Stani Photography: Blog https://www.staniphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Stani Photography stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) Fri, 01 May 2020 22:56:00 GMT Fri, 01 May 2020 22:56:00 GMT https://www.staniphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u250726951-o1033560796-50.jpg Stani Photography: Blog https://www.staniphotography.com/blog 120 80 SEPTEMBER WEDDING AT MOUNTAIN HOUSE ESTATE , CLOVERDALE, CA [ ASHLEY + STEPHAN] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2020/2/september-wedding-at-mountain-house-estate-cloverdale-ca-ashley-stephan 20190914_AC_080420190914_AC_0804

This time I am really really late with all my blog posts and social media posts. Even though I needed some break up from social media and online presence I owe an apology cause especially Ashley and Stephan’s wedding was one of my very favorite events of 2019 professionally and personally. I had the chance to first meet them in 2018 during our Big Sur engagement photo shoot and I knew this was going to be one very lovely emotional wedding. Getting to know them it was very easy to see that they were meant for each other. Best friends, partners in crime and love birds, respect for each other and patience! 

 

After lots of planning for more than a year their dream wedding took place at Mountain House Estate in Cloverdale , CA . The perfect venue for their fall rustic outdoor wedding.  A venue that accommodates both - bride and groom from getting ready to the last dance. And again, it is always a pleasure to work with Lacey from Stacy's Farm and Events at Mountain House Estate. 

When I arrived I went straight to the bridal suit where I was very warmly greeted by both Ashley and Stephan’s moms. The whole day was just perfect. We couldn't wish for better Californian weather in September for their wedding.  Ashley and Stephan took their first look photos. She was an absolutely stunning bride. And even they saw each other before the ceremony that didn’t stop Stephan from being emotional and excited when he saw ashley walking down the aisle and reading his vows to her. 

Thank you Ashley and Stephan for loving each other unconditionally. Thank you for your kindness , being so natural and your warmest  smiles throughout the whole day. And last, but not least thank you for making me feel part of your very special day and for your super special camera necklace gift to me.  Honestly, that’s the best thing I have ever gotten as a photographer.

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VENDORS 

Photographer: Stani Photography 

Venue: Mountain House Estate 

Wedding Planner: Lacey from Stacey GoodsFarm and Events

Make up: Rachel from Labella Soul Artistry

Florist: Pedy’s Petals Flowers and Event Design 

Bakery: Shannon from My Flour Girl

Caterer: Sol Food

DJ: NorCal Pro Sound

Videography: Paul Ortiz

Wedding Dress Designer: Stella York

Bridal Dress Shop: The Bridal Vault

 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) California photography photos wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2020/2/september-wedding-at-mountain-house-estate-cloverdale-ca-ashley-stephan Wed, 05 Feb 2020 20:23:20 GMT
THOUGHTFUL WEDDING GIFTS NEWLYWEDS WILL ACTUALLY LOVE https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2020/1/thoughtful-wedding-gifts-newlyweds-will-actually-love

(via: https://pixabay.com/photos/gift-pack-give-loop-father-s-day-1420830/

With more than 6,000 weddings taking place every day in the USA alone, there are a lot of people tying the knot. So much so that there is a good chance you are attending at least a wedding or two in 2020. Weddings are wonderful to attend, but can be stressful for some.

This stress often comes down to trying to nail down a great wedding gift. Unfortunately, deciding on a wedding gift for your friends or family who are getting married is hard. Not only will people worry about how much to spend for a wedding gift, but also what they should get. You want to get them something unique that they will love, but also something that they will use.

Without any further ado, let’s look at a couple thoughtful wedding gifts that newlyweds are sure to use and love.

Complete Bar Mixologist & Rocks Glass Gift Set

 

If the newlyweds like to host or enjoy a cocktail every now and then, this complete bar mixologist gift set is a great gift. It includes a mixer, a jigger, several spouts, some glasses, a notebook and a strainer. Essentially, it has all you need to start making nearly any drink, except for the alcohol!

The contents of this set are built well and should last for years if treated correctly and used safely. This set can even be personalized to include the names of the bride and groom. Not only in terms of the box, but most of the contents can also be customized.

Purchase at: browse Groomsmen Gift Source

Coffee Subscription Box

If the newlyweds love their coffee, a good and creative option for a gift is a coffee subscription box from Mistobox. This allows them to get great coffee from all over the world sent directly to their door every month. Mistobox can choose coffee based on preference, or you can let the newlyweds choose the exact kinds that they want.

The coffee is roasted fresh by artisan coffee roasters and then sent quickly right to the customer. If the newly married couple aren’t the biggest fans of coffee, you could potentially look at other subscription boxes to get them. There are some for food, for snacks, for alcohol, for books and for dozens of other things.

Purchase at: Mistobox.com

The Newlywed Cookbook

This is a go-to for brides and grooms who love to cook, or who you feel should cook a little more. This book is full of great recipes to make together, but also recipes to make for one another. The books can help the newlyweds take the love they have for each other, and bring it to the food they eat and prepare.

The recipes in the book are plentiful and for a variety of occasions. Whether you want to make a simple snack, or a full meal for a date night, this cookbook will have something for you. The book also includes many helpful tips and cute little anecdotes that the newlyweds are sure to love.

Purchase at: Amazon.com

Honeyfund Gift Card

If you can’t think of anything that the couple needs or would really use, a great option is to get them a Honeyfund gift card. Honeyfund is a company aimed to helping newlyweds have the best honeymoon possible. A Honeyfund gift card allows the newlyweds to use the gift card towards a range of things to make their honeymoon the best it could be.

They can use it for travel, for activities, for accomodations, for spas, for shopping and various other things. The newlyweds are sure to use it and the Honeyfund platform is incredible. No matter where they want to go for their honeymoon or what they want to do, this gift card will help.

In conclusion, the gifts within this blog post are great options for the next wedding in your life. Newlyweds are sure to love them and actually use them, unlike many other wedding gifts they may receive.

Purchase at: Honeyfund.com


 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2020/1/thoughtful-wedding-gifts-newlyweds-will-actually-love Wed, 29 Jan 2020 03:51:33 GMT
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA OUTDOOR WEDDING AT MOUNTAIN HOUSE ESTATE [HAYLEY + JOE] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2019/6/northern-california-outdoor-wedding-at-mountain-house-estate-hayley-joe _MGL0629_MGL0629 It’s the beginning of June. The rains have finally stopped in Northern California. A perfect day for an outdoor wedding. We are again at the beautiful Mountain House Estate for Joe and Hayley‘s wedding ! Minimalist and rustic wedding decor complementing the venue’s country outdoor charm surrounded by oak trees and hills.  

Guests flew from all over the country even from Hawaii to celebrate this true love between two wonderful and sweet people who found each other while attending The George  Washington University in DC.

The day was perfectly organized by Tara from Ybarra Events . Everyone's mood was on the happiest mode. When I entered the bridal suit Hayley greeted me with a big hug and smile and introduced me to her awesome mama, mom in law and her friends.  Everyone was relaxed doing their makeup and hair with Tami Maytum from Hey Gorgeous Salon in Pleasant Hill, CA. 

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The gorgeous floral design done by one of the sweetest florist I have had the chance to work with - Gina from Gina's Floral Enchantment

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The bridal dress was from BHLDN - Walnut Creek, BHLDN - Jenny Yoo for BHLDN
 

I started with photographing the details first and then I moved to the bridal and groom suit to capture the getting ready photos.

It was my first time I photographed at the brand new groom’s suit at Mountain House Estate. The mirrors helped me to achieve some very creative images where I could have more than 2 people in my frame at the two different rooms .  The whole suit is made with the purpose for the boys to entertain themselves as well as to have a room to change.

Hayley and Joe did a first touch photos. It was as exciting moment for them as for me as a witness. A few minutes of a private moment before the ceremony , exchanging letters and touching their hands without seeing each other.

The sacred ceremony was under the big oak tree. The delicious reception was on the loan catered by Edie Johnson from Preferred Sonoma Caterers .Hayley and Joe’s grand entrance was spectacular. The speeches were beautiful from true friends and loving family.  Everything was just so perfect.

Hayley and Joe’s smiles didn’t leave them for a moment the whole day. They made that day seem so simple and so extraordinary at the same time. They are truly made for each other ! One of the sweetest couples I have ever worked with. Thank you Hayley and Joe for trusting me to capture your BIg Big day , wishing you all the best in your happiest marriage ever!
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Tarra from Ybarra Events fixing the maid of honor's dress. This what it means to work with professional event planner for the day! Always prepared !

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My gorgeous bride Hayley ! 

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First Touch and first time me photographing this wonderful wedding concept. I was as excited as Hayley and Joe ! It was such an intimate moment for them. 

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 The cake and the desert bar was all done by Bryan Harris from Moustache Baked Goods - a bakery shop in Healdsburg, CA
 

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Runaway DJ & LightingI always like to say that an unforgettable wedding day can't exist without an awesome entertainment.  In that day of June 7 was provided by the incredible DJ Jon Moore from

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THANK YOU HAYLEY AND JOE FOR THE UNFORGETTABLE DAY AND FOR TRUSTING ME TO BE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER ! 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) concord francisco photographer photography san sonoma wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2019/6/northern-california-outdoor-wedding-at-mountain-house-estate-hayley-joe Tue, 25 Jun 2019 06:38:47 GMT
STAR WARS INSPIRED RUSTIC WEDDING AT MOUNTAIN HOUSE ESTATE [ KARA + JEREMY] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2019/5/star-wars-inspired-wedding-at-mountain-house-estate-kara-jeremy And here we are at Kara and Jeremy’s wedding day - May 4th, 2019. The perfect day for Star Wars fans wedding as K+J are. It was the perfect spring day weather and the perfect venue for their rustic wedding. I was so lucky again to shoot at my favorite outdoor country venue  - Mountain House Estate.  I like it because I can cover both bride and groom getting ready - everything is in one location - ceremony, cocktail, and reception.  Also, the venue has different settings for photography, where I can play with any light at any time of the day.

