I was so pleasantly surprised at this little gem of a location which I had never been to before! Adriane and Tim found me through their friends Chelsey and Mark (view their wedding here!) and I was more than pleased to be able to meet Chelsey and Mark's new baby boy at this wedding! LOVE direct referrals so I can see some of my former clients again!
Hollins House is a lovely historic old home on the property of the Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz. With incredible views of Monterrey Bay, big oak trees, views of the golf course and a sweet little gazebo for the ceremony, it's hard to believe I've never photographed at this location! Our bride Adriane is a wedding planner and coordinator herself, so location and a truly lovely experience for her friends and family must have been so important to her. She hit a home run with this location!
Doing most of the work herself on planning and designing the wedding, she even had the design of her JINZA gown altered to her specifications! She worked with Laughin' Gal Floral to make sure the very natural, but Fall feeling florals were perfect for the tables and outdoor venue. I loved the little lantern gifts that were set at each guest's place setting. As the daylight faded, the little lanterns turned on and added a terrific glow to the tables for the evening - and then the guests got to take them home!
This was such a special family and friend-oriented wedding and great love was acknowledged and shared throughout the toasts. Then everyone had a blast dancing the night away and continuing to have cocktails under the stars.
Such a sweet couple Adriane and Tim!
I will forever love photographing in the Barrel room at Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma! What a fabulous room! Add the tiny and incredibly sweet and old Sonoma Mission church in for the ceremony and you have a pretty great couple of wine country venues for a perfect wedding right in the middle of town!
Nicole and Andrew were a little shy about being photographed, but on their wedding day they stepped up and smiled and smiled for the photos and I was so glad because there were such pretty locations to work with! I absolutely loved photographing them at the Sonoma Mission right off of Sonoma Square and we had fun meeting the bridal party and family at the tiny vineyard on the Sebastiani property!
That gorgeous barrel room was stunning with decor and planning by So Eventful and florals by Mae Flowers. The guests were treated to food by the very local The Girl and the Fig restaurant and catering and then everyone enjoyed transitioning to the tasting room for the photo booth and dancing. So happy I'm on the preferred vendor list at Sebastiani. I just love photographing weddings here!
Congrats to Nicole and Andrew!
Reception Venue: Sebastiani Winery
Ceremony Venue: Mission San Francisco Solano
Event Planner: So Eventful
Floral Designer: Mae Flowers
Caterer: The Girl and the Fig
Baker: Susie Cakes
Musicians: Simply the Best
Linen Rental: La Tavola
This wedding was such a treat for me! When I first moved to the bay area, I lived right off of a fire trail in Berkeley called Claremont Canyon. Up at the top of the steep hike there was a house that had amazing views but was hard to see because of the landscaping and walls, but it looked from what I could see, like a little hobbit house tucked into the hill. I always thought it would be such a treat to be able to see what the house looked like. Well, fast forward 14 years and I found myself photographing Amber and Aryeh's wedding at this very house and it really IS a hobbit type house! Sometimes being a wedding photographer gets you into the most incredible places!
The ceremony was on the lawn perched at the edge of the property with amazing panoramic views of the San Francisco bay and bridges. As the sun set, Amber and Aryeh said their vows and then everyone gathered for the yummy food buffet by Le Mediterranee and ate and drank on an incredibly warm evening with crickets chirping, the moon rising and a gorgeous starry sky. It was truly magical and was hard to leave when the time came for me to go home.
I didn't have much time with Amber and Aryeh for our portrait session because it was all about being with family and friends for them, but getting to use even a portion of the ivy covered walls and doors of that house was incredibly fun for a photographer! But ultimately I was happy to pass them along to enjoy their star and moonlit evening dancing the night away and watching the moon reflecting on the bay. Simply gorgeous.
Every once in a while I get the chance to photograph a wedding near my home town in Chicago. Cara, Albert and I were a perfect fit given that we all live in the bay area, so we were able to do an engagement session here and since Cara and I grew up in the Chicago area so I was able to go and see my family and photograph their wedding in Chicago! Lucky me!
What a fabulous and classic city style wedding! Cara was absolutely spectacular in her Rivini Couture "Sabina" ball gown and long gorgeous veil. I knew from our e-session she would be such fun to photograph and despite cold weather, wind and drizzle she was fabulous in front of the camera! Albert was the perfect groom having just as much fun and indulging his bride and it's obvious in the pictures what fun they have together as a couple.
Their ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral was so gorgeous set under the glorious wood carved ceiling and the reception at the Waldorf sparkled in intimate city splendor with florals by Kehoe Designs. I LOVED how gorgeous that cake was and just HAD to turn it around on it's table to get the sparkle of candlelight behind it (something I would never normally do for a photograph!). As the night went on it went from elegant and candlelit to one heck of a party with Style Matters DJs spinning, champagne and cocktails and dancing into the wee hours. It was amazing the family was able to get up in the morning to go to the traditional Korean Tea ceremony! I LOVE photographing Korean tea ceremonies, but especially the bride dressing. The costumes are truly works of art.
