For a couple as adventurous as Pete and Erin, tying the knot in one of the most outdoor-sy, gorgeous landscap-y, beautimous locations in the world was kind of a given (and forgive my propensity for made-up words). Yes, Yosemite Valley was the ideal location for this destination wedding – and more specifically the historic Ahwahnee Hotel nestled in the heart of the valley.
Viewing entries in
Well, where do I start? First off, this was kind of a family reunion for me – mostly consisting of Schmauchs that I've never met before, including the bride! This wedding was chock full of 3rd cousins (common great-great grandpa) and uncles/aunts, it was so great to see some familiar faces and meet new ones. Needless to say I felt right at home. Alan and Anna chose Bianchi Winery in Paso Robles, and I have to say it's a gem of a venue hidden among the hills off 46. It was warm, but not scorching like the week before – so we all survived without any ambulance visits.
Small weddings in an intimate setting are such a joy to capture; you don't have the crazy stress of a million things happening at once, and crowds of people to corral from one place to another. The bride and groom can actually sit and talk to all their guests, enjoying the moment throughout the day. Mary and John chose Elizabeth Gamble Garden Center in Palo Alto for their intimate celebration, and I have to admit this place is a hidden gem (and remarkably affordable, I'm told). If you can deal with no amplified music/voices (enter three string quartet), shutting down by 10pm, and inviting no more than 50 guests, this venue can be had for a steal. There are so many places to explore: the historical house, a myriad of gardens, gazebo, fountains, towering oaks – it's so fun for us photographers and provides variety for the couples. I was excited to work again with Judi, owner of Taste-Full Events – one of the finest foodie-certified caterers in the Bay Area. When I found out she was handling things, I knew the food was gonna be out of this world! To top off the culinary treats, dessert was presented by a Bay Area startup on pace to be the top artisan ice cream maker in town.
Yuriana and Ruben lucked out with some amazing weather on their wedding day – which is a good thing since they planned an outdoor ceremony at gorgeous Monastery Beach in Carmel, California. The ocean in this cove has blue and green hues a la more tropical locations like Hawaii, and the skies overhead had just enough clouds to add visual interest and to subtract a little harshness from the sun. After the ceremony, we did a little TTD session (Trash the Dress), which turned into a TTT session (Trash the Tuxedo) after I had the couple lay down in the sand. Luckily they were prepared for this, although I felt a little bad considering the non-tropical temperature of the ocean at our latitude :) But we got some great shots, so all is forgiven (right guys?).
Many Vietnamese and Chinese weddings incorporate tea ceremonies in addition to traditional western-style events – so they tend to be very LONG days, especially if you have a large bridal party that needs to get ready early. Mai and Hai's wedding was no exception; I'm pretty sure they didn't get much sleep the night before. But they were driven by adrenaline and love (and caffeine) and managed to look amazing and perform flawlessly throughout the long day. Everyone was so much fun to work with, and I was impressed by the staff at Sunol Valley Golf Club as they were juggling two other concurrent weddings that day (8-8 being super popular in Asian culture).