bride

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Buena Vista Indeed

Perhaps the best thing about getting married in Sonoma is the beauty. Unless, of course, you are a wine aficionado, and then it might be the grapes. Or if you are perhaps from Sonoma, it might be the connection to a place where you have spent so much of your life. For Allie and Matt, the last part was definitely true, but the views weren’t too shabby either.

Before I go on and on and on about the amazing-ness of their day, I want to thank all of the professionals who helped make it so:

Ceremony Location: Mission San Francisco de Solano / Reception Location: Buena Vista Winery / Photography: Allegro Photography / Flowers: Cozy Posies / Invitations: The Paper Source / Dress: Romona Keveza / Bridesmaids: Monique Lhuillier / Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Banana Republic / Lighting design: Wine Country Party & Events / DJ: PureEnergy Productions / Hair: Descend Salon

And with that, I continue their Sonoma wedding story with a few more portraits at Bartholomew Park Winery.

One of my favorites because it totally captures their personalities!

Following the portraits, we drove across the street to Buena Vista Winery for their dinner and dancing reception. They received quite a welcome from their guests.

Sisterly toasting love.

The venue gets even more romantic as the sun sets.

Dave’s vision for a mafioso shot with a few of their bridal party.

Another fave from the night because it includes people we love– Allie is the fourth in a family of brides and grooms. When you get to celebrate such wonderful moments with a family, you feel as you are a member of the group. And this crew is so welcoming that they have even said as much. So we were able to capture them all in this image- Lauren and Steve, Emily and Mark, Allie and Matt, and Leah and Dave. Each couple and wedding was unique and each one was fabulous!

Need more from this amazing group and Allie & Matt’s beautiful day, check out their PicFlick!

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Mission Wedding = Family Tradition

Following in the footsteps of her parents and her sister, Allie chose the Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma Square for her ceremony location. This intimate setting provided the perfect warmth and charm for Allie and Matt’s wedding- with just a few rows of seating, followed by standing room only, it feels as if your guests are right there with you. So the tears and the smiles and the laughter and the love were even more vibrant for our bride and groom. Plus knowing that the family has celebrated so many joyous occasions there adds to the ambiance.

And after the ceremony, a few portraits of our bride and groom around the grounds. Then off to Bartholomew Park Winery for more photos in another special spot to our couple, a park where they have spent many hours wandering, relaxing, enjoying.

Love the humor in this image.

 

We had great light during their portrait session, and it even drizzled a bit (yes, in Sonoma, in the summer, unbelievable). All making for some super fabulous photos still to come.

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Hometown Sonoma Wedding

We had been awaiting Allie and Matt’s wedding for quite some time… actually since before they were even dating or we knew Matt existed. You see, we have been very lucky to know Allie since her sister’s wedding in 2007. She is one of the most lovely, gracious, creative people you will ever meet; we adore her. And so we continued our friendship on Facebook, and were lucky enough to “witness” her relationship with Matt grow, all be it from across the country. Then we got the call last January- he had proposed and would we be able to photograph the wedding. Our response, “Absolutely and we can’t wait to meet him!”

Then this summer, about a month before their wedding, we got to meet Matt (over ice cream at Ici, no less). He is absolutely everything I would have hoped for in a match for Allie- charming, handsome, adventurous, thoughtful. We talked about all kinds of things- their wedding, of course, but also travel destinations and sports and family and home decorating. Our excitement was definitely building.

The big day arrived in August. It was perfect. Allie started her day at her parents house in Sonoma, surrounded by family. We followed this with portraits at their home before going to the Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma Square (the same church where her parents and her sister had gotten married). And Matt got ready at the Lodge in town with portraits at City Hall and around the square. Portraits at a favorite park and a party at Buena Vista Vineyards capped off the day.

And so I share with you, Allie & Matt’s wedding, part 1…

Leaving you with just a hint of what’s to come. More soon!

 

first dance

Live, Love, Laugh- Part 3

And now for the Grand Finale, part 3 of Jen & Steve’s beautiful Lord Thompson Manor wedding. After the church, after the dive bar, after the formal portraits, Jen & Steve celebrated their reception in style on the grounds of this gorgeous estate. They had some time to enjoy cocktail hour and toasts and finished that part of the evening with a magical balloon release. Dinner, dancing, cake, and even singing closed out the night. Enjoy the photos here, then pop over to Style Me Pretty to see even more of their unique ideas and inspiration.

And a special thanks to all of the professionals who helped make everything absolutely perfect for our happy couple:

Ceremony: Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Webster, Massachusetts / Reception: Lord Thompson Manor in Thompson, Connecticut / Floral Design: Lord Thompson Manor / Event Design: The Bride + Lord Thompson Manor / Wedding Invitations: Pickett’s Press / Save-the-Dates: Swiss Cottage Designs / Band: Chris Gillespie / Wedding Dress: Pronovias / Hair + Makeup: Priscilla of Kiss Spa / Groom’s Tuxedo: Custom by Doyle + Mueser

Such a magical day. Extra special congrats to Jen and Steve. And if you want more, check out the PicFlick of this amazing Lord Thompson Manor wedding.

