Vina Enoteca Wedding in Palo Alto

It was that weekend that rained, randomly! I thought April showers were supposed to bring May flowers, but May decided to go ahead and bring a little weeping that weekend. Thankfully the rain stopped a bit for a couple portraits at Stanford Campus, where the couple met, and brought with it a beautiful atmosphere.

(Words from Natalie)
What was the most memorable part of the day?
There were so many throughout the day that it's hard to pinpoint a particular moment as being the most memorable. There were the classic ones (the vows, the toasts, the post-ceremony hugs) and the innocuous ones (the last minute hairstyle debates, the pre-ceremony pizza, the questionable dance moves), all of them important but also fleeting. That's why we are so grateful to have such wonderful photos -- they make those moments last a little longer.

What unique detail was the most important for you to include and why?
Neither of us are big on cake and didn't care about any cake-cutting tradition, so we knew we would serve ice cream and cookies from day one. It was a big hit with everyone -- turns out a gelato cart beats wedding cake, hands down.

What came most as a surprise to you about the day?
It's not really a surprise because everyone says it, but the whole day does go by fast. It is so special to have all your friends and family in the same place; one day is not enough.

And one piece of advice to another couple?
In case of unseasonable and unexpected rain, clear plastic umbrellas ordered via Amazon Prime are a lifesaver :)

Venue: Vina Enoteca
Wedding Planner: Kristine Tsai
Florist: Henry’s Place
DJ: Jamie Tibbets
Cellist: Charles Wang
Makeup: Maddie & Blush
Hair: Jana Davies, Julian Chase Salon

Laura and Gabe | A Unique San Francisco Wedding - Alamo Square Park, Absinthe, Cafe du Nord

Heck. Yes.

Dear couples, a wedding can be whatever you want it to be. As long as the two of you get married, all the other details are just the icing on top of the cake.

When Laura first approached me about photographing her wedding, she described it as nontraditional, with no/few flowers, no aisle, and a dark blue sweetheart lace fit & flare dress. “I feel like this is coming across as negative,” she said, “but we are just focusing on the things that are most important to us :)”

Hear hear! Laura and Gabe got married with their closest group of friends and family surrounding them at Alamo Square Park with the cityscape behind them, had an intimate dinner at Absinthe, then joined the larger group for donuts and dancing at Cafe du Nord.

Ceremony: Alamo Square Park, San Francisco
Dress: Self-Portrait
Suit: Billy Reid
Restaurant: Absinthe
After Party: Cafe du Nord
Donuts: Dynamo Donut
Custom Poster: Matthew J. Fleming

{ From Laura )

  1. What was the most memorable part of the day?
    Though our ceremony was short, that time in the park was the most memorable part of the day for me. It felt incredibly vulnerable, sharing what we normally just say to one another, in front of our friends and family. Looking around to everyone, I could feel the love and joy surround us. It was so powerful, and I felt so present in the moment.

  2. What unique detail was the most important for you to include and why?
    This is the hardest question to answer! The unique detail that I love the most is the custom poster by Matthew J. Fleming, that I commissioned as a wedding gift. The design includes so many details about our relationship and the day, from our favorite records, to the ceremony and reception venues. Music is so important to us, and we have posters from dozens of shows we've seen ourselves and together. Using the back of it as our guest book means that everyone who was there is a part of our commitment to one another. It's hanging in a prime location in our new home.

  3. What came most as a surprise to you about the day?
    How time flew by! I would have loved to have hours more with friends and loved ones, and more time to connect one on one with everyone there.

Mariana & Aaron | Casa de la Guerra and El Paseo, a Downtown Santa Barbara Wedding

I'm blogging this nearly 10 months later but I still vividly remember Mariana and Aaron's amazing downtown Santa Barbara wedding.

They had their ceremony at the Casa de la Guerra courtyard and then mariachi'ed their way into the gorgeous El Paseo Restaurant. I still can't get over the space and how gorgeous the colors and atmosphere was. 

I still have their dried lavender favors living on my balcony. 

Christina & Damian | Intimate Boat Shack Wedding at Nick's Cove in Marshall, CA

12 guests. 
A windy walk down the entire length of the pier.
A quaint boat shack housing a single table and chairs.

A dinner at sunset.
Toasts in the glowing evening light.
A first dance in the chilly darkness.

The gentle hum of the waves.
The quiet lights glowing softly.




// Venue: Nick's Cove

Gelena's Floral Baby Shower | Inn of the Seventh Ray

I've photographed a few events that Gelena planned and beautifully styled, and even photographed an anniversary session with her and her husband last year. This year, she reached out to me again asking me to photographer her baby shower, and it absolutely made my day when she said she wanted to fly me down from the Bay Area for me to document it.

Held at the romantic Inn of the Seventh Ray with beautiful florals by Butterfly Floral Design

Defne & Cameron | Foreign Cinema Wedding in San Francisco

There were two distinct moments that I remember vividly from Defne and Cameron's wedding at the Foreign Cinema. Actually, make that three, because the first two are so wonderfully connected.

The more a couple can incorporate what's meaningful to the both of them into their wedding, the more excited I get. Defne and Cameron did their first look at a tiny, hidden park overlooking the city where Cameron proposed. What a breathtaking location and backdrop for their first look and bride and groom portraits.

Their ceremony was a few hours later after their first look, but even as Defne walked down the aisle with her parents, Cameron still had the heartwarming reaction as if he was seeing her for the first time in her wedding dress. I think by the time she reached the front, the entire wedding party and the officiant were already in tears. 

(Seriously, this is what makes me want to say #ILoveMyJob)

Another really defining moment (so defining that I selected it as my featured image for this SLR Lounge article) was when I caught the two of them sharing a kiss during dinner when no one else was paying attention. To be so connected and in tune with each other throughout a hectic wedding day emphasized what the wedding day should really be about. 

Congratulations, Defne and Cameron! I am so honored to have been able to document the day for you.

Many thanks to all the wonderful vendors who worked on this wedding to make such a momentous day!

Wedding Coordinator: Michelle Kimmins
Venue: Foreign Cinema
DJ: DJ Von Woo
Florals: Ampersand
Makeup: Pretty Parlor SF

Ning & Victor | Palacio Restaurant Wedding in Los Gatos, CA

I think just about the greatest thing that happened at the start of Ning and Victor's wedding day that really set the tone of what the whole day would be like was when one of the bridesmaids accidentally burned a gigantic hole into the maid of honor's dress with the iron. It was a mix of sheer horror, disbelief, and hilarity as Ning kept laughing all the while her mom waved a tank top around in the air to disperse the smell of burnt satin. 

The rest of the day was just pure, relaxed fun for Ning and Victor and their family and friends at the Palacio in Los Gatos, (a Victorian styled house turned restaurant which makes for a pretty unique wedding venue) featuring matching bright green Chucks, wedding bingo, a "Make Your Own Pet Rock" station, and a "Selfie Station" that Victor programmed himself!

Ning and Victor, your wedding was so laid back and you two have so much fun with each other. Thanks for asking me to document it for you!