Holly Shankland Photography: Blog https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog en-us capturing moments of love and adventure holly@hollyshankland.com (Holly Shankland Photography) Tue, 03 Aug 2021 19:09:00 GMT Tue, 03 Aug 2021 19:09:00 GMT https://www.hollyshankland.com/img/s/v-12/u758198791-o469919373-50.jpg Holly Shankland Photography: Blog https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog 120 80 Mary + Nick https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2021/5/mary-nick Venue: The Chateau at Incline Village

Wedding Planner: Epic Thyme Events 

Photographer: Holly Shankland Photography 

Hair and Makeup: Rah Hair Studio

DJ: Ascent DJ Productions

Floral: Golden Fields Floristry 

Cake: Flour Girl Wedding Cakes 

 

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Keith + Jackie // Olympic Valley, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2021/3/keith-jackie---olympic-valley-ca
Photos: Keith + Jackie

Venue: Squaw Valley Weddings

Reception: Garwoods

Video: Aflatis

 

Keith + Jackie // Olympic Valley

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Catherine + Adam // Lake Tahoe Elopement https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2020/9/catherine-adam


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Kerry + Arie // Meeks Bay Private Estate Wedding https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2020/8/kerry-arie---meeks-bay-private-estate-wedding  

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Sophie + Andrew // Mill Valley, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2020/8/sophie-andrew---mill-valley-ca

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Mountain Thyme Events // Styled Elopement https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2020/6/mountain-thyme-events---styled-elopement

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Emily + Branden // Northstar CA Resort, Lake Tahoe https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2020/3/emily-branden

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Leo + Sabrinah // Leap of Love, Squaw Valley https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2020/2/leo-sabrinah---leap-of-love-squaw-valley
 

Leap Year only comes around every four years and this year was a year of Leaping! Squaw Valley Weddings hosted a ceremony and reception on Leap Day for 27 couples, all uniquely different in their foundational goals and intentions for being there on that day. Some couples showed up to the windy, yet beautifully sunny, Squaw Valley morning planning to renew their lifelong vows, while for others, this was their first leap into the rest of their lives. 

 

Leo and Sabrinah asked me to join them alongside 26 other couples for the Leap of Love to capture their adventurous romance as they said “I do” in front of so many teary-eyed on-lookers in the Squaw Valley Village. Leo and Sabinah met at the University of Vermont where they both got their degrees in 2017 and since, have never left each other's side as they moved around the United States for their Travel Nursing jobs. They lived in Salt Lake City most recently and now, Reno is their landing place until they uproot again for work. They both love to mountain bike, ski and snowboard and get out and climb together too! Sabrinah was a natural model on the slopes during her wedding day, with her sweet sassy brown eyes (their wedding song was Brown Eyed Girl) and Leo was so thoughtful and caring toward her. Their love was obvious in such a subtle way as they cruised around Squaw together, holding hands on their skis and snowboard. A very natural connection. 

 

When I met them in the morning, they rolled up in their Mercedes Sprinter Van, I knew they were going to be a rad couple! Their mellow yet exciting demeanor was contagious. It was cool to see so many couples relaxed, excited and in love on their wedding day. There is a definite “chill” vibe to all my eloping couples. I love it! 

 

The ceremony was performed by Meredith Richmond of Ceremonies By Meredith. She has such a beautiful way of setting the stage and mellowing a crowd of 27 jittery couples all together in one space. She made time for each couple to say their vows to each other and allow for privacy together while in a very public eye. I’ve been to quite a few weddings that she has officiated and we’ve actually become good friends. She has such a talent that exists within her voice alone, it’s just perfect. Megan Ganim of Made Rowdy Events was my Photo Assistant for the day. She was able to live stream the event for close family and friends that I’m sure would have loved to been right there with them! 

 

After the ceremony, all the couples either went skiing or headed over to Base Camp in the Squaw Village and cut cake, danced to a live band, and toasted with champagne. 

 

Leo and Sabinah, Megan and I all went up KT-22 to take a few victory laps. Sabrinah and Leo cut their cake on the lift, it was pretty iconic! 

 

We had a super fun afternoon! What’s better than champagne, skiing, cake, laughing, dancing, and love!?! 

 

Leo and Sabrinah’s first wedding gift from Mother Nature was a powder day!!! Lucky for them, they got to camp in their epic van and be one of the first on the slopes to enjoy the snow! Elopements make me so happy! They truly are a way to have a low stress, love celebration, incorporating what matters most to YOU! 

  

Vendors: 

 

Photo Assistant: Megan Ganim at Made Rowdy Events 

Officiant: Ceremonies by Meredith 

Venue: Squaw Valley Weddings 

 

              

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Rainbow Lodge // Styled Shoot, Donner Pass, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/10/rainbow-lodge---styled-shoot-donner-pass-ca Rainbow Lodge // Styled Shoot, Donner Pass, CA
 


The Rainbow Lodge was built in 1869 from local granite and hand-hewn logs used to build the Trans Sierra Railroad. This special spot in Soda Springs has so much history. It used to be a stagecoach stop for those traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range on a horse and covered wagon. Every corner of this lodge has character and vintage accessories that embody what could be the perfect Tahoe wedding. You can feel it’s authentic rustic vibes with scattered vintage ski photos across the lodge with boar and elk heads decorating the living spaces. It sits on 114 acres along the South Yuba River with aspens and pine groves accented the High Sierra mountains. 

 

I was asked to put together a stylized wedding shoot for The Rainbow Lodge to showcase its reopening. They used to host weddings, but put that part of their business on hold and now Tahoe is lucky enough to have it open again for bookings. It can sleep 88 people! It's the perfect place to hold a party where your guests do not have to drive home. We did this shoot in the fall and it was insanely beautiful with all of the granite and fall colors. 

 

I had so much fun piecing together all of the details for this shoot. Makeup was crafted by Kiss and Makeup, the dress was a Rue De Sein that we fit to my model-bride and best friend, Aubrey McCready at the dress shop, Swoon, in Reno. Zoe Jane Hair from Truckee beautifully sculpted Aubrey’s hair and I asked Love and Lupines to design fall florals and it couldn’t have turned out more perfect as a setting amidst the yellows and oranges that were in the mountains that week.

 

I got to bring together some of the best vendors in the business to style a shoot exactly how we envisioned it. There’s also something refreshing about having time to capture a moment without time constraints that might be present on a real wedding day. There was time to explore and play and that’s actually a reason why I encourage all of my brides to schedule a time for photos outside of the wedding day; it’s less pressure. For example, I shot Aubrey’s wedding when she and Aaron got married in 2017 and the next day, we went out on the lake and shot wake surfing photos of them together in their wedding outfits. It’s an opportunity to incorporate the things a couple loves to do together like biking or skiing and in Aubrey and Aaron’s case, time spent on Lake Tahoe. 

 

Aubrey and I have been friends since we were 15 both growing up in Michigan dreaming of bigger mountains. Living in Tahoe together now, it’s a bit surreal to look back on the dreams we had together as kids and watch them come to life. Aubrey is a talented wedding photographer as well and we often work as a team to combine ideas and bounce concepts off of each other.

 

I shot Aubrey’s wedding so it was like round two doing a stylized shoot with them together again. Aubrey and I feel comfortable around each other which made this shoot so smooth because we’re already so used to working and being with each other. We’ve seen each other in many phases of life and truly grown together so there’s an unspoken understanding on both sides of the camera. 

 

We both walked away from this shoot feeling like it was one of those “best days of our lives” kind of days. I know for Aubrey too, being a bride again was extra special. 