The ceremony was under the big oak tree where we were able to take group photos after the official part.   The cocktail hour was in the lawn and the reception in the patio, followed by the dancing part inside the main house of the estate.  Everything was so emotional the whole day and evening.

The most impressive thing about Kara and Jeremy’s wedding planning was the DIY handmade objects that Jeremy made all by himself especially for the wedding.  Things such as the Groomsmen Boxes, the Wedding Hashtag Sign, the Corn Hole Boards, the Giant Jenga, the Seating Chart and the Card Box and the Chalkboard Signs on Dessert Table with collaboration with his sister and dad.  Everything was very creative and arranged in a Star Wars theme. Witnessing his fine detailed work that day and Kara’s calm attention to every detail during the planning process made me realize the dedication and affection to one another they have.


The rustic wedding decor was beautiful,  elegant and chic,  touched with subtle simplicity with the help of their wedding planner Lacey Davis from Stacey Goods Farm and Events who I had the pleasure to work with again at another epic wedding day.  The rustic elements of the wedding were also part of Kara’s hairstyle. The Star Wars theme was very subtle as well as it appeared in some keepsakes such as  Star Wars Toasting Flutes and Glass Cannons, man’s accessories such as Jeremy’s Star Wars Watch and Bow Tie, and Star Wars Socks, and some of the signs such as the Star Wars Welcome Sign and the Star Wars Seating Chart.

It was a very special day for two people who were meant to be together.  

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Star Wars Welcome Sign - HayleesCloset (Etsy)

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Wedding Cake Topper - MorganTheCreator (Etsy)

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VENDORS:

venue:  MOUNTAIN HOUSE ESTATE  @mountainhouseestate

photographer: Stani from STANI PHOTOGRAPHY @staniphotography

Wedding Planner: Lacey from  STACEY GOODS FARM AND EVENTS @staceygoodsfarmandevents

Make up: Brittney Campos from ON FLEEK STUDIO  @onfleekstudiO

Hair: Krista Schafer from @elevated_beauty_norcal

Bakery: Shannon from MY FLOUR GIRL  @myflourgirl

Caterer: Don Garrett from WINE COUNTRY ARTISANS CATERING @wca_catering

Florist: Bekah from @flowersbyrebekah

DJ: Tony from NOR CAL  PRO SOUND @norcalprosounddjservice

Bridal Dress Store: GESINEE’S BRIDAL

Bridal Dress Designer : CASABLANCA BRIDAL

Ring Designer: SHANE CO.

Groom Suit Designer and Shop: MEN’S WEARHOUSE

Invitations: MINTED

Shoes: JOSEPH ABBOUT

 

 

 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) 4 bridal bride country couple dj dress elopement engagement groom hair make may napa photography planner planning portraits proposal rosa rustic santa star up venue vintage wars wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2019/5/star-wars-inspired-wedding-at-mountain-house-estate-kara-jeremy Fri, 31 May 2019 04:59:08 GMT
WINTER WEDDING AT THE BRAZILIAN ROOM [HEATHER + CLAYTON] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2019/2/winter-wedding-at-the-brazilian-room-heather-clayton When I first met Heather and Clayton a month before the wedding to tour the venue and discuss some final details about their dream wedding day instantly I knew how much in love with each other they are and how lucky they are to find each other 11 years ago. A very romantic outdoor couple,  who decided to travel to Yosemite a year ago  for the weekend in one  cold , rainy winter day... They "sat at the cafe of the Ahwahnee Hotel , drinking tea and hot chocolate, waiting for the snow. Little did Heather know, Clayton was planning on proposing to her when it was snowing. Once the likelihood of snow increased, Heather and Clayton started venturing through the valley, back to their hotel. They stopped at a place along the river with a perfect view of Yosemite Falls on the right and Half Dome on the left. Clayton stood behind Heather, hugging her, spun her around, and got down on one knee asking if she would marry him. Of course, she said yes! "
 

A year of wedding planning after the proposal on January 19th, 2019  Heather and Clayton , a high school sweethearts tied the knot at The Brazilian Room in Tilden Park , Berkeley, CA. An indoor venue with an outdoor ceremony side and absolutely spectacular landscape surrounding it.  The day was more than perfect. Although , it rained almost the entire week, luckily at Heather and Clayton's wedding there wasn't even a drop of rain that day. 

Heather and Clayton's  wedding day was filled with love and laughter . The smiles of their faces didn’t leave them the whole day and evening. Even when I asked Heather to just relax for some portraits she couldn’t hide her happiness  and smile from her beautiful face.  When Clayton opened his gift from Heather, his hands were shaking , his heart was trembling, and when he saw Heather walking at the aisle his face was the happiest man's face I have seen, honestly... it was almost time to say I do. It was a very special winter wedding day surrounded by family and friends and I was more than thrilled to be a part of it. Thank you Heather and Clayton for your trust in me and my work to capture your very memorable day. Besides that I am very thankful to Trish McDermott from The Arlington for being the event coordinator and making everything to run so smoothly that evening. 

The wedding day started at The Lafayette Park Hotel and Spa and ended with a wild dance party at the Brazilian Room. 

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Ring Designer: Brilliant Earth

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Make up and Hair by Adela Lopez from The Traveling Stylist 

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Beautiful Girls' robes by LeRoseGifts on Etsy

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Bridal Dress by Gesinee's Bridal and designed by Pronovias 

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Florist Valarie Rome-Jessup from A Loves in Bloom

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Heather's friends admiring her wedding ring 

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The very special gift from Clayton to Heather. A heart inside a walnut box made by Clayton for Heather. 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) California family outdoor photography photos wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2019/2/winter-wedding-at-the-brazilian-room-heather-clayton Thu, 21 Feb 2019 20:38:50 GMT
ENGAGEMENT PHOTO SESSION AT BIG SUR [ASHLEY + STEPHAN] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2019/1/engagement-photo-session-at-big-sur-ashley-stephan 20181028_AC_003920181028_AC_0039 This blog post it has been  waiting to be written and published from a long time ( two months to be exact) . Here, I am sitting in front of the computer and typing , inspired by the adventurous souls of Ashley and Stephan and the magical beauty of the west coast with its unique silent redwoods and windy dramatic beaches.  

When Ashley and I were trying to decide where to capture their engagement portraits with Stephan we had many options from a summer ranch house Ashley’s family is owning in the Bay Area to anywhere we can get for a one day trip. Doing an adventurous engagement session that involves a one day travel at least it had been on my travel work list for a while.  Finally, it was achieved- a day trip to the Big Sur .

And because Ashley , Stephan and I saw each other  in person for first time, (we have only seen each other once on facetime) first we met at the Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant . It’s right on highway 1 on the right side if you drive south. Great food and atmosphere complemented with an  outdoor sitting area! May be because it was Sunday at the end of October, but it was pretty quite around 2pm. 

The fun part of the whole trip and photo shoot was that none of us had ever been to exactly this area and location , so we had no idea where we were going to shoot . We had only drove by a time ago, bt never stop to explore it.

Of course we did some research in advance and we had few places in mind. First, we stopped by the Redwood Deck. Beautiful place...  if you want to get photos where the water is accessible to walk in that’s the place ,as I have always wanted to . So to me this whole photo shoot it  was a dream come true . The bonus part was that the river was surrounded by redwoods where brought the real story of teh redwoods in Big Sur.

After that we drove on a narrow  almost one way road to discover the gorgeous  windy hidden Pfeiffer Beach.

But for sure we couldn't go home without wrapping up at the Bixby Creek Bridge at twilight.

I can’t wait to see Ashley and Stephan as  a bride and groom in September because their love story is a special one , but for that later in their wedding blog post .

I am so thankful to Ashley and Stephan for their adventurous spirits to be able to make these breathtaking photos of them at one of the most exclusive locations in The USA. 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) adventour California family outdoor photography photos travel wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2019/1/engagement-photo-session-at-big-sur-ashley-stephan Wed, 16 Jan 2019 23:55:38 GMT
PIEDMONT COMMUNITY HALL [KAREN + GUY] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/10/piedmont-community-hall-karen-guy BUDDHIST WEDDING CEREMONY IN THE REDWOODS

OCTOBER 6TH, 2018

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Piedmont Community Hall

Wedding Coordinator: Kianna Lamont

Florist: Flower Outlet and Gifts

Caterer: Thai Rice Spoon Catering

Cake: Oak and Fig Bakery

Officiant: Lama Kunga

Bridal Dress shop: Fantastic Finds

Make up and Hair: Jessica

Ring Designer: Santa Fe Designs

Invitations: Joy Wedding App

 

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I have to be honest. Californian fall weddings are some of my very favorites. Warm colors, cooler days and evenings, and happy people in love, still dancing and dining outdoor under the open blue sky.  That was what Karen and Guy’s perfect October wedding felt like. I am very thankful that I was part of their wedding day and for their trust to capture it. It was a delightful experience for me. Their wedding took place at the beautiful outdoor wedding venue Piedmont Community Hall in Piedmont, CA among the redwood trees. Piedmont park IS where the venue is located has a very special place in their hearts. This is  the place where they play tennis since they know each other, the place where they walk their dog Nimmy and where some of the first sparkles of love stroke them. Although, their wedding had more than 100 guests it did feel like a very small intimate wedding event attended by very close friends and family of the happy couple.

Karen and Guy had a magical Buddhist ceremony by Lama under the big red trees. It was so much joy to see those two tying the knot after knowing each other for 13 years. Well, after eleven years of playing tennis and traveling the world together,  they finally realized that they were meant for each other. It’s like one of those movies, where you are best friends with a man, but then something happens and you realize that this is THE person. I call that a destiny and Karen and Guy are so lucky to share this very special relationship with one another.

