Marisa & Trevor

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. 

Wedding Venue: The General's Residence / Wedding Planner: Lily SpruceCaterer: Fogcutter / Florist: Tango & Foxtrot / DJ: Love in the Mix / Second Photographer: Noah Christman

Cara & Craig

Cara & Craig's wedding was quintessential New York and a breath of fresh air after all a full season of Bay Area shoots. The absolutely perfect fall day meant that we could shoot a first look on a stunning outdoor balcony, happily linger outside of their Nomad church, and then walk down to Madison Square Park for some more portraits before joining the reception at the gorgeous, historic University Club.

The love that friends and family clearly felt for this couple shone throughout the day- from blessings given by twelve individual guests at the ceremony, to hilarious and heartfelt toasts, to a dance floor that stayed packed the whole night. It was an honor to spend time with such a joyful, kind people and to photograph Cara & Craig's big day! 

Ceremony Venue: The Church of the Transfiguration / Reception Venue: University Club / Coordinator: Ryan Hill / Officiant: Rev. Timothy Mulder / Florist: Fleur de MoisBand: A-List w/ Around Town EntertainmentWedding Dress: Custom made with mother's and grandmother's dresses / Bride's Jewelry: Monika Knuttson

Steph & Jeff

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, tucked into the hills of Sausalito, is a gem of a space- the Headlands Center for the Arts. The center provides artist residencies and public programming in addition to being a beautiful, historic, and utterly unique place to host a wedding in the Bay Area. It feels both modern and timeless, well-decorated and raw. So I understand why it immediately called out to Steph & Jeff as the perfect place to host their July wedding. 

They really let the venue and location sing while adding stylish touches throughout the day, including Steph's gorgeous, free-flowing dress and starburst earrings and Jeff's perfectly tailored suit and deep red pocket square, which the complemented colors of the many brilliant floral arrangements. Combined with lovely personal touches like of Steph's aunt officiating the ceremony and Jeff's father singing and playing guitar during their first dance, I had the best time photographing this wonderful couple and the folks who joined them to celebrate their marriage in this beautiful place.

Wedding Venue: Headlands Center for the Arts / Caterer: Katie Powers Catering / Florist: Ampersand / Hair and Makeup Artists: Ashley & Alexia of Flower & Gold / DJ: DJ Tom Thump

 

Stunning wedding dress

On the bride Kristy, during a wedding shot with Melanie Duerkopp last fall in Sonoma.

Genna & Jesse

It's not every wedding that you get a day-of call from the coordinator warning you that the gorgeous coastal location may experience gale force winds. And more importantly, it's not every event that you meet a couple whose perspective is so right on that it doesn't phase them in the least. Genna and Jesse are two intelligent, kind, loving, and much-loved individuals and it was clear from our first shot that they would enjoy and soak in the day, however it unfolded. 

And unfold it did, with the support of their community clearly visible. From fellow musicians who played during the ceremony and first dance (including a circle of fiddlers!), to numerous pieces handwritten by friends, and an officiant who was also the bride's mentor- the love and respect for this couple abounded. Toasts spoke to their character, the good they brought out in people, and the many ways that they care for others and each other. 

Amazingly, after some top-notch planning by Heather and her team at All Set, the weather ended up working in our favor. Portraits were taken with just the right amount of wind to lightly lift some chiffon. The sun broke out right before the ceremony. Guests enjoyed cocktail hour without having to huddle under heat lamps. We were even able to take sunset photos! All in all, a beautiful day resulting in some lovely images, a few of which are below.

Wedding Venue & Caterer: Costanoa LodgeCoordinator: All Set Events / Hair and Makeup: Kelly Jo Makeup and Hair / Florist: Brother and Sisters Flower ShopBand: The A-List with Downbeat LA / Photobooth: 143 PhotoboothWedding Dress: Loho Bride / Groom's Suit: Hugo BossSecond Photographer: Noah Christman 

Amanda & Mike

The gorgeous venue of Cavallo Point, located near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, is pretty much a slam dunk location. It's the perfect combination of Bay Area nature and historic buildings- an intimate getaway with close proximity to the city. But with this year's water-soaked winter, we all held our breath to see how the weather would effect Amanda and Mike's mid-February event. And I'm so happy to say that a marathon rainstorm stopped for ONE DAY to give Amanda and Mike the beautiful wedding they deserved.

After meeting in New York through their shared university, this impressive couple maintained their relationship through new jobs, cross-country relocations, law school, and a clerkship with the judge who graciously served as their officiant! Amongst a celebration flawlessly supported by Lauren of Ryder Sloan Events and a stellar team, the guests honored Amanda and Mike's many years together and the clear, abundant ways in which they complemented, supported, and brightened each others' lives. What an honor to be a part of this wonderful day!

