June 10, 2008

Karen + Mark: Wedding in Palo Alto’s Garden Court Hotel

Wedding

I went down to Palo Alto with the talented Julie of Julie Cheshire Photography the other week to photograph the wedding of Karen & Mark at the Garden Court Hotel. I absolutely loved the location. It had elements of a Spanish villa and felt so self-contained, as if it could have been in the middle of nowhere.

Karen herself was the picture of elegance. She just exuded it. Very simple makeup, very little jewelry, and a very classy and sleek hairdo. When going through the pictures I couldn’t help but feel that they should be in black and white since she had that feeling about her. Her dress was a very lovely and simple strapless Maggie Sottero gown with a small train.

The raw silk bridesmaid’s gowns were hand made by a family friend.

And she wore a fabulous cathedral length veil. Now, I can’t say that I’m a proponent of the tradition behind veils but as a photographer, if I had it my way, every bride would wear one. They are such a great thing to photograph and I love how they turn out in pictures.

The ceremony was in a room with huge semi-circle windows on two sides, letting in tons of natural light. They had a friend officiate it and incorporated elements from both Philipino and British cultures.

My favorite part of the Garden Court Hotel was its back patio with fountain and trees and Spanish style yellow walls surrounding the place.

Julie went to one of the upper floors to photograph the entire wedding group. I stayed below with the guests to get the fun shot from the ground.

The beautiful couple walked into the reception to some hilarious toasts and delicious dinner.

Julie managed to get Karen and Mark to come outside just after sunset for some pictures in the empty courtyard. It looked so great with the little yellow lights everywhere and the open sky. It was so romantic.

Their first dance was to Frank Sinatra’s The Best is Yet to Come. So classy!

For me, one of the best parts about the day was seeing Linda and Neil again! Julie and I shot Linda and Neil’s wedding last summer and it was so much fun to catch back up with them. They are still as cute as ever and were oblivious to everyone around them as they danced together. I was just beaming.

There were strict orders to avoid cheesy songs and hip hop and Hector got the party jumping to some great rock and classic oldies.

We learned that Mark had once taken breakdancing lessons but we didn’t get to see any of that action from him. There were some guests who strutted their stuff, especially when Michael Jackson came on. I was pretty impressed!

They had a garter and bouquet toss and Karen’s facial expressions when Mark was getting the garter were just priceless. She looked like she was getting into some really cold water. Too funny.

It was a great wedding and I was so happy to be a part of it. Best of luck, Karen & Mark! Maybe we’ll see more from you guys in the near future at another wedding!

The best is yet to come, and wont that be fine
The best is yet to come, come the day that you’re mine
Frank Sinatra, The Best is Yet to Come

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