San Francisco wedding and Portrait photographer » Award winning family wedding boudoir and engagement photographer

  • Over the years I have shot hundreds of weddings, styled photos, family portraits, boudoir sessions and senior photos. I believe my role as a photogapher is to bring forth the natural unique beauty if each person I shoot. I believe photography should be fun and effortless. Above all I want to make sure my clients feel relaxed and happy during their sessions.

This Cornerstone Sonoma wedding was such a beautiful wedding to shoot!! Ryan and Sarah are an absolutely stunning couple!! I suppose when you’re that much in love, it’s got to show…am I right?

Cornerstone Sonoma Winery Wedding15

Ryan proposed to Sarah while hiking on the Matt Davis trail. They finished the day with a champaign celebration on Baker Beach. Sarah was surprised to see both of their families there – Ryan had flown his parents in from Alabama to help them celebrate!!

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Sarah and Ryan chose Cornerstone Sonoma as the venue for their big day. Sarah and Ryan wanted to give family and friends traveling to their wedding a great vacation destination, so wine country was an obvious choice.
Some family members travelled from as far as England!

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Cornerstone had all their top elements:  ceremony and reception in the same location, privacy, and a hint of funkiness with all the onsite art fixtures. We have to agree…Cornerstone Sonoma is the perfect wedding venue!!

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

The art is definitely worth a visit! Here’s Ryan and Sarah inside the Red Lantern,
an installation by Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot.

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Another elegant part of the gardens at Cornerstone…the Ecology of Place, by Suzanne Biaggi.
Such a peaceful place for a beautiful wedding…a beautiful couple.

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Sarah made such an elegant bride!! (Wedding gown by Maggie Sottero)

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Ryan is handsome in his J. Crew suit!!

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

And now for something old…something new…something borrowed…something blue

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Both the bride and the groom had something fun going on underneath all those formal layers!!

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Even the grooms’ men got in on the sock action! (Pictured here with Ryan are Alan, Tommy, Nick, and Tal.)

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Weddings can’t happen without the support of family and friends. Sarah is especially thankful to her mother, her sisters, her friends, and her wedding planner, Melanie King, for always being ready to jump in for anything she needed help with.

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Let me introduce you to some of the special people in Ryan and Sarah’s lives.

…the mother of the bride…

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

…her brides’ maids (Katie, Julie, Lindsey, Kimmie, and Sofie)…

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

…and these adorable flower girls, Ryan’s nieces…

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

…let’s not forget the best man, who just so happens to be Ryan’s dad, Alan…that’s how they do it proper down south.

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

The ceremony was officiated by a close friend of Sarah’s mom, who also had the pleasure of performing the wedding of Sarah’s sister 2 years ago. Meet Dorothy…

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

The reception was a perfect way to keep the beautiful day going!
Dinner was catered by Park Avenue Catering. (Thanks Anthony!)

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Here’s some other special touches that made Sarah and Ryan’s wedding day extra special…

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Sarah and Ryan made instagram a special part of their day!

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Special thanks to Dandelion Floral for all the beautiful flowers!

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

This dazzling day eventually had to come to and end, but not before these two had their first dance!

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

If you had been one of the lucky, you too might have enjoyed a cookie bar (instead of a traditional cake), Chick Fil A (the groom’s favorite fast food), a killer band, and an after party at Rossi’s that went until 2am!!

But…since you weren’t there, maybe a few more pictures of the happy couple?

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

Cornerstone Sonoma Winery Wedding21

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

{Wedding Photography by Claire Dobson http://www.clairedobson.com}

A big thank you goes out to the other vendors who made this day so wonderful for Sarah and Ryan –
InfinityProSound, Bright Event Rentals, and Royal Coach!!

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wedding-invitation-etiquette

During the wedding planning process every bride has that moment or moments where they struggle on who to invite. Do they get a plus one. How much is this all going to cost? When should they send their invitations? What about save the dates?  That is why I am so excited to be bringing you a guest post by Bryan Passanisi from Shutterfly! He is going to help you out with all your questions about wedding etiquette.

