Oakland DIY Wedding at The Pavillion at Scott's Seafood - Katharine and Vic!

Now THIS was a DIY wedding! Loved that Katharine and Vic were so focused on family and friends and the DANCE party for their wedding and did it all on a budget! It was so about family and friends that they really only wanted me to do ten minutes of portraits! They ended up giving me a little more - phew! But really it was about the party for them!

I've never photographed at the Pavillion at Scott's Seafood in Oakland even though I live in Oakland! I had NO IDEA that that on the public square right on the marina in Jack London Square, Scott's Seafood erects this Pavillion for special events. Seriously. They are able to take the whole thing down after the event and it converts back to public space. When it's up, it's a light and airy venue and because of the white paneled semi-translucent walls, it has great light and views of the marina! Great spot on the dock for cocktail hour and pretty views during the ceremony - but be prepared for a few pigeons flying around!

Really though, the star of this wedding was all the DIY touches that family and friends contributed. Vic's mom designed and handmade the invitations, menu cards, table cards, and name card for every single guest. Plus, the maid of honor, Dawn, designed and printed all the goody bags that were filled with local candy and given out as the guest favors. Katherine's gorgeous dress was designed and made by Rose Mary Jameson, you could tell that Katherine felt so amazing wearing it. Not to mention, Vic's brother was their amazing officiant, Katherine's jewelry was her grandmother's, and Vic's cufflinks belonged to her grandfather. It was amazing to see how many different family members were involved in their special day!

Add a few lovely flowers by Flowers by Anne, evening lighting and a great DJ to rock the house and you've got a lovely and fun budget wedding that's family and friend focussed and right on the water! Congrats Katharine and Vic for pulling off such a lovely little wedding right here in Oakland - and what a sweet couple too!

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Venue and Caterer: Scott's Seafood

Floral Designer: Flowers by Anne

DJ: Just Koolen Productions

Wedding Dress: Rose Mary Jameson

Tres Leches: Market Hall Bakery

The Grove and Union Hotel Occidental - Karena and Jason

Another cozy wedding! LOVED this reception location set in the Bocce ballroom at the historic Union Hotel in Occidental. Karena and Jason added a special touch by having youth in the Eden Area Regional Occupational Program  help them with their gorgeous florals and added some DIY aspects with the hand stamped wooden tags wrapped around the napkins at each place setting.

Because of their love for the outdoors, Karena and Jason set their ceremony in the redwoods at The Grove nearby. They decided to utilize the setting by also have the cocktail reception set in the redwoods immediately following the ceremony. After a big group photo on the pavilion stage everyone loaded up and went over to the cozy hotel for dinner. What a wonderfully relaxed family and friend focussed wedding. Congrats to Karena and Jason!

Ceremony Venue: The Grove

Reception Venue & Caterer: Union Hotel

Bouquets, Boutonnieres, and Corsages: Eden Area Regional Occupational Program

Cake and Cupcakes: Forget-Me-Not Cakes 

Rentals: Encore Event Rentals


Rancho Nicasio Wedding - Chris and Christina!

Oh my gosh! How much do I love these two and how much did I love this wedding? More than I can say since Chris is my husband's brother and Christina is my brand new sister-in-law! My dear second shooter Amanda Barnes helped me out on this one by completely taking over after I photographed the B&G portrait session so that I could grab a glass of champagne and join the family for dinner and dancing. 

I loved the country western theme at Rancho Nicasio in the gorgeous west Marin Nicasio Valley. What a fun and festive wedding (and not just because it was my family!) complete with the country western band Twang Ditty. Boy did they rock the house! 

Chris and Christina did an amazing job on this budget wedding with help from the Ranch staff and florist Vanda Floral really created gorgeous summertime garden florals on a limited budget. When the staff recommended that what was supposed to be an outdoor dinner move inside because of the unseasonably cold weather, the indoor room at the Ranch was utterly transformed into a warm and cozy atmosphere for the yummy BBQ dinner and dancing!

I've never seen my sister-in-law so happy. One of the happiest brides I ever saw and she looked absolutely smashing. So photogenic! Chris looked pretty dapper too and surprised Christina with his look. So happy for them and special thanks to Amanda for taking over the photo duties for me!!

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Venue and Caterer: Rancho Nicasio

Coordinator: Julii Ashby of Rancho Nicasio

Floral Designer: Vanda Floral

Band: Twang Ditty

Ceremony Musician: Mike Saliani 

Stationary: Hightail Studios 

Hair and Makeup Artists: The Dream Team

Cake: A Spoonful of Sugar Cakes

Cara and Albert - Palace of Fine Arts and Chrissy Field - Take Two!

See my post of the tale of two similar e-session via Catherine and David's e-session blog post!

