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Posted in Recent Weddings, general by admin on the August 16th, 2009

amyryanblog011  Amy and Ryan - a Clos la Chance Winery wedding

Amy and Ryan felt like family from the moment we met them. In addition, they were really careful and exacting and specific about what they were looking for in all their wedding vendors and thet picked US- and that felt great.

The engagement portrait they did with Michael in Santa Cruz was unbelievable, both for the great locations and Michael’s artistry, and for their willingness to play with him and really enjoy the process. It made a gorgeous guest signing book- we are so pleased we started including those in our packages as they have been a huge hit at every wedding.

Something about their wedding really touched us as it was beautiful to see their plans unwind and most especially to behold Amy’s complete delight, joy and excitement at being a bride on her wedding day- shared by her bridesmaids. She stopped frequently during her transformation into drop dead gorgeous bride in the lovely Clos la Chance Winery bridal room to really drink in the fact that this really was her wedding day. Her joy was infectious to everyone around her.

Meg wrote to Amy afterwards about some of the things that touched us so greatly and among the things she mentioned-

-Amy’s wonderful foot attire- black and white tennies for the bridemaids, and pink for her. In concert with the hot pink bridesmaids dresses and the fabulous flowers the visuals were a photographers dream! We knew Amy would be beautiful but she really was a fairy tale bride.

-The prayers Amy shared during her getting ready with her mother and Ryan’s mother- real, moving, full of the love they all obviously shared.

-The fact that her mother and Ryan’s parents stood with Ryan as Amy approached with her father. It was a moment of pure magic.

-The way Ryan and Amy stood for a few moments forehead to forehead in a prayer, feeling the moment as they stood ready to marry. Time stopped, it seemed to be just the two of the in the world just then.

-Even during the ceremony there was an obvious sheer delight in being there- wanting to stop and behold the guests, to drink it in, the look of amazement from Amy as her new husband put her wedding ring on her finger.

-The foot washing ceremony as they washed the feet of their best man and maid of honor, and of each other, an act of service and tenderness that was so very moving as to have Meg in tears.

-The sign hanging as Ryan lifted his new wife to hang a sign her father had made with their newly shared name.

After the wedding party boogied back down the aisle the beautiful reception just flew by- and their celebration was just as fun and fabulous as their ceremony had been profound and moving. Especially memorable were the heartfelt toasts at dinner- when Amy said she would truly be married for life you knew it was true, and we shed a few tears again as we did all day

As ever, the able energetic DJ’ing by Woody of Big Fun powered the partying and some serious dancing was happening in Big Funs fabulous lightshow. All too soon Amy and Ryan was leaving friends and family through a gauntlet of bubbles. It was a memorable day from start to finish.

Not only do we thank you Amy and Ryan for including us in your day, but we also know you are now friends of ours and so appreciate you making us feel like family that day.

amyryanblog001  Amy and Ryan - a Clos la Chance Winery wedding

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Posted in Recent Weddings, general by admin on the July 15th, 2009

mm0034 Megan and Michael - a Burlingame and Redwood City Wedding

We have to admit we have somewhat of a bias when it comes to couples named Meg and Michael. When they contact us we feel it is practically fate that we will do the wedding – and when we click with them as we did with this lovely couple it is so cool! We really looked forward to this day.

From the moment we came into the Madsen home and saw the plate of frog cookies commemorating Megan’s kissing of the frog-become-prince we knew it would be a special day. One thing that makes for wonderful moments during the getting ready is being in the home in which the bride grew up – and that was true on this day. Being in a bride’s girlhood room- surrounded with momentos, awards, photos from a life lived fully -as she prepares for her wedding is touching on a deep level. Seeing photos from Mom’s wedding day and recreating them with a modern twist- those are the things that we love about the work we do.

Megan was an exquisitely beautiful bride- fresh, sparkly, glowing– (Meggie wonders if it is due to her name?  ; )  To photograph her with her parents on the doorstep of their home was a moment that photographer dreams are made of. The florist , San Mateo Florist , did an excellent job recreating the feeling of Megan’s mother’s bouquet- again it’s those little touches linking past to present during life’s transitions that fuel our love for these events!

