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The Przybyla Wedding – Gilroy, Calif.

About a week ago I got to spend a couple days in Gilroy with Kevin and Nichole to photograph their wedding!
I want to say the three of us first met at Ernesto and Sarah’s wedding… but I could be wrong. We might have met at another wedding before that and I’m remembering incorrectly. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot for several couples within the same group of friends – which is very cool but makes it easy to lose track.

Either way, it meant that I saw Kevin and Nichole a couple times before they reached out and asked me about shooting their wedding for the two of them!
Ironically months before the wedding they moved down to SoCal, where I had been living, and I re-located back up to the the Bay Area. So instead of needing to travel for this wedding like I first thought, it was the bride and groom that had to make the trip up to the Bay.

Kevin and Nichole’s weekend was beautiful. The weather worked out great – warm but not scorching hot like the week leading up to it. Their venue in the foothills in Gilroy was lovely, and Nichole and her sister Tammy had everything planned out, made up, and ready to go when it came to decorations. Ok, to be fair the girls said they finished all the arrangements/etc in the days leading up to the wedding, but that’s normal and their work was so good you’d think they did it professionally.

So, for those ready to scroll through the Przybyla wedding.. Read on!
I have a couple hundred images from weekend to share with you all!

As usual, I saved a lot of info for the captions rather than typing it all out here..

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The Lanza Wedding, New Jersey

 

The Lanza Wedding.

I just returned home to California from Joe and Erin’s wedding out in Jersey. At I have to say spending the last three weeks with these two was a blast. Yep. Three weeks.
So let elaborate a bit more on who I am for those who might just know me as “Joe’s California friend”. I’ve known Joe for 13 years. We did the Disney College Program together. Ironically, while we knew each other somewhat during that 9 months at Disney, we moved in different social circles. So we actually never hung out. It wasn’t until a few months after returning home, and re-connecting online as all us former-lifeguards did to keep in touch, that was when Joe and I realized how much we had in common.
He’s been a very dear friend of mine ever since.

And while many friendships since our days at Disney have changed, I would quickly point out that Joe and I have only become better friends over the years.
During my many trips back out to Florida I stayed with Joe over half of them. And on those trips spending most of the time sitting around talking was pretty much the norm.
Joe would joke with me that “Your room is always available” about his guest room in his apartment. And when him and Erin recently bought their house, one of the spare rooms they both refer to as “John’s room”. It’s funny, but also very sweet.

But what the most fun part of the entire Lanza wedding as a whole? In any aspect?

That’s easy. It’s having been part of Joe’s life, and now Joe-and-Erin’s-life, long enough to go from those college-years-conversations with Joe about “I don’t think I’ll get married, John” to “Things are pretty serious with Erin, man..” and eventually “I’m going to propose.”

That was very cool.

And I love Erin – she and Joe are great together. And to be part of their wedding weekend (and entire wedding month pretty much) was great. But before I get into all that, let’s have some fun and take a stroll down memory lane. Shall we?
I have the most extensive photo record of our circle of friends since ’03… so this’ll be fun to zip through real quick ;)

What do you say, you guys ready to scroll through tons of photos?
How about you, Joe?

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The Do Wedding – San Jose, Calif.

 

Two week ago while most people were focused on Thanksgiving and which sales they were going to hit up the following day, I was with Maria and Tri as they were rehearsing their wedding here in San Jose. Then, two days later, on Black Friday while everyone was shopping or laying around sleeping after the Thanksgiving holiday we were all at their wedding.
So I wasn’t originally quite positive on how exactly Maria and Tri found me. At first I thought it was simply through Maryann, their wedding coordinator and an old friend from high school. Turns out that Maria is the sister of my friend Manny – also from high school, and someone who I’ve been to a couple weddings with over the years. Ha! That turned into a funny conversation the morning of the wedding when I finally put all that together.
Maria and Tri actually live in SoCal, and even though I had been living down there timing just never quite worked out to meet in person. Maria joked that in the weeks leading up to the wedding she became mildly concerned that no one had heard much from me. Whoops! I was actually caught up in the middle of an unexpected move from LA back to the SF Bay Area. But still was looking forward to their wedding and ready to rock it out.

