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Ahwahnee Hotel Wedding | Yosemite National Park

August 12th, 2010

I’ve known Ben and Christine for a year now.  What started out as a client/photographer relationship has bloomed into a wonderful friendship.  They are a great couple and as I got to know them better, I saw the beauty in their personalities and everything around them. Their wedding was a clear reflection of that natural beauty.

Both Christine and Ben enjoy hiking, cycling, rockclimbing, and any activities related to nature, it seemed.  It explains their love for Yosemite National Park, a place that also happens to be home to many beautiful dogwood trees – Christine’s favorite flowers.  This is where they chose to celebrate one of the most important days of their lives together – their wedding day.

The Ahwahnee Hotel was their selected wedding venue and so my assistants and I were given wonderful accommodations there as well.  This is the best resort in Yosemite, where anybody who is anybody, basically all the celebrities, get to stay.  Whoohoo for us!  I may not be a celebrity but it sure was a pleasure to stay here and feel like one, and get to spend time with the bride and groom too.   It was the perfect rustic setting for a Yosemite wedding and the location, with so many interesting picturesque backdrops, was a photographer’s dream come true.

On the morning of, we sat down for a quick breakfast where I managed to capture a reflection of Christine’s favorite dogwood flowers in her cup of coffee.  The couple loved the picture and this image quickly became one of their favorite pictures as well as mine.  I followed along as Christine and Ben went on their scenic morning stroll.  The misty fog provided a nostalgic, romantic portrait on the bridge by Yosemite Falls.  In another photo, we captured the waterfalls gushing behind as well.

As the bride prepped for the wedding, I ran around busy, snapping shots of her wedding details.  Her M by Marinelli shoes, which she bought from FootCandy in Santana Row, had sparkly silver straps and encrusted jewel ornaments.  It was definitely pretty eye candy for the feet.  We did a photoshoot of them against a soft yellow silk cloth, where the handmade paper leaves (their wedding favor tags) were strewn about as if they had gracefully drifted off the trees. The round jewels on her shoes reminded me of her brilliant 6-carat engagement ring.  The ring itself was impressive and looked even more so when stacked on top of the other rings that they were using for their wedding ceremony.  The stack included two other especially meaningful rings – one for their daughter, Olivia, and one for their son, Nicholas.

Ben and Christine’s wedding was decorated with white flowers and some pops of yellow.  They included round-petaled white orchids, large white lilies with yellow centers, some smaller butterfly-like varieties of yellow orchids, and more.  The bride’s bouquet was also white with tinges of yellow centers and included a few feathers for flair.  These flowers and the white and yellow color combinations created an effect reminiscent of dogwoods.  They were the lovely designs of Karen Baba of www.plandecor.com

What defines the bride the most is probably her wedding dress.  Christine wore the much coveted Melissa Sweet Saffron dress and the matching veil, a look that has caught the eyes of many ladies browsing the Priscilla of Boston website or Gabrielle’s Bridal Atelier in Campbell.  The Saffron dress is pretty to many because of its beautiful, soft silk organza fabric and its detailed embroidered flower appliques that are touched with Swarovski crystals, but the dress appealed to Christine in even more ways.  The sweet, little embroidered flowers reminded her of dogwoods and the whole dress itself had the rustic feel of Yosemite.  Even the veil was decorated with a border of dogwood-like flowers.  It’s a girl’s dream to be enveloped and surrounded by her favorite flowers on her most special day.  Christine had that, but even better, both she and Ben were surrounded by nature, all that they loved and all those who loved them, in the middle of one of the most beautiful national parks, Yosemite.

  1. Hlady
    January 2nd, 2012 at 17:14 | #1

    Since you know the couple…What size was her dress and is she interested in selling it?

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