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.


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! 

Venue: Piedmont Community Church

Caterer: Blue Heron Catering

Bridal Gown Boutique: Margene's Bridal

Veil: Kinsley James

Hair Stylist: Rockridge Day Spa

Makeup Artist: Richard Marquez

Atwood Ranch Wedding - Cristin and Capp

Yeehaw! This was a fun one! Starting with the rehearsal dinner hoedown at the Swiss Hotel in downtown Sonoma and the wedding at the ever gorgeous Atwood Ranch. Cristin and Capp and their guests had a blast throughout the weekend and Atwood Ranch was as always stunning with design by Julie Atwood, florals by Marie Philbin Floral Design and a fabulous family style meal by Sage Catering.

There was threat of rain all day and then during the ceremony the clouds broke up and the sun burst through just as they were ready to seal their marriage with a kiss! Cocktails were on the patio and then after a big group shot with pompoms (Cristin was a cheerleader and Capp was a football player!), the barn doors opened to reveal the gorgeous barn lit by candles and lovely chandeliers. After dinner the party really got started and late night (after I left) apparently a huge group stayed on for acoustic music by the outdoor fire into the night. 

What a gorgeous wedding! Congrats Cristin and Capp!

Venue: Atwood Ranch

Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Swiss Hotel

Event Coordinator: Julie Atwood Events

Floral Designer: Marie Philbin Floral Design

Caterer: Sage Catering

Cake Designer: Scandia Bakery

Hair and Make-up Artist: Rebecca Butz

DJ: Boutique DJs and Entertainment

Linen Rental: La Tavola

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals


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

Sebastiani Sonoma Wedding - Amy and Michael

Lovely wedding, Lovely couple! I loved that Amy and Michael's love for music (they are both musicians!) flowed into their elegant Sebastiani Winery wedding so perfectly. They had live musician performing throughout the event and even took dancing lessons so that they could expertly swing dance to the music for their first dance!

Christopher of Leftwich Event Specialists made sure all of the elegant touches in this gorgeous setting were perfect including the lush flowers by Taste Catering and Event Planning both in the outdoor ceremony setting and in Sebastiani's spectacular barrel room. I love this barrel room and am fortunate enough to be on the preferred vendor list at Sebastiani and have seen it in so many gorgeous iterations depending on my client's style. Amy and Michael were the picture of happiness as then entered the room down the giant curving staircase surrounding the huge barrel at one end of the room. The railing was decked out in garland making it even more of a spectacular entrance. 

The traditional Jewish touches throughout the wedding also made it special and festive. Especially that EXTRA long Hora dance! I think the friendly band was torturing Amy and Michael and the lucky guys holding up the chairs just for some extra festive fun! 

Congrats to Amy and Michael!

Venue: Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery 

Wedding Coordinator: Leftwich Event Specialists

Event Designer, Floral Designer, Caterer, Cake Artist: Taste Catering and Event Planning

Wedding Dress and Veil: Amy Kuschel

Hair and Makeup Artist: Melisa Hall

Music: AMS Entertainment and D'Lilah Monroe and the Tom Cats



Calistoga Vineyard Wedding - Tanya and Allen

Oh my! What a wedding, what a crowd and what a couple! I loved shooting this wedding. Not only was it simply gorgeously executed by Mary Ellen and her team from Off the Beaten Path Weddings, but Tanya and Allen and their guests were all so full of love. It was a giant love-fest! 

This private residence was the perfect "off-the-beaten-path" venue for this truly picturesque wedding. The guests got slow glimpses as the ceremony in the late afternoon transitioned up the hill to the glorious views of the mountains just north of Calistoga and then back to the lovely lawn area for dining and dancing as the sun set over the vineyard on the hillside. This wedding was so perfect for this couple because they love wine country, the forest, camping, and hiking. The location not only had vineyards and rolling hills, but there's even a small redwood grove in which they nestled a lounge area with a dessert and coffee bar for later in the evening. The grove and the dining area were strung with lights making the evening portion of the wedding just as magical as the late afternoon and sunset portions of the day! 

There were so many personal touches beyond the gorgeous florals, the luscious family style meal and of course event design done by Mary Ellen of Off the Beaten Path, but friends, family, bride and groom also contributed in so many special ways! Tanya's sister married the couple and helped design the ceremony so it was personal to Tanya and Allen. The bi-lingual ceremony included touches from both the bride and groom's background including ringing Swiss cowbells to mark the official moment they were married.

Overall, one heck of a perfect wedding and one terrific couple. So much LOVE! Hooray for Tanya and Allen! I feel so fortunate to have shared in such an intimate day of their lives!

Event Designer, Floral Designer, and Caterer: Off the Beaten Path Weddings

Hair and Make-up Artist: Betten Chaston


Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa Wedding - Ryan and Adam

Oh how I loved this ceremony site! All the years I've been photographing weddings (thirteen BTW!) and I hadn't photographed a ceremony in a wine cave. Rehearsal dinners? Yes. Wedding dinners? Yes. Cocktail hour? Yes, but never a ceremony. The wine cave ceremony site at The Meritage Resort & Spa did not disappoint. I'm sure all the guests were wowed when they walked into this gorgeous site. I know when I walked in with Ryan and Adam for their pre-ceremony photo session, we were all wowed too! Congrats to Ryan and Adam!

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Vendors who participated in this wedding include:

Venue: The Meritage Resort & Spa