This was a month ago, but because I’m not the best at blogging, it’s finally being talked about. I’m a busy girl, and a busy girl’s got stuff to do!
I second shot this one with globe-trotting all-star; Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography. We left LA at about 6am and arrived in San Francisco in time for a meeting in the afternoon and then drove into Napa Valley in time for a walk-through at Calistoga Ranch where the most epic wedding ever would take place that weekend.
The next day was the “Maggie & Jeff Show” rehearsal dinner which was “summer camp” themed. The evening was filled with completely hilarious yet slightly inappropriate speeches from fellow actor/comedian friends and family. The whole thing was put together very well. A lot of details. You could tell how much fun the wedding was going to be just based on how epic the rehearsal dinner alone was.
The day of the wedding began with me shooting the groomsmen, all 15 of them, while Laura shot the girls. Ever been the only female in a room full of 15 naked dudes at once? -With a camera, no less? Me neither. Well, not 15, but about 5, yes. Ask me about that
shoot another day!
This is easily the largest wedding party I’ve ever shot. Instructing 16 dudes who’ve been drinking all morning was fun. It felt something like this
After getting the groomsmen formals out of the way, we made out way over to the ceremony site aka THE VINEYARD! It was really hot out, but it was SO gorgeous, so who cares that I have the sun in my eyes all afternoon and sweat sliding down my legs? I was running on mostly adrenaline and had no time to really think about the heat.
It’s really refreshing to hear a really good set of vows exchanged, especially when they were written by the bride and groom themselves. Jeff’s vows happened to be a sweet and clever little poem that rhymed which provided everyone with laughter and even tears. Maggie and Jeff are a real couple. when I say “real” I mean they’re quirky and not afraid to be goofy and silly with one another. That’s real love. I saw a lot in them what I have with my guy and felt reassured, even through the bad days we have, that we’re also doing it right.
Following the ceremony, dinner was setup on a patch of grass, lakeside in the middle of the canyon. It was a GORGEOUS view. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME.
When you think “Napa Valley”, you probably think “Oh, Northern California, PLUSH GREENERY, vibrant vineyards, green pine trees…”, but then the drought is like “BROWN. BROWN EVERYTHING.” However, as our luck would have it, this provided us with plush GOLDEN scenery which complimented Maggie’s amazing champagne-colored Vera Wang gown and this entire bridal portrait session came out looking like a Vanity Fair high fashion spread, al la Annie Leibovitz.
They were just too easy. I love it when couples don’t require much direction. It’s all confidence, people! Don’t care about how you look, just trust us!
After all the speeches, the serious ones since the hilarious jaw-dropping ones were out of the way the night before, Maggie surprised Jeff by serenading him.
After the outdoor dinner reception, the party continued inside of the wine cave. Yes, that’s right, a WINE CAVE. How sexy is that?
Real quick: The story behind this cake, and yes, that is entirely a 100% edible cake, is that Jeff and Maggie both used to be actors while living in New York. Jeff used to repeatedly send his headshot to the producer of The Sopranos taped inside of a pizza box so that he’d hopefully get noticed and land a part in the television series. Well, as luck would and persistence would have it, Jeff landed a part in the finale…as a silhouette in a window! Ha! Hey, it worked. So Maggie, in her perfect sense of humor, surprises Jeff with a groom cake as a gag gift that replicated one of the several head shots in a pizza box that Jeff had sent to the desk of the producer. All of that was cake, even the desk!
And of course he loved it. How could he not? We laughed at it for several minutes at a time.
After our contracted shooting time ended, they insisted we belly up to the *open* bar and party with them. Doesn’t take much when you dangle free booze in our faces, but naturally, we kept our cameras out and kept shooting, camera in one hand, shot glass in the other…
Best. Wedding. Ever.
Read Laura Grier’s blog
about Maggie & Jeff’s wedding. I put that blog together for her, and that’s probably why I didn’t want to do this one until now 😛