Gail Taramaschi's dearest friend growing up in Menlo Park was Ada Rempen. Gail had black hair, and was more introverted, and Ada had blond hair (a pretty serious back-comb, if memory serves, of the photos I've seen), and an outgoing personality. I am Gail's eldest daughter, and Ali (the above-mentioned bride), is Ada's eldest daughter. To hear my mom tell it, she and Ada were always having one caper after another (sneaking out the window, to 'borrow' my grandpa's car, and all sorts of mischief.
(Below is Ada, with her daughter Ali, gotta love the back-light! And they're BOTH adorable, I love the way they're looking at each other in the first shot).
So I've grown up hearing about mom and Ada, and their
crazy/rebellious fun adventures as teenagers, and occasionally Ada would come over, and my mom often told me that I should be Ada's daughter, because I was so much more like her in temperament, than my own mom, (which of course, always intrigued me). So when Ada was over at mom and dad's last January, I had the pleasure of spending the evening with her, while she told me all about her oldest daughter, Ali, and how wonderful she was, and how fantastic her (newly engaged!) fiancee Pete was, and how she was just so thrilled they were getting married. So of course, being a wedding photographer, I had to show her this blog, and tell her all about wedding photography, and we sat and talked weddings (in general) for a good hour, at least. (As an aside -- given that I spend so much time at weddings, I have lots of thoughts and opinions on what works well, and also, what might not work as well -- so if you're one of my brides, please feel free to use me as a sounding board, if you've got questions about anything wedding, I'm happy to help!!).
Anyhow, that was a little over a year ago, and I was thrilled when Ali got in touch with me, and asked me to shoot her wedding. Of course, just hearing some of Ada's thoughts, when we had first talked, I had a feeling it would be a *really* fun wedding to shoot, and I was sort of right, because it was a really, *REALLY* fun wedding to shoot.
So first of all, Ali and Pete bear a remarkable resemblance to Barbie and Ken (I'm not kidding - check out the photos!! I hope that's not annoying to Ali and Pete, and it's meant as a compliment!), as they are both incredibly blessed in the genes department and are both gorgeous, he's tall with brown hair, and a big smile, and Ali's a beautiful blond with stunning blue eyes.. However, unlike typically beautiful people, they are some of the most down-to-earth, kind, gracious, silly and fun people I've had the pleasure of not only meeting, but shooting. I think the photos you'll see (both on this blog, and in the slideshow -- click here if you're ready to hear me stop talking and go straight to the slideshow!) , they really are as fun, crazy and silly as they seem in the pictures. I feel like I really captured them, and who they are, both separately and together; I absolutely love some of the shots of them dancing together -- both the slow first dance, and then later, when he was dancing to make her laugh (which, I love because Ross has always done that, since the first time we ever went dancing, he spends most of the time dancing to make me laugh, but anyway, I digress...).
On the day of the wedding, I had wished we'd been able to have more time shooting bridal portraits (i.e. portraits of just Pete and Ali), but the timeline was pretty tight, and so we didn't have a lot of one-on-one portrait time, which at the time I was a little bummed about (look how adorable they are! You'd want lots of portrait time with them if you were a photographer too! =) And I wouldn't post this if Ali didn't know this already, but at the time I had hoped we'd be able to get more time -- hey -- maybe I can talk them into a trash the dress session!=)). Anyway, despite not getting as much time as I normally do to shoot the 'bridal portraits' ( I like to have at least 20-30 minutes with just the bride and groom, normally), but in this instance, there just wasn't time. So I'm telling you all this, because, ultimately I am a wedding photojournalist, and my joy really does come in 'catching the moment,' and not setting up portrait-y looking shots, and I feel that despite not getting that much actual 'portrait' time, that the candid shots I got of Pete and Ali more than make up for that. (Of course, I want to be clear too, the actual bridal portraits we DID have time to get, I really love, and are beautiful). But I was thrilled when I saw the raw download, because there were so many great 'in the moment' type shots, that I completely forgot that I'd wished for more 'formal' time. =)
This wedding also happens to now hold the record of most photos taken at one reception (at least, for me). There were a VAST amount of photos to cull through, as both Brent and I were taking photos almost continually at the reception, once it really got going. Because not only are Ali and Pete really fun, their GUESTS were really fun too!!! Now, this doesn't always happen, unfortunately; sometimes I'll be at a wedding when the bride and groom are having a fabulous time, and wanting to get the party started, and their guests might not be on the same page, and so basically, there's not a lot of action, let alone getting down, on the dance floor. That, however, could not be said of this wedding, which is one of the reasons there were so many photos. There was continual crazy-fun action, the entire time we were there. Everywhere we turned, somebody was doing something wild, wacky or funky, and we wanted to make sure we caught every one of those moments.
