Suzie and Corey’s Wedding, Gypsy Acres, Petaluma, CA

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of photographing Suzie and Corey’s wedding on a beautiful estate in West Petaluma. Suzie and I went to high school together (was it really over 10 years ago now?! Impossible!), so it was wonderful to get to know her as a real adult, and to see what she had planned for their wedding.

Suzie made the most beautiful bride. Her dress was stunning (she said, “I went in saying, the only thing I know is that I don’t want anything beaded or elaborate or sparkly, and I walked out with this!”)

She was just amazingly gorgeous, tall, confident, and SO happy! I know that she did most of the planning, since Corey was finishing up school, and that is a BIG job. She pulled it off wonderfully and, once the day got started, couldn’t stop smiling.

I also got to see a few people from high school that I probably haven’t seen since 1996. It’s so cool to see how everyone turned up – we all look about the same but just happier, more real, and more confident in ourselves. That’s the impression I got anyway.

I don’t know if Gypsy Acres, where the wedding was held, has a website, but it is a BEAUTIFUL location! Out near Helen Putnam regional park, where we did Suzie and Corey’s engagement photo session back in April, the estate has a small lake, lawn area for the ceremony, some shady redwood patio areas, and then a big pool next to another lawn area for the reception. It was very picturesque, and perfect for the bright, sunny afternoon wedding. The weather was about 75 degrees and slightly breezy – perfect!

Catering was once again provided by the excellent Park Avenue Caterers (delicious as always!), and I was thrilled to meet Kimberly Thompson of A Beautiful Ceremony, the officiant who performed the ceremony. She was fantastic! Friendly, organized, and professional, her ceremony was great, and she was a joy to work with. She kept us on schedule and helped run the day. She’s based out of Napa but travels all over Wine Country… the woman has done over 3500 weddings in the last 15 years! Is that crazy?! She was awesome, and we’re trying to set up a lunch or coffee meeting sometime… after wedding season calms down.

These sweet little birds (starlings? sparrows?) hung out while we did Corey and Suzie’s portraits. Lovebirds!

What else can I tell you besides the fact that Suzie and Corey are obviously so, so, SO in love with each other. When we did their engagement photos, we had a lot of fun but I could tell that Corey wasn’t thrilled with the idea of having his photo taken. By the end of the session, I could see he was relieved and happy with how it went, so I knew the wedding day would also be fun. But what I didn’t expect is how overjoyed they would both obviously be! Corey was PSYCHED to have his photo taken! He and Suzie could not stop dancing together, smooching, and just gazing adoringly at each other. And smiling! It was wonderful to see the two of them and their connection. That is such a neat perk of this job.

They danced a first dance to “Cowboy Take Me Away” by the Dixie Chicks… now, I’m not a big fan of country music, but I do like the Dixie Chicks, and watching them together made me get all kinds of choked up.

This little girl (the daughter of a woman I knew in elementary and junior high school) was adorable, and busted just a CRAZY move during the open dancing. She seriously had amazing style and moves – it made me wish I was a videographer! You can see more of her in the slideshow.

She also wanted my job, I think, going around with the disposable cameras. There were a bunch of really cute kids in attendance… And what is a better recipe for great pictures than cute kids and bubbles?

Check out many, many more photos on their slideshow here:

edited 1.2.08 – the slideshow has been taken down for server tidiness. Please let me know if you’re interested in seeing it.

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