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Live, Love, Laugh- Part 2

Jen and Steve’s destination wedding in Thompson, CT kicked off in style with Steve getting ready at the Estate and Jen at the Spa. They met up for their first look when she walked down the aisle in a gorgeous New England church, surrounded by family and friends.

Jen was glowing on the arm of her dad. And even he couldn’t keep his eyes of his stunning daughter.

You can definitely see Steve taking it all in.

Love the beauty of the Sacred Heart Parish. It feels like a place of joy.

The minister had Jen and Steve come down into the pews for the exchange of the rings. I’ve never seen this before but it ended up being really cool. Dave and the guests were right in the thick of it.

A quick silhouette portrait following the ceremony.

I do believe a promised a dive bar. And so hear you have it. On the way from the ceremony to the reception at the LTM, Jen and Steve planned a surprise stop at this little whole in the wall bar. Her bridal party had no idea and were treated to drinks with locals. Such fun was had by our crew and those already present at the bar.

Just outside the bar, we found a bit of romance and fun.

Dave set up this editorial shot. When he thinks like a groom, this is how he feels, I guess.

 

At the manor we had time for portraits around the grounds. If you have ever visited, you know how beautiful the estate is. The photo locations are endless, each one more picturesque than the last.

After these quiet moments in this enchanted forest behind the estate, we all headed back for the reception, which included among other special moments, a balloon release. Really all around amazing so be on the look out for more.

Or if you just can’t wait, check out their feature in Style Me Pretty Massachusetts and their destination wedding slideshow.

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Live, Love, Laugh- Part 1

A destination wedding in Connecticut would not be ideal for many brides and grooms, but for Jen and Steve it was truly the prefect spot for their fairy tale wedding. First, they found the Lord Thompson Manor, and I think almost everyone would agree the LTM is absolutely one of the most picturesque estates around. Definitely worth the trip from NYC to the northwest corner of CT. And once there, the amenities are fantastic, Jackie and her team take such good care of the bride and groom and their guests. For a weekend away, but not too far away, it is the perfect backdrop. Then of course, they also found a great church and a great dive bar- all in all, the perfect mix of beauty, romance and fun. A place where they could Live, Love, and Laugh.

So on the wedding day, we split up. Dave got to hang with the boys at the main estate, while I photographed the girls getting ready at the KISS spa, just down the road.

So first the boys. Steve is so very handsome. And I totally think this photo Dave took of him could be a magazine cover or an ad (funny that he works in advertising) or maybe even a James Bond poster.

An artistic view.

And a documentary moment of the boys’ getting ready.

This ring shot, created by Dave, was inspired by one of their themes for the day.

The girls getting ready took a bit more time. So I was able to focus on more of the photojournalistic moments.

And create a ring shot of my own- with just the engagement ring in the spa.

Loving the bridesmaid gifts (as did they)- jewelry with a message.

Jen has such an awesome sense of style. Bling-y shoes need an appropriately sparkly place to hang out.

So beautiful and not even done yet.

Getting a little help from the Father of the Bride.

The veil always makes such a difference.

More help from dad, and a couple of cutie patootie flower girls.

On her way.

Along the way, there was lots of laughter, and yes, a few tears.

And just a hint of what is up next… ceremony in a beautiful church still to come.

And more…. that dive bar I mentioned, romantic portraits, and a kick-ass party.

Don’t want to wait? You can get the scoop from Jen & Steve as well as see tons more photos on Style Me Pretty.

 

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Romance, Laughter and Crazy Awesome Dancing

I know I promised a party with some simply awesome dancing, and that is sure to come, but first I thought I would share a few from the newlywed’s portraits immediately following the Crane Estate wedding ceremony on the Grand Allee.

Because we had such a beautiful afternoon, we enjoyed the brilliant views of the Castle Hill grounds and ocean.

Playing around with the bridal party.

To kick off the party, Vanessa’s dad gave a great welcome toast on the terrace.

Toasts were followed by dinner in the Great House.

And then a dessert bar that the guests really got into- cupcakes, pies and cookies, oh my!

More shmoozing and fun.

Let the entertainment begin. Eric and Vanessa had only just started to swing dance, in order to prepare this number for their first dance. Oh boy! They knocked it out of the ball park with twirls, jumps, lifts, kicks and more!

The dancing continued into the night- all outside on the terrace.

And good times were had by all.

Honestly, so much fun. Many congrats to Eric, Vanessa and your fabulous families. It was a joy to be a part of your celebration.

