Fairfax Ranch Wedding // George + Allison

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George and Allison's wedding was the perfect mix of a traditional wedding and representing themselves. Every free moment and weekend that G + A had this past year was spent on transforming the family ranch into their wedding reception venue. The ranch has been in George's family for six generations and they knew this was where they wanted to celebrate with their friends and family! We did their engagement photos in April around the ranch, and the amount of work they did is beyond amazing. They truly put their love, sweat, and tears into transforming the property. These two deserve all the cheers to their hard work! And the ranch created the best soft, glowing light throughout the night. It was heaven for me! ;)

For the ceremony, Allison wore the dress her grandma and mom had worn for their own weddings with a few alterations, like the updated back cut. And then some parts stayed the same, like having to wear a petticoat with the dress. Watching Allison's bridesmaids help with her dress was the true epitome of being their for her and helping with one of the most important parts of her day.

And make sure to not miss their cake cutting below! It's too funny!!

Allison and George, thank you so much for including me in all the fun of your day and I feel truly honored to be able to capture your friends and family celebrating you two and enjoying your hard work on the ranch. 

Photographer: Chelsea Dier Photography // Planner + Lighting + Caterer: Mangia Nosh & Marin Event Lighting // Florist: Village Green Floral // Cake: Branching Out Cakes // Band: Mark Heaphy // HMAU: AP LUXE // Photobooth: DNE Events // Limo: Executive Charters // Venue: Private Residence

 

Ignacio Valley Preserve // Chloé + Ashleigh

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I met Chloé and Ashleigh through an outdoors trips alumnae group I am a part of and wanted to get some new photos. They have been married for 5 years so I am so happy they decided to celebrate their love and join me for a photo session! These two were also the sweetest and gifted me a REI gift card. I'm so excited about it that I don't know what to use it towards, ha! Do you ever hold onto gift cards for the perfect purchase and then don't use it for years? 

Cheers to many more years you two! <3

Golden Light Beach Engagement // Black Sands Beach, CA

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Along with getting together to take a non-cheesy pregnancy announcement photo for Jessica and Alex to share (at the end of the post), we took advantage of getting together to take some gorgeous photos! This has to be one of my favorite sessions because it involves the Black Sands Beach and the Marin Headlands during golden hour. I was so excited when they wanted to meet here! I also really love Jessica's gold boots. I liked that they brought a little spunk to her outfit!

We started their session walking down to the beach and trying to avoid getting caught by the waves. These two didn't let the small pebbles in their shoes stop the fun and loving gazes to each other. As the sun was setting we walked up a small path from the parking lot and found the magical hillside that was drenched in the golden sun! It was basically a photographers dream, haha. And look at the magic they helped create!! I can give posing advice and directions, but 90% of the magic created is from my couples' connection to each other. 

Congratulations on your next chapter and thank you for having me along to document it!!

If you're ready for some beachy, golden light goodness, keep scrolling! 

West Coast Adventure Elopement Location Ideas

Adventure elopement location ideas, by an outdoor and adventure loving photographer!

When I think about adventure elopements, I want my couples to choose a place that is special to them, but sometimes there are TOO many options and they all seem great! At least that's my current predicament. As a recently engaged photographer, choosing where to exchange vows with my fiancé is an exciting choice to make, but I would also love a list of places I could potentially choose from, to help narrow down the options. So here are mine (and ones I would love to shoot at too, so you know, keep me in mind!)

Yosemite National Park - Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Taft Point, backpack from Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Falls *permit required for all Yosemite elopements

(Samantha Smith Arroyo Photography)

(Samantha Smith Arroyo Photography)

Mount Tamalpais - Iconic Bay Area mountain with endless hikes. You can have trees and the beach at your fingertips!

(Michelle Beck Photography)

(Michelle Beck Photography)

Angel Island - 360 degree views of San Francisco and the Bay, only if #Karlthefog stays away

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(unknown)

Your favorite hiking trail Michael and Catie found their Redwoods elopement spot because they hiked in the area often with their dogs, and it was pretty perfect!