It was really really beautiful wedding day. The speeches were very emotional , the bride and groom were absolutely stunning and present in the moment. The best part of our bride and groom portrait session was going to the tennis court and take some photos there . Having Nimmy, their dog in most of the photos was very unique experience for me as a photographer and  mother. I think though the whole time I was comparing it with my kids and how better behaving Nimmy was compared to them. Having her in the photos with Karen and Guy it brought even more passion and shared love to the story of their life and love. 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) California outdoor photography photos wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/10/piedmont-community-hall-karen-guy Fri, 26 Oct 2018 17:59:03 GMT
REDWOODS ENGAGEMENT SESSION IN MORAGA, CA [KARA + JEREMY] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/10/redwoods-engagement-session-in-moraga-ca-kara-jeremy 20180915_KS_006420180915_KS_0064

THE MAGIC OF  LOVE IN THE REDWOOD FOREST

SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2018 3PM 

I can’t tell you how much fun I had photographing Kara and Jeremy in the redwoods of Moraga, CA.  I believe that making their engagement photos was a desteny between us. I happened to meet them at my first bridal show ever in April this year at The Ranch at Little Hills wedding venue in San Ramon, CA . A week after I met them again at Mountain House Estate where I was invited as the only photographer at their open house. A month after the event I got an email from Kara and Jeremy that they would like me to photograph their wedding.  And here we are in the middle of the redwood forest in the East Bay Area of San Francisco. It's 3pm in the afternoon , we walk under some of the tallest trees in California and the sun is hiding behind the leaves in mid September.

I love how much chemistry and devotion between Jeremy and Kara was going on during our photo shoot.  These beautiful soulmates  met exactly on March 10th , 2012 at Jeremy’s birthday party joined together with his roommate who was Kara’s friend from high school. When is meant to be it will be I love to say! 7 years later on March 25, 2018 Jeremy proposed to Kara after he was hiding the ring for couple of months and trying to come out with the perfect proposal when one lazy Sunday afternoon he pop the question. “She started crying and asked me several times if I was being serious, but ultimately she answered the correct way.” Oh Yeh! Horoay! 

As natural lover as I am  Kara and Jeremy insisted having their engagement portraits taken at the redwoods of Moraga. I knew this hidden place in Moraga from an elopement I shot  there in 2012. Honestly? I was very excited to go back there after all those years. It does feel a very special place. With special love energy. A perfect location for an intimate photo shoot away from the crowd and at the same time very easy accessible from the road.

We ended shooting around 4:30pm and it was already getting pretty dark there so I needed to use my camera with higher ISO. That’s why I always suggest when you want to have images done at the redwoods to start shooting earlier especially in the fall and winter seasons. The trees are so tall that barely any light comes through sometimes. Remember  you will most likely not even get a sky in the frame cause you just can't see it and it could be a little bit chilled. too.But also redwood forests are one of the most magical places to be inside. Regarding photography it will always be a win win location for anyone.

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The first outfit was more casual elegant and we took the photos around the redtree grove. The second outfit I would say was my favorite because I am just a big fan of anything cowboy especially the boots. We took those photos near and on the little bridge area. Talking about bridge I would love to be there shooting in the spring when there is  a water in the creek.

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/10/redwoods-engagement-session-in-moraga-ca-kara-jeremy Wed, 10 Oct 2018 19:49:45 GMT
5 Latest Bridal Trends to Pay Attention To https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/9/5-latest-bridal-trends-to-pay-attention-to charisse-kenion-340543-unsplashcharisse-kenion-340543-unsplash Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Text by Wendy Dessler

Outreach Manager

Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

 

Now that summer's drawing to a close and fall's almost here, we are in the heart of some of the busiest months of the wedding season. This means more reason for Champaign and a toast to love but also a glimpse at some of the trendiest wedding dresses today.

 

If you’re in the midst (are on the cusp) of wedding planning and not sure which wedding dress to get, check some of these tips out!

 

1. Expect to See Some Innovative Wedding Designs

According to Transparency Market Research, millennials are drawn to innovative wedding dress styles and designs. But that’s not all. Expect to see more innovative dresses as more and more millennials are entering the “marriage years,” aka more walks down the aisle.

 

This is one factor why Transparency Market Research reports the wedding dress industry will only continue to boom, from a whopping (roughly) $32.45 million last year (2017) to $43.5 million once 2022 wraps up.

 

Back to Innovative Wedding Dress Designs…

 

What makes a wedding dress innovative? While Transparency Market Research didn’t hash out the details, however, Harper Bazaar mentions Danielle Frankel, spotlighted wedding dress designer, is pulling out all the accessories when it comes to current wedding dresses that are both chic and classic.

 

Frankel told Harper Bazaar that she wants the dress to be wearable after the wedding, not just during it. Our guess? Innovation means some off-the-shoulder, sleek evening dresses with some major wedding bling, from jackets to jewelry.     

sweet-ice-cream-photography-123164-unsplashsweet-ice-cream-photography-123164-unsplash Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash
2. Could Flower Headpieces Replace the Veil?

Whether on your Facebook or Instagram news feed, you may find a bride or two choosing a colorful yet simple flower headpiece over the traditional wedding veil.

 

For one, flower headpieces are never out of season. Fall brides can walk down the aisle wearing rust-colored leaves and orange blossoms. Sunflower headpieces are perfect for summer, while white- and blue-colored flowers would go great for winter and warmer-colored flowers for spring weddings.

 

Another reason the flower headpiece is top on the wedding accessory could be price. It may be easier — and less expensive — for brides to get their hands on a flower headpiece than that traditional white veil. Creative brides could even DIY their own headpiece, freeing up more room in their wedding budget for other wedding necessities like venue décor and catering.

Having some wiggle room in your wedding budget is huge, as the average wedding in the US is a little over $30K ($33,391, to be exact). However, if you live in New York City, this number actually is on the low end — think $76,944 tops. While Business Insider goes on to say weddings in say New Mexico is more like $17,584, minimum.

 

So, if we had to guess, price may factor in why flower headpieces are paving the way — not to mention, they’re minimal yet fairy-like and whimsical, perfect for a romantic-blissed-out day.

 

3. DIY Is All the Rage

DIY has taken the millennial generation by storm, and wedding dresses are no exception. As reported by the Huffington Post, DIY wedding dresses could be tye-dyed or even bright pink. In the land of DIY, there is no one right way to create, wedding dresses included.

 

As mentioned earlier, DIY wedding pieces can give some breathing room in an otherwise tight budget. Since three out of four millennials are struggling with some debt, DIY wedding dresses — not to mention, weddings in general — could increase.

 

4. A Classic Royal Train Is Never Out

If you were watching the royal wedding a few months ago, you probably noticed Meghan Markle’s beautiful cathedral train trailing down the aisle. So, flower headpiece or not, the cathedral train is always in.

 

Brides could follow in Markle’s footsteps and go with a long, cathedral train with minimal wedding accessories and wedding dress details. As The Knot, states, go for less when it comes to wedding accessories, as too much jewelry screams too busy or distracting.

 

5. Long Sleeves for a Wedding Dress? Why Not — Bringing Vintage Back

 

Laced — or even solid — sleeves are a go when it comes to bridal trends. (Of course, laced sleeves are more common, but never say never on solid sleeves.)

 

The laced sleeves make the dress look vintage yet classic and, dare we say, fresh. Pair laced sleeves with a laced neck for a beautiful Victorian wedding dress look.

charisse-kenion-229492-unsplashcharisse-kenion-229492-unsplash Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash
Final Thoughts: Your Wedding, Your Dress

 

No matter what the bridal trend is, your wedding dress, like your wedding day, is yours and yours alone. In other words, you do you. If that means wearing a sparkling tiara or a more classic and traditional look, do it. If it means polka dots or a wedding suit, why not. Just as wedding traditions have become more relaxed, so have the wedding dress rules.

 

Have any more modern bridal trends to share? Do you agree with our list? Feel free to comment below.

 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/9/5-latest-bridal-trends-to-pay-attention-to Thu, 06 Sep 2018 18:01:42 GMT
Mountain House Estate Wedding in Cloverdale, CA [Stephany + Erick] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/8/mountain-house-estate-wedding-in-cloverdale-ca-stephany-erick “He took me to a beach in San Francisco and he set his phone down to record , but I had no idea why until he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!”

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It was very hot summer day at the end of July, over 100F.  Impatiently to meet Erick and Stephany, a high school sweethearts  I was driving to Mountain House Estate in Cloverdale, CA to shoot their wedding. The horizon was filled with fog from the wildfires burning in Mendocino County. Thankfully, when I got there the sky was crystal blue and the day was more than perfect.

The whole wedding day was very well organized by the very professional Lacey from Stacey Good Farms and Events . The wedding inspiration was white tulips with white tablecloths, very simple and very elegant. It was a big wedding, but my day was short. However, I was able to capture  a little bit from the groom and bride getting ready, the entire wedding decoration, the family and friends portraits and we even had enough time to capture Erick and Stephany’s intimate photos in the picturesque garden of the Mountain House Estate. Moments filled with love, kisses, smiles and beautiful emotions.

I was so happy how everything was working out so perfectly that day that I even decided to stay a little after my work hours  to capture S+E's first dance. It was the best lighting and I knew I was going to regret if I didn't capture this beautiful couple during that time of the day. And on top of it I ended up capturing some very raw emotional moments like the one of the bride’s mom. 

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Beautiful white cake done by John Die of Moustache Baked Goods in Healdsburg, CA and decorated with tulips by Lacey from Stacey Goods Farm and Events

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STEPHANY BLOG 9STEPHANY BLOG 9 STEPHANY BLOG 4STEPHANY BLOG 4 I thought the garden was the perfect place for S+E photo session. As both are from Mexican origin I found the perfect colors symbolizing their culture. 

