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Indian Wedding at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

This breathtaking Indian wedding at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards was a feast for the eyes. Tanvi and Ernest chose this beautiful Wine Country venue for its beautiful vineyards and grounds and the indoor reception space big enough for their rockin’ reception. I loved how they incorporated Tanvi’s Indian heritage as well as a Western style later that day.We were all thrilled that the San Francisco Chronicle feautred the wedding in their Style section as well! I’ve included the great article the paper published. Congratulations to Tanvi and Ernest! Wedding Coordination: Holliday Events Florals:Daily Rose Designs Cake: The Cake Maker Music: Music Mantra – Devin Maharaj, Make-up: Penney Doh, Gown: Ramona Keveza


Tanvi Amin jokes that she met her “old-fashioned” husband the “old-fashioned way.”

It was in 2008 on a random Thursday night that Tanvi and some friends wandered into the Lion Pub in Pacific Heights for an early-evening drink. A recent transplant from Southern California, where she’d grown up, Tanvi, a dental hygienist, now 34, was fairly new to the city but already wary of Northern California men, many of whom she found a tad arrogant.

So she was immediately charmed by the bartender, Ernest Obrock, also 34, who came across as confident but not cocky. The two struck up an easy conversation, and by the end of the evening, Ernest suggested they meet the following Friday at a movie.

“I’m going anyway, so if you’d like to join me I’ll have a ticket there for you,” he’d said.

Absolutely no numbers or e-mail addresses were exchanged. Tanvi was impressed. This was a guy who was very comfortable to be out in the world by himself – plus he’d put absolutely no pressure on her to say yea or nay. The following week she found him in front of the theater – yes, holding two tickets for the James Bond film.

The two started a relationship slowly. Ernest, who’d grown up in a military family, had lived many places, including Germany and Italy; he had put in five years as an infantry sergeant in the Army. He was considering several career options, and though he found Tanvi intriguing, he was in no hurry for a serious relationship. (He later returned to school for a degree in hospitality and now works in finance for the Starwood Group.)

At one point, Tanvi, who’d never started a relationship that slowly, asked if “things were going anywhere.” Ernest told her he was interested, but if she wanted someone who moved quickly, he wasn’t her guy.

Tanvi’s previous relationships had always started with a bang, yet despite her confusion about her suitor’s hesitancy, she was also smitten. Ernest was a true gentleman: Not only did he always open doors for her, she was impressed by his thoughtfulness and consideration of both her and others. Coming from a traditional Indian family, Tanvi also appreciated his respect for elders. He routinely called people sir and ma’am.

As for Ernest, he was surprised by Tanvi’s depth – and pleased that their quirky senses of humor seemed to match up.

“I’d never met anyone like Tanvi before; she’s intelligent and mature,” he said. “But I have a thespian side, and she always thinks my antics are cute.”

At nine months in, Ernest returned from a holiday with his parents a changed man: He’d spent the entire vacation talking about Tanvi.

“I sent her a postcard every day,” he admitted. He was in deeper than he thought. From that moment on, the couple started seeing each other every day.

In May 2013, at a frequent Wine Country getaway weekend, Ernest proposed on one knee, smack in the middle of the Sonoma town square. “It was simple, romantic and really about us,” Ernest said. From then on the two began planning their Sonoma nuptials, held at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards on May 3.

With 150 guests, the ceremony was traditionally Indian (though with far fewer guests than a traditional Indian wedding), but the reception was flavored from the West. After the ceremony, Tanvi changed from a custom coral chaniya choli/lengha-style dress into a white silk one-shoulder gown designed by Romona Keveza. The groom wore an Indo-Western sherwani suit in royal blue and later a suit by Hugo Boss.

Following traditional Indian vows, the couple broke into dance and were joined by friends in a choreographed Bollywood flash mob. Their guests were mesmerized.

“It was entirely out of character for us,” said Tanvi, who said they’d taken dance classes to prepare. “But it was so much fun.”

