It is a true gift to be able to work with my spouse. As my husband, Noah hears more than anyone about my business and images. And as my second shooter, he’s thoughtful, attentive, and incredibly talented. He is also forced to stand in for a lot of test shots. If we’re wondering about lighting or a possible portrait background, he’s the one I throw in to see what will work and as a result, I have a collection of photos of him that are too deliciously random not to share.
You know it’s going to be a great day when you’re invited to spend it at Chileno Valley Ranch. Not far from the town of Petaluma, this venue (and home for the owners) is a magical getaway. Having shot a number of weddings there, I love to see which features will newly delight me and what my favorite spots will look like this time around. In mid-May, the sheep were partially shorn, hills were a verdant green, roses were in bloom, and it was the perfect day to celebrate Lindsay & Sky.
They took full advantage of the gorgeous grounds for their wedding, starting big with Sky’s arrival down the long driveway in his vintage convertible. Family and guests enjoyed an epic walk to the secluded ceremony site, took in cocktail hour in an apple orchard, and dined and danced in the superbly decorated barn. The light streaming through its cracks is unlike any other reception venue I’ve shot, and Lindsay & Sky enhanced it with rows of candle-lit tables and twinkle lights, making it utterly luminous.
It was clear from our first moments photographing this couple just how much they love being together. Their comfort with each other translated into a happy easiness throughout the day, and so many wonderful photographs of them and their guests. When it’s hard to find a photo without the bride and groom smiling, you know you’ve hit the client jackpot. With a couple so present and joyful on their big day, a wedding full of guests who radiated love and admiration for them, and a background of rolling hills, it was a remarkably fun and beautiful day to be a part of.
Venue: Chileno Valley Ranch / Wedding Coordinator: Sugar Rush Events / Florist: Poppy Stone Floral Design / Hair & Makeup: Rock Paper Scissors / Catering: Park Avenue Catering / Rentals: Encore Rentals / DJ: Golden Bell / Second Photographer: Noah Christman
Meaghan and Mark’s recent spring wedding was such a breath of fresh air. After a long rainy winter, it felt like the landscapes of Marin County were waking up. Poppies were sprinkled throughout the bright green fields by their church, with an epic view of SF on display the background. And in the middle of downtown Mill Valley, the gardens of the Outdoor Art Club were in full bloom. What a day to be outside and celebrating these two!
It was so much fun to be swept up in this amazing couple’s world for the day. Many of Mark’s friends and family came over from Ireland and his home was lovingly referenced through the sixpence in Meaghan’s shoe, his cufflinks, and the inclusion of a handfasting ritual during the ceremony. Having grown up in Marin, Meaghan was quite a bit closer to home, and had the chance to share this special corner of the world with their guests. Their sweet pup was in on the festivities and may take the award for cutest bridesmaid I’ve ever photographed!
From the heartfelt ceremony to the roaring dance party, crisp blue and white tones shined throughout the day. There was the brilliant church popping against the afternoon sky, the bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen ties, bouquet ribbons, string tied to the rings as they were passed around the ceremony, and all of the gorgeous, rich linens and vases at the reception. There was so much beauty and joy to capture at this stunning celebration – most noticeably, the huge smiles on the bride and groom’s faces as they took it all in.
Ceremony Venue: Old St. Hilary’s Church / Reception Venue: Outdoor Art Club / Wedding Coordinator: Lally Events / Florist: An Added Touch Flowers / Hair & Makeup: Megan Carey / Catering: Sage Catering / Cake: Susie Cakes / Linens: La Tavola / DJ: DJ Adrian Blackhurst / Second Photographer: Noah Christman
It’s hard to find a more inviting place to shoot than a warm, early fall day in wine country and I recently had the pleasure of photographing Eydis & Tom’s wedding on such a day. The couple knows the Healdsburg/Geyserville area well and found two gorgeous spaces for their celebrations – a Friday night dinner to welcome guests at the River Belle Inn (featuring the legendary band Beausoleil!) and a Saturday ceremony & reception at the wildly picturesque Sbragia Family Vineyards.
Following a perfect backyard kickoff event at the inn, Saturday’s festivities were set on Sbragia’s elevated terrace, where the vineyards and local landscape provided a standout backdrop. Against a panoramic view of the surrounding vineyards, Eydis and Tom exchanged vows and toasted with loved ones from near and far, including relatives who came in all the way from Iceland and London to be with the couple on their big day. It’s such an honor to photograph an event when you know that the gathering of guests is rare and treasured and I’m so grateful to have been given the chance to document this wonderful couple’s marriage.
Welcome Dinner Venue: River Belle Inn / Wedding Venue: Sbragia Family Vineyards / Wedding Coordinator: Milestone Events Group / Caterer: Girl and the Fig / Florist: Dragonfly Florals / Welcome Dinner Band: Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet / Wedding DJ: AMS Entertainment / Second Photographer: Noah Christman
Being a photographer based in the Bay Area means that I have the good fortune to shoot in a variety of photogenic settings that are still close to home. But I’m always especially excited when a couple’s celebration gives me an excuse to get out of my standard radius and see somewhere new. So Anne & Dan’s summer wedding by Lake Tahoe provided an extremely welcome road trip and dose of fresh air.
