Camp Navarro Wedding Mendocino – Johanna & Phil

The beauty of Johanna & Phil’s wedding at Camp Navarro in Mendocino, California was overwhelming. There were meaningful flourishes sewn into every aspect of the weekend. So I’m going to split this wedding up into two posts. It’s just entirely too epic for one! 

The delights started before I arrived at Camp Navarro. As we descended on Mendocino County from far flung burgs, wedding guests were treated to a downloadable wedding podcast hosted by the bride and groom. There was an interview with the flower girl, an analysis of the distinction between genres of brokenbeat music, interviews with the parents, and advertisements for camp-style activities all set to the theme music from This American Life, Serial, et al. I laughed and laughed as I drove north.

Camp Navarro is nestled in a remote redwood forest, a few hours North of San Francisco. When you arrive, the smell, the light, and the feeling of the air in your lungs makes the rest of the workaday world fall away.

I started with Johanna and her bridesmaids, where I was treated to a sneak peek of her fabulous dress: a marigold to white ombre theme by Leanne Marshall. Once she had slipped the dress on, she looked as if she had walked out of a Helen Frankenthaler painting.

Sitting on the table in the getting ready cabin was a printout of Johanna & Phil’s initial text exchanges. At the center of these exchanges was their connection around Johanna’s expertise as a midwife and Phil’s desire to be a Birth DJ. As the romance unfolded through these messages, it became clear how funny each of them were, and how well matched to each other.

One of my favorite frames from the day came as we were readying to head over to the first look. The ring bearer hopped on the back of a bicycle and was pedaled across camp.

After the first look, they had a ketubah signing before heading over to chuppah. One of Johanna’s friends did all of the florals. I particularly loved the sunflowers on the chuppah that matched Johanna’s dress.

The officiant, a close friend of the couple, wore an exuberant rainbow shawl that tied together the colorful bridesmaids dresses.

During the ceremony, when the officiant asked the assembled guests if there were any objections to the marriage, a planted objector jumped up and spoke about some of the limits of marriage as we now, and have historically, practiced the convention. Johanna and Phil both addressed their vows to the objector, and to each other. This emotional ritual allowed Johanna and Phil to acknowledge the flaws of the institution of marriage, while defending their own decision to express their love through marriage.

And this was only the beginning… the party also had myriad fabulous chapters…

Click here for part 2

Click here for part 2

Venue : Camp Navarro
Photographer : Paul Gargagliano – Hazelphoto
Wedding dress : Leanne Marshall
Suit : Knot Standard
Florist : Morgan Johnson
Wedding planner : Sonya Houston – Mendocino Wedding
Hair and makeup : Jordyn Condit- Mendo Bridal Beauty
DJ and/or band : Ashleyanne
Cake : Shani’s Sweet Creations
Catering : Camp Navarro
Invitations: Minted
Officiant : Ilyse Magy


Berkeley Hills Engagement Photos

E and B were willing to meet me early in the morning at Wildcat Canyon for a hike and engagement photo session. I think of this as the Berkeley Hills, even though it’s a teensy bit North of Berkeley. This set is a sunrise engagement session! My absolute favorite. We met early in the morning, and used the delicious soft light coming through the grass, rolling over the hills, emanating from the city below, for our glory. While sunset engagement sessions are also lovely and ubiquitous, they generally involve lots of other people in the scene to avoid. We had a particularly quiet morning, and for much of our hike, there was nobody else in eyesight. The part of the hike up on the ridge line next to the forest was special, lush and new. It was January here in the Bay Area, the rainy season, but we got lucky and had a clear, sunny morning. The rain brought out the green grass and the mushrooms. 


The Hideout at Kirkwood Wedding – Lake Tahoe, California

The Hideout at Kirkwood Wedding – Lake Tahoe, California – Allie & Dave

Allie and Dave held their wedding at The Hideout at Kirkwood near Lake Tahoe up in the Sierra Mountains. It was a very bright and sunny day, and it cooled down pleasantly when the sun went down. The approach to the Hideout is majestic, miles down a winding dirt road, a clearing opens with a lake and a lodge in the distance. This place feels both tucked away and expansive. Don’t miss the night photos that show the natural beauty of the setting.
Allie and Dave have particularly complimentary personalities. There was this one moment where, as part of his vows, Dave painted a picture of the moment he was given entry to Allie’s relaxed side. All the sudden he broke into a lively dance. Allie’s wedding dress was adorned with the most gorgeous intricate beadwork. She wore her hair in wrapped loose braids, which complimented the dress perfectly. Allie’s mother and sister were exceptionally sweet as they helped her into her dress.
All of the vendors Allie and Dave brought in were lovely, and worked together well. This totally makes sense, because Allie and Dave are genuine, warm people. I was particularly appreciative of Shannon of J Jasper Events who helped us to make time for a couple sunset photos, which are some of my favorite from the day.

 

Venue : The Hideout at Kirkwood
Wedding attire : Dress: Anna Campbell Suit: J. Crew
Florist : Kathy’s Wedding Flowers
Wedding planner : Shannon Boling of J Jasper Events
Hair : Salon Be (Tahoe)
Makeup : Salon Be (Tahoe)
DJ : Quantum Party Productions
Catering : Mother Lode Market & Deli
Invitations : Minted


A Wedding in the Forest – Gideon and Lina

A Wedding in the Forest – Gideon & Lina

Gideon and Lina’s wedding ceremony was nestled into a forest, with live trees bent into a glorious arch as the altar. I’m not sure I’ll ever top that. We used the opportunity to make couples portraits in the forest. The guests’ outfits ran the gamut from the traditional Norwegian dress of Lina’s family, to Gideon’s open collared shirt and brown wool suit. The two children stealing the show in every other image belonged to Gideon and Lina and, were part of the wedding party, and gave me life all day long. Guests used a rowboat to head back to the reception from the ceremony site. There were assorted berry pies, red canoes, croquet, oh, and the dancing, stick around for that…