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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You couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful spring day for Maria and Frank’s gorgeous wedding at Silver Creek Valley Country Club!  The couple, along with their family and close friends, got ready at the magnificent Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose. The suites at this old world home, transformed into hotel and wedding and event venue, are nothing short of breath taking, and make for an amazing backdrop for getting ready photos and portraits of the bride and groom!

After getting ready at the Hayes Mansion Maria and Frank and their wedding party headed to Silver Creek for their beautiful ceremony on the lawn next to the waterfall! This was my first time shooting a wedding at this venue, and I must say I was thrilled by how beautiful the property was, and how amazing the staff was to work with! Heck, even the chef came out from the kitchen and asked us what we wanted to eat, and told us that we would be stoked with what he was preparing for us! He said his goal was that we would leave the wedding excited to tell other future vendors that Silver Creek  take great care of us too! And boy did they! The food was amazing! We were served and taken care of as if we were their honored guests. I love it when a venue treats its vendors as business partners! It helps us all work so well together with taking good care of our mutual client!

Well fed and reenergized we headed back to the reception, that of course, was fun and so full of energy! My good friend Max from Gatsby Entertainment was the DJ for the evening, and of course he killed it! The dance floor never stopped all night long!

Here are a handful of my favorite moments of Maria and Frank’s big day! Enjoy!

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Wedding Vendors

Getting Ready Venue – Dolce Hayes Mansion

Ceremony and Reception Venue and Event Coordination – Susanna Gutierrez of Silver Creek Valley Country Club

Hair and Makeup – The Makeup Movement by Annie Lam

Wedding Cake – Bijan Bakery

Wedding Dress and Jewelery from Bay Area Bridal

Brides Shoes – Badekley Mischka

Flowers and Reception Lighting- Bloomsters

Ceremony Audio and Reception Music – DJ Max Allegra of Gatsby Entertainment

Photography by Brian MacStay Photography

Second Photographer – Michelle Davis

Third Photographer – John Wright

Transportation – La Grande Affaire

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 magnificent Bernardus Lodge & Spa recently went through a major renovation and hosted their re-grand opening event for all of their property VIP’s!  Part of their renovation was in the ballroom where they host their wedding receptions. For the event Sarah Villa of La Bella Weddings designed and decorated the ballroom to showcase it.  Here are a few of my favorite pics from her gorgeous design!

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Venue – Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Wedding and Event Designer – La Bella Weddings

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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