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Cory + Raphael – Bolinas cliff-top wedding

I can’t believe how long it has been since I last blogged! I have so much in the pipeline to share but, as is the curse of many photographers this time of year, I’m so busy shooting I have little time to blog.

I’m chipping away, however, and SO EXCITED to share with you Cory and Raphael’s cliff-top wedding from last month!

Bolinas cliff-top wedding

Cory was referred to me by my daughter’s best friend’s mom. It’s a small world here in Sacramentoland and to illustrate that further, I entered Cory’s getting ready room to find one of her bridesmaids was a photographer who had purchased a camera bag from me through Craigslist last year! As it turns out we had actually met one other time at a birthday party and not made the connection.

For their wedding celebrations, Cory and Raphael had chosen a private home on a cliff overlooking Bolinas Bay, just north of San Francisco.  Cory found the house on an online vacation rental site and picked it from photos alone, based upon the beautiful views and gardens surrounding the home. And it really was a spectacular backdrop with 180 degree views of the coastline and the Pacific Ocean.

The only thing that didn’t cooperate was the weather. Late September and it was in the mid nineties at the beach with barely a breeze and not a cloud in the sky. Given this is the Northern California coast, where it’s typically breezy, cooler, and often foggy, this wasn’t quite the climate they were expecting. But better than rain, most definitely.

Theirs was a small and intimate wedding, with only 20 close family and friends invited. Cory walked down the aisle holding the hand of their young daughter to meet and stand beside Raphael at the wedding arch. I love that the officiant chose to have them stand next to one another, looking out at their family and friends for the beginning of the ceremony as it created a connection with those special people who had shown up to support them.

After the ceremony and photos, everyone set into a relaxed and informal mode on the other side of the house to watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean as they ate delicious Mexican food. Then we all watched from below as Cory and Raphael put their arms around one another for their first dance as husband and wife on the deck of the house, the sky burning up behind them as the last of the sun disappeared below the horizon.

But by far my favorite part of the night was after all the celebrations and dancing was done. When the fireplace was lit and friends and family relaxed into the circular sofa surrounding it, toasting marshmallows, laughing and chatting quietly. I loved how unhurried the moment was, how Cory and Raphael got to connect with every person at their celebration, and that the end of their evening felt like a back yard party with the people they love. I loved the glow of the fireplace, the atmosphere created by the smoke, and those last moments when Cory, completely unguarded and still wearing her wedding gown, relaxed back into Raphael’s arms.

I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful couple to work with. Cory and Raphael are huge-hearted, genuine, and easy-going people who clearly have a deep connection and friendship with one another.  They created a celebration that was unique and perfect for them, not bogged-down in the expectations of others or tradition.  I left the house with a huge smile on my face, hoping me and my camera would be invited to more weddings like this very soon.

 

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Thank you to my assistant, Vickie, for her help and companionship on that day. We made a day of our travels to the beach, enjoying a picnic in the shade of a Eucalyptus tree overlooking the ocean and a stroll on the beach before heading over to the wedding. Moments of down-time like that before the hours of being “on” without pause for a wedding, make me a better photographer for my clients. Love you girl!

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