It’s a story of fate. I had the pleasure of meeting Dan and capturing a glimpse of his world about 8 years ago when I was commissioned to capture his beautiful family at a very tender moment in their lives. Dan and Robert, his son, were soon to loose a very special woman in their lives, his wife and Robert’s Mother. Even though I don’t get to linger long in one’s life, I do come away feeling vulnerable to all the emotion that is within a family, and this particular moment left me feeling so fortunate to have been apart of this brief encounter.
Fast forward 8 years, I am contacted by this vivacious and wonderful woman who would love to inquire about my wedding services. You see, she met a wonderful man a few years back and she thinks I know him… thank goodness for small circles!
Their wedding vows were exchanged at Our Lady of the Pillar in Half Moon Bay and the celebration continued at the Oceano Hotel and Spa. Elegant Cheesecake did an exceptional job with helping these two celebrate a love that was meant to be!
As seen in Lucy Dylan Weddings
Half Moon Bay Wedding Venue: Our Lady of the Pillar
Half Moon Bay Wedding Reception Venue: Oceano Hotel and Spa
Half Moon Bay Area Wedding Cake: Elegant Cheesecakes
Half Moon Bay Area DJ, Photobooth, & Lighting: Golden State Productions; Wayne Noel
There is really nothing like a good ol’ Half Moon Bay wedding, especially when the party leads you to the I.D.E.S. Hall… the place, if you are a local, has held a special memory or two. For me, its where I met my husband 19 years ago but for Nicole and Danny this will be the place they celebrated their amazing day!
What I love most about this day is the couple themselves: Nicole is the most upbeat, go with it, kind of person… even the wet gray skies and a pesky garden cat couldn’t frazzle her. Getting married at the Lutheran Church in Half Moon Bay and partying at the I.D.E.S. Hall left me with few area’s in which to really get some nice formals… so luckily, my own hidden secret was also the florist of this beautiful event, Alena of Alena Jean Flower Shop and Nursery, who graciously allowed us the use of her beautiful and rustic gardens. Perfect! Except what I didn’t factor in for the day was the light mist we would be having throughout the morning and into the early afternoon… ick! I was ready to switch it up and find an indoor venue with which to work… but Nicole was so calm and so willing to still make this work and I am so glad she did… the pictures turned out awesome.
This, paired with the fun of the whole bridal party and their willingness to make each image the best it can be, made the day full of some spontaneous surprises. We also had some fun capturing bridal pictures at the historic San Benito House Inn and Saloon. The food catered by Cheat a Little Catering and the ambiance of IDES Hall, made for such amazing day. Congrats Nicole and Danny!
Half Moon Bay Wedding Venue: Coastside Lutheran Church
Half Moon Bay Reception Venue: IDES Hall
Half Moon Bay Wedding Florist: Alena Jean Flower Shop
Half Moon Bay Wedding Caterer: Cheat a Little Catering
Half Moon Bay Wedding Events: San Benito House Historic Inn
Half Moon Bay Wedding Photographer: Portraits by Shanti
San Francisco Bay Area Wedding DJ: Soundwave Mobile
Blue Jeans and white shirts is the all-traditional go to when picking out your wardrobe for your upcoming family portrait. I only have one word for that: BORING! Its been done, heck I’ve done it… and I’ll be honest, it works, but you will look just like the last family that did that.
So here are my suggestions when trying to figure out what to wear. Really try to envision your backdrop, is it beach, country, more monotone like a forest? Once you have that vision, pick some of the key colors from that, for instance if it’s the beach this is what I would pick: light blue, beige, soft pinks (tones of the sunset hues), soft purples, etc.… however the country I would choose more earthy tones, such as browns, maroons, darker blues and greens.
Now, lets add a little personality to this recipe who are you? Don’t pick an outfit strictly because it fits into my color suggestions, pick it because you like how it looks on you, you pick it because its something you would “normally wear”, and you pick it because it fits into the environment we will be shooting at.
If you aren’t a color person, then fine, easy peasy lemon squeezy… simply take the basic look, blue jeans and white shirt and add a splash of color somewhere, a scarf, necklace, belt, etc.
Now here is what not to do: Don’t find a shirt that fits the color scheme but has a logo on it, and don’t mix patterns… in fact, if you can, try not do any patterns…. of course I have exceptions to this rule (I love a good plaid shirt in a country setting).
