April 19, 2008

Karen + Tom: Wedding at San Jose’s The Ranch Golf Course

Wedding

I want to tell you about the wedding I shot the other weekend with the talented Julie of Julie Cheshire Photography. Or rather, I want to tell you about the couple: Karen & Tom.

Karen and Tom were fabulous. I really enjoyed being a part of their wedding day. Throughout the day we pieced together the long and tangled relationship between these two lovebirds. They met each other when they were in their teens while working at Round Table Pizza. They were in love and dated for a while but eventually Karen left to go to college in Boston. Fast forward about fifteen or so years, Karen comes back to town! They meet up again at a friend’s house, sparks fly (again), and get married not long after.

Julie and I started the day at the Church of the Resurrection in Sunnyvale. If we can, we like to scope out the area before the wedding to get a feel of what we’ll be working with. The doors were locked but we were really impressed with what we saw. There were some great places around the church for photographing some of the formals and the church had some beautiful stained glass windows.

** Just an FYI: I’m trying out some different techniques in my post-processing. Be on the look out for more “altered” pics. Don’t be afraid: the images I shoot at weddings are initially more “normal”.

We met at Karen’s parent’s place while she was getting ready. Unfortunately she was so eager to get the day going that she already had her dress on by the time we got there. It was a beautiful dress with some elegant beadwork and gems on the side. We met her sister and parents there and got a sneak peek at the inside of the church through her sister’s wedding that took place there about twenty years ago (puffy-sleeved, magenta bridesmaids dresses and all!). We got some shots of her family and some of the red rose bouquets that she had made herself.

The inside of the Catholic church was just as nice as we thought it would be. It had a great dome ceiling with light coming from the top and fabulously colorful stained glass windows all around and right behind the alter. We especially loved the balcony (it’s always a huge treat to shoot some place with a balcony so you get an extra special view of all the action). We met Tom who immediately showed himself to be quite the clown and we knew it was going to be a good day.

We followed the limo to the reception at the stunning The Ranch Golf Course in San Jose. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this place was like an Italian villa and had a tremendous view of the city below. It had great archways and stairs and columns and a balcony and.. and… and…

And that is just the outside. The inside was equally nice. It wasn’t your typically boring reception hall. It had a unique set up with a fireplace, comfy chairs and windows all around. It felt open and comfortable while still being really classy. They even had a candy bar stocked with Karen and Tom’s favorite treats (Swedish fish, chocolate covered raisins, Twizzlers, jelly beans, Whoppers, and M&Ms.)

The evening went off without a hitch. The cute couple saw only each other during their first song together, I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher. You’ll note that the plasma tv screens were playing the Led Zeppelin DVD all night long. The rest of the wedding party got on the dance floor and the band, the Cocktail Monkeys, kept it hopping all night long.

They cut the cake and happily mingled all night long except for the times when Julie and I would pull them away for the great photo ops that showed up everywhere. Did I mention the view?

Karen’s sister called the couple to the dance floor for a surprise song dedication, A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson. She said she had heard it a few weeks prior and started crying, thinking that it was just perfect for them. A few minutes in, the family circled around them and, all together, took out their lighters as if at a concert. When Karen and Tom noticed they broke down, hysterically laughing.

It was a great day and a fabulous couple. Tom and Karen, I wish you nothing but the best!

I got you to hold my hand
I got you to understand
I got you to walk with me
I got you to talk with me
I got you to kiss goodnight
I got you to hold me tight
I got you, I won’t let go
I got you to love me so

I got you babe

Sonny & Cher, I Got You Babe

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