Poonam and David held their intimate San Francisco wedding the Fushia Dell in Golden Gate Park. Poonam surprised her groom in a ravishing, crimson Indian sari. Upon their “first look” David was absolutely speechless. We all were laughing with delight because he actually had no words! Those are always priceless moments I feel honored to capture. They headed to the ceremony spot where they were greeted by 30 friends and family members. John’s father officiated for the couple, while they stood in a glorious spot surrounded by redwoods. The bride chose her whimsical bouquet from Ampersand Design Studio, which worked perfectly in the setting. No one was prepared for this small event creating such an emotional impact. After the first kiss, everyone drank champagne, relaxed in the park and visited for an hour. The three of us headed then to Crissy Field for some beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Later that evening, the couple would host a reception at the moody and hip Whitechapel Gin Bar. in San Francisco’s lower Polk St. neighborhood. I couldn’t resist photographing Poonam on the streets in her stunning evening gown! Thank you to this wonderful couple for allowing me to capture their big day.
Stephanie and Amal’s Wente wedding was a beautiful traditional affair with an emphasis on family. Wente Vineyards, in the Tri-Valley Wine Country, is always an inspired choice for couples. It boasts moderate daytime temperatures and warm evenings. I love the aged Mediterranean walls for bridal portraits as well as the lush landscaping for family formals. Stephanie and Amal are so at ease with each other that the wedding day was truly about the joining of two spirits. The ceremony took place in the Monte Cresta Ballroom with candles and rose petals. The reception was held outdoors with warm breezes and brilliant stars. From Stephanie: “We’re both originally from the MidWest – me from Iowa, Amal from Michigan. We met in Michigan completely by chance. At the time Amal lived in San Jose and I in Michigan but I was interviewing for a job in the bay area. A few months later I moved to San Jose and our story began. We have friends and family across the country so when it came time to pick a venue, we wanted to find a place where we could share our new home with our oldest friends and family. We both found Wente to be the perfect mix of casual sophistication.” Venue: Wente Vineyards Florals: Delford West Gown: Trudy’s Bridal
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.”