Loved Cara and Albert and had such fun photographing their wedding. Congratulations!
**Special thanks to my good friend Jeff Ellis for helping me photograph this wedding. I worked with Jeff when I was first getting into photography over 25 years ago!
Here's another very local location (I live in Oakland) I had never been to before! The Piedmont Community Church in another local gem. The darling old church, courtyard and reception hall built in 1918 features some terrific mission-style architecture. Love that it's a self-contained venue that includes a church! Not easy to find! Cocktails in the courtyard, weather permitting is a great transition to the lovely dining hall.
Sarah and Jonathan were all about spending as much time as they could with their family and friends, but their time alone together on their wedding day was just as important so they decided to make our photo session that time. We had a terrific time and I loved photographing Sarah in that incredible veil! While the guests enjoyed Chick-fil-A sliders at cocktail hour, we ran across the street to take advantage of the redwoods, oaks and architecture in the gorgeous central Piedmont park!
Then it was a buffet-style dinner by Blue Heron Catering followed by some crazy dancing with some traditions woven into the evening like the funny money dance! Also, honoring Nicaraguan/Cuban heritage, everyone was treated to watching a tango during the mother-son dance! What a festive wedding. Congrats to Sarah and Jonathan!
Yeehaw! This was a fun one! Starting with the rehearsal dinner hoedown at the Swiss Hotel in downtown Sonoma and the wedding at the ever gorgeous Atwood Ranch. Cristin and Capp and their guests had a blast throughout the weekend and Atwood Ranch was as always stunning with design by Julie Atwood, florals by Marie Philbin Floral Design and a fabulous family style meal by Sage Catering.
There was threat of rain all day and then during the ceremony the clouds broke up and the sun burst through just as they were ready to seal their marriage with a kiss! Cocktails were on the patio and then after a big group shot with pompoms (Cristin was a cheerleader and Capp was a football player!), the barn doors opened to reveal the gorgeous barn lit by candles and lovely chandeliers. After dinner the party really got started and late night (after I left) apparently a huge group stayed on for acoustic music by the outdoor fire into the night.
What a gorgeous wedding! Congrats Cristin and Capp!
Venue: Atwood Ranch
Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Swiss Hotel
Event Coordinator: Julie Atwood Events
Floral Designer: Marie Philbin Floral Design
Caterer: Sage Catering
Cake Designer: Scandia Bakery
Hair and Make-up Artist: Rebecca Butz
Linen Rental: La Tavola
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
I love, love, love getting to go up that nondescript elevator off of the main lobby of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, Whoosh up you go to the spectacular Julia Morgan designed penthouse suite at the top of the original hotel building. Have I mentioned a million times how much fun it is sometime to be a wedding photographer and to get to go into these incredible places? This suite is spectacular with a two story round library room, a billiard room with floor to ceiling moroccan tile, a living room, three bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen and a dining room that can seat up to 60 for a formal dinner. Oh, and the lovely terrace with views of the Trans America tower and SF bay? Truly one of my favorite places in San Francisco!
OK! I can't forget about my bride and groom with the impeccable taste who had their intimate wedding here! Allyn dressed in her gorgeous Amy Kuschel gown in the master bedroom of the suite, they married on the terrace surrounded by their closest family and friends and took full advantage of that dining room seating all of their guests for an incredible formal multi-course meal prepared by the fabulous chefs of the Fairmont. Irish coffee, billiards and dancing followed along with lots of photos on the terrace as the sun set and the SF skyline lights went up. What a gorgeous and intimate wedding with understated elegance (not overpowering the rooms) designed by Marisa Canoles of Rebecca Reategui Weddings and Special Events and florals by Katherine of Cherries Flowers. Allyn and Andrew couldn't have been a sweeter couple and seemed to have the time of their lives surrounded by those they love in such an intimate and special setting. Hands-down one of my favorite SF wedding locations for a small wedding! Congratulations to Allyn and Andrew!
Venue & Caterer: Fairmont Hotel
Event Designer: Rebecca Reategui Weddings & Special Events
Cake Designer: Inticing Creations
Floral Designer: Cherries Flowers
Bridal Dress: Amy Kuschel
Ring Designers: Palladium Fine Jewelry
Invitations: Susan Gildea Personalized Printing
Stationer: Flemings Printed Affair
Hair and Makeup Artist: Meaganne McCandess
DJ: DJ Chris Debol
Linen Rentals: La Tavola
Rentals: Classic Party Rental
Happy to finally share this joyful wedding of Michael and Judith! This was a destination wedding and Michael and Judith wanted to be in the heart of San Francisco with all of their family and friends. A world away from their home in Florida made for a very special weekend!