Anne & Dan are based in the East Bay but also love the outdoors. As Anne explained, “he loves the mountains and I love the lakes.” And so it seems like they couldn’t have picked a better compromise than the Truckee area, which was given further significance by the fact that Anne grew up visiting Tahoe Donner on vacations. The perfect getaway; the perfect place to look ahead.
Nestled beneath the impressive trees, Anne & Dan celebrated their union with a wonderfully large party and a lot of special little moments. They exchanged gifts before the ceremony that, whenever used, will I’m sure bring them back to this day. During the ceremony, they combined sand from Sacramento and Tahoe to represent the merging of their shared histories as they move forward together as a couple. And in a perfect nod to summertime camping tradition, guests were given favors of individually wrapped s’more kits, which many broke out on the spot to use at the fire pits right beside the dance floor. All in all, it was a joy to capture a beautiful day in the woods and under the stars with these two beautiful people.
Wedding Venue: The Lodge at Tahoe Donner / Wedding Coordinator: Lea Stafford Events / Florist: Love and Lupines Floral Design / Live Musician & DJ: Music in Tahoe / Second Photographer: Noah Christman
Vanessa & Dakotah fell for The Mountain Terrace, a lovely venue tucked between redwoods and oak trees in the hills of Woodside, when they were California residents. But when life moved them to Louisiana before their big day, it meant that their wedding was a wonderful excuse for a return to the Bay Area, and to bring family and friends together to this special place.
And what a beautiful celebration they had! Guests took in the ceremony against a view of the peninsula, delighted in lawn games, had printed photo strips taken in a photo booth bus (love you, California), dined on an intimate back patio, and reveled on the dance floor. It was a joy to photograph Vanessa & Dakotah's big day, especially with the couple's choice of a rich color palette featuring a deep maroon that was featured in the bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen's ties, and florals, and that perfectly complimented Vanessa's hair (when not under that stunning cathedral veil!). But it was also a joy to capture their joy, and the way they delighted in their marriage and their time spent with the people closest to them.
If at all possible, I highly suggest putting finishing the finishing touches on your wedding ensemble while bathed in natural light in front of a gorgeous blue wall.
It is such a pleasure to shoot a San Francisco wedding at an utterly San Francisco venue. Marisa & Trevor's celebration at the historic General's Residence in Fort Mason was set against some one of the most scenic backdrops you can find in this corner of California. However, it being May in this fickle, wonderful city, you never know what kind of weather you're going to get. And while the clear blue sky provided stunning panorama views from the East Bay to Marin and everything in between, it also came with the fiercest wind I've ever experienced on a wedding shoot.
While the intensity of the conditions may have rattled some couples (bridal looks and chuppahs are not exactly designed to withstand relentless horizontal gusts!), Marisa and Trevor took it all in stride and were full of smiles throughout the day. And after their touching ceremony (officiated by Trevor's sister!), some guests even lingered outside to take advantage of the cocktail hour lawn games. What a joy to witness and document so many generations of family and close friends come together to celebrate this sweet, loving couple in their city.
Sometimes you just know that a wedding is going to be a lot of fun. With Katie and Tom's, that was made clear early on, when Katie shouted across a Vegas dance floor at 2am that she'd love to have me as her photographer. And after my husband (and second shooter) and I met both Katie and Tom for a drink in New York to hear more about their plans, I knew it was going to be an incredibly special day.
We were not disappointed. There were toasts with mini-champagne bottles and newly-gifted flasks as the bride & groom were getting ready with their best people. There were two excellent bands. There was pizza (East Coast plain cheese pizza, the best of the best) and a DJ booth for the groom at the after party. There were tears of emotion during the private vow reading and then jokes being cracked in response. There was a packed dance floor all night. Most of all, there was the spirit of this sweet, funny, indelible couple. They smiled throughout the day (even through some quite chilly outdoor portraits) and seemed to have absolute comfort with each other. It felt like they were truly themselves, which is no easy feat on this this most heightened and electric of days.
And if that weren't enough, serving as a backdrop to all of this cheer was a truly beautiful event. With free rein over the luxurious estate, guests had the opportunity to move across the grounds over the course of the day, from an intimate white barn for the ceremony to the grand ballroom for the reception. Copper details were sprinkled throughout the event - the decorate piece the couple made themselves that hung above the ceremony, the groom's tie clip, the moscow mule mugs, flasks for the groomsmen, many gorgeous pieces in the dinner tablescapes, and then, against all odds and weather reports, a sliver of it in the sky at the end of the day. (Just a few days before both snow and rain had been predicted!) What an honor to capture such a celebration.
Wedding Venue: The Ashford Estate / Caterer: Merri-Makers Caterers / Officiant: Rob LaCombe / Florist: Dahlia Florals / Rentals: Maggpie Vintage / Chairs: Barnes Farm Tables / Bluegrass Band: Magnolia / Reception Band: Russ Bennett Band w/ Hank Lane Music / Wedding Dress: Schone Bride / Groom's Suit: Suit Supply / Bridesmaid Dresses: Yumi Kim / Videographers: Birdhouse Weddings / Second Photographer: Noah Christman