DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS

We are destination wedding photographers!

While our home in wine country serves as a popular wedding destination for many couples, there’s a world (literally) of other options out there when creating your dream wedding day. While it may be more difficult to organize a destination wedding from afar, partnering up with a good wedding planner can alleviate much of the stress involved. As wedding destination photographers, any time we get the chance to work in a fun new place, we get very excited as we love to travel and we thrive when outside our comfort zone. From the landscapes to the cityscapes to the sights and sounds and smells and the way the light is always different when you travel somewhere new…we feed off of everything each new destination has to offer us and channel our inspiration into your collection of wedding images. Over the years, we have been fortunate to work in some pretty incredible locations around the world with our destination wedding clients, here are some of our favorites:

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
New Zealand (South and North Islands),
Viti Levu, Fiji
Rincón, Puerto Rico
Barbados
Aruba
Clearwater, Florida
Newport, Rhode Island
Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa - Tabernash, Colorado
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Jedediah Smith Redwoods Park
Flora Farms, Los Cabos, Mexico
Banyan Tree Mayakoba - Riviera Maya, Mexico
Wilmington, Vermont
New York City
Poughkeepsie, New York
Blackberry Farm - Walland, Tennessee

About Viera Photographics

Viera Photographics is a husband and wife wedding photography team located in Sonoma, California. They specialize in telling stories through their style of wedding photojournalism and candid documentary wedding photography. In business since 2005 they are considered to be one of the top high-end wedding photographers. Their unique wedding photographic style emphasizes stylish storytelling with raw emotion. They bring impeccable and unmatched customer service on every level.

Jaime, Dennis and their team are available worldwide with no travel fees. They travel often photographing weddings all over the world. Some of their top destinations are: Napa, San Francisco, Tahoe, Big Sur, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, New York, Newport, Rhode Island, Vermont, Mexico, and Hawaii.

Viera Photographics

[email protected]hotographics.com
San Francisco, CA
(707) 934-4007

Featured Destination weddings

A Flora Farms Wedding Cabo Del Sur // Nicole and Andy

flora farms wedding Cabo Mexico

Nicole and Andy’s unique Flora Farms wedding took place in Cabo del Sur, Mexico; seemingly a world away from the beachside ceviche peddlers and celebrity tequila bars of Cabo San Lucas just down the coast the peninsula’s tip. Flora Farms is an organic working farm in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains in San Jose del Cabo, and is a tranquil oasis amidst cactus-studded hillsides and gravelly arroyos. As the mango grove was being prepared for the wedding ceremony, culinary staff continued tending plants, gathering vegetables and herbs for the evening’s meal. Once supplying fine dining establishments in the area with their impeccable produce and humanely raised animal products, these days the demand right there on the farm itself is so great that all of what they produce remains on-site to supply food for guests and as teaching materials for their numerous culinary classes. The One and Only Palmilla provides every and any aspect of a luxurious destination wedding that you could dream of and was a great space to begin Nicole and Andy’s day. At the girls villa, Nicole put in her finishing touches, antique earrings passed down from her grandmother as blue as the Sea of Cortez. At the boys place, Andy grabbed one last taco with the boys and we prepared to rendezvous for their first look. As Andy and Nicole finished their preparations at the One & Only Palmilla, the expansive transformation back at Flora Farms was nearing completion, with lounge areas and built in food stations cropping up around the farm. We arrived and Nicole hid away as Andy escorted his mother down the aisle to her seat. Nicole and her father made their way down the aisle and Andy stepped out from under the chuppah, adorned in roses of every shade of pastel, and… Continue Reading

A Convict Lake Wedding // Suzanne and Christopher

convict lake wedding

When you tell friends and family you’re getting married at Convict Lake, it may not immediately conjure up romantic images of a high Sierra wedding, but Suzanne and Christopher’s eastern Sierra wedding could not have been more stunning. Set high in the Sierra’s at nearly 8000 feet above sea level, the pristine glacial lake with its turquoise waters and towering twisted granite peaks provided a surreal backdrop to the couples’ summer mountain wedding. The lake got its name when an escaped band of gold-rush-era criminals met up with a local posse in 1871 leading to a shootout and subsequent deaths of both the local sheriff and native American deputy (for whom the two towering peaks to the west were named in dedication). Suzanne and Christopher’s wedding ceremony itself was identified to us by the couple using global coordinates, 37°35’20.8″N 118°51’17.4″W (although they could’ve just told us Shale Beach) which reveals a lot about their personalities; Suzanne is a freshwater ecologist who focuses on Pacific salmon ecology and evolution and Christopher is a mechanical engineer who works on electric vehicle technology. They’re thorough and absolutely love the outdoors. Although this by most every definition would be classified as a mountain destination wedding, it didn’t seem like one for these two. Living a few hours to the north of the area, they love spending any free time together with their Subaru exploring the mountains, hiking and camping and exploring the outdoors together. The lakefront site was a short walk or shuttle ride from the convict lake resort where the rest of the day’s events took place. Due to its remote location, the entire wedding party stayed at the resort which made it such a fun day because everyone got to spend time with each other in a beautiful setting and enjoy the weekend together… Continue Reading

A Jacuzzi Family Winery wedding // Christine and Doug

bay area, jacuzzi family vineyards, napa, photography, portfolio, sonoma, stylish, wedding, winery

Vines are laden with the season’s harvest and the smell of fermenting fruit juice fills the air across the valley as the warmth of the afternoons give way to the chill of the evening. It’s a perfect time to be in wine country for a Jacuzzi Family Winery wedding. We arrived and the warm afternoon sunlight was filtering through the window as Christine was putting on her finishing touches in the bridal suite. Nerves were just starting to set in while downstairs, Doug greeted his family with quiet confidence and an infectious smile.  With support from her best friend, Christine was just able to hold back the tears…and then she approached the aisle and saw Doug for the first time.  At that point, everyone shared tears of joy.  Although we only had limited conversations with Doug and Christine leading up to their wedding day, we are both perceptive and empathetic people, so we can figure a lot of things out very quickly. It was quite clear to us as Doug and Christine – holding each other’s hands tightly – and looking deeply and  into each other’s eyes, have the kind of relationship that will stand the test of time. As the sunlight faded and the sky turned a rosy amber, guests were passed wine and hors d’oeuvres as the couple went for walk amongst the vines.  The dinner was served in Jacuzzi’s open air courtyard and guests laughed and made new friends, reconnected with old ones, and enjoyed dinner served with a great selection of wines from the family estate.  The evening finished off in the barrel room with an incredibly high participation dance party, as the two families cemented their union with some solid rump-shakin’.  A perfect day.   Continue Reading

A Stonepine Estate elopement // Heather and Sam

San Diego Wedding Photographers

If I had only one word to describe Sam and Heather’s Stonepine Estate elopement in Big Sur, it would be: Quiet. Everything about the day was so tranquil and as I recount the events, I struggle to recall any sound. Chateau Noel, a manor-style estate, stood stoic and silent nestled among Italian Stone Pine and Olive trees as I approached the main piazza where I saw Sam standing.  Sharply dressed and looking like Humphrey Bogart ready for a night out at the Pump Room, Sam couldn’t have looked any cooler standing there in his black tuxedo. Inside the Chateau, Heather was nearly ready with only minor nerves. I have to believe it would be easier when you have friends or siblings there to pronounce that you’re “ready to do this” but when you’re on your own, it’s on you to feel absolutely ready and to take that leap and leave the room.  Just outside in their private garden courtyard, Sam was alone with his thoughts, awaiting the arrival of this woman who’d first captured his heart when they met in grade school so many years back in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Back then, they were just kids figuring out life and new emotions like Kevin and Winnie. Ten years pass and Heather and Sam, now adults reconnect and picked right back up from where they’d left off; Is this not the embodiment of true love? Heather is ready and has left the room and is remembering to breathe as she approaches Sam who is waiting around the corner.  They look at each other with giddy smiles, then hold each other as if for the first time in their lives, and they don’t ever seem to want to let go. I drove with Sam and Heather to meet our officiant Ken Robbins at a point along the Pacific Coast Highway north of Big Sur for the ceremony.  We found a spot that… Continue Reading

