Since Andra and Christopher’s gorgeous wedding, I’ve often been asked how other brides can host an outdoor Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony. And who better to answer that question that Andra herself? I reached out to her on behalf of my other brides, and here is what she said: Brides need a “special dispensation through the Archbishop,” according to Andra, to have a ceremony outside of the church. In her case, Andra had a grandfather who would have difficulty traveling between multiple venues — and so, her priest made the dispensation request on the behalf of the couple. “I am not sure how easy it is to get and if it would be granted in situations where there is no pressing health need,” she says, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
And just for fun, here are a few shots from their outdoor ceremony! You can check out their full wedding post here, too!
Posted on 4/10/13 in Thoughts, Unusual Locations, Wedding | No Comments
I’m lucky enough to be heading to Rancho La Puerta about every six months now to shoot photography to help them re-build their photography library. Rancho La Puerta is a health and wellness spa located just south of San Diego, nestled on 3,000 acres in Tecate, Mexico. It was founded in the ’40s by a health-conscious couple and has grown into a lovely, healthy getaway. It was voted two years in a row as “best destination spa in the world” by Travel and Leisure magazine readers. It’s become one of my favorite places on earth, and I would highly recommend going to rewind and re-energize! If you go, let them know I sent you! I get a little prize! Everyone loves prizes!
This last assignment was hiking. The mountains were gorgeously green like I’ve never seen them and the mountain lilac was in full bloom. I actually burst into “The Hills are Alive” from the Sound of Music during one of the hikes! This was a short visit for me (usually I stay for a week) so not too much to share, but gorgeous none-the-less! Hope these photos inspire you to go to Rancho La Puerta!
Posted on 4/04/13 in Thoughts, Unusual Locations | No Comments
Join me for the grand opening party of WedSpring! Melia and her lovely husband, Matt, have opened this gorgeous space on Polk Street in the heart of Russian Hill for brides to visit in a comfortable environment to do research for their wedding and honeymoon! The launch party will be Thursday, April 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and I hope you can join us for cocktails and sweet and savory treats.
Posted on 4/01/13 in Press, Thoughts | No Comments
Wow! Oh the places you’ll go – right here in Oakland! The theme of the party was “Where in the World is (the birthday boy).” Barbara Llewellyn Event Planning & Catering did an AMAZING job creating an original and spectacular event, where every food station represented a different country. There were two large rooms and an outdoor space at Uptown Body and Fender – an autobody shop in Oakland that was completely transformed into a hot night party spot! The outdoor space represented Russia, and I thought it was the most spectacular because it had an ice-topped bar featuring Russian vodkas and caviar, imitation-stuffed polar bears, cushy seating and roaring fire pits. Inside, there was a German beer garden setting that served sausage and short ribs, complete with picnic tables! There was also a Mexico room with mini margarita shots and tacos, and an equally fabulous U.S. station with a replica of the Statue of Liberty and the Trans America tower serving mini burgers and fries! I think the guests were all amazed, and they all played their parts by dressing as the citizens of the world. It was not hard to guess where in the world some of the guests were from! Everyone danced the night away to the Notorious band. What a BLAST of a party!
Event Planning, Flowers and Food: Barbara Llewellyn Catering & Event Planning
Lighting – Got Light
Band – Notorious
Rentals and Props – Blue Print Studios
Russia – So Fine Event Design and Classic Party Rentals
Ice Sculpture - Clear Memories
Cake: Debbie Does Cakes
Posted on 2/07/13 in Events, Thoughts, Unusual Locations | No Comments
It started out a dream come true! My husband and I planned what we hoped to be a snowy Christmas trip to the Sierras and as the date drew near, we were worried we wouldn’t have enough snow to snowshoe in the four miles to the back-country Lost Trail Lodge outside of Donner Lake. Be careful what you wish for! The Tahoe area got an almost record-breaking 4-5 feet of snow the two days before we hiked in. Wow! What we didn’t realize was that 1/2 of the trail would not be groomed (about two of the four miles). Oh my! The hike started out lovely with a groomed trail and plenty of sunshine, but soon grew really hairy as my husband blazed a trail through four feet of fresh powder. It took us 6 1/2 hours with full backpacks and lots of worry (not a clear trail and it got dark and cold!) to hike in, but the lodge was absolutely picture perfect for a white Christmas. We joked the whole time that if someone asked a set designer to design the perfect back-country lodge at Christmas, this would be IT! Wonderful!
It started out so easy and sunny:
Posted on 1/22/13 in Thoughts | 4 Comments
As some of you may have read in previous posts, I have the pleasure of going down to Rancho La Puerta — a wellness spa and health ranch located just south of San Diego, nestled on 3,000 in Tecate, Mexico — every six months or so to shoot photos for their marketing materials. Lucky me, because Rancho La Puerta has been voted for years as “best destination spa in the world” by Travel and Leisure magazine readers! It was founded in the ’40s by a health-conscious couple and has grown into a lovely, healthy getaway. The fitness program is top-notch, with full time instructors plus weekly visiting instructors in various disciplines. The food is vegetarian with a bit of fresh fish, and a lot is grown on their own gigantic and gorgeous organic farm. Rancho La Puerta has become almost my favorite place in the world — right behind being at home with my hubby. It’s like summer camp for adults with GREAT organic vegetarian food and exercise and beauty galore! Enjoy the most recent photos!
Posted on 1/22/13 in Destination Weddings, Thoughts, Unusual Locations | No Comments
Many of my clients don’t know that I used to photograph home interiors and gardens for the national interior design magazines. Although my primary focus these days is weddings, I still do some shooting for local San Francisco and Bay area interior designers, architects and contractors. I recently shot a few interiors for a wonderful designer named Sylvia Brown of designHouse. I’m hoping Sylvia will be building her website soon with some of these lovely interiors. She’s TERRIFIC with color! Enjoy!
Posted on 1/22/13 in Architecture, Thoughts | 1 Comment
I’m leaving for Rancho La Puerta for another week of shooting. If you haven’t seen any of my previous posts, here are a few faves from past shoots for you to savor while I’m away. I’ve grown to view Rancho La Puerta as one of my favorite places in the world! I love the healthy organic vegetarian eating (not that I’m vegetarian, but it’s nice to cleanse once in a while!), gorgeous grounds, incredible fitness program and REALLY laid-back people. I’ll be back in the office, Monday the 17th, but will be checking e-mail a few times while I’m away!
Posted on 12/06/12 in Thoughts | 2 Comments
I pulled some files for wedding planner Dee Merz so she could share them with a bride who is thinking about having cupcakes instead of cake. These shots are from my Thanksgiving weekend wedding, which I won’t be ready to post in full for another couple of weeks, but since I prepped these shots, I though it would be fun to do a little cupcake post for the weekend! These darling things were created by Perfect Endings of Napa, California. The lovey display was designed by the ever-talented Dee Merz and team! Sweet dreaming over the weekend! XOXO!
Posted on 12/06/12 in Portraits, Thoughts | No Comments
My studio-mate and I did a trade of photography! She photographed my most recent head shots and I photographed her lovely family in exchange. Here are a few of my favorites from their family portrait session. I’ve also included some lovely shots she took of me!
I call this one Vavoom! I recently lost weight am was pleased to see that I looked pretty darned good in a 3/4 length shot!
Posted on 11/30/12 in Family, Portraits, Thoughts | 2 Comments