I loved that these couple both dressed a little formally and the locations were the same but we got such different looks! Fun! I can't wait to photograph Cara and Albert's Chicago wedding in October! Cara and I are both from the Chicago area and connected through her mother with whom I worked on an event shoot. So excited they contacted me for the Chicago wedding. Good chance to visit home and it's a bonus that Cara and Albert live in SF so we were able to do an SF themed e-session! 

What a fun couple! We had a blast and I loved Cara's flirty hat! Our session started 45 minutes late, nut no matter - we photographed until after sunset and caught that last bit of light as the fog started rolling into that unpredictable Golden Gate.

Congrats to Cara and Albert and I cant wait to shoot their formal Chicago wedding at the gorgeous Holy Name Cathedral!

Catherine and David - San Francisco Engagement Session!

So looking forward to seeing what Catherine and David wear on their wedding day! I LOVED their e-session outfits! 

So interesting that circumstances unfolded in which I ended up photographing two e-sessions two nights in a row in the exact same locations! I haven't been to Palace of Fine Arts and Chrissy Field in a long time for an e-session and here I was two in a row! 

BUT, I always say to people, every couple is different and every wedding is different. Here is proof that we had the same locations, different couples, slightly different lighting and how different they can be. Loved that Catherine and David had this vintage and formal look and even though Cara and Albert were slightly formal too, it looked very different. The locations were perfect for both couples! Of course, there will be some similarities, but overall, pretty different!

Featured: Ceremony Magazine!

I was lucky enough to have two of my shoots published in this year's Ceremony Magazine! I so excited to share these photos. Here are the links to Champagne & Caviar and Into the Woods.

Venue: Meritage Resort  Rentals & Linens: Classic Party Rentals  Desserts: Recherche Du Plaisir  Stationary: Dreammaker Designs  Floral Design: Bella Vita Event Productions

Terra SF Wedding - Sara and Eric!

Yowsa! This wedding was all about the details! What a gorgeous urban wedding set in the stunning event space, Terra SF. Emily of Downey Street Events and her team knocked themselves out making this such an incredibly stunning wedding. I was more than thrilled to photograph such a gorgeous space and beautiful details. Always a treat to photograph florals by Sharla Flock and the food by Global Gourmet was simply gorgeous.

OK. But not only was it a stunning wedding, Sara and Eric are such a sweet couple! Sara's daughter Lola almost stole the show with her coy glances at the camera and guests and her sweet dress and head wreathed with flowers put her over the top! BUT, she couldn't have stole the show with a bride in that gorgeous blush pink Monique Lhuiller bridal gown. Eric's face was priceless when he saw Sara at their first look.

Sara and Eric, family and friends alike all had a great time and the multi-course dinner and long cocktail hour allowed for a lingering time for conversation and shared joy. What a stunning wedding! Congratulations to Sara and Eric!

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Venue: Terra Gallery & Event Venue

Event Coordinator: Downey Street Events

Floral Designer: Sharla Flock Designs

Caterer: Global Gourmet

Cake Designer: The Whole Cake

Stationary: Aerialist Press

Hair & Make-up Artist: Meaganne McCandess

DJ: Big Fun DJ

Cocktail Hour Musician: Ben Ahn Music

Ceremony Musicians: San Francisco Conservatory of Music Strings 

Macarons: Chantal Guillon Macarons and Teas 

Lighting: Got Light

Linen Rental: La Tavola Fine Linens

Dress Designer: Monique Lhuillier

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Rentals: Frances Lane

Sonoma Wedding: The Depot Hotel and General Vallejo's Home - Margaux and Patrick!

Margaux was picture perfect in her Melissa Sweet gown and birdcage veil. Absolutely stunning look for this fairytale wedding at the CA state park location of General Vallejo's Home and the Depot Hotel in Sonoma. 

I loved that Margaux and her mom went with Emily of Green Snapdragon Floral to pick out flowers. Margaux's bouquet was stunning and the florals on the tables at the reception went perfectly with the lovely gray runners Patrick's grandmother made. I thought it was a great touch that the runners were gathered at the base with a floral.

This wedding was all about family and friends and as Patrick's father said in his toast: "BIG LOVE!" Wonderful time had by all!

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Ceremony Venue: General Vallejo's Home

Reception Venue and Caterer: Depot Hotel

Event Coordinator: Natalie Wiezel and Zohe Felici 

Floral Designer: Green Snapdragon Floral Design

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

DJ: Dansations

Rentals: Grapevine Party Rentals

The Fairmont Hotel Wedding, San Francisco - Emilie and Andrew!

I love the Fairmont and yowsa! The views from the Crown Room can't be beat! Emilie and Andrew's Fairmont Hotel wedding was small and intimate by Fairmont hotel standards and I had such fun documenting it! They had gotten married at SF City Hall a few weeks before but you would have never known given the emotion during their ceremony and vows. They were happily getting married all over again!