Maria and Tri put on a lovely ceremony in San Jose, followed by an absolutely awesome reception – I’m pretty sure their families danced the entire night as soon as the music started.
Anyway, I have hundreds of photos below for all of you to check out. Whether you missed the event or just want to relive it, I hope you guys enjoy this recap of Maria and Tri’s wedding.

And, like usual, I’ve saved a lot more comments for the captions below..

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Riker Wedding – Marina Del Rey, Calif.

The Riker Wedding this past weekend was only my third wedding that was local here in SoCal – and it was awesome.

Joel and Jenny got married on Saturday on a yacht in Marina Del Rey. And surprisingly there were no “I’m on a boat!” jokes – at least none that I heard.
So I met Joel 12 years ago. We also both worked at DisneyWorld (like Ryan who’s wedding I shot last week). And even though Ryan, Joel and me all worked at the same place, Joel and I were in different social circles. He told me last summer he always thought I was quiet. I’m actually far from quiet, but Joel was in a supervisor/coordinator role when I worked there. So.. that’s my reason for never really talking to him. HE was the quiet one doing manager-ish stuff back at Base at the water park we worked at. So we never really got to know each other.

Last summer at some point I was referred to him by our mutual friend Theresa. Theresa was a lifeguard, too, and even though I was a guest at her wedding years ago I took some photos for her while in Washington for her and Scott.

So somewhere along the line in planning Theresa referred me to Jenny and Joel, I met them very briefly last summer, and they later got in touch with me about shooting their wedding.

And here we are now.
The new Mr. and Mrs. Riker are married, and I have 450 images of the whole celebration to share with you!

Click past the break for a ton of images of Jenny and Joel’s weekend. I saved more comments for the captions as usual. So I hope you have some time to kill, because there are a lot of fun moments to enjoy below!

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Bedford Wedding – Livermore, Calif.

Last weekend was Ryan and Lisette’s wedding reception here in California.
So although the two of them had actually flown to Hawaii for a destination wedding, they waited til they were back on the mainland to celebrate with a reception for the rest of their family and friends.
Unfortunately I was busy at a triathlon the weekend of their ceremony on Maui – they had actually reached out to see about me coming with them to shoot the wedding day, too. And honestly that would have been a lot of fun and I’m bummed that I missed it. However I was still able to be a part of their reception and photograph that, as well as meet their friends and family.

Ryan and I go way back. We met twelve years ago, in college, while we were working at DisneyWorld as lifeguards. So I have a ton of great memories with Ryan and he’s remained part of our core group of friends that still keeps in touch and gets together occasionally for reunion trips.
I met Lisette a couple years ago during our 10-year reunion trip. Ryan brought her along to introduce her to this “last” group of friends of his that she hadn’t met. I remember talking to Ryan and he told me something along the lines of: “This is it.. If she can put up with me around you guys then I’m going to ask her to marry me.” For those who don’t know, our old lifeguard group is still pretty close. And when we get to together it’s a lot of laughing, joking, giving each other a ton of crap, and all around just having fun. But whereas some people might not like getting thrown into a group of old friends like that, Lisette seemed to have a great time with everyone that week. And a few months later (if I recall correctly) I was hearing more about proposal plans from Ryan when we caught up briefly.

Their wedding reception was held in Livermore, on the edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up in the South Bay Area, so it was simply a matter of going home to visit around the time of Ryan and Lisette’s reception.

I’m going to save some other comments for the captions, as I usually do in my blog write ups.

But first, let’s go for a brief stroll down memory lane with Bedford all the way back to our Disney College Program days, yes? Yes.

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The Rettke Wedding – Portland, OR.

Just over two weeks ago I was in Portland, Oregon, for a couple days for the Rettke wedding.
Rhett and Kendra are the brother, and sister-in-law of my brother-in-law… you guys follow? My sister is married to Matt, Rhett’s brother. So when Rhett and Kendra started planning their wedding they reached out to me to see about my availability for their wedding.

