Virginia City Wedding

Virginia City Wedding | Piper’s Opera House | Brenda + Dillon

WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT VIRGINIA CITY?!?

Oh man, I’m just kidding.  My friend Holly talks about it all the time because she’s obsessed with ghosts and she likes to take her ghost hunting equipment (it’s a thing).

When Brenda first contacted me she gushed over my love for guacamole, enticed me with BBQ and promised me a man dressed as a miner with a donkey.  We never found the miner, or the donkey, but they did have a pistol packing preacher in a top hat (he had to check his gun at the Opera House gun check), fry bread, delicious promised BBQ, and both Brenda and Dillon have really wonderful and calm spirits.  When some things didn’t go as planned (sometimes red lipstick gets on wedding dresses), there was nary a beat in anyone’s steps because these two are so incredibly cool (so hot they’re cool!  so cool they’re hot!).  For future incidents: laughter helps and so do Tide pens!

Their venue was was full of wonder and intrigue: the Piper’s Opera House is a historic performing arts venue.  The current building was built in 1885, to replace the version built in 1878 that burned down in a fire.  It’s actually the third iteration of the Opera House: the Piper’s 1863 venue was destroyed by the 1875 Great Fire in Virginia City!  Piper utilized a lot of what could be salvaged from the original buildings when he started running out of money and you can see the use of it in the hallway leading into the great hall.  I was given a private tour by the onsite volunteer earlier in the evening and she told me that at one point they had to institute a gun check because the miners would get super drunk and rowdy and start hanging from the rafters and shooting their guns off!

I feel really incredibly lucky to have connected with these two amazing people and explored such an unbelievably picturesque strange retro town with them.  Although no one was swinging from the rafters and shooting their guns off at Brenda and Dillon’s wedding, there was a rowdy dance party!

In summary, Virginia City is quite the place, with quite the demeanor, and it was overwhelmingly awesome to photograph there.  I mostly spent the entire day freaking out over one texture or another.  Y’all, there was brick!  REAL BRICK!

I had a difficult time trying to narrow this one down to 10 photos and so I just gave up and refused.  So here’s a lot of photos from Brenda and Dillon’s wedding that I love.

Venue: Piper’s Opera House | Coordinator: Jalie Premier Event Planning | Officiant: Rev James Matthieu, aka, “The Pistol Packing Preacher” | Bakery: Whole Foods Reno | Fry Bread: Muha’s Indian Tacos | Catering: Carson City BBQ | Bride’s Attire: Elizabeth Dye from Alt Brides | Groom’s Apparel: Saks Off Fifth | Groomsmen Attire: Macy’s | Hair and Makeup: Chellsie Danielle Kiger | Rentals: Camelot Party Rentals

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Tahoe Engagement Photography

Tahoe Engagement Photography | Secret Cove, NV | Nick + Sogoal

Thanks to brisk winter like temperatures, even though we’re all dreaming of spring, I was able to take Nick and Sogoal to one of my favorite Tahoe locations for a their Tahoe engagement photography: Secret Cove, NV.  Tahoe’s only nudist beach by summer, there was nary a naked bum in site early in the morning but plenty of golden sunlight and giant boulders to play on.  Sogoal was a great sport despite a fear of heights and scrambled all over for me.  We had a blast chatting about our mutual love for podcasts, exploring the outdoors and just generally being silly and I loved every bit of starting my day with this rad couple.

Nick and Sogoal are getting married in October in their home state of Oklahoma, where they both went to college.  After a brief stint in NYC, they now live in the Bay Area and much like me, love all that California has to offer.  My dreams were deflated after I learned they already had a wedding photographer because my friend Tim King says that Persian weddings are the best weddings.

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Tannenbaum Wedding

Tannenbaum Wedding | Reno, NV | Madalyn + Eric

Maddy and Eric are both classically trained musicians and when they told me they wanted to have a first duet instead of a first dance I swooned and fell out of my chair.Thanks to a friend, they had a beautiful Steinway piano on loan for the evening.  Eric composed a medley of songs that were significant and symbolic of their relationship.

In addition to teaching music to grade schoolers, Maddy is quite an amazing artist and she hand drew all the table centerpieces for their DIY Tannenbaum wedding.  The tables were filled with succulents, games to play, and fall touches like pumpkins and fall colors.