Relaxed and unhurried was the theme of this day and Emilie and Andrew were just that. Smiling the whole time and simply enjoying being surrounded by their friends and family was the great joy of the day and then when the lights came up in San Francisco the Crown Room wowed everyone with the views. Simply magical!

Venue and Caterer: The Fairmont Hotel

Event Planner and Floral Designer: Koryn Pachla 

Cake: Inticing Creations

Hair Stylist: Lyon Street Salon

DJ: Sutherland Entertainment 

Lisa and Ian - E-Shoot!

Terra stole the show at Lisa and Ian's engagement shoot! Their bulldog Terra, loved to sniff around all over the place while I was shooting, but when I wanted her in the shots - well, it took a LOT to get her attention and to get her in the right place. We had a blast photographing this session at the location where Ian proposed which was their favorite hiking trail where they used to walk Terra when they lived nearby. I'm looking forward to photographing their wedding at the DeTurk Round Barn in Santa Rosa this year!

The Lodge at the Regency Center - San Francisco Wedding of Thalia and Ian

Oh what style and grace! Loved this classic San Francisco wedding. In Thalia's previous career she was a set designer and she let her previous work shine at her wedding. Thalia and Ian are both now firefighters and I have to say, Thalia may be the most good-looking firefighter ever! She was also one of my most stunning brides ever in her classic lace, mermaid Maggie Sottero gown! I thought her look was perfect for the venue and style of the wedding.

Alex and the team from Dreams on a Dime Weddings worked with Thalia and The Regency Center to create the perfect setting for this classic wedding in one of my favorite rooms in the city. The Lodge at the Regency Center is the top floor venue at the Regency Center and was originally a Mason's lodge! The Regency Center has kept all of the old stage backdrops and they let each couple choose their own backdrop for their wedding. I LOVE the backdrop Thalia and Ian chose. It worked so well with the gorgeous florals by Carol Antraccoli.

Congratulations, Thalia and Ian!

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Venue: The Regency Center

Event Coordinator: Dreams on a Dime

Floral Designer: Carol Antraccoli 

Caterer: Englund's Catering and Cafe 

Cake: Lotta's Bakery

Stationary: Foreignspell 

Hair and Make-up Artists: Painted Ladies

Ceremony Musicians: An Elegant Touch of Strings

Reception Musicians: Horns A Plenty 

Rancho La Puerta Photo Shoot!

I feel more than lucky every time I get to go to Rancho La Puerta to photograph for their marketing materials. Rancho La Puerta is truly an amazing place and one of my favorite places in the world! They are consistently voted #1 destination spa in the world by Travel and Leisure magazine readers and if you go you will see why! Go for a whole week and carry that wellness with you for a long, long time. Go every year for a week and you'll be a new person!

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The InterContinental The Clement Monterey Wedding - Lisa and Ken

LOVED the yellow and gray/charcoal color scheme for this gorgeous Hotel Clement Monterey wedding which was beautifully planned and executed by my former bride, Lauren Sloan of Ryder Sloan Events. Lisa was radiant in her Ace gown by Allure and I loved her bridesmaids gray flowing dresses and yellow flowers by Laughin' Gal Florist!

What a setting and what incredible weather for January! Sometimes winter weather on the west coast can be better than summer weather and this proved that point. It was downright hot out and there was no fog in sight for the glorious view of the Monterey bay throughout the wedding. Plus the wedding was set right off of the main drag, so we were able to sneak away and grab a shot of the bride and groom with their bridal party in front of the iconic Monterey Cannery Row sign! 

What fun was had by all, but especially Lisa and Ken. A super sweet couple who was smiling all day long. Ken was doing the traditional surprise honeymoon for his bride and I'm just DYING to know where it was. How romantic overall! Congrats to Lisa and Ken!

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Venue and Caterer: InterContinental The Clement Monterey

Event Coordinator: Ryder Sloan Events

Floral Designer: Laughin' Gal Florist

Cake: Patisserie Bechler

Hair and Makeup Artist: Oya Salon

Linen Rentals: La Tavola

Rentals: Chic Events

Musicians: Sound in Motion

Dress Designer: Allure

Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Bill Levkoff

Tina and Spencer - E-Shoot!

Tina and Spencer love their life in San Francisco so wanted to shoot their engagement session in a great SF setting with great weather AND views. That would be Potrero Hill! They were totally adorable together as we ran around the neighborhood and it was obvious they had a great time on our shoot. Can't wait to photograph their fall wedding at the San Francisco Ferry Building!

Interior Design Fair San Francisco Home Shoot

Always fun in the off-season to photograph interiors for some of my fave designers! IDF (or Interior Design Fair) is one of them! Love their style and how they are able to work with typically tight San Francisco spaces. Loved that this nursery was tucked into what was once the dining room off of the living room. That mural by Alfredo Lopez Nunez in the nursery is also pretty gorgeous as well as that darling ship themed mobile over the crib!