And many thanks to the many professionals who helped make the day such a success:

Getting ready, ceremony and reception venue: Ashley DiCarlo from the Crane Estate \ Bride’s hair: Kim from Salon Patrice \ Bride’s wedding dress: Amsale \ Bridesmaid’s dresses: J Crew \ Caterer: Chris Hopkins from Timothy Hopkins Catering \ Sweets: Meredith Glaser \ Floral design: Kerianne Steele from Les Fleurs Florist \ Invitations: Paper Source

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Classic Crane Estate Wedding

On a beautiful September day, Vanessa and Eric celebrated their wedding with classic style at the Crane Estate on Castle Hill. It isn’t always the case that the groom is as excited about the photos as the bride, but Eric was definitely an equal partner in planning their wedding and certainly had great ideas for his photos. I actually started with the boys for this day and was treated to not only a group of great guys, but also some fun traditions. We met down in the Italian Gardens, one of my absolute favorite areas of Castle Hill.

You can already see the camaraderie.

And then they started playing Bocce Ball, because that’s what these boys do. In fact, Eric had a Bocce-lor Party, rather than the typical Bachelor party. Of course, playing with this crew could have gotten dangerous, but they hit their mark every time.

 

Next I spent a bit of time with the ladies in their getting ready room at the estate.

Finishing touches of the veil.

Pure classic beauty. Perfect for the setting.

With her mom.

Ready for girl time.

Did I mention these two had absolutely perfect weather? Blue skies with just the right amount of clouds.

The boys and the reverend arriving to the ceremony.

One last image from the ceremony.

More to come soon from their reception and awesome dance party- these two put on quite a show- so check back for all the fun from the second part of their day.

 

Sonoma as the Sun Goes Down

Just thought we should kick off this rainy holiday weekend with a refreshing celebration from this past summer. Part deux of Soo Jin and Roger’s perfect Sonoma wedding at Viansa Winery.

Our last post was all about the beauty leading up to and through their wine cave ceremony. And now we share sunset portraits and one fabulously good party.

First up the bridal party, with signature white parasols, courtesy of Viansa.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca-bride and bridesmadis with parasols

And then some alone time enjoying the magnificent valley scenery as the sun was beginning to set. Warm light made their skin glow. Well, that, and the happy day.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride and groom overlooking the grapes at sunset

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride and groom enjoying the paths at the estate

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So many beautiful spots to shoot. We honestly could have photographed here all day.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- a look through an arch to the sonoma valley hills and our bride and groom

But we had a party to attend. And the guests were waiting.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- silly groomsmen and bridesmaid bouquet

Grand entrance through the bridesmaid and groomsmen gauntlet. Love that the girls took the guys sunglasses and handed off their bouqets to the gents.

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Yup.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride enjoys the entrance and dance

First dance.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride and groom's first dance under the tent and chandeliers

Finished off with a dip.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- dip at the end of the first dance

Kiss, please!

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- clinking glasses asking for a kiss

Father-daughter dance.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride and FOB during dance- hug

Fooling around in the photo booth.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- silly photo at photo booth with bride and groom

Check out this super fun ring shot. They had the letters on their dessert bar table. Picked up the little chairs which were holding the escort cards, and then placed the rings on each chair. Love the connection to their day.

viansa-winery-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- ring shot with initials of bride and groom behind it

All around good times and simply stunning wedding. Congrats to Soo Jin and Roger and thanks to all those who made it a spectucular wedding!

 

Vineyard Wedding

Soo Jin and Roger have style to last til the end of time, and planned an elegant wedding in Sonoma. I can’t imagine a more perfect backdrop than these vineyards and wineries with all of their romance. The skies were clear. The air was warm. And Soo Jin and Roger were so excited to tie the knot.

They both got ready at a private home with Roger and the boys taking over the main house, and Soo Jin and the ladies enjoying the guest house by the pool. Not a bad way to enjoy a destination wedding really.

Her dress and the view from her pad.

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- brides wedding dress on a tree with view of fountain and vineyard- private estate

Roger primping and prepping.

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- groom getting ready- private estate

The boys downed a shot of something- not sure what- but here’s how it went down. Hmmm….

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- groomsmen reaction after drinking a shot by pool table

Meanwhile, Soo Jin was getting gussied up. Finishing touches on her dress.

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride getting into her dress at private estate guest house

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- brides jewelry- sexy pouty look

They decided to do a first look before their ceremony so that they could take portraits without time constraints at Viansa. Roger was peeking before he was supposed to. Who can blame him?

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride and groom first look at private estate

He made up for it with kisses.

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- groom kisses bride on shoulder

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- under the oak tree with vineyards in teh back

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viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride walking up staircase

And then the ceremony began. It took place in the wine caves, lit by candles. Beautiful and romantic!

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- ceremony trio music

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride walking down the aisle with her dad- wine cave

viansa-wedding-vineyard-sonoma-ca- bride and groom celebrate their nuptials after the ceremony with a cheer

Clearly a happy couple! And more to come from sunset portraits and the reception fun.

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