Jody is my son Oscar’s third grade teacher! She’s beyond fantastic, and we’re sooo lucky to have her. Last fall, at a class fundraiser, I overheard her discussing her spring wedding plans. Well, I’m pretty sure I flung myself at her feet, saying pick me! You have to pick me! (Glad they did!)
Now, fast-forward to the wedding day. We’d all been watching the weather reports for a week. There was no doubt about it: the storm was coming at noon. Chris and Jody’s City Hall appointment was at 2:30. We would make the best of it.
I came to their house in the middle of a heavy downpour, and together we laughed as lightning struck, and thunder rattled the windows. But City Hall was a fortress, a calm and classic place where we could forget the weather and focus on the importance of the day. The ceremony was sweet and everyone was happy. There were wedding crashers and silliness. And of course we weren’t going to let rain spoil our parade. We decided on a walk around the couple’s neighborhood. Jim walked and shot, and I did my best to keep the camera dry. Chris, handsome and chivalrous, kept his new wife dry under their new umbrella.
As many of you already know, Kiera and I, and Georgia (our spirited french bulldog) relocated from San Francisco to the East Coast late last year in one of those once-in-a-lifetime decisions to try something completely new.
Along with a storage pod full of our belongings, we also brought with us the Stipovich family business, Natural Light Photography. Since our arrival in Massachusetts, we have invested countless hours into growing the business, and we are now excited to announce our latest step: a rebranding.
We are excited to serve clients in the greater Boston area where we are now located, but look for any excuse to spend time with our families and friends in New York and San Francisco.
Held at the beautiful DeLoach Vineyards in Sonoma County, Gretchen & Ian’s wedding was equal parts beautiful, sentimental, and downright fun — which made for lots of “oohs and aahs”, a few tears shed, and PLENTY of laughs. We could not have asked for better clients, scenery, or a better day of shooting! We’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story — we hope you love them as much as we do.
During our last visit to New York visiting my parents, we had the pleasure of taking portraits of our good family friends — Sean, Terry, and their daughter Charlotte. Charlotte, one and half years old, was a total natural in front of the camera. She looked like a perfect little doll in her sweet little dress and party shoes. She powered through over an hour of photography with a little extra help from her grandma, who came by for part of the shoot, and a trusty power snack — “ca” or crackers. She had us all smiling and laughing with her many expressions and putting on her Patty-Cake A-game for the camera.
The location of the portrait was at the beautiful Sands Point Preserve (a Guggenheim family estate in 1917) on the North Shore of Long Island — perhaps you might know Sands Point better as “East Egg” a la F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. We were certainly charmed by this Gold Coast estate — thanks largely in part to perfect weather, a beautiful & happy family, and the diverse natural backdrops all around us!
Thanks, Cronins, for picking us & such a fantastic spot for your family portraits!
A year ago my sister Madie married Alex in Sausalito, by the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Their recent 1st anniversary gave me the added inspiration to finally make the blog post we never got around to the first time. From a photography point of view, this wedding was truly an NLP family production – we have images here taken by my dad, Kiera, Vale and myself. It was such an honor that Madie would trust us with the photography, although I can’t say I was too surprised! It was the best both worlds for me to be able to capture their wedding day and still boogie down at the best kind of party there is.
As a bonus, Madie has contributed her own words to this post describing some of her favorite details and moments of the day. It’s a pretty unique and awesome opportunity for us to have one of our bride’s narrate the photography. Even though this is our longest post yet (most epic-est, you might say?), be sure to read Madie’s contribution below the photos.
Our wedding was such a collaborative effort with our very talented family and friends. We were very lucky to have my father and brother Jim and Cole Stipovich of Natural Light Photography as our wedding photographers. We all thought pretty carefully about whether it was a good idea to have family photograph the wedding, and ended up making the right call. On the one hand, my dad would have photographed the whole thing anyway, even if we had hired someone else (you can’t get the camera out of his hand), and growing up in this family has given me pretty strong opinions about photography (especially wedding), and I knew I might be a ‘nightmare client’ to anyone else- and likely not happy with the end product. One look at the beautiful photos of our day confirms why I wanted my family on the job!
