May 27, 2008

Elizabeth + Dave: Wedding in Wine Country’s Calistoga Ranch

Wedding

I am still experimenting on my blog with different image treatments and this was the perfect event to test them out – let me know what you think!

A week or so ago, I shot Elizabeth and Dave’s beautiful wedding with Lisa Leigh Photography up in wine country.

We started at this great little house they had rented out right around the corner from St. Helena Catholic Church. This place must have come straight from the pages of Country Living because it was just adorable.

There were so many pictures I loved from this wedding, so I’ve tried to keep it as brief as possible but really, the dresses, the venue, the bride, the cake… Everything was beautiful!

Here is Elizabeth in the getting ready stages. All of the delicate details were just perfect and she had the most beautiful skin and great big, bright eyes. Despite the spectacular event, Elizabeth is no prima donna. She was incredibly down to earth and very laid back.

The bridesmaids wore pink with fuchsia and pink tones in their flowers while Elizabeth’s bouquet was all whites and creams with gardenias making it smell just heavenly. Her dress is Reem Acra’s aptly titled “Beautiful”. It was a stunning flowy empire-waisted sheath dress with delicate beading and stitching all over.

St. Helena Catholic Church seemed just the right size. And it had a balcony, which I always love when shooting weddings. It best part was the priest who presided over the ceremony. There was a last minute switch and the couple had a Jamaican priest doing his fourth wedding. His accent was great and made the whole affair very light and fun.

After the ceremony, the bridal party went back to the house to relax until the reception. Elizabeth had a second dress since the delivery of the first kept being pushed back close to the wedding date. This dress was a fun Oscar de la Renta with floral embroidery that was mimicked on their wedding cake.

We arrived at the stunning Calistoga Ranch resort. While the reception area was being prepared, the guests had a cocktail hour on the grass next to the private lake. We took pictures of Elizabeth and Dave on the grounds and in their suite which featured a very cool outdoor shower that they wanted to feature in their photos.

The reception was held in the resort’s wine cave and it looked extraordinary.

I snuck a few shots of the couple before they made their grand entrance to go right into their first dance. Being the low key couple that they are, they shoes their first song that day, the very classy “At Last” by Etta James.

I must say that my absolute favorite pictures came from the vineyard, which we wrangled our way into right after sunset.

And my favorite picture of the entire day…

Thanks, Elizabeth and Dave. Your wedding day was beautiful and I feel so fortunate to have met both of you. Congratulations!

Oh, yeah when you smile, you smile
Oh, and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
For you are mine
At last

Etta James, At Last

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