I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this year. Lucy and Sam’s wedding was so special and I was so happy I got to capture it all. There were so many unique touches that made this wedding so personalized to Lucy and Sam, it was so cool to have these little bits of insight into their life together as well as some neat family history. The tables names (all different places Lucy and Sam have been) were accompanied by photos of that place and a little story on the back about the time they spent there. Lucy had two lucky sixpence, each from the years that her grandmothers were born, which she kept in her dress in a pocket made from one of her dad’s shirts. The ceremony began with the ringing of Lucy’s Great-Great-Grandmother’s school bell. Sam’s ring was made from a meteorite; when Lucy’s tells Same she loves him, he says “to the moon and back.” This day was special for Sam’s parents too since it was their 35th wedding anniversary and Lucy and Sam gave them their own special cake to cut. Everything from the ceremony where the officiant compared Sam and Lucy to a great oak tree and a kite, to the tearful toasts, to the coordinated dance that Lucy did with her mother, was so incredibly special and unique to this awesome couple and I feel like Sam a Lucy, as well as everyone in attendance, got so much more out of this day because of it.
I’m so lucky that I got to be there when Sara and Ryan met. They were both guests at their friends’ wedding which I photographed. Ryan helped escort Sara over the cobblestone walkway to the wedding and the rest is history. Their wedding day was a perfect fall day. The leaves had changed, but the weather was still warm and pleasant. My favorite part of the day was watching Ryan watch Sara walk down the aisle. Their happiness was palpable. The party was amazing and the toasts showed just how much Sara and Ryan are loved and appreciated by their family and friends and just how perfect they are for each other. I am so happy I’ve been able to see the beginning of their relationship and the beginning of their marriage and I’m so excited to see what the future brings them!
The cloudy skies couldn’t dampen anyone’s spirits on Courtney and Gregg’s wedding day. I loved seeing how happy and excited they both were as they were each getting ready, but it was nothing compared to how happy and excited they got when they finally saw each other at the first look. Their ceremony took place in a cozy, intimate section of woods right next to a creek. Courtney’s sister said some of my favorite things of the night in her toast. She said Courtney and Gregg are both so full of passion and love, you can feel it when they walk into a room. I found that to be so true and it was so special to witness the beginning of their marriage.
I’ve been looking forward to Lauren and Mike’s wedding for so long, and it turned out to be an event that was so perfect for them. They chose their wedding date because it was 10 years to the day since they met! The ceremony took place on the patio of the reception site. After cocktail hour everyone just gathered around to stand close and watch Lauren and Mike exchange vows. I love those kinds of ceremonies, they’re so intimate and relaxed. The coolest part was that they were able to have both their dog and Lauren’s horse at the venue with them! As guests arrived, they had got to feed and take photos with Jim the horse. Lauren even got up on Jim in her wedding dress for some photos! It was such a fun and beautiful event and even though this was far from the beginning of their relationship, it was a perfect beginning to what I’m sure will be such a happy marriage.
Jessica and Brett’s wedding day was so amazing from start to finish. The weather was beautiful, the houses where everyone got ready were picturesque, the ceremony had a stunning view of the mountains and the market lights, fire pits, and stars made for a magical outdoor reception. But it wasn’t just how things looked that made this such a great day. Jessica and Brett were so happy the whole time and their faces lit up every-time they looked at each other. Their vows, first dance and speech were all so heartfelt and the toasts that everyone gave showed just how supportive Jessica and Brett are of each other and how their shared interests make for an exciting life together. It was also said several times how supportive and loving Jessica and Brett are of someone else in their life, their adorable dog Leela.
A few months ago, I got to do one of my favorite things as a photographer. I got to go incognito and take covert photos of a proposal! This one was really special. Max had been planning this for a long time. Both Max and Meagan grew up in Reno, but now live in San Diego. Max decided he was going to pop the question in Tahoe, high in the mountains overlooking the whole lake. It was may and there was still a lot of snow on the trail. Luckily, he convinced Meagan to reach the overlook despite the snow! I hiked up early to find the spot and set up my camera and did my best to just look like someone doing nature photography. The sun had risen, but it was overcast so the lighting was perfect. And by the time Max and Meagan got up to the lookout, there was a hot air balloon flying over the lake! It all was so beautiful and perfect. While Meagan knew they’d get engaged eventually, I don’t think she expected it to happen in such an awe inspiring location and with such a stunning and unique ring.
Max worked with J. Wiesner Private Jeweler to create the perfect ring for Meagan. Max wanted a vintage style ring, but with his own touches. They searched though different diamond cuts and he settled on a beautiful emerald cut. They created a CAD of the ring to work out minor details (such a good idea!). The emerald cut looked perfect on Meagan’s long fingers and the smaller diamonds surrounded by gold in the band added just enough sparkle to give the ring a brilliant, yet delicate overall look.
After the proposal, Max and Meagan were able to go to brunch with family members in Tahoe to celebrate with everyone. Now, they are working with J. Wiesner Private Jeweler on a wedding band to match the engagement ring. It was such a wonderful beginning to what I’m sure will be a happy and adventurous marriage!
Check out the unique and beautiful rings made by J. Wiesner:
Jill and Eric's wedding was such an incredible day! Everyone expected it to be, considering how long it's been awaited by family, friends, and Jill and Eric themselves. They've been together for eight years, engaged for two years, and they've even been burning man married for several years! But even though they weren't officially married until this weekend, Jill and Eric have been living life together just as well (if not better) than any married couple would. They both thrive in their careers, they travel often, and they are so dedicated to their friends, families and hobbies. They share a passion for life and a passion for each other. Anyone who has seen them together or heard them talk about each other knows that they have a love for each other that is rare. I'm lucky to have known them both separately and been able to watch their relationship unfold. Their wedding day was the culmination of all those years of love and growth. So many people from different parts of Jill and Eric's life came together for a gorgeous day in beautiful place for wild party that was worthy of a couple as wonderful as Jill and Eric.
Venue: East Fork Ranch Planning/Decor: The Entertainer
Florals: Helianthus Floral Hair: Allie Vidal-Lokal Salon
Makeup: Jess Reim-Drago Salon DJ: McClain's Mobile Music Dress: Swoon Bridal
Catering: Blend Doughnuts: Doughboys Bar: Shine Bar Catering
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.