 

It’s really amazing working with venues to showcase their beauty and especially the opportunity to do it in Tahoe as a local who lives only 10 minutes from this spot. Keep an eye out for this venue, they already have bookings lined up! I have some insight too and hear they’re putting in a 40 person hot tub, like come ON. 

 

Vendors

 

Venue: The Rainbow Lodge

Florals: Love and Lupines Floral Design

Wedding Dress: Rue De Sein

Models: Aubrey and Aaron McCready

Hair: Zoe Jane Hair

Makeup: Kiss and Makeup


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Erica + Tristan // The Holly Farm, Carmel https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/10/erica-tristan---the-holly-farm  

Erica + Tristan // The Holly Farm, Carmel

The Holly Farm; a mystical and mysterious garden of love. Traveling from location to location around the immaculately groomed trails while being fanned by the palm trees around you. You find yourself in the perfect setting for sending off a lifetime of love for Tristan and Erica. The type of place that I believe, hugs you back. 

The day began with a lot of smiles and laughter. The girls in their bungalow exchanging memories, Kim Larson turning hair into art, and toasts of celebratory champagne. The boys, in their bungalow, cheering beers, watching football, and arguing how to attach the boutineer. Bow Ties tied, dress is on, and Erica kneeled down for a moment of love and compassion with the young one, Jude. Then, Tristan and Erica set out of their humble hang outs and set course on their own paths to meet up for their “first look.” Tristan arrived first; so patiently waiting on his soon to be bride and then there she was. Slightly ducking amongst what seemed to be a secret passage into the tunnel of flowers and lush greenery; she snuck up behind Tristan lightly placing her hands on his back. A hug, a kiss, kind words, and tears of joy were all generously exchanged. 

At this time the family and friends have slowly trickled in. Lots of family photos were captured and people began to take their seats. Before we knew it, seats filled, and Kevin patiently waited for his friends, Tristan and Erika to join him under the ceiling of the big oak tree with an audience of loving family and friends. The setting was stunning; with a plethora of flowers from “Laughing Gal Floral.” With an eager and quiet audience standing by, some of the most thought out and beautiful vows were shared between the two, a kiss, and off they went. Strolling down the aisle together hands in air, hearts in their eyes with clapping and cheering in their ears. 


 

Tristan and Erica met, as they described “the old-fashioned way,” on a dating app. Their second date consisted of a cruise down to Ocean Beach on Tristan's motorcycle, a dip in the sea, a kiss, and topped off with a dinner at Tristan’s. Erica knew she would spend the rest of her life with Tristan after joining him in New Zealand doing the things, they both love like backpacking, surfing, and rock climbing. Since then its been a life of love, devotion, compassion, and dedication to each other. 

The music kicked on with Antonio from Soundshine Entertainment accompanied by smoky palomas and celery Tom Collins. Groups gathered cheering in celebration of the newlyweds. As the night went on the good times continued. Dinner was served, toasts were made, and stories shared from both sides of the family of beautiful memories of Tristan and Erica’s life. As the stars began to twinkle in the night sky of Carmel, CA so did the treats. Lemon Cello bar was open and led us into a very memorable dance party. One of my favorite parts of the night were Tristan on the guitar and his mother on the vocals serenading family and friends in a beautiful mother/son duo. After this Tristan and Erica joined each other in another duo where they sang Jude to sleep by a cover of “Hey Jude.” Shortly after, Erica's grandpa, Raffaele, joined in on the fun; Raffaele singing, Tristan's mom on guitar, and Erica on the tambourine. Kids dancing, grandparents boogying, and drinks shared with smiles and lots of laughter. 

The Holly farm has always and will forever hold a dear place in my heart. The family behind this place shows nothing but dedication in their actions and hard work put into their property. Tristan and Erica, it was an honor. Thank you. 

 

Venue // The Holly Farm 

Photographer // Holly Shankland Photography 

Floral // Laughing Gal Floral 

Hair and Make-up // Kim Larson

Officiant // Their friend, Kevin

DJ // Sound Shine DJ

Catering // La Creme 

 

 

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Kenlyn + Rian // Big Sur, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/10/kenlyn-rian-/-big-sur-ca Kenlyn + Rian // Wind and Sea, Big Sur CA


 

 

Moments before reading my first email from Kenlyn, I was sitting in my bed scrolling Instagram and came across the most beautiful wedding photos that were taken in Big Sur. I thought to myself, I would really love to shoot there! I laid in bed for a while scrolling deep into the all of the beauty of Big Sur only seconds later to step out of bed, opened my computer and checked my email. There sat the inquiry from Kenlyn. 

 

She was eloping in Big Sur to her new love, Rian, and I came recommended to her by Aflatis, my all-time favorite filmmaker. It sent chills up my back. I had been wanting to shoot more elopements and clearly just had Big Sur on my mind and in my heart. I definitely have faith in the universe, but wow, that was quick! There was a clear connection between Kenlyn and myself. I could just feel it in the way she spoke. Angels and guides and divine timing, trusting and knowing. She was speaking my language. I looked at her Instagram and there was a beautiful photo of her with her singing bowls. I knew I wanted to connect with her.

 

This elopement was so special. Their love was so raw and real. Both allowing themselves to be vulnerable in each other’s arms. The day had a slow and beautiful pace of doing what felt natural. It was organic, fun, loving, deep, and easy. I never felt any energy of stress. We started our day with a family swim in the ocean, followed by Kundalini yoga lead by Susan, Kenlyns mom, a yoga instructor who is highly active in her community. This was actually the first class that she taught and I could totally relate as I have been to several pieces of training, but have yet to commit to teaching yoga in a formal setting. It takes bravery to teach and I admired that in her! She did a beautiful job.

It didn't take Kenlyn and Rian long to know so deeply that they were meant for one another. She said she’s never been so sure of anything in her life. Rian’s parents flew in from Ireland and Kenlyn’s from the Bay Area. Their siblings were all there with Rian’s girlfriend and a close friend. There were just a few of us in this beautiful home up on the bluffs looking out at the ocean. It was so intimate, next to the vast ocean, the beyond. There was quite a breeze. It felt a little like nature was showing up to grant its approval for the two. 

After yoga and a swim, we had a beautiful breakfast, copper tub baths, vow writing, a golden lit ceremony with beautiful words from Dr. Dan Seigel, their officiant and incredibly well-known psychology leader of mindfulness in the field of interpersonal neurobiology. Rian had studied with him in the past and has some amazing projects going on himself. 

 

Check out the Flow Research Project!! https://www.flowresearchcollective.com

 

During the ceremony, Dr. Dan. said a lot of words that resonated with me. One concept, in particular, was his outlook on our higher power. He explained it as the generator of diversity (GOD). Religion has sorted this light and higher power in many ways. It can be so specific at times. I feel if you are willing to be open to different wording of language, and to base the feelings off the heart, our beliefs are more similar than they are different. The synchronicity of our meeting and many more stories told by the family had me feeling those goosebumps. You can look at the world as if it’s all random, or as if we live many miracles. I believe that no moment is ordinary and that we are indeed, guided. 