Florals of bride and groom during a first look.

Wedding invitations are an absolutely critical component of planning your big day—they let the guests know when and where to arrive and in some cases alert them to the fact that the wedding will be taking place at all. It’s important to remember, however, that there are certain rules that should be followed when sending out your invites. Here are some tips for wedding invitation etiquette.

 

Timing

 

When should wedding invitations be sent? Typically, they should be distributed between six to eight weeks before the wedding. This is important because it gives guests time to clear their schedules, and allows them to make travel arrangements if necessary. If you are going to have a destination wedding where everyone will have to travel, then you should aim to send them as early as three months. If you choose to send save-the-date cards, try to get those out six to eight months in advance.

 

RSVP Requirements

 

If you’re setting a deadline for RSVPs, then make it two or three weeks before the wedding date. This gives them ample time to respond, but will also let you get a final guest count in place a week before the wedding. If they haven’t responded by the deadline, then give them a call or send an email to see if they’re coming.

Engagement session in sonoma county vineyard.

Engagement session in sonoma county vineyard.

Websites

 

Do you have a wedding website? If you want to direct people to it, then simply putting the URL on the invitation is a discreet and tactful way to do it. Some wedding planners advise against this, though, so you may want to include it on an insert in the invitation instead or even your save-the-date cards.

 

Guest Issues

 

Many people choose to bring a date or a “plus-one” to a wedding. If these extras are welcome, the couple can communicate this by adding “and guest” after the name of the recipient on the invitation. If not, simply putting the name alone should communicate that the guest should come alone.

 

What should you do if a guest RSVPs for two people? Typically it’s best to give the person a call and explain that you’re planning an intimate wedding and that unfortunately, you couldn’t invite everyone with a guest. If you’re having an adults-only wedding, then the same logic applies to people who RSVP with their children’s names. Call them and kindly explain that the wedding is meant for adults only, and you hope that they can still attend.

 

Registries and Gifts

 

Wedding registries are a must for almost any modern couple, but many wonder if it’s appropriate to include registry information on the invitation. Although this practice is becoming more common, most experts still agree that it’s one best avoided since it can come off as though you’re demanding gifts. You can include registry information on your website, or share it with your close friends and family so that they can share it with other guests.

Film out doors engagement photography

Partial Invitations

 

Some people who want a more intimate wedding wonder about the appropriateness of inviting people to just the ceremony and reserving the reception for family. This is generally not a good idea, because it comes across as rude. You don’t want people to think that you’re worried about the expense of feeding them or that their presence doesn’t matter to you. Everyone who was invited to the ceremony and other events (such as the bridal shower, engagement party, or rehearsal dinner) should be invited to the reception. The only exception is for special circumstances, such as if the ceremony and reception are held on different days or if multiple receptions are held. Even in that case, you’ll usually want to invite people to the reception only, rather than the ceremony.

 

Dress Code

 

How do you let the guests know what your dress code is? It’s important to include your dress code information on the invitation itself so that they know in advance. The invitation will help clue guests in about the type of wedding you’ll be having—a traditional invitation with beautiful calligraphy will indicate a formal event to your guests, while a brightly colored invite with fun fonts and playful pictures will indicate a casual dress code. It’s best, though, to clarify the dress code on the invitation; simply writing “black tie”, “cocktail attire”, or “casual dress” in the corner will do the trick.

 

Return Address

 

You should include the return address so that people know where to RSVP to, but it generally goes on the back flap of the envelope rather than the invitation itself. Also, make sure that the address you use belongs to the person who has been designated to receive response cards. This is typically the person who is hosting the wedding—either you or your parents. Be sure that this address is also included on the RSVP envelope, and that the envelope includes postage.

cornerstone wedding photography

Staying On Top

 

Although the etiquette surrounding weddings changes often, it’s important to try to stick to these rules. A well done wedding invitation is the best way to get information to your guests and start off the planning process right.

 

Bryan Passanisi is an online marketer and writer living in Redwood City, CA. Bryan has managed a popular wedding blog and has created viral content. He currently is a blogger for Shutterfly.

 

 

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