weddings in this particular venue than any other in his career.  In fact, the first wedding he photographed was at this exact location!  Here are a few points he is mindful of while photographing here.

The wedding chapel offers natural lighting which originates from intricate stained-glass windows lining the outer walls.  While the ambient light is warm and comforting, the light that shows up in pictures is more orange than is appealing; Jeremiah must adjust the temperature of the images to offset.  While some color temperature can be adjusted during editing, he also knows to make critical adjustments during the shoot.

Dark composition can create captivation, moody images, but it can also make the subjects dull and poorly defined.  Jeremiah uses natural light whenever possible.  However, he supplements the available natural light with bounce flash and off-camera flash.  The bounce flash ‘bounces’ light off of the ceiling or adjacent light surface to minimize the appearance of “crazy shadow people” behind his subjects while lending more light to the overall space.  Off-camera flash helps us add definition to specific details in the image.

While lighting can be manipulated, Jeremiah must work within the limitations of space in any indoor venue.  This proves challenging when Jeremiah photographs large-group shots during the festivities of the reception.  Many would-be subjects naturally turn away from a camera creating disjointed group images.  Jeremiah gives subtle direction to his subjects to maximize available space (and light).



Q’emiln Park Grand Pavilion Wedding

Q’emiln Park Grand Pavilion Wedding

(Post Falls, Idaho)

Lena & Mike – 6/10/16

Venue & Wedding Details:

Q’emiln Park stretches along the south bank of the Spokane River in Post Falls, Idaho. This family-friendly, waterfront public park maintains four covered entertaining areas (shelters) available for seasonal event rental. This venue is perfect for the bride and groom looking for a venue with water views, reasonable price point, easy access, and lots of room to roam. The Grand Pavilion area used by Mike and Lena is a large, open-air pavilion which looks across the park’s grassy knolls to the shimmering Spokane River beyond. On this particular day we were especially glad for the pavilion’s built in heaters and clear, roll-down window walls. You see, while the moody and dark skies of this early summer day added to the striking natural beauty of the surroundings, the weather left us all chilled and a bit damp.

Luckily, this adventurous couple and their bridal party would not be deterred from venturing out from under the cover of the pavilion for photographs. Mother Nature rolled up her sleeves and teased us with sunny skies followed quickly by flash rain showers. We incorporated the lovely tulle draped throughout the pavilion, some fun and vibrant umbrellas, and lots of tree canopy coverage to achieve our photo images of this special day.

The bride was stunning in an enchanting ivory corset bodice mermaid style lace gown. She opted to forego the use of a veil, instead, sweeping her chestnut brown hair into an elegant up-do crowned by a rhinestone embellished headband . The girls’ bouquets paired delicate white lilies with dusty lilac roses, sprigs of baby’s breath and a hint of green (tying the color scheme to bridesmaid dresses and the natural setting). We loved the sweet sentiment of the remembrance picture locket pinned into Lena’s bouquet. Bridesmaids wore silky, tea-length dusty lilac dresses which paired nicely with the gunmetal grey suits of the groomsmen. Our groom looked dapper in his contrasting light grey suit and white accessories.

Mike and Lena created a fuss-free wedding day by enlisting their family and friends’ help with food and decorations. A finger food buffet, tempting homemade desserts, whimsical painted wine bottle centerpieces, and fun glass mug keepsakes with chalkboard style name tags added personality without breaking the couple’s nest egg.

Highlight of the Day:

Mike and Lena share an undeniable bond, but the connection between Lena and her siblings (brother and sister) was especially touching and significant. After the married couple’s introductory first dance, Lena was led by the hand back onto the dance floor by her sister and joined, immediately, by their brother. The three hugged, laughed, and shed tears together while the music played … It was as if only they three occupied that special moment. The rest of us looked on at the love and support shared and couldn’t help but be moved by the display.

Voice Behind the Lens:

Unexpected things pop up during every wedding celebration. As professionals, we try to allow extra time during a wedding photo session for such SNAFUs. Case in point: a few hours before the ceremony, one of the groomsmen became unable to attend (or be a part of) Mike and Lena’s wedding. A replacement groomsman was quickly brought on-board, but all full-group wedding party pictures had to be delayed by over an hour waiting for the new groomsman to get ready and arrive. The ample time we set aside to complete the day’s photography doesn’t just allow us to capture candid images of the couple in varied setting, it takes the urgency (and resulting stress) out of the day. We simply photographed different sub groups of the wedding party until our latecomer arrived … then away we went without missing a beat (or image).




