August 28, 2016. I can still feel the warm sunshine on my shoulders, the breeze rippling through my veil. I can hear the birds chirping, the cicadas buzzing. And more than anything, I can feel the overwhelming sense of love and gratitude. For our amazing vendors who made our wedding dream come true. For our friends and family who traveled thousands of miles to celebrate our marriage. For each and every one of our family members who spent countless hours helping us create the perfect wedding day. And mostly, for my husband Ryan who has made me a stronger, better, and happier person every single day for the past nine years. From the handwritten cards he delivered to me each morning during our wedding week to his surprise speech during our wedding reception that had me in tears, I can say with 100% certainty that I married the best person I know.
It’s hard to put into words the magic of our wedding day, but it left an imprint on my heart that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Our goal during the entire planning process was to focus wholly on making our wedding the truest reflection of ourselves. We chose to have a destination wedding to keep it intimate, and that it was. Seventy-five of our closest friends and family joined us at HammerSky Vineyards nestled in the rolling hills of Central California Wine Country for a weekend filled with love, laughter, and lots (and lots) of wine.
Everything about our wedding was personal. My stepdad played our ceremony music. My mom handmade our escort cards, place cards, and bar/cheese signage. Our caterer served my signature summer salad – fresh burrata with peaches, heirloom tomatoes, local olive oil, basil, and fleur de sel. Our bartender served a craft cocktail that my mom and I invented and named “The English Rose” – vodka, fresh lemon, sparkling water, and rose simple syrup, topped with fresh rose petals. My dad delivered the Father of the Bride speech of a lifetime – a speech which he said he first started writing twenty-nine years ago. Ryan’s brother/best man officiated our ceremony. We wrote our own vows and each read a reading that held special significance to us. I can say with certainty that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
As a photographer, the most important wedding planning decision for me was who would shoot our wedding. I wanted someone who could combine a fine art approach with the ability to capture emotion and those priceless, candid moments. I wanted our photos to be beautiful, filled with warm, buttery light, elegant, and natural. And most importantly, I wanted a photography team that I connected with – who I knew would bring peace and joy to our wedding day. I found that in spades with The Why We Love, and I truly could not be happier with the final result.
Our wedding day was absolutely perfect, and I am so happy to say that our photos reflect just that. It was nearly impossible to pick my favorite images, but below you will find a few that I believe truly capture the essence of our day. Vendor credits are below!