A Diablo Of A Wedding

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending a beautiful, picturesque wedding in Diablo State Park in Northern California. Suzanne, a longtime co-worker of my dad’s (and occasionally of my sister’s) married Jasper on a ranch overlooking this:

Katy invited me as her +1 (and as her designated driver – clever girl), which was an excellent turn of events, as Suzanne and I have chatted quite a bit about wedding planning over the past couple months and I was very curious to experience the results of all her hard work. For one, she was kind enough to hand over her research on photographers, which has been extremely helpful – so helpful, in fact, that the photographer Jessica and I met with a few weeks ago is the one Suzanne hired for her wedding. I had the awesome and unusual luxury of being able to give the photographer a sort of informal on-the-job evaluation, which is probably why he ended up in so many of my photos:

He and his second shooter worked incredibly hard, never stopping, all day, documenting moments and details big and small without being intrusive, which I’d imagine is really the MO of a good wedding photographer. He’s very friendly, very skilled, and we have absolutely no doubts as to his talents or promise – at this point it’s simply an issue of whether or not he fits into our budget. At our next meeting, Jessica and I will decide whether or not to hire him, and at the risk of jinxing things, it’s looking pretty good. If we do hire him I’ll give him a proper post sometime soon.

As anyone planning a wedding – or thinking of planning one someday, or just interested in them – knows, every wedding is a great opportunity to spot the things that we might want to use. What I’ll say about Suzanne & Jasper’s wedding is that the feel of it, the mood in the air, the attitude of the guests and the wedding party all the way to the bride and groom themselves was pitch-perfect, and it’s an atmosphere I really hope Jessica and I can help create at our own wedding. It felt relaxed, quiet, calm, under control, and most of all, very loving; there was a steady current of joy in the air.

Exchanging vows

The ring-bearer and his trusty triceratops

We ate dinner at round tables, next to a swimming pool and looking out over this:

The food was catered by La Mediterranee, a delicious and very popular Berkeley restaurant that serves Middle Eastern food – dolmas and rice pilaf and ground lamb and such. It was delicious. There was good beer, good wine, and a few mixed drink options including a cucumber gimlet that seemed to be enormously popular:

Visually and esthetically, this was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been to. The colors, light, smells, decor, landscape, and setting in general were stunning; throw in a pool, some horses, a barn, cute kids, and fantastic weather, and it added up to a spectacular evening. The whole wedding felt highly intentional and never chaotic, at least from a guest’s standpoint – I haven’t chatted with Suz about how all the last-minute prep and details went, but I’d be surprised if there were any major snafus. From the processional music (an instrumental by M. Ward) to the vows (well-rehearsed, touching, and real) to the toasts (long, open, and funny), the wedding was serene and personal and loving and real.

Great job, Suz and Jasper, and a hearty congrats. I’ll leave you all with a few more of my favorite photos:

Katy in the dress she made for the wedding

Jasper's father, deep in concentration, getting up to officiate the ceremony

Dress on, tongue out, in love

The flower girls


8 responses to “A Diablo Of A Wedding

  1. It really was nothing short of perfection 🙂
    Thanks for being my date bro.

  2. Why don’t I have a trusty triceretops? Seriously.
    What a beautiful wedding.

  3. what makes the trusty triceratops even cooler? he was the ring bearer and the dinosaur had a dog collar on it with the rings attached. best ring bearer pillow ever!

  4. Wow, Bret, thank you so much for the gorgeous, and flattering post. I’d be happy to talk more with you (or maybe even take you up on that guest-post invitation). But I will prep you with a small tidbit — it may have looked intentional, but because we had so many people helping, I had much more of the experience of “wow! this looks amazing!” I really didn’t know how it would all come together.

    I’m so glad you appreciated the feel… much more than any aesthetic, that was my goal for the wedding. And it was, as you say, pitch-perfect. Exceeded any expectation or hope I had.

    Oh, and one more tidbit of non-intentionality… that kiss? As Jasper said, “Well, that’s not how we practiced it.” He’s right… I pretty much threw myself at him without thinking. It was awesome.

    Thanks for taking such great pictures! Oh, and the triceratops is now named Topsy.

    • You’re welcome! Thanks for planning such an awesome wedding!

      I cannot for the life of me conceive of a better name for a triceratops than Topsy.

  5. So, there were a few mild snafus, but we’ll never tell… (okay, so it’s probably a good idea to have someone actually monitor the music during the processional and recessional, rather than thinking “that processional music will probably finish in time for the ceremony, and the officiant will know not to try to talk over it” and “sure, our friend will make it back to the mixing station in time to start the recessional music”). But that kind of thing just makes it more charming, and clear that it’s not over-rehearsed, right? Right?

    To echo Suz, I recommend having more people than you think you need helping – it just makes it easy and smooth. And if you have a best man who doesn’t mind doubling as a beast of burden and a maid of honor who’s experienced in crisis-solving, that’s great too.

    So glad you could come and join us, Bret. Wonderful photos!


    • In a funny way, it’s actually sort of comforting to hear about wedding snafus, because I think it helps reinforce the truth that some things WILL go wrong, and so therefore it’s unreasonable to expect perfection. I feel like going into a wedding with the understanding that there will be some snafus probably makes it a little easier to handle them when they do happen.

  6. Pingback: Things, They’re Happening! | All Things 'Zilla

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