It is always an honor to photograph a wedding day and even more so when it is my very own friends and family. For me, it’s also more personal (and probably more emotional) since I know more about the couple’s story and have seen them grow closer to one another. Meet Justina, one of my best friends from high school and her husband, Jamie. I was asked to spend the morning with the girls while they got ready and also photograph some traditional Chinese wedding ceremonies. Continue on for some beautiful and funny moments.
There were two dresses for the wedding day – the white dress for the ceremony later that day. Since it was such a perfect dress for Justina, I had to take the time to photograph it.
For the traditional Chinese ceremonies, the bride wears red and, in this case, chose to go with a modern and beautiful dress.
The groom and his friends showed up to take part in the traditional Fetching of the Bride. This is the first time I had heard of this tradition and witnessed it and it was so much fun! I couldn’t help but laugh as the guys did their best to win their way into the house. There were questions to answer, dancing to do, songs to sing, blind tasting and identification of food and lots of negotiating.
Of course Jamie and his fellas were talented, charming and ultimately won their way into the house. Then we all took off for the traditional Wedding Car Ride. (Everyone in this car was a major trooper too, because it required running out in the pouring rain!)
Then it was time for the Tea Ceremony. While working on the images, I was really struck by how much honor and importance is represented in this ceremony, but by how well it was balanced with such love, sweet moments and laughter. It really acknowledges the role elder family members have played, while also being a celebration of a new family forming through the bride and groom. And, since we had a smaller group for the morning events, I asked if we could do a quick shot with everyone – turns out they have a fun crew!I am so excited for this couple and the happiness they have found in one another. All my best wishes as you continue your journey together!
As I was getting these wedding photos ready, I found myself wishing that I could go back and enjoy their day again. Emily and Joe are two of the sweetest people, full of laughter and so easy to be around. I had the pleasure of meeting these two when they first started dating (through my husband), so it was such an honor to capture and celebrate their wedding day alongside them. Congratulations again!
Venue: Wente Vineyards (Livermore, California)
Everything about this wedding was unique and interesting, which makes for an awesome set of final photos. I was honored to be invited to capture such an intimate wedding in such a breathtaking location. The rain held off for most of the wedding day, but the ceremony location was blanketed in fog, giving a surreal feeling to a lot of the photos. Beautiful and unforgettable!
After a fun engagement session, I was looking forward to spending a full day with Paige and Richard, capturing their wedding day. Of course it was an awesome time! From spending time with the girls getting ready, all the way to the s’mores before the night was over, it was a great day. Their venue was absolutely beautiful, and so great because it was, literally, right in the family’s back yard. There were tons of little touches that I couldn’t help but appreciate as I caught them throughout the day – all the personalized bits and the handmade items made me smile and showed how much care was put into this wedding day.
Congratulations to you both!
Dress: from DoriAnne Veils
Hair: Amber Normann (bride’s sister)
Makeup: Maya Livesay (bride’s cousin)
Bridesmaid dresses: Lulus
Groom & groomsmen suits: Men’s Warehouse
Cake: Katrina Rozelle
Wedding coordinator: Tracy Pipkin
Guitarist: Mike Williams
Flowers: Gigi’s Florist
Engagement ring: Derco
Groom’s ring: Etsy
The S’mores bar and arch built by: Rob Normann (bride’s father)
Caterer: Dave Chapman
Such a fun day for Natalie and Matt! We first met up to discuss their wedding over a year before the date, so it was a fun to see all their planning and waiting come together for their big day. Family is a big part of their lives and this day was no different, as most of their bridal party and attendants were family members. This made the day sweeter, since they were sharing another big event as they tied two families together.
You’ve seen them before at their engagement session, now enjoy the big day!
The bride is a trained dancer, so the first dance as husband and wife was a beautifully choreographed treat for their guests.Since she’s part Hawaiian, the bride surprised her groom (and guests) with a hula, danced with her aunts.
Venue: Wedgewood at Brentwood Golf Club
Dress: Alfred Angelo, Disney Fairytale Collection
Tuxedo: Verano Wang at Men’s Warehouse
Flowers: Paula’s Family Florist
Hair: Sadi Poitras
Make-up: Veronica Cravalho and Ciara Skye
Bride’s rings: Shane Co.
Groom’s ring: DeVon’s Jewelers
DJ: Nickolas Lyons (Wedgewood)
Site coordinators: Nicole Wilson & Lisa Quinn
Catering: Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center
Cake: Gala Bakery
Another beautiful summer day for a lovely couple on their big day. Hillary and Allen returned to the area they grew up in to celebrate their wedding day among family and friends. Spending the day with them was so much fun and such a pleasure, since they were so sweet and just so excited for this day to finally arrive. Reese Farms is a stunning venue in Escalon, CA and is pretty much a photographer’s dream, there are so many good spots for pictures around every turn. Congratulations to you both!
Remember all the sweet moments from this intimate City Hall wedding? Me too, I love their photos! A few weeks after saying their vows, Morgan and Mike enjoyed a celebration with all their friends and family. I was lucky enough to join in the fun again and take photos of their wedding reception, held at a beautiful rustic setting. It was laid back and casual, making it a great time for the newlyweds to enjoy time with the people they care about most.
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero (Purchased from: Gesinee’s Bridal)
Wedding Dress Alterations: Gesinee’s Bridal
Bride’s Makeup: Stesha Kay Thuemler
Groom’s Suit: Marc Ecko
Venue: Historic Oakdale Ranch (Esparto, CA)
Catering: Chipotle (nom-nom)
Wedding Cake: Timothy’s Bakery
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Light in the Box
Wedding Coordinator: Events by Wise
DJ: Firehouse Entertainment, Nick Hinesley
Flowers: Strelitzia, assembled by Tracy (bridesmaid)
With an engagement shoot being so fun, I was looking forward to Brianna and Arnott’s wedding day. Their special day was full of so many personal touches and sweet surprises that both the bride and the groom planned for one another. It was a real treat to capture this day as it unfolded. Both are very caring towards one another, but also towards every person in their bridal party and their family and guests. Congratulations to you both!
The couple wrote their own vows, with Brianna’s being just a little bit longer than Arnott’s.
The groom’s sister asked the newlyweds to play a little game during her speech, seeing if they answered questions about his/her habits the same way. Needless to say, it inspired a lot of laughter. Arnott surprised Brianna by learning to play guitar, then playing the song from their first dance. He finished up with a rap he wrote about the two of them and their bridal party.
Lisa and Kurt decided to come to California to share their vows with one another. Their intimate wedding took place on a beautiful spring day in the Livermore wine valley, amidst family and friends who joined them on their special day. As soon as I arrived on site, I enjoyed the relaxed energy and every lovely detail included in the day. I also loved their color scheme with lots of purple – my favorite color (the bride even chose a purple dress)!
All three of us went into the pool for a few fun photos at the end of the night. I was game, since it meant some fun images for the bride and groom!