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Big Sur - The most gorgeous coastline in California, with endless pull offs and bluffs to make your commitment to eachother official

(Laura & Rachel Photography)

(Laura & Rachel Photography)

Camping adventure elopement - Reserve a weekend camping spot and get married one of the days. I know of a fabulous spot off I-80! I was actually just camping there and all I could think about was how it'd be such a great spot to get married, along with continuing the celebration with camping.

West Coast - It's a broad suggestion, but anywhere along the coastal line is bound to be gorgeous. It isn't referred to as the best coast for nothing. I may be biased since I am from the West Coast, but it really can't be beat. Olympic National Park in Washington, Bend in Oregon, Lost Coast, Mendocino, North Tahoe and Joshua Tree for a few in California

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And one International suggestion...

Iceland - Well, because it's Iceland and it is the most beautiful country. If you go during our summer time you'll be greeted with baby sheep and endless sun!

(Pat Furey)

(Pat Furey)

image credits: Samantha Smith Arroyo, Michelle Beckwith Photography, Unknown, Chelsea Dier Photography, Laura & Rachel Photography, Tera Francis Photography, Pat Furey Photo

 

Clarisse + Michael // Japanese Gardens, Hayward, CA

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These two are on top of their wedding planning! They aren't getting married for a year, but they couldn't wait to take their engagement photos. I am a little late in posting their engagement session... whoops! Not intentional at all because just look how adorable they are above! Clarisse was all smiles and Michael was all heart eyes for Clarisse.

We met at the Hayward Japanese Gardens, which Clarisse grew up visiting and these two even had a few dates there. We were expecting many more flowers, but we mostly got just all greenery. But we did find the few pink flowers to add a pop to their session! 

Even though the sun was shining bright for them, we were able to navigate the gardens and find the shady spots and I made sure to back light them when the shade was hard to find. Wishing you two all the best in your wedding planning, and hopefully I can join you in Tahoe ;) More summery, infectious smiles engagement photos below!

OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY

Here's the story behind this picture.. It's a GREAT one!

Ready for the longest, but sweetest story? 

Holy moly I have pretty much just had the best 10 days of my life (starting May 15th)!! My week started off with me thinking I had one week left at my full time job because I am going FULL TIME PHOTOGRAPHER! I have been at the coffee shop for 4 years and I have built my photography business from those connections so it has a special place in my heart. The community and staff and our owners have been the most supportive from the get go of my photography endeavor and I couldn’t thank them enough for all they have done. OK, I digress. I thought I had one week left there, and was excited and nervous. I thought going full time freelancer was going to be my big life change to start my thirties on an exciting journey. Boy was I wrong, ha. Lindsey asked to hang out in SF and do a MOMA/city living shoot for a brand she’s working with, so I went into the city after my shift and was kind of tired and didn’t really want to go, but I did. We spent a few hours together and she happened to have plans to meet her friend right near where our Monday soccer game was. What a coincidence, huh? Not really. It was all part of the plan (!!) And how she played it so cool when we were together, I don't know. Major props to you Linds! 

We split ways and I head to soccer. Sean and I are on the same team and play the 50 minutes. I am oblivious to the team always passing the ball to him so he can try and score goals. Again, part of the plan! Post game, Sean says “let’s huddle up”. Uh sure, we don’t typically do that but okay. He starts telling the team how he really enjoys playing every Monday, it’s how we met, etc etc, and I’m standing there thinking “he’s feeling really sentimental,” but again, still oblivious to his plan. Next thing I know he’s saying he wants to play soccer with me for the rest of his life, getting down on one knee and asking will I marry him!!? Wait, what?! Of course YES, but wait what? Haha. And next thing I know there’s champagne being sprayed and all our friends running on the field and celebrating with us! HOLY SHIT is all I could say, over and over. Sean had been planning this for months and had it organized down to a “T”, including getting the league to switch the field we were scheduled to play one, since this was the field we first met on. Getting proposed to is such a special, emotional time and then to have all our friends running on the field, the field where we first met 6 years ago, was an emotion overload. It was SO special to have our friends, who are like family to us, there and able to celebrate in the excitement as well. I can’t imagine what the other teams who were getting ready to play thought. Apologies if we delayed your game! ;) 

Post proposal we headed to a bar for more celebrating and showing off the bling and me continuing to say HOLY SHIT! After drinks, I thought we were getting a ride home from BenAnna, but then we pull up in front of a downtown hotel. What! It keeps getting better. Our friend Joel treated us to champagne and we kept buzzin’ off the excitement and love we felt from all our friends. Everyone did an amazing job and no one spilled the secret!! 