Wedding Venue & Caterer: Cavallo PointCoordinator: Ryder Sloan EventsHair and Makeup: Marisa Perel / Florist: Mandolin Floral / Tabletop & Glassware: Frances Lane / Linens: La TavolaDJ: DJ Cams / Ceremony Music: Garden StringsLighting: Got LightSecond Photographer: Noah Christman / Videographer: Paperweight Films

Eric & Matt

Weddings are delightful but they can also be stressful- so many moving parts, high expectations, months of planning wrapped up into a single day experience. Sometimes this can be seen on the fringes of peoples' expressions and behavior. And sometimes, like at Eric & Matt's wedding, it's absolutely nowhere to be found. From the moment we walked in the door to greet the grooms, their families and wedding party, they were all smiles and cheer. They immediately welcomed us into the fold of their calm but excited pre-wedding bustle and I knew right away that it was going to be a fantastic shoot.

Eric and Matt organized and executed a beautiful day, reflective of their thoughtful natures and great taste. The adjoining spaces of Clos La Chance's property meant that people were treated to one beautiful area after another (vineyard views to an olive grove to the bistro-lit patio...completely lovely). Against these backdrops, guests shed happy tears, shared big group hugs, raised glasses of wine to heartfelt toasts and danced their hearts out. You could tell how excited Eric and Matt's families were to have these new sons and brothers-in-law and how thrilled everyone was to celebrate the union of these two men who they clearly loved so much. 

Wedding Venue: Clos La Chance Winery / Coordinator: Kristin Murphy / Grooms' Suits: Suit Supply / Grooms' Rings: Joe Escobar DiamondsCaterer: Cellar Door Catering / CakeSugar Butter Flour / Florist: Dig Gardens / Bouquets and boutineers: The Flower Cottage of Morgan Hill / DJ: Andy Acker of Sound in Motion / Second Photographer: Noah Christman

Ashley & Julien

I'm not ashamed to admit how completely biased I am in saying how much I loved this wedding. When my friends Ashley and Julien asked if I would photograph their wedding, and then chose one of my all-time favorite venues in the Bay Area, Chileno Valley Ranch, I knew that it would be a gorgeous and unforgettable day. 

The pops of color that punctuated the day - from the pinks and reds in Ashley's floral crown, to the hand-painted blue and yellow photobooth backdrop, to the green of the custom-designed camping mug favors - were indicative of what a bright presence these two are in peoples' lives. Friendly, smart, energetic, hilarious, kind- they are a couple who you always want more time with and it was a clear how much they meant to their friends and family, who gathered from across the country to celebrate with them.

The wedding was the perfect combination of heartfelt reflection and blissful revelry and was executed flawlessly by the stellar team of vendors they brought together. What a joy to shoot, and to be present for. 

Wedding Venue: Chileno Valley Ranch / Wedding Coordinator: Lea Stafford Events / Hair and Makeup: Flower and Gold / Bride's Dress: Jenny Packham / Bride's Shoes: Miu Miu / Groom's Suit Tailoring: Spoon Tailor / Florals: Susie Nadler of Flora GrubbCatering: Firefly Catering / DJ: Meghan of Heart of Gold DJs / Second Photographer: Jessica Monroy

Allegra & Jonathan

Have you ever been invited to a family's home for a wedding? It's incredibly special. You can see the family's history all over- in the childhood bedroom where the bride gets ready, the back porch where they waited to walk down the aisle, the hillside where guests camped that night. You realize that they've interacted with this property in so many ways, and this day will join a surely long list of lovely memories in that place.

Allegra and Jonathan are an infectiously sweet couple who live in San Francisco and decided to be married across the country in Vermont. As I make this trip often to visit my own family, I was delighted to be able to shoot a "local" wedding in the Northeast. Their joy and comfort in each other was apparent throughout the day- they were all smiles and laughter- and it made my work a true delight. You could tell that they're the kind of people who always better the lives of those around them.

And as friends and family cheered their run down the aisle after being married, toasted to their future and danced beside them into the late hours, I kept thinking what an amazing thing it is to be able to bring all of the people you love most into your life and your home. And how lucky I am to get to document such an occasion.

Day-of Coordinator: Catherine Saunders / Venue: Private residence in Norwich, VT / Hair and Makeup: The Woodstock Inn / Flowers and Brownies: Ardelia Farm / DJ: Scott SicaRentals: Celebrate in Vermont / Catering: Carolyn & Chris Sailer of The Moonshine Inn / Second Photographer: Noah Christman

Ximena & Isaac

City Hall weddings are such a unique part of shooting in San Francisco. The gorgeous Beaux-Arts style building inevitably wows out-of-town family members and is a source of pride for its city's residents. And when you have a less scripted type of wedding celebration in an equal-opportunity building, people's personalities shine through in their attire choices. I've seen huge ball gowns and tuxes, monotone ensembles, sleek tailored looks and on this amazing couple- a white jumpsuit and triple-patterned suit!!! The best.