An Indian wedding at Pebble Beach // Shivani and Saurabh

Indian wedding at pebble beach

Before reading any further, grab your favorite cup of tea and settle in because Shivani and Saurabh’s Indian Pebble Beach wedding was one of epic proportions. My personal choice would be Chai Masala – black tea slowly infused with fresh ginger, cardamom pods, whole cinnamon, fennel seeds, and black peppercorns – sweetened to taste. An Indian Hindu wedding unfolds over time – typically several days to a week – this post won’t be quite that long… Shivani and Saurabh’s relationship began with a long conversation on his terrace one March night several years ago. It was Saurabh’s birthday and Shivani was there as a guest of his cousin whom she attended UCLA with. Her only expectation was that of a “dorky fobby cousin” so she was taken aback at how “handsome, fun, and awesome” he was upon their introduction. The fact that they both have the same last name probably served as a perfectly awkward ice-breaker as well. Despite the immediate chemistry on their first meeting, it would be a few years (2 years and 6 parties later to be exact) before the two would formally reconnect. Time, however, did nothing to dilute those original feelings and when they finally did have their first date, it evolved quickly into a year of adventures. Saurabh is a well traveled, adventure-seeker and Shivani was all-in as his willing accomplice. Their first year together, they travelled the globe and had so much fun – it was only a matter of time now before they took things to the next level. That following spring – on April fool’s day to be exact – Saurabh asked the most important question of his life and despite his wit, she knew this was no joke. And of course… she said yes! Indian weddings are revered celebrations, where friends and family come together to frolic and celebrate… Continue Reading

A Parker Palm Springs wedding // Dianne and Ryan

Dianne and Ryan’s Parker Palm Springs wedding was fully of style, fun and love. I have to say, from the moment we arrived at the Parker Palm Springs, we were flooded with inspiration. As you began our descent into the Coachella valley from highway 74, you slowly start to acclimate to the different world that is Palm Springs. While at can be argued as ridiculous – this lush oasis in the middle of one of the driest parts of the state – it’s undeniable cool and uniqueness keep us eager to go back. Ryan and Dianne’s colorful wedding day included a BBQ dinner (each guest was given a BBQ kit with crayons, bibs and wet wipes), Games (Bocce, Badminton, and Croquet), an old typewriter to write notes to the Bride and Groom on, and to top it off… they beat the crap out of a donkey Piñata filled with vintage novelty gifts like candy dots (remember those?) and kazoos! The desert head did not hamper anyones spirits and as the sun set behind the San Jacinto mountains and the cool settled in over the dance floor, energy reserves were tapped into and the dancfloor came to life. From beginning to end, Dianne and Ryan’s day was fun, inspired, and a day we’ll never forget. All Continue Reading

A General’s Daughter wedding // Cybil and Ali

Cybil and Ali’s General’s Daughter wedding in Sonoma took place on a warm winter afternoon. Cybil joked throughout the day that this was “Ali’s dream wedding” as she had wanted to elope, but he couldn’t bear the idea of not celebrating their love in front of everyone they know! So a compromise was made, and they choose to have a simple intimate ceremony surrounded by their closest family and friends.  They were set up by friends who had just started dating each other (and who are now married), when they talked him into crashing her birthday party. The pair were inseparable, and the rest is history! Their love can be seen in all the subtle looks and touches throughout the day. We are so glad that they didn’t elope because it was just perfect!  All Continue Reading

A Puerto Rico destination wedding // Celina and Mike

Celina and Mike currently live in San Diego, but have travelled all over the world, picking up friends along the way. So when it was time to plan their wedding, they knew straight away that they wanted to do a Puerto Rico destination wedding where their friends and family could have awesome adventures and a relaxing vacation at the same time. And boy did they pick a fantastic place. Rincon, is located in the western coastal valley of Puerto Rico and is known for its sandy beaches, great waves, and laid back surfing atmosphere. To add to the awesomeness of it all, I think they might have picked the best house on the whole island for the occasion. Villa Tres Palamas is a wedding venue / rental home smack dab on the beach. You really couldn’t get a more beautiful spot than this. Overlooking the actual surf spot of Tres Palmas, the beach is incredibly inviting with golden sand and snorkeling right out the door! The festivities started about a week before the actual wedding day… all the guest stayed either in the villa itself or at houses with in walking distance. Guests mingled, ate some fantastic food in the charming town of Rincon, did pool tours at all the houses, explored the surrounding areas and took long walks on the beach. By the time the wedding day came around, everyone was well relaxed and ready for the festivities. The wedding day started with huge black clouds in the sky and Celina hoping the rain would hold off. Luckily, it did and there were only a few spits of rain throughout the day. During the ceremony huge sun beams were streaming through the clouds and you could hear the waves crashing on the beach. You can’t get much more romantic than that. After… Continue Reading

A Glen Manor House wedding // Marissa and Michael

bride and groom wedding photography portrait at glen manor house

When we initially spoke with Michael to find out more about their Glen Manor House wedding, I knew in the first minute we wanted to be their wedding photographers. The way Michael spoke lovingly about his fiancé Marissa was endearing to say the least and he wanted to secure the absolute best team for his future wife’s perfect Glen Manor house wedding. Luckily, he felt we were that perfect fit photographer-wise and were once again, booking tickets, bound for Dennis’ hometown of Newport, Rhode Island, and the land of chowda the the Sox! To call Marissa and Michael’s wedding DIY would be a bit like saying your pal was going to be performing a few songs at your wedding…and that your pal’s name was Ed Sheeran. As a visual design manager for Nordstrom, every wedding day detail was overseen by Marissa and carefully crafted as a stylish reflection of their taste and style. It’s probably best to simply list Marissa’s contributions: Refurbished the Drink Cart Made the Drink Stirrers Made the Fans for the Ceremony Made the Escort Cards Made Thank You Notes at the Table Brought in Curated Antiques to Style Around the Mansion Made Flower Girl Crowns Provided Unique Props for Cake (such as the crowns) The near-century old Glen Manor house, inspired by the château style of homes of Northern France, was just the venue to transport guests to another place and another time. The wedding day weather was absolutely perfect – as late spring days often are in this corner of the world – which allowed the ceremony, speeches, and first dance all to take place under open skies and in the presence of the local bird community chirping in their support for the couple. As Michael grew up in Rhode Island, it wasn’t a complete… Continue Reading

A Big Sur Wedding // Joy and Corey

big sur wedding private estate paion

Joy and Corey’s Big Sur wedding day was unlike any other day we had experienced on that particular stretch of central California coast. We firmly believe that it was karma rewarding the sweet couple for their steadfast belief in having exactly the day they had envisioned nearly a year prior, regardless of the hurdles (see below for a bit about why they had to postpone their wedding for nearly a year). Preparing in separate suites down the road at the newly renovated Ventana Big Sur, Joy and Corey’s wedding day had the relaxed vibe of a spa day, I mean we met Joy in her jammies! Being surrounded by an incredible crew of friends and family amidst Ventana’s elysian atmosphere, we knew all the elements were in place from the moment we arrived. Before arriving at Corey and Joy’s private Big Sur wedding venue, we made the most of the incredible weather (warmest day of the month of June and not a breath of wind!) With videographer Jason Magbanua and his crew in caravan being us, we stopped along the highway to take in the scenery and make some portraits at a few breathtaking portrait locations high above the Pacific before arriving at the venue. The clifftop setting was adorned with market lighting, hanging foliage of all color and texture, and an elegant selection of cocktail lounge furniture for guests to fully enjoy the views out over the cobalt blue expanse. Joy and Corey were married under a large canopy of cypress trees by a close friend and were gifted wisdom and marital inspiration from several married couples who gave speeches throughout the ceremony. After the ceremony, an extended cocktail hour served up fresh local cuisine and brightly colored beverages under brilliant skies and the warmest weather we can ever… Continue Reading

A Meadowood Napa wedding // Katie and Gordon

Meadowood Resort Napa Valley Wedding. Designed by Scott Corridan

Katie and Gordon’s Meadowood Napa wedding was held under an intense late summer sun.  With a strong contingency of friends and family traveling from the east coast to share their wedding day with them, Katie and Gordon’s day was full of love, an INCREDIBLE amount of laughter, and a few tears courtesy of Gordon. Remembering back to how I felt on our own wedding day – and how intense it was the first time I saw Jaime – I can identify strongly with grooms as they process this emotionally intense moment.  Add to the mix an extremely hot and uncharacteristically humid day then, put yourself in front of a hundred or so family and friends and…well…I think letting go and just balling your eyes out is the perfect response. As the sun sank behind the behind the Mayacamas mountains, Gordon took the microphone to thank everyone and to celebrate his new wife, at which time Katie took the opportunity to leave a few tears of her own behind. Their beautiful Meadowood Napa wedding night culminated in dance floor madness and at the end of it all, Katie and Gordon were still going strong like a couple of crazy teenagers in love. All Continue Reading