I loved shooting at the JW Marriott right off of Union Square. The service there is incredible and it's so centrally located! Michael and Judith planned a really nicely paced day planning for a first look early enough that we could go to the Palace of Fine Arts and Crissy Field for a photo shoot. We had a blast and plenty of time for both locations and they even got back to the hotel early enough for "rest" time with family and friends in their lovely suite before the main festivities began. Judith had her hair and makeup team Michael Page Style Lab on hand to refresh her look in between the portrait session and ceremony and looked so lovely at both!
Family and friend focussed, the wedding and reception were relaxed and full of great food and lots of time for everyone to visit, eat, drink and then dance the night away to a DJ from Joel Nelson Productions!
Congratulations Michael and Judith!
Two Rancho Nicasio weddings in one year! Fun! The first one was a family wedding in May and the second was Aria and Brian's sweet and relaxed wedding just a few weeks ago. Love this location! The surrounding area is such a lovely representation of West Marin and the town of Nicasio is just such a sweet little town with it's tiny old volunteer fire department firehouse, church with steeple and baseball field (right in the middle!), there's not much to it, but it's such a fun experience for guests. Not many people make it out to this out of the way spot.
Aria and Brian lucked out with the weather which stayed warm through their outdoor garden dinner set with pretty and simple florals by Mill Valley Flowers and the Rancho Nicasio food is so yummy! It was a lovely evening watching the sun set over the adjacent hills and ranch land and when people moved inside when it got cooler outside, the party really got rolling as DJ Jeremy rocked the house! I love traditional Jewish weddings and always have fun photographing the hora even though sometimes I come out of it with bruises! Such a festive and joyous dance!
Aria and Brian were so sweet together when we stole away from dinner for our sunset shoot and walked around taking portraits at all the lovely little spots around town. The beauty of this town is that it's so small, we could do it in ten minutes and get them back in time for toasts! I could see the happiness in Aria and Brian throughout the day and knew they had an incredible day! Congrats to Aria and Brian!
What a cool wedding venue! I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about the new San Francisco Exploratorium as a wedding venue, but when a couple of science fanatics (Maddy and Matt!) and one of my fave coordinators (Elizabeth Bainbridge of 2 the 9s Events) contacted me about this wedding I was intrigued. I ended up loving this venue! The views of San Francisco Bay are stunning, the staff is super nice and helpful and the outdoor deck for cocktail hour was a huge treat for guests. Plus everyone got to play a little and learn a bit about science while there!
Maddy and Matt were so low key and fun on their wedding day and I loved that Elizabeth Bainbridge helped them choose Angella Floral Arts for the terrific florals that fit right in. I loved the use of science beakers, books and terrariums! The food stations by caterer Betty Zlatchin Catering were really lovely and festive. It was such an easy going-wedding all around and in a fabulous setting. Congrats to Maddy and Matt!
Venue: San Francisco Exploratorium
Event Coordinator: 2 the 9s Events
Floral Designer and Signage: Angella Floral Arts
Catering: Betty Zlatchin Catering
Ice Cream Sandwiches: Curbside Creamery
Mini Fruit Pies: Delish Designs
Invitations: JPress Designs
Hair and Make-up Artists: Artists by Sherrie Long
Musicians: Denon and Doyle
Lighting: Got Light
Furniture: CORT Event Furnishings
Heather and Shawn wanted a fairytale wine country destination wedding and they got it! Stryker Sonoma is the perfect location for a destination wedding in wine country. Family and guests were mostly coming from Texas where Heather and Shawn reside and having the wedding all in one location certainly helps keep it easy for your guests! Also, if you want to wow your guests with wine country views a little off the beaten track, this is it! Coming from Texas in the middle of the summer, I'm sure the perfect 80-something degree weather was welcome too!
Heather is in the fashion industry and absolutely shined in her custom made David Peck gown. She had her designer also design and make dresses for the VIP ladies of the group. I loved the swooshing skirts and various shades of pink and purple. She also had her little dream team of stylists on hand to prep her with hair and makeup as well as to be on our little photo shoots to make sure she looked picture perfect. She was all hollywood glamour with that wavy blonde hair and when she came out in her stunning veil, I swear people gasped. Certainly her groom was awestruck and beaming from ear to ear.
The farm tables with family-style meal by Alex's Catering and florals by Garden Party added to that perfect warm summer evening wine country feel and guests danced into the night to live music by Larry Lynch & The Mob under the full moon and stars. This wedding will last in the memories of all involved. On top of it, Heather and Shawn both waited a long time to meet the perfect match and they celebrated in a once-in-a-lifetime way and seemed to have the time of their lives!