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Catering by Papa's Pizza Cafe

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 Venue: Mountain House Estate

Planner: Lacey from Stacey Goods Farm and Events

Photographer: Stani Photography

Sweets: Moustache Baked Goods

Makeup: One Fleek Studio

Jewelry: Kay's Jewelry

Food: Papa's Pizza Cafe

Rentals: Encore Events Rental

Bar: Bartending Prestige

DJ: Emilio 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) beautiful decor dress engagement hot love mountain photography ranch ring summer tuxido wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/8/mountain-house-estate-wedding-in-cloverdale-ca-stephany-erick Fri, 31 Aug 2018 19:13:35 GMT
CRYSTAL JADE JIANG NAN WEDDING IN SAN FRANCISCO [ALICE +FREDIE] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/8/crystal-jade-jiang-nan-wedding-in-san-francisco-alice-fredie what's your favorite memory when you first started dating? 

Alice: My surprise Valentine's Day.

Fredie: On our first date--"Children are like dogs."  "Yeah, but you can't call 'em bitches."
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It was 2013 in Beijing  when Alice met a handsome Swedish guy at a Karaoke Bar. The first thing she thought  was ‘Who is that drunk hipster?’ and Fredie’s thoughts were ‘DAMN’ when he saw her. This is how their romantic relationship started.

Very beautiful and devoted relationship between three continents, one place they both call home  now and a romantic unexpected proposal on one early Friday evening. “One Friday after work, Alice was very tired coming home and was looking forward to the weekend. She walked through the door and their dog, Haley, came running to her with a box around her neck! It fell off and Alice picked it up and then came Freddie dressed up and down on one knee.”He proposed her.  

 

Five years later after Alice and Fredie first met and still madly in love living and working near Hong Kong , they came to San Francisco to tie the knot, the city where Alice was born and raised. Friends and relatives  from all over the world joined them for their intimate celebration at the Cantonese restaurant Crystal Jade Jiang Nan. The restaurant has a spectacular view of the Ferry Building. It was the perfect place for their wedding celebration. I love photographing those small weddings filled with honest emotions shared with close family and friends.

I had the big pleasure to be part of their wedding day on July 21st, one day before my 37th birthday. I was very excited to meet Alice and Freddie in person at their wedding. When they booked me in the beginning of January this year we only met during our skype video call once because of the long distance between each other as they live far far  in Hong Kong. Their wedding day was pretty much the only time I got to know them more in person. But honestly, it felt like we knew each other from a very long time. It was so much fun to photograph them, everything was clicking so naturally between my camera and them posing. I was told Fredie doesn't like being in front of the camera, but now I am not sure if I should believe that. They were both very patient and enjoying the moment together that day. Being around hem that day I felt I could keep photographing them without stopping, unfortunately we were going to run out of time and they wouldn’t be able to enjoy time with their guests.

20180721_AC_052020180721_AC_0520 Few weeks before their wedding Alice found out that the restaurant had permanently closed to the public in an online newspaper. Of course she freaked out in the beginning,  but fortunately was still open to booked events like theirs. Luckily, they were one of the last couples to had their wedding in that venue with million dollars view of the beautiful Ferry Building . I call this lucky couple. 

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The cake and the cupcakes were from Kara’s Cupcake . The cake was decorated with the same flowers that were used for the centerpieces and the bouquet. I  found that very attractively beautiful approach and chic. All the fresh flowers were bought from San Francisco Flower Mart

 

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One of the things that make me love what I do is the opportunities to capture wedding traditions of different cultures. This is Chinese Tea Ceremony, which reminds me of some similar Bulgarian wedding traditions. 

 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/8/crystal-jade-jiang-nan-wedding-in-san-francisco-alice-fredie Thu, 23 Aug 2018 16:45:01 GMT
ANTHONY'S OCEAN VEW DESTINATION BEACH WEDDING [JENNA + DANIEL] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/7/anthonys-ocean-vew-destination-beach-wedding _MGL0417_MGL0417

Mr. + Mrs. Bencea

June 3rd, 2018

Jenna and I both knew each other from our photography classes at the School for Visual  Arts in NYC . We both went to pursue the beginning of our photography careers there. I remember Jenna as one of the happiest girls in school, always smiling and always very generous. Years after graduating we reconnected on instagram following each other’s art work. One day, I got an email from her telling me she got engaged and  loves my wedding photography as she has always loved it. She asked me if I can photograph her wedding day next year in CT. Honestly, I was very surprised and more than honored at the same time. I knew this will be a very special love to capture as I have been following Jenna’s romantic relationship with Dani through the years. For sure it was very different wedding than any other one I have worked on before. Photographing the wedding of the Senior Photo Editor  for Hearst Magazines: Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Women's Health and Good Housekeeping was more than an honor for me, but I can’t hide that it was intimidating as well.  However, I knew Jenna trusted me entirely and I am very thankful to her for that. She knew my personality and my work ethic enough to decide to work with me.

Jenna and Dani found love in the middle of New York City during their college years. They had part time jobs at the 5th Avenue Flagship Abercrombie & Fitch as store models in the winter. Both were working on the first floor near the door. Jenna was always freezing in the skimpy outfits they dressed her. Handsome Dani, always being such gentleman gave his scarf for the whole week without saying a word. And on a snowy Sunday of December 4th, 2009 he asked Jenna on their first date. The same evening they went to Russian Tea Room, took a romantic stroll in Central Park and it couldn't be more perfect than that for their first date.

In 2017, eight years after they first met, Jenna and Dani went to Mexico on vacation. Sailing from Puerto Morelos around the Riviera Maya he got on one knee and asked her  to marry him. They went snorkeling and had a romantic 5 course dinner on the open seas. He didn't stop the surprises on the open waters. He had their room decorated in rose petals with champagne and chocolates waiting!

And talking about romance and ocean , one of the most favorite things for Jenna and Dani to do is walking on the beach and enjoying the sunset with its vibrant colors. No wonder their wedding day was set on the beach at the beautiful Anthony’s Ocean View  wedding venue in New Haven, CT. If you can’t travel to the Carribean beaches or to the Mexican resorts and you live near New York this is your venue. The pictures doesn’t do the justice here. Their wedding theme was entirely about anything ocean, beach, navy blue, gold and white. Every little detail of the wedding decoration mattered and it was very carefully chosen by Jenna. The wedding day was more than perfect love fairytale!

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It was all about the sea that day even Jenna's bracelet. 

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20180602_JA_001620180602_JA_0016 20180602_JA_001420180602_JA_0014 I was also honored to be invited to the rehearsal dinner and I knew Jenna has been talking a lot about how much she wanted a photo with the Lighthouse in New Haven with Dani. We knew we wouldn't have time the next day to drive to that beautiful and romantic place and decided to go and do a mini session before the dinner. It was amazing. After that I met both families and it was wonderful to get to know them before the wedding day. It helped a lot the next day to allow me to capture some very intimate and emotional moments.

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Those very special family moments of the night before your wedding day worth every capture. 

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The Airbnb  Beach House. It was the perfect place for J+D to get ready. Right next to the venue and all decorated in the ocean style with seashell driveway.

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 Groom and groomsmen socks were all monogrammed by Sock Prints 20180603_JA_000620180603_JA_0006

Custom Mrs. Bencea hanger by Whiskey and Wedding Bells on Eatsy

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Bridal shoes by Betsy Johnson        Wedding Rings: bride by Jewelry Design groom by AnL Jewelry 

20180603_JA_000820180603_JA_0008 Monogrammed wedding band for Dani just because he loves wolfs and moons and Jenna loves him to the moon and back.  Isn't that very original and practical. Working as a NYC cop Dani chose the titanium as metal for his ring by AnL Jewelry

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Jenna's gifts to her besties: robes by Marley Lilly and custom jewelry by her mother's Etsy shop Charms of Faith 20180603_JA_002420180603_JA_0024

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Cheers with monogrammed champagne flutes by Cambridge Avenue on Etsy

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The moment when Dani's mom Valentina sees him  getting ready and his father fixing his bowtie. It was very emotional for both of them. 20180603_JA_003020180603_JA_0030

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20180603_JA_003820180603_JA_0038 Dani's groom suit by Joseph Abboud  20180603_JA_004520180603_JA_0045

The breathtaking view of the ceremony side at Anthony's Ocean View. So romantic, so peaceful and sunny. 

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Flowers by Danielle 

Caroibbean Vibe Steel Drum Band

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Cake by Petonitos Bakery and heart cookie decorated with the bride and groom initials with the colors of sand and ocean by Jenna's mom Jackie.

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All the candy bar was designed by the bride's mom and her aunt Stacy. The M&M candies had the bride and groom initials and their wedding date. 

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The centerpiece had a white knot symbolizing Jenna and Dani's marriage. 

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All signs designed by Jenna's best friend and maid of honor Sasha Preziosa, another friend and very talanted photographer I know from SVA . It was awesome reconnecting with both of them after all those years. 

She used printing and paper from White Fox Paper Co on Eatsy

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20180603_JA_007920180603_JA_0079 20180603_JA_007320180603_JA_0073 20180603_JA_007520180603_JA_0075 one of the cutest moments at the wedding , the flower girl playing with the sand during the ceremony

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Parents really got emotional during the vow exchanges . Valentina's only son and Eric and Jakie's only daughter  20180603_JA_008720180603_JA_0087 You can't call it beach wedding without the sand ceremony and here it is the white and navy blue sands mixing with one another. 