 

Kenlyn and Rian’s families came together on the bluffs to watch the sunset beneath the horizon. We ate a magical dinner next to large open windows to the sea. I am a sensitive person, so I can be easily moved,  but this one was above and beyond. I’m so grateful to all my guides and the stars aligning so that I could be a part of capturing this, truly, magical, day

 

Vendors at Kenlyn and Rian’s beautiful elopement: 

Officiant: Dr. Dan Siegel

Video: Aflatis 

Venue: Wind and Sea, Big Sur 

Floral: Big Sur Flowers

Breakfast: Coast Big Sur 

Private Chef: Savory Events + Chef Jorden Richardson

For more inspiration, check out this podcast by Dr. Dan

https://www.paulsamueldolman.com/parent/podcasts/pauly-cast/dr-dan-siegel-487/ 


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Adi + Sarah // Newport Beach, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/9/adi-sarah---newport-beach-ca Adi loves Chardonnay, Sarah loves yoga. Together, they are all jokes, nose kisses, and soft whispers into each other’s ears. I kid you not, I was laughing with these two and their community the entire weekend spent down in the beautiful Newport Beach Harbor. 

 

I met the two of them through friends of a friend from another beautiful wedding I shot down in Socal and came recommended as a fellow Yogi like Sarah is. 

 

When my plane touched down at John Wayne, I was already eager for some ocean vibes, palm trees and beach cruisers. It's a nice switch up for NorCal. Adi and Sarah hosted me at the Lido House Hotel, which was probably one of the coolest spots that I have ever stayed in. I walked through the front doors, only a stone’s throw from Newport Harbor, and was greeted by a group of handsome men wearing all pink who snagged my bags and directed me to my room right next to the rooftop bar. It didn’t take me long to discover the best mezcal drink on earth featuring a literal popsicle inside of it; I was in heaven. 


It was clear that this wedding was going to be filled with the little details every corner I turned. Sarah and Adi are full of generosity and playfulness. 

 

Adi and Sarah’s rehearsal dinner took place at the Lido House Hotel with an awesome taco truck and the day after, all of the wedding party got ready in the chic and classy harbor inspired rooms. Sarah’s abundantly beautiful family came in from the midwest, so Newport was a pleasant contrast for them. I loved the energy their families had together, they were all so beautiful and charismatic. Maybe my favorite familial relationship was between Sarah and her sister and mom, the sweetest trio. 



 

There was a lighthouse nearby and we danced and ate in the lighthouse bar and grill overlooking the harbor. This cocktail hour was right next door to where they said their I do’s just moment’s prior at the Marina Park Community and Sailing Center. 

 

During their first look, Adi had the brilliant idea to mix it up and pretend like he didn’t see Sarah coming. The moment was a testament to their fun personalities together. Adi even snuck a pocket shot of whiskey in for the moment and shared it with Sarah. 

Adi and Sarah's wedding felt like a vacation as well as work. The morning before the wedding I took my beach cruiser from the hotel to Balboa Island to explore more of the Newport area and hit up some estate sales that I found during my ride. I came across a really cool woven basket and teal mint table placements for my airstream. Love finds like these!  I am happy to remember this wedding as meeting new friends, and a fun trip to SoCal! I even got to connect with two previous Brides for brunch on Sunday! I love the network of friendship that weddings bring to me!



Vendors

 

Catering @lighthousecafenb

Photography @hollyshankland

Flowers @kyfloradesigns

DJ @djsotaentertainment

Cake @susiecakesbakery

Signage @pixelsandpop

Rentals @sigpartyrentals

Dress @inbaldrorofficial @panachecostamesa

Coordination @brittkingman

Venue @cityofnewportbeach

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Brett + Sam // Cornerstone Farm, Vermont https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/9/brett-sam---cornerstone-farm-vermont

Wedding photography has brought me to so many beautiful locations.. Far trips Like Thailand and Kauai, My typical California locations like Mendocino, Lake Tahoe, Napa, Carmel, Big Sur, Calistoga, Newport Beach, Dana Point. Across the country to Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and even back home to my home state, Michigan. I never had Vermont on my radar until I got a call from Sam two years back. I love that wedding photography allows me to see the world through the lens of places special to the couples.

 

I was so excited that Sam thought of me to shoot her wedding, and even more excited to travel to Brett’s family farm in Pawlet, Vermont where they showed me the backroads of this little state with a touch of local knowledge and love. 

 

“Just look through all of the closets and cupboards and take whatever you like,” Tom and Mo (neighbours of the bride and groom) told me as they handed me the keys to their house where I stayed. A sweet statement that foreshadowed a weekend of kindness and generosity. 

 

Brett and Sam were friends of mine from college at the University of Redlands, Go Bulldogs! Brett was in a band called Over Easy that we all spent several college nights dancing to. Sam was the glowing beautiful blonde girl with an iconic Sam Sorbo smile and laugh. Not only is Sam beautiful, but she is also nice. I was so honored when these two reached out for wedding photography. I would have loved to shoot their wedding even if they got married on the side of the road in Nebraska, but then they showed me their farm and I was blown away. I guess this really is the place. Home. 

 

I was embraced with Brett’s kindness the moment I rolled in to say hi and gear up for the weekend. He gave me a tour all around the farm and the surrounding properties on a quad. 

 

Brett’s Grandmother bought their Vermont farm, now called The Cornerstone Farm, back in the ‘70s and it has been in the family ever since. Brett was raised going there all the time, he even took his first steps there. Brett and Sam have been together for 9 years and in that time, the farm has become characteristic of Sam’s time with Brett as well. Sam told me a story about back when she and Brett were just friends, they were in the kitchen at the farm and she mumbled “man I would love to get married here someday” and the night that the two of them got engaged, Brett told her that when those words came out of her mouth, years ago, he knew he wanted to marry her at the Vermont family farm. Their families spent months before their wedding making sure the farm was pristine and perfect for their special day. So much love went into creating this event!

 

The weekend kicked off with tacos and friends coming in from all over the country. Brett went out of his way to do the little things, like get me sparkling water amidst it all. I could tell by many of his gestures that he is always looking out for others. Sam is also this way. Both so full of selfless love. Her cousin said, “no matter how much Sam has going on, she will always make the time to make sure you feel appreciated and loved.” This is something they both have, and I know that it will be a solid foundation as they build their life together. Her cousin finished the speech with a sweet story about how while Sam was in Grad School, they were on the phone catching up and as Sam pulled up to her house, Brett was patiently waiting for her with a glass of wine in his hand for her. What a man!!! 

 

At the ceremony, I knew every guest could feel the presence of appreciation, devotion, sweet kindness and love. Friendship was at the heart of every dance, every speech, as the two of them are close with so many friends; high school, college. The group of Redlands students, myself included, ended up bartending at the end of the night and none of us are bartenders!. You could feel the love and friendship as a pulse of the whole weekend. Brett's Father touched all of our hearts with the most loving speech after we finished eating the best pizza I had ever had.

 

Chip illustrated for us a fond father-son moment from Cornerstone where they both had gone out dressed in hunting clothes in search of the “Owl Moon”. It was New Years and the hunt was inspired by a book that Brett had grown up reading. Chip is now with us in spirit and I could feel how loved he was by so many souls at the wedding that I know how dearly he will be missed. My love goes out to their whole family. 

 

I am so confident that Brett and Sam will carry the love their families and friends have given them into their lives together. They are so naturally beautiful together. I feel lucky to have been invited into their hearts during their Vermont wedding weekend at the Cornerstone Farm. 

 

Floral: Sharon Rishell

Getting Ready Location: Barrows House

DJ: Bill Mazzucco

Caterer: Lareau Farms + American Flatbread Pizza

Officiant: Kevin Gihhhuly ( Sam’s Uncle )

Ceremony Musician: Nina Fernando + Ethan Tucker

Coordination: Katie Cary // The Event Sisters










 

 

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Kerry & Jenn // Meeks Bay Lake Tahoe, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/9/kerry-jenn---lake-tahoe-ca
Kerry and Jenn are everything that I love about Tahoe; spirit, heart, beauty, friendships, and shared love for their physical surroundings. Their tribe of family and friends brought the party to this Meek’s Bay venue on that sunny Tahoe September day. I knew so many familiar faces at this wedding filled with Tahoe locals. 