The Tannenbaum Alpine Events Center is a fantastic location for a wedding and it was my first time photographing there.  The backdrop is beautiful and it’s located far enough up Mt. Rose Hwy that you can drive over to Mt. Rose Ski Resort to poach their aspens for beautiful portraits.  Overall, Maddy and Eric had a wedding that was exactly what they were hoping for: a laid back DIY affair that featured all their favorite people playing games and spending time with the ones they loved.

Venue: Tannenbaum Alpine Events Center | Officiant: Tim Hosfeldt | Bakery: Nothing Bundt Cake | Catering: Cherry Bomb Catering | Bride’s Attire: Deja Vu Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Menguin | Hair: Kelly Marsh at Salon 606 | Rentals: Celadon Events | Second Photographer: Annie Robillard of Annie X Photographie

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River School Farm Wedding

River School Farm Wedding | Reno, NV | Molly + Mark

I have a new favorite Reno venue.  Molly and Mark’s River School Farm wedding was incredible.  The River School Farm, in addition to hosting incredibly unique, lush and beautiful weddings, also offers year-round farming, special events and education and demonstrations on sustainable living, bioregional design and creative expression.  The farm is filled with art, plants, flowers and animals.  They host eco-friendly art camps for kids, grow fruit, flowers, herbs and vegetables and raise poultry.  Tucked just along the Truckee River, the luscious garden offers incredible opportunities and inspiration.  I was in heaven.

Even better: Molly and Mark are both English teachers, which I didn’t realize until I showed up to their wedding and everything was themed around authors and books.  For those of you stalking my blog that don’t know my background, I actually have an English degree in addition to my degree in Radio0-TV-Film, which I got mostly because I like to read and that is not an oversimplification for my reasons, it is the actual reason.  As a child I was a prolific reader, so much so that my fifth grade nun wrote on my report card that I was no longer allowed to bring outside reading to school because I was “reading too much.”

In short, I loved everything about Molly and Mark’s wedding.  I loved the venue.  I loved the theme.  I loved the decor.  I loved loved loved their family.  They are surrounded by smart (and well-dressed, I must say), sassy, loving people with great dance moves.  I, of course, felt right at home, especially once I had a glass of rosè in my hand.

Venue: River School Farm | Officiant: Maggie Byrne | Invitations: Zazzle | Florist: Sparks Florist | Bakery: Isabel’s | Catering: Carson City BBQ | DJ: McClain’s Mobile DJ | Bride’s Attire: Macy’s | Groom’s Attire: Blue Garter Bridal | Rentals: All Occasion Rentals

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Dangberg Home Ranch Wedding

Dangberg Home Ranch Wedding | Gardnerville, NV | Emma + Austin

Austin and Emma’s Dangberg Home Ranch wedding left me swooning.  What an incredible venue!!  Overlooking the expanse of the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the ranch is just minutes from Minden and Gardnerville, NV but because of it’s expansive swath of ranch land, feels all alone in the valley.  The view is unbeatable but like most days in the Nevada valley, the wind rages through there late in the day.  It didn’t dampen any spirits on this weekend though and Emma and Austin’s guests danced the night away thanks to protective tents surrounding the dancefloor.  A delicious family style dinner courtesy of Roundabout catering really topped off the evening and left me happy and full!

Emma and Austin’s gorgeous wedding is just the start of their new adventures.  Although they have strong ties to the Carson Valley, this newly wedded couple is moving to Phoenix next week for new experiences together!

Venue: Dangberg Home Ranch | Coordinator: Atypical Consulting and Events | Invitations: Seahorse Bend Press | Florist: Carson City Florist | Bakery: Nothing Bundt Cakes and Homage | Catering: Roundabout | DJ: Leep Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: Augusta Jones from Swoon Bridal | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Jos A Bank | Make-up: Morgan Crawford | Linens: Camelot Party Rentals | Second Photographer: Annie Robillard

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Gardnerville Wedding Photographer

Gardnerville Backyard Wedding | Ana + Phil | Sneak Peek

Ana is one of my closest friends in Tahoe.  We share wine and tons of laughs on a monthly, if not weekly, basis.  I don’t normally photograph weddings for friends, because frankly, I’d rather dance party and get drunk on too much wine and enjoy myself, but I knew that Ana and Phil were having a super small, super budget backyard wedding and that it would mean a lot to them if I stepped in and helped out.  I’m so thankful I did.  The two of them worked for almost an entire year to get their backyard ready for the wedding and holy smokes, it was gorgeous!  Not to mention, Ana can’t go five minutes without cracking up so the wedding photos are hysterical.  I can’t wait to share more from their amazing day, but until then, here’s a few of my favorite moments so far from their Gardnerville backyard wedding

Ana and Phil: congrats.  I love y’all to the moon and back!