Ximena and Isaac really upped the daytime wedding game with a morning shoot with their sweet pup at Corona Heights Park. One of my favorite parks for its neighborhoody vibe and expansive views, it started the day on such a glorious and relaxed note. It was a joy to pop into this couple's life for a few hours and to see the ways that they supported and complemented each other. With visiting family beside them to witness such a happy occasion, it was clearly a celebration of love and partnership. (And it made me really look forward to photographing their larger party in a few months!)

Masha & Thomas

You know how there are certain people who light up a room? They are magnetic. Their interest in others is palpable, their smiles are genuine, and their enthusiasm is contagious. Masha and Thomas are two of those kind of people. Which means that as a couple, they are truly impressive. And it's clear when you're with them (and especially photographing them!) how happy they make each other. 

Throughout their beautiful wedding day, I was touched by stories of how quickly they knew they had found their match and their eagerness to work for their relationship. Friends and family spoke of the ways that they enhanced each other and the people around them. And you could feel the love from their guests- from tears during the ceremony to huge laughs during toasts to a truly epic dance party. It was a fabulous celebration of a heartfelt union that I feel very lucky to have shared in and documented. (And on top of all that goodness it all looked A-MAZING! You'll see below...)

Wedding Planner: Spreading Lovely / Venue: Private Residence / Beauty: Aille Beauty / Catering: Weir Catering / Florals: Bell and Trunk / Band: Hip Service / Videography: Patrick Ang / Second Photographer: Noah Christman

Jen & Mark

One of the amazing things about photographing weddings is that for one day, you're wholeheartedly invited into a couple and family's lives. You're there to see and record the big emotions and small gestures. You're there to help people remember a standout day. It's touching and if you're lucky, also really fun. And this wedding was a blast.

This past weekend, I happily stayed put in my city for the 4th of July holiday to shoot Jen and Mark's Presidio wedding. They are kind, hilarious people and the parents of three sweet children (seriously, after a whole day of being photographed and asked to come in and out of shots, these kids were still all smiles. They were the best.) The ceremony was humorous and heartfelt and as a recent newlywed, I found myself wanting to take notes on the gems of advice and reflection provided by their officiant. It was a day focused on love, commitment, blending families, enjoying the people in one's life, and delicious Mexican food. A great day to document.

Getting Ready Location: Inn at the Presidio / Wedding Location: Arguello / Wedding Coordinator: Sheila Dizon of Event Solutions / Hair & Makeup: Lynn Lee / Band: Golden Gate Jazz Trio / Photobooth: Photomatica / Cake: Susie Cakes

Michelle & Eric

East Coast celebrations at the start of summer- there are few things better. So I'm grateful to have had the chance to shoot Michelle and Eric's gorgeous wedding a few weeks ago back in my home state of New Jersey!

It was held at the calm, beautiful Waterloo Village, with historical touches that punctuated every aspect of the day. M&E clearly put love and thought into many details, including handwritten notes transferred onto the bottom of her shoes, his NJ Devils socks, and the floral arrangements made by her kindergarten students! It was an honor to shoot such a sweet, happy day!

Melanie & Dave

My husband and I were married after knowing each other for just over 3 years (which I feel stellar about, for the record). But it always feels like something special to photograph the wedding of a couple who has been together for a long time. Like Melanie and Dave here, who have us beat by over double the number of years! 

These two met in college and have clearly grown together and been strengthened as a couple over time. They were so natural and happy together- it made the whole day a joy. And with a celebration set against the intimate, vibrant backdrop of Wildwood Acres Resort, we couldn't have asked for a better shoot. I'm so excited for Melanie and David and am thrilled to have spent such a special day with them!

Wedding Venue: Wildwood Acres Resort / Getting Ready Location: Lafayette Park Hotel    

All photographs © Kara Brodgesell

Crystal & Katie

These brides. These brides are the kind of people, with the kind of huge smiles and magnetic chemistry, who you want to be around on an average Saturday. So you can imagine just how much fun and love-filled their wedding day was.

There may have been some rain, and it may have affected the layout and flow of their event, but honestly I think that little detail will fade into the background with time (and that's largely due to the kick-ass planners and staff who turned the room like pros). What will surely last is the thought and effort put into their handmade details, the big laughter and happy tears from friends and family and the pure joy that ran through the day. It was an honor to witness and record it.

Below is a little preview from the many shots taken from the day. I was lucky to have my right-hand man (and soon-to-be husband!) shooting with and supporting me, so there are a few thousand to edit through. Whew!

Wedding Planners: Ah Ha Events / Wedding Venue: Benicia Historical Museum / Getting Ready Location: Shorelight Inn / DJ: Matt Haze / Second Photographer: Noah Christman
 

All photographs © Kara Brodgesell