This Pelican Inn wedding was like out of the pages of a fairytale.
Bridget and Brad have something very special and it makes them… twinkle. Yes I said twinkle! I know it’s an odd word to describe a couple but it’s the word that keeps coming to my mind when I think of them! When in their company you can really feel their happiness, their love and their enthusiasm for each other, their family and friends and life. Being around them makes you want to believe in love, celebrate love and well- get your twinkle on!
The Pelican Inn sits all nice and cozy in the Muir Beach region just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.While Greg and I were visiting there once, a British man said to me, “this place is more British than an Inn in England!” So it was only fitting to complete the whole setting of the wedding day that Bridget and Brad’s day also had some England-like weather.
While some couples may have been upset that their day was soggy, Bridget and Brad took it all in stride. Nothing could take away from what was truly exciting- they were getting married! What I adore about these two is that they were more focused on just that- their marriage not their wedding day. Many soon-to-be married couples forget that. They have their priorities right and therefore wore big bright smiles and had an amazing wedding celebration- rain drops and all!While Greg and I, along with Ric and Rose of Grover Films were planning out the First Look location, Bridget cheerfully popped her head out to say hello!Upstairs the ladies, comfy in their robes, were swooning over Bridget’s incredible dress.
This Monique Lhuillier dress was a show stopper on the hanger- later when Bridget put it on it became a work of art! The intricate details were truly something unique and very special. The ladies!!It was time for Bridget to get dressed but this was no easy zip-up dress!All those delicate little buttons take teamwork!
Looking so elegant, Bridget was ready for her First Look with Brad! But before we get to that storybook moment, let’s swing into the Snug and check on the guys. What’s a Snug you might be asking? Well traditionally a Snug is a private room off a pub, with frosted windows, to allow patrons to have a drink without being seen at the bar. At the Pelican Inn it is only open to those staying at the Inn. It’s a cozy little room with plush furniture and a fire place! Of course this Snug has Charles and Diana’s wedding album which I devoured every page of!“Fear Knocked At The Door, Faith Answered – No One Was There”Brad was getting ready with his two brothers and his buddies. True to being guys they stood around talking and having a beer until the very last minute where they had to get dressed!All was going well until the bow tie! With help from YouTube the job got done. There was even a few minutes left to spare for practicing his vows!An aspect I’m loving in the wedding industry currently is how there is more artistry being put into the flowers. Bouquets have always been so beautiful and I’m sure hard to make but now they are becoming little works of sculptural art. And boutonnieres? They have come so far! My Friend Ingrid (Not my actual friend – it’s the business name) did such an incredible job on the flowers! The boutonnieres were delivered on this beautiful piece of wood, such a nice way to present her work.
The guys in the pub looking so dapper!It was time for the First Look and of course the weather was kicking up a notch. So many couples may have said, “No, it’s raining let’s not go outside” but Bridget and Brad, full of adventure said the opposite!
We are so glad they did as we were able to get a different twist on the First Look! I wish I could take credit for this idea but it all goes to Ric from Grover Films. Before the day started, while we were chewing on ideas for the First Look, he saw this vision! Ric’s idea was that Bridget and Brad would walk towards each other using the design of the building to block their view of each other until they reached the corner! So great collaborating with other creatives!
Can you feel the anticipation?!
And that moment when they saw each other? It was SO magical, so much fun and oh so romantic! I think the rain might have even added to it all.A reaction that every woman dreams of from her groom!
Bridget and I shared a mutual love of the long line of mailboxes outside the Inn. I bet the mail carrier loves that too 😉 It makes me imagine people coming down from their secluded homes in the woods to retrieve their mail and have a drink at the pub, sharing laughs with their neighbors.
I could photograph these two ALL DAY LONG!
Our time outdoors may have been short but it was certainly sweet. Mama Nature was ready to let loose and luckily we had a beautiful Inn to take some pictures in too!Brad looked amazing in his custom suit created by Andreas Gorges out of San Francisco. I think Bridget thought so too!