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Rustic Nevada Wedding | Published at Confetti Daydreams

I’m so happy to have my first wedding published over at Confetti Daydreams and I can think of no better wedding than Courtney and Zion’s rustic Nevada wedding for the attention!  Filled with expansive flower arrangements from Lavish Floral, beautiful succulents and candle light, Court and Zion’s wedding was not just stunningly beautiful, delightfully off the beaten path, but also straight out of their own personalities.  I love love love that Confetti choose to include a few of their more personality filled photos, including the headstand and one from their portrait session.

Confetti Daydreams Wedding Blog is the go-to bridal resource for “swoonworthy bridal inspiration with a touch of flirty fun. Romantics at heart,  we’re not afraid to break tradition and be a little bit silly.”  They aim to guide others through the wedding planning journey while inspiring to discover how to bring individual flair to the special day.  With a mission statement like this, it’s no wonder there’s now a photo of my friends doing handstands on their blog!

You can read the entire post, which is quite lovely and filled with special commentary from Courtney herself, via this link.

You can also follow Confetti Daydreams on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+.

Tahoe Engagement Photographer | Courtney + Zion

I met Zion, Courtney and her mother at a happy hour for the Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.  I was actually on my way out the door when my friend Jenay came up to me and exclaimed, “So, you’re doing Courtney and Zion’s wedding?”  “What?”  I said, confused.  I’d never heard of these people.  “Yeah, you’re doing their wedding, come meet them!”

And so the adventure began.  Courtney and Zion are silly, fun, sweet people with an easy going manner and a laid back attitude.  Courtney’s mother is cheerful, spirited and loves wine as much as me.  She is an overflowing vessel of personality that is so proud and excited for her daughter and the man in her life.  She reminds me SO MUCH of my family and one of my aunts in particular.  I love it and I feel completely, totally and fabulously at home with them.

I am so thrilled to shoot their wedding this summer.  Thanks Courtney and Zion for choosing me!

Best of the West Rib Cook Off

This man really likes being the announcer for the world’s eating competitions. Barf.

For Brit’s birthday we all headed to grand old Sparks, NV where they annually host the Best of the West Rib Cook Off.

Strangely enough, it was the same day as the world’s Rib Eating Contest.

The smallest contender preps for the start of the event. He got third!

Once upon a time, when I was WAY too young, my grandmother let me watch Stand By Me. While I no longer have lingering nightmares about Gremlins driving through my window (the only other movie that has ever scared me as much), I do have specific and highly frightening nightmares to this day that involve fat kids eating pie. And my boyfriend wonders why I’m flipping out when he eats an entire box of cookies in one sitting.

I was really excited to use my new Sigma 85mm lens but not so excited that it involved the most foul thing I’ve ever watched. I would walk up and take photos for a few minutes and then I’d have to move back and not look for awhile.

The Best in the West Rib Cook-off’s Rib Eating Championship

Horrifying.

It went on for TWELVE minutes.

I wish I was kidding.

So. Effing. Gross.

Thank god I ate before I watched because the idea of food was utterly repulsive afterwards.

That, of course, didn’t stop my friends from buying ribs at at least five different stands immediately after.

Rib Eating post Rib Eating Comp.

New lens is so much awesome.

Regardless of my lingering nightmares, it was a pretty sweet time and it was nice to get some Texas style BBQ while we were at it.

I have a Roku channel on my tv that plays my picasa photos but for some reason it only plays the last four or five albums I’ve uploaded most recently, which happens to currently include the rest of the photos from this awesome competition so every once in awhile my nightmares are relived in my own livingroom. Thankfully they only play for five seconds.

Brit, Jeanelle and I at the Best in the West Rib Cook Off