Marla and Shawn- what a couple! We had so much fun at their wedding. This was truly a destination wedding. Everyone came to Northern California from Texas and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine of wine country the week before the wedding. Of course, that meant that everyone was in great spirits throughout the day. On top of that, it is clear how perfect Marla and Shawn are for each other. Their day was not only a testament to their love, but also a celebration of family!

When Shawn proposed, he pulled all the stops, recreating their first date in style. Marla was truly surprised, but didn’t hesitate. She answered with a resounding, “Absolutely!” You can just imagine the cheers.


Marla and Shawn chose to get married at Hans Fahden, one of our favorite wine country venues. They had the best weather, perfect temps and clear skies with fun streaks of clouds. The kind of clouds you almost never see in California. Plus Hans Fahden was all abloom with pinks and oranges and whites. The setting was idyllic.

Marla prepped in the bridal suite surrounded by her closest friends, her sister, her mother, and her grandmother. There was lots of laughter, and suprisingly very little nervousness. Marla seemed so calm.

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- bride gets ready with bridesmaid

Before the ceremony, we took a few portraits in the gardens. Isn’t she stunning? When I captured this, I was completely entranced by her eyes. No wonder Shawn adores her.

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- bridal portrait in gardens at hans fahden winery

Here’s the 3 generations of ladies. You can totally see the family resemblance in their smiles.

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- bride with mother and grandmother- portrait at hans fahden vineyard

Marla hid up in the bridal room while we captured a few of Shawn with his family. These are his two darling little girls. They were so good throughout the day. And you could tell they completely adore both Marla and Shawn.

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- groom with flower girls during his wine country wedding

The ceremony took place overlooking the pond. With under 80 guests, it was truly intimate. Marla’s dad shared a special reading for them. And other family and friends created the music.

I can’t get over how sweet Shawn is. That smile is for his daughter. Melts my heart.

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- groom smiles at daughter during his napa valley wedding

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- officiant gives ring to bride during ceremony at hans fahden

Another important element of the ceremony was their faith. Their connection to each other is enhanced by their religious beliefs. They definitely found ways to make the ceremony reflect their spirituality.

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- prayer during ceremony in calistoga

Marla and Shawn not only care about each other, they care for each other. You can see it in every gesture- a deep tenderness, appreciation, and love.

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- bride and groom during ceremony in gardens at hans fahden- calistoga ca

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- bride and groom during northern california ceremony

The final element to their ceremony was a special ritual designed to include Shawn’s two girls. Marla and Shawn presented each girl with a special medallion which symbolized their importance in the family. After the ceremony, we asked the girls to show us their necklaces. The necklace is really beautiful, but I think my favorite part of this image is the nail polish. So precious!

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- flower girl shares gift during hans fahden wedding

And just to give you a sense of what’s to come. One portrait with Marla and Shawn in the Hans Fahden gardens!

marla_shawn_destination_wedding- bride and groom portraits in gardens at hans fahden vineyard- calistoga ca

I can’t wait to share more. Not only did they have this amazing wedding day, but we got together with them again after their wedding to do a Newlywed/ Rock the Dress session. So there will be lots more amazing photos to see.