Julia Morgan Ballroom Wedding

Julia Morgan Ballroom wedding – Steff & Quito

(This is part 2 of 2. To begin at the beginning head here for the wedding ceremony at St. Ignatius cathedral.)

Steff & Quito’s wedding reception was held at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. The dinner & toasts portion of the evening was upstairs, in the ballroom itself. Dancing followed downstairs in the Merchants Exchange Club (a kind of basement speakeasy).

We began the reception with portraits of Steff & Quito and their wedding party in the grand lobby of the Merchants Exchange Building and the balcony that looks out over the lobby. The lobby is a lofted winter garden of sorts, with gorgeous arched skylights and illuminated busts of early San Francisco luminaries looming down from the walls. Steff & Quito were a combination of complete class and utter goofball. I see both qualities in most of the photos.

The cocktail hour was hosted in the elegant bar adjacent to the Julia Morgan Ballroom. Steff & Quito’s epic engagement photos were on display. Obviously, they were also themed: Dragon Ball Z (see the “Paperman” theme described in Part One). The two made self-portraits with Dragon Balls in The Philippines, Korea, Japan, Hawaii, Death Valley, and in the very elevator on the USF Campus where they first met.

The Paperman theme also continued at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. There were paper airplanes tucked everywhere, including in the florals on the mantles and on each dinner plate.

That night, the moon was so bright that its light joined the lights of the city through the windows of the Julia Morgan Ballroom. There’s a portrait of Steff and Quito with the moon above, making a cameo.

The father of the bride and the father of the groom worked the ballroom together, distributing cigars to wedding guests. Meanwhile, downstairs at the Merchants’ Exchange Club, “Paperman” was playing on a big screen, cocktails were being shaken, carnival masks imported from Manila were being distributed, and the DJ was beginning to lay down tracks. Of course Steff, the costume designer, was going to have an outfit change before it was time to dance. Instead of a traditional bouquet toss, Steff launched a paper airplane with a bright red kiss mark, as in the short film.

Then there was a money dance with currencies from around the world, and an impromptu conga line formed.

To see photos from the wedding ceremony at St. Ignatius click here.

Ceremony Venue : St. Ignatius Parish, San Francisco
Reception Venue : Julia Morgan Ballroom
Photographer : Hazel Photo
Florist : Wish Social Events
Bride’s dress : Steff Von Schweetz
DJ : Quan Zou Blue Edge Pro
Cake : Cafe Madeleine
Catering : Julia Morgan Ballroom
Band : Joyous Lee


2019 a year in wedding moments

2019 was a big year over here. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in June of 2017, and flying to NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia countless times to photograph weddings in 2017 & 2018, my 2019 wedding season was 95% California weddings. I feel grateful for the shift and the growth, which has allowed me to spend more time close to home running to the beach and eating breakfast tacos in the backyard with my wife on Sunday mornings.

This year I witnessed great beauty and connection up and down the coast, and I was introduced to new traditions: From redwood cathedrals dusted with rose petals in Mendocino, to dusty ranches lit up with colorful saris down in San Benito County. From Greek feasts in hidden urban gardens, to foggy hilltop wedding brunches. From pretzel dances in Silicon Valley, to rooftop ragers in Soma. From boxer dogs in tailored tuxes, to gold sequin party dresses just for dancing.

There were lots of saxophones at weddings this year. I certainly hope that trend endures. One of the saxophonists wore a cow suit. I had the distinct pleasure of listening to my first wedding podcast, including a hilarious interview with the flower girl. One couple drove into their wedding at Fort Mason on their tandem bicycle right up to the altar, another drove away from their City Hall wedding on a getaway motorcycle with a veil flying behind the bride’s helmet. I learned about 2nd lines, the Gujarati Garba Dance, Hula, and Cosplay. This was also a year of micro-weddings. Such intimate affairs. 10 souls at a gorgeous farmhouse on a Vineyard in Sonoma, 18 in a backyard in Napa, 10 on Synagogue grounds in Santa Clara County. But, there were large affairs as well in clubhouses with fantastic views of the majestic San Francisco skyline, elegant white gowns with long trains, 10-piece bands. There was a wedding newspaper, a bouquet of paper airplanes, and a custom-printed Shehecheyanu shawl draped over a pair of embracing brides just-married on a foggy Marin mountaintop.

I want to take this moment to thank every last person who invited me in to witness their weddings, to witness their families,, and their communities breaking bread, singing, laughing, dancing, crying, etc. etc. I loved all of it. I feel immensely grateful, and I look forward to next year, which should prove to be another glorious year full of ritual and awe.

(2020 is already 75% booked…eeeep!!!)


San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer

San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography Packages:

III $2200

4 hours of coverage from Paul, San Francisco City Hall, and up to two other locations in the city. This can be good for a small reception at a nearby restaurant.

II $1700

3 hour hours of coverage from Paul, San Francisco City Hall and one other location: Golden Gate Bridge Overlook / Land’s End / Crissy Field / Golden Gate Park / Tank Hill / Grandview

I $900

1.5 hours of coverage from Paul, San Francisco City Hall only.

