September 30, 2011

The Smurfs

It's funny how things come back around.  Way back when, I used to watched the Smurfs cartoons on TV, and followed their battles with the evil Gargamel and his cat Azreal every Saturday morning, along with He-Man and She-Ra.  Then, they all went off the air, replaced by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which just came back around itself!) and a variety of other shows I don't even remember at this point.

Now that the Smurfs have made a resurgence with feature-length 3D movie, McDonald's has, of course, added Smurf figurines to it's Happy Meals.  Since Josh's dad has an in on the Happy Meal toy front, a box containing the entire set of Happy Meal Smurf figurines arrived on our doorstep last week.  Which led to Josh comparing me to a Smurf each day.  At some point during the day, he leaves one of the Smurfs on the table next to my reading chair.  One day, I was apparently Panicky (it was one of those days...), and yesterday, after having gotten my hair cut (cue the Hallelujah chorus-- I was in dire need!), Vanity Smurf was sitting next to my Kindle.  We'll see which Smurf today brings, but I will say, if Papa Smurf shows up on my reading table, well, I'm just not so sure about that.... 

Happy Friday, and have a wonderful weekend!

September 29, 2011

Adventure Camera - Sutter Creek

A while back, Josh and I spent a few days in the Sierra foothills riding our bikes and touring around.  After a particularly strenuous ride one morning (you wouldn't believe how steep some of those hills are!), we decided we needed ice cream and headed off to the Sutter Creek Ice Cream Emporium.  That's right, an emporium of ice cream.  Behind an old soda shop counter, the servers dished out cones filled with scoops of a large variety of flavors.  Somehow, Josh and I both described their ice cream as "fluffy."  I'm not totally sure how that works, but it was quite delicious in both strawberry and cherry-vanilla.  We took a stroll around town, popping into the six-or-so antiques shops for fun.  We're not really the antiquing type, but it was fun to see what's considered an antique.  The luggage, in particular, amused us because we spotted two pieces, a hard-sided suitcase and hand-held beauty case, that have twins still in use today by our grandparents.

In addition to antiques and ice cream, Sutter Creek has a bunch of wineries, tasting rooms and restaurants, though we didn't try any of those on this trip.  Being a town with a history, though, we did find a lot of neat architecture and, my personal favorite, an old Shell gas pump.

So, if you're in the area, Sutter Creek is definitely worth a stop, and the whole area around the town has a lot of attractions as well, from vineyards to natural caverns and old mines.

Happy Thursday!

September 28, 2011

Libby + Rob - Round Hill Country Club Wedding

The halls of Round Hill Country Club were quiet in the early afternoon of Libby and Rob's Big Day.  Libby smiled happily as she put her earrings in, and as she walked out of the women's lounge to meet Rob for their First Look, she was calm and content.  Outside, Rob waited excitedly for his bride, his love and best friend.  As Libby opened the door, they both broke into big smiles.  The day that was over a decade in the making was here.  Throughout the day and into the evening, the shared loving gazes, secret smiles and tons of fun moments, best friends ready to embark on a new adventure together.

Libby and Rob's day was all about spending time together, and they built in lots of time for photos together both before and after their ceremony, which I absolutely love!

Pre-ceremony, we toured around the clubhouse and found tons of great nooks to shoot in...

A happy moment from the ceremony...

After Libby and Rob's ceremony, we grabbed a few golf carts for a trip around the golf course...

One of the things I love about shooting in the Bay Area, and especially the East Bay, is all the oak trees.  They make perfect natural backdrops, and every oak has its own personality...

Libby and Rob's wedding cake was simply elegant, with white scrollwork on chocolate frosting, and bride-and-groom-styled chocolate-dipped strawberries on top.

Most couples take some dance lessons before their wedding in order to look good for their first dance as a married couple.  Libby and Rob took it to the next step with a full performance that ended with pizazz!

Now, if you've read my blog for very long, you know I'm a huge fan of classic cars, and that I love love love when classic cars and weddings come together.  Rob's neighbor lent them his Mustang for their Big Day, and, well, I'm totally jealous!

Libby and Rob, I have had the best time working with you, and I'm so glad to have been a part of your wedding celebration!  It's such a wonderful thing to be married to your best friend, and I wish you the best in what's to come.  Love and happiness... Erin.

September 27, 2011

New Galleries!

Over the past couple months, I've been working on a number of website upgrades, and I'm pleased to announce that I have new public galleries posted to the main Wedded Bliss Images website!  There are now nine galleries to browse through, detailing each part of the wedding day, from The Preparations to The Happily Ever After.  I'd love to know what you think, so please feel free to leave a comment below!