A Ventana Big Sur Wedding // Lacey and Ryan

Ventana Big Sur wedding

Lacey and Ryan’s intimate Big Sur destination wedding ceremony took place at Big Sur Ventana – on the Sur Vista terrace – on a fresh spring day, overlooking the cobalt waters of the Pacific Ocean. Originally planned as an elopement, the wedding slowly grew into an intimate celebration with 30 friends and family making the journey from the midwest to one of California’s most iconic stretches of coastline. Guests stayed just down the road at the Big Sur Campground and Cabins, a family-centric destination resort founded in the 1950’s, that still maintains its mid-century rustic California charm. The campground, set amongst towering redwoods, was the perfect place for us to begin the day with the couples’ first look photos and their wedding portraits as it was a characteristically typical windy day along the coast. The Sur Vista terrace is an incomparable site for a scenic wedding ceremony as the flagstone terrace is situated high atop a bluff that give uninterrupted view south to the Santa Lucia mountains and the Pacific Ocean. As the emotional ceremony (Ryan was refreshingly carefree with his emotions) drew to a close, the couple and guests made their way up the hilltop reception site at the main Ventana resort. Cocktail hour fe   All Continue Reading

A Hermitage Inn wedding // Robyn and Scott

For days, the ominous clouds had been lurking above, as if to taunt her on her most important day.  Perhaps it was her couture gray colored wedding gown that brought the clouds.  After all, he didn’t know about it yet and is very traditional.  Irene had formed yesterday and was heading straight for them.  The rains had begun and everyone was fearful the entire place would be flooded out.  She has always been a nature girl so she looked out the window and began to think back… They had gone on their typical hike and nothing was unusual that day.  At the end of their hike, he turned to her and suggested they meditate, which sometimes they do, so it wasn’t that weird.  “How about we do a standing meditation this time?” he asked.  A little strange, but she thought nothing of it.  This way he could kneel down beside her and slip the ring out of his pocket without her asking a million questions before he could ask the question. He moved mountains that day to pull off that surprise, which is hard to do since she knows just about everything all the time. Like knowing since the day she had met him that he was going to be the person she would marry.  Just then, she opened her eyes and the rain began to stop. The skies parted just long enough that day for our Vermont wedding photography with a little sunshine.  Although the rain didn’t hold off for the whole evening, by the time it started again, the party was going strong under safe cover.  Weather can certainly damper a party and ruin months of planning, but Robyn came prepared.  She didn’t get to wear her Loeffler Randall bridal booties, but she rocked her rain wellies and looked… Continue Reading

A Banyan Tree Mayakoba wedding // Sara and Doug

Sara and Doug had a Banyan Tree Mayakoba wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico. They met through their love of theater, once owning a production company together. Sara still produces theater (Rock of Ages, Dangerous Beauty) and Doug works for Doctors with out Borders. Their wedding, an homage to their love of the theater arts – was skillfully produced by the team at Fete and moved through several different “stages” of the evening. Every different event of the day was in a separate location. Sara was taken by boat, through the canals of the Banyan Tree Mayakoba to the evening wedding ceremony on the rooftop balcony above the lobby, with amazing views over the whole mangrove preserve. The guests were then transported via boat and golf carts, a mile out to the beach, to the main pool, for the cocktail reception. The next step was to walk down the hidden path lighted by candles to MK Blue, a secret beach hideaway where they had dinner and speeches. The large white fabric surrounding the dinner area dropped after dinner to reveal the lounge, dance floor, desert bar and tequila bar. And for the final surprise of the evening, a lighted path lead guests down to a beach  where they performed a mexican wedding tradition of sending off lighted lanterns into the sky – at the same time the fireworks display started. The rest of the evening was spent on the beach by the bonfire, making smores and drinking fresh coconuts. The after party took place in their villa, where there was a taco bar and lots of swimming in their private pool till the wee hours of the morning. Safe to say, they kept their guests on their toes – surprising them at every turn and pulled off a fabulously elegant, but not too stuffy, fun beach… Continue Reading

A Campovida wedding // Felicia and Duggan

Felicia and Duggan’s Campovida wedding in Mendocino, CA was all about special touches, family, and their relationship with each other. If two people were ever made to compliment one another, it would be these two.  By day, along with her family, she serves up breakfast on Washington Square Park at Mama’s. By night, he serves up handcrafted, culinary cocktails at his place, Cantina.  The yin to his yang.  The butter to her toast.  These two finish each others sentences and their story can be told no other way but from the two of them. Since these two are both in the hospitality industry, they spent a lot of time thinking about their guests and how to include them in their celebration.  Of course, they scoured the magazines and wedding blogs and took a tip or two from Ms. Martha, but in the end, they focused on the details that would make the celebration uniquely theirs.  They were inspired by their venue, Campovida and its beautiful gardens.  They were aiming for a party with a homey, backyard vibe while keeping the ceremony and setting very elegant. Felicia gathered her family and friends and created her own wedding craft sweatshop.  She spent many hours around the kitchen table with sisters, cousins, mothers and excellent friends who were willing to cut envelope liners, fold programs, tie sprigs of lavender onto each menu.  Using an old window, they made a visual guestbook.  Guests posed for a mini instant photo, wrote a note and pinned them up with clothespins.  Another window framed became a “Celebrate Life” photo display – showcasing family photos and paying tribute to those who were no longer with them.  Friend and graphic designer, Michael Johnson, helped create personal wedding stationary, menus, programs and table cards. Since the couple had a collection of bottles… Continue Reading

A Tre Posti Wedding // Alex and Brian

Tre Posti wedding

Alex and Brian’s Tre Posti wedding in the heart of Napa Valley was a picture postcard wine country wedding.  The couple got ready separately on the property, surrounded by their supportive wedding party and family, ready to help with any task. They opted for a first look, in Tre Posti’s lush garden area and as Alex emerged from the Villa, neither could hold back the tears as they held on to each other and let the enormity of the day sink in.  Their ceremony was framed in the shadow of the majestic Mayacamas mountains and surrounded by lush green vineyards. And though the couple had already seen each other, Brian could not hold back his tears as he saw his bride come down the aisle with her father by her side. The couple chose to keep the ceremony brief and after they emerged as husband and wife, they took a moment by themselves to read their private vows to each other. And if the official ceremony wasn’t emotional enough, seeing these two share such an intimate moment together was truly touching.  Now husband and wife, the couple, hand in hand, with smiles on their faces, strolled into Tre Posti’s garden area to share and celebrate with their friends and family for cocktail hour. A fitting compliment to their black tie theme, surrounded by guests, the couple led a toast by joining hands and pouring champagne into a cascading tower of flutes.  The reception took place in the Italian-inspired terrazza while the guests enjoyed The Girl and the Figs delicious Napa cuisine. The speeches ran the full spectrum from tear jerking to hilarious and the feeling of love in the room was palatable. The party moved to Tre Posti’s harvest room for late evening dancing and festivities while the live band keep… Continue Reading

A Newport Wedding at the Chanler // Jessica and Anthony

Jessica and Anthony’s wedding day celebration at the Chanler hotel was a gorgeous Newport wedding with seamlessly woven elements of casual elegance, color, and high fashion. The Chanler’s meticulously appointed and spacious rooms provided the perfect atmosphere for the girls to get ready, sip champagne and reminisce over old times. After their emotional first look (we’ve rarely seen a groom so excited), we made our way to Rosecliff mansion for photos with the bride and groom before returning to the Chanler’s west lawn for their ceremony. As the couple exchanged their vows in the stillness of the afternoon, with the sound of gentle waves lapping the nearby shores of Easton’s beach, it was easily understood that the 19th century Mansion has been called the most romantic hotel in America. Growing up just a mile from the property, it was deeply nostalgic returning to this special part of the world and we couldn’t have been matched up with a more perfect couple to share in each others enthusiasm. The cocktail hour featured classic cocktails and east coast delicacies while guests played lawn games and explored the hidden garden nooks around the property. Dinner featured toasts from the bride and groom’s siblings and was followed by dancing on the Chanler’s oceanside piazza. There, the couple danced their first dance together and were soon joined by parents, then the entire wedding party as the dance floor erupted into the Hora. The dance party continued late into the night and guests either moved inside or cooled off on the veranda in the misty salt air as Jessica re-joined the party in a cute white cocktail dress while Anthony promptly responded to requests to “show me how you Dougie”. About the Couple How they met Anthony and Jessica met in law school when she got a summer… Continue Reading