The inspiration behind our design and decor really came from the natural surroundings of our incredible venue! I like to call it “California Coastal”, which is not the same thing as “Nautical”, which feels very East-Coast Preppy to me, and while cute, has never really been my style. We took the coastal idea and ran with it, from collecting trunk-loads of driftwood for the tables from Northern California beaches (I recommend San Gregorio State Beach), to the poppies that decorated the cocktail tables in the bar. As part of the table-scape, I took inspiration from an old Martha Stewart project and decided to make mini succulent terrariums that would both decorate the long farm-style dinner tables and serve as a beautiful, lasting favors for guests to take home. The succulents were sourced from all over the bay area (sometimes one or two at a time, in a pocket!) and from the SF Flower Mart. They were assembled in a group-effort planting day in Alex’s mom’s backyard, about a month before the wedding, so they would have time to take root and not look too stunned. People ended up calling them our “love plants” and I occasionally get updates like, “Your love plant is still growing!” which makes me so happy!
My uber-and-multi-talented brother Cole also designed our invitation suite with us, and I did the watercolor backings and assembly by hand. He also designed the menus and seating charts. Our caterer was a local talent and family friend, Kate McMillan, who is so lovely and easy to work with. She instantly understood our desire for California coastal food- nothing too fancy, just casual and delicious. We did not hire a wedding coordinator, but had key day-of help in the form of Kristi Mollard, who is a close family friend and a tornado of efficiency.
Alex and I both love pelicans, and after watching pairs of them fish for hours around the Fort Baker marina, it became an obvious choice for our little totem. Cole designed the lovely little pair by hand, and it was used on our invites and in grand scale with huge painted, wooden cut-outs which decorated the dock, made by my sister Vale and brother-in-law Mark. Apparently no project was too daunting!
Another DIY project was our flags we set on the dock, for which the inspiration came from the actual yacht flag for our venue, the Presidio Yacht Club. It is painted on the building above the dock. I just adapted the color of the center diamond to my two favorite colors, blue and citron green. They were constructed in another happy work-party day with crucial help from my mom, sister, and best friends Linsey and Jess, and I loved seeing them fly above the ceremony. There is just something so celebratory about flags!
I also collaborated with my crazy-talented sister-in-law Kiera Stipovich (Sweet Kiera) on the design for our cake. She helped distill all my scattered thoughts and ideas into one gorgeous citron-colored 4-tier cake, which was executed by Sweet Adeline Bakeshop. Kiera also made our late-night snack of homemade oreos (my favorite) and milk, and of course wowed everyone with her presentation skills.
So it really was a family affair, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. From all the meaningful design details to the quintessential Bay Area location to our hand-written vows, the day was such a perfect representation of us, our love, and the joining of our families.
Finally, one last shot from the archives – The happy newlyweds the next morning!
One year ago today, our sister Madie got married. A one year anniversary is decidedly a perfect opportunity to (finally) blog Madie and Alex’s big day on the NLP blog — so big that we’ll have to break it up into two parts. Part one starts with some special pre-wedding day moments that we are so glad we were able to capture. There is so much excitement and anticipation in the planning and preparation of a wedding. Those moments when it’s just the couple (and maybe the bride-to-be’s brother and his camera) scouting out their newly discovered wedding venue at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, or getting their wedding certificate at San Francisco City Hall (one of the more significant “checklist items”) can be almost as romantic as the wedding day itself.
Then there was the Wedding Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner, where Madie and & Alex walked their bridal party through the same steps they would be doing the following day. Following the rehearsal, they joined up with their closest friends and family across the bay for a beautiful backyard dinner at the mother of the groom’s home in Berkeley. A bountiful garden, a taco truck, twinkly lights, and white papel picado strung around the perimeter of the courtyard. It was the most perfect setting for a warm summer night dinner party, mingling with the friends and family that traveled near and far in honor of Madie and Alex.
It doesn’t get any better than that! … Well, actually .. it did the very next day!
… To be continued soon with the epic wedding day post.