I love arriving early to any wedding I photograph. Whether I’ve worked countless times at the venue, or just a couple, walking a location and taking in the surroundings is essential. Often I scout out the ideal setting for a first look, those quiet post-ceremony moments with the couple, or the place where I know the light will be particularly stunning at a certain point of the day. It’s not just the lay of the land that I seek, but a sense of inspiration for the day ahead, as random paths, interesting textures, and unique architectural and landscape details catch my eye.
In the rolling hills of Simi Valley lies Hummingbird Nest Ranch, a sprawling rustic setting dotted with fountains, olive trees and stunning Spanish architecture. There was no shortage of inspiration here. In any direction I could envision a shot or a dramatic scene unfolding as I took in the pure beauty of this place. It was here in this serene location that I had the privilege of photographing Sarah & Micha’s lovely wedding day.
The day began with the bridal preparation at a small cottage on the venue’s grounds. I truly enjoy capturing all of the meaningful details brides take weeks and months carefully selecting; the gown, veil, shoes and of course, the bridal jewelry. Sarah was ever the timeless bride in her gorgeous blush Monique L’Huillier gown with it’s lace bodice and intricate applique. Very elegant in their own right were Sarah’s bridesmaids, turning heads in their multi-hued BHDLN dresses in varying earth tones which complimented the landscape.
From there we embarked on what is arguably my favorite part of every wedding I shoot; the first look. So much anticipation, excitement and emotion culminates in this one breathtaking moment. For Sarah & Micha, their first moments together on their wedding day, did not disappoint. Their incredible love for one other was real, evident, and an honor to witness in such an intimate way. As a photographer who LOVES capturing real moments and emotions, this was an incredible moment to be a part of.
Sarah & Micha’s ceremony was rich in the traditions and history of their faith. The Jewish wedding customs of the Ketubah, Bedeken and Tish are some of my favorites to photograph. The significance of these portions of the day are hard to understate, with many going back thousands of years. What I really appreciate the most, is the sense of community and family that is woven so thoroughly through these cultural events. The Chuppah ceremony was equally impactful and quietly intimate. Set amongst a grove of trees, with the backgrounds of greenery and the simplicity of nature made it nearly effortless to document such beauty.
Of course, no wedding is complete without a good party! And party they did! Veronique Assouline with Veronique Events fulfilled a stunning vision of warmth and romance with her event design. The reception was set in and amongst a large canopy strewn with bistro lights that bathed the hillside with an amber glow. The enclosed setting was a perfect atmosphere for the celebration, trimmed with white and blush florals and gold accents, all adding to the simple elegance of this gorgeous evening.
This truly was a memorable wedding to document, and the subjects and surroundings made my job that much easier! From the family, friends, and fellow vendors, everything came together so perfectly. Congratulations once again to this stunning couple!
Please enjoy a few of my favorite moments throughout this magnificent day….
Danny Baker | Epic Imagery