But that's not the end of the surprises...

The next morning, Sean said “let’s check the weather” and opens up the weather app on his iPhone and it is showing Reykjavik's weather. Odd, that’s not San Francisco. He says, “looks like we’ll need coats” and proceed to bring out luggage that was hiding in the room closet!! Cue more HOLY SHITS! WHAT, WE’RE GOING TO ICELAND??! How could an amazing evening possibly get even better. Sean also planned a surprise trip to Iceland for nine days!! But wait, I was supposed to have one more week at the coffee shop. He emailed my manager and one of the owners to see if they could cover my shifts, which they were able to do. So that would make that Monday of our engagement my last day and starting this trip being a full time photographer. W O A H. Shit just got real! HA. And this was the one week I didn’t have any paid shoots planned and somehow it all worked out. Sean, with Anna’s help, had packed my suitcase for me and we headed to SFO from the hotel. 

We proceeded to have the most amazing nine day exploration of Iceland. I have wanted to visit Iceland for years, pre it being super cool, so this was a jaw-dropping surprise. I didn’t think I would make it to Iceland for a while, I thought maybe for our future honeymoon whenever that happened. But instead, Sean is an amazing, thoughtful partner and planned this trip. We’re calling it our #agavemoon . Get it? ;)

Iceland is a beautiful country. We rented a car and were able to explore the island each day. We went down towards the South side of the island and then came back up to Reykjavik and up to the Westfjords. We ended up driving more than 2,000km and every kilometer was beautiful. I feel with each turn, we couldn’t believe the scenery. We definitely thought we were on Mars many times, with much of the landscape being barren lava fields with this beautiful green moss. And so many waterfalls! I am going to do a “views from the car window” post with all the pictures I took while driving! 

And that is our engagement story! WOW <3 Now to enjoy this exciting time… and try not to think about planning a wedding yet. Being in the industry is definitely going to make it easier and more difficult to plan a wedding, haha. 

Engaged or married couples, what is one piece of advice you have for me? I want to hear it all because I’m joining the party!! 

Thank you for reading if you made it all the way here :) 

XO WolfBot

Thank you SO MUCH Matt Glibbery and Lindsey Shea for the photos!! Having this moment captured is so special <3

Shivani + Daniel // The Community Wedding // Cazadero, CA

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Shivani and Daniel's wedding is dear to my heart because I met these two through my time at Highwire Coffee Roasters. These two met through Highwire and we all worked together. My time at Highwire allowed me to start my business and through the years, grow my business with their endless support and flexibility when I need all the weekends off, so Highwire holds a special place in my heart. The last picture is some of the Highwire peeps that are part of the coffee family <3

Shivani and Daniel had a camping weekend wedding! They invited their guests to camp for the weekend and share meals together. Their community came together to feed the masses dinner, breakfast and brunch. These two are surrounded by the most generous and talented community. The wedding was filled with love and bringing these two together. Shivani is more outgoing and has the best smile and laugh, while Daniel is more reserved, but has a heart of gold. I mean, just look how these two look at each other, gahhhh!! 

The morning of their wedding, they exchanged vows privately overlooking the beautiful coast before joining their guests. I love that S+D took some time to themselves to really be with each other and make it about their love and joining of their hearts.

They are now on a three-week road trip in search of land to call home, so I hope they see this soon! XOXO

Oh and how can I forget, Tara was their videographer for their day, and she was the very first wedding of Chelsea Dier Photography! It was so neat to work together and catch up!

