Bernardus Lodge and Spa, Carmel Valley Wedding - BrieAnn and Ryan

What a sweet wedding! I've had some really small intimate weddings this year and just love them (my own was only immediate family!). BrieAnn and Ryan chose Bernardus Lodge in the Carmel Valley for their wedding and I could see why as soon as I got there! It's set on one side of the valley so has views to the opposite side hills, has all sorts of gardens, vineyards and nooks and crannies to explore and it's lovely gorgeous, quiet and luxurious. What a pretty setting for a small wedding. Plus BrieAnn said they could do everything there! Rehearsal dinner, lodging, and wedding!

It was all about their closest family and friends and the food and wine. Given the lunch I had near the pool before I started shooting, the food is luxurious too! Wanda Straw did an amazing job keeping things flowing and Aga Kazmierczak put together the stunning flowers. I especially loved the "arch" over the bride and groom during the ceremony.

BrieAnn stunned in her simple Amy Kuschel gown and even though I had very limited time with the newlyweds for photos, we had fun and I couldn't go wrong with how sweet they were together AND the gorgeousness of the property.

Congratulations to BrieAnn and Ryan!

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Carmel Valley Wedding

Venue: Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Dress: Amy Kuschel, Little White Dress Denver

Coordinator: Stacey Clapp of Bernardus Lodge & Spa and Wanda Straw, Day-of-Planner

Event Designer & Florist: Aga Kazmierczak, Unskripted Design

Caterer: Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Hair & Makeup: Blush Studio

Music: Tim Marconett, Ivy Hill Entertainment

Beaulieu Garden Wedding | Julie and Russell

Julie and Russell chose the Beaulieu Garden property for their stunning wedding and it's one of my favorite wine country venues so I was thrilled to photograph it. Despite the large property, their wedding was a wedding for immediate family on a Thursday and although fancier than mine, it reminded me of my own wedding which was on a Tuesday in Yosemite Valley so it was especially fun to photograph!

Thank goodness their day was so incredible, because Julie and Russell had one of the craziest wedding week stories I had ever heard! Their rental car was broken into in SF TWO DAYS before the wedding and in the rental car were their wedding rings, their marriage license, their passports, all of the tuxedos, and the groom's suitcase which contained all of his clothes for their month-long honeymoon. Oh my! How do you recover from that one? Well, miraculously, the police found the car near an alley and they searched the people who were in the alley near the car and recovered the wedding rings and passports! Isn't that unbelievable?! Anyway, they were able to secure a last minute wedding license and then did a LOT of shopping to replace clothing in the couple of days after the wedding so with their wedding rings on their fingers they flew off safely. Whew. Now that's a story!

Despite all that happened before their wedding, their wedding day was incredible. Paula Le Duc Fine Catering is the exclusive caterer at Beaulieu and their service and food is always stunningly perfect. Valley Flora's flowers were a great addition to an already gorgeous venue and Aimee Wendel of 2chic Events made sure everything ran smoothly.

As for Julie and Russell, well, Julie was incredible in her Amsale gown and luxuriously flowing hair done by Sheerie Long and Russell smiled and laughed all day long never complaining about the near 100 degree heat. He just couldn't keep his eyes off his bride! His two darling boys too! This was a stunning but also intimate affair and pulled off perfectly. So happy for Julie and Russell!

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Marin Art and Garden Center Wedding - Elysha and Dennis

Lovely, lovely late spring garden wedding! I love shooting at Marin Art and Garden Center because it's usually all one location. Why wouldn't it be when it has the most lovely grounds? Perfect for a wedding! Especially in mid-May when their rose garden is in full bloom. Wowsa. Gorgeous!

Meredith Law did such a gorgeous job with the florals. Dennis (the groom!) made the huppah and I loved the fern bases to the posts and wispy corners with ribbons up top. Dreamy. The incredible centerpieces looked like they had all been flowers plucked at this gorgeous garden itself and accompanied by lanterns, potted plants and baskets it made for the perfect fit. The food was also incredible and catered by mediterranean restaurant Insalata's for some more local flair.

The fabulous staff at Marin Art and Garden did some light coordinating, but this wedding was all about family and friends and enjoying a lovely wedding and meal in the garden. Elysha and Dennis couldn't wipe the smiles off of their faces. Especially when along together for our photo sessions, during their ceremony and during their first dance. It was just pure joy and loveliness all around. Congrats to Elysha and Dennis!

Healdsburg Country Gardens - Cara and Matt

Admittedly I was a little nervous about going to Healdsburg Country Gardens to shoot because it's under new ownership, but I was pleasantly surprised at the changes. Although I miss the gorgeous rose garden the previous owners had put in, I do love the new cocktail area the open space now provides. Still one of my favorite properties in wine country!

Cara and Matt were a lovely couple to work with. So in love and they had such a fun party! All about family and friends, wine and food. A perfect setting for a great couple! Flutter Events did such a nice job for them preparing and Alisha O'Connor was there the day of making sure everything ran perfectly.

