Imagine walking into the living room to find a dog with a tuxedo bowtie chasing down your camera lens, weaving between three children running around half dressed in casual wear and half dressed in formal wear, and pulling back a sea of white drapery to find the most beautiful, elegant flower arrangement and aisle lined with lanterns and candles. This was the definition of the most perfect, backyard elopement.
Between the daughter zipping up her mother's dress, the bride and groom reading poems to their children, the children running up before the kiss and asking why mom was crying during the ceremony, the gifts the children presented to celebrate their joined family, the dogs interrupting every scene to make sure they were in the family photos, the officiant guiding the oldest son to sign the marriage certificate, and the cake-smeared face of the groom (first by the bride, then of course by the children), I couldn't imagine a more precious, beautiful ceremony for this family. The stunning details so carefully planned out juxtaposed with all the laughter and jokes made every moment so memorable. They couldn't feel more at home, and it truly showed how much this day meant to them as a family. Check out the rest of the backyard elopement below!
When you meet on the first date with tiki drinks, pinball, and an run-in with the police for an expired registration, you know it's a love story for the ages. One sweet proposal by Sarah and spoiled elaborate proposal by Dillon later, they brought together their closest family and friends for a fall wedding that reflected all the little quirky, artistic sides that they loved about each other. Sarah and Dillon celebrated their Jewish heritage with an intimate ceremony, signing a beautiful ketubah with the most detailed, papercut frame. They honored his late father with a tie dye fabric draped over the chuppah and small photos of their loved ones hanging upon the doorframe. The wedding wouldn't be complete without the sweetest family photos and a couple of well-dressed groomsmen playing Uno as their guests danced into the night. Mazel tov to Sarah and Dillon!
Who needs a traditional wedding?! Lauren and Iggy traded tradition for an elopement at San Francisco City Hall and a wonderful wedding reception at a home in Aptos, CA. With all their friends and family gathered, they celebrated their new marriage with a no-stress reception where they read their vows to each other and ended the night with delicious tacos (worthy of leftovers - that's when you know it's good!), scrumptious cake (made by the bride!), and tear-filled toasts. Check out the rest of their reception below!
Kacie met Marlon on a missions trip to Nicaragua, despite the general advice given to not date the locals. Coerced by their friends, they talked one night, and quickly found how much they loved getting to know each other. But it was just a short weeklong trip, and she had to head back to her hometown of San Jose. So they parted ways, never expecting that one night would lead to one of the most beautiful love stories. Months later, a little bit of Facebook stalking, and many phone calls later, they were brought together again in Seattle where his family moved and she was going to college. From there, they fell madly in love with each other and tied the knot five years later in her hometown at the Ainsley House in Campbell, California. With details like cascading dahlias and eucalyptus, beautiful floral hoops (because who needs traditional bouquets?!), hiking boots as gifts to each other, handwritten vows read before the ceremony, the sassiest groomsmen, and a handpainted Bible, their wedding truly accentuated all the little things that made their love story unique. Check out the rest of their wedding below!
Just a month ago, Jay proposed to Nancy in the most romantic hot air balloon proposal, where I got to meet this sweet couple and capture such a special moment! These two long distance lovers couldn't stop smiling and giggling, even though she had to return to her hometown in Canada when the weekend was over. Without a moment to waste and ready to start their lives together, they eloped at the stunning San Francisco City Hall and I had the honor of not only being their photographer, but also being their witness. As the judge left, they stood in the still silence just taking it all in. We then adventured out to the city to celebrate the start of their lives together, stopping at classic landmarks like the cable car and Golden Gate Bridge! Check out their gorgeous elopement below!
Frances and Kaleb met a year ago at army training, and these two sweethearts couldn't be kept apart as they returned to school at CSU Monterey Bay. These two had a low key, intimate wedding with just their closest family and friends. Though the church didn't allow photography, we adventured with them after down to the shore for family formals and bride & groom portraits to memorialize the day!
Jackie and Cody met in art class at UC Santa Cruz, just 20 minutes away from where they tied the knot. At this magical weekend retreat, they stayed in a cabin in the woods and had all their guests camp at the venue grounds. Their wedding was detailed with handmade decor, from the macrame arch that the bride made herself to the wooden banquet tables their friend had made and drove all the way down to the venue. With the live band playing into the night, the last thing that could be heard before the guests started to fall asleep was the groomsmen playing cornhole at 2 AM. Check out the rest of their beautiful wedding below, plus their out of this world post-wedding session by the coast!
For most brides and grooms, planning a wedding is like getting a new part time job. Though many brides have been dreaming of their wedding all their lives, when it comes down to it, planning the actual wedding can be an entirely different experience. As a wedding photographer, there is so much that you learn from behind the scenes and the entire wedding process. Having also experienced different types of weddings, you realize how different factors can affect how the wedding day goes. Here are tips from the photographer's side to making the most out of your wedding.
Amanda and Erin had family come from all across the map - even Norway! - to celebrate their big day, full with a 3 day itinerary starting with board games and ending with a swim in Lake Alpine. They had met 9 years ago on their college competitive rowing team in Wisconsin - and the rest is history! With a weekend booked full of their guests staying at the Bear Valley Lodge with rooms overlooking the cathedral venue, it certainly felt like the place was just for them. Just a quick 10 minute drive away, we arrived to find the most stunning view at Bear Valley Mountain, with glamping tents lined up on either side of the ceremony site. Their wedding was filled with so many special moments, from Grandpa Buikema breaking the world record as oldest ringbearer to throwing out the traditional guestbook for signed oars instead, harkening back to their college days. Check out the rest of their beautiful wedding below!
When I met Anna Irene, she had on the most beautiful, vintage dress with bright, bold patterns (that I later found out she had made herself!) She carried with her such a fun, quirky air about her that just made everyone around her smile. Her love story with Michael was just as sweet - from meeting at camp to finding out that her best friend's fiance, who happened to be her neighbor, also had the same name - they balanced each other out in a way that could only be described as meant to be. There was just one caveat - he hadn't proposed yet! But not to worry, a few weeks later I heard my phone buzz with a text finally confirming what she had known all along. We adventured out into the golden fields for their engagement session, and then before long the wedding was upon us! With a short engagement, the day was simple, low-key, and really just highlighted what was important - how excited they were to start a life together. Check out the rest of their wedding below!