An Asian Art Museum Wedding // Carah and Michael

San Francisco wedding photography

Planning their San Francisco Asian Art Museum wedding day from New England wasn’t the easiest logistical feat, and involved several trips out west to make sure everything was in order. But from the beginning they partnered up with those who are the best at what they do. The ceremony was at Saints Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco’s Washington Square and (fun fact), the front steps were where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio posed for their wedding photos after their civil ceremony in 1954. The reception was held at the Asian Art museum — Helping to realize Carah’s dream of a grand and formal, yet inviting and vibrant wedding, her wedding coordinator Cassandra O’Gara straight knocked it out of the park. From the cavernous nave of Church, to the expansive card catalog room of the Asian Art Museum, they had grand and formal both covered. For all the mini-events happening throughout the day, however, there was a more inviting, family-style feel;  from the bubble sendoff, to touring on a trolley car around San Francisco with their wedding party, to Mike’s surprise “groom’s cake”, to a packed, multigenerational dance floor rocking the evening away to the sounds of Pop Fiction, to wrapping up the night eating In N’ Out burgers, it was an epic day for everyone involved. Michael and Carah’s wedding day happened to be one of the windiest days of the summer in San Francisco, and the weather made for some unexpected mishaps, such as her veil (with its heirloom diamond headpiece) being blown off her head and taking a life of its own, whooshing rapidly across the sky under the domes and columns of the Palace of Fine Arts. This could’ve turned many a couple towards the dark side, but their positivity and lovely spirit saved the day. In Carah’s words: The engrained memory of our shocked and concerned family and bridal party banding together… Continue Reading

A Lake Tahoe Wedding // Nina and David

Lake Tahoe wedding photographer

I remember sitting in the sand on the southern shore of Lake Tahoe at the age of 5, eating a bowl of ice cream and thinking how nice it’d be to dip my toes in the lake to cool off. It’s one of my most vivid childhood memories. For us, that was a “day at the beach”.  At over 1600 feet deep and situated a mile above sea level, Lake Tahoe is our nation’s largest body of water by volume west of the Mississippi. It is incredibly blue, and incredibly beautiful…but absolutely freezing cold year-round. As much as we love the area, we don’t get up to Lake Tahoe enough, so we were extra psyched for Nina and David’s Tahoe wedding weekend. The festivities kicked off with a sunset welcome dinner at Homewood Mountain Ski Resort atop the quail chair lift. It was great to finally meet David, Nina, and their gorgeous boy Remi. Headed up the chairlift, the serenity of the panoramas behind us were breathtaking. As the sun dipped behind Ellis Peak, the veiled evening light hinted at the two wildfires which earlier in the day, had begun raging to our west. The Howard Wiley jazz quartet added the perfect soundtrack to this ethereal dinner setting as friends and family greeted each other and shared a family-style dinner together high atop Big Blue. The next morning we met Nina at the home that has served as their families getaway spot since she was just 10 years old. In the breakfast nook, the girls were finishing hair and makeup, down in the laundry room dad was wrapping up some last minute ironing, while in the upstairs bedroom, Nina’s brother was revising his final draft for his part in the ceremony. It was family at its best. Over at the boys cabin, David (a savvy music lover as well as a full time music producer) kept the playlist jazzy while friends sipped single-malt scotch on the balcony,… Continue Reading

A Kunde Estate Wedding // Angie and Charlie

There’s something magical about the little bend in Sonoma Valley sometimes affectionately called Valley of the Moon – that’s hard to put into words but easy to understand when you’re there. Located just 20 minutes north of Angie’s hometown of Novato, Charlie and Angie were drawn to Kunde Family Estate and Boot Hill for its beautiful scenery, cerulean skies, fresh local fare, and of course…the wine. And in no department did their day disappoint. Angie and Charlie first met over a decade ago during their freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania. They became instant best friends, bonding over a shared, silly sense of humor and a deep love for music. Amid a weekend packed with barbecue, bluegrass, and brunch, friends and family were at the heart of it all. Their day featured elements of both Jewish and Chinese culture and the ceremony was extra special too as Charlie’s uncle David officiated. The pure bliss across their faces as they walked back down the aisle – freshly pronounced “husband and wife” – it seemed as if that their “first” kiss might actually have been their first kiss. Angie and Charlie supported the area they love so much by serving exclusively local food and wines. The cocktail hour featured Pt. Reyes oysters, artisan cheeses, local beers, Kunde wines and even a mimosa bar serving Gloria Ferrer bubbles. As Oakland based trio Transit of Venus wrapped up their incredible cocktail hour set, guests were seated for the entrance of the bride and groom. Angie and Charlie danced their way into the reception as their band, the KJ Allstars didn’t miss a beat in kicking things into gear. Dinner and speeches followed but it wasn’t long before everyone found themselves back up on the dance floor and Angie and Charlie found themselves above the dance floor for an extremely entertaining hora (check the facial expressions – those chairs were not  light!). Just before leaving, the… Continue Reading

A Kunde Family Estate wedding // Liz and Dan

Sonoma Wedding Photography

 High atop Sonoma Valley on the vast Kunde Family Estate, Boot Hill provides an incredibly bucolic setting for a destination wine country wedding. Valley of the Moon – as it’s sometimes referred to – sharply contrasts the stark, monochromatic, urban landscape of the nation’s capital that Liz and Dan left behind for their wedding-week adventure. Liz is a political appointee in the Obama Administration, serving in the Department of Energy and Dan works for the National Nuclear Security Administration, within the Department of Energy. Despite having very stressful careers, Liz and Dan are self-proclaimed “fun-loving, balls-to-the-wall” kind of people; lovers of life and each other. Their wedding day was going to be all about having THE MOST AMAZING time with their best people which is why the two brought friends and family to a place that is both naturally beautiful and significant to them… as Sonoma is where they went on their first vacation together. The day was rich with personal touches and awash with emotion ranging from tears to laughter. Dan struggled with blurry vision as bridesmaids made their way down the aisle, each one giving him a handwritten note from Liz, before he got his first look at the gorgeous bride herself. The ceremony was long and personal, with friends standing up to speak throughout – it was one of their favorite parts of the day. Though, Liz’s single, happiest moment came during their first dance as the couple held each other close while her brother and cousin’s played their song, “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, in the background as golden sunlight filtered through the giant oak trees. As another beautiful summer day ended, a brand new party was about to begin and it doesn’t get any better than the couple crowd surfing, the groom doing the worm, AND the bride and groom getting on stage with the band to sing… Continue Reading

A Robert Young Estate wedding // Jenna and Kyle

Sonoma Wedding Photographer

Arriving in Geyserville for Jenna and Kyle’s Robert Young Estate wedding, we immediately fell in love with the place. Tucked up against the hills of Alexander Valley, the The Robert Young Estate stretches over a picturesque 500 acres, with 317 of those acres planted in wine grapes. Greeting us as we entered the property were their two, free-ranging Llamas (who’s names I can’t recall) which was different and cool, and made us feel right at home! While the estate hosts private events throughout the year, up to this point there had never been a wedding up on the hill, so we were over the moon being able to experience this “first” with such a lovely couple. When Jenna and Kyle arrived, we knew straight-away that these were two genuinely great people and we were going to really enjoy our day. I’d considered Kyle’s father Keith, a friend about midway through our very first conversation. He spoke with such affection about his son and future daughter-in-law and wanted to make sure he did everything he could to give them a perfect wedding…while also keeping the day relaxed and fun. Busy finishing up their medical degrees on the east coast, Jenna and Kyle had to rely upon family and their planning team (the always awesome, Quintana Events) to keep things on track for their summertime wine-country wedding. We typically enjoy speaking with a couple first so we can get a feel for each other and make sure it’s the right for everyone, but after several calls with Keith, I knew the “kids” were gonna’ be alright. In our initial questionnaire we send out when someone inquires with us, we ask for three words that best describe them  as a couple, to which they replied: Interdependent. Disregarding the fact that that’s only one word and five syllables, the response was classic and perfectly summed up their connectedness. They were always by each other’s side, always smiling,… Continue Reading

