One of the things I love about being a Bay Area wedding photographer is that I get to visit so many beautiful homes, wineries, parks, and ranches. Rachel and Michael’s California rustic-chic wedding on a working ranch in the Briones Hills quickly became one of my favorites. The outdoor ceremony and barn reception was intimate, welcoming, and charming. The many animals living and working on the ranch (including many goats and Alexander Hamilton… the pig) meandered around, charming the guests in attendance.
Another standout part about this wedding is the nearby Briones Peak. It offers panoramic views of Mount Diablo and the Diablo Valley to the east, the Sacramento River to the north, and the Berkeley Hills and Mt. Tamalpais to the west. While we didn’t go all the way up, Rachel, Michael and I took a buggie up the hill after the ceremony for some more private photos from a stunning overlook. The scenery was so serene and those photos especially capture Rachel and Michael’s unequivocal love for each other.
The rolling golden fields and oak trees is a favorite backdrop of mine and this wedding brought back fond memories of these engagement photos in West Marin! So gorgeous!
The backyard ceremony perfectly fit their California rustic-chic style. The ceremony was especially important to the bride and groom as Rachel’s grandfather officiated, both their parents had speaking parts, Michael’s younger sister was a groomswoman, and all their closest friends stood beside them. Everyone most precious to Rachel and Michael was in attendance and the collective love they showered onto the couple was truly palpable. I hope you can feel it through these moments I captured below!
Many of Michael and Rachel’s wedding party and guests were from their theater family. Michael founded an Oakland-based theater project which describes itself as “a collection of artists that are committed to creating compelling works that unearth the human condition and unite diverse audiences through revelatory, heart-pounding theater.” I should have guessed that the speeches, toasts, and celebration would be top-notch with such a funny, heartfelt, and authentic bunch of theater folk present. Really, the speeches were some of the best I’ve ever heard. Bravo!
It was a real treat and privilege to spend the evening with Rachel and Michael, their family, and their friends capturing this special day. I would normally wish them the best of luck in their new life together, but in this case: break a leg!