On a rainy day like today, it’s a blessing to look at the memories of Naomi and Karl’s beautiful, sunny wedding at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma. With its leafy walkways, secluded cottages, and overall aura of complete tranquility, Westerbeke is one of those hidden gems in the wine country. After documenting so many weddings, I’ve come to realize that the venue tends to mirror the tastes and personalities of the couple. Naomi and Karl are no exception. Karl’s calm, even demeanor belies the great ambition and adventurousness that have taken him all around the world. Naomi’s lightness of spirit and radiant smile literally transform every space she finds herself in, including the compositions of my photographs. It’s no wonder that the two of them found their way to Westerbeke Ranch, which offered them and their guests a beautiful medley of tranquility and play. Their wedding weekend featured painting, yoga, hiking, jogging, biking and general zen. After relaxed, leisurely preparations, the guests took their places on the intimate terrace, and the wedding commenced. First, the emotional ceremony, then a golden cocktail hour, and finally a warm, delicious dinner, which was punctuated by equally warm toasts and gifts from their community. As the evening got chilly, we took advantage of the fading sunlight for some final portraits, and then retreated indoors for dancing and general merriment. Despite the relaxed atmosphere, Naomi and Karl were just as committed to every detail of the day as they are to one another. One of the most creative seating charts ever was on display, and it reflected just how diverse their community is. As I drove home from the wedding, I felt tired but at peace. Westerbeke had worked its magic on me, too. Somewhere along the way back to San Francisco, I was hit by a sneaking suspicion that the cameras in my trunk must be glowing from capturing so many of Naomi’s beautiful smiles.
Next: Naomi and Karl change up the scenery. Check out the day-after shoot!