Classy Red and Black Wedding in the Oakland Hills

This wedding… another sweet couple who cared more about their actual wedding and the love they have for each other than they did about turning their wedding day in to a photoshoot. YAY. We are SO lucky that like-minded couples keep finding us. Carolyn found me while doing research about her venue, the Sequoia Lodge in Oakland, CA; she wasn’t even looking for a photographer at that moment, but our blog post lead her right where she wanted to be. They wanted mostly candids with a handful of family photos, but above all they wanted to celebrate their love and the merging of their families, and they wanted that documented in a beautiful and unobtrusive way. We both felt lucky to have found each other, and being there on their wedding day reinvigorated my love of chill people, their chill weddings, and the power of love and family. What a frickin’ beautiful day. One of my favorite aspects of the day, photography-wise, is that this was my fourth time shooting at this venue, and I was able to find new locations and new angles and to shoot this venue in a whole new light.

David’s son was not a fan of the camera, so I had to be super extra careful to photograph him without being in his face or having him be too aware that I was shooting him. He wasn’t quite ready to walk down the aisle, but his dad took his hand and I was able to catch them taking this special walk together.

The flower girls gloriously threw their petals in clumps as they walked down the aisle. Carolyn’s daughters are twins. One rocked a lovely red flowery dress and the other rocked a super cool suit and red tie.

The bride and groom got ready separately and like many of our couples before (and coming up), did not give a damn about getting ready photos. I have mixed feelings on the matter, because photographically speaking, yes, the “getting ready photos” produce really beautiful photographs. But do those photos really matter? It depends on who you ask. And if it’s your wedding, all that matters is how you feel about it. So when a couple says, “we don’t really care about getting ready photos. Do we need them?” I say, “nope! It’s all up to you and whatever you want.” So all of this to say, that I showed up an hour before the ceremony and met Carolyn when she arrived at the venue, about 20 minutes before she walked down the aisle. And then David saw his bride for the first time…

I have a super gorgeous photo of Carolyn walking herself down the aisle, but since it’s vertical and doesn’t display well in my blog, I will be leaving that photograph for my instagram @mojoweddings and facebook @mojoweddingsphoto . I do love this photo showing off her bouquet by — as she hands it to her mother.

Joining hands…

Another favorite (vertical) photo I’m unable to post, is Carolyn’s daughters being the most PERFECT flower girls (red napkin on head, flowers being dumped out of basket)… also to show up on IG/FB. Pictured here is the glorious aftermath.

Their ceremony under the trees. I’m amazed that out of the 4 times I’ve photographed this pretty small venue, not one of them has been set up the same.

Carolyn receiving David’s vows…

And vice versa.

A sand ceremony was held to symbolize the blending of their families.

And they were stoked.

I am just SO in love with these photographs of the new family and Carolyn’s twins holding her dress during the recessional.

Another all time favorite moment… I asked them to come sit on this bench immediately after the ceremony to enjoy some alone time. I really don’t like when magical ceremony moments go straight in to posed family portraits. It just doesn’t align. So they sat together and talked over everything they had been wanting to say since seeing each other. She held his hand just like this while they talked and I found my moment to photograph their rings.

This is one of the new photo spots I found and I am so in love with it. I asked her what is one of the goofiest things he does to make her laugh, and I found out some pretty intimate info… LOL… I’m always hearing secrets that no one else knows. I feel so lucky to be trusted by the couples I work with.

And the kids popped by, because obviously they didn’t want to be away from their parents for too long, and I love the outcome of that as well.

The twin in the suit was a tough cookie, but luckily I got caught them in a sweet sister moment and you can juuust see the smile on her face.

I will probably merge the two photos below to have one photograph where all three kids are looking at the camera. Looking straight at the camera isn’t a big deal to me, but I think it will be nice to have one of their kids. I will link to that photo as soon as it’s finished.

The following three photos are possibly my very favorite from the day. I had just said goodbye and was walking away. That’s when they really truly dropped their guards and shared the most special, unposed, magical moments together of pure love and happiness. There are a couple other photos that I LOVE from this moment, which will be posted over on Instagram and/or facebook… It’s almost always the very last photo, right when I think I’m done, that turn out the best. This is one reason why I’m not strict on timing. I don’t have a cut off time where the camera goes away. It’s on me until I get in my car and drive away.

Thank you again, Carolyn and David, for choosing me to document your celebration of love and commitment. You, and we, were the perfect match (;

- Julie

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