from the grace cathedral to chileno valley ranch in petaluma : amy + kevin

Amy and Kevin met while both were working at UCSF, Kevin as a doctor and Amy as a program manager at the Center for Integrative Medicine. It took a few years for Kevin to work up the nerve to ask her out and was surprised when she agreed. Amy and Kevin both have a presence about them and it is easy to see how they were drawn to each other. Connected, loving, graceful and spiritual are excellent ways to describe them and their wedding day. We started the day with a ceremony at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and then trucked on up to the ranch land and open fields of Petaluma at the truly inspiring Chileno Valley Ranch. There could not be two more different venues but somehow this encompassed who they are. Buddhist blessings in an Episcopalian cathedral in a city combined with cowboy boots, apple pie and square dancing in a barn.

Thank you to Heather of Feather West for the truly amazing job coordinating (going from SF to Petaluma was no small feat), Sally at Chileno Valley Ranch, Andy Wilson Square Dance, Lily Goff of Lily of the Valley SF for the beautiful flowers, and last but definitely not least, Chris Shepard for being my right hand photography man. Some of his gorgeous photos are below, in particular the shot of ceremony through the art installation at the Grace.

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a marin wedding at st. vincent’s school for boys : maddie and bobby

A few months before their wedding, Maddie and Bobby’s venue had a big fire and had to be temporarily closed down, thus cancelling their wedding. I received a panicked phone call and a few weeks later they changed their wedding date (luckily I was available) and re-planned their entire wedding, now at St. Vincent’s School for Boys. To top this all off, these two were about to move out of the Bay Area and down to LA. You may remember their engagement session that happened the day before they loaded by up the moving van. Maddie and Bobby handled all of this with grace, humor and serenity, just like on their wedding day. They are the youngest in their respective families and therefore had ten very young flower girls and ring bearers, all of whom were around during the stressful moments of getting ready and other pre-wedding activities, doing things that all little kids do, like grabbing makeup brushes, jumping into the fountain fully dressed and going for a swim, crying, asking to be fed, etc., and Maddie did not bat an eye and smiled the entire time. Bobby too, except when he shed a few tears when seeing Maddie for the first time. Looking back we all realized that the fire was actually a blessing. St. Vincent’s is a much larger venue, with one of prettiest churches in Marin, and better able to accommodate this fun loving family who danced for hours and hours. Special thanks to Corina Beczner of Vibrant Events for the amazing coordination and Chestnut & Vine for the beautiful flowers, as always.

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paradise ridge winery in sonoma with amanda + andy

Many of my brides love to take on some DIY aspect of their wedding but I think baking your own wedding cake is one of the bravest thing a bride or groom can take on, given the necessity of finishing this up so close to the day. Amanda was one of those brides. I’ve had a few clients tackle this, here and here, all with great success. Paradise Ridge is a lovely and little known venue for weddings in Sonoma with vineyards, oak trees, a hilltop reception hall, and an amazing sculpture garden with evolving pieces of art. It’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Napa Valley and gives a very private feel. Amanda + Andy’s wedding was a gorgeous, sweet, and low-key affair which was perfectly in tune with their personalities.

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moose creek ranch wedding in the tetons : ruth + thayer

There’s nothing quite like a wedding in the Tetons, especially at the amazing Moose Creek Ranch in Idaho. Ruth and Thayer spent some time living out here and still have family around these parts but are now living on the East Coast. The loveliest of souls, Ruth + Thayer immediately embraced me as a long lost friend, and their wedding was infused with a sense of family togetherness and a DIY spirit, with the wedding party setting up chairs and doing all of the flower arranging. When it came time for the ceremony, Ruth’s father got up from his wheelchair to walk his daughter down the aisle. As you can imagine there was not a dry eye in the house. One of my favorite and most treasured moments of 2014.

 

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intimate city hall wedding with a dinner party at the cookhouse

The rain is pouring down now in San Francisco and it made me think of this cozy wedding that I photographed last winter. Natalie and Orlando had an intimate ceremony at City Hall followed by a cooking class for their 25 guests at The Cookhouse in historic North Beach in San Francisco, right above the City Lights bookstore. Such a great idea and a great way to blend two families, who had to learn cooking techniques and work together to create a memorable wedding feast. Perfect idea for this city’s foodies!!

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