San Francisco Fairmont Hotel Elopement - Kristal and Robert

Oh such a sweet couple! Kristal contacted me a few weeks before her arrival in San Francisco for her elopement wedding with Robert. Their ceremony was to take place on the Hornblower Dinner Cruise boat and they were required to use the photographer on the boat for the wedding and dinner portion of their day, but they wanted a few getting ready pictures at the Fairmont Hotel and a fun San Francisco City portrait shoot as they made their way to their departure on the boat. What fun we had in the two hours we spent together! Loved Kristal's Grecian look and her long black hair and gorgeous smokey eyes. She was lovely to photograph and as a couple they were so in love it was very easy to capture their spirit as a couple! When done viewing their slideshow, Kristal wrote "OMG I just balled my eyes out!!! Julie that is the most perfect wonderful absolutely stunning representation of my entire day!!! Thank you so much!!!!!"  Congrats to Kristal and Robert! 

Venue: The Fairmont Hotel

Ceremony Venue: Hornblower Cruises

Hair & Makeup Artist: Mr. Eckhard Beauty Salon

Menlo Park Wedding, Quadrus Conference Center - Sally & Robin

I love when my couples honor their traditional heritage at their weddings. In this case, Sally wore a traditional Japanese Yukata which is a lightweight summer Kimono-style outfit and Robin celebrated his Filipino heritage wearing a barong traditional male dress shirt. What a lovely look for both! Although the ceremony was mostly a traditional outdoor American ceremony, they also incorporated a sake ceremony as well.

Additional traditional touches included origami style "fun kits" for the kids, chopsticks at dinner, personalized pens to do a word search that included the couple's history together and a couple of their favorite Hawaiian appetizers served during cocktail hour. Sally and Robin included some DIY touches too. I thought the most original was Sally's coffee filter bridal bouquet! I've definitely never seen that before! They also surprised guests after dinner with two yummy dessert food trucks! What fun for all! Congrats to Sally and Robin!

Vendors who participated in this wedding include:

Venue & Caterer: Quadrus Convention Center

Hair & Makeup Artists: Aziza Beauty Salon

Photo Booth: Impressions Photo Booth

Food Trucks: Cookies N Cream and Kona Ice

Rentals: Stuart Rental

Ralston White Retreat - Mill Valley Wedding of Jennie and Eric

Everything about the wedding was totally dreamy, from the flowers and the redwoods to the bride and groom! I loved shooting at this venue which I've never shot at before. The Ralston White Retreat is tucked in a grove of redwoods on the side of Mt. Tamalpais (Mt. Tam to locals) in Mill Valley, Marin County. If you love quiet, redwoods and a location close to SF this is it! 

Forest was important to Jennie and Eric because they spend a lot of time hiking and in the outdoors so being amongst the redwoods for their wedding was pretty special to them. I loved shooting their portrait session on the dirt road on the property. The light was filtering through and Jennie looked like a woodland fairy! 

Jennie's sister envisioned the style of the decor and florals and Flora Grubb executed the look beautifully. The food by Le Papillon was incredible (the vendors were also treated to this yummy food) and the little dancing room was simple and pretty with white balloons floating to the ceiling. This was a lovely group and an equally lovely wedding! Congrats to Jennie and Eric!

Vendors who participated in this wedding included: 

Venue: Ralston White Retreat

Floral Design: Flora Grubb

Caterer: Le Papillon 

Bakery: Jasmine Rae Bakery

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Wedding - Sabrina and Garrett

What a gorgeous venue! This was my first time shooting at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards and I just loved the Italian Villa feel. The dinner was held in the gorgeous courtyard and then guests were surprised when they entered the barrel room for dancing! Cocktails in the vineyard were also a nice surprise for guests. Perfect winery wedding!

Sabrina and Garrett were pretty great, too! I was so happy when they were game to steal away from dinner for a sunset shoot in the vineyard. There was gorgeous light, but using Jacuzzi's lovely doors and stone walls for our post-ceremony shoot was also pretty special. Sabrina was also lucky enough that her parents live in a lovely Victorian home where she and her bridesmaids got ready.  I had the pleasure of shooting them there, and her parents were so involved in the process, which made everything that much more special for our bride.