All Packages include:

{ Wedding planning phone consult

{ Proofing gallery

{ High-resolution downloads of files.


Trione Wedding

Trione Wedding – Sonoma, CA – Jill & Jason

Jill & Jason were married at Trione Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma County, CA on a lovely day with diffuse light everywhere. The light gave the Vineyards a majestic moody look out behind the Winery, and they made for an incredible backdrop for our portraits. 


I loved the rustic stone walls, the vaulted ceilings, and dark wooden beams in the event space at Trione. They lent an old world feel to the wedding ceremony and to evening reception as well.


Jason is a collector of film cameras and a talented street photographer. During the ceremony they had their officiant and friend make a photograph of all of their guests on a film camera. They intend to slowly take photos over the next ten years on momentous occasions, and only after a decade has passed, will they get the roll of film developed.


And… much will happen in those ten years, as Jill & Jason are world travelers. One of the cornerstones of their relationship is their love of travel, so they brought a bucket to the reception, and guests were encouraged to leave them suggestions for their “Bucket List.” 


As you can see, Jill & Jason invited me to bring my Hasselblad to Trione to make a few wedding portraits. It gave me great pleasure to put a few rolls of film through my old trusty friend.

Special thanks to Lisa Bravo of Bravo Events and Weddings who made everything flow smoothly throughout the day.

Wedding planner : Lisa Bravo
Hair : Amy Braem
Makeup : Nicolette Lafranchi
DJ : NorCal Pro Sound
Catering : Girl and Fig


Berkeley City Club Wedding

Berkeley City Club Wedding – Jenni & Andy

Jenni & Andy were married on a sunny day in late December at the Berkeley City Club, a hidden gem of a wedding venue, right next to the Cal campus. Genius architect, Julia Morgan, was at her finest when she designed this “castle in the city.”

As the sun was setting, wedding guests gathered on a generous balcony. The chuppah holders processed. Jenni and Andy’s puppy was led down the aisle by Jenni’s niece. A pair of friends/co-officiants effortlessly wove diverse rituals into the ceremony. Highlights included: the signing of a gorgeous, colorful ketubah depicting, among other things, the Golden Gate Bridge, and their frolicking puppy; a musical performance with Andy on trombone, a friend on sax, and Jenni, with a chorus of friends, on vocals. They smashed a glass, smooched, and headed into the library for cocktail hour, where a full jazz band serenaded guests.

The vision for the wedding reception was crystal clear: “dinner & a show,” oh, and a hora, of course. (Important life rule, never pass up a chance to dance the hora.) Andy’s parents kicked off the show portion of the evening with a riotous slideshow romp through Jenni & Andy’s childhoods. There were traditional toasts, a family band, experimental music, pop covers, a jazz set with Andy and band. Such a lovely full evening!


Golden Gate Club Wedding San Francisco

Golden Gate Club Wedding San Francisco – Kate & Rishi

Kate & Rishi were married at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco’s Presidio. The day was a hybrid of Western and Indian wedding traditions. (I also had the pleasure of documenting their sangeet on Friday at the Westin St. Francis.) All day long the legendary San Francisco fog moved quickly overhead letting sunshine through at a few key moments. I was especially grateful for the glow of the sun during the baraat, and just after the ceremony.

For the baraat, Rishi was escorted to the front doors of the Golden Gate Club riding high on the back seat of a sweet vintage Pontiac GTO convertible instead of the traditional horse or elephant. One of my favorites photos of the day is of Rishi and a spray of balloons reflected in the car’s glossy paint.

For the Barat and the ceremony, Kate & Rishi wore western dress: an elegant white dress with lace shoulders; and a sharp royal blue three-piece suit. After the ceremony they changed into Indian dress for the reception. Kate’s scarlet dress was covered in elaborate beadwork.

I love how the surrounding cypress trees made dramatic appearances all day long, whether through the great wall of windows that looks out onto the San Francisco Bay, or with the blue night sky as a backdrop for the night portraits we made.

At the end of the evening, Kate & Rishi’s sweet puppy made an appearance. How could he have known what a momentous occasion he was witnessing.

Special shoutout to the ever gracious and talented Sam Soto-Suver of Bowerbird for his work as a 2nd photographer.

And a special shoutout to Stacy Wicelhaus from They So Loved Events who managed about a zillion moving pieces effortlessly.

Vendors

Venue : Golden Gate Club

Photographer : Hazel Photo

Wedding Attire : Bride’s ceremony dress, Alt Brides
Bride’s reception dress Madsam Tinzin 
Groom’s ceremony suit Indochino

Florist : Erica Rose Design

Wedding planner : Stacy Wichelhaus, They So Loved Events

Hair : Skyla Arts

Makeup : Skyla Arts

DJ : DJ Kingh Official Wicked Entertainment

Videographer : Creations by Sam

Cake : Mariposa Baking Company

Catering : Presidio Foods Catering X Amber India

Invitations: Save the dates, programs, and other paper goods by Sasha Head


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