A Napa Destination wedding // Anna and Simon

It was so great welcoming Simon and Anna to Northern California for their Napa destination wedding this summer for what is sure to become a longstanding Ang family tradition. Originally from Australia, the couple now live and work in New York City in one of our favorite places, Brooklyn. Their destination wedding took place between the towns of St. Helena and Yountville, in the heart of the Napa Valley. The ceremony took place at the cute little St. Helena Catholic Church with the tea ceremony and reception following, just down the road at the Vintage Inn. After their ceremony, Anna and Simon hopped into their ride for the day, an elegantly appointed vintage Packard convertible, and we headed off to explore the backroads and take some photos with their bridal party. Summertime in Napa can be a hot and sunny affair but in addition to the estimated 43,000 acres planted in vineyards, there are also a lot of quite beautiful shade trees. And that’s where we headed! Napa’s picture-postcard scenery is a big draw to the region but Anna and Simon were feeling a little homesick and wanted something a bit more raw that felt like home. We connected straight-away and had the perfect spot – a weathered old warehouse with a lovely faded red-orange facade in beautifully soft late afternoon light. As much as we’d like it to be the case, we didn’t have all day for photos and there were some delicious wines and incredible food waiting for the couple back at the reception site but first, the tea ceremony. The tea ceremony serves an important ritual in Chinese culture. Whereas the ceremony redefines the relationships between Anna and Simon, the tea ceremony formally redefines the relationships between the children and the sets of parents and siblings. They serve each other tea, give… Continue Reading

A Florida destination wedding // Whitney and Terry

If you like Piña Coladas, and getting caught in the rain…then you should consider a Florida destination wedding. No, seriously! Although we didn’t get caught in any rain on our trip to Clearwater, we did find it pretty easy to track down a Piña Colada; and when it’s sunny, 95 degrees, and you have a few hours of free time…that’s a no-brainer. This was our first wedding in Florida and my first time to the Gulf Coast since I was a kid, so we were even more excited than usual to be shooting somewhere completely new to us. Especially so because we were catching back up with two incredible people whom we couldn’t wait to photograph. Our clients are a lot smarter than I am but fortunately, most are quite camera reticent so it helps level the playing field a bit. With an acceptance rate of just 14%, Cornell University is not an easy school to get into; it’s discerning of the intelligence and the character of its student body. Fortunately, Whitney and Terry made the cut, because during their time there, through intersecting paths and mutual friends, the spark had ignited. Although the two weren’t exactly “friends” during their time at Cornell, Whitney left an impression that Terry couldn’t put in the rear-view. So…when Terry caught word from a mutual friend that Whitney was moving to the (New York) city, he asked her out before she even had a chance to unpack her boxes. She delayed for a while – wanting to be a single woman in the city – but a few months later, they had their first date and…well now we’re all in Florida to celebrate their big day! Whitney describes the time leading up to their wedding day as “such an easy, breezy relationship filled with so much laughter and goofing off. Were really… Continue Reading

The Vintage Estate Napa wedding // Molly and Nick

While out with his friends at brunch, Nick saw Molly across the room and felt compelled to talk to her. Feeling compelled, and actually doing something about it are two different things with very different outcomes. We’re pleased to announce that Nick did do something about it when he approached Molly. Her response what not the one you prepare yourself for, but rather the one you’re hoping for; they arranged a date right then and there…and the rest is history! The stormy winter of 2014/15 was historic in all the worst ways for many parts of this country. New York City had a particularly rough time of it, with one of the worst snowstorms in history, the coldest February for nearly 80 years, and a spring that was more gloomy than bloomy. Needless to say, Molly and Nick were long overdue for a bit of sunshine and some natural climate control in their lives. Breaking from their respective careers in fashion and finance, Molly and Nick headed to Napa Valley to meet up with friends and family for their spring wedding in wine country. In planning the big day, Molly found inspiration in Tuscany, which to them “epitomizes spending time with those you love while enjoying great food and wine amidst a beautiful background”. The Pavillion at the Vintage Estate was a great fit for Nick and Molly’s vision. With it’s elegant landscaping, proximity to town, Mediterranean feel, and incredible food and wines, Vintage Inn provides an elegant Napa Valley experience at every level. A marked contrast to the cold, gray palette of NYC in the winter, Molly put the winter solidly behind her and welcomed spring in her gorgeous, shimmering Zuhair Murad wedding gown. It literally took one’s breathe away and in it, Molly radiated light. Nick didn’t look to shabby either and, after a quick YouTube refresher tying a bowtie by a french man with… Continue Reading

Sonoma wedding photography // Amy and Randy

Amy and Randy’s wedding took place on the tree-shaded deck overlooking the lush, Alexander Valley to the south. The view was incredible and what a day for Sonoma wedding photography! At 4:30 a.m. on the morning of her big day, Amy woke up and began making lists. She was excited, giddy and full of anticipation. A few hours later, the sun rose on what would be a perfect day in California’s wine country and finally, Amy’s lists of last-minute to-do’s was complete. As Randy is Jewish and Amy was brought up Christian, they decided to split the difference and have a non-denominational ceremony. There was, however a gorgeous Chuppah, under which the two were married! When their officiant – Randy’s best friend – made the marriage pronouncement, Randy stomped the glass and, Mazel Tov, it was official! Just after the ceremony, Randy sabered a bottle of Champagne, a tradition dating back to Napoleon and the French Revolution, to boldly declare that it was celebration time! Of all the beautiful, intimate, timeless moments of the day, Randy and Amy’s favorite was the brief period they took to be alone immediately after the ceremony. With all the commotion leading up to the big day and the excitement throughout, it’s vital for a couple to make time for each other, and for Amy and Randy, it was just what they needed to reboot and take it all in. As the day went on, guests were treated, not only to the amazing vocals of Liah Alonso, but a duet with the singer and the bride for Randy’s dance with his Gram. One of the greatest functions of a wedding is that they bring generations of family members together. On this day, Randy’s 100 year old grandmother stole the show…and our hearts. Aided by a walker that Amy decorated for her, she made her way to the dance floor… Continue Reading

A Meadowood Napa Wedding

The story of V&F’s Meadowood Napa wedding begins many years ago at math camp when V, from Alabama and F, from Texas, sat down to crunch some numbers. Somewhere between 9x-7i > 3(3x-7u) = …and lunch, a connection formed. Ok, so maybe it didn’t happen exactly that way, but I’d like to think it did. They say that you find true love when you’re least looking for it, and I’m certain that was the case this time. 🙂 Fast forward to the present day and this love has only grown… these two simply adore each other. F calls V his star and is besotted with her, as is she with him. Leaving behind the cold, damp spring weather in New York City, the couple arrived to azure blue spring skies, green hills, and blooming Dogwood trees. From the ceremony at the Holy Family Mission in Napa and back to the Vinter’s Glen at Meadowood, the hot afternoon transitioned into a warm, spring evening. While we were enjoying ourselves as Napa wedding photographers, guests enjoyed craft cocktails, made new friends, and wrote personal messages in their fine art sign in book. Daylights’ departure signaled the beginning of the starlit dinner service. Joined by family and friends from their alma maters – Stanford and Harvard – they were luminous, full of joy, and completely in the moment, enjoying every bit of their beautiful day. As speeches led to dancing, and dancing led where it always leads…an appetite for cake, V & F gave an appreciation speech acknowledging the love and support of all who had travelled to be there. Again, a day full of love that seemed to be over too soon! ** The answer to the problem above is i <3 u (i love you) Continue Reading

An intimate Napa Wedding // Lacey and Charles

auberge du soleil, destination, intimate, napa, napa valley hotel, wedding

Just a few days before their intimate Napa wedding at Auberge Du Soleil, we’d met high school sweethearts Lacey and Charlton in San Francisco. It was quite obvious, straight-away that they really, really dug each other and had the kind of love that develops out of an incredible friendship. We also knew from much earlier how caring these two people were; the morning after the September 4th, American Canyon earthquake that affected Napa and Vallejo, we got an email asking if we were okay – how thoughtful is that? The wedding day dawned and the first storm of the season in wine country came and went. The afternoon sky cleared, and guests congregated on the balcony at Auberge Du Soleil as Charles and Lacey began the ceremony. Any preconceptions I may have formed about Charles as being a bit shy, perhaps a man of few words, vanished like the morning rains when he emotionally delivered his vows. I vow to be new; not new as any novelty is new, but new as the rain is new; and the sun is new afterwards,   That’s just a brief excerpt, there was a lot more… and all of it poignant. I was completely taken aback by the ease and poetry with which he was able convey these deepest of emotions, as the woman standing in front of him strained through her tears to maintain his gaze.  I love every aspect of a wedding day, but on the more intimate weddings, I find a heavier weighted concentration of emotion during the exchanging of vows; It’s very hard at times staying focused and not getting caught up in it all but that is one of the most rewarding parts of what we do.   Continue Reading