A window seat perfectly made for two love birds!Guests had started to arrive so Bridget and her bridesmaids escaped to the rooms upstairs. As sensational as Bridget’s dress was, she saved a special touch for the ceremony! Bridget’s dress had an additional skirt that went over the outside of her dress. Bridget’s Mom was there to add the last touch- the beautiful veil!Due to Mother Nature deciding that some rain and wind would add to the fun, the ceremony was obviously inside. Downstairs in the Conservatory, with fun signage to personalize the room, family and friends gathered in closely. Excitement filled the air!Maybe too much excitement for this little beauty. But a flower girls job is to melt hearts and she did just that- job well done!
Bridget was escorted down the aisle by her Uncle Mike.Proud moment for Bridget’s Mom! She raised Bridget by herself and the bond between them is so special. What a wonderful job she did!The ceremony was officiated by Dr. Frederick Parrella who was Bridget’s Theology of Marriage professor from her alma mater, Santa Clara University. He did a wonderful job and if I may add, he is a fellow New Yorker so I liked him instantly! Brad’s Dad came up and shared a special reading. Bridget and Brad spoke personalized vows to each other, filled with so much love and devotion to one another. The rings were exchanged…Excitement building!
KISS the bride! Married!!
The newlyweds retreated into The Snug! I love the “awwww” face Bridget is giving Brad!!Celebration time!!!! Bridget and Brad had adorable Polaroid cameras out for guests to take a portrait! I love that weddings now have their own hashtags so guests can tag their pictures and the couple can see them! I can’t wait to hear what the next few generations think of hashtags!The adorable flower girl all done with her duties relaxing with her wedding Barbie!
Brad’s parents!!While the guests were in the pub and the Snug enjoying cocktail hour, the staff at the Inn were flipping the rooms for the reception. The result was magical! The staff at the Pelican are top notch and did such an incredible job all day. Bridget and Brad’s favor to their guests was an engraved Welsh Lovespoon. The history behind these spoons is really interesting. Men gave them to women as a gesture that they wanted to court them. The spoon represents feeding which in turn symbolizes taking care of the person. Bridget and Brad made their way in for their grand entrance! Everyone had such a great time dining on exquisite food in such a charming Inn! After a delicious meal, Bridget’s Mom started off by welcoming everyone to the wedding and telling beautiful stories of their travels together!Next up was Brad’s best man and some tasteful roasting had everyone laughing!Last but certainly not least, Bridget’s maid of honor gave a toast, part of which was reminding Brad of all the ways he came make Bridget a happy wife! Wine and chocolate were key words!A Naked Cake by Batter Bakery! Delicious and so interesting to look at!And trays and trays of cookies! Sweet tooth satisfaction achieved!Adorable!
Family and Friends were called back into the room that held the ceremony for some dancing. Bridget and Brad kicked it off with a sweet first dance that had everyone smiling!
And then the dance floor erupted! I love how some people watched the dance floor from the windows!
A slight pause to the dance floor was given when Bridget and and her Mom shared a dance!
HUGS! So much happiness!Brad then took his Mom out for a spin on the dance floor!
Moments like this are what I always hope to capture on a wedding day! Bridget and her Mom watching Brad and his Mom with so much love!The action started up again and this group knew how to have a good time! Outside the rain was pouring down, the winds were kicking up and there wasn’t a care in the world!It was time for us to end our night but the party was still in full swing. We left as Bridget and Brad were enjoying their wedding night to the fullest! Bridget and Brad, you were so much fun to work with from start to finish! You’re an amazing couple, so full of sparkle for each other and life! Your wedding day was perfection and that was fitting since you two deserve the best- twinkle on!
Venue and catering: The Pelican Inn
Hair and Makeup: Dreamcatcher Artistry
Bridget’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Brad’s suit: Andreas Gorges
Filmmakers: Ric & Rose Grover Films
Florist: My Friend Ingrid
DJ: Lovesick DJs
Invitations and all paper goods: Rifle Paper Co.
Photography: Susannah Gill
Santa Cruz children photography is something I am looking to become more involved in! And what a wonderful place for it!
Once a year, fields in Santa Cruz and other areas of California become golden thanks to the Mustard Plant! Yes, how we get mustard comes from these pretty flowers! Greg, Jax and I headed over to the field and as we drove I dreamed of images I would capture of my son, in amongst these flowers. Jax, now almost 5, wasn’t interested in the flowers. He was interested in a mud puddle on the side of the road.
