Caitlin and Tim absolutely love the outdoors and adventure. After all, he proposed on top of Half Dome in Yosemite after a 3-night backpacking trip! So, when it came time to picking their wedding venue, Sanborn Park in Saratoga, CA was the perfect pick. The park has a stunning redwood grove with a deck built in – perfect for ceremonies!
We always have a wonderful time with wedding parties, but this group was truly memorable. In the middle of shooting their portraits, they all burst into song! They started singing “Make a Man Out of You” from Disney’s Mulan – so of course, we joined in! In true Disney fashion, it was magical.
After the ceremony, the guests headed to the History Club of Los Gatos to start the festivities. We loved Caitlin & Tim’s special touches: the “Just Married” banner on the head table, steins for the groomsmen, and little jam jars as gifts. They even had an ice cream bar instead of cake, which was amazing!
It was a beautiful day, and Caitlin and Tim are sure to have many adventures together. Plus, love is the greatest adventure of all!
When we first met Jen and Paul, we talked about how they wanted to do something unique and artistic. We started by planning a special engagement shoot up at Lick Observatory, including nighttime shots! It was great to do something so different and special to the couple, and we couldn’t wait until their big day at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, CA. The great exhibits made for colorful and fun backdrops, and Jen and Paul did a wonderful job of making their wedding unique to them. It was quite different than most weddings out there – which we love! We also made sure to bring in more nighttime photography. The couple loves astronomy. As a matter of fact, Jen’s ring even has meteorite in the band!
In addition to the great venue, they made sure to incorporate beautiful details. Their flowers were not only utilized in the bouquets and boutonnières, but each table had its own unique display with miniature pieces of art for the table numbers. The bride blew us all out of the water with her absolutely stunning blue necklace. Talk about serious necklace envy!
Jen & Paul were such a joy to watch. They are a perfect match, and there is so much love and partnership between them. They would do anything for each other – even attend sporting events (Paul isn’t a big fan of sports). They are beautiful inside and out, and it was a pleasure to capture their beautiful day!
This Labor Day weekend was unique not just for the record-breaking heat (it reached 114 degrees in Gilroy), but also for the beautiful wedding of Fatima and Robert! They began the day with a beautiful ceremony and mass at St. Catherine of Alexandria in Morgan Hill, and then the bridal party and their guests continued the celebration at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy. We always love working at that venue since they really kept photography in mind when designing the building and grounds. There are just so many great backdrops!
We absolutely loved Fatima and Robert’s wine-meets-rustic-glam decor. They perfectly used deep reds, warm browns, and pops of glittery gold throughout the tablescapes and decorations. It went great with the wine theme. The cake even had wine glasses as the topper with little marzipan grapes decorating each tier! To continue with the theme, guests signed corks and even wrote little messages on them to be stored in a custom shadow box for the couple to hang in their home. Fatima and Robert also brought in the comforts of summer to their big day by having lawn games outside, cold alcoholic treats inside, and even free flip flops for the guests to use! We also set up our ShootAnyAngle Photo Booth for them as well, and the guests had a great time.
Fatima and Robert were absolutely on cloud nine and nothing could put a damper on their perfect day – not even the heat! It’s such a treat for us when a couple can make each other laugh and smile with just a glance. These two definitely could! We just sat back and snapped away as they exchanged cute moments as if they were the only ones in the world. As photographers, we love when that happens!
We were immediately excited when we learned about the locations for Stephanie and Jason’s big day: the beautiful Hotel De Anza for getting ready photos, followed by a traditional ceremony at the breathtaking Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, and finishing with a reception at the San Jose Police Officer’s Association. It was the perfect blend of urban and traditional looks. Plus, when you have such a great couple like Stephanie and Jason, you’re bound to get amazing shots!
Hotel De Anza brings their guests back to the class of the 40s, so it was a great backdrop for Stephanie & Jason and their bridal party. Located in Downtown San Jose, we were able to utilize the the city and even the roof of the building to bring in a classy urban feel. The sweet details of the sunflowers in the bouquet and the stunning cathedral length veil really captured the couple’s traditional and yet fun side.
The majestic cathedral was absolutely breathtaking, and we were so honored to be able to photograph there! Add in the gorgeous bride and groom with her beautiful Trudy’s gown, and we were definitely having all the feels! Of course, the best part was simply seeing Stephanie and Jason together. These two are clearly crazy for each other, and it shows! We were so delighted to be a part of their beautiful day.
Lichy and Ken chose the stunning venue of The Ranch at Little Hills in San Ramon, CA for their gorgeous June wedding. The venue provided so many fun backdrops, including a beautiful forest for their ceremony! It was the perfect fit for the couple who love the outdoors. They love it so much that they even got engaged on a 30 mile backpacking trip!
