By the time I got to The Resort at Squaw, the smoky skies had begun to clear and Ellen's family was helping with the last minute details while Ellen got ready. The clear skies, the unique details and everyone's hard work came together to make for a beautiful event. In addition to blowing away the smoke, the wind gave us some pretty cool shots of Ellen's dress and veil dramatically blowing in the wind! My favorite decoration was the alter. The outdoor fireplace where Geoff and Ellen exchanged vows was decorated with dozens of ferns and pathos plants with baby's breath and white rose accents. It was a stunning backdrop to the ceremony. The dancing was truly the funnest part of the wedding. All the lights up at the resort made for a really magical dance floor and everyone at the wedding was up and enjoying it!
Bre and Brandon had photos from our engagement shoot in frames on their tables as centerpieces. As I went around to take photos of the centerpieces, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed that engagement session and how good the photos turned out! As the wedding day went on, the photos I was taking were looking as good or better than the engagement photos. I think the reason why all these photos were so good is because they are such good people, and good people get good photos. They are the kind of people who are so genuinely happy to be with their family and friends, and who are so genuinely happy to be with each other. I heard it several times in the toasts that Bre and Brandon connect on a level that many people only dream of. That love comes across in how they interact with the world and I think it very obviously came across in their photos. They even took time after the ceremony to privately recite their own vows to each other which I thought was so great because, at the end of the day, a wedding is about two people sharing their commitment to love each other for the rest of their lives.
Katie and Jose are such a relaxed, sweet couple. Their wedding day was so beautiful, so easy and so fun. It was a beautiful day at Galena Creek and the fish hatchery had cute little touches like Swedish Fish for the guests and poster boards with photos (one board with photos of Katie as a kid, one with photos of Jose as a kid and then one with photos of the two of them together). I loved being able to see the merging to two people and two families in that way. I had fun with the photos because Jose is sooo tall! It was easy for him to look down and kiss Katie right on the top of her head. At the reception everyone was dancing. Even Katie's grandparents, who have been married for over 60 years, were up dancing! Katie's grandfather said she looked more beautiful than any movie star, and I think everyone at the wedding would agree!
Location: Galena Creek Park Dress: Blue Garter Bridal MUAH: La Di Da Beauty
DJ: Oscar- DJ Our Wedding Florals: Sparks Florist
Jenn & CJ were so much fun! They were so goofy and silly with each other, but also so loving and affectionate. We did first look photos at Tahoe and CJ's reaction to seeing Jenn was so wonderful and sweet. They spent the evening talking getting pictures with every guest. It was very obvious that everyone there really cared for Jenn and CJ and that Jenn & CJ were so grateful for all the friends and family who made it there. We even got photos with their dog! My favorite part was when Jenn's cousin played a solo of "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis on a violin that their grandfather made. I got to work with some of my favorite wedding vendors and it turned out to be just an awesome day all around.
Venue: The Chateau Coordinating: My Wedding Library Florals: A Floral Affair
MUAH: ME Beauty DJ: Moonlight Mobile DJ Guitar: Milton Merlos
Colleen and Jeremy's wedding was so fun! It was an intimate backyard wedding that took place at Jeremy's grandparents home. Their backyard was so intricately decorated with trees, flowers, sculptures, many of them hand-made! There was a ton of space for the ceremony, reception and dancing, but it all still felt so intimate and magical. My favorite part were the dances. Colleen and Jeremy looked so happy together during their first dance. Their parents were all so happy and some tears were shed, but they were always followed by smiles. For the father daughter and mother son dances, they had all the fathers and daughters and mothers and sons dance along with them which I always love!
I've known Kelly since middle school, so I was very excited to see her get married! She looked so beautiful, like a woodland fairy. There were many things about Kelly and Matt's wedding that were so unique. They did a hand-fasting ritual during the ceremony and they had a string quartet play at the ceremony and reception, which added so much elegance to the evening. But my favorite part was watching Kelly and Matt interact with each other. Their eyes were locked as Kelly walked down the aisle and for the rest of the evening, whenever they were near each other, they were holding hands or had a hand placed on the other (check out the last photo). It was such a sweet and subtle glimpse at how much they love each other.
Venue: Squaw Valley Florals: Moana Nursery MUAH: Sara Sue Music: The Red Tango
Cake: Delicious Designs
Jennifer and Ryan's wedding was such a fun and easy day! Everything went so smoothly, everyone was having so much fun and Jenn and Ryan were so happy and excited. The Tannenbaum was looking better than ever and the florals and bridesmaids dresses added such nice contrast to all the luscious greenery. Jenn and Ryan were so sweet and fun together. In her toast, the maid of honor congratulated Ryan on his "epic conquering of the friend zone!" I thought that was so funny and so great because I love when couples are friends first and slowly grow to love each other. In fact, the more interesting love story might be between Ryan and his best man. In his toast, the best man talked about how he and Ryan met, how much is their friendship meant to him and how he had to work out a 'custody agreement' with Jenn when she started dating Ryan! But the best part was later in the night when the best man requested the song that he and Ryan sang on the night they met (Austin by Blake Shelton) and together they sang and danced to the whole song!