“People were screaming,” Ernest said of the flash mob, adding: “But I liked the symbolism in the Indian traditions.” He noted that there was even a fire that the couple circled while saying prayers.

“My parents had never seen anything like it,” he said. “Even my father, originally from Cleveland, wore traditional Indian dress.”

Louise Rafkin is an Oakland freelance writer and frequent contributor to Union Squared and the New York Times‘ Vows columns. E-mail:



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Engagement Session in Pacifica-Andrea and Mardy

This engagement session in Pacifica was both romantic and playful. Andrea and Mardy’s wedding was taking place in the California Wine Country, so using the lovely Northern California coast seemed the perfect compliment for the engagement session. We, of course, played on the picturesque beach and used the vibrant cliffs as backdrops, but Mardy also wanted to do a few images of him being Superman! What fun! I loved how he had the t-shirt ready under his shirt and Andrea played a perfect Lois Lane. Congratulations to Andrea and Mardy!

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Wine country wedding photographer, engagement session, Bay Area engagement session, San Francisco photographer, San Francisco wedding photographer

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San Francisco Gay Wedding-City Hall Elopement

This San Francisco gay wedding at City Hall celebrated long relationships and friendships.

Every man should be allowed to love two cities, his own and San Francisco.” – Gene Fowler. The distinctive atmosphere and elegant twist of the San Francisco Bay Area made for a delightful stage for the wedding of these two couples. The ceremony took place at City Hall San Francisco. Afterward, we traveled to North Beach, the Embarcadero, then the Palace of Fine Arts by limousine. It was a wonderful, exciting, and beautiful destination wedding experience. I was happy to be a part of it!

“Married life is good!  I just wish we maybe would have gone with smaller and lighter rings.  Even better, AFTER we got the rings, John’s brother-in-law mentioned that he opted for a “wedding watch”.  I had no idea that was even an option.  Why did he withhold this important piece of info?  Why?  :-)” …Mark

Mark and John had been together for 20 years prior to their wedding, and had the approval of friends and family for decades. Those same friends and family members had many times said to them that it was known and accepted that they were already married in everyone’s eyes. They had everything they needed. However, they each understood just how important it was to Mark and John to be legally married.

They came down to San Francisco from where they live in Texas, since they were not able to do it there. “We were familiar with the city, enjoyed visiting there.  There’s a lot of history.  It just seemed right…we just decided to do it someplace cool. “Also in attendance were  John’s brother James and of course, Keith and Michael. “Michael and I have been best friends since 1988, so he had no choice, he had to be there!”

Keith and Michael were also married that same day. “After 13 years and 5 houses together we figured it was finally time.” It began as being invited to Mark and John’s wedding. While they were helping them plan it, Mark and John said, “Hey!  You guys should do your wedding the same weekend!”  Since Keith and Michael love San Francisco, Michael even lived there for a while, so it seemed to them to be a great choice!

It was such an exciting adventure! I was able to be there for every moment, from the “wedding day jitters”, to the grand moment that had been years in the making. As Mark put it, “It was a little chaotic, a little confusing.  The justice was a little eccentric.  The building was a little loud.  The whole thing was a lot scary – or at least “nervy”.  Nothing was absolutely “planned” and we really didn’t know what to expect.  That made it all very exciting and edgy.”

Afterwards, we all took an exciting tour of San Francisco as we travelled by limo. Like Keith says, we were “running around the city in the rain snapping photos and finding delicious pizza in North Beach.” Then we went to the Embarcadero, then off to the Palace of Fine Arts for some REALLY fun portraits! The Wedding photography was seamless. It just fit with each moment. We honestly had a great time!

“We also have a friend who used to be a runway model and I think she still does stuff now and then.  She’s always very interested in photos – has lots of pro friends, etc…  And she was blown away by our (your:-)) wedding pics.  Thought they were all “perfect”.  Thank you!” – Mark

…and thank YOU Mark and John, Keith and Michael. It was my pleasure.


San Francisco Gay Wedding-City Hall Elopement



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