I’ve known Tenaya since she was 12 or 13, and was so flattered when she asked me to photograph her wedding! 1990s Petaluma girls sticking together.
The week before her wedding, though, our county caught fire… thousands of people were evacuated, and everything was at a standstill as the Tubbs and Atlas fires burned out of control with no containment. We were all filled with uncertainty, and I remember texting Tenaya the day before the planned wedding (on Friday October 13th!), to ask “um… are you guys going through with this?” and not knowing how to feel when she said “yes”. It was the strangest week, with the air throughout our hometowns and all the way down to the Bay Area filled with toxic smoke.
But I woke up early on that Friday morning, tooth a deep, smoky breath, and dragged myself to SF City Hall… even there, the skies were hazy with smoke (you can see the light filtering in is wild and kind of woozy looking in some of the photos below), and people were wearing those face masks that were ubiquitous last October. Everyone looked a little shellshocked and uncertain – but it turned out that watching these adorable lovebirds get married was exactly what we all needed. They are perfect together; so lovely and silly and giggling together nonstop.
And even better, that evening, we all drove out to Inverness, to celebrate with a big dinner reception at the Tomales Bay Resort right on Tomales Bay. And as I rounded the curve of the bay to, the air (finally) cleared, the smoke evaporated, and the blue sky was reflected in the bay. I had to pull over to breathe in that fresh air, and felt such a mix of joy, gratitude and sorrow. Then I moved along, and got to photograph a happy and fun gathering of people glad to have a reason to celebrate; and it was awesome.
Thank you, Tenaya and Max!! Your wedding was the highlight of those crazy weeks by far. xoxo