9 Reasons to Have a San Francisco Wedding

9 Reasons to Have a San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco is one of those cities that’s both magic and really authentic. It doesn’t apologize for being itself, and neither do its couples. The average wedding spend for 100–200 guests is $63,00–105,00. San Francisco is also home to the nation’s biggest Pride events. You can only imagine the magic that comes from a city priding itself on authenticity and artistic expression, not to mention the beautiful views and venues at your disposal!

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Zoe's Body-Reclaiming Punk Rock Boudoir Session

Zoe's Body-Reclaiming Punk Rock Boudoir Session

There are tons of different body types, but our physical body doesn’t have to be an emotional hurdle to get over. In fact, we should all be honored to be given this life to live in our skin.

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Angie's Confidence-Building and Cat-Friendly Boudoir Session

Angie's Confidence-Building and Cat-Friendly Boudoir Session

So, I did this for myself. To help me love my body as I am today, I got undressed and recorded it. But, I also did this for other women, so they can feel confident about themselves and know that boudoir is for every body.

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Real Couple // A Fijian-Mexican Engagement Shoot in Oakland: Falisha + Jorge

Real Couple // A Fijian-Mexican Engagement Shoot in Oakland: Falisha + Jorge

We chose to have our engagement photos in Oakland because it's special for both of us. My grandparents migrated from the Fiji islands to Oakland, and his parents from Mexico to Oakland. It was the landing place for both our families – their first taste of a foreign culture where they longed to be and the start of the American dream. 

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Real Couples // A Simple San Francisco Elopement: Christine + Lee

Real Couples // A Simple San Francisco Elopement: Christine + Lee

Christine shared with us that their relationship was a bit of a roller coaster ride with highs and lows. They were even apart for a stretch. Through that she learned that when you lose something you once had, it’s an opportunity to realize how important that something — that someone — is. When they got back together, she knew that he was the one and she wanted to share all of life’s blessings and challenges with him.

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Real Couples // New Year's Eve Family Wedding: Matt + Ashley

Real Couples // New Year's Eve Family Wedding: Matt + Ashley

Family is extremely important to us as a couple and we wanted to find different ways to honor family members who have passed. While having a memorial table is a fantastic and obvious way to honor lost loved ones, I wanted to take it a step further. Matt's grandfather was an artist and while going through some of his work, we came across a sketch of a dancing man and woman. I loved the sketch as soon as I saw it and knew we had to integrate it into the wedding somehow. We ended up using a modified version of the sketch on the invitations and cannot be more pleased with the way they turned out. Our amazing florist Nancy Liu Chin came up with the idea of integrating butterflies into the overall decor and we ran with it. There were touches of butterflies everywhere — the escort cards, in certain bridesmaid's bouquets, the seating chart, signage and even on menus. They added a fun, romantic and whimsical element to the wedding.

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Real Couples // San Francisco City Hall Resistance Wedding: Thomas + Craig

Real Couples // San Francisco City Hall Resistance Wedding: Thomas + Craig

The pair was planning an August wedding at the Berkeley Botanical Gardens, but given the current political climate they decided to move up their legal ceremony. I donated this session as a part of Catalyst Wed Co’s movement to support LGBTQ and undocumented couples in the wake of the election. Thomas, Craig, and I gave $500 to the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth, in lieu of the session fee.

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A Day in the Life of Oakland Ring Maker, Kendra Renee

A Day in the Life of Oakland Ring Maker, Kendra Renee

Kendra Renee is a metalsmith in Oakland who truly brings couples’ stories to life through their wedding bands by involving them in significant elements of the ring-making process, from collecting the raw materials to pouring the metal in the cast, creating the actual ring — talk about an awesome date night! Kendra says, “It’s kind of magical.” Recently one of her clients brought in gold nuggets that her grandfather had once been paid in for his work as a dentist. With Kendra, the client alloyed them and melted them into her wedding set so she will always have a little piece of family history with her. “People love to see the process behind the scenes — they literally see their ring take shape and become a part of its story.”

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Real Couples // Classmate Love Story: Nicole + Stephen

Real Couples // Classmate Love Story: Nicole + Stephen

It was a perfect fall day in the East Bay. Nicole hung out with her best friends, sister and grandmother while getting her hair and makeup done while Stephen and his mom practiced their first dance, and his dad was there to help with his tie. The ceremony took place in the beautiful redwood grove at Piedmont Community Hall with many friends and family in attendance. A special chair was set aside with flowers in remembrance of Nicole’s mom.

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Elopement Inspiration // Ska, Psychobilly, + Punk Rock

Elopement Inspiration // Ska, Psychobilly, + Punk Rock

The inspiration for this shoot came, for the most part, from my own personal experiences. I knew that I wanted to embrace the romance of an elopement (my husband and I eloped!) and that I wanted to showcase the beauty of unconventionality by adding subcultural elements. I wanted there to be courtship and passion without losing a sense of self; I wanted there to be strength and individuality as well without losing the aspect of soft femininity. Three of my favorite styles of fashion and music are 1960-1970s ska (Rudies), psychobilly, and punk rock; this was the driving force behind making my vision a reality. There are no fancy venues or elaborate décor here. This is meant to be the down-to-earth, private, backyard celebration you’d love to have with the people closest to you.

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The Avowed Podcast // Episode 04: This Glorious Mess

The Avowed Podcast // Episode 04: This Glorious Mess

The wildly in love photographers behind Kindred Wedding Co., Elle Wildhagen and Zach Domes, open up about rejoicing in the dark, messy moments of love, gendered narratives, silent discos, the evolving language of “we” and how familial sagas of love and divorce help shape our contemporary perspectives on love.

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Out of the Box Challenge // Bay Area Creatives

Out of the Box Challenge // Bay Area Creatives

For me this photo challenge prompted a natural response to the current sociopolitical backlash to diversity, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. I put out a casting call in my local model group looking for alternative and underrepresented women. I knew from the start I wanted to show a same sex wedding, so when Gigi and Nicole were among my applicants the choice was easy.

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Real Couples // A Genderqueer Vineyard Wedding: Liz + Braz

Real Couples // A Genderqueer Vineyard Wedding: Liz + Braz

I prefer 'they' or 'Braz.'...I would say it was a queer wedding because we are queer, although I would also acknowledge that it was a pretty traditional/normative wedding as far as 'queer weddings' go...I think it's important for queer people to know that they have options. They can have the kind of traditional wedding they've seen in the movies and magazines their entire lives or they can do something totally different that's whatever the hell they want it to be. 

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