DIY Ranch style wedding in Half Moon Bay

Oh this DIY wedding was off the hook!  I remember meeting with Emilie and Will a month before their wedding.  The wedding took place on there ranch South of Half Moon Bay.  When I met with them on this beautiful day in May, I have to admit, I was a little worried as their barn that was to house the celebration of about 200 guest was still very much under construction!

Although, knowing this family, and the village they have around them… my concern was only mildly there… and completely left on the day of when I showed up to capture this breathtaking day! So, yes, everything you see at this wedding was creative, do it yourself, and done with a whole lot of love for this couple.  This post is a year over due, but definitely did not want to forget about the highlights of this day!

Hastings House Wedding and Backyard Celebration

What a simple but elegant wedding.  These two chose simple ingredients and really designed a wedding that was intimate and unique to them.  It started at the Seal Cove Inn which was the perfect backdrop for the first look and the family portraits at the nearby majestical forest at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. We then moved on to the Hastings House, which is this beautiful seaside garden in the scenic town of Miramar.  This place is near and dear to my heart because I too chose to say my vows, 18 years ago, in this magical garden.  But if those two ingredients weren’t enough of simple and meaningful locations… we then moved onto a private residence that belonged to the groom’s father in Redwood City. They transformed this simple backyard into a celebration surrounded with their closest friends and family.  It was truly a special day.

Wedding Photography in Monterey, CA / Del Monte Beach House / Jenna and Trevor

Talk about the world working in amazing ways. Something about the way Jenna approached life (you see we briefly met on Facebook as I saw she became a huge fan of my work) made me want to be the one to capture this wedding for her. She embraces life with every ounce of her being and loves everyone to its fullest. That was just my first impression, not knowing her, never meeting, yet both agreeing that this was “a perfect match”, I had the extreme pleasure of capturing her wedding in the breathtaking location of Monterey. I rarely go into a wedding blind (not ever meeting) but in this case, I felt like I knew Jenna forever, that’s just how she makes you feel.

My impression of Jenna was not only spot on, but also amplified by the tender love that her groom showers her and everyone they come into contact with. It’s the kind of love you feel lucky to have witnessed.

Ok, so now the venue, the day, and the details: Wow! Jenna and Trevor put so much thought into every little detail. Most of it they designed themselves or were inspired by their own passion. The location was straight out of a destination-wedding catalogue, white sandy beach, the last 45 minutes before the sun went down, barefoot in the sand, palm trees, and even sea lions frolicking in the background. Del Monte Beach House in Monterey, CA definitely is a little hidden jewel that will give you that destination feeling without the destination price tag. The reception, which was inside has floor to ceiling windows all along the beach side that gives you a perfect glimpse to the majestic surroundings without freezing your arse off (we are in northern California after all).

Jenna has a zest for dazzle that on anyone else might have been to showy, but on her, she radiated the magic surrounding her. A blue sparkly wedding dress that was matched perfectly with her beautiful bouquet created by Fleurish Floral Designs by Melody King in Carmel, CA. Their spiritual leaders, friends, and couple Rich and Yvonne Dutra-St. John beautifully guided the ceremony. And last but not least, their cuisine was amazing… a scrumptious and delightful array of vegan inspired food that Chef Bliss, better known as the groom created. The vegan cupcakes were amazing! Thank you Buttercup Cakes of Santa Cruz for putting together a great blood orange cake with almond maple frosting. I said lastly, but I forgot one detail: The dj! Oh my goodness, probably the best dj I have ever worked with. Fun, I the moment and just rocked the house down, Beachcomber Kelley, you brought the party!

My favorite moment of the night: the bride and groom dedicated Same Love by Mackelmore to all their LGBT friends. In the words of the bride, “When we were planning our wedding it was not legal to marry in California as same sex couples. Both of us have family and friends who are gay and we believe everyone has the right to marry who they love. So on this day when we're celebrating our love for each other, we wanted to recognize and honor that there are still places were bigotry exists. The song was meant to honor those in our lives who face this every day an to cast a bright, beautiful light onto their love for each other – in that way totally honoring and respecting their love as equal as our own.”

See what I mean, wonderful!

Wedding Photography by Shanti DuPrez / Del Monte Beach House Monterey / Fleurish Floral Designs / Buttercup Cakes / Beachcomber Kelley / Challenge DayWedding Photography by Shanti DuPrez / Del Monte Beach House Monterey / Fleurish Floral Designs / Buttercup Cakes / Beachcomber Kelley / Challenge DayWedding Photography by Shanti DuPrez / Del Monte Beach House Monterey / Fleurish Floral Designs / Buttercup Cakes / Beachcomber Kelley / Challenge DayWedding Photography by Shanti DuPrez / Del Monte Beach House Monterey / Fleurish Floral Designs / Buttercup Cakes / Beachcomber Kelley / Challenge DayWedding Photography by Shanti DuPrez / Del Monte Beach House Monterey / Fleurish Floral Designs / Buttercup Cakes / Beachcomber Kelley / Challenge DayWedding Photography by Shanti DuPrez / Del Monte Beach House Monterey / Fleurish Floral Designs / Buttercup Cakes / Beachcomber Kelley / Challenge DayWedding Photography by Shanti DuPrez / Del Monte Beach House Monterey / Fleurish Floral Designs / 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And they lived Blissfully ever after…

Wedding Photography at Canyon View Dining Hall, San Ramon, CA / Arturo and Vanessa

Holy cow, its almost been a year since this blessed day… I am finally catching up on some blogging. Since this day, I have also had the pleasure of capturing their beautiful baby girl too. Such a great couple and now such a great family!

Vanessa and Arturo chose a love bird theme that they integrated into all the details of their wedding day. The venue, Canyon View Dining Hall, is nestled into the hills of San Ramon. Coordinated by Tony White; from invitations, to decorations, to the beautiful flowers by La Martine Florals, it truly was all about these love birds.

I think my favorite part of this wedding was stumbling upon this beautiful golf course that was untouched by golfers during the sunset hour. And what made it even so much more perfect was the site of a bird house nestled into some foliage that made for the perfect backdrop for their amazing shots. Now I mentioned stumbling because this golf course was right below the venue, and seemed relatively easy to get to… unless you were a beautiful bride in a wedding dress and some heals… and this is why I love Vanessa… she simply kicked off her shoes and was ready for the adventure! Thank you Vanessa (and Arturo) for being such an awesome couple to get to know.

Portraits by Shanti DuPrez / Canyon View Dining Hall / Alpine Pastry / La Martine Floral /  Filmtwist Productions / Golf Course BridePortraits by Shanti DuPrez / Canyon View Dining Hall / Alpine Pastry / La Martine Floral /  Filmtwist Productions / Golf Course BridePortraits by Shanti DuPrez / Canyon View Dining Hall / Alpine Pastry / La Martine Floral /  Filmtwist Productions / Golf Course Bride

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San Francisco Bay Area Vendors:

Wedding & Reception Venue: Canyon View Dining Hall, San Ramon

Officiant: Willie Vega from New Hope Church, Concord

Wedding Coordinator: Extreme Elegance Events by Tony White

Wedding Flowers: La Martine Floral Designer

Wedding Cake: Alpine Pastry, Concord

DJ: Hugo Gomez with NorCal D'J's

Wedding Videography: Filmtwist Productions