I absolutely love small intimate weddings! What better place to have a mid-week, Napa Valley wedding than on the grounds of the beautiful Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford?!

Lauren and Erick, along with a small handful of close family and friends, enjoyed a gorgeous summer afternoon of sunshine, amazing views of the Napa Valley and the gardens at Auberge, along with wonderful food and wine. We were thrilled to be a part of this very special Texan couple’s big day!

Here are a few our favorite moments. Hope ya’ll love them as much as we do!

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Wedding Vendors

Wedding and Reception Venue – Auberge du Soleil

Wedding Photography by Brian MacStay and Michelle Davis of Brian MacStay Photography

Wedding Cinematography by Weddings on Film

Ceremony Officiant – Tim Mills

Ceremony and Reception Music by Seth Greenberg

Bride De-Tailer – Heidi Johnson

Wedding Cake – Fleur de Lisa

Lodging – Hilton Garden Inn

Transportation – Classic Convertible Wine Tours

Hair and Makeup by Bella Bridal

 

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It was a beautiful day for Sheana and Junior’s Indian wedding at Canon View Dining Hall in San Ramon recently. These two high school sweet hearts tied the knot after over 11 years of dating, and were joined for their celebration by family and friends from all over the west coast.

I asked Sheana to share their beautiful love story, and a few photos from when they first met!

“Junior and I met the first day of school back in August of 2000 at South San Francisco High School. We were introduced by his cousin who I already had met the year before. (I was a sophomore and Junior was a freshman)

We would say hi and bye in passing the first year we met. The following year my Prom date totally flaked out on me and I was left date less, a friend of mine who had Junior in a class suggested the two of us should go together because we would make a” cute couple” ( and everyone wants cute Prom pictures LOL). Despite the fact that he was younger, he was totally down to go and that would be our first date and the start of a beautiful friendship.

We got closer and closer as the years went on. I went to his soccer and football games and every now and then we squeezed in a Starbucks or Jamba Juice date.

February 27, 2004 Junior asked me to officially be his girlfriend. I had already graduated and though I felt I little weird dating a guy still in high school our feelings for each other couldn’t be kept a secret anymore. The past 11 and half years have been far from easy, we have endured a lot of hardships but have also spent the BEST of time with one another… He is my rock and my best friend.

FINALY (as everyone would say), April 27, 2014 Junior proposed to me in San Francisco at Sutro Baths. I of course in shock said Yes. The wedding planning was defiantly hard and at times I would wonder if it would be worth it.

August 1, 2015 – BEST DAY EVER. I seriously couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful wedding. Everything about that day was simply magical. These photos that have been brought to us by Brian MacStay Photography are sheer proof of how amazing our day was. I got to marry my best friend and the high school sweethearts now have their Happily Ever After.”

-Sheana Chandar <3

Here are a few of my favorite memories captured from Shean and Juniors big day. I hope you enjoy them! – Brian

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Wedding Vendors

Wedding Photography by Brian MacStay and Michelle Davis of Brian MacStay Photography

Videographer: Graham King – Final Frame Studios

Officiant: Steve Siglin

Florist/Decorator: Galvan Floral & Party Supply

Wedding Cake: Gala Bakery

Dessert Table: Sweet Affairs

DJ/Sound: DJ Precaution

Photobooth: Momento Strip

Henna: Neeta Sharma – Mehndi Designer

Makeup: Husna – Color Me Makeup

Hair: Anaa K

Bride’s Lehenga and Bridesmaids Sarees: Sagar Exclusive

Jr Bridesmaids and Flower Girls Lehengas: Bollywood Fashions

Bride and Groom Getting Ready Hotel – San Ramon Marriott

Ceremony and Reception Venue – Canon View Dining Hall

Day of Wedding Coordination by Direct My Day

Brian serves the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Monterey and Carmel Peninsula, Wine Country including Sonoma County and the Napa Valley, the East Bay,  San Jose, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe and wedding destinations worldwide.

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Susan and Phong got ready for their wedding at the beautiful Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose. Later that afternoon they got married at Silver Creek Valley Country Club.

I absolutely love the getting ready portion of the day! The excitement and an anticipation by friends and family for the coming celebration is infectious! The moments we capture are so beautiful!

The first part of the day is a great time to capture the details of the bride and groom preparing for their big day. There are often beautiful details such as the rings, the dress, the shoes, etc., that we like to photograph in the environment where they getting ready!  Below are a few examples of what you can expect by inviting us to be a part of the preparation of your big day!

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Bride Getting Ready at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose

A lot of photographers ask their second shooter to photograph the groom while he is getting ready. To me, the groom is equally as important as the bride, so instead of sending someone else, I like to make a point to go down and spend some time with him, capturing the final moments of him getting ready, and creating portraits that tell the story of his personality as well.

Groom Getting Ready at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose

Brian serves the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Monterey and Carmel Peninsula, Wine Country including Sonoma County and the Napa Valley, the East Bay,  San Jose, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe and wedding destinations worldwide.

