Heather & Ryder

When you’ve photographed weddings for a while, there are certain rhythms to the day that become familiar. It’s part of the fun and challenge of the shoot – finding moments, creating portraits, focusing in on details within the usual cadence of the day. It also makes it wonderfully startling when you’re completely surprised by something. At Heather and Ryder’s ceremony in the beginning of October, their friend and officiant spontaneously stepped out from under the arbor into the aisle and addressed the guests, encouraging family and the wedding party to express their feelings and how much they loved the couple. It was so unexpected and touching and I was definitely not the only one tearing up as a result.

Between that gem of a moment, two uniquely and utterly adorably dressed flower girls, bridesmaids in personalized tones and styles of dresses, a “best woman” supporting the groom, and wedding toasts that included a personalized slideshow and a mother/father duet of a custom song, it was clear that Heather and Ryder’s wedding was so very much their own. They made the day fun, easygoing, and a true pleasure to shoot. It was such an honor to be around so much love and hopefully the preview shots convey what a special day these two created.

Venue: Chileno Valley RanchFlorist: JenniFlora / Catering: Firefly Catering / Oysters: The Oyster Girls / Cake: Pascaline / DJ: Ken Quam / Second Photographer: Noah Christman

Noah in questionable lighting

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.

Lindsay & Sky

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 & Mark

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 ChurchReception 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

Bridesmaid favor