Dogpatch Wine Works - Katy and Alex

Loved this very urban wedding at Dogpatch Wine Works! Katy and Alex love their city and have spent a lot of time in this neighborhood, so they wanted an urban wedding to celebrate who they are as a couple.

I have not photographed at this location before and thought the staff was top notch and on top of everything! What fun to include a local wine maker's wine at your reception when you love your city and you love wine! Plus the setting is just so great with the intimate barrel room for dining and an after dark intimately lit ceremony area which then converts to a great big cocktail area for kicking off the party.

We had a great time taking photos around The Fairmont where they got ready and then on to the People's Pier for more photos with the bridal party. Then on to some street shots in Dogpatch before the light got too low in the November sky. Then all was magic as the gorgeous lighting by Dogpatch Wine Works came up and the outside light went down. On to the lovely urban evening ceremony and reception.

Katy and Alex are such a great couple and I'm so happy they had their perfect wedding. It was an honor to photograph them!

Meritage Resort and Spa - Conor and Nick

Conor and Nick wanted their dream wedding to be in wine country and dreamy is what they got! Supported by family and friends, they took time out of their incredibly busy medical careers to fly out for the weekend to tie the knot in CA. A destination wedding for them (they are from Chicago), they spent the weekend enjoying gorgeous weather, wine and food with friends and family.

Such a relaxed and informal pair, they managed to pull off a gorgeous wedding with the help of coordinator Kate Whelan and florist Flourish. The Meritage's relatively new ceremony area on a hilltop with an old gazebo was the perfect setting for this intimate ceremony with Greek traditional touches honoring Nick's heritage.

Then to a fabby party with loads of gorgeous food by the chefs at Meritage and then a really fun dance party to follow. It looked like Nick and Conor had the time of their lives surrounded by family and friends. I'm not sure the smiles ever left their faces! Congrats to Nick and Conor!

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Coordinator: Kate Whelan

Florist: Flourish

Suit's: Bzach Chicago

DJ: Boutique Dj's

The Fairmont Gold Room - Angela and Casey

Oh how I love The Fairmont in San Francisco and I was more than thrilled to finally photograph a wedding reception in the Gold Room. I love that classic gorgeous ballroom and had only photographed a corporate event in the room in the past. 

Angela and Casey had a jam-packed wedding day starting at the Fairmont getting ready and then we all got on the road to the east bay for the ceremony. On the way we got trapped by a China town parade until father-of-the-bride convinced the SF police to hold up the parade so we could get to the church in time! So funny in retrospect, but a little nerve wracking day of!

I love the big Greek Orthodox cathedrals and weddings. So gorgeous and full of tradition. Angela and Casey tied the knot in a classic Greek Orthodox Ceremony at the Ascension Cathedral in Oakland and then we all got back into the city for the cocktail hour in the Fountain Room at The Fairmont and then dinner in the gold room.

Angela stunned all in her Monique Lhuillier gown. I kept thinking while I photographed her that she looked like Audrey Hepburn. Lucky me as a photographer! The florals by Katherine Bergman were classic and beautiful and I loved how they added to the gorgeousness of the Gold Room. Jessica Goldblatt with Dreams on a Dime did a great job coordinating the day, even racing from The Fairmont to Oakland to bring the bride's veil which had been forgotten at the hotel. Now THAT is above and beyond and it was just in time!

The party was raging when I left and given the Fairmont's generous rental hours, I believe the party went until midnight with some great Greek dancing traditions and fun music by a DJ for some more contemporary dancing. What a fun day for all! Congrats to Angela and Casey!

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Healdsburg Country Gardens - Cara and Matt

Admittedly I was a little nervous about going to Healdsburg Country Gardens to shoot because it's under new ownership, but I was pleasantly surprised at the changes. Although I miss the gorgeous rose garden the previous owners had put in, I do love the new cocktail area the open space now provides. Still one of my favorite properties in wine country!

Cara and Matt were a lovely couple to work with. So in love and they had such a fun party! All about family and friends, wine and food. A perfect setting for a great couple! Flutter Events did such a nice job for them preparing and Alisha O'Connor was there the day of making sure everything ran perfectly.

The flowers by Daisy Rose were truly as if they were picked right out of the garden per Cara's wishes and the food by the always fabulous Girl and the Fig was amazing. Cara and Matt love hanging out in wine country and listening to country music so the bluegrass band One Button Suit was great fun both during the ceremony and during cocktails and dinner.