Venue: Tannenbaum Events Center Florals: A Floral Affair DJ: Epik Entertainment
MUAH: Reno Blow Dry Bar Dessert: Nothing Bundt Cakes
I've been looking forward to Jenn and Will's wedding for a while! I've known Jenn for years, so I was so excited to be there on her wedding day, and it did not disappoint! It was so rainy the whole month of May, but Jenn and Will's wedding day turned out to be one of the most beautiful days! The peach florals by Love and Lupines perfectly complimented the blue accents, perfect colors for a Tahoe wedding. It was so cool to see so many people from different areas of Jenn and Will's life come from near and far to share their special day. Both Jenn and Will (as well as some people who gave toasts) talked about how they knew early on in their relationship that it was something special and was going to last. Those are my favorite things to hear at the weddings I photograph!
Lauren and Justin's wedding day was so much fun! Despite rain during and after the ceremony, everyone was in great spirits. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were so silly and having so much fun (the photo of the whole wedding party below is one of my favorites!). It was so easy taking photos of Lauren and Justin because they couldn't help but smile and laugh anytime they were together. Emotional toasts, a great dance party, doughnuts for dessert and a sparkler exit made for a practically perfect wedding reception for this wonderful couple!
Venue: David Wally's Resort DJ: Moonlight Mobile DJ Hair&Makeup: Sarah Santana
Kim & Dan's wedding was so stunning! It took place at a winery in Napa and I literally couldn't take a bad photo there! It was a beautiful day and the ceremony took place in the outdoor courtyard and the reception took place in the wine barrel room. Both Kim and Dan got emotional during the ceremony; they've been together for a long time so this day was so special for them and for all their family and friends. They are so fun and cute together, it was so easy to take photos of them looking happy and in love. We took photos before the ceremony so that Kim and Dan could enjoy their cocktail hour. They prioritized the dancing, the fun and the party over other little things that can take up a lot of time during weddings, which allowed them to get so much more enjoyment out of this one special night than many other couples do.
Venue: V. Sattui Flowers: Kate Gordon MUAH: Kayla St. Vincent
Taylor and Casey are no strangers to crazy weather. During our engagement shoot, it was bitterly cold and the wind was howling. During their wedding day, it was raining on and off. We thought the storm had passed, but then a downpour started right in the middle of the ceremony! Luckily there was some cover that guests could hide under, but Taylor and Casey stood serenely together at the alter under an umbrella just looking into each other’s eyes. They stayed up there through the rest of the ceremony and the downpour. Besides the rain, my favorite part of the ceremony was when they each took a jar of dirt that they collected from their parent’s homes and added the dirt to a potted sapling that they will now plant in their own home.
So many great vendors came together to make this such a beautiful wedding. the dessert table in particular looked like something out of a magazine. And I can always count on Barrel 9 Media to create a an amazing lighting set up for cool night photos!
Venue: Red Hawk Golf Course Florals: Love & Lupines Videography: Barrel 9 Media
Makeup: Midtown Beauty Bar DJ: McClain's Mobile DJ Cake: Delicious Designs
I love when couples come from other places to have their weddings here in the mountains. I took Chelsea and Thomas' engagement photos in the mountains too and their love of nature was so apparent and inspiring. It turned out to be a gorgeous day up at Squaw Valley for the wedding, if not a little cold in the evening! Everything was so simple and elegant. The colors were simply white with some greenery and woody accents and lots of candles. It all came together so nicely. Thomas and Chelsea share such a genuine and pure love, which was made very evident by what everyone said in their toasts to the newlyweds. But what made it even more evident was during the ceremony when Thomas said in his vows to Chelsea, "I will love you until the end of time. And I will always remember this day and marrying you as the proudest moment of my life."
Venue: PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn Wedding Planner: Liane McCombs Florist: Aster & Ash
DJ: Moonlight Mobile DJ Video: Swannworks Films Dress: JLM Couture Makeup: J. Weisman Beauty
Jenn and Minh's wedding was so cool and different for me! In the morning, they had a Chinese tea ceremony. It was such a fun event with tons of family members gathered together in a home with decorations, candles and food. Minh and the groomsmen had to play games at the front door and bribe the bridesmaids in order to get inside the house. Minh and Jenn presented their elders with tea, and the elders presented them in gifts in turn.
After a location and outfit change, Jenn and Minh had a traditional western wedding and the day could not have been more lovely! My favorite part of was when Minh started to cry when he saw how beautiful Jenn was in her wedding dress.
