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

On the job

The rare photograph of me, taken by Jessica Monroy while she was shooting a wedding with me in the hills of coastal Marin. I now see why people sometimes comment on the size of my gear- the flash and lens hood do add some considerable length. 

 Photograph by  Jessica Monroy

Photograph by Jessica Monroy

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

Dawn

I shot this two years ago at dawn on the day of Chris and Erica's wedding. I hope these two are having a wonderful anniversary and have a chance to reflect on all that was and is ahead. Theirs was one of the most touching and thoughtful days I've witnessed and it all started with this choice to take a calm moment together before all of the fun began.

 Photograph by Kara Brodgesell

Photograph by Kara Brodgesell

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