Category archives: Wedding

I have a confession. I am a total nerd.

Star Wars. Harry Potter. Game of Thrones. X-men. You name it, and I nerd snort over it. In fact I have spent a lot of my day today watercoloring a portrait of Harley Quinn from Batman fame. While listening to video game soundtracks. Yeah, I am pretty far down the nerdy rabbit hole.

Which is probably why I got along so well with Tyler and Queena. I am sure you remember them from their epic sunset engagement in Livermore, right?

Their love story is one of the most memorable I had ever heard in my 7 years of photographing weddings. Apparently, Queena first spotted Tyler while he was wearing a bright neon green Teenage Ninja turtles hoodie. It was clearly love at first sight and she had no choice but to make that handsome fella her husband.  Ninja Turtles are clearly more awesome than for enlightening my childhood with great memories (GO MICHELANGELO!)

There was no discussion of a theme before the big day, but I wasn’t surprised at all when I showed up and it was a Harry Potter themed magical wedding. All the small details they put into making it a classy, elegant fairytale wedding under the trees of Saratoga Springs showed how much excitement they had to incorporate the beloved books into their day. And the moment that really hit me that they were my kindred nerd folk? When I was enjoying the delicious food during dinner and suddenly heard “The Rains of Castamere” playing. Are these two seriously that awesome that they would 1) play THAT song during a wedding reception and 2) be that big of Game of Thrones fans that they would have any songs from the soundtrack on? 

The answer to both of those questions is YES and YES. They did have the sense of humor to play that song. And if you don’t watch Game of Thrones, trust me on this one – it’s a pretty hilarious song choice.

artistic san francisco wedding photographersaratoga springs wedding photos saratoga springs wedding pics brenizer method wedding photo by heather elizabeth photographysaratoga springs wedding pics saratoga springs wedding photos saratoga springs wedding by heather elizabeth photography romantic saratoga springs wedding pics epic wedding locations outdoor wedding venues saratoga california by heather elizabeth photography mystical fairytale wedding in saratoga by heather elizabeth photography saratoga wedding venues saratoga springs wedding pics redwood wedding venues california wedding photojournalism by heather elizabeth photography

We sat there at that little cafe.  I hadn’t seen Nicole’s face in years due to adulthood pulling us in different directions. But upon greeting her with a hug, it was like no time had passed.


I’ve known Nicole since we were both in the 5th grade. The 5th grade. Can you believe it? And now here we were hitting our 30’s sitting at a cafe catching up. Delicious food, great company. Nights like this need to happen more often. Too often in life do we let the beautiful chaos of the world accidentally pull us apart. Luckily all of the stars aligned for us to be sitting there at that table together.

I remember it like it was yesterday. We were all on a trip with our 5th grade class to Sacramento. Nicole, our friend Stefanie and myself were in a group and Nicole’s father was our chaperone. We were all so excited when he treated us all to an Old Western photo session. You know those little boutique photo studios that let kids pose with 6-shooter pistols? Well there we were. All dressed up and mean mugging for the camera together. Nicole’s father ended up spending a small fortune on prints for all of us.

One day you are on a field trip to Sacramento together, the next your friend is sitting across the table from you happy and engaged. I still have that old Western photo of our little 5th grade faces and pistols on the wall. The world had brought us all on such different paths. Through everything, we always remained connected. In my heart I know Nicole and I will always have that connection. No matter where our adult, crazy lives take us. When we sit at a table to catch up – nothing changes. Just new exciting stories come spilling out of our mouths to each other in excitement.

When Nicole asked me to be her wedding photographer, my heart dropped a little. This was my friend since the 5th grade. I felt this immense pressure to create some of my best work for her. This is a person that through the years while others came and went, I knew I could always find her. One of the best humans I had ever met in my life was asking me to document her marriage to the love of her life.  How do you create images good enough?

John Wayne said “Courage is being scared the death – but saddling up anyway”. So That’s what I did.

