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JR + Wendla – Granite Bay Golf Club Wedding

JR and Wendla are married! You may remember them from their beautiful winter engagement session, their laughter and kisses often combined. These two clearly make one another laugh and their wedding day at Granite Bay Golf Club was no exception. A little nervous before their first look, her stomach a little unsettled as she grabbed a snack before the festivities, Wendla relaxed and came alive as soon as JR tapped her on the shoulder. From thereon out this day ran so smoothly and joyfully, not a moment of it felt like work. From our golf-cart adventures through the edges of the golf course, to dancing with the many children who loved the spotlight, this was a beautiful, happy day for two people who very much deserved it.

Big props go to Kelle Collier, the on-day coordinator at Granite Bay Golf Club. I have worked with many site-based wedding coordinators but none have ever been as organized, caring, professional, and fun as Kelle. She’s working with 60 couples this year and this is her (I think she said) 14th year with the club, so there’s no doubt she knows her job inside and out, possibly with her eyes closed. She was the grease that oiled every part of the wedding day machinery. I hope I get to work with her again.

JR and Wendla left the very next day for their honeymoon to Hawaii. I know they’re back now and eager to see their photos. Here is a teaser while their gallery is finished…

Assistant: Vickie  Horvath | DJ: Chris Santos from True Note Media | Flowers: Peggy Bimbi (Wendla’s talented Aunt)

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Wendla + JR – Fair Oaks Engagement Session

JR and Wendla are getting married in July at the Granite Bay Golf Club. JR lives in Dixon and Wendla currently lives in Napa and so they are busy making it all work somewhat long-distance now. In keeping with their desire to get married in the Sacramento region, we met up at Sailor Bar in Fair Oaks for their engagement session. These two love to laugh, especially JR who finds it hard to keep a straight face for longer than a few moments. Except, that is, when he’s kissing Wendla, which he very, very serious about.

We had a fantastic time in the sunshine exploring the local trails. Can’t wait for their wedding!

Fair Oaks Engagement Session

Fair Oaks Engagement Session

 

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Karla + Eric – La Provence Wedding, Roseville

The weather forecast said rain. The skies most definitely said rain. The drops on my windshield on the short drive out to Roseville definitely said rain.  But when the time rolled around for Karla and Eric to stand on the other side of my camera, the clouds parted and the sun even peeked out. I guess you could say it was meant to be.

And it felt like that all afternoon and into the night, listening to stories about how Karla and Eric met, and how much their friends and family loved their new member, and spending time with two people who seem not only at peace with one another but also with themselves. They were the calm in the storm of their own day, present and joyful, so wonderful to work with and to spend the day with. When, as their guests were tucking into La Provence’s delicious dinners, I stepped outside to be greeted by the most magnificent sunset, made more intense by the storm that had preceded it; it seemed fitting somehow. Not all our stories unfold the way we expect them to but, eventually, we get to meet the one person who was meant for us and walk off into the sunset together.

Gorgeous flowers by Katie Edwards at Ambiance Floral Design and a special thanks to Bobby from DynamikSoundz who was a joy to work with. Most people don’t know how much a photographer and DJ work together during the reception and how communication between the two can make all the difference in both the photos you get and the flow of your evening. Trust me, good vendor communication and cooperation is a big plus.

Last but not least, thanks to my friend and assistant, Vickie Horvath, who puts up with the short words that tend to come out of my mouth when I’m focused on lighting and composition and bride and groom. I love that she can laugh at me even when I’m at my most frustrating.

La Provence Wedding, Roseville

La Provence Wedding, Roseville

La Provence Wedding, Roseville

Now booking weddings in 2018

I specialize in small and intimate gatherings, perfect for elopements and second-time-around affairs and, unlike many wedding photographers, I cater almost exclusively to couples who want shorter packages of 2-5 hours of coverage. If you know of someone who wants beautiful photos from a seasoned photographer with all the gear to capture the important moments, but without the commitment of all-day coverage, please have them get in touch.

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Suzanne + Greg – Intimate Lake Natoma Inn Wedding

Suzanne and Greg have grown children of their own but they looked at one another like teenagers on their wedding day. They had a small and intimate, midday affair at the Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom, surrounded by close family and friends.

They had wanted to go to the beach but instead, they made the beach come to them, taking their shoes off at the altar and wriggling their toes in the small circle of sand where they said their vows. There were so many cute, beach-themed details throughout their day, from the seashells in Suzanne’s gorgeous bouquet from The Blossom Shop in Folsom, to the starfish guest favors, each one unique and put together by Suzanne.

