We got to know Andrew and Jenni when they visited us in the wine county and were good sports about going to the local county Fair to shoot part of their engagement session there. Both are soft spoken and somewhat shy in front of the camera, but were willing to try anything. They got ready at the Intercontinental in San Francisco and said their vows at the historic St. Patricks Cathedral, the oldest church in San Francisco (1872). The bride and groom did not see each other before the ceremony but did charter a mini-bus to drive to the reception and stop along the way in the financial district to take some photos. The San Francisco City Club is gorgeous with its huge mural by Mexican artist Diego Rivera in the grand stairwell. We got to go to the roof with the couple and photograph them in the twilight hour with the SF skyline in the back. Very cool!
Although we are privileged to shoot a lot of multi-cultural weddings, living as we do in the Bay Area, Nikta and Behram’s wedding was a very special one for us. Nikta and Behram are both Zoroastrian, as is Meher. You won’t see many Zoroastrian ceremonies now-a-days, especially not in the United States. Behram was born in India like Meher, and Nikta’s family came over from Iran several years ago, before she was born. They started the day at the Le Meridien Hotel with love notes to each other while getting ready separately. We then helped coordinate the “first look” at a beautiful curved staircase located within the hotel. They wanted to ensure that there would be enough time to get some cool shots in the city, so we took off with the couple to the Palace of Fine Arts, and then some more urban shots in the financial district, very close to the Julia Morgan wedding venue. The ceremony was conducted by Nikta’s grandfather, who is a Zoroastrian priest. It was a beautiful and touching ceremony, with ancient prayers blessing this couple’s future together. The reception took place in the beautiful and classic Julia Morgan Ballroom. In true Persian fashion, the reception started and ended with dancing. Nikta’s cousins even put on a choreographed dance performance for her as a surprise! We had fun working with the very talented videographers from REB6Studios, who did a killer highlight trailer of the wedding.
Shabnam and Jon had an elegant Persian wedding at the Westin Saint Francis hotel on Union Square in San Francisco. The ceremony took place in Victor’s Palace and the reception at Alexandra’s, both on the 32nd floor, with great views of the city. The bride was stunning and the groom dashingly handsome. The best man made a comment about how Shabnam looks like Princess Jasmine of Disney fame — he was not far off This was a super fun wedding with a lot of Persian-style dancing, gorgeous guests, and great food. We managed to sneak the bride and groom away for some cool photos around the historic hotel after the ceremony. A special thanks to Natasha from the Westin and Niosha, the day of coordinator, both of whom helped ensure the event progressed smoothly.
Meredith and Evan tied the knot at the Mission Ranch in Carmel, a gorgeous location with spectacular views of the rugged Carmel shoreline. This historic dairy farm was preserved and restored by former Carmel mayor Clint Eastwood. The rustic setting provided a perfect backdrop to this couple’s unique personality. Meredith looked gorgeous, styled in a Hollywood-glamour kind of way. The beautiful ceremony was outdoors, with sheep grazing in the background, the gray sky adding to the drama of the moment. The reception was full of heartfelt moments, and we even got to do a fun portrait session with many of the guests during magic hour.
Meredith sent us a sweet email that made our day after she saw the pictures: “These are AMAZING! Of course I’ve gotten no work done for the last hour and a half, but I’ve been tearing up, laughing and smiling like crazy. I’m so thankful you both got so much documented in such a beautiful way. I was hoping to see our wedding from a whole new perspective and that’s exactly what happened. I’m just so happy. You know, we got a lot of comments from so many guests saying how much they enjoyed both of your presence at the wedding. It was great that you were able to feel comfortable amongst our people. They really felt it and responded very positively.”
Nancy and Brandon tied the knot at their church in Alameda. Nancy started the day by getting ready at her parents home and making her way to Alameda. A reception followed within the church’s compound, with a light lunch and cupcakes. The couple had their first dance under the loving gaze of their family and friends, and then we proceeded with them to the hip Hotel Vitale by the waterfront in San Francisco. We started off our post wedding photo session at the Vitale and then proceeded for some cool shots by the metal rocket ship sculpture and then walked a few blocks to the the building where Nancy and Brandon had first met while working together. It was cool shooting amongst the financial buildings downtown. The evening ended with an intimate gourmet dinner for about 30 guests, at Alexander’s Steakhouse. From the name, we thought “a meat lover’s heaven”, but once we sampled their menu, it was simply out-of-this-world fantastic food.
Marisa and Matt got married at the Healdsburg Country Gardens amidst summer rain. The torrential downpours were totally out of character for June and took us all by surprise, but didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm. The gorgeous location was a perfect setting for Marisa’s classical beauty reminiscent of an old-time Hollywood actress. Undeterred by the rain, Marisa and Matt had a private first look in the photogenic cottage on the property, and we did some photos with the couple alone. The ceremony took place in a tent, keeping the guests cozy and dry. Matt had tears in his eyes as he saw his lovely bride walk down the isle. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect; it stopped raining just after the ceremony, and we were able to do all the group, family and bridal party shots under a gorgeous oak with views of the valley beneath. A reception followed in the rustic barn, the tables were set with Tiffany-blue table linens, and the dinner was a scrumptious Spanish paella made in enormous paella pans by Gerard’s Paella. There was wild and crazy dancing after dinner and even an after-party at Affronti Bar in Healdsburg where Matt’s brother, a professional DJ, spun the tunes. A super wedding with a beautiful and fun couple.
We felt at home with Annalisa and David from the time we first met them. We appreciated their warmth and humor and spirit of adventure. David is a fly-fisherman like Marcel and Annalisa likes to read a good book while enjoying the outdoors with her sweetheart. (Which is exactly what Meher does while Marcel fly-fishes.) Their fly-fishing engagement session was a first. Their wedding took place at the gorgeous Mayacamas Ranch in the mountains above the town of Calistoga. Mayacamas ranch is the ultimate wedding site for those who want to party for the whole weekend. Close family and friends had stayed at the ranch with Annalisa and David, renting the several cottages on the scenic property, enjoying the pool and the gorgeous surrounding areas for bicycling and hiking and even some fly fishing. So everyone was pretty relaxed by the time we got to this little oasis in the Mayacamas mountain range. The wedding ceremony on Sunset Meadow had guests (and at least one photographer choking up, while the bride’s veil flew around in the wind making for great photos. David and Annalisa were radiant after their commitment to each other and couldn’t stop smiling. They danced the night away surrounded by the love of friends and family. It was a pleasure working with Marilyn Ambra, Mayacamas’ exclusive wedding and event planning partner, whose calm presence and expertise ensured the day unfolded seamlessly.