east bay wedding photographer

Keeana & Daniel's Engagement Shoot: Regional Parks Botanical Garden, Berkeley & Lakeshore and Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA

Keeana and Daniel are getting married this summer. They are both East Bay natives, and they take advantage of all that the East Bay has to offer. They frequently enjoy going on weekend hikes in the hills and relax by grabbing some iced teas and strolling around Lakeshore and Lake Merritt.

Their engagement shoot was basically a relaxing afternoon of exploring the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, then heading down to Lakeshore and visiting the restaurant where they had their first date. 

We caught a gorgeous spring day in the Botanic Garden. I love it when my couples have such a relaxed vibe and are able to enjoy their surroundings together. I get to be the third wheel, but they didn't seem to mind too much!

After taking in some sunshine and flowers, we headed down to Rolling Dunes, the restaurant where they had their first date. I loved the casual cafe style, as well as the warm brick walls with bold and fun artwork. 

Then we took a walk down to Lake Merritt as the sun was getting low. Seeing as this was a warm spring evening in April, there were lots of people out at the lake, as well. But we were still able to capture some peaceful moments in this bustling area of Oakland. 

I typically do most of my shoots in a natural setting, but had been wanting to do something more urban for quite a while. I was so glad when Keeana was open to the idea and suggested Lakeshore as an area that was meaningful to them. 

After spending the afternoon with them, I'm looking forward to their summer wedding even more!

Roxanne & Nick's Wedding: Boundary Oak Golf Course, Walnut Creek, CA

Roxanne and Nick had originally envisioned a smaller destination wedding, but after deciding that they wanted to include more family, they ended up choosing to get married in their hometown of Walnut Creek. They actually chose a venue that both of them spent time at in their youth, before they even knew each other. 

Boundary Oak Golf Course is a beautiful venue overlooking the East Bay Hills, and it was the perfect venue for a larger wedding that included all of their family from far and wide. In addition to including all of their family, they chose to also honor Nick's family's heritage with a Chinese Tea Ceremony before their traditional American ceremony. 

Roxanne got to wear 2 gorgeous dresses on her wedding day. First, the red and gold dress she wore for the tea ceremony, then the white dress for the other ceremony. And she wore these amazing Badgley Mischka heels with both dresses. 

Roxanne's grandmother, who she was very close to, passed years before her wedding. Roxanne kept her there in spirit by carrying some of her jewelry with her. She also had a special moment with her grandfather before the wedding by pinning a boutonniere on him in commemoration of her grandmother. 

Nick arrived shortly after and finished his getting ready by putting on his traditional red and gold suit for the tea ceremony. He had the help of his brother/Best Man.

The Chinese Tea Ceremony is a means of the couple paying respect to their elder family members. Here, Roxanne and Nick serve her parents tea. 

Once the tea ceremony was complete, Roxanne changed into her white dress for the next ceremony. Her Maid of Honor helped by pinning a gorgeous pink flower in Roxanne's hair to complete her classic, elegant look. 

The ceremony took place overlooking the golf course. The green grass, trees, and surrounding hills couldn't have provided a more stunning backdrop! During the ceremony, Roxanne and Nick's two young boys acted as ring bearers, escorted by Nick's parents. 

It is was so special seeing Roxanne and her older son celebrate together after the ceremony!

We then hopped in a couple of golf carts and went to the famous Boundary Oak tree for a few portraits of the wedding couple. We timed it just right before sunset!

Roxanne and Nick put a lot into planning a gorgeous day of celebration with their families. Although it can be stressful putting together all the details for such a grand day, it was so great seeing them finally getting to enjoy the moments with their friends and family that they had planned for so long.

We wish Roxanne and Nick the best as they continue their lives together, and we hope to see them around town!

Danica & Matt's Wedding: Testarossa Winery, Los Gatos, CA

Danica and Matt had an intimate wedding with close family friends at the Testarossa Winery. Their ceremony took place in the wine cave and was preceded by a signing of the traditional Jewish document, the ketubah.

Matt's daughter walked him down the aisle before Danica made her entrance, glowing in her perfectly fitting wedding dress and carrying the most delicate white orchids. She was also carrying what is soon to be the newest member of their family!

The love and tenderness between these two was so sweet to witness. 

The ketubah is a traditional Jewish document which documents the rights and responsibilities of the couple in their marriage. This personalized ketubah came all the way from Romania!

The ketubah is a traditional Jewish document which documents the rights and responsibilities of the couple in their marriage. This personalized ketubah came all the way from Romania!

Wishing Danica and Matt and their growing family a lifetime of love and joy!

Lauren & Christian's Wedding: Brazilian Room, Berkeley, CA

Lauren & Christian were married as the sun set below the East Bay Hills at the Brazilian Room in Berkeley. The backdrop of tall trees and hills all around made the event so enchanting. 

Their families were absolutely giddy to see these two finally tie the knot! You'll notice Christian's adorable mom unable to contain herself as Lauren approached her son coming up the aisle. And it was both of Lauren's parents who accompanied her and gave us the sweetest moment to capture as they smooshed her with kisses. 

The reception was filled with cheerful toasts, lots of dancing, and huge smiles all around. And not to mention the homemade cakes and pies that everyone enjoyed and were delectable even just to photograph. 

We wish these two so much love, joy, and adventure in the years to come!

Anh & Andrew's Wedding: Swedenborgian Church, San Francisco, CA

Anh & Andrew were married in an intimate ceremony at the most quaint craftsman-style church in San Francisco. The Swedenborgian Church sits on a corner in the Pacific Heights neighborhood behind brick and stucco walls and wrought iron gates.  The inside of the church is warm with rich wood tones and a crackling fireplace. Andrew & Anh made the perfect choice for their intimate affair at this lovely venue. 

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Isn't she stunning?!

After the ceremony, Anh and Andrew wanted to do portraits at the nearby Palace of Fine Arts, and then we stopped by Crissy Field to get a few shots in the blustery San Francisco summer. Due to the chill factor and the loved ones waiting back at the church to begin the reception, we only did a few quick shots at each location. 

There is no denying the connection between these two. 

On the way back to the church, we stopped at these steps overlooking the Presidio and the Bay. In true San Francisco form, there was a velvety blanket of white covering much of the area, but it made such a soft backdrop for this sweet couple. 

There was no resisting getting some ring shots in the garden back at the church. 

And the house on the grounds was the perfect location to get warmed back up as the couple shared their first dance as a married couple, and they smiled the night away with their closest family and friends toasting the new adventures to come in their lives together. 

Cheers to Anh and Andrew and all the joy and adventure to come!

Denielle & Richard's Engagement Shoot

You know when you can be out at the crack of dawn in the blustery, gray morning that is summer in San Francisco and you still feel warm inside you must have found the right person to hold your heart. 

We met Denielle & Richard at Crissy Field to catch the glorious morning light overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Well, in true San Francisco fashion, the bridge was completely fogged in. Like you could kind of see the very bottom of one of the pillars sometimes, but mostly it was all just gray. So we all played it flexible and went to location number 2 first. 

We went down the road a few blocks to the Palace of Fine Arts. The Palace of Fine Arts never fails. 

These two were so natural with each other. 

After getting some fun shots we decided to give the beach at Crissy Field again. It was still quite foggy but it made for a fun shoot anyway, with just a hint of the bridge under the fog. 

We're excited to shoot Denielle & Richard's wedding in just a few months!