When Cordi and Chuck first reached out to me for their Nevada City wedding photography needs, they were very candid, honest, and sent me quite the email.  I had actually turned down 4 other weddings for their date, because I was intending to be in Scotland and the UK traveling around and seeing Elton John’s final concert for my birthday, but, as it so happens, what Cordi shared with me convinced me that they were a couple worth returning home for early.  Cordi and Chuck were self described as “a little rough around the edges.”  She explained that the very idea of hosting a wedding was making them feel slightly uncomfortable already.  Chuck is a climbing arborist, is training in forestry, and Cordi manages a local prescribed burn program for Placer Resource Conservation District. They are both incredibly passionate about protecting the beauty of their local communities, particularly from wildfires (post Caldor-fire Lauren is also passionate about this).  They told me how much they love river rafting, backpacking, working outside, and being active participants in nature.  Basically, they are all around pretty typical outdoorsy people that have called the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas home for 8 years.

They were holding an informal, non-traditional potluck style backyard bbq with a string band and a DJ and a lot of kegs of beer, they wanted to cut their cake with a chainsaw. I was IN.

Cordi and Chuck also very specifically didn’t really want much formal staged photography at all and while we did do some formal family photos (albeit with fake moustaches involved) and I walked them through a few movement queues that gave them the candid photos they desired for their portraits, but without the formality. And I think we collectively nailed the whole damn day.

Lauren’s ideal client revised: relaxed backyard BBQ whiskey-drinking partier weddings where they cut the cake WITH A CHAINSAW.​​​​​​​​​

Looking for more real weddings that I’ve photographed?  I’ve got all of those here.

History of Nevada City

Nevada City, located in Northern California’s Nevada County, holds a rich history that dates back to the mid-19th century. The town’s origins are closely tied to the California Gold Rush.  Founded in 1849 by a group of prospectors who discovered gold in Deer Creek, it became designated “Nevada City” simply due to the large number of minors who fled here to strike it rich from the state of Nevada.  As the Gold Rush continued, the town boomed. It was bustling and busy, catering to the needs of the minors and making way for the large elegant homes you find dotting the brick laid streets to be built.  The railway helped usher in it’s cultural advances and the town’s community grew and thrived.  Today, Nevada City is recognized for its historical significance and it’s charm and character remains mostly intact, thanks to it’s well preserved historic Victorian homes.  It has a very vibrant arts and culture scene – hosting events like the Nevada City Film Festival and Victorian Christmas.  Not gonna lie, Christmas in Nevada City is especially charming.

A Guide to Nevada City Wedding Photography

Nestled amidst the rolling hills and lush landscapes of Northern California, Nevada City exudes a very specific kind of charm that’s unlike any other. To be honest, it’s not really my kind of place. Though it’s filled with cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and plenty of pine forests a la the kind that you are used to in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the influx of trim-agrants for the weed industry that blossomed there over the last two decades has given it an extra special sauce layered over the culture.  If you can look past the man dressed like robin hood selling a puppy out of the back of his car on the corner, it still makes an idyllic setting for couples seeking a wedding that’s both romantic and picturesque – especially if you have a beautiful private estate to wed on as Cordi and Chuck did. Either way, here’s a little bit of info on the rather unique atmosphere of Nevada City and how its charm shows up in your wedding photography.

Embrace the Scenic Backdrops

One of the defining features of Nevada City is its array of breathtaking scenic backdrops. From the serene Yuba River to the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to incorporate into your photographs. When scouting locations, consider the iconic Nevada City landmarks like the historic downtown district with its rustic storefronts and hidden alleys. Don’t shy away from exploring nearby parks and trails; they offer a canvas for creating captivating outdoor shots that reflect the region’s allure. I’ve photographed Nevada City weddings from elopements at the court house, to large events at Empire Mine State Park, and regardless of the location, I can assure you that your photos will be beautiful.

Infuse Local Elements

Nevada City boasts a rich history and a close-knit community, both of which contribute to its charm. Incorporating local elements into your wedding photography can add depth and authenticity to your images. If you want to include the history of this mining town, make sure that you utilize the brick buildings and cobblestone streets.

We have the good fortune in Northern California of having 4 distinct seasons and fall is not to be missed here!  With vibrant colors and the crisp chill of the coming winter, it’s a good time to plan your wedding (because summer is HOT AF y’all) or, just simply visit. While the well-known spots have their charm, don’t be afraid to explore lesser-known corners of Nevada City. Hidden gardens, quiet streets, and unique architectural details can offer fresh perspectives on this enchanting town.