 

The two of them are way too beautiful for their own good, and together, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Jenn is into health and nutrition as a Dietician at Renown Outpatient and Tahoe Forrest in Truckee and is a badass surfer, while Kerry is a bartender at the Slot Bar with some real estate management on the side. Kerry was going to skydive into the wedding but unfortunately, the wind picked up, so a casual appearance had to cut it. 

The two of them met on Tinder in 2014 and one of my favorite accessories to their wedding was their extra cute golden retriever appropriately named Tinder after their acquaintance on the app. They are killing it and embody the work hard, play hard lifestyle that I also strive for. They just bought a house in Truckee, which us Tahoe locals can attest, ain’t no easy feat. 

I have to say, Kerry stole the show with one of the most epic suits that I have ever seen. It was a custom-designed Carhartt that paired all too well with a little Makers Mark and Jenn’s gorgeous wedding dress from a little spot in San Diego called Lovely Bride. Kerry’s groomsmen also wore Carhartt pants with denim-style button-ups. 

 

Jenn walked down the wedding aisle with the Lake Tahoe backdrop and sandy feet to the sound of bagpipes. After the ceremony, the two of them scootered off in an old yellow Honda scooter with a classic “Just Kerry’ed” sign on the back, Truly’s in tow. 

 

Their reception was accented with beautiful florals and a donut bar that was to die for. Their food trucks of choice? A local favorite called Red Truck. Pro tip if you see this truck around Tahoe, snag the lamb gyro! And a BBQ food truck that was a favorite of Kerry and Jenn’s.

 

A favorite moment was when Kerry’s brother hid Smirnoff Ices under the seats of the bridal party and iced everyone during the speeches. Priceless! 


 

The night capped with a silent disco, a party tip I’d recommend for any of you soon-to-be wed’s with a venue on lock that has a strict curfew of 10:00. It was a blast, full of hilarious dance moves and bumpin’ beats that didn’t upset the neighbors. We also had a full moon that night so I rallied everyone out to the lake to take photos with smoke bombs. I can definitely say I have found two new great friends from this wedding!


 

Vendors:

 

Golden Retriever: Tinder The Golden 

Event Planner: Forget Me Knot Events 

Florist: Sweet Roots Farms

DJ and Silent Disco: Lake Tahoe DJ Chango

Venue: Meeks Bay Resort

Donuts: Holy Schmidt Donuts

Hair and Makeup: Trousseau Designs

 

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holly@hollyshankland.com (Holly Shankland Photography) best photographer in Lake Tahoe best recommended photographers in Lake Tahoe Best wedding photographer in Lake Tahoe destination wedding photographer Engagement Photographers Holly Shankland Holly Shankland Photography lake tahoe photographers Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer Meeks Bay wedding photographer Outdoor weddings in Lake Tahoe photographers in Lake Tahoe photography wedding wedding photographer https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/9/kerry-jenn---lake-tahoe-ca Sat, 14 Sep 2019 17:15:00 GMT
Kateland + Tyler // Deer Park Villa, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/9/kateland-tyler---deer-park-villa-ca
 

This sweet Redwoods venue is easily one of my favorite locations that I get to shoot weddings at. Deer Park Villa has an outdoor setting surrounded by old-growth redwoods - some of the longest living trees on earth! The space between the trees was draped in dainty sparkling lights that hung over the bride and groom, Kateland and Tyler, as they said I do. The venue is located near the heart of San Francisco in Fairfax, California and for many of my bay area clients, it’s the perfect choice for location - with its “out there in the woods” feels while only a short jaunt to the city. 

 

Capturing Kateland and Tyler’s wedding day was a true privilege. Their style was classic and vibrant, pulling inspiration from a boho ‘70s feel meets shabby chic. Kateland was like a modern-day Stevie Nicks on her wedding day, and if I might be so bold to say, in her everyday life too. She’s a total easy-going badass and mother. She was a class act in what was probably my favorite wedding dress to date; a Rue De Sein white dress with gorgeous flowing tassels and lace. 


 

Kateland loves records and record stores. While she was getting ready with her bridesmaids, Tyler brought her a vintage Dwight Twilley Band Record signed “Twilley, don’t mind if you listen to this while you get ready”. When I went into the closet to grab the bridesmaid’s dresses, I was so excited to see they were the beautiful burnt orange velvet dresses that I’ve been loving on Pinterest and Instagram. They photograph like a dream. 

 

Tyler and Kateland have the most adorable little baby boy named Russell who they dressed to match Tyler’s Groomsmen. 


 

After the ceremony, Kateland and Tyler joined the cocktail reception, and the champagne was poured for a welcome toast led by Kateland’s father, Bob, as guests took their seats under the redwood trees. This space was so magical for dinner and the wedding planner, Haley, did such a great job designing the layout. 

 

After the reception, friends just as chill and mellow hearted as Kateland and Tyler gathered around the outdoor fire pits under the old-growth and smoked joints and cigars from their cigar bar while sipping martinis and whiskey; bridging the gap between classic and boho all the way to the last hoorah of their wedding. Pizza rolled out paired with a sundae bar for the guests with late-night munchies.


 

Surrounded by hugs and beautifully stylish humans, Kateland and Tyler locked in their love for each other. I was so happy to take part in this wedding and the pictures might just be some of my favorites. 

 

Thank you to these vendors for helping make Kateland and Tyler’s wedding so amazing and beautiful:  


 

Second Photo Shooter- Photography by Aubrey

Coordinator - Hitched By Haley

Floral- Poppy's Petalworks Floral

Hair and Makeup - Dream Catcher Artistry and KBC Beauty

Music - Runaway DJ

Food - Ray's Catering Arrival


























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holly@hollyshankland.com (Holly Shankland Photography) Best Bay Area wedding photographer best wedding photographer in San Francisco Best wedding venues outside San Francisco California Wedding Deer Park Villa destination wedding photographer Engagement Photographers Holly Shankland Holly Shankland Photography Lake Tahoe Photographers photography Redwoods wedding venue rustic wedding wedding woodsy wedding venue https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/9/kateland-tyler---deer-park-villa-ca Mon, 02 Sep 2019 01:30:00 GMT
Melissa + Andrew, The Holly Farm // Carmel, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/8/melissa-andrew-/-carmel-ca Melissa + Andrew, The Holly Farm, Carmel California


Every time I get an inquiry from a couple who tells me they are planning to have their wedding at the Holly Farm, I drop what I am doing and check my calendar in hopes that the date is free! There are some venues that I get to work at that I love, some I adore and some that just absolutely speak to my soul. The Holly Farm speaks to me. The Moses family owns and operates this unique gem that their father curated a while back. The couple has two amazing children Erin and Ryan who help make the Holly Farm the special place that it is. They have such a personal touch to add to everything, like whiskey bars and vintage cars, which I love stationing couples for a photo in front of. 

 

Ferns, orchids, palm trees, and lush greenery draped across every corner of the farm. It’s almost as if they took inspiration from the jungles of Kawaii. This all-inclusive wedding venue includes sleeping quarters, a bridal sweet and banana cabana where guys get ready and also a 10 person house for select guests. Melissa was even greater with a bottle of Vueve on her wedding morning. The Holly Farm is about 4 miles up from the Ocean and the beautiful, Carmel beach. Carmel is the perfect combination of wine country and beach town.