It was a beautiful weekend up in Portland – although we managed to be there during a brief heatwave and some very warm weather for the late-summer timeframe. But it made for an absolutely beautiful evening with guests being able to enjoy warm weather long into the night during the outdoor ceremony and reception.
That weekend was also a very busy weekend for me, too. Which is why there has been a delay on my typically quick updates after shooting a wedding. You see, the next morning my sister, mother, step-dad, and father all had to fly back to California and drive out to Santa Cruz for a relay triathlon I was going to be doing with my Mom and Sister two days after the ceremony. And then my step-dad and I left from that triathlon and drove back to Lake Tahoe where we had been living and training for the Lake Tahoe Ironman for several weeks.
So even though I was in the middle of my own training, it was a really fun break to see extended family and be able to do something like this for Rhett and Kendra.

I’ve made a large selection of photos and edits to share with you all below. I’ll save more comments for the captions, so, click past the break for just over 300 images from Rhett and Kendra’s wedding weekend!

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Dale Dwelle & Brooks Andrews’ Atlanta wedding

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Dale and Brooks… gettin’ married and making history at the same time!

Last weekend I had the absolute pleasure of shooting Dale and Brooks’ wedding in Atlanta, Georgia at the Swan House and Historical Center – which was the first gay wedding ceremony at that venue we found out! How cool is that! Not only did these two amazing men have an absolutely gorgeous ceremony and wedding day, but they also got to do something no one has done there before! Awesome.

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with my relationship to Dale over the years I’ll break it all down for you guys..
I’m willing to bet many of the friends and family members of Dale (and Brooks) have seen my photos over the years, even if you didn’t know it at the time. Dale is basically my wedding BFF. And I’m thinking that should be a thing. Yep. That’s it. It’s now a thing. #weddingBFF. Dale and I have been at SEVEN weddings together (eight if you include his!). But I’ve actually known Dale 17 years? 18 years? We went to school together. And while admittedly, he was much closer friends with my sister (who was in the same grade level, one behind me) he was always a great guy to catch up with when our busy lives and paths crossed over the years.

It was obviously later on that I met Brooks. And it was actually, appropriately, that I met Brooks at a wedding. My sisters.

As Brooks and Dale got closer to the point of planning their own wedding they reached out to me about being a part of it. I was thrilled! Not only had I got to know both of them better over the years at all the weddings we attended together, but I had also photographed Dale’s sister Denay’s wedding. When Denay and Omar were planning their wedding Dale reached out to be so he could recommend me to Denay. So by the time of the Dwelle-Andrews wedding I already had met and got to know a lot of the Dwelle side of the family!

And as a photographer it is very special to be a part of multiple family events.

After Brooks and Dale had locked down dates, a location, and several other details about their weekend they got in touch with me again. Dale explained to me that as part of a destination-style wedding (at least one that required travel for many of the guests) they were going to host multiple events and mini-parties of sorts for their guests. I was asked if it would be possible to capture photos during these events, too.

So, as any of you who have seen one of my wedding blogs knows.. I’m going to save the rest of my comments for the captions.

And as we all heard during the speeches at the rehearsal dinner, there are so many great things that can be said about these two. I’m particularly lucky because I get to share my thoughts and memories through this blog – and most appropriately, though photos.

That being said..

You ready to break that scroll-wheel on your mouse and check out just over 850 images from Brooks and Dale’s amazing, and beautiful, wedding weekend and celebration in Atlanta?! As well as a brief stroll down memory lane with the past weddings we’ve been at together?

I hope so.

Go pour yourself a cup of…whatever you want to drink.. maybe one of those Dark & Stormy’s everyone was drinking at the wedding. Grab a snack. And get ready to re-live the Dwelle-Andrews wedding weekend!
And those of you who couldn’t make it.. I hope this helps you feel like you were still part of it all. I know I certainly missed some of you who couldn’t be there.

 

Read on!

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The Price Wedding, San Jose

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Last week I returned from San Jose where I photographed Drew and Jana’s lovely afternoon wedding at Freedom Hall and Gardens.
Many of you probably already know that Drew and I went to high school together – quite a few years ago now, but we’ll not talk about that. haha! Like most of our generation we stayed in touch loosely online over the years between school, moving around (mostly me in that case), and other various things in life.
Last year when Drew decided he was going to propose to his girlfriend Jana, he reached out to me beforehand.