As always, Dee Merz's wedding design and plan was impeccable. I thought the style of the flowers and the birch and floral arrangements at the ceremony were beautiful in this setting. Overall, a pretty perfect wedding in every way! 

Vendors who participated in this wedding included: 

Venue: Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

Event Designer: Dee Merz

Caterer: Park Avenue Catering 

Music: The Fundamentals

UC Berkeley Botanic Gardens Wedding - Yvette and Greg

This darling wedding was an Independence Day weekend wedding and was such a sweet event! Yvette and Greg had the ABSOLUTE best smiles all day long and it was contagious. Their friends and family all seemed to have a blast! The ceremony was magical, as all ceremonies nestled in a grove of redwoods should be. And as they rode into their cocktail hour on their custom decorated tandem bike, everyone cheered the newlyweds. 

Not only full of joy and completely enamored with each other, Yvette and Greg are super talented and creative. They decorated their tandem, and also all the other handmade details such as the invitations, for which Greg drew the artwork.

So happy for Yvette and Greg. They have some FUN years of marriage ahead of them!

Vendors who participated in this wedding included: 

Floral Design: Gorgeous and Green

Caterer: Carrie Dove Catering

Music: Michael McKenzie

Playing Around With Expensive Cameras!

I was recently on an annual vacation with my immediate family and learned my two nieces (Sarah and Grace) are interested in learning more about photography. I gave them a little lesson in composition and exposure, and sent them off with my camera and favorite portrait lens. They did a pretty darned good job! All photos are theirs except the canoe shot of Gracie, which I couldn't help taking! More power to the young photographers out there!

Super Bride!

I love all my brides of course and although I share a very intimate day in their lives, I still often know very little about their personal lives and accomplishments. Often I get bits and pieces of information during the toasts and once in a while get the full story and am blown away by what I call my "Super Brides"!

I had one such bride a few weeks ago and although will post the whole wedding soon, couldn't help but share this photo of Kim. She definitely falls in the "Super Bride" category! Not only has she been ultra-sincere and sweet throughout our whole relationship (she even offered me a glass of wine when I arrived to shoot her getting ready photos and I assured her that although I would have loved to share a getting ready glass of wine with her - I had a wedding to shoot in a couple of hours!), she is also gorgeous! Not only that, but during her sister's toast I learned that Kim went to Yale law school, passed the California bar exam and then decided she wanted to go to medical school. She's now a cardiologist! Definitely a "Super Bride" and look how she glowed on her wedding day. GORGEOUS!


Nicole and Samir - Sneak Peek!

I love ethnic weddings! South Asian weddings are particularly stunning because of the intense color. In this case it was three days of shooting with many outfit changes and multiple locations culminating at the DeYoung for the traditional American ceremony. Thought I would give a sneak peek of this gorgeous wedding before sneaking off on vacation! Congrats to Nicole and Samir! More to come!

Indian Wedding 2.jpg

Marin Agricultural Land Trust - Ranches and Rolling Hills Art Event

Was so excited to be contacted by the Marin Agricultural Land Trust to photograph their annual farm-to-table "Ranches and Rolling Hills" event. What a beautiful setting and beautiful local art to benefit this worthwhile organization. The organization has worked for 34 years to protect and preserve family farms in the area. Each year, it hosts an art show and sale that benefits these farms, featuring all local art showcasing the area land, livestock, waterways and more of the area. What a wonderful idea!

Hope to be photographing more of their events in the future!

Golden Gate Club Wedding, San Francisco - Jamie and Peter!

Always honored when someone in the industry asks me to photograph their wedding. Peter is an executive sous chef for Componere Catering, so food was important! I love photographing food, so we made a good match!