So Melissa and Andrew. Melissa is wild, she’s successful, she travels a lot for work and lives a dream life that so many aspire to have. When she and Andrew asked for my availability for their wedding, her Dad actually called me to have a special conversation to make sure I was up to snuff. Her family calls her Missy Joon, a nickname from her Dad that stuck around. They even had a lit-up sign at their wedding labeled “Joonstein” as Andrew’s last name is Berstein. 

They had nearly 200 people at their wedding and everybody was absolutely gorgeous, like straight out of a movie alluring with California edgy style. I liked how they invited all the wedding guests to the rehearsal dinner at the Barns at Cooper Molero. It was basically a pre-party to the big party. There were speeches after speeches and everyone talked about Melissa and Andrew’s ability to get along with anyone. They told a sweet story about Melissa leaving the bars to buy pizza for homeless people. 

 

Melissa’s side of the family hosted a traditional Persian Hana Bandoon the night before the wedding filled with incredible Persian Traditions. Andrew is Jewish and to see the combination of their heritages join together was a beautiful aesthetic.  During the wedding, following Persian tradition, each wedding party couple danced down the aisle to the most epic playlist. They had Don Julio 1942 shots that welcomed people to the ceremony. Both Andrew and Melissa opened their vows up saying that when they met it felt like they had known eachother in another lifetime. In closing, they both mentioned that they hoped they could find each other again in the next lifetime. The tears were rolling down my face and I definitely wasn't the only one. 

 

Haley was the wedding coordinator, she’s my badass favorite coordinator and absolutely crushed it; welcome packages in the rooms, a seamless timeline, organization of two giant parties, style tips, you name it, she does it. Two of my close friends and photographers helped me out on this wedding with Savannah assisting and Aubrey second shooting. Having spent a lot of time working together, we make a pretty great team, if I do say so myself :)

 

Melissa and Andrew dreamt up this breathtaking Persian and Jewish Holly Farm wedding and their hospitality to all of their guests and to me were undeniable. I first noticed it when at their engagement session at the Land’s End Sutra Baths, they put me up in a hotel room at the San Francisco Proper and I showed up to my room with a bottle of delicious Pinot Noir waiting for me, and from my favorite area, Anderson Valley. They knew me too well already. I absolutely loved working with Melissa and Andrew and their kind gestures went all the way to the moon last summer when they heard of my mom and sister losing their home to a house fire. Both families stepped in with cash donations and custom care-packages mailed to my sister before she was starting back at her first day of school. I was absolutely blown away by their love. Everyone was so right in their speeches. This couple and their families are not just successful, beautiful and fun, they are incredibly sensitive, caring, loving and generous. I am forever grateful that I got to be a part of this wedding weekend. 

 

Venue: The Holly Farm

Second Shooter: Photography By Aubrey

Photo Assistant: Savannah McCrary

Video: Owl and Tree Films

Rentals: Chic Event Rentals

Florals: Laughin’ gal Floral

Caligraphy: Arrow Art Studio

Wedding Coordinator: Hitched By Haley

Catering: La Crème Monterey

Makeup: Blush Monterey
































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holly@hollyshankland.com (Holly Shankland Photography) Best California wedding photographer Best wedding photographer in Carmel Carmel Wedding Photographer Holly Farm Wedding Photographers Holly Shankland Holly Shankland Photography natural wedding photographer in Carmel photography wedding Wedding photographers in napa valley https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/8/melissa-andrew-/-carmel-ca Sat, 03 Aug 2019 17:30:00 GMT
Christy + Trevor // White Wolf, Lake Tahoe, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/6/christy-trevor---white-wolf-tahoe-ca
 

A badass kind of romance

 

You remember growing up and playing telephone? You’d start with a story that’s passed down to a friend (and of course you’re all sitting cross legged in a circle in a basement, the way I remember it) and they tell their friend the story you started and pass it on and on and on. When it’s all said and done and the circle comes to a close, the story that began with a kid brushing their teeth became a story about an epic journey of a small child who left home, packed his nap sack and forgot his tooth brush along the way…

 

I want to start my story with a story and unlike telephone, this tale is a love recountence that cannot be forgotten, twisted or confused. Christy and Trevor’s Tahoe wedding at White Wolf (one of my most treasured venues to shoot weddings at) had me in tears from laughing so hard and inspired to find my own soul mate to try to even come as close to as bad ass and adventurous as these two are together. 

 

Christy and Trevor spent their first date skiing at Alpine and their first overnight date together was out in the backcountry for Christy’s first time ever backcountry skiing. My favorite moment during their wedding was when Christy’s dad stood up to do a toast. A toast she was surprised he even did as he’s a man of few words, but when he does speak, you listen, she later told me. Christy’s dad is an original Squaw Valley athlete, you know what I’m talking about...wingsuits, Shane McConkey and hot doggers. He has a reputation and he joked during his toast that he had prepared Christy for everything under the sun but flinched when he heard this new guy that he totally approved of, was taking Christy backcountry skiing. The one thing he didn’t prepare Christy for. I was wincing in tears. His speech was the perfect combination of sweet and a kick in the pants to inaugurate Christy and Trevor’s first day as a married couple reminiscing in the start of their love story. The best part about this story? Christy forgot to take her skins off at the top of the mountain, Christy 0, Trevor 1. But as the tale goes, their match was a stalemate when Trevor’s new sleeping bags he wanted to try out weren’t warm enough that night. They were so cold but they had each other for warmth. Christy 1, Trevor 1, game over. There’s no keeping score with love ...right?

“I thought I raised the most bad ass chick ever and I just sent her off to go backcountry skiing with this super athlete of a guy and all I could think of was...she better not F*%K this up, do what I taught you how to do,” Christy’s dad laughed during his toast. “We were so happy when Trevor asked her on another date.” 

Christy and Trevor couldn’t stop laughing with warm hearts. That’s one of my favorite things to do during speeches at a wedding. Take the time to just slow down and watch the couple as the most meaningful and important people in their lives speak of their love, their trust and pass along beautiful well wishes. You can capture the most pivotal expressions, small details and as cheesy as it may sound, the essence of their love together. It’s been a beautiful journey as a wedding photographer, witnessing what makes their own love special and unique, what holds them together and how they are viewed in the eyes of their most loved family and friends. I feel so blessed to be right there for these peak life moments.


Speaking of tangible items that hold people together, did I mention that Trevor proposed with his great-great grandfather’s ring, and Christy used that family heirloom stone, along with stones from her grandmother’s and mother’s rings to create her forever ring? So cool. 

Guests from all over the East Coast and as far as Australia and Hawaii (where one of Christy’s bridesmaids flew in from during her final hours of pregnancy because she couldn’t miss the wedding!!) flew in to see these two say “I do”. Christy and her bridesmaids got ready for her big day in a super gorgeous house on the Truckee River wearing train conductor print Carhartt overalls, of course and a rockin playlist. Trevor and his groomsmen were in a nearby house in The Valley. 

The sweetest touch of this special day was the Rock Cairn. Trevor and Christy chose a Unity Ceremony the reflected their values and honored their relationships with both each other and the friends and family that they hold dear. They each placed rocks from places special to them; a rock from Tahoe where Christy grew up, one from New Hampshire where Trevor was raised, Cape Cod and Bullards Bar both were special family destinations, Denver where they first lived together, Spain, their first international travel, Reno where they now own a home and finally, Whitewolf where they said I do. It’s a combination of these exact places that have created their solid relationship today. Cairns in the wilderness help set us on our path, It’s my hope that they look often at this symbol as a solid foundation guiding them in the right direction. There is a simple beauty in a cairn that connects us with people all over the world and I felt it that night. That cairn will live in their house as a reminder to incorporate balance, simplicity, peace, love, priority and play into their lives. I love this idea, don’t you? 