Every once in a while I have a perfect storm that comes together to make a gorgeous and unscripted moment. In this case, my bride looked like an vintage hollywood starlet, we were in a barrel room, the light was gorgeous (although low), she had her friend and stylist there who was trying to keep the veil from flying in the wrong direction due to the ventilation in the barrel room and pulled just a little too hard and this was the result. Gorgeousness. Happy holiday weekend! I have two great locations this weekend: Rancho Nicasio and the San Francisco Ferry Building! I'm so lucky!
My "starlet" and bride: Heather
What a day this was! Catherine and David, both New York stage actors, went for the ultimate glamour of a San Francisco City Hall wedding and then everyone went up to Longmeadow Ranch in St. Helena for what was mentioned in a toast as the perfect "Midsummer Night's Dream". Both locations honored Catherine's upbringing in San Francisco and family vacations in wine country and all of their guests were treated to such a fun day!
Catherine was so stunning in her Rosa Clara gown from Lovely Bride in New York. The dress and Catherine transitioned seamlessly from city wedding to country reception by switching out the lovely veil to a wreath of flowers on her head. David was super handsome in his gorgeous blue suit and the flowers by Tango and Foxtrot were sweet and perfect for the long dining tables at Longmeadow. By the way, the food at Longmeadow is so terrific! I loved the BBQ meal cooked right in front of the guests in what then became the fire pit area after dark.
Stunning couple, stunning wedding. Congrats to Catherine and David!
What a festive traditional Mexican themed wedding at Camopvida in Hopland! I always love photographing at this stunning location because as the sign there says it's a "garden of gardens" and I LOVE gardens! It's truly magical and what made this wedding even more special is that the bride grew up on this property way back in the day when her family lived on site! What fun for the family to come back and celebrate the wedding of one of their own. It was fun to walk around during our photo sessions and listen to the bride say things like "we used to catch frogs over there!" and "we used to play hide and seek in the barn!". I feel so lucky they chose me to photograph this very special day!
Also, bringing in the tradition of a mariachi band marching in before the groom to start the ceremony and then leading everyone to the cocktail hour was truly wonderful. Although Maria did a lot of the work herself in the planning, Kelly & Company Wine Country Weddings did a great job of putting it all together and Park Avenue Catering provided such a festive buffet of summer BBQ!
Maria and Nate's first dance under the Mexican cuttouts fluttering in the fading evening light to a song from the band who they saw on their first date made this wedding day even more special and the fact that their 4 month old daughter Lulu was the little flower girl pulled into the ceremony in a Red Flyer wagon put everything over the top. Sheesh. This one was truly a loving and festive family affair! Congrats to Maria and Nate!
Oh, Laurel my bride who looks like a movie star! So gorgeous in her Matthew Christopher gown! She was the picture of gorgeousness in these classic Tiburon wedding locations! Elizabeth Bainbridge of 2 the 9s Events and her team put together such a lovely day starting with the garden ceremony overlooking Richardson Bay at Landmark Gardens and then on to a fun bay photo shoot including a ride in the bride's Uncle's classic orange Mercedes!
Then it was really time to wow the guests with views of San Francisco across the bay at this lovely evening reception at the Corinthian Yacht Club. Guests were treated to cocktail hour on the outdoor porch and indoor sunroom both overlooking the bay and then on to a cozy dinner in the wood paneled yacht club dining hall. The candelabra florals by Mill Valley Flowers on the head table were stunning and then it was on to a big dance party with the bride's family friend leading the band The Bad Jones.
Evening descended on the bay and the lights of San Francisco came up and everyone lingered well into the evening. What a perfect wedding day! Congrats Laurel and Lee!
I feel so fortunate that I've been on the Healdsburg Country Gardens preferred vendor list for so many years. I've always felt it was the perfect wedding venue. Ceremony under the oak tree with views of the vineyards, dinner in the garden, dancing in the barn, a sunset photo shoot in the vineyard - it's the perfect setup!
Add in gorgeous wedding design by So Eventful and a gorgeous couple and viola! My job is easy! I loved Olivia's glamorous classic movie star look and red lips. Brian's reaction at their first look was so sweet. She made him gasp and cry! Very touching. Their family and guests were so important to them and their extended cocktail hour and lingering dinner gave them a chance to really visit with people. I'm sure it was a whirlwind for them, but in the eyes of someone who sees a lot of weddings, they really seemed to have time to enjoy themselves. I felt bad taking them away from the rocking dance party in the barn for their sunset shoot but once they were out there they seemed to enjoy this little break - until Olivia heard one of her fave dance songs and they were back in the dance party! Super sweet and fun wedding! Congrats Olivia and Brian!