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Homegrown Wedding

January 20, 2023

A sunset made for two

They say “Go Big or Go Home”…. well when it comes to weddings, the later is one of my preferred. Don’t get me wrong, I love big parties, beautiful venues, but there is something so pure and genuine when you do it at home…and trust me, it can be done in a most beautiful way.

Emily and Sean tied the knot at the home where Emily grew up, so it doesn’t get more ‘home’ than that! Nestled in the hills of Calaveras County, Emily and Sean said “I do” in front of family and friends on the doorstep of her family home.

While outside was getting prepped (and protected from imminent rain…) Emily and Sean were nothing but smiles with their bridal party! Even though we knew the rain was coming, the vibe was one of joy and good times.

Because we knew the rain was coming, we made a game time decision that after the first look we would get all the bridal party photos done. You see the home, while beautifully manicured and perfect for any wedding, it also had red dirt….a lot of red dirt. Mix that with some water…a white dress…and you’ve got a lot of either “it is what it is images” or a lot of post editing… so photos before the rain were a must, and knowing what I know now, I’m so glad we did.

Emily chose some stunning earth tones for her bridesmaids dresses to complement the natural look around her. While Sean had brown khaki’s and a super stunning tweed jacket.

Of course once the group shots were done, it was time to get down to the couple portraits…. the moment I legit had been dreading since I knew I was going to be Emily’s photographer… you see…. I’m a friend and a photographer at this wedding…. (yes that’s me and my amazing assistant daughter Alice with my daughter/friend Emily below)

Flash back 3 or so years, … I met Emily at our local crossfit gym and she signed up to be my trainer (lucky her) … add on my husband and my kids, Emily trained us all and over time became like family. Eventually the training sessions also became wedding planning sessions. In one breath I would finish a burpee, and in the other, we’d be talking about color palates. So when the big day came, it was more than just a job for me, it was almost like shooting my “just old enough to not be my daughter” daughters wedding.

Ok, enough reminiscing…back to what I was saying. As I mentioned, we met at Crossfit (I’m sure you can tell from Emily’s amazing arms, she works out) and her now hubby is also a trained athlete… they’re both so stunning, and knowing how important it was that I nail these shots for them, I was pretty nervous…but their natural love and cohesive vibe made my job so easy….

Remember how I mentioned rain?…yes, well it came, and it came just in time for the ceremony.. *face palm*… but hey, it’s good luck right? A little rain never stopped love.

Oh did I mention they also had their fur baby Loki in the wedding? … *squish that face*

Best man and maid of honor had their work cut out for them. They held umbrellas over Emily and Sean during the whole ceremony! Talk about a work out…. hold umbrellas for time.

Once the kiss was done and it was time to party, the rain stopped! And that was great since the ceremony was all outside as well! In the backyard, they had set up tables decorated with simple lights and flowers. Who says you need a huge center piece that blocks conversation across the table??

It was at this point I got to set my camera down and pick up my fork! I got to be a guest and handed off the photo taking responsibilities to my amazing second photographer. And man, am I glad I did… one of the brilliant ideas Emily had during one of our work out / wedding sessions, was having breakfast for dinner. You heard me right! Breakfast for dinner! I have been shooting weddings for 12 years and have NEVER seen a couple serve my absolute favorite meal!

As the evening was setting into the reception groove, Emily and Sean snuck away with my AMAZING (I repeat…AMAZING) second photographer to grab some absolutely epic sunset golden hour photos. The sun snuck out for just a moment, and man…. epic.

So if you don’t want to go big, go home….because home is where the heart is. <3


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