And just as their first song justified, these two rocked each other like two gypsy souls, back in the days of old, then magnificently floated into the mystic. Van Morrison, anyone? 

 

Makeup: Mckenzie Morrison

Hair: Alix Carranco

Venue: White Wolf, Tahoe

Caterer: Melanie Jackson

DJ: Jeff Jones

Officiant: Rob Kautz

Floral: Dinner Bell Farm


 

 

 

 

     

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holly@hollyshankland.com (Holly Shankland Photography) Adventure photographers in Tahoe Best wedding photographer in Lake Tahoe Best wedding photographer in Tahoe mountain venues in tahoe Tahoe's best wedding venues White wolf Tahoe White wolf tahoe wedding photographer https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/6/christy-trevor---white-wolf-tahoe-ca Sat, 22 Jun 2019 18:30:00 GMT
Nicole + Brennan // West Shore Cafe, Lake Tahoe, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/5/nicole-brennan---west-shore-cafe-lake-tahoe-ca

A Perfect Tahoe Weather Wedding - Holly Shankland Photography

From snow to epic sunsets, and rain to sunny skies, Nicole and Brennan experienced every type of weather Lake Tahoe has to offer - and the results made for beautiful wedding photos.

 

When I first talked with Nicole and Brennan about shooting their wedding, I sensed they were the type of couple who's love is always fresh, yet seasoned. Nicole's laugh is contagious, and Brennan's love is sweet and calm and makes her seem like the only person in the room. This all made sense, because they first met when they were 16 years old, but fell in love a while after. When they talked back in the day, Nicole would even give Brennan dating advice, neither knowing they'd end up dating, falling in love, and getting married on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

 

As high school friends turned to sweethearts, they'd already been through so much together. The storm rolling through just added to the already present beauty. They almost welcomed it - another moment to pull each other in a little closer. The storm stayed through the whole ceremony, everyone was covering their heads with jackets and umbrellas, but they were all smiling like the weather was perfect - so in a sense, it was. I don't think there was any other place in the world anyone there would have rather been.

 

This is something I love about Lake Tahoe weddings and the people who choose to get married there – you're never guaranteed anything specific other than beauty. You might get sun or rain or snow, but you'll get the best version of whatever the skies bring. Also, so much comes down to the couple, and my adventurous brides and grooms always choose to see the best. I guess that's a bit easier when you're with the person you love, but I also think it's a bit of what caused them to fall in love, celebrate it here, and smile bigger the harder the snow fell.

 

 People's personalities always come out a little more when the snow falls. There was so much joy with a bride and groom like Nicole and Brennan alongside their family and lifelong friends. You could feel the power of their love, the strength of their relationship with those in attendance - it created the most beautiful space full of joy.

 

 The light was so unique, everyone was happy, and Brennan was beaming as the snowflakes fell to a stop in his hair and on his suit. The wedding party was so much fun too, obsessed with their friends, and from wedding party photos in the snow to tequila shots before the ceremony all the way to the dance floor, they brought the party all day long.

 

Nicole's niece Emma was the perfect little flower girl, and all the details of the ceremony were so fitting for these two. Their vows were sweet, and every person in attendance was drawn in and giving so much love the entire time. The whole ceremony was very moving and set the tone for the rest of the night. Nicole's father gave a fantastic speech, and their first dance showed how close they truly are.

 

The weather kept changing, resulting in a beautiful Lake Tahoe sunset to end the day. A little rain had come through which made for a dreamy dock session with the string lights reflecting in the puddles. Nicole and Brennan snuck a few moments to themselves with the cotton candy sky before heading in to dance with everyone.

 

If you're wondering "Is this couple too good to be true?" the answer is no because they're genuinely like this inside and out, on their wedding day or not, but their love for everyone sure does seem unreal. I happened to be celebrating my 30th birthday, and they even took time from their day to sing me happy birthday on the dance floor. In no way did I expect this, but it was honestly such a wonderful way to spend my birthday doing what I loved with people I love, and feeling so loved on. There are many reasons I brag on my couples, but the fact they cared enough to make that part of their day - it means so much to me.

 

The whole night, from the first look with her dad to epic vows, the snow, and sunset, "donut mind if I do" deserts, and a fun night of tequila and dancing was so perfectly Brennan and Nicole. I would live that day a thousand times again if I could. The best thing is, having these two as friends gives me the feeling there are a few more fun days full of stoke in store because of them. So much love and a lifetime of light, my new friends.

 

Coordination: Liane McCombs Wedding & Event Planning

Venue & Catering: West Shore Cafe

Floral: Love & Lupines Floral Design

Beauty: Greco Rose Beauty

DJ & Photo Booth: Cornerstone Entertainment 

Sweets: Lake Tahoe Cakes

 

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holly@hollyshankland.com (Holly Shankland Photography) best wedding photographer Best wedding photographer in Lake Tahoe Holly Shankland Holly Shankland Photography photography wedding wedding photography https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/5/nicole-brennan---west-shore-cafe-lake-tahoe-ca Sun, 19 May 2019 07:00:00 GMT
Leila + Brendan // Grand Island, Northern California https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/5/leila-brendan---grand-island-northern-california

Brendan and Leila's story of falling in love is quite possibly one of my favorites. Maybe it's because I'm partial to lake life and water sports, or maybe (most likely) it's because of how it speaks to the perfect match these two are. Their story started as chance meeting and ended up in them getting married at Leila's childhood home turned wedding venue in Grand Island, California. Her sister, Tara, described the stars aligning during her wedding speech. Leila and Tara were sitting on a dock talking when a classic waterski boat started getting closer.

 

Leila (and the man on the boat - Brendan) are both expert water skiers, so Leila's trained eye recognized how unique the vessel was, yelled out "Got any women's skis on that boat?". Brendan replied "No, but we've got some men's you can try!" which is possibly the coolest initial "What's up?" any married couple has ever had in the history of time.

 

Everything about the who Leila is and why she asked me to be her wedding photographer made sense when I learned how she grew up. Having grown up around the water, loving yoga, riding horses in farm country outside Sacramento made her a special one. One I could relate to. The fact that Leila converted her childhood home into this wedding venue also spoke to me and made me so excited to capture the memories in this rad story of theirs. When I met Brendan, I smiled a ton. I immediately saw the connection they described. In an initial email, I had Leila ask Brendan how their friends would describe their relationship, and he said: "Besides being the perfect match?!".

 

They are so loving towards each other, fun, and being around them, and you can tell the balance they have between their relationship to each other and those around them. Brendan and Leila care so much about their friends and family, their relationship together, but also who they are as individuals. They for sure bond over their mutual loves of waterskiing and snow sports, and especially over their new addition to the fam – a 12-pound little terrier mutt named Ruxpin who will steal your heart in a second.

 

I love doing wedding photos like this when there are so many personal aspects to the details of the wedding venue, the flowers. These are days where you can feel the spirit of the bride and groom, friends, and family everywhere. Every wedding day is a beautiful little storm of activity and love, and this one had extra parts laughter, stoke, and backstory.

 

Leila's farm is now a 100 acre beautifully landscaped piece of land featuring a vineyard and gardens of organic veggies. It made a perfect place for friends to come from all over the country – Truckee/Tahoe, New York, Wisconsin, Florida – and gather to celebrate the bride and groom. The day started with the Leila and the bridal party getting ready in The Farm Bridal Suite as the groomsman sipped whiskey around an old grand piano. 

