Carrie and Andy’s Nestldown wedding quintessentially represents what I love about photographing weddings. I often get asked by people “What’s your favorite place to shoot weddings?” And my answer is always the same: “It’s usually not about the place, but about the people.” Obviously, it doesn’t hurt to have a beautiful landscape and scenery like Nestldown, but ultimately, if it weren’t for couples like Carrie and Andy who were unabashedly themselves and incredibly fun to work with, I probably wouldn’t be as in love with my job as I am. Their personalities and their commitment to just making images add much to the photography, but really it’s Carrie & Andy’s chemistry with each other and their family and friends with a festive spirit of celebration that makes for amazing moments and a rich palette for beautiful, emotional imagery.
The day at Nestldown began onsite as the Carrie & her bridesmaids got ready at the guesthouse up in the hills overlooking the beautiful grounds of the property, while the Andy and his groomsmen got a lesson on tying a double windsor from Andy’s father down in the barn. The ceremony site, nestled amid the redwoods, quickly filled with guests as the hour of the wedding approached. Andy waited with anticipation to see his bride for the first time, while Carrie was taxied down in a classic London Cab, which, in her words, “makes no sense, but it’s awesome.” As Carrie walked down the aisle, you could almost feel the cloud of anticipation lifting and transforming into just sheer excitement and joy. After a couple readings, Carrie and Andy shared their beautifully written vows–both infused with personality, humor, and heart-tugging warmth. After the announcement, the newlyweds danced down the aisle to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing.”
Following the Ceremony and family portraits, we wandered about the grounds to get some pretty fantastic portraits before they trained in for to the cocktail hour and reception. The barn had a rustic elegance that was further accented by the floral work of La Lavande. La Bocca Fina served up amazing plated meals for the guests before Carrie & Andy showed off their choreographed first dance moves. Later in the evening, as the dancing quickly sprung into full gear, gelato was being served while celebrants cooked up s’mores over the camp fire. As the final song, “Sweet Caroline” played, the remaining guests formed a big circle around the dancing newlyweds, arms locked, singing their hearts out. For the exit, in lieu of sparklers (since fire and wood barns don’t mix) a tunnel of guests waved hand-held foil streamers as Carrie & Andy made their way to the London Cab and departed for the night.
So if you’re wondering what I loved most about shooting at Nestldown this weekend, my answer would be that it was because of the people and joy I saw through my viewfinder. Here’s a peek at some of my favorite moments.