Eventually I bribed him 3 cookies to come into the flowers which he did…. for all of 2 minutes then he found a tree to climb. Little boys!
On the way home feeling photography frustrated, an idea hit me! I needed to borrow NAVAH!!!
Navah is our neighbor and she is AMAZING! This girl is smart, funny, sassy and oh so adorable! Navah’s parents agreed and a few days later we were back at the golden field! This time with Navah who skipped, frolicked, gently picked the flowers and got lost in her own little world like only little girls know how to do so magically!
There are so many expressions I cherish and hope to capture when photographing children. But there is something about children and how they can stare you down the barrel of your lens and be so comfortable. Many adults cannot do this unless they are models. Children are amazing. They are our best teachers!
Navah’s amazing Mama is one amazing lady and I’m so excited to call her a friend! I was happy that she was open to jumping in for some pictures. I love capturing moments between parents and their children.
Navah, thank you so much for coming out to play and being you- YOU are awesome!
If you are interested in having your family photographed, please feel free to reach out!
Sometimes we meet our clients in the most interesting ways. Last year Kerry & Whitney sat next to Greg & I in a restaurant in Muir Beach totally by chance.
They were on a sisters trip and we were on a location scouting trip. Even though there were many other tables open at the restaurant, the waiter sat us right next to each other. These tables for 2 people were placed so closed to each other that we practically became a party of 4. We all kind of gave each other that smile and then carried on trying to have conversations that weren’t too loud or too private. But then one of the sisters mentioned NYC and our ears perked up, leading us to start chit chatting with these two traveling sisters. It wasn’t long til we found out that Kerry’s sister Whitney lived basically up the road from us in NYC. We reminisced New York, discussed why we were in Muir Beach and our careers. Then the two sisters left and that was that.
A few minutes later they walked back in and over to our table. That is when Kerry told us that she was getting married! We exchanged information and the rest is history.
Kerry & Noah got married in the historic town of Nevada City. We cant say enough about this town! It was so quaint with scenery like out of a postcard. The restaurants were amazing and there is a great music scene. What an amazing treat it was for their family and guests to come and spend a weekend in such an incredible place celebrating such a sweet couple!
Kerry was practically ready when I arrived but her sister Whitney helped her with some finishing touches. Her cousin Jessica, who had done her makeup, also did some last touches.Kerry’s Mom was telling me about the beautiful stained glass windows at the little Victorian cottage, called the Two Room Inn, Kerry & Noah had rented for their wedding. We headed over there to take a few pictures of Kerry before the ceremony. The place was stunning!Kerry’s hair was done by the talented Angela Nunnink. The Sierra foothills, which are on the outskirts of Nevada City, were the place to be during the gold rush! The Miners Foundry was built in 1855 and served the mines of the region. Nevada County had become the greatest gold-producing region of the entire world. It’s also the birthplace of the famous Pelton Wheel created in 1879. This invention revolutionized hydroelectric power .
From the outside one would never imagine that the inside would become the scene of a magical wedding venue.
The ceremony was centered around the fireplace. It was so romantic with clusters of candles and flowers draped by Bees, Leaves N’ Love.Kerry was escorted down the aisle by her proud Dad. One of Noah’s very best friends, Mike officiated the wedding. He did such an incredible job striking a perfect balance between seriousness with some lightheartedness thrown in there!Can you believe this venue?! The drapery creatively hung by Tin Roof Farmhouse was the perfect touch to give it that wedding day romance. Noah looks out and soaks in all the love with such a big smile! Watching Noah throughout the wedding day, it was so evident how much he loves his family, friends and especially Kerry. With vows spoken and rings on their fingers, the grand announcement was made!
Married!I love the excitement on their faces as they walk through their crowd of friends and family!The Miners Foundry has corrugated steel siding that brought me back to my Brooklyn days. I loved it and thought it perfectly set off Kerry in her amazing Nicole Miller dress! Noah you looked quite handsome but Kerry might have stolen the show, as the bride should. Gah, this bouquet and all the other flowers created by Amy of Bee, Leaves N’Love were so stunning! I really admired how the bouquet was perfectly imperfect with its asymmetrical form and it’s long and loose gauzy ribbons. We didn’t have long til the newlyweds had to head back inside. Right outside the Miners Foundry was good old Main Street. It was perfect for these two to spend a little time together before the rest of the evening. Back inside everyone was enjoying cocktail hour and the music of Foxtails Brigade.
