Penthouse Suite Wedding, Fairmont San Francisco - Allyn and Andrew

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

JW Marriott Union Square, San Francisco Wedding - Michael and Judith

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!


Venue, Event Coordinator, Caterer, & Rentals: JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square

Hair and Make-up Artists: Michael Page Style Lab

DJ: Joel Nelson Productions

Floral Designer: Church Street Flowers

Cake Designer: Masse's Pastries

Stationer: Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy

Rancho Nicasio Wedding - Aria and Brian

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!


Venue, Caterer, and Rentals: Rancho Nicasio

Floral Designer: Mill Valley Flowers

DJ: DJ Jeremy Productions

Cake: Branching Out Cakes

Hair and Make-up Artist: The Make-up Dolls

The Exploratorium, San Francisco Wedding - Maddy and Matt

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

Stryker Sonoma Wedding - Heather and Shawn

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!


Venue: Stryker Sonoma Estate Winery

Event Coordinator: Christina Andrews

Caterer: Alex's Catering

Floral Designer: Garden Party

Cake: Supreme Sweets

Hair Stylist: David Bamford

Make-up Artist: Jahan Telfah

Band: Larry Lynch & the Mob

Bride and Bridesmaid dress designer: David Peck 

The Stars Align!

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

Longmeadow Ranch and San Francisco City Hall Wedding - Catherine and David

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!

Ceremony Venue: San Francisco City Hall

Reception Venue Caterer: Longmeadow Ranch

Wedding Coordinator: Shannon Leahy Events

Floral Designer: Tango and Foxtrot

Cake: Model Bakery

Bridal Gown: Rosa Clara

Bridal Boutique: Lovely Bride

Campovida, Hopland Wedding - Maria and Nate

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!


Corinthian Yacht Club and The Landmark Gardens, Tiburon Wedding - Laurel and Lee

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!

Event Coordinator: 2 the 9s Events

Ceremony Venue: Landmark Gardens

Reception Venue and Caterer: Corinthian Yacht Club

Floral Designer: Mill Valley Flowers

Cake: Krumbs Cakes

Hair Stylist: Dagaz Salon

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Musicians: The Bad Jones

Bridal Gown: Matthew Christopher

Healdsburg Country Gardens - Olivia and Brian!

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!


Venue: Healdsburg Country Gardens

Event Coordinator: So Eventful

The Round Barn and Church of One Tree Wedding, Santa Rosa - Lisa and Ian!

What lovely and sweet locations for Lisa and Ian's wedding! I've never photographed at either The Church of One Tree or The Round Barn in Santa Rosa and each was really charming! The Church of One Tree was actually built using the wood of only one tree and is such a lovely church nestled among redwoods with the entrance to the church right on a huge public park. Totally charming.

Loved the style of this wedding reception in The Round Barn. Given the unique structure and white wood, I thought Elsa Vera of Elsa Vera Productions did an amazing job with design. I loved the linens from La Tavola and the white and green florals and printed material with touches of silver and gray throughout was so fresh and inviting. Loved that they had a game area on the catwalk on the second floor where they held cocktail hour and dancing. Everyone had a blast and when the giant Jenga game crashed down, the whole room roared. I just loved Lisa and Ian. What a sweet couple and such nice families. So happy I had the chance to photograph them twice! See their e-shoot blog post too! 


Ceremony Venue: The Church of One Tree

Reception Venue: The Round Barn

Event Coordinator: Elsa Vera Productions 

Floral Artist: Dragonfly Floral

Caterer: Park Avenue Catering

Cake Artist: Your Sweet Expectations

DJ: A Long Music

Linen Rentals: La Tavola

Rentals: Encore Events Rentals

Hair & Make-up Artist: Salon 12

Guest Favors: Amphora Nueva

Bridal Gown: Marisa Bridals

Bridal Boutique: Flares Bridal

Wedding Bands: A Wedding Ring Experience


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!


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!!


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