September 26, 2011

The Wonders of Craig's List

Most people, come the warming temperatures of spring, feel the need to do a solid spring cleaning and purge their house of excess things.  Us?  Well, somehow that urge hits us in the fall.  Or mid-winter.  Or anytime but spring.  So, tired of climbing through "Bicycle Alley" in our garage and armed with a trusty point-and-shoot camera, we pulled out all the sporting goods we don't use anymore and posted them to Craig's List.  Ten minutes later, the we had people interested in bicycles, golf clubs, an old roof rack system and more.  That's the great thing about Craig's List-- it allows items that still have use in them, but aren't used by their current owner, to find a new home and new life with someone who can use them.  It keeps perfectly good items from going to a landfill, and makes the environmentalist in me happy, as well as fostering a sense of community.  So, hooray for Craig's List, and happy Monday!

September 22, 2011

Sneak Peek - Crown Beach

I had a truly wonderful time with Nicole and Ben at their engagement shoot yesterday.  They're a fabulous couple, full of love and life, and I'm so happy for them!  Here's a sneak peek...

Happy Thursday!

September 20, 2011

Wedding Day Art Book - Susan + Watson

Susan and Watson were such a joy to work with, and last week we finalized and put in the order for their wedding day art book!  It'll be a little while before it arrives, but in the meantime, check out their design... It fits them to a tee, and I simply can't wait to see their Armour metal cover.  It's going to be positively amazing, just like Susan and Watson.

Happy Tuesday!

September 19, 2011

Adventure Camera - Sunset in the Sierra Foothills

One of my favorite things about the Sierra foothills is the massive oak woodlands.  I love the way single oaks stand out from each other, dancing in the sunlight, and I especially love how their gnarled silhouettes stand atop rolling ridgelines in front of the setting sun.  It's one of those images that simply puts me at peace.  So, here's a little peace to start off your week....

Happy Monday!

September 16, 2011

Diamonds + Coals - Biking and Fall

Somewhere along the way this week, we decided to finally sign up for an organized bicycle ride.  I'd call it a race, but, well, I have no intention of racing-- I just want to finish in one piece.  So, with a date now looming, we've finally got the appropriate motivation to start seriously biking during the week.  (We've been a little lazy lately with the heat and all...)  We headed off on one of our favorite local rides, Del Valle Road.  The road climbs roughly 600 feet in a little over a mile and a half, and makes for a great workout.  You sweat on the way up, and cruise on the way down.  This time, we had a bit of an unofficial race on the way down, and I managed to clock my fastest speed on bicycles ever: 37.75 mph.  Scary fast, but totally exhilarating, and I can't wait to get back out there!

So, without further ado, this week's coals go to...
- Junk mail.  Holy cow.  I opened my mailbox yesterday only to find that our mail carrier had stuffed it full of more junk mail than I've ever seen.  It literally exploded out of the box.  Now I"m on a mission to take our address off every catalog and coupon subscription known to man.
- Satellite radio.  It seems to have an on-again-off-again type of relationship with my Jeep.  Monday was on.  Yesterday was off.  Let's just make up our mind on this, shall we?

This week's diamonds go to...
- Biking.  You may not feel like going for a ride, but once you get out there, it feels great.
- Fall-like weather.  The break in the heat has been fantastic, and I already feel like pulling out my sweaters and tall boots.  Sadly, it looks like net week's going to heat up again.
- Finao.  For being awesome to work with.  Their albums are top-notch, as are the people who work there.

Have a wonderful weekend!

September 15, 2011

Sneak Peek - Lake Tahoe Beach Wedding

I have to admit, I've been looking forward to Shea and Gus's wedding all summer.  About halfway through their wedding planning process, they decided that things just weren't quite right, and started over.  When Shea told me that their new venue would be right on the beach of Lake Tahoe, I was thrilled!  A totally fun couple, a gorgeous beach, and a beautiful wedding... Heaven!  Shea and Gus tied the knot last weekend in a beautiful sunset ceremony, and I'm so excited about the images I can hardly contain myself.  So, here's a sneak peek!

Happy Thursday!

September 14, 2011

Rosa + Raudel - Livermore Wedding

It was a toasty August morning in Livermore as Rosa and her bridesmaids dressed and put the final touches on their hair and makeup.  The hotel suite was abustle with a dozen girls, and suddenly, they were running late.  As the driver hurried the limousine to the church, Rosa called Raudel to say she was on her way.  When they reached Saint Michael's, Rosa and the girls jumped out of the car and right into line for the processional.  Raudel's parents walked him down the aisle to start the ceremony, and a smile of joyous anticipation curled on his lips.  His love was here, and he was about to be reunited with her after a very busy morning apart.  A few minutes later, as Rosa walked down the aisle, she saw only Raudel, waiting at the altar for her.  Throughout their ceremony and the rest of the day, they sneaked little glances at each other and smiled, happy to be by each other's side and celebrating the start of their new life together.

From her shimmering champagne-pink heels to her rhinestone-trimmed garter, Rosa sparkled on her Big Day.

A special thanks to Jaymee Govia of JTGlamour for Rosa's beautifully romantic hair and makeup.

I love Raudel's reaction to seeing Rosa for the first time walking down the aisle!

Saint Michael's Church was the perfect setting for Rosa and Raudel's Spanish Catholic ceremony.

