My 2012 wedding season went out with a bang. Eric and Sandy are full of laughter, kindness, and generosity. So its not surprising that their friends and family would be the same way. They’re also up for anything, and had no qualms about hanging out in the drenching rain while we shot some magical portraits together. Never before have I had a full day of rain on a wedding day, but they chalked it up to good luck and embraced the uniqueness of the day. What a blast! I would like to express a deep heartfelt thanks to all of you have been a part of my journey this year. It has been a gift to attend so many beautiful weddings and experience so much love.
One of the things that has struck me over the course of the last five years that I have been a full time wedding photographer is that what makes people beautiful is their emotions. Joy and laughter on someone’s face makes me love an image much more than chiseled jaw lines, pretty curves, or a complex pose. There is a certain type of beauty that appears in an image because of the moment that it captures in someone’s life. You can’t create this by losing weight, buying an elegant dress, or creating the perfect schedule. And while Terri and Dan are definitely elegant people, it is the joy they have that drew me to this wedding and made it a pleasure to be a part of from start to finish. I don’t think in the entire set of over a thousand pictures I edited, there is a single one of Terri when she isn’t grinning ear to ear, or of Dan when he doesn’t have a grin on his face. I love that the wedding ceremony and a lot of the portraits we took together were just blocks from their house in San Francisco. Of course having a gorgeous reception in the redwoods at the Mountain Terrace was pretty sweet too, and reminds me of how from San Francisco you can go to the beach, the mountains, the redwoods, or wine country, or skiing all within a couple hours. I wish these guys would marry each other again next year and I could come hang out with them and their friends and family again.
Special thanks to Amy Tam, who orchestrated a perfect day. She makes my job that much easier, making sure everything looks perfect, everyone is happy, and we never run out of time for something important. Kudos friend!
I’ve heard people refer to Meadowood as ‘heaven in the redwoods.’ It also happens to be nestled in some of the world’s most coveted wine country in St. Helena, Napa. The resort’s restaurant has been bestowed with three Michelin stars, so the food is divine as well. I couldn’t think of a better place for two people that love fine wine and food to get hitched. I had the pleasure of getting to know Carolyn’s warm family when I shot her brother’s wedding in Maui last year, so I’ve been looking forward to this day for quite a while. After a low-key morning Carolyn and Mike were married just before twilight under the trees, and then moved to a multi-course dinner accompanied by some of the best wine in the world. Throughout the day it was a joy to see how much Carolyn’s family and friends delight in them, and how much they had fun celebrating together in a place they love. The day was also filled with a bunch of fun details and surprises. From the groom’s turkey-cake (see below), to the break dancers that showed up to get the dancing started, to favors that included Blue Bottle coffee and a candy bar with Chicago’s world famous Garrett’s popcorn, the day seemed to start fantastically and just keep getting better. And did I mention I have never, ever, ever seen such fantastic wine at a wedding? Of course shooting two beautiful people who are utterly in love with each other made my job pretty easy too. Simply perfect.
Location: Meadowood Napa Luxury Resort, Coordinator: Lauren Bates of Meadowood, Dress: Jim Hjelm, customized by designer Francesca Pitera, Brides Shoes: Jimmy Choo & custom sneakers by New Balance, DJ/MC: Sana Khamphouvong owner of Platinum Productions, Ceremony Musicians: Music To Go, Suit: Ralph Lauren, Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew, Groom’s Ring: Custom made by Albert Zuger , Brides rings: custom made by Leon Mege, Ceremony and Reception Flowers: Pacific Callas, designed and assembled by mothers. Ceremony Bouquets and boutonnieres: Tesoro Flowers, Linens: Wine Country Party & Events, Hair and make-up: Diane Catorc of Artists by Sherrie Long, Necklace: Bebe, Earings: Stella Dot, Favors: Candy bar from Candy Warehouse, Coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee, and Popcorn from Garrett Popcorn, Officient: Gordon Lundy, Invitations, escort cards, and signs: Hello Lucky, Envelope Calligraphy: The Caligraphy Lady, Escort Cards Calligraphy: Pen Dance, Crush Sodas from Beverages Direct, Cake and Groom’s Cake: Perfect Endings, Table Signs by Jenna Sue Design
It is my great privilege to shoot some of the most beautiful weddings in the world regularly at the Farmhouse Inn in the heart of wine country in Sonoma. While I don’t get to share all of them here I love every one. The beauty of an elopement wedding is that nothing gets in the way of a couple’s celebration of their relationship. Last minute details and logistical drama are abandoned for a simple ceremony and a celebration in the redwoods and vineyards of one of the most beautiful places in America. The staff of the Farmhouse Inn is absolutely extraordinary, while the Spa and Michelin star restaurant round out a wedding experience that is as elegant as it is uncluttered. The afternoon I shared with Ryan and Kristy was truly perfect, and it is my pleasure to share some of the beauty and emotions of their wedding here. First of all, I have to share some images of Kristy, as striking a bride as you’ll ever see…