It was one of the most dynamic receptions I'd been to in a while, and one of the things I loved most was that it wasn't just Pete and Ali's friends/generation dancing, but EVERYone was dancing, young and not-quite-as-old. That was really fun for me to see, (and doesn't happen that often), and the DJ (I need to find out from Ali who DJ'd because he did such a great job with song selection, because it really was a great mix of music that really bridged the generation gap). So when I find out, I'll let you know here. So there was a lot of dancing; people were going crazy, there was swing, and contemporary, and everything in between, and I know I'm going on and on about the reception, but really, if I didn't have to drive back over the Bay Bridge, down 280 and over 17, I would have stayed and danced after I finished shooting, because it was THAT fun. I had guests grabbing me and pulling me onto the dance floor, and I only wish I could have stayed and danced with them, as Ali had so sweetly invited!! =)
Ali and Pete's first dance (I love these successive shots, because I feel like it shows their personalities, they're alternatingly loving and sweet, and silly and cracking up. Definitely my kind of people. (And after I saw Ali's gift to Pete [see below, after the break], I KNEW they were my kind of people. Really, you'll want to check the wedding gift out to get a real feel for them, I was giggling again when i was editing the shots, months later). Click this photo (and all the rest on this blog) if you'd lik e to see it larger, and in detail.
So anyhow, as you can see, I really enjoyed myself at Ali and Pete's wedding. I enjoyed getting to know Ali better, via email, leading up to the wedding, and it was such a pleasure to get to shoot their wedding day. And for me it was a double bonus, because there is so much history there, with my mom and Ada, and that really resonated with me (I'm definitely one for history and things like that.), and I thought there was something kind of cool about being able to shoot my mom's best friend's daughter on her wedding day. Call me sentimental (because, really, I am SO sentimental), but that was neat for me too. =) And I think my mom felt that way too (especially as she's been asking at least once a week, since the wedding, when the photos were going to be done, and also, are there any good ones of her? =) (And to answer my mom: they're ready now, go see the slideshow, (but give it time to load, there are a LOT of photos in it, so it'll take awhile to load up on your slower connection) and yes, there are a couple cute ones of you and dad).
A small sample of some of the awesome dancing at the reception. There was a LOT of this kind of action...lucky me!
Which brings me to one last thing; thank you, Pete and Ali, (and Ada and Clive, Dave and Diane). Thank you for so graciously waiting and understanding the process, and bearing with what has been my busiest season ever, and all the learning that has gone into that, which has meant that my brides and grooms have had to wait longer overall, to get their photos edited, (which is why I'm only shooting a limited number of weddings per month next year, because I refuse to compromise on the quality of the final product). I think we got some really fabulous photos, and I hope you love them as much as I do! Thank you for choosing me to shoot your wedding, it was an honor, and I hope I get to shoot your first maternity shots, family shots, etc., etc., for years to come). =) You guys were such a delight, and I truly mean that.
So if you'd like to see a few (well, a few for me lately, is like 45ish), of my favorite shots, click on the 'continue reading' link below, or click on the above links to go see the slideshow, which I think is worth checking out, as I said, there are SO MANY fun reception shots, there was no way I could include them all here, but I stronlgy urge you to check them out, because I'm not kidding, this wedding was serious fun). And as always, if you want to see the photos larger, all you have to do is click on them and they'll pop open much larger. And I urge you to click, 'continue reading,' as there are a LOT of uber fun wedding photos after the break!!