Suzanne and Greg booked one of my intimate affair wedding packages and opted for just 3 hours of coverage. We didn’t miss any moments, however…

Intimate Lake Natoma Inn Wedding Photographer

CONGRATULATIONS SUZANNE AND GREG!

I wish you a long life of love and happiness together.

Intimate Lake Natoma Inn Wedding Photographer

Big thanks to my friend, assistant, and second-shooter for the day,  Vickie Horvath.

 

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Claire + Josh – riverside wedding Sacramento

“Josh and I decided to throw together a wedding in a little less than two weeks. Kind of nuts, but kind of awesome. 15ish people, ceremony down by the river in Carmichael area, then dinner somewhere TBD. It’s going to be a beautiful hot mess, and I certainly couldn’t think of anyone else who could capture that like you.”

That was the email I got from Claire at the beginning of July. With an email like that, how can you say no? I certainly can’t.

I love small, intimate weddings, spontaneity, and these two humans. I photographed them about a year ago (see that session here) in what is, to-date, one of my craziest, funnest, dirtiest sessions EVER. If there was ever a family that embodied my mantra of “Live the moment. The dishes can wait.” it’s these folks.

We began the afternoon and Claire and Josh’s beautiful, new Carmichael home, where Claire and her family were getting ready. Meanwhile, Josh and his best friend were already down at the river fishing. The river is special to Josh, especially around the Carmichael area where he grew up and his family still lives. It was a bachelor party of sorts, ending at his truck in the Effie Yeaw Nature Center parking lot where he used his wing mirrors to tie his tie and brush his hair.

We walked down a dusty trail to an opening in the brush where the river flowed before us, just beyond a beach of river rock. And that’s where we waited for Claire and the rest of the wedding guests, who carefully tip-toed over the rocks to the arbor at the river’s edge. That’s where, in the blazing full sun, under an incredibly blue sky, and watched by a gaggle of Canadian Geese, Josh and Claire said their I dos.

It wasn’t anything like a hot mess, as it turns out. It was spontaneous and beautiful and simple and… just perfect.

We closed the evening at Fair Oaks Brew Pub in the village of Fair Oaks, where everyone sat on wooden picnic tables and listened to a local band play while they ate pretzels and burgers and drank beer, this time overlooked by the resident Fair Oaks chickens.

I loved every minute of this evening. Congratulations Claire and Josh. I am so incredibly thankful you chose me to capture the beginning of the rest of your life together.

If you know someone who is planning an intimate wedding, a second-time-around marriage, or even an elopement, please have them get in touch with me. I love photographing these events and, unlike wedding photographers focused on booking full-day wedding packages, I offer a la carte pricing starting with just 2 hours of photography coverage. Forward this post to them or connect them to my wedding portfolio, here.

If it’s your special day you’re planning, click here to let me know what you’re thinking about.

riverside wedding Sacramento

riverside wedding Sacramento

riverside wedding Sacramento

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Mala + Shane Part Two: Fort Bragg beach wedding

(Part One: the Mehendi Celebration is here if you missed it.)

On a cool and blustery beach, just north of Fort Bragg, two families, two cultures, and two people in love came together; imperfectly, joyfully, and beautifully. With bare feet and hair flying in their face, a 30-foot rock for an altar, and the sound of crashing waves for music; with their children as best man and maid-of-honor, and with more love than fanfare, my friend, Mala, and her Shane, made their happily-ever-after.

Here is the story of that day…

Fort Bragg beach wedding

Fort Bragg beach wedding

After everyone changed back into their comfy clothes, Mala’s daughter, Evani, presented her mom and Shane with a framed copy of the speech she had read aloud during their ceremony. Of all the emotional and touching moments of the weekend – and there were plenty – this was probably my favorite. The emotion on both Shane and Mala’s face (that’s Shane being choked-up in the first photo) and the tears of joy my friend shed as her daughter and new husband embraced… it was the perfect ending to the perfect weekend.

CONGRATULATIONS MALA AND SHANE!

I wish you a lifetime of moments just like this.

Fort Bragg beach wedding

 

Know someone getting married in Northern California?

I’d love to tell the story of their day too. Please contact me to learn more about my wedding packages.

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  1. Mala + Shane Part One: Mehendi Celebration, El Dorado Hills - Memories by Michelle Photography - […] (See Part 2: The Wedding here) […]

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