You guys it has only been 3 months but I am SERIOUSLY into being an aunt. Let me unequivocally state that tiny Elliott Pepper is the most amazing little light that has ever come into our family's lives. When I got to meet her it was like my heart literally grew several sizes (like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but you know - without the whole Grinch part). I am so excited to get to see her again next week where she'll be twice the size she was from when we took these photos. I can't get over the power of a sweet and innocent coo, giggle, and smile. It's just undeniable. My sister and her husband have hit the jackpot with this little peanut. Looking forward to a lifetime of aunt-duties! Cute overload commencing.
It's truly amazing how full circle things in life can be. When I was younger I had no idea what it would mean to be part of a little army of strong women. I also was completely unaware that intense bonds and friendships would form once my sisters and I all inched toward adulthood. What I did know is that I was 1 of 4 girls and this was 'unusual' amongst my friendship circles. Between my dad reading us Little Women, Little House on the Prairie and of course my inevitable appreciation of Pride and Prejudice I actually felt like I was in tremendous company with strong, brave, and funny women on a nightly basis. I first met Jake a few years ago when he was interviewing where I work. The hiring manager let me know a few fun facts about him ahead of time as I prepped. One such fact was that he is a father of 4 girls. In my entire life, I've only met two other families with this grouping. Two! It's like a club. I immediately felt like I understood his guy. He got the job and soon after I got to meet his wife Katie and their incredible family and a wonderful friendship developed. Katie and Jake are two of the kindest humans I've ever met and they're a perfect compliment to one another in so many ways. Their daughters are a beautiful reflection of their personalities and talents. There's humor, thoughtfulness, zeal, exuberance and laughter around every corner with these kids and I just adore this family. We recently hit up the Mountainview Blueberry Farm to pick some berries and capture the day and it was one of the best mornings ever. Later I relayed the morning's activity to my own sisters who remain my biggest champions and best of friends.
I first got connected to Ashton & Jeremy through a co-worker a few months ago. They live in North Carolina and were looking to elope out in Seattle. As luck would have it, I got the opportunity to photograph this super intimate beautiful afternoon for them and I have to say it was a real treat to be with a couple in this way. There's something about the quiet and unassuming quality of an elopement that brings out something entirely different in the bride and groom. Their moments were kept to themselves and it was beautiful to watch them be absorbed in it. They picked Discovery Park as their backdrop and just 3 friends and the officiant stood on beneath a tree canopy as they spoke their vows. Well, and the family back at home that Facetimed in. It was one hell of a dreamy afternoon with these two. I'm so glad I got to capture their love.
It's truly amazing how a blip in time can lead to such beautiful things. I first met Kelly while working a retail job not too long after I had first landed in Seattle (13 years ago now!). We bonded over the pain of early stock shifts, the way our manager said the word 'pillow' and we kept ourselves occupied during especially rough shifts by talking about cute guys in the store over the walkie talkies in code ('Umm, yeah, Kelly do you see any hyacinths over by the candle wall?'). We spent a handful of months working together but somehow stayed in touch over the years and then through social. When I got a note from him about photographing his wedding celebration my heart just skipped. We met up in Volunteer Park for some photos and then I met them at their party down in SoDo at Rotie Cellars. While we were shooting I learned that Kelly and Nate's original wedding plans were to be married on our shoot day at the Thomas Burke statue in the park and have a reception across the way at the art museum but given the election outcome of 2016 and the uncertainty in the future, they bumped up their wedding date and officially tied the knot last December. I'm so glad that we were able to photograph at the park so they could still have some connection to their planned ceremony. It's a special place to them (and close to their home) and that meaning will carry each time they look at these images. Plus, we had their little dog Nino with us! I was so overwhelmed by the entire afternoon. Not only was it incredible to spend some time with Kelly again all these years later but it was also awesome to meet Nate and see the amazing connection the two of them have. This was all the more evident when we popped over to the tasting room and all their friends and family came out to celebrate with them. The joy at the event was infectious. bash & bloom decked out the space with incredible arrangements specifically tied to many family favorites from both sides including Kelly's fave (calla lilies) and Nate's fave (irises). Guests were treated to beautiful wines from Rotie Cellars and delicious bbq from the Wood Shop BBQ truck. So much love between these two and I was incredibly happy to capture this moment.
Kiana and Sean have been together for years but their marriage just took place earlier this month in San Francisco starting an entirely new chapter of their lives together. We met over the phone so I didn't know what to expect when I arrived at the Ralston White Retreat in Mill Valley. When we finally connected in person on their big day I was tremendously struck by their adoration of one another and the way the seemed to compliment each other. I saw a thoughtfulness and steadiness coming from Sean and with Kiana an immediate bright ray of energy as though a sunbeam had broken free. They fit together perfectly and their love and affection was infectious. I had so many favorite moments from the toasts but some of the most memorable sentiments came from a couple of the groomsmen. One said "We've been waiting for this day for a long time." and another followed by speaking of his own search for love and quoted the groom who told him "Walk like a king and you will find your queen." Seriously the sweetest bunch of friends and family surrounding an amazing couple. In fact there was so much love in that room that everyone wanted in on the action. I think we made it to 10 speeches?? Clearly, there was tremendous appreciation for these two. Everyone spoke of their immediate connection, their support of one another and the new phases that were ahead of them. Since I started speaking with them about their wedding plans, they graduated grad school, moved to California and got new jobs (Kiana as a doctor and Sean as a teacher at the very school he attended in Mill Valley as a kid). Guests hailed from all walks of their lives from SF, to the Dominican Republic, to NYC. It was the merging of two awesome families, customs, and even languages. Both the Mother of the Groom and the Father of the Bride had their speeches translated by one of Kiana's brothers. From start to finish it was a beautiful day with sentimental touches and fun details. Kiana prepped for the big moment wearing a kimono Sean had given her for her birthday years prior. And I can't even handle the glory that was the train of her dress. I mean, omg. Her young nephew and ring bearer sported elbow patches on his little blue suit (ELBOW PATCHES YOU GUYS) and they walked down the aisle in a sea of bubbles, snapped pics in the photo booth and danced the night away under a canopy of balloons. A beautiful day for a great couple.
So many great folks helped bring this big day together! Venue - Ralston White Retreat | Event Coordination - Katie Graves at Star Planning | Floral Design - Vanda | Makeup - bfab | Bakery - Sweet Things | Food - Chef Cynthia | Balloons - Balloon Delights | Photo Booth - Glass Coat Photo Booth | Rings - Brilliant Earth | Bride's Dress & Shoes - David's Bridal | Groom's Suit - Bureau | Music - John McCormick | Party Rentals - A Party Center
If you live in LA or Denver just do yourself a favor and click here and book yourself a mani or a pedi at Base Coat Nails. I went to the location in the LA Arts District with my sister last month and had a wonderful experience from start to finish. I sipped on a sparkling water with my sleeping teeny niece napping in my arms while I got a pedi and my sister got a mani as a very welcome 'hey, you just had a baby but remember to give yourself a break' moment. The vibe was chill, the space was beauuuutiful and everyone was so kind. The details and thoughtful touches throughout added up to the perfect piece of zen in the middle of the city and do you see that plant wall and neon sign? Too fun! Plus, it's next door to the Museum of Ice Cream. Hello? Treat yo self indeed.