 

There were a few things about the day that made it extra special. First was Brendan's grandma "Nana", Lois Jackson, in attendance. Having their oldest living relative there was really special to them. I love watching them interact with her and could feel the love and cherished moments this brought. Another thing was the landscape, the plants – namely the roses – were all in bloom casting an amazing aroma all around the property. Added to this was that fact it rained, hard.

 

Not necessarily what you would ideally want for a wedding day but waiting underneath the tents (they had seen the rain coming a few days prior) waiting for the couple to say their I do's was electric. Leila's mom said in her speech as we were intimately huddled together under tents, " Many good things happen in tents. Deep conversations have been had, important decisions have been made, treaties hav been signed, babies have been born and raised, peace pipes have been smoked.

 

Leila and Brennan read some vows together in private during a first look, but then also shared some with the full group. The moment Leila walked down the aisle, they kissed. Everyone laughed, and Leila exclaimed, "Oh no! Were we supposed to do that?!". It was hilarious. I guess you are supposed to wait to kiss until "The Kiss" They couldn't keep from waiting that long.

 

The air was thick with the smell of all the rain and roses as Leila and Brendan stood under the doorway of their parents' beautiful white farmhouse. The ceremony was sweet and fit in perfectly with the rest of the day, feeling perfectly made for these two. Leila's ring was her grandmothers, which added in another unique and personal detail to the day. When they had their *official*first kiss everyone cheered, umbrellas in hand, as they kept kissing under a shower of roses thrown by their wedding party. The excitement and happy attitude carried on their happiness into the night.

 

The speeches were great. I especially loved Leila's dad talking about Brendan's vocabulary and how he was still trying to figure out the difference between "sending it" and "crushing it" which got a big laugh from Brendan. Leila's mom did all the beautiful florals. I love when the family does little details like this. The food, drink, music, and dancing were all rad. They had surf and turf for dinner (so good), and charcuterie boards and a classic white three-tiered cake with her mom's flowers decorated all over the cake. Their first dance as husband and wife was to "How Sweet it is."

 

So stoked on this beautiful day. As far as weddings go, it was both sent and crushed. Love you two.

Wedding Team

Venue: Retreat To The Farm

Floral: Leila's Mother

Makeup: Kate Nash

Hair: Carla Did it 

Catering: The Hidden Tables

    

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holly@hollyshankland.com (Holly Shankland Photography) classic wedding destination wedding photographer Engagement Photographers Farm Wedding Holly Shankland Holly Shankland Photography photography Retreat to the Farm Venues outside San Francisco wedding Wedding Venue Ideas https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/5/leila-brendan---grand-island-northern-california Sat, 18 May 2019 23:45:00 GMT
Bridget + Brennan // Deer Park Villa, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2019/4/bridget-brennan---deer-park-villa-ca

Bridget and Brennan’s San Francisco, California - Game Of Thrones Wedding at Deer Park Villa


 

Just outside San Francisco, Bridget and Brennan found a perfect little venue called Deer Park Villa for their wedding. It's close vicinity to the city make it a perfect location for anyone in the Bay Area who wants to get married near by. On April 26, 2019, the weather was perfect as all the people that mean tons to them started showing up. The guests came from Northern California, but also drove from all over California and flew in from as far away as Ohio and New York.

The start of the weekend was super casual and laid back with a wedding rehearsal at St. Rita’s Church followed by dinner and drinks at lighthouse bar and grill after. All the amazing details were beautifully planned (their planner, Hailey, did a fantastic job!) around amazing locations to shoot and a fun Game of Thrones Theme. At the same time, these two were so genuine and laid back as they welcomed their friends and family. I love when couples do this - show what it’s like to have their dream wedding and still live in the moment of it.

Bridget and Brennan greeted each guest with so much love and gratitude for them making it, but could also barely kept their eyes off each other. Before dinner, everyone was so excited, little baby Ben was the life of the party as he made his rounds through the crowd, and everyone was so filled with excitement. The night ended with everyone heading over to the State Room Brewery for a nightcap before heading home to rest up for the big day!

The next morning started with the bride and her girls getting ready in pink robes. They had three big rooms filled with champaign in metal chalices which fit into the Game of Thrones atmosphere alongside the furry shawls and of course, the sword! Bridget had gotten a full-on metal sword which was so much fun to take pictures with! The girls were so much fun, and once everyone was ready, we headed out for some bridal party pictures.

The girls were hilarious! They did a shoot dancing to the Spice Girls “Wanna Be” which set a fun tone for the rest of our time. Then, Brennan got in place for the first look. He stood next to a giant redwood as Bridget came up from behind and tapped him on the shoulder. He immediately wrapped her up in a huge hug and then they danced to “Feathered Indians” by Tyler Childers. It was a great little moment between then before everything picked up into the full swing of the day.

From there, everyone was ready. We headed over to St. Rita’s where the rest of the gang had already been showing up. The architecture of St. Rita’s is beautiful and made the whole energy that much more special. They had a beautiful traditional ceremony and after took some photos under a giant archway at the front of the church. I listened in as the priest talked on covenant, sacrifice, and love. I love these moments thinking about the future and all the things these two are going to take on, all the memories they’ll make that start today! When it came time; after the blessing of the rings, they finally said their “I do’s,” and we headed off to Deer Park Villas to party!

The details at the reception were beautiful from amazing plating and flowers all the way to the dancefloor. The venue is one of the best locations near San Francisco to have a wedding. The tables were set up long at the feet of giant California redwoods with string lights above. There were so many flowers everywhere (shout out to Poppy’s Petalworks), and the little outdoor firepits put out such a relaxed vibe. The food (the wedding was catered by Ray’s Catering, which is 100% amazing) was so good! Friends posed with the Game of Thrones sword, which was a ton of fun. The wedding party was introduced, and I swear as soon as Bridget walked into the reception she never stopped smiling for the rest of the night.

Everyone got to relax a little bit and enjoy the feel of the night before the speeches (and some happy tears) started. Bridget’s best friend from college spoke towards how great of a friend Bridget is to everyone who enters her life. She talked about the saying, “There are good ships, and there are wood ships, The ships that sail the sea. But the best ships, are friendships, And may they always be.” and how easily Bridget makes strangers into friends.

For first dances, Bridget and her dad twirled around to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor. Her father’s love and adoration were so clear as he beamed, spinning his daughter around, and never taking his eyes off her. Brennan and his mom danced to “Simple Man” by Led Zeppling. Then Brennan and Bridget had their big moment, choosing “Shake the Frost” by Tyler Childers to have their first dance as husband and wife.

The rest of the night was one for the books - a great way to start off their story as husband and wife. Their friends and family danced the night away and strolled out around the redwoods under the stars. The next day there was a brunch at the hotel everyone was staying at before the newlyweds said their goodbyes.

At the end of wedding weekends like this, I’m so filled with gratitude and good energy. Bridget’s college roommate was right, she makes friends out of everyone, and it was so easy to become that with her. It was also obvious how loved this couple was, how the home they’re making is going to be so filled with love and consumed with fun. So happy and so much love for your two, Bridget and Brennan.

