I+D I Hakone Gardens

The magical Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, CA set the stage for the wedding of I +D. When guests arrived they were encouraged to explore the tranquility of the enchanted grounds before settling in to watch the couple exchange their vows. A ceremony that acknowledged the past as the path that led to the present, just a stop on the way to the future for I +D. Family, tradition, and honor were the three pillars that marked the auspicious day. As the ceremony carried on, the couple joyfully acknowledged their parents over and over. The newlywed’s travel obsession was uniquely acknowledged, each dinner table represented a country they had visited. Guests ate cupcakes and mochi for dessert as the new husband and wife made a grand entrance to the dance floor. Their first dance, well practiced in previous days and just before they entered the dance floor came together flawlessly. All is all, it was an intimate and breathtaking day! Congratulations!

Photography: Emily Merrill Weddings

Coordinator: City Lights Event Company

Venue: Hakone Gardens

Catering/Rentals: Fogcutter

DJ+Lighting: Elite Entertainment

Videography: Final Frame

Florals: De Young Flowers

Hair and Makeup: A-List Makeup . Leslie Song

Cocktail Hour Music: Amethyst Trio

M+B | The Outdoor Art Club

It is always a delight to see how a couple expresses their personality in the gorgeous environs of the Outdoor Art Club. Having photographed weddings at this venue multiple times, I’ve had the privilege to see an abundance of inspiring ideas. The wedding of M+B was among the most unique. A sophisticated take on the fantasy and sci-fi reverie among the majestic redwood trees. The couple’s passion for Disney, Star Wars, and Super Heroes was exhibited in a creatively refined way that seamlessly enhanced the reverence of the occasion. A Joie de Vivre for other worlds flawlessly integrated into the here and now of Mill Valley. Congratulations!!!!

Venue: The Outdoor Art Club

Flowers: Mill Valley Flowers

Catering: Cater Marin

Wedding Cake: Branching Out Cakes

J+G Golden Gate Park Engagement Shoot

Coastal views are gorgeous and all, but when the fog rolls in unexpectedly and the wind is high speed, it's important to have a back up plan for an engagement shoot.  Luckily, we are spoiled in San Francisco and if one location doesn't work out then chances are, we aren't far from another lovely spot.  Thank you Golden Gate park for shielding us from the harsh wind and cold fog.  J+G's engagement shoot was so much fun and I am so excited to photograph their upcoming wedding.  Enjoy the pics!

M+B Oakland Engagement Session

M+B wanted to capture the various neighborhoods in Oakland where they love spending time together.  We started at Piedmont Park (one of my faves for portraits because I am a tree hugger),  strolled through Temescal which is fabulous and colorful, and then landed at Lake Merritt (looking all classy and pretty I might add) and saw the sunset.   The variety of textures and colors we were working in provided beautiful backdrops which remind me of why I love the Bay Area so much.  These lovebirds are saying "I-Do" in a couple of weeks, and I am so excited to photograph their wedding.   Enjoy a few of my favorites below...

Sutro Heights Park Wedding

I must begin by proclaiming, that there is something wonderfully whimsical about floral bridal crowns.  I wish I could flaunt one on my head everyday!
V+C exhibited their stylish taste in every detail. Each bridesmaid's dress was a different shade of green that looked to be inspired by the colors of the forest near San Francisco's Lands End where the bride and groom were photographed. The floral arch where the vows were exchanged was both regal and mystical against the grand backdrop of the Pacific ocean at Sutro Heights Park. Persimmons, to represent transformation and good fortune, awaited wedding guests as they sat at their reception tables in the SF Film Centre in the Presidio. The whole event was a fairytale with an elegant edge that so flawlessly intermingled with its beautiful surroundings. It could have been a Midsummer's dream.

Ceremony Venue:  Sutro Heights Park, San Franciso, CA

Reception Venue: SF Film Centre

Event Coordination: Bowties & Bubbly Events

Floral Design:  Hannah Rose Muller form Full Belly Farm

Catering:  Full Belly Farm

 

HeartStone Ranch

There's a hand painted sign tucked off the side of a path at the HeartStone Ranch in Santa Barbara that reads "We're so glad you're here." A proclamation that perfectly reflected the familial nature of both bride and groom. Even as the preparations for the wedding progressed at a brisk pace, the atmosphere was relaxed and embracing. Much like Santa Barbara itself, which is why I love to shoot here at every opportunity.

HeartStone Ranch is a private estate designed specifically for weddings, an important note because there's no need to think about shoe-horning a wedding into a pastoral setting. You just come and unfold your matrimonial vision and effortlessly experience the special day. As I watched the wedding party engage in lawn games under the shade of ancient oak trees, with goats and horses looking on, I couldn't help thinking that the ranch is just a little magical. There is a flawless balance between the rustic and the elegant that is surrounded by ocean and mountain views. Together it all culminates in an environment that is remarkably unique.

Mercifully, HeartStone Ranch was spared the recent fire and mudslide calamities. I'm thankful because HeartStone is a wonderful place that always feels exactly as their unassuming sign declares; "We're so glad you're here."

Wedding Coordinator:  Kerry Lee Doehr

Venue: HeartStone Ranch

Catering:  Omni Catering

Hamlin Mansion Wedding

They traveled from their home overseas to start their marriage among family and in the familiar surroundings of the brides youth. The color palette of the floral arrangements, rich oranges, yellows, and pinks, struck a striking contrast against the classic dark wood architecture of the Hamlin Mansion.  As the newly married couple walked down the aisle, ribbons descended upon them from the second floor symbolizing a new chapter of life. A tradition that the bride experienced back when she was girl attending grammar school in the same building.The sweeping view of the Golden Gate Bridge reminded all in attendance that this was a quintessential San Francisco wedding that combined the traditional past with the bright future for both Alexandra and Stuart.  Congratulations!

Wedding Coordinator:  Moira Gubbins Venue:  Hamlin Mansion   Flowers:  Green Bouquet   DJ:  Von Woo  Catering: Elaine Bell Catering

The Meadow Club

Wedding guests beamed at the sweet couple from under the shade of parasols. An outsider might guess that they were looking at a traditional Southern ceremony, because it was an astonishing 105 degrees outside, but this was a classic California wedding at the Meadow Club in Fairfax.

It started just over the bridge, in San Francisco, at the Loews hotel which provided the stunning backdrop of the iconic Transamerica pyramid for the all important first look. Then, to continue with the theme of landmark backdrops, the bridal party piled into a bus for stops at The Palace of Fine Arts, and the Golden Gate Bridge. The bus tour concluded at the Meadow Club, an auspicious venue because the bride’s parents had been married there.

As a magician entertained guests during the cocktail hour, the sun began to drop along with the temperature allowing for breathtaking photos around the grounds where even the deer came out to strike a pose for my camera.  All in all, it was a wedding photographer's dream.  Congratulations, Lindsay and Tim!