So here I am, myself a married woman! Some of you know and some don't that on Tuesday, June 3rd my sweet man of 3 1/2 years and I exchanged wedding vows in a small ceremony with a view of Yosemite Falls in Yosemite Valley. We had a good portion of our immediate family present and had a lovely dinner at the Ahwahnee hotel afterwards. Then Brennan and I pitched a tent in Camp 4 (the walk-in camp in the valley) for a couple of "honeymoon" nights. It was simple and lovely and perfect and it was nothing like I ever pictured my wedding to be!
Brennan, being a very practical and no frills kind of person had asked if we could elope. I asked if he realized he was asking a WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER to ELOPE???? Oh my. I wanted to have a small simple wedding, but never imagined I would elope! But through much discussion, I realized that the most important thing out of any of this was that I was marrying the man that I would love so very much and so I agreed. We looked at my crazy wedding and travel schedule and set the date for a Tuesday. Why not? It was just the two of us! Then we decided to invite our parents. Then we decided to invite our siblings. Then I decided since one of my nieces was coming, I would ask her to be a flower girl. Then I begged for a reception in the midwest so that our extended families and friends could meet and then our SF friends who couldn't make it to the midwest wanted to throw a small party here and so on and so on, until oh my. I was planning two weddings within two months time with a two week trip to New Zealand in the middle of it all! So, it went fast and was crazy and emotional and great and I thank all my wonderful clients who were getting married during this period for their patience with me while I was away! I also want to thank all of my wonderful friends and family who helped and our friends who threw the lovely SF party.
Of course, everyone asked when they learned I was getting married "who would photograph the wedding?". I've always told my good friend and fabulous wedding photographer, Ann Hamilton that she would be the one (Joe Buissink supporting if I had an unlimited budget), and she and our friend Gene Higa (also a fabulous wedding photographer) even offered to shoot, but here I was having this tiny, intimate, family-only wedding in Yosemite. In comes Rebekah Silver. Beka lives in Arizona and is a young and budding wedding photographer. She's assisted for me in the past and I suppose considers me her mentor. She's become like family to me and is wanting to build her portfolio and so I asked her if she would photograph and join my family for dinner afterwards. These are the lovely photos she took:
My darling niece Sarah:
I loved my shoes!
It was really a magical spot:
We got on our Burning Man bikes to ride off to the Ahwahnee!
Look at my sweet man! He's such a LOVE!!!!!
Oh, I hammed it up for Beka! It was fun!
Besides the moment when I said "with this ring I thee wed" which was probably the most emotional moment of my life, we took a little stroll mid-dinner and when we walked back into the spectacular Ahwahnee dining room, the pianist played "Here comes the bride" and the entire dining room (which was completely full) clapped. It was overwhelming and I cried. I'm so glad Beka captured this shot moments before it happened:
There was no official photographer for the low-key midwest party, so friends pitched in and took some pictures. The location was in Door County Wisconsin which is a resort area about five hours from Chicago (I'm from Chicago and my family vacations in Door County every year). We had the party at a lovely private property called "Ellison Wonderland/Silver Poplar Studios" in Ellison Bay.
My other niece Grace, joined Sarah as a second flower girl for the very casual midwest party:
This is my dear friend Laurel who was a HUGE help with this party and also does all of my web, collateral and advertising design (kscreative):
Brides, I have to say I'm proud that I somehow managed to do all of my centerpieces and table runners for under $200.00!
We had a traditional Door County "Fish Boil" and this is the pot boiling over!
We went into this gorgeous barn for dancing after dinner:
My man surprised me with a traditional first dance. The song he chose was a song I had never heard. It was Al Green's "Perfect to me" and it's a gorgeous song. I married a man of few words and the lyrics in this song were incredibly special.