October 21, 2007

Oralia + Zack : Wedding at Crow Canyon Country Club

Wedding

I had forgotten how different Catholic weddings are! The other week I shot the wedding of Oralia and Zack with the wonderful Julie Cheshire of Julie Cheshire Photography. This wedding was sooo different from the last one I shot with Julie out in Woodside, CA. Whereas Dan and Jessica had a very short ceremony led by their brother in a very casual and natural setting, Zack and Oralia held their wedding at the beautiful St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Pleasanton, Ca.

Outside the church there’s a huge, artistic statue of a woman gathering in four little children and there are fountains all around it. It’s really quite beautiful. The inside of the church is nice and open. Instead of pews being directly facing the altar, they were turned 90 degrees and it felt more like a welcoming and community atmosphere. There were great stained glass windows all around and incredibly tall ceilings with skylights, which just added to the open feel. Oralia’s six maids wore stunning bright red dresses and the flower girls were in white with red sashes.

The reception was held at Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville, CA. Julie and I had actually shot a wedding there a few months earlier so we were fairly familiar with its fabulous view of the golf course and Mt. Diablo.

After the guests were seated, the wedding party made their entrance with Oralia and Zack finishing with a dip and a kiss. The toasts followed and were quite funny. We learned that Zack lived with Oralia’s brother in college and introduced the two. The best moment was when her brother was describing his very first encounter with Zack and it was as he drove his truck up to their dorm with Shania Twain blasting on the stereo. There were some sweet moments too and I caught Zack’s mother letting out a few tears.

They group gathered near the dance floor and watched as Zack and Oralia had their first dance together as husband and wife. If was very sweet – the flower girls can be seen dancing in the corner of the dancefloor too. Zack danced with his mother and since Oralia’s father had passed away, her oldest brother came out to dance with her. This was no slow dance though, DJ Hector started up some fast Spanish music and they both really got the party started. (On a side note, I highly recommend the DJ – Hector Duron – he worked the crowd perfectly with great timing and none of the cheese that you see so often with wedding DJs. As an added perk, he also speaks Spanish.)

This was such a great group. They were just so real, friendly, and fun. Oralia must know her brother fairly well. As she was gearing up for the bouquet toss, she faked him out as he went bounding across the floor for an interception. Zack was hilarious as well. After climbing up Oralia’s dress for the garter, he jerked backward as if he were having trouble with the garter and came tumbling out with a pair of big, lacy, granny panties. And when it came time for the cake cutting… well, I’m sure you can guess how that went…

The rest of the night was filled with dancing. There were so many fun pictures from the event. There was a money dance (and I think the lowest donation was a quarter), a conga line led by Oralia, a fabulous song that got everyone stomping their feet, and DJ Hector even brought out some glow necklaces that had the guests twirling them above their heads. Even the kids were having a blast on the dance floor.

Oralia and Zack were simply a genuinely nice couple and I wish them nothing but the best. Congrats!

You’re the reason I believe in love
And you’re the answer to my prayers from up above
All we need is just the two of us
My dreams came true because of you
– Shania Twain “From This Moment On”

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