A Big Sur Elopement // Kendle and Myles

Kendle and Myles had a plan:  “To be able to solely focus on each other and our love. To not have any worries, and just enjoy ourselves and every moment on this once in a lifetime occasion. To have fun and make amazing memories at one of the most beautiful places in the world!”. As such… their Big Sur elopement took place at a small, private residence and it was simply perfect. As Kendle finished getting ready, she helped Myles with his tie and I met him outside to prepare for their first look.  I’d just seen these two together in the house 15 minutes before, but now it was completely different;  emotions took off immediately. Myles took Kendle into his arms and it was clear that they knew their roles now were unique to this day, they were bride and groom.  As the couple met their officiant Soaring Starkey, the tears couldn’t be held back.  Soaring and I were the only other people there and when you’re this close to such an intimate occasion, it’s impossible to resist being drawn in.  Just as the couple had planned, surrounded by nature and under towering redwoods, they exchanged vows and joined souls.  Soaring joined hands with the couple, blessing the rings and the two were then married.  Kendle and Myles love each other so much that it was truly overwhelming and inspiring to be around. No matter how many times we bear witness to pure love, it never gets old. I’ve been to Big Sur often and it never loses it’s ability to reboot the soul;  there are few places that can compete with Big Sur for connecting with nature and, in Myles and Kendle’s case, each other.   Continue Reading

A San Francisco Elopement // Carmen and Joe

San Francisco Wedding Photographers

A day when you get to meet a couple on the Golden Gate bridge for their San Francisco wedding is a truly unique one! Carmen and Joe are Dean and Chancellor (respectively) of two University of Wisconsin campuses, and on a Thursday afternoon this summer, they decided to elope atop the Golden Gate Bridge.  Running is a big part of their lives and one of their favorite runs they’ve ever done together was on the Golden Gate Bridge.  So they decided to travel to San Francisco, start on either side of the bridge and meet in the middle to get hitched! It made perfect sense to us, now all I had to do was quickly get Dennis over his fear of heights (did it!) and get fit (working on it!). We met the couple on the San Francisco side of the bridge where Dennis picked up Joe and drove north to the Marin side to begin our run. It was a classic San Francisco afternoon with the Golden Gate Bridge shrouded in misty fog, while on either side of the bridge, the otherwise lovely, sunny afternoon shone through brightly.  Dennis ran with Joe as Carmen and I approached from the San Francisco side of the bridge.  It was very sweet of them to stop periodically to let us run ahead, because I’m certain they would’ve easily blown past had we not been there – these two are in seriously good shape. Carmen and Joe love each other big time, and were literally bursting with love when they met atop the main span of the bridge.  We’ve seen a lot of affectionate couples but I think based on a kisses-per-hour ratio, Joe and Carmen take top honors… and it was pretty awesome to be around.  The two love each other through and through;  they love cooking together (they are both vegans), playing music (they’re in a band together), and… Continue Reading

A Palm Springs garden wedding // Emily and Robert

As Jaime and I descended into the Coachella Valley for Emily and Robert’s Palm Springs Garden wedding, and the mercury passed the 100 degree mark, we knew this would be a special weekend and we looked forward to the intimate affair. There’s no bigger honor than being asked to photograph the wedding of one of your best friends…and I feel, no greater test as a wedding photographer.  You’re always trying to do your best work and remain centered, but when you have so much history between you and your subjects and you’re trying to balance so many emotions with objective, steady coverage of the events taking place, it’s a unique confluence factors. Rob and Emily were married at the Moorten Botanical Gardens, a quiet and secluded succulent-sanctuary on the outskirts of town surrounded by close family.  As it was the summer solstice, everyone knew it would be on the warm side but, as ceremonial sage was incensed – the closest thing to a miracle one could hope for during a wedding ceremony happened.  The remorseless desert sky became diffuse with high overcast clouds and, although the recorded temperature was 108, it felt perfect.  As the sounds of King Tubby filled the air, Emily emerged from the second-floor tower room of the Spanish-style hacienda and greeted her parents down below. After a short and sweet ceremony, Rob and Emily exchanged vows with steamy eyes and, as the two families looked on, holding hands and leaning into each other overcome with joy, the two kissed and were married! After a LOT of hugging and some very sweet family photos, we meandered around the grounds of the gardens, through the Cactarium, and eventually made our way down the road to an open space where we walked around amidst the towering San Jacinto Mountains and the vast, empty sky for… Continue Reading

A Blackberry Farm Wedding // Claire and Chris

Bride an Groom Portrait, claire coffee wedding, front page

As we made our way to Claire and Chris’ Blackberry Farm wedding in Tennessee, a pastoral 4,200-acre estate nestled at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains where Claire Coffee and Chris Thile were going to be married. We first met Claire in the summer of 2008 at the wedding of her childhood friend Julia Hart-Horowitz and she’s the main subject in one of our favorite images from Julia and Jordan’s wedding (5th image down). Chris is extremely passionate about music. And is is so good at playing and writing it that he earned the 2012 MacArthur “Genius” Grant. Wow! As I assembled a playlist for my long flight, I included a lot of his music and got to know him well in that way;  some of the haunting sounds off the Goat Rodeo Sessions  album were so good that I couldn’t get them out of my head for days after leaving Tennessee.  I also learned Claire is an actress, among many other things. Claire spends a lot of time shooting on location in Portland where she stars on Grimm.  Their combined schedules don’t allow for long spells of time spent together and in fact, the three weeks they would be spending together centering around the wedding would be the longest in their relationship. Rustic luxury perfectly describes the craftsman-style structure on the grounds of Blackberry Farm. On this particular day, it provided just the right amount of shelter and warmth (the heat lamps and hot, spiked cider helped as well) for the intimate ceremony.  As Claire appeared at the footpath leading up to the ceremony in a gorgeous  vintage 1930’s lace dress, there was an audible response from every guest there;  she was simply a vision. Chris didn’t want any music played during ceremony – perhaps so he could maintain complete presence – but Claire convinced him to have their good… Continue Reading

Sonoma wedding photography // Lauren Miller and Seth Rogen

Lauren and Seth’s Kunde wedding was a big tipping point in our decision to leave San Diego to pursue our passion as Sonoma wedding photographers.  With crisp, clear nights and hot dry days, dense redwood forests and endless fields of ryegrass punctuated by towering Valley Oaks, there’s a balance of contrasts up here that really appealed to us, and must be what draw so many people to the valleys, vineyards, and redwood forests year after year.  We love life up here and there’s nothing better than good people coming into town and leaving a bit of their hearts behind. Seth and Lauren’s day was all about family love and having the most fun you could possibly have on your wedding day. The day’s events were seamlessly orchestrated by the team at Alison Events, who brought a luxurious and whimsical afternoon tea-party feel to the day’s progressive events. Guests were chauffeured to the ceremony site atop Boot Hill and served lemonade as they took shade under the majestic Oak trees and awaited the family’s arrival.  After the ceremony, the bride and groom paraded away, leading a New Orleans jazz band and the wedding party as guests congregated around tree bar for cocktails and appetizers, received their seating assignments, and enjoyed signature cocktails. As the afternoon light faded, the party moved to the ruins of a pre-19th century winery for dinner, speeches, some amazing performances, dancing, a flash-mob organized by the Rogen family where everyone sang and performed to Carl Douglas’ Kung Fu Fighting…and to top it off, and arcade tent that opened after dinner.  Lauren and Seth are truly good people, and any pre-wedding jitters we may have had disappeared as soon as we arrived and began shooting.  No matter who you may be or what your role is in the world, when your wedding day arrives,… Continue Reading

