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One of our very own, Elizabeth, got married this past Fall in California Wine Country joined by friends and family (including her Bella Pictures family!). We thought we'd share some of the beautiful photos from her big day! Congratulations Elizabeth and Chris!
How they met: "Chris and I met for the first time at my sister's engagement party in 1998. Chris and my brother-in-law met in junior high school, and eventually ended up living together in college at Chico State where they became great friends with my sister. Nine years after our first meeting, we reconnected at a party that my sister and brother-in-law threw, and the rest was history."
The proposal: "With the help of some of my dear friends at Bella, Chris coordinated a scavenger hunt that sent me to a few stops in San Francisco, before boarding a ferry to Tiburon. He was waiting for me on the deck at our favorite restaurant, and first date spot, Sam's Anchor Caf' on bended knee!"
The Wedding: Elizabeth and Chris celebrated with 130 of their closest friends and family at the DeLorimer Winery in Geyserville, CA. "Both Chris and my parents live in Santa Rosa, so it seemed natural to get married in the North Bay and use Santa Rosa as a home base for our wedding weekend. Shortly after we were engaged, we started making weekend trips to the area to look for venues. One day while driving around the Alexander Valley visiting potential venues, we decided to take a break from our search to stop off at the next winery to have a glass of wine and talk about our possibilities. While standing at the bar in the DeLorimier Winery tasting room, we thought, this place feels good! The laid-back atmosphere (and the glass of wine!) were just what we needed, and our decision was made."
On Bella Pictures: " Since I had been working at Bella Pictures for several years, it was obvious that I would use them for my wedding photography. I was actually quite excited to move through our process as a bride instead of viewing it as an employee. I am proud to say I was the first person to check out on our eCommerce website! The whole process was so simple, which was very important considering all of the other tasks involved in planning a wedding! All of the pre-wedding planning from customizing my own package online, setting up a payment plan, rating my photos for the matching process and filling out my wedding planner were so intuitive. And the end result is by far the best part. Looking back, I can truly say that my photography and video were the most treasured items from my wedding. "
Check out The Claremont Hotel Club and Spa in Berkeley, CA for your wedding and/or reception! This luxurious hotel can provide scenic views of the San Francisco Bay which can serve as the perfect backdrop for an outdoor wedding. Their dedicated staff are there to help you plan the perfect wedding, helping you every step of the way.
Check out the Jefferson Street Mansion in the San Francisco Bay Area for your wedding and/or reception! This Civil War era mansion is the perfect setting for romantic outdoor weddings. The Jefferson Street Mansion team is there to help you every step of the way from centerpieces to food presentation!
Check out The Cliff House in San Francisco, California for your wedding or reception! The Cliff House offers an amazing terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean which is perfect for outdoor ceremonies. They can accommodate 120 of your closest friends and family and can coordinate a day that is uniquely yours!
Check out some other great venues in San Francisco!
We asked our past brides via Facebook to upload their favorite portrait from their wedding and other Bella brides and fans would vote for their favorite. Congratulations to Erica and Alan who are our October winners. Their beautiful wedding is featured below!
How they met: They met each other in high school but were only acquaintances. "We didn't talk much then, I was a little older and thought I was much too sophisticated at the time to talk to a younger man! A few years ago we kept running into each other out on the town. One night, Alan impressed me with his charms and coerced me into going on a date with him. From then on forward, we were connected at the hip and couldn't imagine life without each other!"
The proposal: Alan proposed on a romantic trip to Europe (London & Turkey). "While we were staying in a hotel in Bodrum Turkey overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, at a cliff top restaurant located at the hotel, Alan got down on one knee and I said yes!"
The Wedding: They had their beautiful wedding at Wente Vineyards near San Francisco! "I wanted an outdoor wedding and my husband and I loved the idea of a winery setting. That area also has a bit of horse country in it and I'm an equestrian so that sold it for me!"
On Bella Pictures: "Our photographer did a WONDERFUL job! We are still having a hard time narrowing down the pictures we want for our album because so many of them are that good! The photographer was thoughtful, reliable and completely professional. They were able to capture the style we were looking for and their shots were intuitive."
Funny story about the wedding day: "At the time this wasn't that funny but in hindsight it is pretty hilarious! After the ceremony, the wind kicked up quite a bit. We were all freezing, especially Alan and I in that photo I submitted on the golf course where im leaning all the way back. We were actually laughing at how miserably cold it was while talking the picture and that is one of the pictures that helped us win the contest! At the time we were definitely imagining the warm beaches of Maui where we departed to our Honeymoon the next day!"