The ceremony at St. Catherine’s in Burlingame was as personal as marriage vows can be as they were performed both by the resident priest, Megan’s family priest of longstanding, and by Michael’s great uncle. To be married by a family member- how poignant and meaningful! With time passing quickly the way it does on that day we did the extra portraits and wedding party fun stuff right there in the shaded grassy place next to the church and then had more luscious time with our gorgeous couple on the hill next to Emerald Hills Country Club –Oh we do love those extra nuggets of time paying with our couples like that!

And then the partying began! This couple was obviously surrounded by family and friends who loved them a lot- and that was a feeling in the air all evening. There was a delicious meal- the in-house caterer Dominic’s was scrumptious- the abundantly-stocked candy bar kept children of all ages (and we mean grown-up ones too) busy, and DJ Danny Fisher kept everyone rocking until all too soon their last dance arrived.

Another Meg and Michael are husband and wife- and we so appreciate being trusted to be their family historians.  Thank you M&M!

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Posted in Recent Weddings, general by admin on the June 22nd, 2009

cindyericblo024 Cindy and Eric get married!  A San Mateo Wedding

From the first time Cindy and Meg e-mailed each other, Cindy seemed like a kindred spirit, and long after they booked us we exchanged e-mails through what was a trying year for both of us. We had a lot in common and we really looked forward to this wedding!

We had done a family/engagement portrait for them and had a great time with Cindy, Eric, and Cindy’s daughter Jenna, who was also in a sense marrying into a new family. It was a delightful time- and it was our pleasure to give them a special gift of a book including some of the images to display at the wedding.  Our packages all include kickass signing books, really lovely, with linen covers, from the portraits- but one of the wonderfully unique touches at their wedding was that they used a guitar as their guest sign-in – Eric being a guitarist. We loved that!

We especially loved that Cindy and Eric included giving Jenna a necklace during their wedding. In this time of blended extended families being common we really appreciate those special moments being part of a wedding ceremony.

There were more great touches – a wicked good candy buffet, a beautiful and delish cake from Dolce and Nirvana,  lovely flowers from San Matoe Florist , rockin sounds and MC’ing from Rich Amooi of Hey Mr. DJ, and a great group of family and friends eager to celebrate the union of these two.

Did we mention- they are gorgeous? The fact Michael got to spend some time with them between ceremony and reception was a wonderful gift for us.

See for yourself!

Thank you dear Cindy , Eric, and Jenna, for including us in your wonderful day!

cindyericblo001 Cindy and Eric get married!  A San Mateo Wedding

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Posted in Recent Weddings, general by admin on the June 21st, 2009

robinhector0003 Robin and Hector - a wedding in Menlo Park and San Jose California

We met Robin and Hector through our wonderful couple Julie and Charles (the Weegeels- see their wedding blog below). Not only did we get to photograph them at the Weegel’s wedding, but we just love referral weddings- our couples tend to know who we are and how we work, and the friends they send have often seen us in action and will already know they are a “Meg and Michael couple”. .

Their ceremony was at one of our favorite churches, Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park, and had not one but two priests presiding, including a good a friend from San Francisco, Father Ray.

Robin and Hector had so many wonderful touches at their wedding- and we adore the unique features that a couple selects to give their wedding a personal flavor. Guided by one of the very best around in party planning – F. Duncan Reyes- Events by Design , we knew that their reception at Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose was panned to pay tribute from beginning to end to their Mexican roots, and it gave the celebration an especially festive and joyous flavor. From the unique choice of tequila in place of champagne for the toasts to the wonderful mariachi band and TWO piñatas- one for the adult and one for the children- this party told you beautifully a lot about this couple.

