“On the journey, lead with love, always.”
This was such a wonderful day in late October. Two beautiful ladies, Sallie Grace and Ashley, got married at the Inn at Park Winters in Winters, California. Picture an absolutely stunning location, mixed with a little weather uncertainly (of course) and an amazing array of friends and family. The skies were filled with dramatic contrast and blushed colors that matched one of the bridal bouquets perfectly!
Sallie Grace and Ashley contacted me last year about their wedding. We all attended the same boarding school, Chatham Hall, a small school in southern Virginia. Though not quite overlapping our time there, as alumni we all share a similar experience and sense of camaraderie. Years after graduating, Sallie Grace went back to Chatham for work. There she met Ashley, also employed there at the time.
The Inn at Park Winters has a rich history. This farm has been here since 1854, when George Washington Scott, one of the first American settlers in what is now Yolo County, bought it after crossing the plains (a six-month trip!). There were so many fun options for making really creative and unique portraits of these two fine ladies. I could photograph at this location over and over and still miss some of the fine details, both of the architecture and the gorgeous rural setting.
To photograph their big day, I included a surprise First Look, where I purposely went off our schedule so that Ashley wouldn’t know when it was. Sallie Grace was game for conspiring on the secret plan! As a photographer, their ceremony was one that made you stop and listen—brimming with humor, tears, smiles, and laughter. They included a “handwashing ceremony,” to symbolize beginning a fresh, clear life together. And one of the fun things about a double-bride wedding? Double bouquet toss!
As Sallie Grace and Ashley tromped out to the field in their sneakers and cowboy boots for their “just married” shoot, their cocktail party cheered them on from the patio.
I loved this quote that their friend John Epstein wrote on their Facebook page right after the wedding:
The greatest sound each of you will ever hear is the other one laughing. Devote your lives to creating that sound. Live long with much happiness and laughter.
Having been married myself for over 14 years now, this one really resonated with me. A successful marriage is work everyday. Hearing your partner laughing reminds you why you keep working at this union. It is a wonderful sound. Especially in the afterglow of a day like this, when there’s so much love and laughter flowing, we remain thankful that we live in a progressive state that believes everyone’s love is worthy of legal recognition.
I created a slideshow for them to tell the story of the day which you can see here.
Many thanks to my friend and colleague Jaime Emery and her amazing eye for all of her contributions. It’s such a luxury to shoot with a second photographer, and I really value her perspective—it’s great to have more than one at the same event. Congratulations Sallie Grace and Ashley!
2nd Photographer: Jaime Emery | Photography Assistant: Riley Weinhold | Venue: The Inn at Park Winters | Officiant: Bill Habicht | Event Coordinator: Alluring Events and Design | Catering: Elaine Bell | Music: Camillia String Quartet | Entertainment Director: Function45 | Makeup Artist: Spotlight Make-Up | Floral Stylist: Posh Shoppe Florist | Cake Artist: Cake Couture | Rental Company + Staging: Simple Country Weddings | Linens: La Tavola | Heater Rental: A Grand Affair