Wedding season is in full effect and I’ve been keepin’ it busy, keepin’ it real.
I thought I’d take this time to stop and wave my hand around. I have a moment to myself after shooting 4 weddings in 4 weekends, but without this mid-wedding season breather update, how would you know? I have to write this for myself as well. It’s easy to write off all this running around as a “blur”. But it was so much more than a “blur”. It was 4 weekends of traveling to 4 destinations to photograph 8 really wonderful people. Everyone has their own story, their own worlds, and I’m constantly thankful to be invited into the fold, at least just for a day.
1. Mary & Logan, Private Residence (Backyard), Simi Valley, California Mary & Logan were married in the backyard of Logan’s childhood home, on the highest hill of the property, surrounded by all their family and friends. The neighbors next door own horses and left out hay on the hillside so they would be grazing during the ceremony (a thoughtful touch no doubt). And so the rest of the day followed suit: a vibrant multi-cultural and bi-lingual celebration with their family and friends who never missed a beat in bringing so much life to their day. Mary’s family surprised the two with Samba dancers during the reception to pump up the energy of the night, but honestly, their guests brought the party the moment they stepped foot into that backyard. Mary & Logan were so gracious and refreshing to be around, but I suppose you’ll just have to take my word for it. A good example though: I remember I (embarrassingly) started gushing and told Mary that she looked “like a goddess” during our portrait time together (she did though, seriously), and she quickly shushed the idea away with a roll of her eyes. Fair enough, to be honest I would have had the same response had it been me. 2. Catie & Dave, Woodland Park Manor, Idyllwild, California Catie & Dave were planning on more of a sunny summertime wedding in the woods, but got the heavy-rain version of their plan instead. Catie was bummed, understandably… I mean who expects rain in the middle of July? But what I got to witness was better than anything you could have planned: your family and friends coming together in the pouring rain, helping however they could, enthusiasm untouched and unrelenting. There are so many highlights to their day, but they all translated to one thing: when the going-gets-tough, you always have family, you always have your friends, and you can still have a killer party to celebrate your marriage no matter what the weather decides to be. During their ceremony, which seemed like the wettest part of their day, Catie & Dave stopped for a minute to look at each other, laugh, and give each other a high-five. Real life is what happens outside of your plans and I have no doubt that they have the right idea about how to get by. 3. C & E, Green Acres Ranch & Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree, California Sshhh, C & E decided they wanted to elope to Joshua Tree, and I won’t be sharing any details about their surprise until after their wedding day. All I can say for now is, it’s awesome to be a witness, running away to the desert to get married (just you, your partner, an officiant, and a photographer) is also awesome, and Joshua Tree is (still) one of my all-time favorite places on earth, let alone to photograph. So until then, let the mystery of the following selection of photos tickle you. ;-P 4. Gretchen & Joe, Cow Track Ranch, Nicasio, California Can I say one thing? Gretchen is a really good hugger and I really feel like I met my hugging-twin when I met Gretchen. I know, that’s a precious thing to say (on a wedding blog post no else), but you’re going to have to cut me some slack when I say that this is a real thing I’ve thought about from time-to-time about myself. I am an all-out-no-hesitation deep hugger and it was so cool to meet someone as unafraid as me to give a stranger a hug. Anyway, I digressed right off the bat on this wedding description, but their collective warmth is real and worth sharing. Gretchen & Joe live in San Francisco and decided to get married on a cow ranch where the Texas Longhorn cattle actually come home from the pastures at the end of the day. And they did not disappoint, as you were surrounded by West Marin’s beautiful rolling hills, endless drinks out of personally curated steins and other glassware, and serenaded by a live bluegrass band, you really understood that you were celebrating two people who really put in so much thought and heart into the planning of their day.One last thing before I go that I really wanted to give a thumbs up to: the post-ceremony group photo. I’ve had a couple of my bride’s lately request a group photo of all of their guests after the ceremony and I couldn’t be happier to oblige. Two of Gretchen & Joe’s guests gave me a boost onto a very large rock so I could be elevated enough to shoot the wide photos and then gingerly helped me down afterwards. What is cooler than a photo of every person who came to your wedding, all together after a beautiful ceremony? I really think it’s the best thing ever and I especially love that I was able to include Gretchen’s stoic second-father-figure in the pick-up truck behind them.