Check out Mountain Terrace in Woodside, CA for your wedding or reception! Mountain Terrace boasts a 2-level outdoor patio perfect for wedding ceremonies with 40,000 sq feet of gorgeous meadowland surrounding it! Be sure to check out their menu that serves up dishes like Crab Cakes with Chili-Lime Aioli and Polenta Rounds with Goat Cheese & Smoky Tomato Jam! Yum!
Check out B.R. Cohn Winery in Sonoma, CA for your wedding or reception! Nestled in the heart of Wine Country, B.R. Cohn is perfect for your dream outdoor wedding among the grapes! They provide you with a Special Events Coordinator, room for up to 250 guests, and of course plenty of wine!
Jaret Rieana and Tommy took advantage of the beautiful and urban city of San Francisco. The couple opted to have an industrial style engagement session at Fort Point right below the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course they did not miss the opportunity to take a picture with the bridge itself! Visit out planning section for San Francisco engagement photography hot spots!
Dianne and Chris had a romantic wedding at a winery in California Wine Country. They took advantage of the California sun with their outdoor ceremony and reception at Trentadue Winery. The couple took some romantic photos walking among the grapes as well as some fun shots with the bridesmaids and groomsmen! Check out our planning section to learn more about Wine Country Weddings!
Check out the Lone Tree Golf and Event Center located in the San Francisco Bay Area for your wedding or reception! Lone Tree can accommodate both small, intimate affairs and large gatherings. They can also accommodate outdoor weddings with their 300-seat theater style setting. They'll even let you take some gorgeous photos on the golf greens!
Today Proposition 8, which was passed last November banning same-sex marriage in California, was overturned and ruled unconstitutional! Bella Pictures was there on the first day gay marriage was legal in San Francisco back in June of 2008 capturing happy married couples as they exited City Hall. We've been photographing same-sex ceremonies since Bella Pictures started in 2005 and continue to be a supporter of Equal Rights.
Janet and John had a fun engagement session in San Francisco! They used some of San Francisco's most notable landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts as the backdrop for their photos! Visit out planning section to see other notable places for engagement photography in San Francisco!
Check out Stonetree Golf Club in Novato, CA for your wedding or reception! The StoneTree Golf Club is in an amazing location between San Francisco and Wine Country. It's prime location lends itself to scenic views when having your ceremony in their outdoor wedding pavilion. They also have a catering and event team that are there ready to make your big day the one of your dreams!
There are so many idyllic locations where you can have your wedding in and around the California Wine Country, but where to begin? To help you on your quest for the perfect place, here are three suggestions that will surely dazzle and delight. Each has been chosen with the size of your party in mind and because of their beautiful and picturesque settings that have everything you need to create the romantic and timeless wedding of your dreams.
On your wedding day you won't have the luxury of time to crisscross the City looking for those perfect shots of the two of you and your entourage. To make it easier here are three options for wedding photography sessions that will yield fabulous settings for you to capture this special day forever.
Check out the Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco, CA for your wedding or reception!
See what Vivian and David had to say about having their reception at the Argonaut Hotel!
Tricia and Peter had an amazing outdoor wedding in the Bay Area. Also, check out their engagement photos!
Venue: UC Davis Arboretum, Davis, California
Venue: Cline Cellars, Sonoma, California
Venue: Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley, California
Venue: Dolce Hayes Mansion, San Jose, California
Venue: Stanford Court Renaissance Hotel, San Francisco, California
Venue: Freedom Hall & Gardens, San Jose, California
Venue: Crystal Springs Golf Course, Burlingame, California
Venue: Marines Memorial Club and Hotel, San Francisco, California
San Francisco brings to mind different things to different people. The Knot cites San Francisco as one of the top contenders on its "Most Romantic U.S. Cities" list. Forbes.com gave San Francisco first place honors on its "Best Cities For Singles" list for 2007.
After the celebration is over, every bride and groom should be able to look forward to the photographs that capture their wedding memories. An essential task for obtaining photos to last a lifetime is choosing the right places to take pictures. We've compiled a list of eight scenic and unique locales for wedding day photos in San Francisco.
Arguably the most popular tourist destination on the West Coast, San Francisco offers endless scenic locations for your engagement photography session.
We have been doing free portrait sessions in San Francisco since January, which have been a big hit! Here are a few of the beautiful shots. You can use your free portraits for save the date cards, engagement announcements or however you like ' they are yours to keep. Schedule your free portrait session for the month of April!
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