Kerry’s Dad welcomed everyone to the wedding- telling funny stories and giving Noah a huge welcome into the family!This picture cracks me up! I know from having sisters that the sister nudge when Mom or Dad is talking is a common thing! Noah is cracking up, Kerry is doing the sister nudge and Whitney is trying to keep a straight face- classic! Hmmm, what story might have Dad been telling to get these reactions?!Waterworks and hugs, a welcome speech well done!The Farm to Table crew worked diligently to flip the room and make it so sensational for the reception! They did such a wonderful job and worked so hard all day!
Kerry, a very talented painter, created their wedding invitations seen framed here. What a creative way to invite your guests to your wedding.Isn’t this room amazing?! The stone walls and wooden ceiling perfectly set off the delicate candlelit tables, draping and flowers. It was the work of Farm To Table, Bee, Leaves N’Love and Tin Roof Farmhouse that transformed this room into something enchanting for Kerry & Noah’s wedding celebration.Noah’s Grandmother gave Noah her wedding rings to give to Kerry. It’s stories like this that make me love weddings so much!
Kerry’s sister, Whitney started off the toasts, giving us a little insight that only a sister could give!Next up was on of Noah’s best friends, Mike, telling stories from the younger years!Followed by one of Noah’s other best friends, Alan who also was the officiant.Last up was Kerry’s friend Kim who really shared the good stories!It was then time for two special dances. Kerry danced with her Dad while Noah danced with his Grandmother!
How adorable are these two dancing!? So much love and happiness!Kerry & Noah then had their beautiful first dance.
I have to say with a spread like this, wedding cakes are not even missed! Wedding cakes are becoming less and less common at weddings- casually bumped out of the lineup by other desserts and I do not hear anyone ever complaining! For this wedding let’s just say that there wasn’t a sweet tooth in the place left unsatisfied.
All sugared up, the music got turned up and the dance floor got busy!
Even the little ones were celebrating!When it was time for me to pack my bags, the dance floor was full and Kerry & Noah were dancing the night away! Well, the boys were having shenanigans.
This wedding was perfection. It had an abundance of love, fun, incredible food, gorgeous flowers & decor and full-on happiness! Congratulations Kerry & Noah!
And a HUGE thank you to all these amazing vendors! This wedding ran so smoothly and was so much fun to photograph because of all of your hard work!
Caterer: Farm to Table Catering
Florist: Bee, Leaves N’ Love
Draping: Tin Roof Farmhouse
Desserts: Tower Cafe
Music: Foxtails Brigade
Dress: Nicole Miller
Shoes: Jil Sander
Hair Styling: Angela Nunnink
Make up: Jessica Spina-Salinas
Photography: Susannah Gill-Photographic Storytelling
When I first met Bridget and Brad at a restaurant in San Francisco I could not stop smiling because they could not stop smiling! Bridget and Brad have a happiness that is beyond contagious. Their smiles, laughter and their enthusiasm for each other and life made me feel so alive! I loved sitting across from them observing their glances at each other. I was secretly hoping and praying that they would want to hire me. I felt so inspired by them and wanted to capture this magical love of theirs in photographs! I was more than thrilled when they asked me to be their wedding photographer!
Their engagement photowalk in San Francisco’s Presido was a perfect location. I was so excited when they opted for a place that was a little less typical San Francisco and much more off the beaten path! Some old buildings and tall golden grass were all that was needed to showcase these lovies! We roamed around exploring, playing, chatting and having a good old time!
We are so excited for their wedding at the end of this week. I have no doubt that it will be like out of a story book. They are getting married at the enchanting Pelican Inn, an old British style Inn nestled in Muir Beach. If you ever want to get away and feel like you are realllllly away, this Inn is the place!
If you have seen the weather forecast for this weekend, we might even be getting some British weather! I have no doubt that a little rain will just add to the romance and charm of it all!
ps- so thrilled to working alongside the talented Rose and Ric of Grover Films for the wedding! With these two on video it’s going to be so much fun documenting Bridget and Brad’s celebration!