Peter and Jamie had a full day starting together with a first look at the iconic Palace of Fine Arts. We did a little shooting there despite the wind, and then hopped across the street to Chrissy Field where we got a couple shots with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and then some fun Presidio buildings. Then on to the first Korean catholic church in San Francisco for the ceremony and then back to the Golden Gate Club for the lovely traditional Korean tea ceremony. I love shooting tea ceremonies. They are such wonderful traditions and I particularly love the Korean costumes.

Svenja and team of Chestnut and Vine as always did an amazing job with the colorful floral arrangements and of course, the food was beautiful! Not only that but it looked like everyone had an amazing time! Congratulations Jamie and Peter!

Jamie and Peter 9.jpg

Zion National Park Wedding - Eve and Ed

My very dear friend, Eve, married Ed a few weeks ago in Zion National Park. I was so honored to be there both as a friend and her photographer. Another dear friend, Olivia, whom I've been mentoring for the past year, was on hand for second shooting. 

I loved this quirky DIY wedding. Set on a hotel property just outside the main gate of Zion National Park, this couldn't have been a prettier setting for Eve and Ed's day. The Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens lawn was perfect for accommodating an intimate group of family and friends who came from all over to celebrate this destination wedding. I loved the views of the Zion Cliffs surrounding us, and was so happy Eve and Ed were game to walk over to the property's section of the Virgin River for their post-ceremony photo shoot. Such good sports walking around in the sand! 

Eve put her heart and soul into the decorations, hand-painting and sewing all of the table numbers and place cards. She also ordered dried flowers (such a good idea for transporting to a remote location) and recruited me (!) to help her put them into sweet bud vases. I also loved the vintage ball jars and the gorgeous dried bouquets and boutonnieres, which were tied together with burlap and complemented the simple burlap table runners. The bridesmaids were asked to wear complementary pastel colored dressed, with the maid of honor's being a lovely pattern to help her stand out. Looked great with the men's pastel ties and the kids vintage clothing! 

So happy for my friend Eve. What a long, lingering, lovely day for all!

Kim Betzina Interiors: Sonoma County Log Cabin

Loved photographing this gorgeous Sonoma County log cabin home for Kim Betzina Interiors. Kim has such a fabulous eye that crosses many design styles, and she flawlessly embraces this gorgeous log cabin home set on a Sonoma County rural horse farm. We had a lovely shoot day, kicking back on the farm and listening to the horses whinnying in the background!

Wedspring - San Francisco Wedding Planning Space

As a photographer represented by Melia of Wedspring, San Francisco, I was honored that Melia asked me to photograph her lovely shop. Love the chalkboard painted walls, gorgeous invitation displays and shabby chic furnishings. Melia is such a great talent from interior decorating to floral and invitation design she can plan a wedding from start to finish. She's even certified to plan your honeymoon a a travel agent! Such a gorgeous space set in a classic Russian Hill, Julia Morgan designed storefront!

Urban San Francisco Wedding - Lauren and Taylor

Lauren mentioned in some notes about her wedding that she wanted it to feel as if they had invited all of their closest friends and family over for a dinner party with dancing. And that is the PERFECT description of this urban, San Francisco wedding, held literally around the corner from the couple's home. They chose the Stable Cafe both because of its proximity and because it's a place they love and frequent. The Stable Cafe has some deep San Francisco history, too. Its menu is inspired by the owner's Neapolitan Agrarian roots, and its food all comes from his farm! Lauren's many talents come from building a business as a wedding designer and planner called Ryder Sloan Events. This wedding was full of DIY and personal touches, from hand-drawn invitations to a seating chart made from wallpaper in the couple's new house. Lauren and her mother also handmade all of the tables' tiles, and so much more. I loved this wedding not only for all of the above, but mostly for its simplicity and true celebration of family, friends and the true love of Lauren and Taylor.

The whole day felt like a big love-fest, and was filled with great joy. Always an honor to be included in this incredible right of passage!

Vendors who participated in this wedding included:

Venue: Stable Cafe

Coordination and Design: Ryder Sloan Events

Florist: Mandolin Floral

Caterer: Thomas John Events

Baker: Cake Coquette and Sweet Lauren Cakes