Their beautiful forest ceremony was straight out of a fairytale. Bridesmaids shone in mint, and groomsmen were dapper in their navy suits. Instead of an arch or statement piece at the front of the altar, the couple chose to let nature be their decoration – and we loved it! They also put a piece of pallet art at the entrance to the ceremony space, which was the perfect minimalistic touch.
When we learned that one of their favorite activities is rock climbing (and noticed there was a rock climbing wall at the venue), we mentioned posing with the wall to “stage” a climb. We should have known these two would want to actually ROCK CLIMB IN THEIR WEDDING CLOTHES! We were blown away when Lichy kicked off her shoes, and started climbing! Needless to say, that was a first!
Lichy and Ken made sure to make their guests feel at home with a great reception. Guests danced under the stars and bistro lighting and enjoyed Gelati Creation popsicles. The minimalist decor was perfect and well-suited to their laid back style and personalities. The wood slices, succulents, baby’s breath, and tea lights looked great with the natural backdrop of the venue. We loved everything about it!
It was such a treat to photograph Jessica and Daniel’s Mad-Hatter tea party themed wedding in Napa Valley. Not only was the couple completely and madly in love, but their big day also had amazing and unique details that were simply gorgeous. The couple loves all things Disney, so their violinist played Disney songs during the ceremony including “I See the Light” from Tangled, “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Love is an Open Door” from Frozen. They also had some hidden Mickeys in their decorum, so we created some more through photography (in their ring shots and in shots of the desserts). The couple even planned their wedding to correspond with Dapper Day in Disneyland. Their Friday wedding allowed them enough time to drive down for the fun themed Disney day.
The amazing wedding planner, Christina of Emelina, created these gorgeous tea cup floral centerpieces (with the help of Mack Floral Design) with books and antique knickknacks. They also created a giant keyhole through which the guests and bridal party would enter through to transport them to the magical world that they had created for the ceremony. The venue was a great backdrop, and the couple chose it because it reminded them of Alice in Wonderland the moment they laid eyes on it.
Jessica and Daniel really broke the mold with their wedding, and we love that! Even the bride’s wedding dress was a unique step away from the traditional white gowns. It perfectly fit with the whole feel of the wedding. We’re a big believer in the fact that weddings should reflect the couple and be specific to them, and this couple did just that!
After a sweet ceremony at San Francisco City Hall, Jenna and Jack created a beautiful wedding in the scenic Los Gatos hills to share with their friends and family. Every moment of the wedding was simply stunning – straight out of a magazine! The wedding had a very intimate feel both in setting and in feeling. As a photographer, we absolutely love when couples have sweet private moments in which they can only see each other despite being surrounded by others. Jenna and Jack had so many of these moments. You can tell just by looking at the photos that they truly are each other’s best friend and the love of their lives.
As Jenna and Jack got ready for their big day, there were no nerves or fears, just tranquility and pure joy knowing what was coming. You could feel the support and love from all the couple’s friends and family as they prepped for the big day and entered the ceremony site. The ceremony was officiated by the couple’s good friend, Sean, and included little anecdotes about the couple – such as their love of Netflix and Facebook!
After the ceremony, the guests delighted in taking a big group shot with the couple and mingling with a glass of Regale Wine in their hands as dinner was set up. The long rows of tables had a gorgeous view looking out over the mountains (and bocce court!) under beautiful bistro lights. As wedding photographers, we’ve heard lots and lots of toasts. These were some of our favorites. To start, the groom’s siblings gave them funny gifts for their lives together – including a flag that had been created especially to combine their two home countries, Canada and the United States. The maid of honor and parents of the bride had truly touching toasts about their beautiful daughter / sister and how clear it was that the couple constantly made each other better and happier than they had ever been before.
Once the dance floor opened up, the guests really started to show off their skills! The floor was constantly occupied, as was the nearby photo booth! We managed to sneak the bride and groom away for a special photoshoot though. In the Bay Area, it’s rare to find someplace where you can see the Milky Way, and it’s quite hard to photograph surrounded by so many lights of the city. We knew the couple loved the idea of night photography, but we didn’t tell them until that night what we hoped to get. At this mountain venue, we had limited lights around us, and the venue kindly turned off their outdoor lights as well. As the saying goes, “the starts aligned perfectly” to get the shots we had hoped for – the beautiful bride and groom under the Milky Way.
As we watched everyone leave at the end of the night, every single person had a huge smile on their face. Jenna and Jack wanted to make sure they had a wedding everyone could enjoy and cherish, and they certainly did just that. These two light up when they are together, and their life together is sure to be a beautiful one.
If you have an engagement shoot coming up, you’re probably wondering what to wear, and there are some outfits that are better than others. Think about these tips when picking out your outfit.