Photography: Chelsea Dier Photography // Videographer: Tara, Brave New Films // Caterer: Avant Gardens & Catering // Florals: Madrona Floral // Dessert: Screamin' Mini's // Suit: Ali Golden // Dress: Martin McCrea Couture // HMUA: Jessica, cousin // Planner extraordinaires: Jamie Barrett Riley + Luoi Conde

Rooftop Garden Welcome Dinner // Jessie + Shane // Brooklyn Grange

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And now for the first evening of Jessie and Shane's wedding weekend! Peek their wedding here :) They had their welcome dinner to kick off their wedding weekend at Brooklyn Grange, which is a working farm on the roof of an industrial building in the Navy Yard that produces much of the produce for the local restaurants and farmers markets, as well as being a place for education and stewardship. It was so cool!! Not to forget, it has basically 360 degree views of the NYC and Brooklyn skylines. When we were planning their photo timeline for the weekend, we decided to do a few portraits of them before their guests arrived here, since we didn't do an engagement session. They were naturals and since they had this "warm-up", it made their wedding day portraits that much easier! :) We were able to walk all around and in the garden beds, just being sure to not step on the plantings. 

The dinner they planned for their guests was served family style, with guests serving each other and helping out. Community and welcoming friends and family to their home has been an important part of their relationship, so it's only fitting for them to honor this and continue this welcoming. No joke, the moment I met Jessie I felt like we'd known each other for ever. These two have the biggest hearts and have built an amazing community around them. It was truly an honor to be included!! Cheers to continuing the adventure full of love, laughter, and Presidente! ;) (The Dominican Republic is a key location in their relationship, so of course they had to have it at their welcome dinner!)

Photographer: Chelsea Dier Photography / Venue: Brooklyn Grange / Dress: Alice & Olivia / Caterer: El Nuevo Cibao / Videographer: Tom Boyden / Planner: Dame Forbes Tyson

Jessie + Shane // Urban Brooklyn Wedding // Brooklyn, NY

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I honestly don't know where to start! I have just returned from an epic weekend in Brooklyn for their wedding and I couldn't think of a better wedding to kick off my new job title: full time photographer!! 

I met Jessie and Shane through a mutual friend (hi Katie!) and the moment I met Jessie, I felt like we were best friends. She has the warmest, welcoming heart and I could not wait for their weekend to arrive. They started their festivities with a welcome dinner at the Brooklyn Grange, which I'll give its own post! Let's just say there were amazing NYC skyline views, family style dinner, and chickens, all while surrounded by a working farm that produces many of the produce for local restaurants and markets. 

For their wedding, they had their ceremony at the Old Stone House in Park Slope. It was totally a city wedding! There were a few onlookers for their ceremony that were playing at the park/ ball field area and we also took a few of their couples portraits on the swings! Many thanks to the kids who let us borrow them for a few moments :) 

Post ceremony we had a short walk to the reception site and since there was a walk, Jessie and Shane decided to have their ceremony band join for the walk and create a second line. It was SO cool! Walking down the Brooklyn streets with brass instruments leading the way, it was the best way to kick off their party!! Some how J+S got just about all their guests on the dance floor for the evening and I'm sure the live band helped. They pumped up the energy and rocked it!! Oh and Jessie wore a JUMPSUIT+skirt for their ceremony, because she's the romper queen, and Shane had no idea!! See the unveiling below, mid-dancing! These two were full of surprises :)

It was such an honor to photograph their wedding weekend and I cannot believe I went to Brooklyn and photographed a wedding, ahhh!!! Thank you thank you thank you! HUGS!! Now cheers to the best honeymoon and taking a breather :) (Jessie also just graduated with her MBA a week before their wedding!)

Photography: Chelsea Dier Photography / Planner: Dame Forbes Tyson / Caterer: Avlee Greek Kitchen / Florist: Trader Joes / Dessert: Insomnia Cookies / Dress: Rebecca Schoneveld / Suit: Trumaker / Second Line Band+Reception: Silver Arrow Band / HMAU: Glamsquad / Videographer: Tom Boyden / Second shooter: Laura Huertas / Venues: The Old Stone House + The Bell House

George + Allison // Family Ranch Engagement // Woodacre, CA

Driving past Fairfax and turning down their dirt lane, pulling up to their family's ranch, sipping wine before their shoot, I knew this was going to be a special engagement session. These two have the biggest hearts and are putting so much love into their day. We decided on doing their engagement session on this family land as well, but in different areas than where the wedding is. 