I don't usually post formal portraits, but with lighting like this, I simply couldn't resist...

After their ceremony, Rosa and Raudel allowed three hours for a photo shoot with their bridal party around Livermore before heading to the reception.  Love it!  We started the shoot at one of my favorite Livermore landmarks, the Duarte Highway Garage museum.

Josh captured this happy little moment between the newlyweds.

When I posted Rosa and Raudel's sneak peek a while back, I had trouble deciding between two of my favorite images... Here's the second one-- I just looooove how the wind caught Rosa's veil at just the right moment!

Next, we headed to downtown for a walking tour down First Street.  Our first stop was the regal Independent building.

Then onto Valley Furniture... Rosa and Raudel's bridal party was a ton of fun and I loved their style!

 I loved that Rosa and Raudel held hands throughout most of the shoot... Adorable!

A favorite ring shot...

Rosa and Raudel's reception was a HUGE celebration, full of love, laughter, and lots of dancing.  Before the dance floor got busy, however, they shared their first dance.

And an image of pure happiness to finish...

Rosa and Raudel, you're an amazing couple, and are surrounded by so much love!  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your celebration, and I wish you nothing but the best!  Love and happiness... Erin

September 13, 2011

Guest Sign-In Album - Angela and Paul

Angela and Paul's gorgeous custom guest sign-in album arrived last week, and I was thrilled to deliver it to them yesterday!  I designed images from their Lake Tahoe engagement shoot into a fun and playful album that fits them to a tee.  Here are a few favorites....

I love their scenic photo-wrap cover...

Happy Tuesday!

September 12, 2011

Sneak Peek - Round Hill Country Club Wedding

It's a bright, sunny Monday morning, and we're getting settled back in after Shea and Gus's amazing Lake Tahoe wedding last weekend... In the meantime, here's a sneak peek from Libby and Rob's gorgeous wedding at the Round Hill Country Club!

Happy Monday!

September 9, 2011

Random Photo Friday - Fall Leaves

Since the "unofficial end of summer" was earlier this week, and I'm well over this summer heat we've been having, I figured I'd post a nice fall-ish photo today.  Fall is my favorite season, and every year around this time, when the temperatures start to dip a little lower at night, and the morning air begins to border on crisp, I get a little excited about the change in seasons.  Growing up in Michigan, the leaves would change color, ushering in the snow (or rather, sleet).  Out here in California, the oaks turn shades of brown, and it's the perfect time to head up to the mountains for fall hiking and winter snow play.  This fall, I'm thrilled to be heading up to the Tahoe area for two beautiful weddings with two absolutely wonderful couples.  Amazing couples, gorgeous scenery, and heartfelt weddings?  Yes, please!

Have a wonderful weekend!

September 8, 2011

Adventure Camera - Mountain Biking at Point Reyes

About a month ago, I got the bug to go mountain biking.  On a real dirt trail, that is.  Preferably on a mountain.  So, Josh, being a good sport, planned a couple trips up to Marin to ride the trails.  Our most recent adventure started from the Five Brooks Trailhead in Point Reyes.  We planned out a nice, long tour and pedaled on up the Olema Valley Trail before quickly coming to the conclusion that it was quite a bit steeper than expected.  So, after one very fast, very scary descent back down to the trail junction, we were trucking our way up the Stewart Trail, which is a wide fire road with the perfect mountain bike climbing grade.  The trail winds up the ridge, topping out at a small clearing, which, incidentally, was the perfect place for a snack.  The way back down was fast and smooth, and, unlike some rides, our teeth weren't rattled out.  Altogether, a very nice ride.  Back at the truck, we lunched on the tailgate and enjoyed some very interesting people watching in the rather busy parking lot, and came to the revelation that "mountain bike touring" may be an oxymoron.

Happy trails!

September 7, 2011

Sneak Peek - San Francisco Engagement

I can tell that today's going to be an interesting day.  Yesterday while I was out on Renee and Joe's engagement shoot, the construction crew tore up the sidewalk leading to our front door, and then cordoned the area off with road barriers.  Combine this with the fact that our garage door is still out of commission, and we may be climbing in through the windows soon!  So, while I figure out how to get out of the house to meet with Susan and Watson to finalize their Wedding Day Art Book, here's a sneak peek from Leticia and Steve's San Francisco engagement shoot!

Did I mention that I'm absolutely in with love Leticia's peacock-inspired dress?  It was the perfect outfit for their shoot!

Happy Wednesday!

September 1, 2011

The Unofficial End of Summer

While eating breakfast this morning, Josh turned on the news, and the newscaster said something that also amuses me.  This weekend marks the "Unofficial End of Summer," when everyone will have their last hurrah with barbecues, boating and general outdoor fun before packing it all up for the winter.  Here in Livermore, however, we're expecting temperatures in the 90s, which definitely still sounds like summer to me, and, in my opinion, the best outdoor weather of the year in the Bay Area is still ahead of us.  But, whether your summer ends this weekend or not, enjoy the holiday weekend!

Happy Thursday!