Just such a perfect and pretty wedding. Congratulations, Cara and Matt!

Bridal gown and boutique: La Soie Bridal in Sacramento, Dress by Enzoani
Shoes: Ceremony shoes: Stuart Weitzman. Reception Boots: Lucchese
Bridesmaid dresses: Donna Morgan
Formalwear: Combatant Gentleman
Hair piece: Bel Aire Bridal
Jewelry: Rings from Mark Allen Jewelers, Santa Rosa.
Day of Wedding Coordinator: Alisha O'Connor
Event Designer: Flutter Events
Florist: Daisy Rose, Sonona
Caterer: Girl and the Fig, Sonoma
Baker: Mustache Bakery, Healdsburg
Stationer: Susan Gildea Personalized Printing, Berkeley
Hair and Makeup: Powder Room, Santa Rosa
Music: Ceremony/Cocktail: One Button Suit. Dinner/Dancing: DJ Bart
Guest favors: Homemade Jalapeno Jelly by Joy Patterson (MOB)
Chalkboards: Nicki Wolfe. Calligraphy: The Calligraphy Girl
Rentals: Encore Events Rentals, Healdsburg

 

Olympia's Valley Estate Wedding - Roxy and Chris

Trees and Birds! When we planned Roxy and Chris' engagement session, they said they loved trees and the forest, so I was inspired to take them out to Stinson beach and the foot of Mount Tam where we were able to find lots of nature. I should not have been surprised when I arrived on their wedding day to find a bird and trees themed wedding. How lovely!

Lisa Bravo of Bravo Weddings and Events and the lovely ladies at Olympia's Valley Estate had their hands full, keeping track of all the lovely details and where they were to be placed. I'd never photographed at Olympia's Valley Estate and thought it was gorgeous. It's a big property so there was a lot involved in coordinating! Meredith Law did a spectacular job with all the floral details which included birds, nests, branches and birdcages! I always especially love when the wedding rings are nestled into a nest. The bride's mother also contributed by hand-making each guest "escort card" which were wooden rounds branded with each guest's name and Roxy and Chris' tree logo. They hung from big bunches of tree branches at the entrance to the barn.

But more than anything, this wedding was all about family, friends, love and fun! Lawn games were enjoyed during the cocktail hour and everyone had (an exhausting) blast during the Hora. I always love photographing Jewish weddings for all of the meaningful traditions. The signing of the traditional Jewish wedding contract called the Ketubah is always emotional, and the Ketubahs are always gorgeously designed and usually done by hand. I also love the circling of the bride and groom right before they start the traditional wedding ceremony in front of all the guests. 

Roxy and Chris had gigantic smiles on their faces most of the day and as they danced their last dance in homage to Prince ("Let's go Crazy") and throughout their send-off they were positively on fire! Congrats to Roxy and Chris! It looked like they had the time of their lives on their wedding day!

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Event Coordinator: Lisa Bravo

Venue: Olympia's Valley Estate

Caterer: Park Avenue

Floral Designer: Meredith Law

Dress: Le Caprice

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Cake: Forget Me Not Cakes

Musicians: AMS Entertainment

Hair and Make-up Artist: Triple Twist

 

Tilden Botanic Gardens and BROC Cellars - Kirsten and Tim!

OK, not only is Kirsten my dear friend, she is also my former studio-mate and an incredibly talented photographer. Photographing her wedding was an honor and a great gift I could give to my dear friend and her new husband.

I loved their intimate day. Berkeley is their home and they decided to treat their friends and family to a wedding Berkeley-style with a very sophisticated and austere twist. Honoring Kirsten's Los Angeles style and Tim's love of the outdoors became a great theme for this simple and lovely wedding focused on family, friends and their love of food and wine! Surrounded by family and friends in the sequoia grove at the Tilden Botanic Gardens, their ceremony was quiet, intimate and special. Kirsten and Tim seemed to be glowing both inside and out as I photographed them saying their vows.

Kirsten hired an all-star Berkeley cast of vendors too! I was more than thrilled when Kirsten told me she was going to work with Svenja of Chestnut and Vine on the flowers. I love Svenja's sophisticated, artistic and quirky style and it fit right in with Kirsten and Tim's day. Standard Fare Berkeley catered the yummy food and of course the wine was all BROC Cellars - Kirsten and Tim's favorite local winery and the location of the fun and simple celebration reception. With wine and food in the tasting room and games galore outside, adults and kids alike had a great time celebrating Kirsten and Tim. So did I and couldn't be more thrilled for this couple whom I grown to love to so much. They are so perfect for each other in so many ways. Plus they look pretty darned great in front of the lens too!

