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
Weddings are about love, commitment, celebration, friends, family, and taking the time to be grateful and present on a day. But they're also about FASHION! I personally bought 2 pairs of fancy heels for my wedding (and hadn't bought any in the 4 years before or 2 years since).
It's so much fun to see how a bride's personality and taste comes through in her attire choices, and to be reminded how many choices there are! Gone are the days of white satin shoes being the only acceptable option, and thank goodness for it. So here's a little medley of the shoe stunners from my 2017 wedding season.
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 Mois / Band: A-List w/ Around Town Entertainment / Wedding Dress: Custom made with mother's and grandmother's dresses / Bride's Jewelry: Monika Knuttson
Photographing weddings is really unlike any other kind of shoot. You meet a couple, hope that your style resonates with them, agree to work together. And then on the wedding day, you're quickly brought into the folds of their lives. You meet their families, capture them reuniting with old friends, and hear the hilarious and heartfelt speeches into which people put so much effort. I felt the honor of this so strongly at Dena & Nathan's beautiful August wedding at Slide Ranch.
D&N clearly put a lot of thought and love into their wedding plans, including their choice to support a working farm in a stunning coastal Marin location. They walked down the (exceptionally wide) aisle with their siblings and parents and incorporated ceremony readings of song lyrics picked for them by good friends. The welcome table displayed photos from family members' weddings and glasses for the evening contained individual notes for each recipient.
And as the light fell, toasters reflected on how strong D&N were as individuals and how much they'd brought to each other's lives. Their bond was celebrated by their greatly-valued community, with tears shed during the ceremony, hearty laughs at the toasts, and an ever-full yurt dance floor. As we departed, we watched guests donning headlamps and carrying leftover liquor bottles working their way back over the hillside path to the campsite, surely to spend many more hours of celebrating this lovely couple in this exceptional spot.
Wedding Venue: Slide Ranch / Coordinator: Casen Splain / Caterer: The Lunch Box Catering / Florist: Bellevue Floral Co. / Dena's Dress: BHLDN / Dena’s earrings: Sarah Neiman / Nathan's Suit: Anatoly’s / DJ: DJ Wayne Noel
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.