Other memorable features included luscious hors d’Ouevres from Plaza Garibaldi , a delicious dinner from Asqew Grille ,a carrot cake- proclaimed by the bride and groomn to be the BEST in the world- from Linnae’s in San Luis Obisbo along with pies baked from the heart by Robin’s sister-in-law, rocking sounds from Jose Mena with Jammin Music, and a really fun photo booth from Party Booths.  Robin and Hector’s wedding was truly a a big joyous party- and we think you will see that in the photos!

Thank you Robin and Hector for letting us share this memorable day!

robinhector0006 Robin and Hector - a wedding in Menlo Park and San Jose California

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Posted in Recent Weddings by admin on the May 20th, 2009

ej0807 Emma and John at Crystal Springs Wedgewood

From the first e-mails Meg exchanged with Emma about photographing Emma and John’s May wedding, there was instant chemistry and simpatico and we KNEW we had to be there to share and record their day.

Luckily for us they felt the same way! We had the very best of consultations and they booked us on the spot- when you know you know. The instant feeling we had that they were our kind of couple continued to Michael’s fabulous portrait with them in San Francisco- a set of really warm and wonderful images that Meg had a great time turning into our famous guest sign in book incorporating 35 of their favorites.

Everything that Emma told us about the day had us just salivating over the fun and photo possibilities- from the big group of loving and fun-loving friends and family from here and from as far away as Scotland and Spain, to the party bus they planned to fill with the boisterous wedding party. .

It was everything we hoped for and more. It is always special when the church is important to one of the families, and that was certainly true of John’s family and St. Brendan’s Church. The ceremony was lovely- and once they were at last man and wife we had the blessing of some time at Fort Point on the way to the reception at Wedgewood at Crystal Springs Golf Course.

Knowing that Emma’s parents were English we had a feeling there would be some special aspects to the reception and of course there were- wonderful traditional dances that had the dancers twirling happily around the dance floor, heartfelt speeches from loving family and friends, and the special symbolic horseshoes that were given to our couple.

The flowers from  Rosedale Florist were gorgeous, the catering and decoration at Wedgewood sublime, the cake from Chocolat scrumptious- but it was really the special love and energy of our couple and their families that made this day one to remember.

Thank you Emma and John for sharing this memorable day with us!

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Posted in general by admin on the May 6th, 2009

We loved Amy and Ryan from first meeting and can’t wait for their July wedding at one of our favorite wineries- Clos la Chance. We also knew that they have the spirit and energy to really let loose and play at their engagement portrait and wow- we were right! I want all our couples to have a look at these images to see that when you let yourself relax and play with Michael then magic happens. No more words needed- the images say everything…

amyryanblog001 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog002 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog003 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog004 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog005 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

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amyryanblog007 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog008 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog009 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog010 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog011 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog012 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog013 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog014 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog015 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog016 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog017 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog018 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog019 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog020 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog021 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog022 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog023 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog024 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog025 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog026 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog027 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

amyryanblog028 Amy and Ryan play with Michael during their Santa Cruz California engagement portrait

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Posted in general by admin on the April 8th, 2009

karenkyleblog001 Karen and Kyle - a San Carlos California Wedding

When Karen and Kyle contacted us about how very much they loved our work but lamented that they were creating a wedding on a tiny budget and could not afford us- we replied that we should meet and see if we could make something work. Their wedding was to be in March and that is normally a very slow time and one we like to have slow for other projects so we knew we could create a special package for them.

A meeting is everything- without that you really cannot know if the right chemistry is there. After that meeting we knew we had to make it work for them as they were such a sweet couple we wanted to make sure they had the high quality images that experience (and therefore higher prices) brings.

It turned out that they had planned a very short event combining wedding  and celebration into three hours… and with offering coverage by Michael alone we were able to make it totally work for them. We sent Zach along as a special wedding gift.

This was the wedding that love and support built! First and foremost, Karen’s amazingly talented and supportive mother Kathy not only acted as designer and coordinator but managed to be Mother of the Bride too! Karen shared that it was her mom who had the vision for the look and feel of the wedding and who   “through months of hard work and elbow grease, created and arranged *all* the decor that transformed a standard community center into a stunningly beautiful wedding location.  Almost everything that made the room look nice was a do-it-yourself project that was either designed, created, or arranged by my mom!”