Take these suggestions and apply it to your whole family, not just yourself, and make sure you guys compliment each other (you don’t have to be matchy matchy, just complimentary)
A secret little gem nestled into the bluffs of the Half Moon Bay Coastline called Liquid Sky Estate was the breathtaking backdrop for Mimi and Jeff’s vows. Catered by Cetrella and coordinated by Satra of Events by Satra, this was surely an intimate wedding to be remembered. I love how this venue overlooks this sacred beach that is almost untouchable unless you had access such as this.
Only 20 guests made up of purely family, this felt more like a warm family gathering than a reception, all in celebration of Mimi and Jeff. The ceremony took place out front on the lawn, officiated by her father and customized by the bride and groom. It was so heartfelt yet underlined with humor in which it had everyone laughing and really tuning in to the vows. Mimi’s sisters played a big role in the wedding from creation of the bouquet to putting on an amazing rap toast that was very entertaining.
Overall my job on this day was to capture the emotions in the room and the ambiance of the evening. It was such a joy to be apart of such an intimate and unique wedding.
Mary and Joe contracted me to capture their beautiful and intimate wedding in the foothills of El Cerrito at a lovely venue called the Hillside Community Church. Don’t let the name fool you as this is hardly a church but more of a rustic hall that overlooks the beautiful bay area skyscape as well as opening up to a small meadow complete with a serene mini waterfall.
But what I really loved about this day is the accents of yellow wherever you looked. The groom donned yellow socks, shoelaces, and a belt that complimented his light gray suit, while the bride added just a splash of yellow with her yellow heels.
Mary chose to get ready at a nearby hotel, the Double Tree in the Berkley Marina and it couldn’t have been better. It had lush landscape and plenty of various locations to capture the beginning of this day.
They had such sweet personalized touches to their ceremony such as taking a “you’s and me” picture with their guest behind them, but what I really loved was them passing around their wedding rings so that each person could have the honor of blessing the rings.
The ambiance of the reception was nothing less than joyful. The tables were decorated with wild flowers in little vases and they even had a yellow themed candy bar. What was even more unique is both Mary and Joe are vegan, so the meal was different and delicious… as was the cake! Who knew!
And for the grand finale… the golden ray of the sunset. Amazing! Thank you Mary and Joe for letting me be the one to capture your day!
Oh my goodness, what a beautiful venue Cesar and Jen found to seal the deal on their love! Creekside Terrace in Los Gatos is this rustic, turn-of-the-century log cabin that over looks a meadow filled with a waterfall, beautiful trees, a mini vineyard, and even a wooden swing... I was truly in my element. The bride got ready at the quaint Hotel Los Gatos, with its vine covered windows and its beautiful terraced balcony; it was the perfect beginning to capture Jennifer before the big day. The sweet Reverend Layne Kulwin delivered such a great service on marrying these two, complete with passion and giggles.
Jen and Cesar are huge Sharks fans (I think that is an understatement)... as not only were the tablecloths, bridesmaids colors, and all accent colors the signature teal, but Sharkie himself made an appearance! A gift from a groomsman, Sharkie in full spirit continued to play his pranks, gobble up heads, and attempt to steal the bride away on numerous occasions... everyone was entertained, including me!
This wedding had great energy and an amazing staff, thanks to the staff of Panetta's Elite Event that kicked this wedding into full gear.
Breathtaking, graceful, glowing, happiness, stunning, and in love, these are just a few of the adjectives that I can think of to describe a pretty perfect day that celebrated the love of two very awesome people along with their loved ones from both close and afar.
The wedding ceremony was in a somewhat secluded area off the 17 mile drive in Carmel, CA called Church in the Forest. I'm not always a fan of the look of churches , photography speaking, but this church was so beautiful in a very simple and Carmel sort of way. With big windows that open you up to forests all around you, it allows, even a large wedding, to have the intimacy of all those you love around you and the magic of Carmel's nature to seep in to the calmness and the serenity of the moment.
If that wasn't beautiful enough, the reception was held at Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch in Carmel. Which is this historic ranch resort that sits on 22 acres with views all around you. Again, they managed to find an intimate location to have a wonderful sit down dinner with 150 of their closest friends and family. After dinner, some toasts, and the first dance, the guests were invited into the "old barn" to boogie down to an amazing live band called Steve Ezzo and the Monterey Bay All-Stars. Amazing! They had everyone out there dancing to all sorts of fun music both current and old school. It was a blast to capture.