With excitement I told her that I would do it. But she had to tip me with some of her amazing custom Mickey Mouse Ears. Preferably, featuring BB-8.  Also that we both better be wearing matching Ariat boots. She obliged. Helps she was already planning on making me ears as well as wearing her own Ariat boots!

There was already excitement for the photographs I could take when Nicole told me that Mark and her would be getting married at the incredible Barn SZ Ranch. I am a fan of dirt roads, animals, and real barns. So the ranch was one of my dream locations.  After a relaxing drive I remember driving down that main dirt road and being amazed at the views. This was the perfect place for my friend to get married. The scene was set, my inspiration booming. And my heart felt like exploding I was so excited for this day to happen to her.

I got to watch the man Nicole loves cry happy tears when he opened up her boudoir photographs and say “I just love her so much”.  I got to see my beautiful friend in her wedding gown on her big day. Memory lane was my destination as I got to see Nicole’s mother and father for the first time in I don’t even know how many years. It felt like everything had just come full circle.

Aside from the incredible wedding day where I got to see Mark and Nicole come together as man and wife, I got to see Nicole do something so wonderful. Mark’s son, Xander stood up with them during the ceremony to really solidify that this marriage not only brought this couple together, but Xander in as well. This marriage made them a family. While they had already been a family for a long time, it was that final topping on the cake of a wonderful story.

Who wants to hear how their wedding also had the best wedding favors?

Yes, that is a kitten. Yes she followed me around the whole venue. Her and her little sisters were a big part of the wedding celebration. Little barn babies won over everyone’s hearts! Nicole brought one home herself! And me? Well… I might have left with a box of kittens. Four kittens to be exact. While two of those babes were fixed, made nice and healthy and adopted out, this little girl and one sister can’t seem to leave.

All of Nicole’s wedding details were handmade. She runs her own incredible online store with crafts and wedding decor. Flower crowns, bouquets, EVERYTHING was hand made. Is this woman not superwoman?

So I hope you enjoy Nicole and Mark’s Bar SZ wedding photos as much as I loved photographing them. And I hope you enjoy kittens. Because you are about to see a lot of them.


bar sz ranch wedding sunset photos by heather elizabeth photographyMaggie Sottero gown at a Bar SZ wedding by Heather ELizabeth Photography Bar SZ wedding pics rustic country details at the Bar SZ wedding venue photos etsy DIY rustic antique wedding details at Bar SZ by Heather Elizabeth Photography Bar SZ Wedding venueDIY etsy wedding at Bar SZ ranch Maggie Sottero wedding gown pics country western wedding bridesmaidesbar sz wedding photosDIY etsy flower crowns for purchaseBar SZ wedding photosRustic country wedding photosemotional wedding photographsbar sz wedding venue photosBar sz wedding ceremony photosBar sz wedding photosbar sz wedding photos for a country wedding by heather elizabeth photographyBar sz wedding photos by heather elizabeth photographybar SZ ranch wedding picsBar SZ wedding photos by Heather Elizabeth Photographystarlight portraits slow exposure at Bar SZ ranch by heather elizabeth photography





Raichelle and Ben are total Love bugs. You probably remember their epic Big Sur engagement session where we went on a little adventure.  After photographing them on that windy day on the coast, I was so ridiculously excited for their wedding.

I am happy to say, it didn’t disappoint!

If there is one thing I took from their wedding, it is that Raichelle and Ben are so freaking loved. Loved ones from near and far came to the lovely Perry House in Carmel excited to see these two make the huge commitment to each other. Since I utterly adore these two so much, I had something in common with all of the guest; teary eyes as these two said their vows to each other.