Our Stunning Pacific Northwest … THE Ideal Destination Photography Backdrop


If you live in the panhandle of Idaho, you have probably parroted a variation of a famous Mark Twain quote without ever realizing it.  “If you don’t like the weather in __________, just wait a few minutes.”  I know we have teasingly uttered this phrase countless times during photo sessions hoping to calm anxious clients in the face of foreboding skies.

weather in idaho

The truth is … weather in the Pacific Northwest is predictably unpredictable, and the show must go on regardless.  Just this past month we experienced blistering heat, menacing hail, torrential rain, freezing winds, and perfect calm … sometimes all in the same 24 hour period.  Fortunately, the brides and grooms we work with not only understand this meteorological volatility, but embrace it!


Clients who hire us to capture their family, engagement, or wedding photographs enjoy stunning, natural surroundings, and want those surroundings to be the backdrop for their special event.  Some clients are local to Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington, and some choose to create a destination engagement or wedding celebration here because of the natural beauty.  But, all of these good folks are willing to smile in the face of whatever Mother Nature dishes out.


Whether high atop blustery Mt. Spokane (Washington) … wading through a sun-soaked field of daisies in Sandpoint, Idaho … indulging in fanciful dress-up in a salvage yard on the outskirts of Hayden Lake, Idaho … or laughing together along the shimmering waters of Priest Lake (Idaho) … our clients’ stories of love and life come alive in the images we capture throughout this breathtaking region.


We understand, our images aren’t run of the mill … but neither are our clients.


In fact, we strive to blaze an exciting new path in the world of commonplace, copy-cat Pinterest images.  We are here to do photographic justice for the playful couple who love Star Wars almost as much as they love each other … the bride wearing a hoodie over her wedding dress while eating s’mores by a lake-side campfire … and the groom who whisks his bride off after their wedding ceremony in his vintage single-prop airplane. We celebrate their gusto and we honor them with images as vivid as the lives they lead!


After all … love is alive, and adventurous, and gritty, and awe-inspiring!  The Pacific Northwest embodies these qualities and never ceases to impress all of one’s senses.  We are truly fortunate to work and live in such a magical region.

When you are ready to share your love with the world, (be it here, there, or anywhere in between,) call Jeremiah Andrews Photography to capture the images of your priceless memories!

Until then … be well and safe travels,

Jeremiah & Shaunna







Jeremiah Andrews Photography Newsletter: June 2016

Read the June 23, 2016 Newsletter


In this issue:

  • Images of the Month:  Q’emiln Park Grand Pavilion Wedding (Post Falls, Idaho); Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center Wedding (Sagle, Idaho); Country Chic Wedding (Odessa, Washington)
  • World In Pics:  House of Representatives Democratic Gun Control Sit-In
  • Must Try Recipe:  Blueberry Mochi Cake
  • Travel Dreamin’:  Holi Festival of Colors, India






Summer Lovin’ … Coeur d’Alene Resort Style

As we chat with engaged couples about their ideal wedding, whether it is a no-holes-barred destination extravaganza or an intimate and charming soiree, the topic of wedding ceremony and reception location is a key point.


Anyone familiar with the greater Spokane area, Coeur d’Alene, and the gorgeous surrounding Pacific Northwest landscape knows that we are fortunate to have bountiful options for event sites.  But how does an engaged couple decide on one location from such a lengthy list of wonderful wedding venue options?  Some couples opt for travel convenience, others are sold on amenities, and most consider venue price before locking in their venue choice.


As breathtaking as many of these options are (and there are some doozies out there for sure) it is difficult to imagine a more elegant setting for a lavish celebration than overlooking majestic Lake Coeur d’Alene at the Lakeview Terrace in the Coeur d’Alene Resort.


One of our favorite weddings to photograph this past summer was for a stunning raven-haired bride named Gloria, and her dashing groom, Greg.  It just so happens that this wedding and reception were hosted by the couple at the rooftop Lakeview Terrace.


We wanted to give you a peak at their beautiful wedding day images in case you needed to get your own creative juices flowing for a special event site or wedding venue choice.


As photographers, we love to introduce the couple (and wedding party) to multiple, close-by, locations in which to take photographs.  This varied scenery offers a chance for the couple’s personality to shine, as well as bringing different artistic elements into play for their wedding images.


In the case of Gloria and Greg’s wedding, we chose to hide out from the strong mid-day sun with a walk through the Fort Sherman city park (adjacent to the Coeur d’Alene Resort).  In true serendipitous fashion, we were even able to take photographs in front of the building in which the bride and groom met for the first time.  Super romantic!


Of course, artistic photography and a stunning backdrop do not create a flawless wedding by themselves … it takes a village of hard-working matrimonial professionals to pull that off!  This day was no different.  We want to give proper dues to the talented team who contributed to making this couple’s dream come to life:


We hope you enjoy these images as much as we enjoyed creating them!  We also wish Gloria, Greg, and their sweet family luck and love in the life they will create together.

All the best … from us to you!

Jeremiah & Shaunna

The dishes can wait … GO with your husband!