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20180603_JA_011520180603_JA_0115 Jenna's bridal dress by  Keinfields She couldn't look more perfect and stunning than with that dress.  20180603_JA_012020180603_JA_0120 20180603_JA_012220180603_JA_0122 20180603_JA_012420180603_JA_0124 20180603_JA_012720180603_JA_0127 20180603_JA_012820180603_JA_0128 20180603_JA_013120180603_JA_0131 20180603_JA_013920180603_JA_0139 20180603_JA_014320180603_JA_0143

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20180603_JA_016420180603_JA_0164 Instead of DJ there was a life band at the wedding. Timmy Maia was entertaining the guests all night with variety of music.  20180603_JA_016520180603_JA_0165 20180603_JA_016620180603_JA_0166 20180603_JA_016820180603_JA_0168 20180603_JA_017220180603_JA_0172 20180603_JA_017020180603_JA_0170 20180603_JA_017920180603_JA_0179 20180603_JA_018120180603_JA_0181

Honestly, I never shot sparkles at the end of the wedding . There is always a first time and I think it turned out amazing. Real people, real moments! What's a better way to call it off the wedding night than having sparkles!  20180603_JA_018220180603_JA_0182

CONGRATULATIONS JENNA AND DANI AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR TRUST  IN MY WORK AND FOR THE HONOR TO BE AT YOUR FAIRYTALE WEDDING DAY! 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) beach navy ocean photographer sea shells water wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/7/anthonys-ocean-vew-destination-beach-wedding Tue, 24 Jul 2018 02:35:16 GMT
LGBTQ WEDDING AT UC BERKELEY BOTANICAL GARDEN [M+A] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/6/lgbtq-wedding-at-uc-berkeley-botanical-garden-m-a blog 2blog 2

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UC BERKELEY BOTANICAL GARDEN WEDDING - THE ROSE GARDEN CEREMONY

BREATHTAKING MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND WEDDING

 

I met Amber in 2013 while shooting  their artist portraits for their website. We clicked right away. You know that feeling when you rarely meet really spiritual and happy souls and you want to stay in touch with them after that and follow their creative career.

Four years later I get an email from Monique referred by Amber to be their wedding photographer. Honestly, I was thrilled and I knew this would be a very unique  and emotional day even for me to be a part of it.

This is how they met. Both were attending the Esalen  Retreat Center in Big Sur, CA during the Holiday Season in 2014. Monique was taking a soul motion dance retreat and Amber was taking a tai chi/sound healing retreat. Sparkles bursted right away when they met on the dance floor during the Christmas Eve dance party. It was a magical night and couldn't be more romantic and memorable for them. The first question Amber asked Monique was ‘Don’t  I know you? Haven’t we met before?’. It wouldn't be possible as Monique lived in Hawaii where she was from and Amber in San Francisco at that time. They both shared their coming out stories and dating history in the first hour they met, which they had so much in common. But, it was the first 5 minutes conversation though between two of them that they knew were meant for each other. Their love for sure has a special relationship to hot springs . On April 13, 2017 they drove to Myvatn Nature Baths in Iceland, the most beautiful hot spring they have ever visited . They were pretty much alone in a huge pool and it spontaneously came to Amber to pop the question to Monique. They  tied the knot on May 26th, 2018 in the beautiful rose garden of UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, CA.

Their ceremony was so beautiful and spiritual. The concept was to walk in the circle  and make an eye connection with everyone who came to their wedding day and acknowledge their presence. I thought this was absolutely beautiful and so personal. It made me think that every wedding ceremony should have this moment in it, a moment of presence and connection with the people who we love and appreciate.  “The rose garden was in full bloom, and roses symbolize love. You could smell their heavenly fragrance. The rose garden is also up on a hill, with a view of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. We liked the expansive view. It was Monique's dream to move to the Bay Area--being in the rose garden with the view on the hill felt like being in the heavenly realm of sacred space with wafts of roses. “

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a personal moment

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The gorgeous bridal bouquet and the bouttenniere were by Vanessa from Bell and Trunk Flowers   Amber's suit was custom made by Thùy Custom Clothier

 

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Monique was proud to wear on her wedding day her grandma pearls. 

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connecting with each other though touching each other heart

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Monique makes eye contact with Amber's mom. Very emotional moment for both of them. 

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Walking in through the little gate at the rose garden. Monique walks with her two sons. 

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Gorgeous view from rose garden at UC Botanical Garden garden . Golden gate bridge in the far distance. 

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connectig with the closest family members 

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 I thought their wedding rings with natural gemstones like turquoise were so meaningful and beautiful made by Thomas Carusetta

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As Monique is Japanese American, the Japanese garden was a very special and significant place for her. 

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Bridal Dress by Nicole Miller and  silver/grey suit with eggplant piping, white shirt and iridescent blue/pink/silver vest by Thùy Custom Clothier

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cakes made by M+A friend table flowers by Good Eggs

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Catering and Wedding Coordinator by  Simon from S&S Gastro Grub Catering

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Wildflowers on the tables by Good Eggs and guest favorites by Upcountry Maui Jams and Jellies

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free your voice 

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the speeches were even more heartbreaking especially when little kids want to be a part of them

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The two moms are connecting. I believe this is a very memorable photo for the family album. 

 

Congratulations Amber and Monique and Thank You for believing in my work. It was more than an honor to be a part of your wedding day. 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) gay lesbian lgbt loveislove lovewins queer wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/6/lgbtq-wedding-at-uc-berkeley-botanical-garden-m-a Mon, 25 Jun 2018 01:35:05 GMT
BULL VALLEY ROADHOUSE WEDDING [KIMBERLY+KEVIN] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/2/bull-valley-roadhouse-elopement-kimberly-kevin 20180201_KN_015420180201_KN_0154

When I first received an email request from Kimberly about their wedding at Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa, CA  I knew this was going to be a very special and unique day. Fifteen years ago at a job training on February 1st 2003 , Kimberly and Kevin met each other and soon after that they started dating. Nine years ago, on March 20, 2009  while Kevin had been carrying the ring around in his shirt pocket he kneeled and proposed to Kimberly at Union Square in San Francisco where they have spent a lot of time together during the years they dated and with a giant smile from ear to ear she said yes.  

It is special relationship, one that not many of us have the chance to experience it, one that requires a lot of patience and care for each other. In the early years of their relationship, Kimberly would help Kevin over the weekends with some college classes. Kevin would pick her up on a sunny Saturday afternoon and go on a long drives sometimes to san Francisco other times to places that have never been before , just to talk and be together. They have been motivating each other at work and life, both having a wit sense of humor made each other laugh and enjoying life together while creating memories for a lifetime.  Kimberly and Kevin have been sharing more and more similar values while growing up in their relationship through the fifteen years of being together. Values and actions of devotion, patience and care made them realized their destiny together to share lifelong commitment and love. And on February 1st, 2018 in a beautiful sunny late afternoon they promised each other to comfort and protect each other and to love. Forever.

Their ceremony and reception took place at Bull Valley Roadhouse, settled in the historic downtown of Port Costa, CA. If you live in the Bay Area and never heard about Port Costa you know you are not the only one. But if you have a chance to go there you must visit it.

Since, Kimberly and Kevin decided to have a first look photos , we decided to do those at a location closed to Port Costa. Kevin was super nice to check Briones Regional Park in the Martinez side and he wrote me that the place was absolutely beautiful. Knowing from our conversation  that they like nature and they live in the area I thought that this will be the perfect place for their portrait session. I scouted the location before they showed up and found a magical forest with shade and sparkling sunlight coming out of the far distance behind the trees. We did have to walk about ten minutes to the location, but it was all worth it. It was a very special place I thought , so intimate and so spiritual.

Kimberly and Kevin, words can't describe how honored I was to be a part of that very special day for you and your families: THANK YOU , thank you for believing in me and  making me feel like the luckiest photographer to document the story of your love and happiness. Much Love and appreciation....Stani ! 

San Francisco wedding photographerSan Francisco wedding photographer Napa wedding photographerNapa wedding photographer

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menu with the  bride and groom names on top and the date of their wedding day

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First look photos at Briones Regional Park in Martinez , CA . Emotional and excited Kimberly walked behind Kevin. Kevin, thrilled to see his bride and wife to be. 

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magic of love and happiness in the middle of the woods 

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Kimberly was wearing a gorgeous  art deco kind of dress by Adrianna Papell with her hair down. Holding a beaitiful white wedding bouquet made by Anne Mendenhall 

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Formal Portraits were done before the ceremony so we have some more time for the bride and groom extra photos after, plus teh timeline didn't allow much time for formal portraits after the ceremony.  

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Bull Valley Roadhouse has a permanent  knot where the wedding ceremony takes place. 

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A long table set for 24 guests . menu was printed at the restaurant with family shared plates and decorated with a flower on top of the plate. Simple and Elegant.

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Cake was made by Alpine Pastry and Cakes and decorated by the florist Anne Mendenhall . White , navy blue and organic natural elements were the wedding decoration and accents. 

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Twenty four of the closets family and friends gathered to celebrate Kevin and Kimberly's love and marriage. 

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Many thanks to all the amazing vendors who made that celebration possible :

 

Venue: Bull Valley Roadhouse - Tuala Garcia-Zuazua

 

Florist: Anne Mendenhall Flowers

 

Cake: Alpine Pastry and Cakes

 

Officiant: Scott Gillespie

 

Bridal Dress: Adrianna Papeell

 

Shoes: Michael Kors

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) area art bay deco florist francisco marriage planner san simple wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2018/2/bull-valley-roadhouse-elopement-kimberly-kevin Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:08:41 GMT
OLD BORGES RANCH FAMILY PORTRAIT SESSION IN WALNUT CREEK [THE STREI FAMILY] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/11/old-borges-ranch-family-portrait-session MOUNT DIABLO FAMILY PORTRAIT SESSION

[the best time of the day for a family portrait session]

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when Jen contacted me on facebook to photograph her family of four this fall. In 2013 , being pregnant myself I photographed Jen and Kevin’s wedding day. Since then, they have stayed in my heart as one of the sweetest couples I had the chance to work with. Now, I had the pleasure to really get to know them as great parents too to some of the most adorable kids I have known.