Allison was a champ in jumping over fences in her dress and George didn't mess up his dress clothes (and we weren't trespassing in the fence photos -- all is their land). Nothing can get in the way for these two :) I cannot wait for their wedding in July and see the transformation of their wedding site and celebrate the love and commitment to each other and their families.  

One fun fact! Allison is great friends with one of my past brides of last year, Catie :) Their forest elopement has a special place in my heart too! 

Noah + Hannah // Point Reyes Station Engagement // Point Reyes, CA

When Noah and Hannah suggested Point Reyes for their engagement session, I was super stoked! Point Reyes is their happy place and love to visit when they're feeling a city escape. We started off the evening with ice cream (+10 points in my book, hehe!) and walking around Point Reyes Station. It was still too bright to take their golden hour photos so we stopped in the local pub, that Noah has wanted to visit every time he visits here, but never has, making it the perfect place to wait out the light. After our little beers, we ventured out near this old barn and took some of the most magical, soft light photos. 

Your engagement session is supposed to be YOU, so I love when my couples suggest a place special to them and then have fun with our time together! Ice cream, beer, fire trucks, and the yummiest light, SOLD! 

Edgy San Francisco Beach Elopement

Oh my goodness, this was a dream styled shoot! I have been dying to share these images and I finally can because it has just been featured on Ruffled Blog!! 

This edgy San Francisco elopement made all my shoot dreams come true. Starting with their elopement ceremony on the beach that S+E were down to hike to (with sea foam flying at us sporadically), the sunset soft light turn to haze and Sara's leather jacket complimenting her JUMPSUIT perfectly! Yes, she wore a jumpsuit and it was the best thing ever. Erik was quite dapper in his dark blue tuxedo suit and bow tie as well.  We then headed to Bluxome Winery for their intimate dinner. Gold accents with pops of color from the table florals and the hanging installment Jessie created complimented the industrial vibe of the winery and gave it a romantic, but edgy feel to the evening. 

I'm going to let the images do the rest of the story telling! And maybe inspire your upcoming elopement/wedding dreams?! 

All the wonderful vendors involved: Chelsea Dier Photography / Bluxome Street Winery / April Foster Artistry / Studio DBI / Handsome Flowers / Lovely Letters / Chairs+Cups / A Spoonful of Sugar Cakes / Alt Brides / The Black Tux / Jenn Heller Design CoBryr Clogs / Digby & Iona Jewelry / ASOS

Heather + Aniekan // New York City Engagement // New York City

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While I was in New York in January, I had the opportunity to shoot Heather and Aniekan's engagement photos! This was also the trip I booked my first out of state wedding (!!) and will be heading to Brooklyn in May for Jessie and Shane's wedding, so this trip is extra special to me!

Heather and Aniekan brought the spiciness and love to their shoot. It was a chilly day, but they didn't let that stop their style and it just made them cuddle even more! Heather is a fellow #girlboss in the e-commerce world, so of course she's rockin' those heels. I don't know how she did it! Thank you so much for having me along and giving me the tour of your neighborhood. Wishing I was joining you in Tuscany for your wedding ;) 

Snowshoe Backpacking with Trail Mavens

In February I joined along the Trail Mavens snowshoe backpacking trip as their trip photographer! This is the second trip I have been on with them and it was nothing short of amazing. So amazing actually, that I am now one of the co-leaders and the first trip I will be helping on is in June the the LOST COAST! Yesssss!

It had just rained for a week and the weather warmed up before we went so a lot of the snow had melted, so the snowshoeing was minimal, but we still got some in! We spent two days hiking, sledding, and relaxing in the little hut, but then sleeping in the snow. And guess what? I didn't freeze! Actually I had the warmest camping sleep I have had (many props to the sleeping bag liner and multiple layers). 

The ladies on this trip were so lovely and we had great conversations throughout the days we were together. And the food made on these trips is always phenomenal and Maria even treated us to her special "Maria's Meyer Lemon" beverage. Yum!

Welcome!

This is an exciting week for me as my new website launched (Forth and Wild is AMAZING) and my blog is back up so I am looking forward to posting more! Along with sharing shoots, I have been writing prompts in my notebook of posts I would like to share that I think will be beneficial to my inquiring couples and industry friendors!

