Category archives: Wedding

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
Nestledown

Southern California Wedding Locations

The Ruin Venue
Hammersky Vineyards
SmogShoppe
Millwick
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

ALASKA

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.

LOUISIANA 

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.

COLORADO

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.

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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

Upon my first skype meeting with Julie and Frank, I crossed my fingers as I hit the sign off button that they would book me. We connected on our love for animals, how much we all loved to laugh and weren’t afraid to put all the feelings out there, and how much they loved the work that I created. I knew that we understood each other and we would have an instant click when meeting,  If I had any doubt they were my kind of people in the digital chat, when they started showing me all their pets which ranged from dogs to cats to a guinea pig, I instantly lost those doubts.

These two had been together for 8 years before they tied the knot. A friend’s party brought them together, and the rest just fell into place perfectly for them. I could see while documenting their day at Domenico Winery that the love wasn’t just between them, but that their families and friends truly loved them as a couple.  Not only were Julie and Frank clapping and crying in excitement to finally become man and wife, but their family and friends were rooting them on as well.

Shane's company jewelry at a wedding by Heather Elizabeth PhotographySophia Tolli wedding dress hanging up before a wedding in San Martin, Californiacandid artistic image of a bride laughing while she gets read for her wedding day in San Martin California by Heather Elizabeth Photography Photo journalistic wedding photo of a groom reading a letter from his bride to be before his wedding in Burlingame by Heather Elizabeth PhotographyPhoto journalistic wedding photo of a groom reading a letter from his bride to be before his wedding in Burlingame by Heather Elizabeth PhotographyA bride in a Sophia Tolli dress preparing for her wedding in the Bay Area, California by Heather Elizabeth PhotographyBride in a Sophia Tolli walking to her first look moment with her groom in Burlingame, California by Heather Elizabeth PhotographyBride tapping her groom on the shoulder during their first look moment in Burlingame California by Heather Elizabeth Photographyphoto journalistic fine art portrait of a bride and groom on their wedding day in Burlingame, California by Heather Elizabeth Photography

Venue : Domenico Winery
Dj: DJ Ray Cartwright
Rings : The Shane Co.
Wedding dress : Sophia Tolli
Wedding make-up and hair : JMichelle Beauty

Talk about a Super bride. When I arrived to Jenessa’s room at the Fairmont Claremont in Berkley, I was convinced that she had a wedding designer putting together this wedding. The flowers, the Maggie Sottero dress, the incredible cathedral style veil. I was further convinced when I saw the beautiful set up at their wedding venue,  The Terrace Room overlooking Lake Merritt in Oakland.  Turns out though, Jenessa is a talented, creative force. She created all of these beautiful details herself. When I complimented the designs I remember how excited she was that I thought a professional wedding designer put it together.

She is so talented that she even made her own wedding cake! Not only was the cake grand, but it was deeply personal with sweet details. All the little details on the cake represented things that the couple loved. How creative is that?

Aside from the stunning visual aspects of the day, Jenessa and Nathaniel share a love together that was inspiring to document. Their excitement to see each other before the first look. The excitement on their faces as their said their vows to each other while the lights of Lake Merritt glowed behind them. For me it was such an experience to create art out of a couple that was truly artistic themselves.

On this chilly day, these two shared their story with me, and now I am sharing it with you.

This year has been a hard one. Forget politics, but since 2016 began I have struggled. I was in an accident that caused damage to my face which I am still recovering from. Right after this very wedding all of my gear that I had been shooting on since the start of this business was stolen. My life has had illness, lost pets, lost my grandmother to cancer. I’ve battled demons, people who I thought were my friends, and the sadness from losing someone I love.

But you know what… my clients rock. My weddings rock. They lit my heart up in a way that nothing else could this year. Getting to document their stories and to receive such kindness from them all. They helped me create the art that I love while getting paid for it. They helped me really live out the American dream. They kept me going knowing that I was so damn blessed to have them and my work in my life.

Janice and Aaron are two of those people. Their simple wedding at the Dog Patch Wine Works of San Francisco was filled with just what I needed this year. Love, hugs, fun, and stories. The usually overcast and cold city lit up with the sunshine dancing through the clouds.  Through the whole booking process these two really clicked with me, and while we didn’t have an engagement session the day that I was photographing their wedding I felt like I was celebrating the wedding of two old friends.

Thank you, Janice and Aaron – for being two lights in my life during this truly trying year.

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