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Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch Wedding - Megan and Oli!

It's rare that one of my favorite parts of the day is taking the getting ready photos. I like it, but I'm always thrilled to get to the venue to start photographing the big event! BUT, Megan and Oli got ready on a very special family property about thirty minutes from the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch which is where the wedding and reception were to take place. When I drove onto this remote property up near Geyserville, I instantly fell and love and knew why it was such a special place! A family property shared by both architects AND stylists, it was simple and lovely and decked out for the wedding festivities! I especially loved the wedding night tent set up for the newlyweds on a remote part of the property.

Megan wore a BHLDN ready-to-wear dress for all the pre-shooting on this rural property and I loved being shown around to the couple's favorite spots for our photo session with California Oaks, vineyards and gorgeous views of both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys as backdrops! How lucky am I that I get glimpses into these special places!

Then off we went to the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch and I was excited to start photographing the loveliness of THAT property and the combined creativity of our bride and her stylist Stepmom, Margaret Turnbull. All was seamlessly woven together by our fabulous wedding planners from ROQUE Events. Megan stunned all when she walked out in her Delphine Manivet Hyppolite gown and the flowers by Mae Flowers were especially fitting creating a feel of freshly picked wildflowers. I absolutely loved the guest favors of loose leaf organic tea in glass tubes. Megan and Oli had fun incorporating their combined heritages too. I loved all the Austrian touches representing our couple's home country and Oli's birth country.

Friends and family and a big party were the goal and they succeeded! The evening was warm and clear and the couple's bluegrass band was even made up of friends and all gathered when Megan and Oli shared their first s'more at the "campfire". What a stunning wedding and a stunning couple. I was honored to photograph this incredible day!

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The Flood Mansion - Emily and Collin!

It's been a while since I photographed a wedding at The Flood Mansion in San Francisco. Yowsa - it's still one of my favorite locations in the entire bay area and it was the perfect sophisticated and elegant venue for a sophisticated and elegant couple.

After a fairy tale first look at the Lyon Steps, a trolley dropped off the bridal party and immediate family for a super fun photo session. Nobody seemed to mind too much that I made everyone traipse up and down the many flights of stairs because the trolley couldn't drop us off JUST where I wanted to photograph everyone. Many thanks to everyone for doing that for the picky photographer! It DID provide some really fun shots of our bride getting her workout in for the day!

Emily and Collin said their vows in the courtyard at Flood mansion flanked by a couple of gorgeous floral arrangements by Lynda Quiros of Elle Que Designs . Oh it was so elegant and glamorous and Emily looked like Grace Kelly come back to life in her incredible gown by Jinza Bridal. The hair and makeup team of Amy Hsueh and Laura Yamasaki, couldn't have done a better job with Emily's elegant look and I had a glorious time photographing this stunning bride. Collin was incredibly dapper too in his Hugo Boss tux and Tom Ford Bow Tie. I loved some of the pre-ceremony shots I got while he and his groomsmen waited for the ceremony to start.

As if all of that wasn't enough gorgeousness, the party started and the dining room looked so stunning! Caroline Bottoms made sure everything looked perfect. Global Gourmet provided not only that gorgeous bridal party tablecloth but also this gorgeous and delicious food. All set within the elegant rooms of the Flood Mansion with views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, how could this NOT be one of my favorite locations in the bay area! I always feel honored when I photograph a wedding in this gorgeous space.

Thank you, Emily and Collin and congratulations!

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Event Coordinator: Caroline Bottoms

Venue: Flood Mansion

Floral Designer: Lynda Quiros of Elle Que Designs

Caterer: Global Gourmet Catering

Cake: Susie Cakes

Hair Stylist: Amy Hsueh

Make-up Artist: Laura Yamasaki

Lighting: Got Light

Dress: Jinza Bridal

Jewelry: Helene Lucille

Headlands Center for the Arts - Kristen and Brian!

It's always an honor when someone in the industry asks me to photograph their wedding and Kristen was no exception! As the Marketing Director for Got Light, she knows her stuff about gorgeous weddings and the wedding industry! Also, an extremely creative knitter, she has her own YouTube channel called "Studio Knit". Check it out! A woman of many talents and boundless energy, Kristen took on her wedding like she seems to take on everything - with a passion and talent rarely seen, Kristen made this the DIY wedding of all time!