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When we were discussing locations in the Walnut Creek area , the historic Old Borges Ranch came to my mind first. I know kids love farm animals and especially when they can pet them. The ranch is absolutely picturesque and is a great place to create a day with my family story like. From the rustic wooden walls, the cactus next door, the old vintage tractors  to the goats and chickens that are pasturing around the ranch. The place is a beautiful set that has everything that a family can enjoy for couple of hours. It has bathrooms too, parking lot and beautiful hiking trails to Diablo Foothills Regional Park.

Getting there is easy , just be careful that is kind of a one way mountain road, so drive slowly.

I have done session at the Old Borges Ranch before and they all turned out beautiful . The best time is in the afternoon. I prefer shooting there before the rains start in November. September and October are the ideal time if you want to get to images ready for the Holidays. After November , it might be muddy there if it has rained the day before or so. And don’t forget that the time changes with an hour back in the beginning of November. Plus, as closer we get to the holidays the place can get very crowded with other photographers shooting family portraits there last minute( once there was four other photographers there and we have to respect each others time and space of shooting too). Yes, apparently the place is pretty famous among the lifestyle photo community in the Contra Costa County. But who can you blame for it when it has everything to create beautiful portraits with pretty background. Once, we even spotted deers .

Best time to shoot: after 4pm before November and from 3pm-5pm after the Daylight Saving Time ends.

As always my goal is the family I photograph to have a great time as a whole and at the same time these authentic moments to be recorder inside the rectangular frame.

Old Borges Ranch  

1035 Castle Rock Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/11/old-borges-ranch-family-portrait-session Thu, 09 Nov 2017 18:38:07 GMT
KINGS CANYON ELOPEMENT AT THE GIANT SEQUOIAS [DIANA+VLADISLAV] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/9/kings-canyon-wedding-at-a-campground-diana-vladislav DIANA AND VLADI'S BULGARIAN FOREST WEDDING AT GRAND GROVE VILLAGE 

SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2017

Where do I begin? I know Vladi since I know my husband. He is  my sister in law’s brother, but I have heard about his charm and adventurous spirit  long before I met him in person. Both Bulgarians living in the States, Diana and Vladi are very free spirted souls. In the late spring of 2014, Vladi decides to quit his job and follow his dreams. He buys a ticket to Bogota, Colombia and begins year long exploration through  South America one country at a time, all the way to Antarctica. During that time one of Vladi’s friends who lives in Chicago introduces him to Diana and in February 2015, she joins him in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is how it all began.  When he first saw her she captured him with her mysterious beauty of a wild child. Then they visited Uruguay and Brazil. It was just meant to happen. After  coming back to USA Diana moves from Chicago to Orange County where Vladi lives.

In the Christmas night of 2016 Vladi hides a ring in Diana’s Christmas gift box and proposes.

Knowing both of them as happy campers and travelers I can’t imagine having their wedding somewhere else, but in a forest.  They planned their wedding not just in any forest, but at the Giant Sequoias at Kings Canyon National Park. All the guests stayed at Azalea campground, which was absolutely beautiful and bonding experience. The ceremony took place at the magical Sunset Campground Amphitheater and the reception at the picnic area near the Azalea Campground under the grant sequoia trees. It was just the perfect setting for their forest wedding.

To be honest I was quite surprised when they asked me to be their main photographer at the wedding. I really didn’t expect it, as my family was one of the guests too and Nikola was invited to be the ring bearer. And to say it was an honor for me to be their wedding photographer is not enough. When someone I know invites me to photograph their wedding, it means a lot to me. It means trust and appreciation to my art. But that also means that I need to work extra hard  not to disappoint them and to separate work and personal emotions. Plus it was Nikola’s 4th Birthday at that day. So many emotional events in one day.

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Diana and Vladi’s wedding was all DIY. You can see from the images how much they put from their heart in it. There were so many personal elements to it. Diana created all the centerpieces and the decorations. Well, when you have a wedding in the middle of the forest it’s also hard to have a wedding planner or a caterer either.  I think that was one of the most creative and beautiful weddings I have photographed. Sometimes, you don’t need a lot to keep it simple and elegant. Boho Chic kind of style, with Bulgarian Live Folk Music and dancing horo , all was merging so well in the enchanted environment of the big trees around.

Not very popular these days , D+V decided to have a touch of authentic Bulgarian traditions in their wedding, like the groom with his entourage  picking up the maid of honor and the best man. Then they dance horo in front of their housing , which in this case was John Muir Lodge where they stayed for the weekend . That is followed by picking up the bride from her lodging, which in this case was one of the cabins near. There the groom’s family and friends are trying to “buy’ the bride - giving money to her parents and guardians in order to let the grom  enter inside and see his bride. Of course this was done all for the entertainment purposes and it was awesome.  Once, Vladi was let inside “the bride’s  house” he had to find one of her shoe and put money in it so it fits the bride’s foot. From there they both exited ‘the house’  and the bride led the horo dance . The guests were having traditional pita bread with honey as symbol for the newlyweds sweet life together.

The wedding ceremony was another elaborate scene from Diana and Vladi’s wedding. It was  full with humor, love and beautiful mixture between western wedding traditions with Bulgarian ones, and some that I have never seen before (such as telling something on each other’s ear  while putting the rings on).

Diana and Vladi’s outfits were custom designed and sewed by their maid of honor Ivanka Georgieva.  Her wedding dress was inspired by the legends about Samodiva . And everything else looked just like a magical fairytale in the forest.  

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beautiful white lace was spread in the middle of each table 

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Diana made these two wooden tiles by herself. One was for the best man and the maid of honor and the other one for her and Vladi. 

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The only heavy weight wooden table in the picnic area served as the newlyweds table. It was just perfect . It was decorated with pine cones and wild dry flowers.

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Guests dancing horo in front of John Muir Lodge when picking up the best man and the maid of honor. 

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Milen Varimezov plays gaida (bagpipe) when the bride exists 'her house' . 

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After Vladi found the right shoe he is trying to put it on Diana's foot and inserts money on the back so the shoe can fit. 

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The bride leads the horo dance in front of 'her house' .

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And someone broke one of the champagne glasses. But as we it ' The broken brings happiness'.  

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The guests are trying the pita with honey for bride and groom's sweet life together.

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Some tourists watching the ceremony from the back.

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Bride and Groom Photo session at the Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park. 

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The bride in front of the Fallen Monarch

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) after bulgarian camping canyon dancing decoration diy enchanted ever fairytale folk forest happily kings live music national park photography planning portraits rings samodiva sequoia wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/9/kings-canyon-wedding-at-a-campground-diana-vladislav Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:44:03 GMT
MOUNT TAMALPAIS ENGAGEMENT PORTRAIT SESSION: R+U https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/9/mount-tamalpais-engagement-portrait-session-radka-ulf To say I am happy for R and U ( for client's discretion)  who are getting married in a few days is an understatement.  I met R at the same time when I met my love and father of my two boys, George. It was a hot summer wedding in Clearwater Beach, FL, six years ago .  George played the bagpipe, R was the lead singer, and I was the photographer. Who would’ve  thought that one day our lives would continue to cross time and again. When I first heard her singing, she captivated me with her colorful voice. She is one of the most beautiful, multi talented person I know with a lively smile.

Ever since, R would appear in my life and disappear around the world following her dream to become a healer. She volunteered in many humanitarian missions, when she was in dental school.  When I was in my last days of pregnancy with my first son, she came in September to do a headshot portrait  she needed for a residency application.

We met again in September  two years later, when she came to my house for my son’s 2nd birthday party.   It was just before she traveled to Jamaica again to volunteer as a dentist there.

Well, by life’s serendipity all the occasions are happening in September .. she even got engaged in September last year and now she is getting married in September!

 

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When things are meant to happen they happen even  with online dating. This is how it all started, as R and U describe:  ...”with a picture R had taken in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It happened so that Ulf saw the picture and recognized the place which he had just gotten back from. Over the next few conversations they discovered they have similar views about the world and passions about community, family, dentistry, adventure and food. It was a miracle that their first date actually happened. Growing up in Switzerland, U showed up right on time. Growing up in Bulgaria, R also showed up right on time - about 45 min late. Regardless of the few roadblocks on the way, she drove down to meet U and was pleasantly surprised that he was still there, true to his word, with a smile on his face. Although they met just for drinks, Ulf was impressed that Radka can devour a cheeseburger and fries in record time. "Finally a girl that can eat," is all he said. “  

Then followed a year of dating, full of amazing adventures,  going places, hiking, skiing, and traveling.  “On a beautiful sunny day, R and U went on a mountain bike ride up Mount Tamalpais. They stopped for a picnic to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Little that she knew, U had it all planned out. He knew that R loves Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs. To her surprise, rather than a toy she found The Ring...she agreed on wearing forever.”

I met U for the first time when R asked me to do their engagement photo session. I was impressed by U’s personality and really flattered by their decision to pick me as the photographer.

We chose couple of locations for the engagement session: Muir Beach and Mt. Tamalpais.

Mt. Tam was the place where U proposed R, so it was very special place for them. We went there around sunset and it was mesmerizing , the fog was just showing and created a sea of puffy clouds in the horizon.  

We even found by chance a picnic bench and table where we were able to capture a lovely “ end of day and week” moment  with a glass of red wine and cherries.  It was more than beautiful and so romantic.

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/9/mount-tamalpais-engagement-portrait-session-radka-ulf Sat, 09 Sep 2017 17:47:50 GMT
MOUNTAIN HOUSE ESTATE WEDDING : SONIA + ALEX https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/6/mountain-house-estate-wedding-sonia-alex IMG_2357-EditIMG_2357-Edit

SONIA + ALEX 

June 17th, 2017

Mariachi music, salsa dancing, lots of laughing,  tears and beautiful sincere emotions at Sonia and Alex wedding day. 