A Parker Palm Springs wedding // Janet and James

 The day unfolded lazily, a Parker Palm Springs destination wedding lends an air of an afternoon tea and croquet social to its events. With plenty of room for guests to roam around, grab a lemonade, work on their petanque game, or just lie in a hammock staring up at the desert sky, a wedding couldn’t be much more chilled out.  For their wedding venue, Janet and James chose well as there are few places in the U.S. that you can safely plan a wedding in the middle of Winter with the peace of mind that you’ll score with the weather.  While it’s existence defies engineering logic, the city of Palm Springs is an undeniably genius setting for a wedding; with year-round weather as stable as the San Jacinto Mountains, great food, breathtaking views, and a diverse and a welcoming community…it really does tick all the boxes. James and Janet share a love for music and play the violin and viola respectively, so in lieu of a first dance, the couple played a number together for their guests and I can’t decide which would’ve been more nerve-wracking…dancing or playing in front of all those people;  nevertheless, their performance was beautiful.  Janet is a first-grade teacher and her students put together what I believe to be the most thoughtful wedding gift EVER by a group of 6-year olds.  They made Janet and James a book; each student creating a page in the form of a drawing and some kind (and sometimes hilarious) words, wishing the two well on their future together.  It broke my heart and I photographed almost every page of the book.  What a sweet, sweet gift.  With the majority of their guests being school friends, and many journeying long distances to be there, they definitely gave everyone a day to… Continue Reading

A Carmel elopement // Kate and Adam

Kate and Adam fled a brutally cold Canadian winter (even by Canadian standards!), left Toronto, and headed to their Carmel elopement, where they had planned a very intimate ceremony on the beach. Plans don’t always work out exactly as expected, however, and it’s how you roll with these changes that will determine how your new day is going to go. Kate and Adam have the right attitude and I liked them straight-away!  The town of Big Sur, suffering from an exceptionally dry California winter, had fallen victim to a late-season forest fire just one week before Adam and Kate arrived. The treasured Pfeiffer Beach where the ceremony was to be held, had been closed. As lovely as Big Sur is, the whole stretch of California Coast is ridiculously beautiful;  at times wild and rugged, barren and windswept, and serene with kelp-forested bays that serve as sanctuaries for marine life…in a nutshell:  a great place to escape to for an intimate wedding. Over the past year, we’ve been fortunate to photograph quite a few intimate/elopement type wedding ceremonies and they’re quite nice in that you can quickly change the script for the day without much hassle – as was the case for Adam and Kate – and it worked out beautifully.  Kate and Adam were married at a gorgeous clearing atop Carmel River State Beach, a location suggested by their officiant.  The ceremony was sweet and compact and included a lot of kissing which was so cute.  I’m constantly impressed with people’s abilities to relax in the presence of a Carmel wedding photographer, whom they’ve just met, who is – at times – invading their space and the intimacy of their special time.  We are very conscious of our presence in these intimate settings and always try to adopt an approach that complements the atmosphere… Continue Reading

A winter wine country wedding // Sonoma

 E&D’s winter wine country wedding was held a private home in Sonoma. The day was grey, and we were hopeful that the rain would hold off.. However, right as the ceremony was going to start in the back yard of a good friends home, it started pouring. The disappointment was evident, but, I think both E&D would agree in retrospect that it was perfectly perfect. The group crowded around the fire in the living room as the ceremony started. The energy in the room was electric. The amount of love that poured out of everyone for this couple was one of the most amazing things I have seen. And you can probably guess, I was drenched in tears along with the rest of the crowd. As the ceremony progressed, a very long ribbon was passed around so that everyone was touching it. As it went around the room, each person said something to the couple. I have never seen something like this done, and let me tell you – it was amazing! Such wonderful words, and so much emotion. The ceremony concluded with the couple jumping over a broom, which was a tradition dating back to slave days. The happy group headed over to Jacuzzi Family Vineyards for dinner, some amazing music, dancing, drinking, and a ton of speeches (one of which was actually a skit). Here’s to new traditions, and many more years of dancing and drinking! Continue Reading

A Northern California redwoods wedding // Cecilia and Craig

So you’ve planned your Northern California redwoods wedding deep in the forest and are getting ready when,  outside the window,  the sky closes in as the first storm of the season bears down.  Rain is coming down in sheets at the rate of an inch an hour, giant trees are falling over roads and making them impassable…all you have to do now is stay positive because hey, today’s your wedding! It would’ve been perfectly understandable for Cecilia and Craig to let the rain dampen their spirits (no pun intended) but their bright spirits powered through.  When Craig and Cecilia were first dating, they took a long road-trip up the west coast and this one section of Northern California with it’s striking landscape of dense, redwood forests really resonated with the two and they knew immediately that they should be married there.  As we arrived at Jedediah Smith Redwoods state park, the odds shifted in Cecilia and Craig’s favor as the rain almost completely stopped…and the ceremony began.  In Stout Memorial grove, surrounded by their immediate family and Chloe – their long-haired chihuahua – the two were married by Craig’s stepfather Frank and it was amazing.  Following the ceremony, the family all toasted in the grove and we set out on a walk through the woods before heading off to the dinner. The rain started back up again, just as we hopped in our cars to make the hour-long journey further north into Southern Oregon.  The couple booked their guests in at the Out’n’About Treehouse  Treesort,  a unique property of little treehouse bungalows, many connected by steel and wooden swingbridges.   It was pitch dark by the time we arrived for the dinner so I stayed behind a bit the next morning to have a look around the place and take a few photos… Continue Reading

The Club at Las Campanas wedding // Braiden and Tom

Braiden and Tom’s Las Campanas wedding was a destination wedding planned completely by Braiden’s mother, Mara. She carried out Braiden’s vision of a Ralph Lauren inspired, shabby-chic wedding day theme perfectly. It was no easy feat planning this destination wedding from afar and virtually transforming the equestrian centre into a ceremony site and dining hall. In the stables there were (some extremely valuable) horses that would occasionally peek their heads over to check everything out, which added to the luxurious ambience of the wedding day. The whole wedding flowed nicely from one event to the next as guests moved from the equestrian center to cocktails at an adjacent Log Cabin, back to the stables for dinner, and dancing in the clubhouse. We often wonder what our couples are thinking as they kiss in front of so many people, just as the day’s emotions are peaking and Braiden calmly replied that it felt completely natural and nerves never crossed their minds.  We imagine it might be hard remaining present on your wedding day with all these events and thoughts swirling around your head, so for the two to get lost in each other at that moment is a testament to their relationship. The day was wild-west elegance at it’s finest and more than any memory we took away with us, it was FUN!  Just how fun?  Well look at Tom in the last photo and you get the picture. Continue Reading

An Anvil Vineyard wedding // Isabel and Joseph

Isabel and Joseph had an Anvil Vineyard wedding deep in the hills of Sonoma county at a place with deep historical significance for Joseph’s family.  Even before Joseph was born, his family would visit Anvil Ranch to escape the hectic pace of city life and reconnect with nature for family getaways.  After Joseph was born the tradition continued, and on this day, it culminated in the reunion of not only their family, but the joining of two families at this beautiful place. The drive up Dry Creek Valley from Healdsburg is a windy one; meandering through a sea of grapevines at first, then twisting and turning up through stands of madrone trees and all varieties of giant oaks, passing above Lake Sonoma and then…yep…more oak trees until about 45 minutes after you’ve left your nearest township, you arrive at your destination.  Hardy and I arrived and I went to inspect the “circle of nature”, a beautiful clearing in the trees where the ceremony was to be held and Hardy had a closer look at the Ranch’s disk-golf course.  The property is 13,000 acres – although only a small portion has been built upon – but I can only imagine what great adventures Joseph and his family must’ve had exploring as a child. The day in its entirety was incredibly relaxed and the couple and their families put heaps of themselves into personalizing the day.  The ceremony site couldn’t have been more peaceful with the sound of only the breeze through the pine boughs as the couple exchanged vows and walked down the aisle hand-in-hand in the presence of their closest friends and family.  I know it may sound cliche but it truly was a simply perfect day.   Continue Reading

Carneros Vineyard Wedding // Aimee and Mike

One of the best and most colorful times for a Carneros Vineyard Wedding is harvest time. From early September through mid-October, the colors around wine country become more vivid, the evening air has a more pronounced edge, and the ubiquitous grapevines are laden with deep purple fruit. Overlapping southern Napa and Sonoma counties, Carneros is a designated wine growing region most famous for it’s world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As fans of tasty wine, Aimee and Mike are no strangers to Napa and Sonoma counties and love to escape the madness of New York City any chance they get to find some quiet in the dusty hills. This time, they brought with them a 100 person-strong entourage of family and close friends to enjoy an intimate ceremony and dinner celebration set in the vineyard. Jacuzzi Family Vineyards is the perfect place for a Carneros Vineyard Wedding. Aimee and Mike had long, farm-style dining table set amidst the vineyards illuminated by overhead market lighting, super romantic and surely left a lasting impression with their guests.  After dinner, the party shifted to Jacuzzi’s barrel room where the night culminated in spirited dancing (literally) as the two sipped custom designed cocktails constructed by Rye on the Road. Continue Reading