Welcome to my little space on the interwebz and I cannot wait to post and share more! 

Alright, let's do this!

Many thanks to Anna Marks Photography for my "headshots" 

Sweet Lane Gardens, Santa Rosa, CA Wedding Photographer // Julie + Billy part II

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And here is part II of Julie and Billy's wedding weekend! They had their wedding day at Sweet Lane Gardens in Santa Rosa, CA. This is a commercial nursery, but they also host weddings on their property. I want to go back here and take more photos in the nursery -- just look how beautiful it is!

Julie and Billy were my last couple of 2016 and I couldn't have asked for a better couple to end my wedding season with. They were SO excited to be getting married and to celebrate with their close friends and family! Constant laughs, smiles, and hugs filled their day. Along with being the sweetest clients to me (Julie's reaction to her sneak peeks and final delivery were THE BEST. All the heart eye emoji's aren't enough to express my gratitude!), I could tell that Julie and Billy have had quite the impact on the important people in their lives. Gosh, I just want to smoosh these two up and hug them forever!

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I am so humbled to have been included in their special weekend and I think a trip to Chicago to visit you two has to happen! So much love to you two!! 

Venue: Sweet Lane Gardens // Cater: Creative Catering // Florist: David Hanson // Baker: Petaluma Pie Company DJ: Marcel Jones // Makeup: Nikol Elaine Artistry // Hair: Amanda Sands Hairdressing // Billy's Suit: Topman // Julie’s Dress: Bhldn // Julie's Shoe's: TOMS // Photographer: Chelsea Dier Photography

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, Guerneville, CA Photographer // Julie + Billy part I

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Julie and Billy wanted to get married in the California Redwoods, but that plan didn't quite pan out for them so we met up on Friday afternoon in the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guernevlille to fulfill their redwoods dream! I haven't been here before, but it was an amazing park of redwoods all around and SO beautiful! I'm going to make their wedding blog into two posts because I have too many photos to share.

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Introducing Chelsea Dier Photography Albums

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Let it be known that I actually LOVE designing albums. Putting together the whole story of your wedding day, adding in all the elements and moments of your day that you may have missed, because there is so much happening, brings me great joy.

Having a tangible collection of your BEST photos that you can look back on time after time has to be the best thing. With my albums, you are getting your photographs off your computer and created into a work of art. You'll be able to pick up your album at any moment you have a yearning to (which would be all the time for me) and re-live your freakin' WEDDING DAY! <3

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I am requiring, okay highly recommending, all my clients to order albums because I want to design them for you! With your album, you may enjoy your photographs for years and years, along with passing the album down to your lil' ones if that's in the cards for you.

Ilan + Lauren // Wedding // Oakland, CA

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Oh Ilan and Lauren, the couple who had permanent smiles on their face the whole day. These two are so rad, so themselves and focused on having FUN alllll wedding day! I mean, their first dance started classically, and then transitioned into a choreographed dance set to THE Bieber (as in Justin Beiber). I definitely said multiple times to their guests, "you have the best friends!" Thank you so much for having me along to capture your day! And Happy Birthday Lauren :)Cater + Florals: Culinary Excellence // DJ: Berkeley Squares // HMUA: Hair by Simone at Vine Street Salon // Men's Suits: Menguin // Lauren's Dress: Novella Bridal // Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew // Photographer: Chelsea Dier Photography // Second Photographer: 43rd Ave Photography

Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA Wedding Photographer // Shauna + Manuel

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Shauna and Manuel got married at the Oakland Courthouse in the morning, and then I met up with them and their daughter for their portraits. I have visited the lake many times, but never shot a session here so I was a little nervous for how they would turn out. But, turns out the lake during golden hour is beautiful!! And it was so fun to hear all the "congratulations!" from people running and walking by them. These two also crushed their portraits and I am so happy with how they turned out! Congratulations you two, and cheers to many happy, love filled years ahead!(Manuel's first love, his restored car, so of course we needed to get some portraits with it as well)

HMUA: Girl with a Curling Iron // Photographer: Chelsea Dier Photography