If you know us… or have ever read any of our blogs… you know that we travel together.  A lot.  I may even be so bold as to say that we ‘adventure’ together more than most couples.


I firmly believe that our shared love for travel, culture, music, theater, and other such adventures is one of the cornerstones of our strong bond.


This past weekend, during the reception of Zach & Kyla’s stunning Stinson Beach, California destination wedding, we heard this sentiment echoed in a simple toast.  Zach’s grandmother waited patiently until all other well-wishers had raised a glass in honor of the couple before standing to offer her simple (yet profound) advice.  She turned directly to the new bride as if the two were alone chatting over coffee and sweetly said, “Honey, when your husband has somewhere he needs to go and he wants you to join him… Go!  Leave the dishes in the sink, and the laundry can wait.  Your husband, however, shouldn’t.  If you don’t go with him, someone else may.”


Admittedly, this statement was met with a mixed bag of giggles and cheers.  After all, we don’t hear advice like this often enough these days.  Her statement wasn’t meant to be a threat; quite the opposite is true!


This (grand)motherly advice was a not-so-subtle reminder to nurture (far into the future) the commitment made during the couple’s wedding ceremony.  Most married couples can attest that the single-minded focus placed on our spouse prior to exchanging nuptials can diminish once real-life timelines, deadlines, and obligations become permanent, daily fixtures.  Under such circumstances even the strongest bonds can become frail.  Grandma’s advice?  Don’t let it happen!  Become, and remain, partners.  Each hugely supportive and an integral part of the other’s life experiences.


While I may not lose much sleep over undone laundry anyway… my take-away message from these sage words was the same.  Learn about each other, experience new things together, see the world together (even if you never get beyond your own backyard), grow individually and encourage your spouse’s growth, develop inside jokes, and never (ever) stop giving your all to the person you chose to spend your life with.


Take the time needed to actively love your significant other… to nurture the living, dynamic entity that is your relationship.  Remember that the time you have with this person is a precious gift; act accordingly.  Or, (as Grandma warns) someone else may.


The joys of being a destination wedding photographer far exceed the beauty of the ceremony location and celebratory experience of the reception.  We are exhilarated and honored when we are able to share these candid and loving moments.  They strengthen us as a couple and deepen our appreciation for love found, won, and kept true.

Until next time,

Jeremiah & Shaunna


Oh, the places we go …

You wouldn’t believe the number of comments we get while out and about, “You are always on the go!  So busy!  How do you find time to work?”  It’s true.  We are always on the go, but… surprise, surprise… we aren’t always just playing.

In truth, we intentionally try to find ways to bridge the work-fun gap by playing while we work.


I know, mind = blown, right?  After all, who can actually pull off having a blast while they work?  Um…  a destination lifestyle photographer, that’s who.  Want to see a little bit of what that looks like?  Okay, come on… let’s go!

Last weekend’s mid-September shoot was an engagement session for some very dear friends, Jamie and Andrew. When approached with the idea of piggybacking their engagement photo session onto a weekend hike into Goldbug Hot Springs (located near Salmon, Idaho) we were all in!  We have been wanting to explore some of the amazing hot springs nestled on and around the Snake River and this trip was the perfect excuse… I mean, reason.


Since this was not just a “fun” hiking trip, we had to be mindful to pack our equipment carefully into our main packs.  Yup, you guessed it… our beer reserve suffered for the cause of lightening our packs’ weight.  After all, we planned to hike, with full backpacks, the whole 3-4 miles into the hot springs and camp for three days.  We needed to bring only the essentials… and 40 pounds of “essentials” consisted of camera gear alone.  Thankfully, the late summer Idaho/Montana weather was on our side.  Bathing suits, Chocos, and sweatshirts to stave off the evening chill completed our weekend wardrobe.


The hike in was challenging… and breathtakingly remarkable.  So worth it!  Goldbug’s hot springs did not disappoint; there must have been almost a dozen tiered pools with varying combinations of hot and cold rushing spring water.  To say that sitting on the top of a mountain, basking in the warm summer sun, eating fresh foods/drinking local beers, and taking pictures of a beautiful couple full of love is “work” is not 100% true… but it is truly a perk to my profession.


During the photo session we needed to be mindful of all of the things that go into producing beautiful images for the couple, as well as keeping water out of the cameras… very, very careful.


Jamie and Andrew were wonderfully spontaneous and fun, fun, fun!  Their personalities shone through so easily.  We didn’t have to coax kisses or love out of these two.


Now that the weekend is over and we are back to day-to-day life we get to reflect on the wonderful benefits of being a destination photographer.  We really do get to see some amazing sights… and, oh my, the wonderful places we go!

We should mention, the support system we have at home is unparalleled.  Our friends, family, and even grown children rally around us and help keep everything from falling apart while we embark on our photography journeys… we know we couldn’t do all of this without all of them!