Some of the touches that made this wedding breathe it’s special life included flowers by the talented Michaela  of Michaela’s Flower Shop , a delicious and pretty cake from  Bewitching Elegance , and first rate catering from Divine Catering.

Everything else was did-it-themselves , along with generous and loving help from both families, setting up, cleaning up, officiating by Karen’s uncle, talented singing from cousins- everyone truly came together to give this sweet couple a day full of memories.

See for yourself!

Karen and Kyle thank you so much for allowing us to share your day!

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Posted in general by admin on the March 17th, 2009

crystaljose001 Crystal and Jose- a Kula Ranch Monterey Wedding

When our favorite dog trainer Felix wrote to tell us that his cousin Crystal was getting married in February we  instantly knew that we would love  to be there. Felix has been our own dog whisperer with our border terrier Carter  through his Grand Island Dog Training and we  have loved having his special touch teach us to work with our beloved dog.

We really looked forward  to meeting Felix’s family after working  with  him and we were right to think it would be a great group of people! Michael had a lovely time doing an engagement portrait with Crystal and José- they were loving, warm, and easy to be with. They were introduced by a mutual friend and José had welcomed Crystal’s two year old Elise with ope arms- already a sign of a special man and a sweet family.

Zach and Michael did this wedding and had a feeling that Kula Ranch Island Steakhouse would be a fabulous place for a wedding- offering one great location for both ceremony and reception and the opportunity to go to the beach for photos. We are all about having the chance to play with our couples at some point during the day – give us a little time and we  will  make magic!

It was raining hard on the way there but blessedly cleared up for the wedding (funny how that works!).  It was overcast- perfect light for photography. The wedding  took place with an absolutely breathtaking backdrop of beach dunes.  We love love, and we  are always enchanted and moved hearing the vows between two people who have chosen each other for life partners- but there was something particularly moving about seeing José give their daughter Elise her own ring during the ceremony as they vowed to be a family . I imagine the fact that Michael and Meg and Zach became a family at M&M’s wedding could have something to do with our feelings- but you could see that everyone beholding this special moment was touched as many a tear was shed. Crystal and José wore leis and they as well as the beautiful headpieces,  and bouttenieres were from Hi’iaka Florist.

Hooray- we got to head off to the beach in the limo with the bride and groom and it was a total honor to be able to share time with them on the beach right after they became husband and wife.  The bright overcast beach was a great background and the weather Gods continued to bless as it started raining again only after family shots were finished and our couples was back inside ready to eat and celebrate.

The food was fabulous- a royal spread so tasty that we took Michael there for his birthday two weeks later!  Crystal’s Mom Dolores had made lovely centerpieces for the tables - there is nothing like the special touch that hand crafted things given in love bring to a wedding. The partying then began in earnest and there was dancing – and again a really sweet moment when Jose had a special dance with Elise.

After a yummy fresh pineapple and strawberry cake made by Alex and Olga at the Royal Deli Bakery the dancing went on under the able guidance of DJ ACE of DownLow Productions and all to soon the night was over.

Thank you Crystal, José, and Elise (and Felix!) for letting us share your special day!

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Posted in Recent Weddings by admin on the March 2nd, 2009

When Jennifer and Paul contacted us in the middle of December to meet about photographing their wedding in a few short weeks we were surprised as most of our couples in the past have booked us many months before their wedding. It was the most pleasant of surprises as not only was there reception to be at our obviously much loved Thomas Fogarty Winery, but they turned out to be a smart, sweet, couple who loved our work.  That is our kind of bride and groom!

