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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.

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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!

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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!

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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 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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Posted in Recent Weddings by admin on the December 20th, 2008

\nikkidarrenblog001-300x199 Nikki and Darren - Stern Grove San Francisco Wedding

We had no idea when we met the delightful couple in the general admission area of a San Jose Bruce Sringsteen concert that it would lead us months later, to an equally delightful wedding in the woods! Having given the couple a card and talked about weddings during the show we were pleased and surprised when Bonita Hart Andrews, the fairer part of the couple, contacted us about a wedding she was coordinating,

Of course it is true that fans of the Boss share a lot of common values and tend to be cool, lol. Therefore in retrospect it should be no surprise that Nikki and Darren’s wedding was similarly wonderful. Bonita does a great job! I recommend you contact us for her info. One thing that particularly both impressed and dazzled us was the use of many many candles with electric tea lights,  honoring the strict no candle rule while creating a really lovely and romantic candle-lit atmosphere anyway!

Stern Grove in December was a bit of an unknown proposition but the heavens cooperated- staying dry and not too too cold for the day. The woods were magical that day, and a shaft of light shone down on Nikki during her portraits before the ceremony. The ceremony, too, was lit in a fairy tale way set in the tall trees.

Love was the theme, love of a special kind- family love that had already been tested and found strong and lasting. During their six years together they had already added a darling  little girl Madison to Nikki’s sweet daughter Alyssa so that it was truly a family getting married that day. Madison and her cousin Audrey were flowers girls, and Alyssa proudly gave her Mom away. Their vows were incredibly moving , and refreshing in their honesty about the sometimes difficult path that had brought them to that day, the work they had put in to their relationship, and on a lighter note, her promise not to rub it in when his college football team loses and his promise to make her coffee every day and never make her learn to grill a steak.

They were surrounded by loving family and friends and even more unusually- not only is Alyssa’s father a good friend and part of their extended family- but he was the DJ!  His girlfriend was a guest,his sister a bridesmaid,  his parents attended- truly this couple knows how to make family and friendship an abiding principle to live by.

The reception atmosphere was totally dominated by the big crackling fire that filled in the spaces with warmth wherever love did not already do that. After a really delicious meal by Small Thymes Catering , as well a beautiful and yummy cake by  Ellen Johnson at Yumm , that very DJ Alex Merino with Spintronix kept the place rocking and rolling. What better way to celebrate a family come together in love  and commitment in this way but to dance? And dance dance dance they did.

Congratulations NIkki and Darren! Thank you for including us in your day.

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Posted in Recent Weddings by admin on the November 12th, 2008

THE WEEGELS

juliechas_400sq-300x300 Julie and Charles - Stanford Church Wedding - Stanford Barn Wedding Reception

The Weegels - just knowing this lively, smart, and funny couple playfully created this name for themselves from their last names and you knew their wedding would be full of touches that would resonate with their personalities.

They had even had part of their engagement portrait at the dance studio where they learned to waltz for their wedding. We are always impressed when a couple decides to go that extra bit and learn a special dance- besides it adds a lot to our photo ops!

We knew that Julie had gotten a custom gown in New York and were excited to see it- and it was loaded with bling- our favorite! The bridesmaids dresses, also custom made, were a beautiful shade of blue that was complemented beautifully by the bouquets in shades of orange and red. Those bouquets, the vividness of the bright colors, were another Julie touch of the many that we saw that day.

It was very different and very consistent with this couple that they wanted more photos with their wedding party than they did of themselves. You could see the strong love and loyalty among them all and they had a great time in the Stanford quad doing photos before heading out for the party at the Stanford Barn.

The Stanford Barn (California Café) is a great place for a wedding reception- the food is superb and the space is warm and inviting. Right off we saw another great Julie Charles touch- they had a photo booth from Party Booths and the guests had a great time sitting in the booth mugging for the camera and then decorating the prints with stickers- it was fabulous fun! We know because we did it too!