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AVR Films and crew joined us this past weekend for Denelle and Tony’s wedding at Ehrman Mansion, Sugar Pine Point in South Lake Tahoe! We got in on Friday afternoon and enjoyed a nice dinner, and then ran off to Sand Harbor play a bit on north side of Lake Tahoe for some sunset photos! We were greeted by some amazing colors that night!

The following day was Denelle and Tony’s wedding. It was a beautiful sunny morning in Squaw Valley. The couple spoiled us with an amazing suite at the Village at Squaw Valley!

The weather forecast for the day was 50% chance of rain, so we were all a bit nervous because there ceremony was to take place down on the beach! Well, as it turned out the weather could NOT have worked out better for their big day! The rain did come in for about 20 minutes in the early afternoon, and about 30 min before their ceremony the skies cleared! The ceremony over the lake was beautiful, sunny and pleasant!

Then the storm started to come in! The most beautiful and dramatic clouds formed over the toucoise water of Lake Tahoe JUST as we headed out to take photos of the couple out on the dock! The result? Amazing images of them under the dramatic skies minutes before the rain hit! And hit it did! The skies opened up dumping huge amounts of rain, with thunder and lightening flashing over the lake! Good thing the reception was covered by a ten!

We dined and danced, dry, under the tent for the rest of the evening! It was an amazingly beautiful day, and a gorgeous wedding! I was so very thrilled to be a part of it!

Here are just a couple of shots of the drama we saw in Lake Tahoe this weekend.  Enjoy!

 

Wedding at Ehrman Mansion, Sugar Pine Point, South Lake Tahoe

Behind the scenes shot by David Ethridge of AVR Films

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Brian serves the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Monterey and Carmel Peninsula, Wine Country including Sonoma County and the Napa Valley, the East Bay,  San Jose, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe and wedding destinations worldwide.

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The reason I love to photograph weddings so much is because I get a front row seat to all of the wonderful emotion, excitement, tension and energy that comes with two families joining together on a day of celebration.

Although I am a part of the couples wedding day, it often feels that I am able to disappear in a way, that they don’t notice me there. Perhaps it is because they are so caught up in the excitement of their big day, or perhaps I am successful in making myself small enough, and unobtrusive enough, that I simply blend in as the moments are happening.  Perhaps both. Either way it is exciting being there, up close and personal, to all of the raw emotion that come with these intimate, private moments. Being witness to these moments happening live, right in front of you, even as close as 3 to 5 feet away, is exhilarating. Experiencing this is better than any love story, movie, book or TV show you will take in. These are real people, with real lives, and real love toward each other. The fact that they trust me to be there to capture these moments, and etch them into history for them forever, is amazing honor.

I think we have all experienced that feeling of uneasiness when you sense a camera pointed at you. I know I do. My posture gets better. I put on my “good looking face.” Perhaps turn away so not to be photographed, or turn to give them my “good side.”  Those are nice photographs, sure. To me, the best photographs are captured when the photographer is able to “disappear” into the moments happening around them, and capture the real moments as the occur organically. Being invisible and not distracting during certain parts of the day allows me to capture those wonderful moments of laughter and tears of joy that comes at an amazing events such as a wedding day. As you will see in the photographs below Emily and Robert’s day was full of these beautiful moments.

My over all approach to wedding photography is a combination of two basic philosophies. Capturing moments and creating art. Telling the story and capturing the moments in an unobtrusive way is 90% of what we do at a wedding day.  During the ceremony and reception, for example, we don’t communicate with you at all unless approached; shooting with long lenses so not to be distracting, but also giving us the ability to reach in and capture the important moments.

The remaining 10% of a wedding day we are creating art. Yet, even these portraits and moments are staged and set in a way that I want to appear natural. Most of the time getting ready photos or the couples romantics are done by simply putting the couple in beautiful light, and waiting for the beautiful moments to unfold in front of me as I capture them. There are times, however, that I have a photograph in mind (like the first photo below) where I create it, like a piece of art work. Yet, honestly, these are rare moments. The majority of the time the moments and the art comes together on their own, and I am just privileged enough to be there to document it as it unfolds.

Each wedding is different. Each wedding has it’s own love story.  Each weekend the story of love is fresh, new and exciting. Each weekend a new one comes; and it never gets old. I love my job, and can’t wait to work again this weekend!

Here are a few moments from Emily and Robert’s love story at Willow Heights Mansion in Morgan Hill; one of the most emotional weddings I have ever photographed.

 

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Wedding Vendors 

Wedding Venue – Willow Heights Mansion in Morgan Hill, CA

Hair and Makeup – City Savvy Salon

Wedding Cake – Kim Brandon

Wedding Dress – Davids Bridal

Flowers – Giselle Ribeiro

Ceremony Audio and Reception Music – DJ Justin Horrel of Deluxe+Design+Decor

Ceremony and Reception Venue and Event Coordination – Briana Wendt

Photography by Brian MacStay Photography

Second Photographer – Michelle Davis

Third Photographer and Assistant – Ashesh Satvedi

Brian serves the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Monterey and Carmel Peninsula, Wine Country including Sonoma County and the Napa Valley, the East Bay,  San Jose, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe and wedding destinations worldwide.

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