Wear solid colors or large prints (avoid small prints and logos)
Small prints can hurt the eye, and some screens will even show a rainbow effect when showing off the photos. So, stick to solids and large prints. Checkered prints and stripes are fine as long as they aren’t really tight.
Avoid neon colors
Neon will be quite blinding in a photo. Though the photographer can dull down the color a tad in post-editing, it’s best to avoid it.
Jeans are fine
Engagement photos are supposed to be natural feeling, so you don’t have to be dressed to the nines (you certainly can be if you want to though!) Thus, jeans and a nice top are just fine.
Dress for the location and activity
Talk with your photographer to plan the shoot, and let them know what you’d like to do. Then, plan the outfit accordingly. If you want to take pictures in the city, heels are fine, but more comfortable and supportive shoes would be needed for a wooded area. Dresses are fine in any area (this includes floor-length if you can move in it), but I recommend wearing bicycle shorts (or similar) underneath. The reason for this is your fiancé may lift you in the air, or you may lay down in a field of daisies, or you may jump to make it look like you’re flying. Photography can be a more physical task than most anticipate, so make sure the outfit is comfortable and conceals all it needs to conceal even when moving around. That means nothing to short or too revealing.
Consider your personalities
Dress similarly (though maybe a tad nicer) than you normally dress. If you never wear jeans, don’t wear them for the shoot. If you never wear dresses, don’t wear one for the shoot. The reason behind this is two-fold: 1, you should be comfortable in what you’re wearing (especially since being a model may be a tad uncomfortable at times), and 2, you should look like yourself. These photos are supposed to represent who you are both as individuals and as a couple, so let your personality shine through. That also means that if you like particular outfits or costumes, wear it! Just talk with your photographer ahead of time as some locations require normal dress (the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is an example of this).
Feel free to add in cowboy boots or an accessory or a specialty item. Add a strand of pearls or your favorite earrings or even bring along props! Shoots look great with bouquets or old cameras or even little bird cage veils if that’s what you’d like.
I don’t know about you, but I’m personally utterly confused about the rules of wedding guest attire. Some rules are easy to understand (i.e. don’t wear white), but it’s the gray area that always confuses me. What about a print that includes white? And do all these rules really matter anymore? Personally, at our wedding, all I noticed was that everyone looked so nice! I didn’t have a single negative thought about anyone’s attire. Likewise, all the images you see here are examples of very classy and appropriate wedding guest attire that we love! Still, we wondered what rules are still in effect, so we talked to brides of all ages (past and present) to learn their thoughts. We found out this list is actually more of “guidelines than actual rules” (to quote Pirates of the Caribbean). Here’s what they told us!
Rule 1: Don’t Wear White
A full white dress is inappropriate to wear to a wedding (that color is reserved for the bride) as are outfits that are mainly a cream/beige/ivory color (and I’d go a step further and say avoid very, very light colors that could be misinterpreted as white). It seems everyone we talked to was in agreement on this point, but they also said that dresses that included white were okay as long as it wasn’t the main color. A print on a white background? White and blue stripes? All the past brides we talked to were fine with it! And men can certainly wear white dress shirts.
Rule 2: Don’t wear black unless it is an evening wedding
Most of the brides we talked to said black was just fine, though a few agreed that it should be more for an evening wedding. Of course, what exactly is considered an “evening wedding” is a whole other issue entirely! It was very hard to find a set answer on this point, but the majority of my findings point to a start time of 6pm (though some say that’s for the ceremony start time and some say that’s for the reception start time). I’ve also heard as early as 4pm if the reception goes through to the night. A couple also pointed out that whether or not a particular dress would be acceptable depended on its style. If it was a fun type of dress (such as a floral print on a black background), that would be acceptable. I personally love black dresses (it looks good on just about everyone), and I’d be fine with guests wearing that color to my own wedding. Those who agreed with the rule felt it was an important rule to follow, though, so it’s possible that other guests won’t agree with the color choice. I will note that wedding photographers typically wear all black when photographing a wedding.
Rule 3: Don’t wear red
57% Disagree, but it was a close call.
This was a close one, but the majority disagreed with this point. However, we did have a few who pointed out that they personally wouldn’t feel comfortable in the color as a guest just because it draws too much attention to themselves, and they have a point there. Red does draw the eye, so it suggests that the wearer wanted the attention. So, it may be best to stay away from it if it’s “fire engine red.” Maroon and other shades are great to wear though!
Rule 4: Don’t wear the same color as the bridesmaids
…but they would avoid it if they had been informed of the color ahead of time. Still, they agreed that wearing the same color was fine as long as the dress wasn’t a perfect match. Plus, it’s likely to happen on accident.