Their cake, from Beaux Gateaux was really unique, of course- inspired by the design of their wedding rings and incorporating the autumn leaves that were also part of the decor throughout the reception- a perfect autumn leaf on each napkin, stunning displays of autumn foliage in large stands, and leaves among the gorgeous centerpieces.

A light rain came during the reception, and though it did not dampen the party whatsoever it did create a bit of an obstacle for their waltz in the form of a wooden support beam in the middle of the dance floor. They bravely and beautifully adapted and the magic moment when Charles was down on one knee holding Julie’s hand while she circled around him moved at least one photographer and several guests to tears. Next came a total treat- a Cha-Cha lesson by their amazing and gifted dance teacher Diane Surkis from the Starlite Ballroom. Thus began a great set of dancing from a Chicken Dance contest (without a winner- we think everyone won!) to a few Bollywood dances which were wonderfully passionate and surprisingly included a few talented guests obviously well practiced at this style of dance.

Bouquet and garter thrown our couple was off and on their way - to a lifetime of dances together.

juliechasblog002 Julie and Charles - Stanford Church Wedding - Stanford Barn Wedding Reception

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juliechasblog019 Julie and Charles - Stanford Church Wedding - Stanford Barn Wedding Reception

juliechasblog020 Julie and Charles - Stanford Church Wedding - Stanford Barn Wedding Reception

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juliechasblog026 Julie and Charles - Stanford Church Wedding - Stanford Barn Wedding Reception

juliechasblog027 Julie and Charles - Stanford Church Wedding - Stanford Barn Wedding Reception

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Posted in Recent Weddings by admin on the November 7th, 2008

karennathanblog0001-300x199 Nina and Freds Stanford Park Hotel Wedding Palo Alto CA

It was evident from the playful quality of NIna and Fred’s engagement photos that they shared a wonderful sense of humor as well as a special affection. We were really looking forward to this wedding!

It rained that day , as luck would have it, but we can say that it never affected the festivities. Their wonderful venue, the Stanford Park Hotel, has a lovely indoor facility for weddings and if anything everything had a cozy warm feeling.

Their friends and family had 12 years to prepare for this big event- and we always feel that people who wait a long time to marry really know what it means to exchange those sacred vows.

Visiting both of them while they got ready we were struck by how calm they were, and how much they both looked forward to becoming married. They had decided to meet before their ceremony and we love witnessing that moment when a couple encounters one another and it really sinks in that today really is their wedding day. It is always so moving to behold- and all of our couples who elect to do that are so happy that they do.

Nina’s dress was gorgeous, simple and elegant with just enough bling- it suited her perfectly. She was shining with that special bloom that only brides can claim.  As you will see it shows in all of her photos. The artfully designed bouquets by Ah Sam complemented her dress and the birdesmaids perfectly.

We love a harp it adds a special magic to both ceremony and cocktail hour, and Stephanie Janowski added a lyrical beauty to both.

The minister had a wonderful way of tying the Jewish and Christian traditions together and it was a lovely ceremony. Glass broken, first kiss exchanged, their faces as they came down the aisle said everything about their joy at marrying one another at last.

It was fabulous that we had gotten all the family and wedding party photographs done ahead of time as it allows us to proceed right to the party after the ceremony. First, though, we took our bride and groom golf umbrellas and the wedding party out to play a bit. We coaxed our couple to practice their waltz, and I also knew that Nina would be one who would be happy to dance for our camera, twirling and laughing and just glowing!

That turned out to be just the beginning of an evening full of dancing , as once the delicious meal and lavish dessert buffet plus wedding cake were over the dance floor was full and very very active. One of the high points was the almost solemn announcement of a special song for the groom- and then the strains of Baby Got Back filled the air!! Even more fun, the bride’s parents then hit the dance floor and boogied down to everyone’s delight. Fueled by the elegant rocking supervisions of RIch Amooi of Hey Mr. DJ the dance floor was alive up to the very last minute of the evening- which, as ever, came too soon.

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ninafredblog0026 Nina and Freds Stanford Park Hotel Wedding Palo Alto CA

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