Before the meeting Meg decided it would probably help them picture their day to show them photos of Fogarty Winery in the winter as we have weddings from there showing the beauty year ‘round. In the end that was exactly the right thing to set their fears about the weather to rest as of course having a wedding in January you never know what will be. We showed them a wedding with the winery completely shrouded in fog, and another when it was very cold. It was clear to them that not only do we know Fogarty well, but also that they needed not worry about the weather that day since it would be beautiful there no matter what. Worry is not a good thing for a bride and groom. Our hope is that our couples will dispense with that altogether, remember that everyone around them loves them, and will just enjoy not only the weeks before the wedding but of course the day itself.

The ceremony at the chapel at St. Joseph of Cupertino was itself special indeed as Jennifer’s mother and sister-in-law both work at the school and Jennifer has known the Monsignor since early teendom and graduated from the school. Little details like that are so important and we do love them so! They add to the emotions on the day- how special is that to be married in the chapel at the school you attended- married by the Monsignor.  This couple was surrounded by memories, and by loving friends and family. It was a lovely ceremony and it never became anything but intimate and informal. Adding to the tender emotions, Jennifer’s brother Matthew and Paul’s brother Richard stood up for them as they married. The beautiful playing of the Violeto Trio accompanied their sacred vows. Lovely flowers by Bob Gilmore’s added to the atmosphere.

Our slideshow choice proved to be pertinent as sure enough- Fogarty was surrounded with fog- giving it an ethereal beauty. It was too cold for Jennifer’s lovely tea length dress but her warm white coat stood her in good stead and the pond was beautiful on the winter light. We also were able to offer portraits to all the families and couples- our new favorite thing to provide as with us giving the retouched art enhanced files they make a great gift from the bride and groom to their guests.

With an evening ably guided , as usual, by the wonderful Becky at Fogarty - beautiful flowers from Fowers by Design. delicious food from Four Seasons catering , a yummy cake from The Icing on the Cake , and spirited dance music from the Magnolia Jazz Band combined to create a fabulous time for our happy couple and their family and friends. It was a really wonderful day- thank you Jennifer and Paul for asking us to be part of it!

The charming Becky

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Posted in Recent Weddings by admin on the January 27th, 2009

It is probably most obvious from the way we write about it that Thomas Fogarty Winery is one of our very favorite places to work. It is exquisitely beautiful no matter what time of year it is- and is new and fresh to us with each wedding. Therefore when the marvelous Ellie from Fogarty contacted us to see if we were available to shoot the wedding of the step- son of one of their own-  Alecia Blazei of Michael Martella, (their wine master ) we were only too happy (and honored) to participate. With the bride, the beautiful Natalie, being from Texas, we knew that friends and family of the bride’s were in for a California winery experience and that is always a pleasure to witness.

January can be iffy in California but this day dawned sparkling , sunny, and warm by winter standards. Ellie greeted us as ever with hugs and welcomes and we were off and running down to the brides room - and our job was totally easy due to the  beauty of the bride and the obvious love among her family and friends. This is our total joy in life- to be part of days exactly like this one, to be trusted to capture them as the family historians.

Natalie’s spirit was evident in touches such as her fabulous blue and rhinestone shoes- giving something blue a unique flair Her uniqueness showed as well in the different bouquets for each bridesmaid- beautiful bouquets indeed by Denise Janny . One really special moment that Meg and Zach got to share was a prayer blessing said over the bride by her mom, grandmother, and several friends from their church in Texas. It set the perfect tone for the vows our couple were about to take- you could feel the support and love around them as they pledged to each other.

Such a handsome couple had Michael in total bliss taking them to the pond, the tasting room, the vineyards- January timing had them there for the golden light Meanwhile the party started with the delicious and beautifully presented edibles from Continental Caterers and the effortlessly elegant and rocking overseeing by Henry with Big Fun DJs. A special surprise was a grooms cake of a football helmet which was half the grooms University of Texas team and half the brides Texas A & M- so cute!-, both that and the artful wedding cake were crafted by Sweeteats.                   .

The night flew by-with lots of dancing and general joyousness  until our sweet couple left with a sparkler send-off , a touch that captured the sparkly, energetic, lovely quality of that wonderful day.

Thank you Natalie and Danny for letting us be part of your wedding!

The lovey Ellie

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