And what made this day even more perfect... having my two favorite people help to capture this day. Simone Anne Photography and my very own associate Shannon Henretty were there to capture all the details of the day! Two very creative and detail oriented individuals. Together, we are so inspring and we really just feed off each others energy... its a blast.
Ok, enough about the details... I can't end this blog with out talking about Christa and Aaron and what they mean to me... I have known Christa for years, having the pleasure to work with her mom in my last lifetime, and watching her grow in to this beautiful young woman that is glowing from the inside out. When Catherine, her mother, asked me to capture this day a year ago I was beaming... I loved this family, but not having been in their lives for the last 10 years, I never had expected that I was on their radar of options. I knew this was a wedding that would bring everything I do full circle and it did just that. I left capturing this wedding thankful for what I do, and thankful for bringing wonderful people back into my life and allowing me to witness, capture, and be apart of such important moments in their lives. And then their is Aaron, a person who from the minute I met him had left me feeling as if we too were old friends. He has so much warmth and insight on life and couldn't be a more perfect match for Christa.
Thank you Miles family for allowing me to be so apart of this day. It was an honor!
Up on the hill tops of Half Moon Bay sits a breathtaking venue that over looks our coastal beauty. Coastal Canyon is a fairly new venue and I can wish it only the best as it truly is a hidden gem.
I had the pleasure of photographing Travis and Jen's wedding in September at this venue and I was thouroughly impressed. Candice Quinlan, owner of the venue, has done an amazing job at transforming what was just country side into a place that has unique character and charm.
For Travis, a country boy and Half Moon Bay native, it was the perfect backdrop to marry his beautiful bride. It offered a little of everything, from his country roots to the views of where he grew up. Jennifer added the perfect touches from her life as well with homemade granola that came straight from her families cookie company in Sacramento. I wish them nothing but happiness in their future!
As seen in I Love Farm Weddings
Half Moon Bay Wedding Venue: Coastal Canyon
I don't even know where to start! This wedding was so fun and unique on so many levels. Lori and Matt got married in Watsonville at the Pemo Osel Ling Tibetan Retreat, its this beautiful venue located in the thick of the redwoods. I have now been at this venue several times, and it just doesn't get old!
What I love about Lori is that although her life has lead her to the mainlands, her heart is still attached to Hawaii... and for those of you who know me, know I share a similar story. Lori was born and raised on Oahu and it wasn't until she moved over here to attend Stanford University did her life take her on a journey that would lead her to the love of her life, Matt.
Lori and Matt brought a little bit of Hawaii to their wedding through all their beautiful flowers: plumeria bouquets, orchid boutineers, and tuba rose lei's. She had me there:) Nothing like the smell of a tuba rose to bring back all your childhood memories of the islands. After their beautiful ceremony the bride and groom entered into their reception with grand force, from one side of the party comes running out tuba players, drummers, saxophones, etc. and on the other side the bride and groom merge themselves into the festivities of the STANFORD MARCHING BAND... or at least those that were in the band during their college years. They played three songs where Lori and Matt shared in the instrument playing to band leader... My mouth was dropped wide open and my finger was stuck on the trigger.... it was AMAZING!
It was a wonderful reception that included heartfelt toasts, a live band, and two very personalized performances by Matt and Lori. The first was a jam session with Matt and his old band mates and the second was a hula dance performed by Lori and then later joined in by Matt. Beautiful! All in all, I have to say this one goes down in the books as another favorite of mine! Loved it!
Half Moon Bay Wedding Photography / Mavericks Lodge Event Center / Oceano Hotel and Spa / Becky and EvanPosted by Shanti on Wed, 08/01/2012 - 21:52
All I can say is wow! Such a beautiful bride, a handsome groom, curteous warm and loving family and friends, and a beautiful venue... It was truly perfect! Becky and Evan got married on the lawn of the Mavericks Lodge Event Center followed by a magical wedding reception in the tent of the Oceano Hotel and Spa. I can't decide what was my favorite part about this wedding: It could have been the dress, or maybe the fact that every one was where they needed to be when they needed to be, but I think the best part of the day for me was Becky's laughter and Evan's genuine love for his beautiful bride! Congratulations you two!
As seen in WedLoft
Half Moon Bay Wedding Venue: Mavericks Lodge Event Center
Half Moon Bay Reception Venue: Oceano Hotel and Spa