wedding details by top wedding photographer at the perry house in carmel by heather elizabeth photographyGetting ready room at the Perry House in Carmel for a wedding by top wedding photographer Heather ElizabethPerry House wedding by Carmel photographer Heather Elizabeth PhotographyCarmel wedding venue the perry house by heather elizabeth photographystylish groom portrait in Carmel by top wedding photographer heather elizabethCarmel Valley Rustic wedding venues wedding first look pics by heather elizabeth photographybride and groom portraits in Carmel by top wedding wedding photographer Heather Elizabeth beach palette wedding bouquet for a carmel wedding by top photographer Heather Elizabeth Carmel valley wedding photos at the Perry House by Heather Elizabeth Photographythe perry house wedding pics by top photographer heather elizabethThe perry house wedding by top Carmel photographer Heather Elizabethphoto journalistic wedding photographer heather elizabeththe perry house wedding ceremony pics by heather elizabeth photographywedding ceremony site at perry house in carmel by top photographer heather elizabeth photographydocumentary wedding photography by Heather Elizabethnavy blue bridesmaids gowns in carmel by heather elizabeth photographynavy blue maxi bridesmaid dresses by heather elizabeth photographynavy blue and grey grooms colors by heather elizabeth photographylovers point wedding pics in Carmel by Heather ElizabethLover's point Carmel by top wedding photographer Heather ElizabethWedding pictures at Lover's Point by Heather ElizabethCarmel wedding photographerCarmel Valley Wedding photographerCarmel wedding photographythe perry house wedding by heather elizabethPerry house wedding receptionperry house wedding photoswedding reception party ideaswedding reception ideas

You ever just have that feeling that you found your people?  Well the day that I got to photograph Kelsey and Matt’s wedding at The Mountain Terrace in Woodside, I instantly had that feeling.

Watching all of these long time friends together at this celebration really gave me that sense that this whole group was one big happy family. Everyone joking with one another. Teasing followed with a hug. This was what a wedding was really about. People who were all there for this couple and completely stoked to see them tie the knot. Not only was it ridiculously fun documenting this, but I felt so damn close to being part of the group. I went from documenting to watching everyone take a shot for me.

A whiskey shot, of course. 😉

I pretty much adore everyone that I met this bright day in Woodside.

Blush pink and green Bridal party at the Mountain Terrace by Heather Elizabethsexy mermaid gown on a plus size bride at the Mountain Terrace by Heather Elizabeth Photography

The Bucket List

I freaking love my job. Photography has given me such amazing opportunities in life. Photographing weddings have given me the ability to see things that I never dreamt I would see as a small town girl from Castro Valley, California. However, I have been blessed enough to photograph weddings at some of the places on my travel bucket list including New York, Baltimore, Puerto Rico, Santa Barbara, St.Louis, and Washington D.C. just to name a few.

As much as I love shooting weddings in the amazing San Francisco Bay Area, traveling to new locations is refreshing for the creative spirit. We all have a bucket list for life right? Well I started a special bucket list of Unique Wedding locations that I would love to photograph weddings and elopements at! And don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that California is out of the Bucket List. I am so grateful to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are several Unique California wedding locations that are on my bucket list.

If you know me, you know that I love living like a vagabond. My job gives me the ability to never really settle down in one place. Some might see that there is a lack of security in that, but I thrive on it. So here I am putting my bucket list out into the Universe!

 If you are doing a Destination wedding or are getting married locally to you in any of these locations, you can benefit from $500 in print product credits! 

The Bucket List

Northern California Wedding Locations

Sierra Meadows Ranch
Loma Vista Gardens
Wind and Sea Estate
Carneros Inn
Wuksachi Lodge at Sequoia
Green Oaks Creek Farm
Cypress Grove Research Center

Southern California Wedding Locations

The Ruin Venue
Hammersky Vineyards
The Riverbend Farm
La Cuesta Ranch
440 Seaton

Outside of California, there are several states and countries that I am dying to photograph! Many of them for personal reasons, and wanting to visit and photograph places that held a special place in my family’s history. Others just look absolutely inspiring to my creative mind.

Wedding locations on the United States


If you are planning on getting married in Alaska, or know someone that is getting married in Alaska, let me know! This beautiful land held a special place in my grandfather’s heart. He would come home to visit after living up there in his travel trailer (he lived tiny to travel before it was cool!) and tell us such amazing stories. What really is stuck in my mind is the hundreds of photographs he came home with to show us.  To be able to travel there and photograph the amazing wilderness of Alaska would be a blessing. No matter the venue, if you are getting married in Alaska, let’s chat.