A Virgin Gorda destination wedding // Dawn and Brian

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands Destination wedding phtographer

 “Who’s wedding is it anyhow?”  I bet a lot of couples get to a point in their planning when this question arises, and it’s unlikely to come up when everyone’s happy.  It’s hard planning a Virgin Gorda destination wedding as this requires great diplomatic navigation of potentially rough waters. You  have your vision of the perfect wedding but will it line up with Auntie Margaret’s idea of a good time?  Sometimes you have to just throw it all out the window, tell everyone how it’s going to be, and hope for the best. Brian and Dawn are two of the most humble people we know and it was fitting that they should tuck their marriage celebration betwixt a week-long group adventure in the British Virgin Islands to deflect the attention from them.  They chose well because every single one of the 32 people they invited left their kids, jobs and normal lives behind to celebrate with them… and what an amazing week it was!! For those of you who don’t know, Brian and Dawn are very close friends of ours. Brian is a fellow wedding photographer, we were lucky enough to have him shoot our destination wedding in Thailand and he shoots for Viera Photographics often. So it was extremely special for us to finally be able to repay him for the amazing work he did photographing our wedding. Guests stayed for a week in Virgin Gorda and took over several properties within walking distance of each other.  We all spent the days leading up to the wedding sailing, snorkeling, drinking beer, making community meals, telling stories, laughing, listening to music and exploring the natural beauties of the island. Everyone had so much fun together, and I don’t think I have laughed that much ever in my life. When the wedding… Continue Reading

A Barbados engagement session // Ellen and Pete

Barbados, Beach, Day Before Session, Portfolio, bikini, wedding

What’s better than an engagement session at your local petting zoo? A Barbados engagement session! Okay, so maybe traveling to the Caribbean is not an option and to be fair, we love petting zoos and can take great photos anywhere. Often, however, our destination wedding clients will add another portrait shoot while they’re traveling for their wedding which provides us a great opportunity to see more of a new place and take some nice portraits in a more low-key setting. Ellen and Pete were keen to explore so we decided to roam around the island and take some photos. Ellen told us that they were in the best shape of their lives so we capitalized on their fitness and headed to the beach where we wrapped up our shoot in the waning afternoon light. Next stop, Oistin’s fish fry! Continue Reading

A Calliote Canyon wedding // Katie and Paul

ojai wedding photographer

They met at Berklee College of Music in the first week and started dating shortly after. Eight years later, it was time to plan the wedding. But planning a Calliote Canyon wedding  turned out to be more difficult than they had thought. The one thing that they both knew was that the wedding would be on June 21st. It was her parents 32nd wedding anniversary. It was her half birthday. It was Jani – a major Latvian holiday to celebrate the summer solstice – and he is Latvian. So the wedding would be a perfect celebration of family and friends coming together. Since music has played such a big role in their lives and in their love, music was integrated as much as possible into the Latvian midsummers eve theme. Paul’s brother’s girlfriend, Midori Sakano, designed all the save the dates, invitations and programs. Katie melted records into bowls for favors that doubled as decorations.  Katie’s sister cut and surged 75 napkins.  And with the help of friends, the yarn signs and yarn balls were completed and string lights were flown in from Christmas tress around the country. The Monday before the wedding, Katie and Paul got together with their family and closest friends to help them bake 12 pies for dessert.  It was 97˚ outside and when the ovens began to smoke, Operation Pie-Making had to be halted to cool and clean the ovens.  It was an all-day labor of love. During the wedding ceremony, Katie and Paul sang Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes.  Since Paul is a drummer, he was incredibly nervous about forgetting the words, but with a little encouragement from Katie, it turned out to be a beautiful, heart-felt moment. Truly a wedding we will never forget. Continue Reading

A Northstar Tahoe wedding // Christina and Karl

Christina and Karl’s Northstar Tahoe wedding was held in the deep of the winter. While planning their wedding, Karl’s vision of getting married was to have a casual affair. He wanted the celebrations to take place in the middle of the forest in a hunting lodge with everyone decked out in furs, standing by the fire – and they would just throw down their goblets and declare themselves wed! Christina had a slightly different version, but ran with the hunting lodge, fur, and woods idea. Together with her wedding coordinator they created a modern Kelly Wearstler in-the-woods type feel; with lots of black and white elements. Their Northstar Tahoe wedding ceremony held in the middle of a snow covered aspen grove, complete with roasted chestnuts, firepits and a good old fashioned log sawing. Christina wore Pricilla of Boston with a vintage fur coat. The reception was held at Baxter’s at Northstar and decorated in a Miss Havisham (from the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations) meets Tahoe hunting lodge. A winter celebration to be remembered!     Continue Reading

A Barbados destination wedding // Ellen and Pete

 So it is a little nerve-wracking when someone books you before they even know where they are getting married. Ellen rung us way back when and told us that ever since she saw the photos from a wedding she had been to as a guest, she said, if she ever got married, she wanted us as the photographers! So a year or so and an engagement later, she was on the phone with us asking advice on where they should to tie the knot! Ellen actually wanted to elope and Pete wanted to have a huge wedding. So they compromised on a Barbados destination wedding with a few close family and friends. The guests (including us) stayed at Silver Point Hotel, and pretty much everyone stayed for several days – so it was really a destination wedding / vacation for everyone (including us). The ceremony was held on the cliffside at Little Arches and the dinner reception was in their fabulous restaurant overlooking the ocean.  We really love getting to know all our clients – I mean, they spend as much time with us as each other on their wedding day. But we especially grateful when we get to spend so much time getting to know all the guests and the couple in such a beautiful part of the world.     Continue Reading

A Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay wedding // Megan and Dan

Megan and Dan’s Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay wedding was held on a beautiful sunny Central Californian day. Megan grew up around Half Moon Bay so it meant a lot for them to have the wedding near the beaches and cliffs where she played as a child, and close to home. Megan and Dan were set up by Dan’s sister and brother-in-law, both professors at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Megan was studying for her MFA in Creative Writing and when this boy came into her life… Their classic black-tie Jewish wedding on the edge of the pacific was all class and the day was filled with family love. I have to say, there were a few times throughout the day, between speeches at the Ketubah signing and that evening at the reception, that I teared up. Their contingency of friends was also strong and the relationships between everyone made photographing the day feel extremely intimate. It’s a well-known fact that I am music-obsessed so, when we heard their good friend Sia would be performing the acapella, Never Gonna Leave Me  during the reception…our day went from great to awesome! Continue Reading

Mansion wedding Newport Rhode Island // Tara and Chuck

Mid-December, we headed back to my hometown Newport, RI for a festive pre-Christmas Newport wedding at Astor’s Beechwood Mansion with Tara and Chuck. Being lucky enough to do Newport wedding photography in the town I grew up in is something I do not take for granted. We very much enjoy visiting family and reminiscing about the old days and showing Alex my old stomping grounds. Tara and Chuck live in New York City but liked the idea of an winter destination wedding in beautiful Newport and we fully concur with their decision…the venue and every detail of the evening was gorgeous.  The evening brought with it the first snowfall of the season so we thought we’d pop outside for a minute (or 10) and take some photos as Chuck was keen as mustard as they’d say in New Zealand. It was VERY cold even though they don’t look it, so good effort you two! Continue Reading

An Oceancliff Hotel wedding // Lisa and Jason

When we got the call from Lisa and Jason’s Oceancliff Hotel wedding, I got wicked excited.  This would be our first wedding in my home town of Newport, RI! As a special treat for us and our bride and groom, we invited our old pal and my original photo-partner-in-crime, Brian Lima to shoot with us.  Brian is an awesome photographer (who actually photographed our wedding) and he added a nice third-party perspective through the lens as well as giving us laughs all day. Lisa and Jason came down from Massachusetts full of East Coast spirit and Jaime got a real kick out of the strong accents.  Lisa and Jason had heaps of fun and were such good sports all day.  We headed to the Elms mansion where we had a bit of time to cruise around the grounds and their garden but I could’ve spent a full day there easily. Continue Reading

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