Erika and John, West Park Winery Wedding

It was almost exactly a year to the day before their wedding that I first met Erika and John at my studio.  I was really taken by how well they seemed to know each other.  When I laid out all my package options, John literally sighed with relief at my offer to spend a lot of time working with them in advance of the wedding.  “She’s going to love that,” he said, which made Erika giggle.

And Erika really took me up on my offer!  Aside from our really fun engagement shoot, site viewing and pre-wedding meeting, Erika and I also exchanged regular notes and ideas over the course of the year.  I can tell what a great teacher she is from the sweet cards (with stickers!) she sent me.

So when it came time to go meet up with them and all their friends and family for the wedding day, I was able to roll right in and enact our plans without even a moment of hesitation or need for clarification.  I knew all the details they wanted photographed and how to go about it all.  I knew where to throw in a surprise for them and what they would most like.  It was total smooth-sailing, and really just too fun and inspiring to qualify as work!

Despite all the preparation, I was still somehow completely excited by how incredibly everything came off!  The pink and green color theme was carried through every element of the day so perfectly, from the flowers and the bridesmaids’ dresses to the cupcakes and table dressings to the napkins and stationery.  It was also so well complemented by the little written notes everywhere: the monograms, the directional signs made by Erika’s dad, the princess wands for the flower girls, the ceramic tags for the flowers and rings written with wedding blessings, and the candy bar made by Erika and her mom.  There wasn’t a moment of the wedding that someone special hadn’t lovingly touch with a homemade element that welcomed it into the overall look.  And even the smallest detail was full of their quirky, fun-loving personalities (especially the super-cute and appropriate school bus transport)!  Of course, my favorite were the labels made with one of our engagement photos that decorated the wine bottle party favors.  Not only did they go with the photo invitations, but also with the wine cellar venue.  Plus, they were bottled by Erika’s family, using an old family recipe!

By far, the best part of the day were the vows.  Usually, I am quite busy during the vows, only really half-listening to keep track of what might be coming next as I concentrate on my equipment and how best to interpret the scene through my various lenses.  But when I heard John’s vows to Erika, even I began to tear up a little behind the cameras, still going full-force.  It’s always those roughest, tumbly-est kind of guys who turn into the sweetest, most eloquent grooms.  And when I heard John say those lovely things to sweet, devoted Erika, I was as happy for them as their family and guests must be.

Congratulations, you two!  What a truly amazing day!


P.S.  See more images from their wedding day on Facebook!  And friends and family, be sure to check often at their web gallery, which is still in the works with new photos being added all the time!

3 thoughts on “Erika and John, West Park Winery Wedding

  1. All we can say is WOW!!!! What a positively awesome job you did Hillary! It was like a fairy tale wedding and you captured it all with so much feeling. I am so happy that they picked you to do their photography. You can tell you love what you do and do it so well! Bruce and Jenny

    1. Oh, thank you again!! I did try to put a lot of heart into it, to match how much all of you were putting in! I hope you love that photo of you and Erika as much as I do!

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