You guys might remember when I shared with everyone the engagement photos of Drew and Jana. Drew’s plan of a surprise proposal worked incredibly well. He talked to Jana and explained that he was going to have me come do some “couples photos” of the two of them so they had some nice photos of themselves. She liked the idea and no reason to suspect a thing.

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But when Drew signaled to me that this photo was going to be the proposal, and stepped back and got down on one knee, Jana was so surprised she took a step or two back in shock when she realized what he was doing.
It was really sweet.

But anyway, you guys are supposed to already know all that… cuz now they’re married and I’m posting about their wedding day!

My weekend at the Smoot-Price wedding started with the rehearsal at Freedom Hall and Gardens. I have shot several other weddings here (one of only two places I’ve photographed more than once). So I know how they do everything and have an idea of how lighting/etc will work – which makes things quicker and easier for me.
Rehearsal was a breeze as everyone walked through the order of events for the wedding day and we all caught up on life between rehearsing and then later at dinner.

The wedding day started as normal for me – hanging out with all the girls as they started their hair and makeup. Drew later told me he was surprised when I texted him that morning for the girl’s contact info when he realized how early I was heading to the hotel.
The morning was hilarious as all the girls spent the majority of the time talking about stories and laughing. I’m going to save a lot of comments for the photos below, as usual, too.
That evening’s wedding ceremony was beautiful. The day started out a bit cold and windy compared to the hotter weather just two days before. At one point we were a little concerned that we’d all be out in the cold for the ceremony. Fortunately we were wrong.

Anyway, click past the break for just over 350 photos from Drew and Jana’s wedding rehearsal and wedding day!
I’ll talk a bit more about the day in the captions.

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Tara and Gary’s San Francisco Wedding

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I recently returned from the San Francisco Bay Area where I was shooting Tara and Gary’s wedding at City Hall! Tara and Gary had a 20’s style theme to their wedding weekend and reception, which was a lot of fun. They kept their dress/tux combo more toward the modern side as you see above, but the rest of the wedding party and guests were all dressed and encouraged to keep their styles closer to what you’d expect in the Great Gatsby or similar. My favorite part were all the youngest kids/cousins/etc running around in their outfits!

For those who don’t know, I met Tara about four years ago at Tom and Roxanne’s wedding in Monterey for Roxanne’s beach wedding. Tara and Roxanne are childhood friends and Tara was one of the many bridesmaids running around that weekend.

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Roxanne and Tara during Roxanne & Tom’s wedding reception 4 years ago.

Tara and I have stayed in touch on Facebook over the last couple years and now mostly comment back and forth about triathlons and training – I’m bugging her to do the Tahoe Half Ironman next year when I go to do the full. Roxanne, sign up for the Half Iron and go too! haha!

Well, when Tara started planning her wedding a while back she reached out to me about shooting for her and Gary as I had done years ago for Roxanne. Dates were selected, details worked out, and after many more months the wedding date rolled around.
The rehearsal and wedding were both in Downtown San Francisco – an area I don’t usually get a chance to shoot. The rehearsal evening was pretty quick and was at the hotel everyone was staying at. The ceremony the next day though was at City Hall – which is gorgeous. I thought it was going to be a bigger hassle dealing with camera gear/etc, but it was surprisingly easy. After the ceremony we went down to the water for a few photos before heading to the Athletic Club for the reception where we were be all night with the rest of the guests.

As usual I’ll leave the rest for captions. So click past the break for just nearly 300 images from Tara and Gary’s wedding weekend!


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The Mykytyn Wedding – Mill Valley, Calif.

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of shooting my friend Ewa’s wedding – an event in her life that, at one point, she would joke with me she never wanted to happen.
But it turns out she was wrong, and not only was it a great day, but she looked absolutely incredible.
I’ve known Ewa for 4 1/2 years now. We met at Amy and Michael’s wedding – she was one of the bridesmaids. Over the years we stayed in touch online and would catch up on life over coffee when I was in the Bay Area. The funny part of the whole thing is that when we met, Ewa was working in a divorce lawyers office. So her and I saw the complete opposite sides of marriage. I got to be part of the best day in a marriage, and she was constantly witnessing the ugly endings of them. So, needless to say, her opinion was (usually) “Nope. Never going to deal with THAT!”

Until she met Thomas.

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