The flowers by Daisy Rose were truly as if they were picked right out of the garden per Cara's wishes and the food by the always fabulous Girl and the Fig was amazing. Cara and Matt love hanging out in wine country and listening to country music so the bluegrass band One Button Suit was great fun both during the ceremony and during cocktails and dinner.

Just such a perfect and pretty wedding. Congratulations, Cara and Matt!

Bridal gown and boutique: La Soie Bridal in Sacramento, Dress by Enzoani
Shoes: Ceremony shoes: Stuart Weitzman. Reception Boots: Lucchese
Bridesmaid dresses: Donna Morgan
Formalwear: Combatant Gentleman
Hair piece: Bel Aire Bridal
Jewelry: Rings from Mark Allen Jewelers, Santa Rosa.
Day of Wedding Coordinator: Alisha O'Connor
Event Designer: Flutter Events
Florist: Daisy Rose, Sonona
Caterer: Girl and the Fig, Sonoma
Baker: Mustache Bakery, Healdsburg
Stationer: Susan Gildea Personalized Printing, Berkeley
Hair and Makeup: Powder Room, Santa Rosa
Music: Ceremony/Cocktail: One Button Suit. Dinner/Dancing: DJ Bart
Guest favors: Homemade Jalapeno Jelly by Joy Patterson (MOB)
Chalkboards: Nicki Wolfe. Calligraphy: The Calligraphy Girl
Rentals: Encore Events Rentals, Healdsburg

 

Tilden Botanic Gardens and BROC Cellars - Kirsten and Tim!

OK, not only is Kirsten my dear friend, she is also my former studio-mate and an incredibly talented photographer. Photographing her wedding was an honor and a great gift I could give to my dear friend and her new husband.

I loved their intimate day. Berkeley is their home and they decided to treat their friends and family to a wedding Berkeley-style with a very sophisticated and austere twist. Honoring Kirsten's Los Angeles style and Tim's love of the outdoors became a great theme for this simple and lovely wedding focused on family, friends and their love of food and wine! Surrounded by family and friends in the sequoia grove at the Tilden Botanic Gardens, their ceremony was quiet, intimate and special. Kirsten and Tim seemed to be glowing both inside and out as I photographed them saying their vows.

Kirsten hired an all-star Berkeley cast of vendors too! I was more than thrilled when Kirsten told me she was going to work with Svenja of Chestnut and Vine on the flowers. I love Svenja's sophisticated, artistic and quirky style and it fit right in with Kirsten and Tim's day. Standard Fare Berkeley catered the yummy food and of course the wine was all BROC Cellars - Kirsten and Tim's favorite local winery and the location of the fun and simple celebration reception. With wine and food in the tasting room and games galore outside, adults and kids alike had a great time celebrating Kirsten and Tim. So did I and couldn't be more thrilled for this couple whom I grown to love to so much. They are so perfect for each other in so many ways. Plus they look pretty darned great in front of the lens too!

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Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch Wedding - Megan and Oli!

It's rare that one of my favorite parts of the day is taking the getting ready photos. I like it, but I'm always thrilled to get to the venue to start photographing the big event! BUT, Megan and Oli got ready on a very special family property about thirty minutes from the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch which is where the wedding and reception were to take place. When I drove onto this remote property up near Geyserville, I instantly fell and love and knew why it was such a special place! A family property shared by both architects AND stylists, it was simple and lovely and decked out for the wedding festivities! I especially loved the wedding night tent set up for the newlyweds on a remote part of the property.

Megan wore a BHLDN ready-to-wear dress for all the pre-shooting on this rural property and I loved being shown around to the couple's favorite spots for our photo session with California Oaks, vineyards and gorgeous views of both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys as backdrops! How lucky am I that I get glimpses into these special places!

Then off we went to the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch and I was excited to start photographing the loveliness of THAT property and the combined creativity of our bride and her stylist Stepmom, Margaret Turnbull. All was seamlessly woven together by our fabulous wedding planners from ROQUE Events. Megan stunned all when she walked out in her Delphine Manivet Hyppolite gown and the flowers by Mae Flowers were especially fitting creating a feel of freshly picked wildflowers. I absolutely loved the guest favors of loose leaf organic tea in glass tubes. Megan and Oli had fun incorporating their combined heritages too. I loved all the Austrian touches representing our couple's home country and Oli's birth country.

Friends and family and a big party were the goal and they succeeded! The evening was warm and clear and the couple's bluegrass band was even made up of friends and all gathered when Megan and Oli shared their first s'more at the "campfire". What a stunning wedding and a stunning couple. I was honored to photograph this incredible day!

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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

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.

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Venue: Skyfall

Caterer: Le Mediterranee

Cake: Anne Lewis

Band: Blues Defenders

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

 

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!

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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