Oh the beautiful state of Louisiana. Once again this place holds a special place in my heart. Specifically, The Big Easy, New Orleans.
You see, my late Uncle Ed was from this city. Of course years ago after he met my Aunt he ended up here in Sunny California, but always had his Louisiana Charm and recipes for some damn good cooking. He talked about always wanting to move back and showed us photos of him growing up there. Unfortunately I lost my Uncle in 2010 to cancer, so he was unable to go back.  However it’s always been my dream since I saw his photographs and heard the stories to visit the city he loved so much. So if you are planning a New Orleans, Louisiana wedding, or know someone that is…. you know the drill.


I come from farmers in Colorado. My Grandfather was raised on an old farm in Durango, Colorado. I remember as a child staying for weeks at a time at my Great Grandmother’s cabin. It had a glowing star above the front door that is etched permanently into my mind forever. My family still lives up in Colorado and have family reunions there where they trade old stories of my Grandfather and others in my family tree. Colorado is where I come from, so to be able to immortalize it in some incredible photographic art would be a dream come true.  Are you planning a wedding in Colorado or know someone that is? Tell me your wedding or elopement dreams! 

There’s truly no rules in weddings. Sure the wedding blogs and magazines tell you there are certain fashions, rituals, and songs that need to take place on your big day. You can choose to go with it, or choose what feels good to you. What really represents the two of you as a couple?

Chelsea and Evan really thought about this concept when they started planning their wedding. The lovers met and fell in love swiftly.  When it came to planning their bohemian wedding day with a reggae twist at the Plainfield Station in Woodland, they decided that the best course of action was to throw the rules up in the air and plan the party that they wanted. There were chickens. There were cats. There were moody neon lights that lit up the small little gas station in the backroads of Woodland.

Thank you so much to Matthew for coming out and being my side kick on this one. You rock at chicken feeding photos.

boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding001 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding002 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding003 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding004 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding005boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding015 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding006 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding007 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding008 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding009 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding010 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding011 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding012 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding013 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding014 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding016 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding017 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding018 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding019 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding020 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding021 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding023 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding024 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding025 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding026 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding027 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding028 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding029 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding030 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding031 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding032 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding033 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding034 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding035 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding036 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding037 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding038 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding039 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding040 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding042 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding043 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding044 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding045 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding041boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding046 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding047 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding048 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding049 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding050 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding051 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding052 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding053 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding054 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding055 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding056 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding057 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding058 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding059 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding060 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding061 boho_hillbilly_country_chic_wedding_woodland_wedding062

One of the many perks of my job is meeting so many other photographers that share the same love for storytelling as myself. I was able to join up with my beautiful friend Courtney to help her out on a colorful traditional Indian wedding at the Meritage Resort in Napa.

The celebration that I got to witness thanks to her was such an experience and blessing to capture.  The delightful chaos that comes with these weddings gave me such a rush. Watching the bride and groom be carried to their ceremony, and pushing myself to get the photograph was a challenge that was so fun to overcome.  Thank you so much to Courtney for letting me share some of my favorite frames from this wedding day.

bright and colorful traditional Hindu Indian wedding ceremony at the Meritage Resort in Napa by Heather Elizabeth Photography Photo journalistic coverage of a traditional Indian wedding at the Meritage Resort in Napa by Heather Elizabeth Photography A colorful traditional Indian wedding at the Meritage Resort in Napa California by Heather Elizabeth Photography Emotional wedding photography from a traditional Indian Hindu wedding at the Meritage Resort in Napa California by Heather Elizabeth Photography Indian wedding first dance photograph at a wedding at Meritage Resort in Napa by Heather Elizabeth Photography