Sonia and Alex are one of the matchy matchy soul mate couples I am having the chance to work with. And on of the most wonderful people I have met in my life. Both good hearts and all-around kindred spirits as they describe themselves.  When they first contacted me a year ago to book me for their wedding, things just clicked right away between us.  And I knew their wedding will be full with fiesta and tears.    

Sonia and Alex met in 2012 while working on a music together. Alex was the music producer and Sonia was the vocalist. And that's how everything began around music, fun and laugh. It just meant to happen. As Alex says: ‘ I thought Sonia was really beautiful, but not only that, she was also down to Earth and easy to talk to. I almost immediately felt like we had known each other for a long time.’  

Four years after, they both flew to the Bay Area one day where their parents live. Very well planned,  Alex made one of the most romantic proposals to Sonia at the Palace of Fine Arts . With rose petals set by their parents , guitar player playing 'Besame Mucho' and a photographer hiding behind the bushes to capture the moment. Alex got down on one knee and asked Sonia to marry him. Then both sides parents popped out from their hiding places and all drank some champagne and took photos. It was one of the most wonderful  days in their lives.

Sonia and Alex dream wedding took place at the gorgeous  historic wedding venue Mountain House Estate, located  at the rural wine country at Cloverdale. It was just the perfect venue for their wedding day, away from the traffics and hustle in Southern California where the couple lives.

They married, outdoor under the big oak tree at the Mountain House Estate property, surrounded by birds singing, wind breeze touching Sonia’s veil and the leaves of the native trees. A place that bees are buzzing and hills are rolling at sunset time.  Empty canvas to be filled with wonderful memories. Their outdoor Mexican wedding at the Mountain House Estate was just spectacular. Sonia who was born and raised inside the traditions of mexican culture and fiesta created one absolutely beautiful mix of cultural traditions and contemporary wedding inspirations.

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Sonia reading Alex's vows to her before putting her dress on and tears are coming out of her eyes. What a priceless moment !

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One of my favorite backdrops at Mountain House Estate 

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 I love that moment of the bridesmaids excitement about Sonia's wedding dress by Essense of Australia design

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Personal and elegant. Alex's custom made suit by Indochino  has embroidery inside his jacket with his and Sonia’s initials and their wedding date.

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Having a wedding at one location that has separate bridal and groom suits like at Mountain House Estate, allowed me to capture both bride and groom getting ready. 

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Father and son ready for the Big Day 

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Acoustic guitar player at Sonia and Alex wedding ceremony.

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Sonia's father escorts her . Very emotional moment! 

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It was 100 F that day , but still the big oak tree shade was cooler place to be while saying your vows. 

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And the first kiss... 

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And presenting you Mr. and Mrs. Noble 

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At sunset time after dinner we went to the open field to get some romantic natural light photos of S+A . Just two of them. 

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The beautiful flower center pieces were one of the main details of the wedding decor and a reference to the Mexican culture. 

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The small sweets bites were one of the top hits of the evening. Beautifully decorated on top of a cart and served in white plates. 

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What is a wedding without a glass of champagne...

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Capturing the moment ... the bridesmaids fixing Sonia's gorgeous wedding dress. 

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Mexican inspired wedding decor ... And have you tried Noble Martini? 

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decorated buffet tables with beautiful Mexican ceramic pots 

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tablecloths were in different vivid colors - purple, yellow, blue 

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Bridesmaids were wearing grey shade long dresses that were all so beautiful and unique . The flowers by Franceska's Flower and Garden complemented them just perfect. Make up done by Soyi make-up and hair. 

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Images can't describe the emotional moments during the toasts .

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and the first dance ...

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Dancing to Vivir Mi Vida by Marc Anthony - the perfect song to start the wedding party dancing.

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and we ended up with a quick group photo with all the guests from above the balcony. 

many thanks to the amazing team of wedding vendors who brought that perfect day to life.

Many thanks to the amazing team of wedding vendors who brought that perfect day to life.

Venue: Mountain House Estate

Event Planner: Meghan Magnasco from SoEventful

Event Venue Management: Jenna Britton from theKgroup

Florist: Francesca’s Flowers and Garden

Make up and Hair: Kelly from Soyi

Caterer: Gil Vega Catering   

DJ: DJ Cody from Sutherland Entertainment

Acoustic Guitar: Matthew Fish from Sutherland Entertainment

Officiant: George Crespin

 

 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) boho mexican modern outdoor ranch wedding https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/6/mountain-house-estate-wedding-sonia-alex Fri, 30 Jun 2017 22:21:10 GMT
MOTHER'S DAY IS EVERYDAY [BAY AREA FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/5/mothers-day-is-everyday-bay-area-family-photographer Confession from a mother or a letter to my mom

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I am very happy to curate this blog post with most of my favorite images I  took throughout the last few years of my career as a lifestyle photographer of mothers including some self portraits too.  

My mom has been here since November. I don’t know what I would do without her. She has been helping me with my kids and the household, and so many other things, so I can focus more on my business, my inner balance, being a better parent and better artist. She has been my best friend and biggest support ever , and always next to me when I need her. My mom she even left her job and everything back in Bulgaria last year so she can come here temporary and help me with raising two children. Now, I realize that this wasn’t just a help , but it has been a tremendous  reconnection between us two. Getting to know each other in the last six months after all this years living apart , bonded us event deeper as mother and daughter. Now, myself as a mother of two  I realize the sacrifices my mom has made throughout the years for me and my sister. Even now, when I am a grown up woman she still does it. That makes me think how much sacrifices a mother needs to make and for how long? It is not going to be a day or two , or year or two, it’s going to be a life time for sure. But, knowing that someone out there loves us and needs us and that ‘someone’ is our own child  who we are sacrificing everything for makes us - mothers happy  and loved, and that all matters to us. Nothing else.

It took me a while to decide, which images to select to go on the blog post ( and trust me there were much more ). When I began curating them, the first thing that came to my mind was love - sacrifice for love. The look in all those women’s eyes speak about sacrifice and about love,  and about hope , and future, and something sacred, unique, all so special and inseparable from one another.  Looking at those photos I am so personally touched that all those women - some of them clients, some self portraits, and clients who became friends after all , they all allowed me to capture them so closely and intimate  in that very special moment in their life. So vulnerable, so sensitive , so emotional and still so strong and loving.

Mother’s Day is everyday, don’t forget that. I am surrounded by many mothers nowadays and I can see all the sacrifices that day do for their kids. We must respect, love and always remember that they are our best friends, out support and our strength. The mother will always love you, no matter what, where you are and what you do.

 

 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) best family friend friendship kiss love mom mother photographer relationship https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2017/5/mothers-day-is-everyday-bay-area-family-photographer Fri, 05 May 2017 19:36:05 GMT
BOTANICAL WEDDING NEAR SANTA CRUZ, CA [RANCHO SOQUEL] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2016/11/botanical-theme-wedding-near-santa-cruz-ca-rancho-soquel Leilani and Matt tying the knot in a beautiful fall afternoon

on October 8th, 2016 at the spectacular Rancho Soquel venue in Aptos, CA.

 
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Leilani and Matt’s wedding was really a dream come true. Surrounded by all the close family and friends, love and happiness were all around us. Five years ago L+M met at Palapas Restaurant and Bar on the sea cliff of Aptos, CA. Those five years were filled with adventures and romance in Costa Rica, Kauai, Mendocino, Santa Barbara, Bali and in Santa Cruz where Matt is from. While living in Kauai where Leilani is from, one warm evening at sunset Matt proposed Leilani. Leilani describes it as ‘He made it all so sweet and romantic! I was totally surprised!!’ Knowing both of them for almost a year, I can say that those two lovebirds are just made for each other. The pictures show it all. Leilani - a nature beauty  inside and out and Matt - the man with the gold heart.

Leilani and Ariel who is her maid of honor, best friend and partner in crime since childhood are the owners of Botanic and Lux, a luxurious lifestyle store in the Downtown Santa Cruz . Described by them as ‘a place for dreamers, lovers and seekers of all things beautiful’. So if you are in the area of Santa Cruz or doing a highway 1 trip don't forget to stop by Botanic and Lux. Talking about their live indoor plants business and born and raised in Hawaii,  Leilani has always been surrounded by nature and flowers. No wonder, she choose Rancho Soquel for the place to say ‘I do’ .  A place in first sight that can be a botanical garden or part of an excotic island. For her wedding day they both wanted everything to be as simple as possible, but the same time to be fresh, elegant and authentic.

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Leilani's hair and make-up were done by the talanted Briena Gleitsman 
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Debbie, Lei's mother in law giving her a special gift to her - a silver necklace she got it in Macedonia for her. Very original and pretty! 
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Leilani's hair and make-up were done by the talanted Briena Gleitsman 
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Wedding dress by Stone Cold Fox , Bridal bouquet by Willi Wildflower 
 
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After the first look Matt opened a bottle of champagne that he got it at the day of their engagement and kept it to the day of the wedding to open it up. This was a very special moment.
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Proteas were chosen for the main accent flower of the wedding day. It is special and exotic flower. In the Hawaii culture is consider as a symbol of hospitality and grace. The beautiful bridal bouquet and the bridesmaids' proteas were done by Willi Wildflower
20161008_LK_006620161008_LK_0066 Leilani is one of those people that makes everything looks so easy and simple around her. Her smile is captivating. People wants to be around her and that explains her big bridal party of all that awesome people I had the honor to meet and photograph that day.  The bridesmaid dresses were one of my favorite accents of the wedding theme. Long dresses with flower prints on them , but all uniquely designed from one another by Show Me Your Mu Mu.
While to complement the lady’s more elaborated fashion style the groomsmen were dressed with dark grey pants and plain white shirt. 20161008_LK_007020161008_LK_0070 20161008_LK_007220161008_LK_0072 20161008_LK_007420161008_LK_0074 lei  lei  7lei lei 7 20161008_LK_008120161008_LK_0081 20161008_LK_008220161008_LK_0082 20161008_LK_008420161008_LK_0084 lei  lei  8lei lei 8 20161008_LK_009020161008_LK_0090 20161008_LK_009120161008_LK_0091 20161008_LK_009220161008_LK_0092 20161008_LK_009420161008_LK_0094 20161008_LK_009520161008_LK_0095 20161008_LK_009720161008_LK_0097 20161008_LK_010320161008_LK_0103 lei  lei  18lei lei 18
The center pieces are by Botanic and Luxe
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Catering by Feast for a King Catering 
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The beautiful invitations were printed by Wedding Paper Divas and the Thank you card was designed and printed by me, the photographer. 