Creating 1,000 paper cranes as a backdrop for their ceremony was just a start for Kristen! I also loved the paper butterflies she added to the lanterns. She added buttons down her back from her mother’s 1967 wedding dress, symbolizing that her mother “had her back” during the wedding. For her adorable flowergirl Delilah, Kristen created a pomander wand with hand dyed French silk ribbons and daisies in her favorite color – purple! With her exquisite eye for design and color, she put her graphic arts and paper folding skills to work. She designed all the wedding collateral, creating the whimsical cohesive branding of their wedding, even adding hand made paper cranes to the wedding invitations!

Headlands Center for the Arts is one of my fave bay area venues and their official caterer, Katie Powers of Katie Powers Catering knocked the socks off - as always - with the food and I was also thrilled when I arrived and saw my friend Erica of Erica Rose Designs was doing the flowers. Add in the talented Got Light team and Jasmine Rae Bakery, and you truly have an all-star team!

Kristen and Brian's union was over 25 years in the making, so when they tied the knot, I'm not sure there was a dry eye in the house - especially when two of the members of Brian's former band Veil of Ashes played a love song from their band days during the ceremony. I was crying behind the lens! These two know how to have fun together, love beautiful things and great music and it all came together on their wedding day. Congrats to Kristen and Brian!!!

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Venue: Headlands Center for the Arts

Caterer: Katie Powers Catering

Cake: Jasmine Rae Bakery

Event Design: Chambray Event Design

Lighting: Got Light

Florist: Erica Rose Designs

Hair and Make-up Artist: JT Artistry

Officiant: Rhythm & Light

 

 

San Francisco Ferry Building Wedding - Tina and Spencer

When Tina and Spencer and I photographed their e-shoot, I knew I would LOVE photographing their wedding too. Such a sweet and in love couple! 

Amy Nichols of Amy Nichols Special Events always does a stunning job of event design and coordination and this was no exception! We've worked at the Ferry Building together before and I knew how stunning it could be, but Amy once again blew my socks off with the lovely navy blue and white theme which was so suited to this waterfront location. The florals by La Fleuriste were simple and elegant and of course the food by Paula Le Duc Fine Catering and team was incredibly good. I loved that they served lamb chops for dinner. How much more elegant can you get!

Tina and Spencer were just as in love and glowing on their wedding as day as at their e-session. We had a blast walking from our first look at The Four Seasons over to Yerba Buena Gardens for our photo shoot and even though the gardens were crowded on a Saturday, we managed to make it look like we were the only ones around. Then off to the Ferry Building for such a lovely ceremony and after that fabulous dinner, a kick-butt dance party with band Pop Fiction.

Tina and Spencer, congrats. I'm so fortunate that I have such sweet couples!

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Event Coordinator: Amy Nichols Special Events

Venue: Ferry Building

Floral Designer: La Fleuriste

Caterer: Paula Le Duc Fine Catering

Musicians: Pop Fiction

Invitations: Coral Pheasant

Hair and Make-up Artist: Katie Nash

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental 

Stylist: Kelly Oshiro

 

Hollins House, Santa Cruz Wedding - Adriane and Tim

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!

Venue and Caterer: Hollis House

Wedding Gown: JINZA

Floral Designer: Laughin' Gal Floral

Baker: Freedom Bakery

Hair Stylist: Capelli Salon

Makeup Artist: Kiss and Makeup

DJ: Sound in Motion

Sebastiani and The Sonoma Mission Wedding - Nicole and Andrew

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

Hair and Makeup Artists: Taylor Klevins & Krista Schafer 

Musicians: Simply the Best

DJ: AMS Entertainment

Linen Rental: La Tavola

Panoramic Hills, Berkeley - Amber and Aryeh

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.

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Venue: Skyfall

Caterer: Le Mediterranee

Cake: Anne Lewis

Band: Blues Defenders

Holy Name Cathedral and The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Chicago - Cara and Albert

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!

Reception Venue, Event Coordination, and Caterer: The Waldorf Astoria

Ceremony Venue: Holy Name Cathedral

Floral Designer: Kehoe Designs

DJ: Style Matters

Bridal Gown: Rivini Couture

Stationary: Jane Weber, ink!

Hair and Makeup: Mindy City Hair

**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!

Piedmont Community Church Wedding - Sarah and Jonathan

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!