Rule 5: Don’t wear something skimpy
The issue becomes what is considered skimpy and what is not. When I asked this question, the answer I got the most was that it was skimpy if too much of the lady’s breasts were showing, but that’s certainly not the only way a dress could be considered skimpy. I think one bride described it best, “Rule of thumb… if you go tight, don’t go short. Show off legs or cleavage, not both. Backless can be elegant if done tastefully…. Lastly, if it’s going to ride up or fall out while dancing, just don’t wear it!”
Rule 6: Don’t wear casual clothes
Across the board, brides (and their guests) agreed with this one – especially the “no jeans” rule. Brides work very hard on their invitations to give the guest a general feeling for what their wedding will be like. Use that as a guide, but casual, everyday clothes aren’t appropriate.
Rule 7: Don’t overdress
Again, brides seemed to be very adamant that guests should stick to the style detailed or dictated by their invitation. You should always look nice, of course, but leave that tailed tuxedo or full ball gown at home unless the wedding calls for it.
Rule 8: Don’t wear an old bridesmaid dress
Overall, the brides disagreed with this one on the condition that the dress wasn’t obviously a bridesmaid dress. In talking with them though, it sounds like they were more concerned that the guest would be uncomfortable and feel out of place rather than a bride having an issue with it. Plus, if you re-make the bridesmaid dress to disguise its original purpose, a wedding would be a fine place to show it off.
Rule 9: Don’t wear too much bling
60% Disagreed, if done well.
Brides are okay with you wearing your finest jewels, but several did tell me they’d prefer to see a fancy statement necklace only, or fancy earrings only. So, it’s okay to go big in one area, but not in all. And they did say “no tiaras” across the board, unless the bride asks you to wear one, of course!
Rule 10: Don’t wear office wear
90% Disagreed (if it was done right).
There are lots of ways to dress up your office wear with a statement necklace or little strap heels. There is something so completely classy about a nice pantsuit. Overall, brides were fine with that idea. As someone pointed out, “If a man wears a suit, that’s considered office wear and wedding attire!”
Rule 11: Don’t wear a loud tie
You can probably tell the bride and groom’s opinion on this one based on their personality and the feel of the wedding. If it’s a classy black tie event, a loud tie may not be the best. If it’s more casual and the bride and groom are laid back and fun-loving people, it’s probably fine if you are comfortable wearing it. Personally, one of my favorite attires at our wedding was my cousin’s outfit. He wore a bright yellow button up shirt, a bright purple tie, and matching purple sneakers with his black dress pants. I absolutely LOVED it, and so did my other guests!
Rule 12: Don’t wear sequins
100% Disagree (if done tastefully).
Brides all said that wearing some sequins were fine. Again, it should fit the style of the wedding. A full sequin dress to a casual wedding wouldn’t be appropriate. So, use your best judgment as to how much is too much based on the invitation and what you know about the couple and the wedding.
Rule 13: Use a clutch purse, not your everyday purse
This seemed to be more of a personal preference rather than a rule that a bride would feel the need for. A bigger bag can be a nuisance to carry around all night, and it would probably be left unattended at some point. Thus, those we spoke with felt it was easier on guests to have smaller clutches or cross-sling purses for convenience.
Rule 14: Don’t wear inappropriate shoes
100% Agreed (80% say “no flip flops”).
Stilettos aren’t appropriate if the guest will be walking on sand or grass, and flip-flops aren’t appropriate for a fancy wedding. Guests should always pick their shoes based on the venue and their outfit, but avoiding flip-flops is a good idea.
Rule 15: Don’t wear tulle
Tulle is really back in nowadays, and it can be done quite tastefully. That being said, they felt a tulle dress should look classy and not like you’re an adult flower girl. So, it’s a judgment call based on the dress itself.
Overall, these rules (whether relevant or not) were created in order to keep guests from upstaging the bride. As long as you look nice but don’t take any attention away from her, then you’re all set. If in doubt, it’s best to ask a friend or one of the bridesmaids. The bride has enough to worry about as her big day approaches, so it’s best to leave your outfit off of her list. Funny enough, it seems these brides didn’t care so much about what people wore to their own weddings but more about what they would deem appropriate or not appropriate to wear as a wedding guest themselves. Hopefully, these notes will help you pick great attire for the next wedding – or will provide a quick link to send to guests when asked what to wear to your own upcoming wedding!
When planning a wedding, you should know the three things that mean the most to you (apart from marrying the spouse of your dreams because that’s just a given!). For me, it was photography first, details second, and location third. I feel the details are what make a wedding special. It’s a glimpse into a fairytale romance. Little details and two people in love make for the best photographs! Take a look at the following photos for inspiration for your big day! Remember, these are just inspiration shots, so alter the details to make the final product your own. In my opinion, a wedding should always be unique to the couple. That’s what makes it special!