The Wedding of Nia & Daniel

Roseville Sacramento Wedding

Nia and Daniel’s wedding was a simple yet elegant affair on a warm Sacramento early May day.  I was referred to Nia for this wedding by the DJ, Sounds To Go, which underscores how important it is to network in this industry and build relationships with other vendors because you never know when it can result in a job.

Among wedding professionals, there is often a bias against backyard weddings, but I have done several this year and they have all been in gorgeous backyards and this one is no exception.  It provided the perfect backdrop for this wedding.  When I arrived Nia and her family were incredibly welcoming and introduced me to all of the major family members and wedding party. Upon arriving, I was able to get some great detail shots of the location and some of the details of the setup.  

Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding

Since Nia did not require photos of her getting ready, I right away started shooting the groomsmen.  We took some great posed shots.  Daniel sure has some great guys supporting him.

Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding

After finishing up with the guys portraits, the girls were ready to go so we took some nice shots of Nia and her bridesmaids and the flower girl.  

Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding

The ceremony started on schedule and was short and sweet with the traditional entrance of the bridesmaids and bride, vows, ring exchange and kiss.

Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding

Following the ceremony, we took some nice posed photos of the bridal party all together as well as one picture of all the guests.  It’s always a challenge to make sure I can see everyone in these kind of photos but I think this one turned out pretty good!  This was a fun group too, and they did a pretty cool silly picture!

Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding

The bridal party then made their grand entrance to start the reception portion of the evening’s festivities.  There was a great dinner, socializing and some great speeches.  I hear many wedding speeches every year, but the speeches from this wedding will stick with me for a long time.  The best man (the bride’s brother) spoke about how he first realized Daniel and his sister were dating. Before dating his sister, he had only known Daniel as part of a rival baseball team who had just recently beat his team in the championships.  You can imagine his surprise when he opened the door to his home one day and found Daniel sitting on the couch with Nia.  The other speech that sticks out in my mind came from Nia’s step father.  He talked about how he had always wanted a daughter and was delighted when Nia entered his life and filled that role.  His words were so heart-felt and touching, I could tell that he meant it from the deepest of his soul.

Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding
Roseville Sacramento Wedding

After the speeches, the couple shared a precious first dance with each other and then with their parents.  And that’s about the time my work day finished.  Nia was so thoughtful and wrote me a nice card that she sent me home with (and a little something extra), which is always appreciated for me and my team.  What a great May wedding to remember!

The Wedding of Magnific & James

The wedding day of James and Magnific started out early as my team (myself, Sean and Raymond) and I had to drive to Fremont, CA from Sacramento for this wedding. Whenever I shoot both photo and video for a wedding, I bring at least three people. I was worried that traffic would make us late, so I made sure to calculate extra time just in case. Both the bride (Magnific) and the groom (James) were getting ready at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Newark. When we arrived at the hotel we had some confusion finding the room, so that extra time I calculated for potential traffic ended up coming in handy. Finally, we located their rooms and quickly got acquainted. After snapping some photos of James getting ready I left Sean with James to get some video footage of him and his groomsman. He got some great shots.

Meanwhile, Raymond and I visited the girl’s room. They were still in the midst of makeup. We were able to capture some great photos and video footage of Magnific and her bridesmaids.

The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.

Once we finished up with Magnific, we headed back to James to get an interview on camera. For video, I always like to get an interview of the couple talking about their relationship, especially when the couple has opted not to say their own vows during the ceremony. In this case, James was the only one we had time to capture, but I’m glad we did!

We then headed to the venue for the ceremony. It was a beautiful ceremony and the wedding party did a great job with a choreographed dance in and out of the ceremony. However, the ceremony did last approximately 30 minutes longer than expected which put us a little behind on the schedule.

The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.

After the ceremony, Raymond and I left with the wedding party, taking a limo ride to the photography location, which was supposed to be the Japanese Gardens in Castro Valley. However, the bride and groom did not realize that they would be closed that day and we were unable to get inside. Additionally, our timing had been set even further off track by heavy traffic to the location. Nonetheless, I improvised and did my best to get some nice portraits and posed video footage in the parking lot and the outskirts of the garden.

The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.

While Raymond and I were with the bridal party at the Japanese Gardens, Sean stayed behind to capture some video footage of the reception room (which was converted from the ceremony setup). He also took some great drone footage of the location. By the time Raymond and I arrived back at the venue we were ready for the bridal party to make their grand entrance, which they did in style.

Extended Highlight Video

The rest of the evening went as planned, with speeches, dinner, cake and lots of dancing. Part of the reason I love this job is being able to experience and show off different cultures through my work. In the case of this wedding, an East African wedding, with elements of Rwandan, Congolese and Burundian culture, it is extra special because it is part of my own culture and heritage. The wedding featured traditional Rwandan dancers, and a negotiation between representatives of the groom and brides families to come to an agreement about the marriage. This is a tradition that has deep roots in my culture.

The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.
The wedding day of James & Magnific. Such elegance and grace.

All in all it was a successful wedding and we all got home safely. First wedding of 2018 in the books!

A side note about the Golden Gate Bridge drone shot in the video. That was footage my late friend and videographer buddy, Innocent, got when he visited me two year ago. Another client had requested that footage and we found the perfect spot to launch the drone and capture it. Lucky that we had it now, and that will be a memory with Innocent that I will always hold dear.

The Wedding of Nick & Jason

My day with Nick and Jason started at C.G. DI Arie Vineyard & Winery in Mount Aukum, California. This was a beautiful natural setting to take some of the initial wedding day portraits of the two. They didn’t mind seeing each other before the wedding, so that always leaves more time to get some nice portraits before the pressure of guests arriving. We had hoped that there would be a nice little pond to pose next to, however when we arrived we found that the pond had dried up. Nevertheless, we made do with what we had, capturing their portraits in the wooded natural setting which provided great lighting to get some intimate moments of the two as well as take portraits with their close family members and wedding party.

Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento

After finishing up at the Vineyard, we had a little extra time (a rare occurrence on a wedding day), so we headed back to their hotel room so that I could take some detail shots of their wedding rings as well as some shots on the balcony of the two before their ceremony got underway.

Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento

Finally, it was time for their ceremony. They had a small intimate ceremony and reception at a quaint restaurant, Amador Vintage Market in Plymoth. The ceremony was light hearted yet emotional for the two, and you could feel the love in the air.

Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento

After the wedding ceremony, we headed back to the hotel so that Nick and Jason could sign their wedding certificate and we could take a breather before making an entrance into the reception. During this short break, they offered me an energy boosting cocktail drink which was super delicious and gave me the boost I needed to make it through the remainder of the night. I just wish I could remember it’s name or what was in it. (Side note: I think it included red bull, berry juice, soda and some kind of alcohol – if anyone knows what this magical drink might be called please comment and let me know!)

Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento

Finally, the happy couple made their grand entrance into their reception and had a blast mingling with their friends and family, listening to the kind words of the people that spoke, and dancing. One thing that struck me about this wedding was how long many of these people have known each other and stayed friends, with the grooms knowing their maid of honor and best man since elementary school. This does not happen to frequently anymore and is always great to see friends who have stayed connected through the different phases of life. Their DJ was also on point that night with a good variety of popular music, including country, pop and R&B. If I wasn’t working, I would have been getting down with it too!

Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento
Wedding in Plymouth, just East of Sacramento