Coordination: Hitched by Haley

Venue: Deer Park Villa

Floral: Poppy's Petalworks

Beauty: Emma Rose

Dj: Runaway DJ

Catering: Ray's Catering

Cake: Susie Cakes 

Photobooth: Mir Mir

Rehearsal Location: Lighthouse Bar & Grill

 


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Hannah + Gaubert // Pudding Creek, Mendocino https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2018/12/hannah-gaubert---pudding-creek-mendocino

 

Hannah and Gaubert just may be the most in-love couple I have ever worked with. We had to re-schedule the wedding date due to some visa issues. The best things in life, are worth waiting for :) They are together at last and it's never felt so good. Their joy was contagious and shared with such a beautiful group of family and friends. The waves were crashing in at 25 feet high and the rains waited until we were inside to come down. We explored pudding creek beach and the Mendocino headlands for lots of photos. I also learned that all the 8-10 year olds have some serious dance moves. I need to take some lessons from them :)

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Kelsey + Antonio // The Heritage House, Little River, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2018/11/kelsey-antonio---the-heritage-house---little-river-ca

All you need is love.

Setting //

  • Smokey skies passed leaving us with a beautiful depth for light in the air

  • Little River , CA

  • Sunset ceremony right on the ocean bluffs edge

People //

  • Large and loving families on both sides  

  • Very funny jokes from the Bride's Father

  • Our bride: sweet, gentle, caring

  • Our groom: smart, loving, easy going

Take aways //

  • Antonio loves Kelsey's face when the popcorn is ready

  • Kelsey brought adjectives back into Antonio's life

  • These two compliment each other so well

  • Surprise accordion shows at the alter are always welcomed

 

 

Venue: The Heritage House https://www.heritagehouseresort.com/rooms-en.htm

Coordination: Zoe Brega https://zoebragaevents.com

Florals: Rosa LR Farms http://www.lrfarm.com/home.html

Catering: The Heritage House https://www.heritagehouseresort.com/rooms-en.html

HMU: Danielle Bloom Mendocino https://www.bloommendo.com

 

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Andrea + Michael // Rush Creek Lodge // Yosemite, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2018/11/andrea-michael---rush-creek-lodge---yosemite-ca

Talk about Yin & Yang💕 

Setting // 

  • Air was crisp & cool upon arrival, fireplaces around the property brought plenty of warm vibes. 

  • Day of wedding had an ideal balance of warm sun and cool shades

  • Rush Creek Lodge created a lovely space for friends & family from all over to re-connect prior to a beautiful weekend

People //

  • friends from literally all over the world gathered together  

  • our bride: determined, strong, beautiful, funny, caring

  • our groom: calm & kind, soft spoken, adventurous, gentlemen to his lady 

Take aways //

  • michael loves snoopy ;)

  • andrea once told her cousin when they were young that she was allergic to water and had to shower every night in tomato soup, lol!

  • 80's dance parties can really pop off

 

We asked Andrea and Michael what they thought about the weekend. Andrea didn't hesitate to express her gratitude and emotions toward the weekend. Andrea was her own wedding planner/designer, which says so much about her.

 

Venue: Rush Creek Lodge / www.rushcreeklodge.com

Cordinator: Sarah / www.rushcreeklodge.com

Florals: Sweet Lilacs / www.sweetlilacsstudio.com

Second Shooter: Savannah McCrary / @savvyfoto

Caterer: Rush Creek Lodge /www.rushcreeklodge.com

HMU: @beautybyerika @chiyokobeauty

DJ: Heart of Gold Dj's/ Christie James /www.heartofgolddjs.com 

First Song: 'Baby' Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti 
 

 

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Courtney + Mike // Spring Ranch, Mendocino, CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2018/10/courtney-mike---spring-ranch-mendocino-ca .ss-embed-container-NKCmnd {position:relative; padding-bottom:66.6%; height:0; overflow:hidden; margin: auto; max-width:100%} .ss-embed-container-NKCmnd iframe {position:absolute; top:0;left:0; width:100%!important; height:100%!important;}

Mrs. & Mr. Wood.

Setting //

  • a lovely fog takeover

  • spring ranch, mendocino, CA

  • dinner in the barn, dancing outside, ceremony in the trees

People //

  • boys were tying ties, drinking whiskey in the house

  • teary eyed ladies helping each other get ready

  • guests arriving and catching up

take aways //

  • heart sparklers may not be the most effective, but they're always a good time

 

Venue: Spring Ranch / spring-ranch.com

Coordinator: Zoe Braga / zoebragaevents.com

Florals: Rosa- Mendocino Floral Design / mendocinofloraldesign.com / @mendocino_floral_design 

Second Shooter: Savannah McCrary @savvsalvaje

DJ: Dray Lopez / @djdraylopez

Rentals: Matt Rowland / www.mattrowlandevents.com

Caterer: Salen Anderson 

Sweets: Brittany Harris / www.asweetaffairpattiserie.com  

Makeup: Jordan / @mendobridalbeauty_

Hair: Marianella / @marianellabrey 

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Alpine Sedona https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2018/10/alpine-sedona

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Raya + Drake // Cuffie's Cove https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2018/9/raya-drake---cuffies-cove  

They're all special- but this one especially.

Setting //

  • Fog and sunshine danced around each other from am to pm
  • Cuffey's cove, ELK, CA
  • Farm house in the front, barn in the back, ceremony on the hill
  • Mendocino coast is the best coast

People // 

  • Boys were in the barn helping set the scene
  • The entire family oozed the deepest love for each other
  • Women were all tight niched, and not to mention stunning
  • Raya- A dream bride, truly definition of beauty from the inside out
  • Drake- He learned Lebanese for her, kind hearted to the core, they are both "The Lucky One"

Take aways //

  • Lebanese traditions are amazing (so is the food)
  • True fairy tale love story
  • You will cry during the ceremony when Raya's cousin reads 100 Love Letters from Nizar Qabbani
  • Take dance lessons from Raya's mom, and aunt, and sister, and well any of them
  • HOOKAH BAR
  • They met when they were 17- in a math lab 1 + 1 = well, you know....history.
  • We could listen to the Lebanese language ALL day long 

 

Venue: Cuffey's Cove / www.cuffeyscove.com

Florals: Rosa- L & R Farm / www.lrfarm.com / @rosa_wyglendowski

DJ: John / @djcrash707 

Rentals: Matt Rowland / www.mattrowlandevents.com

Caterer: Karina's Catering / www.karinascatering.com

Makeup: Kathy / @beautybarkatt

Hair Piece Designer: Jenn Mignonne / @jemmignonne

Dress: Grace Loves Lace / @grace_love_lace

Airstream Rental: Holly Shankland / www.hollyshankland.com

First Song: 'She’s got a way about her' Billy Joel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tom + Aly // The OZ Farm, Point Arena CA https://www.hollyshankland.com/blog/2018/9/tom-aly---oz-farm .ss-embed-container-rEEXgJ {position:relative; padding-bottom:66.6%; height:0; overflow:hidden; margin: auto; max-width:100%} .ss-embed-container-rEEXgJ iframe {position:absolute; top:0;left:0; width:100%!important; height:100%!important;}

Gratitude & Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Setting //

  • clear skies, radiant sun

  • manchester, CA

  • geo domes, green houses, outstanding flowered fields 

People //

  • song birds in pink

  • styles on point

  • aly- sweet sweet soul, with the angel face that can make a meal out of anything

  • tom- a driven drummer boy with a real passion for chocolate chip cookies

take aways //

  • faith in blind dates set up by neighbors

  • sincere vows; they're worth it

  • there is a art to chocolate chips cookies

 

Venue: OZ Farm / ozfarm.com

Coordinator: Zoe Brega / zoebragaevents.com

Florals: Bewilder Floral / @bewilderfloral

Second Shooter: Savannah McCrary @savvsalvaje

DJ: Lucky Devils / @luckydevilsband

Rentals: Matt Rowland / mattrowlandevents.com 

Caterer: Karina's Catering /karinascatering.com

Makeup + Hair: D & A Bridal / @dabridalsf

First song: 'And i love her' The Beatles