So what’s to be learned from this?  Maybe, sharing our adventures will prompt others to get out and explore.  Perhaps someone will realize that “jobs” don’t have to drain you, they can feed your soul too.  Whatever the case, we hope that our images and exploits bring enjoyment and laughter to all they touch.  Go on… live every moment… laugh every day… love deeply… and take lots of pictures!


~Jeremiah & Shaunna


Destination Wedding: LaCrosse, Wisconsin

Last weekend, while my friends and family were enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest’s early start to summer weather, I boarded an airplane for La Crosse, Wisconsin.

mk-229“Why in the world are you going to Wisconsin?” you ask. To photogrph my favorite kind of wedding … a destination wedding … I say!

IMG_0527While I love to take photographs in and around the Coeur d’Alene and Spokane areas, I am always super stoked when I have the opportunity to join a wedding party in another state (or country) on their special day. This was just such an occasion!

10557360_10152292514950765_563686280149497669_nIt all started in early Spring 2014 when my fun-loving bride and groom (Matt and Kelly) drove over four hours from their home in Montana to have me shoot their engagement photographs. What a rad couple! We had many laughs throughout the day and realized that we all shared a love of fine spirits and beer … these are my kind of quality folks.

10487240_10152292515160765_7539880754186938960_nWe instantly hit it off and had a blast during the photo session. The couple was surprised to learn that I encourage out-of-town wedding inquiries. In fact, I like to remind people to consider hiring me (a photographer they are already familiar with and trust) for destination wedding events. Often times the price paid to me for my photography session and travel is LESS than hiring an unknown photographer at the destination location.

IMG_0499Wherever I travel I try to find interesting ways to catch some of the local culture and night life. I was stoked to be able to catch a Devil Makes Three and Old Crow Medicine Show concert the night I flew into town.

IMG_0485(1)These bands rocked and the Vetter Stone Amphitheater in Mankato, Minnesota is an awesome venue. I highly suggest both.

IMG_0513My bride and groom-to-be were perfect in every way! Matt and Kelly graciously invited me to share the fun of their rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, and made me feel like ‘one of the gang’. I got to experience some great fun and lots of really flavorful craft beers.

mk-228The day of the ceremony went off without a hitch. The bridal party and I took our time playing and taking pictures. We spent a good portion of the day off gallivanting even before the ceremony’s festivities began.

mk-222The couple was spontaneous and gladly let me work my creative magic. I feel that the images I delivered of their day show the true celebratory vibe of their special day. With very little direction, Kelly and Matt knew I would deliver a product that was beautiful, joyful, and captured their love for each other. I have to say that I believe we ended up with just what they wanted.

mk-231We traveled in a party bus (super fun, by the way) to multiple breweries, and even stopped along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and greenery.

mk-219(1)We had lots of time to incorporate quirky picture settings and take candid shots of the bride, groom, and wedding party outside of the formal ceremony. This is so important for a couple like this who wanted to make a day of the celebration. This was their day and they loved every minute of it.

mk-226During the ceremony and reception I could really feel the love and happiness that wrapped around the couple. They are blessed to be supported and cared for in such a deep and meaningful way. By the way, did I mention that these people could get their groove on? Oh, yeah. That happened!

mk-235Thank you again to Matt and Kelly for making my trip to La Crosse such a blast! I am a lucky guy to get to spend time with cool lovebirds like them, and capture amazing portrait memories for them in the process.

This is why I love being a destination wedding photographer!


The ‘Look’ of Love

How do you know when you’ve found ‘true love’?


Soapbox philosophers and lovers throughout time have grappled with this question and, as far as I know, even the most sincere responses fall flat of truly embodying the electricity love creates.


Each of us has an ideal vision of love, and many of us struggle to lay hands on the elusive emotion, but it is never the words spoken on the subject that convince us love exists (and that it’s actually attainable).


As a veteran engagement, wedding and family photographer I’ve had the privilege of retelling many love stories; adoring, passionate, nurturing, and even playful … I have witnessed love manifested in innumerable hues and tones.


What have I learned from it all? Without a doubt, love does have a ‘look’. I recognize the twinkle when an engaged couple tells me the story of their first meeting, the reassurance in a mother’s gaze as she gently comforts her shy toddler, and the willing surrender as a husband embraces his new bride for the first time.


This look can never be forced or contrived, and is more precious than gold when captured.


I am fortunate to have the opportunity to share these glimpses into another person’s most personal and true heart; an honor I do not take for granted. I have held the feeling of that ‘look’ close when my own life seemed less magical … knowing all the while that each of us has the capacity to love so deeply.

I hope that in capturing this ‘look’ through my images I can offer the same hope and reassurance to viewers. True love is real. I’ve seen it in others, I’ve experienced it myself, and I want all of my images to celebrate it.

I love love.