Ahwahnee Hotel Wedding

I was fortunate to be chosen by a wonderful couple to photograph their intimate wedding at the unrivaled Ahwahnee Hotel in California’s Yosemite Valley. Fortunate is the operative word here. Anyone that has ever been to the Yosemite Valley is lucky;) Words can not accurately describe the beauty. The scale of the valley walls, majestic California Black Oaks, Ponderosa Pines & other natural wonders don’t register until you see someone walk out across a meadow, dwarfed by a granite wall beyond.

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The historic Ahwahnee Hotel sits in the middle of all this. It is the quintessential lodge: an incredible facade made of large boulders, beams from pine trees (that look like they are the complete tree) brace expanses bookended by walk-in fireplaces on both sides of the great hall. 20 foot high windows frame picture-perfect views of Yosemite Falls & Glacier Point. The Ahwahnee has played host to Queens & Presidents since it’s opening in 1927. It simply has to be seen to be believed.

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The ladies looked great, pastel accents matched the natural tones throughout the Valley.

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The guys were lookin’ good as well. Ready to have a fun, meaningful day surrounded by close friends and family;)

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Too fun. Beautiful smiles all around.

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Hilarious!

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An awesome entrance.

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The ceremony site at the Ahwahnee Hotel is set in a meadow about 100 yards off the Solarium. Yosemite Falls is framed perfectly beyond. The late afternoon light was absolutely perfect – a really gorgeous day;)

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A private moment for the happy couple. Gorgeous weather, gorgeous day & a gorgeous couple embarking on their new life together. Pretty awesome.

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Overall the wedding was a huge success. The staff at the Ahwahnee did a great job of make sure everything went off without a hitch. If you’re thinking about getting married in Yosemite, I’m sure there’s many ways you can go. Definitely having your wedding at the Ahwahnee Hotel should be at the top of the list!

HammerSky Vineyard Wedding

HammerSky Vineyards is a stunning Paso Robles wedding venue located on the westsides’ gorgeous Vineyard Drive. The centerpiece of the property is a 100-year-old farmhouse that has been tastefully redesigned with no expense spared.  A gourmet kitchen, porch swings, a balcony, a large deck, a clawfoot bathtub, a fireplace, along with 4 bedrooms, host vineyard views in every direction.  It’s picture perfect.

The property also features a state of the art tasting room & a new barn that’s large enough to accommodate a good sized dance floor, or long table for 40+ guests.  There are 2 large lawns shaded by century-old oaks set amongst beautiful Paso Robles vineyards.  It’s cute, it’s quaint, it’s New England, it’s Napa, it’s…HammerSky!

Located just a few hours from the Bay Area, HammerSky is an affordable option compared to L.A., O.C. & S.F wedding venues of similar quality.  The staff, along with proprietors Kim & Doug, pair 4 star service with some of the best Bordeaux centric wines on the central coast.  I had the tough task of sampling the 2010 lineup, the day after the wedding of course, and they are spot on – smooth on the palette, just enough on the nose without being overpowering. By the time you realize you’re sampling a damn fine Bordeaux, they tastefully disappear with an extraordinarily clean finish.  That sums up the experience had by all at this stunning westside venue on an incredibly beautiful fall day!

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3 long tables offered seating for 100 guests. Beautiful floral arrangements courtesy of Bonny Doon Flower Co. were perfectly placed by HammerSky’s Event Coordinator Lauren & her staff.

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The couple’s cake was tastefully decorated with the names of loved ones written in icing, very cute.

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Looking good & ready to go!

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The Ceremony site at HammerSky is framed by vineyards in almost every direction. Grand old oaks punctuate the rolling countryside.

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The happy couple shared a private moment immediately after the ceremony. Family & Wedding Party photos had been completed prior to guests’ arrival – a great way to go if you want to maximize time with everyone at your wedding.

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Cocktails following the ceremony were enjoyed in and around the tasting room. A great way for guests to share the excitement with the happy couple.

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Thomas Hill Organics served a top-notch family style meal made with local organic ingredients. A great choice for any would be Bride & Groom looking for the perfect sustainable meal.

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It was the perfect end to a perfect day. Each of the vendors listed below played a part in making this day as special as it was. If you’re looking for a picturesque winery to host your wedding or private event, HammerSky is a great place to do so.

Photographer; Peer Johnson (contact me here)
Ceremony, Cocktails, Wine & Reception; HammerSky Vineyards
Catering – Dinner; Thomas Hill Organics
Floral Arrangements: Bonny Doon Flower Co.
Tableware, Chairs & Tables: All About Events
Cake: Cakes By Judy
Makeup & Hair; Lovely Chic Wedding