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The guests name tags were handwritten by Matt’s talented step sister Margo. All the little, but important elements were in a botanical theme. Cake by Jennifer Fontes.  20161008_LK_012620161008_LK_0126 lei  lei  10lei lei 10

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One of the most authentic elements at the wedding were the inherited ring from Leilani’s grandma whose mom gave it to her at the day of the wedding and Matt’s cufflinks from his grandpa given to him by his mom as well.  

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One of the best parts of the party night was the father -daughter dance.

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Leilani’s mom dancing Hula dance, a hawaiian traditional dance. It as an ancient dancing , Aloha in action. Beautiful! 

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Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Zehnder!
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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2016/11/botanical-theme-wedding-near-santa-cruz-ca-rancho-soquel Sun, 20 Nov 2016 01:33:38 GMT
GETTING MARRIED IN THE COMMUNE [LA SELVA BEACH WEDDING] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2016/6/getting-married-in-the-commune-la-selva-beach-wedding Cheers to love, laughter and happily ever after for

Madelaine and Scott

May 28th, 2016

 

I am so excited to share my experience from Madelaine and Scott’s commune wedding.  I got a call from Scott one day that they are looking for a photographer for their wedding. It’s not very common to get a request by the groom. He sounded pretty excited about it and of course he was getting married to the love of his life.

Since they live away from me in Santa Cruz we had our first face to face meeting over a skype video call.  We clicked right away. Of course we did. We all used to live on the L train line in New York and we have a lot of life experience to share with. Who knows maybe we had bumped into each other in the subway without knowing it.

S+M’s story is a destiny. Both newlyweds are from California, whose lives came across at a bar in Brooklyn, NY. However, as it says the home is where your heart is. They moved back to the ocean side of beautiful California in the city of Santa Cruz where they settled down.  Cuba was the place where Scott proposed to Madelaine at Las Jardines de la Reina. This is how their journey began with planning their wedding party at Madelaine’s family house - The Commune at La Selva Beach.  

S+M are one of the sweetest couples I have had the chance to meet and photographed. They wanted a simple outdoor wedding in a location closest to their hearts. And they wanted a big wedding where they can enjoy as much time as possible with all their family and friends. The Commune was the the perfect place for their wedding day. They chose Memorial Day Weekend for their wedding date, so the guests can fully experience the wedding weekend at La Selva Beach.

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M+S decided to do have their photos and the formal photos made before the ceremony. The first look was the perfect way to start it! 

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Can't say no to a dog in a photo especially with a name Porkchop. 

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Photo of all the three families living at The Commune. 

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DIY wedding table decoration for an outdoor reception. 

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All 208 name tags were hand written.

oak and rye pizzaoak and rye pizza All the catering was handled by Oak and Rye Pizza. The woodfire pizza oven was one of the dining attractions at the wedding.  oak and rye pizzaoak and rye pizza

santa cruz wedding photographysanta cruz wedding photography While waiting for the ceremony to start Madelaine was enjoying drink and talk with her friends.  la selva beach weddingla selva beach wedding

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The boys and girls houses were accross each other. Capturing lots of candid shots was the must at the wedding, so much was going on around it! 
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kids at weddingkids at wedding ...and there was plenty of fun for the kids too around The Commune!  20160528_SS_001720160528_SS_0017 california weddingscalifornia weddings california weddingscalifornia weddings And here comes the beautiful bride... walnut creek weddingswalnut creek weddings wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach I thought I was the only photographer at the wedding. I always try to capture the face of the groom when his wife to be very soon is walking the aisle. It's one of the must have photos for the wedding album. You never know who else will be inside the frame.  best bay area photographersbest bay area photographers wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach and tears are rolling over her face from happiness and emotions.. wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach 20160528_SS_002920160528_SS_0029

You know what love means when his eyes are shining so much.  wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach Funny and real stories are the best during the wedding vows! 

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and sometimes some of the sweetest guests fall asleep during those speeches.. wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach 20160528_SS_003420160528_SS_0034 wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach Madelaine and Scott ceremony was under a big oak tree where she used to play there as a free spirited child surrounded by vegetable farms and the golden hour of the warm Californian sunset.  20160528_SS_003620160528_SS_0036

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The ring bearers... so cute and so little and so in style...It's the image when the bride gives a kiss to the youngest at the wedding. Oh, darling.. they are so adorable!  wedding ceremony at la selva beachwedding ceremony at la selva beach commune weddingcommune wedding commune weddingcommune wedding commune weddingcommune wedding

and the first kiss...

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There were lots of wine and champagne and an oyster bar by Bill the Oyster Man. Guests were enjoying the nice outdoor weather, mingling with each other.  20160528_SS_001920160528_SS_0019

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All 20 cakes were homed backed 

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Thank you M+S for sharing this joyful day with you! Cheers! 

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) . best ceremony champagne cheese commune couples cruz diy family friends happiness love marriage married marry oak outdoor oyster pizza rye santa smiles tree wedding wine https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2016/6/getting-married-in-the-commune-la-selva-beach-wedding Mon, 06 Jun 2016 22:41:55 GMT
MATERNITY GROUP PORTRAIT DEDICATED TO MOTHER'S DAY [MOUNT DIABLO-EAST BAY AREA PHOTOGRAPHER] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2016/5/maternity-group-portrait-mount-diablo-east-bay-area-photographer Pregnant Women portrayed as Spring Goddesses

location: Mount Diablo near Clayton, CA 

As I didn’t feel taking any photos while I was pregnant I really wanted to take photos of all the pregnant women that I know.  I had no energy to that at that time though. Well, I did that months after I gave birth. Suddenly, many of the women around me were expecting a second child. Now, a mother of two I invited them to a group maternity shot. Curious, how an image with group of pregnant women will look like. Should I do it in a studio or outdoor? Should they be naked or all dressed up? I decided outdoor and let them choose  how they want to be photographed. It wasn’t a documentary work where I could portray what really feels to be pregnant and what pregnant women have to deal with nine months in their life.  It was staged where women should look beautiful and like themselves when they the image. I only needed one image. 

 

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I thought that as a metaphor for beginning of  a new life,  spring was the best season of the year for the photoshoot. After, raining so much this year in the Bay Area everything was blooming, the grass was saturated green , flowers all over the hills and a nice fresh air is coming out of all the leaving flora  around after the rain. It’s a great opportunity for spring photos here.

Pregnancy is a very special time for us women. It lasts only nine months. Women are glowing during that time.  A new life will be born. We, women feel beautiful and realize that this is not going to last forever and ever. At least I felt like that when I was pregnant both times. Women are Goddesses. That’s how I envisioned that photoshoot.

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stani@staniphotography.com (Stani Photography) belly crowns diablo flower maternity mount nature pregnancy spring https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2016/5/maternity-group-portrait-mount-diablo-east-bay-area-photographer Thu, 05 May 2016 22:20:33 GMT
ONE DAY FAMILY TRIP TO POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, CA [FAMILY-TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY] https://www.staniphotography.com/blog/2016/4/family-trip-to-point-reyes-ca Where in California you can see in one place a whale, elephant seal, tule elks and a historic lighthouse? 

 At Point Reyes  of course. 

 

Point Reyes has been in my to do travel list destination for a quite awhile. After I gave birth to Damian  we haven't had so many opportunities for traveling with hiking and sightseeing. Now, when he is more than nine months old I felt much more confident to do such trips with the kiddos.  Plus my grandma is here from Bulgaria, which is another good excuse for such trips.

George and I visited it once when I was pregnant with our first son in the summer of 2013. But now , it was different. I felt much more energetic and enthusiastic to even make some photos there. That day we were very organized as unusual. We left the house at 8 am, stopped for a coffee at Bovine Bakery in the small town of  Point Reyes Station, CA  and got at the lighthouse parking lot at 10:15am. No traffic, just a green grass all over the road, farms and fresh spring air.

We had a plan that day. Wow, making plans with two small kids? Yes, at least I try and especially that day it worked.  Point Reyes is a very educational place and especially for kids and great outdoor activity location in Marin County for a family weekend. If you are lucky as we were that day you could see a whale swimming in the ocean,the northern elephant seals and a herd of  tule elks.

Oh and the spring. We did the trip in the first weekend of April. Let me tell you everything was so beautiful out there, the hills were covered by all kind of flowers and the air was so fresh.
What makes Point Reyes National Seashore a must see travel destination in Northern California is that  it is the second foggiest place in North America and the windiest place on the Pacific Coast. Driving to the lighthouse in the fog felt like going into the infinity . We saw few deers near the road . We didn't see any cars on the road, so I was wondering if the lighthouse is open. But we saw few deers near the road Once. Once we got to the lighthouse parking lot there were few cars there. Suddenly, after our arrival the parking lot started filling up quickly. In fifteen min the lot was almost full. If you plan a trip to the Point Reyes Lighthouse get there by 10am if you want to really enjoy what the park offers and get to the lighthouse before it closes in the afternoon ( I think 4pm).