Minh said in his vows, "We've been together longer than we haven't" because they have been together since high school! But you never would have guessed that these two have been together that long because the way they are with each other, they seem like they're still just two young kids head-over-heels in love.
I had so much fun taking Christy and Jerimiah's engagement photos because they are both so adventurous and lovers of the snow! Their wedding photos were no different. We trekked out to a meadow in Squaw Valley (Christy in her heels!) and got some really cool shots with the whole wedding party and parents. Christy and the bridesmaids wore fur shawls and all the guests were treated to a hot chocolate bar and blankets on their seats at the ceremony. The interior of PlumpJack was decorated so diligently by Christy, Jerimiah and their friends and family. They had tons of candles, snow flakes and wooden ski accents, ski resort themed tables and tons of manzanita branches decorated with twinkle lights. I couldn't imagine a better wedding or a better couple to round out my 2017 wedding year!
I have been looking forward to Katie and Nick's wedding since they first contacted me. Katie and Nick love the outdoors, the mountains and national parks, so they decided to elope in Yosemite National Park! Accompanied by their parents, best friends and Katie's daughter, they choose a prefect spot right along the river to exchange vows. It was an absolutely beautiful day and even though it was an elopement, so much thought was put into all the little details from the handmade bouquets, to the vows, to gifts that Katie and Nick exchanged. They all wore hiking boots and they were ready for anything when we set out to take photos and video! They walked on logs, climbed on rocks and they even got into the river for our last shots! Such adventurous couples make my job more fun and I know they have many more adventures ahead of them!
Debbie and Adam's wedding was such an unexpected surprise! Never did I think I'd get the chance to photograph a wedding in Texas, and never did I think I'd meet that bride at another wedding in Costa Rica! I was so happy to be able to travel to Texas and witness Debbie and Adam's wedding. Not only because it was different and exciting for me, but also because it's truly inspirational to witness the marriage of two people who are obviously very deeply in love. The venue was a beautiful old dance hall in Fischer, Texas and so many family and friends pitched in to put Debbie and Adam's personal touches on the hall. My favorite parts were during the reception when Adam surprised Debbie with a tap dance he had learned, and Debbie surprised Adam with a song she sung while her father played the guitar!
At Katie and Andrew's winter engagement photo session, we turned out some amazing images so I was really looking forward to what we were going to create with their wedding photos! It was a perfect fall day at Lake Tahoe and the fall colors, still water and beautiful sunset gave us so much to work with. Everything at the West Shore Cafe looked so elegant, from the looks of it you might not know what a goofy and fun couple Katie and Andrew actually are. They played a quick game of corn hole during our photo session! They are also incredibly sweet people and the toasts and dances had people in tears. It was such a perfect day from start to finish!
Thomas and Mary Kate's wedding was such a beautiful fall day. Even though many of the leaves had already fallen from the trees, the bountiful bouquets of flowers and a gorgeous manzanita and flower arch brought so much life and color to the venue. Mary Kate and Thomas were so happy to see each other at their first look, and for the rest of the day they could barely stop smiling at each other! After the ceremony we were able to get a photo of all the guests at the wedding (something that is really cool if you can make it work!) as well as some really fun dancing photos because everyone at this wedding was dancing, even the grandparents! And instead of having a ring bearer, Mary Kate and Thomas had their nephew be the adorable official cigar cutter!
When I arrived at Ashley and Thomas' wedding, the first thing I saw was the reception area with all the decorations set up. I was so excited when I saw that their decoration theme was Wes Anderson movies! It was so unique, so fun and they put so much effort into getting all the little details in there. They had a beautiful, custom made fall/Fantastic Mr. Fox themed cake and flowers to tie everything together. Both Thomas and Ashley were so calm and relaxed throughout the day; you could tell that they were just so happy to be getting married. They go married under a birchwood arch that Thomas made and during the toasts at the reception, it couldn't be said enough how Thomas and Ashley are such kind and beautiful people.
Alyssa and Eric's was so beautiful, fun and unique. The Grove looked stunning with handmade centerpieces, flowers and drapes, a chandelier and tons of glitz and glam! Everything looked so elegant and romantic that at first glance you might not realize that Alyssa and Eric are actually such easy going, fun loving, goofy people. That's why their wedding was so amazing. It's was one of the most beautiful set ups I've seen, but I got the feeling that Eric and Alyssa and their family and friends could have been anywhere and still had as much fun as they all did. Eric and Alyssa and all the bridesmaids and groomsmen did a dance as they walked out of the ceremony, Eric read his vows off of a long scroll and Alyssa and her father played inflatable guitars to Guns N' Roses for their father daughter dance. During the reception, the DJ told the story of how Alyssa and Eric met and got to know each other, then he played prerecorded messages in which they each talked about why they love the other. The whole evening was a perfect mix of romance and fun.