Archives for May 2015

Purple Orchid Resort Wedding in Livermore | Rebecca & Wesley

When Rebecca and Wes approached me last September about capturing their wedding at a place called The Purple Orchid Resort and Spa in Livermore, although I had never shot a wedding there before, I immediately knew exactly where it was.  It’s a curious place that has grabbed me enough to get off my bike and take snap a few photos on my way to the Altamonte Pass windmills.  After all, how often do you see a resort built entirely out of logs?

And the resort is well-hidden, away from the popular Tesla Rd. wine path, so it’s not a place that screams “RESORT”.  You pretty much have to be searching for it to find it.  Or in my case, just wander around where no one goes 🙂

Needless to say, it’s a hidden gem, beautifully quaint, and perfect for an outdoor wedding.  And eight months after our first meeting, all of Rebecca and Wes’ plans came together on a perfectly blue-sky day at this location.

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As our team (all four of us) arrived and knocked on the doors of Rebecca and Wes, they both had the look of “nothing’s going to bother me today”.  They were both smiling and laughing, and we just knew it was going to be a great day.

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The guys, of course, had to make sure to hydrate themselves properly with what looks like apple cider before the ceremony.

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And the girls opted to just being beautiful.

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Rebecca’s niece and nephew were the flower girl and ring bearer, and they decided to rest up a little for their big day.  After all, it takes a lot of energy to be cute…

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And they sort of stole the show coming down the aisle as the ceremony started…

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That is, until Rebecca emerged down the steps from her room.

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As the couple gathered in front of the guests, everyone was treated to a wonderfully funny ceremony officiated by their close friend Chris, who starts off with “Dearly beloved.  We are gathered here today to witness my debut as a wedding official.”  Well, Chris does have a point — it’s not everyday that you marry people for the very first time 🙂

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You can tell Rebecca loves to have a good time, and here she is having fun with the guys after the ceremony.  She did have the presence of mind to remind the guys that she’s a married woman now as Wes looked on 🙂

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The two got a little time to celebrate alone while the guests enjoyed cocktail hour.

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Rather than the traditional wedding cake, there were yummy bite-sized miniature cupcakes.  If no one had been looking, I’m quite sure I could’ve swallowed all of those cupcakes in a single sitting…

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Here, the kids had a little anxiety with the grand entrance.  This is their first grand entrance after all…

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The wedding party didn’t disappoint though, as we got a taste of the dancing that was to follow later in the evening.  Everyone busted out a move, including the Mother of the Bride.  We now see where Rebecca gets the “bubbliness” from!

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And now, the newlyweds…

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As Rebecca and Wes went table to table to greet and thank everyone, we had guests at one table break out “So Happy Together” to the happy couple!  Video to come later… 🙂

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Awesome toasts by the Best Man and Matron of Honor…

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Rebecca and Wes decided to do a First Song, in lieu of the First Dance, and they pulled it out pretty good!

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Mother-Son and Father-Daughter dance as the sun starts to set.

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It started to get a little chilly as the sun went down and the winds started kicking in, but that didn’t seem to slow anyone on the dance floor.

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And we got a chance to capture a few shots of Rebecca and Wes before the night was over.  More to come later!

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A big hank you to Rebecca and Wes for allowing me and my team to capture you on your special day.  Your family and friends were fantastic, and I wish you guys nothing but the best as you embark on your life journey together.  Thank you also to the wonderful folks at The Purple Orchid Resort and Spa.  It was awesome to meet and speak with Rhiannon Eddy, who ran a successful photography business and now co-owns Purple Orchid with her husband Derek.  Thanks to my crack team, Albert, Ruben, and Tiffany, who seemingly make my job a lot easier.  You guys are true professional!

~ Alex

Photography: Alex Win Studios (http://alexwinstudios.com)
Venue: The Purple Orchid Resort and Spa (http://purpleorchid.com)

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Wedding in Belvedere | Jamie & Richard

When Ruben Cuervas, my wedding photographer buddy, asked me if I wanted to shoot a wedding with him at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Belvedere Island, how could I say “No”?  The church is a wonderment in modern concrete architecture, yet it was built over a hundred years ago.

This past weekend, this was the church that Jamie and Richard would say their vows of marriage.

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First, the day started in Tiburon, where both Jamie and Richard got ready, separately, for the tea ceremony.  Red and gold were the colors of choice for Jamie’s attire, red signifying good luck and gold wealth and happiness in the Chinese culture.

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Jamie’s mom had some surprise gifts for the bride and groom, and she wanted to make sure Jamie did not see them while she was getting ready.

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The gold coin would be the gift for Richard.

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We peeked in as Jamie was getting dolled up for the day.

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In the meantime, Richard and his entourage were getting ready a few doors down.

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Here’s Richard’s best man Andrew, a close friend since high school back in the U.K.

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Three of the four groomsmen are British as is Richard, and they flew across the big pond just for the wedding.

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Jamie’s dad who would later give Jamie away, and her mom.

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The hair and makeup artist at work while Jamie’s bridesmaids prep the flowers for the day.

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Just a few minutes before heading out to the Church.

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As we arrived at St. Stephen’s Church, this would be the first time that Richard would see Jamie that day.

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The tea ceremony took place in a little outdoor patio on the 2nd floor of the Church.  The wedding couple would offer tea to the elders as a way of saying thank you, and in return the elders would give the couple money in red envelopes, or special gifts.

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Jamie and Richard first offer tea to Jamie’s parents.

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And Jamie’s Mom gives Jamie and Richard the surprise gifts.

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Jamie’s aunt and uncle offers some well wishes and perhaps some marital advice too for the couple.

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Then off to get ready for the 2nd time.  This time, Jamie looks on to her beautiful white dress that she would don for the walk down the aisle.

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Of course, she’ll need matching jewelry…

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Jamie gets a first look in the mirror while Mom approves.

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Meanwhile, the guys are getting ready themselves.  First step is to put on the boutonnière, which turned out to be quite a challenge.  So of course, the photographer steps in and saves the day… (pat on back to self, hahaha)

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And of course, any accomplishment, whether big or small, must be celebrated.  Isn’t that the British way?

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Jamie and Richard had wanted to do a First Look with the dress, and they weren’t sure there was enough time before the ceremony.  We noticed the beautiful switchback stairways right in front of the dressing room and thought, hmmm…  So we had Jamie get ready quick…

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And we did this…

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Meanwhile, everything was prepped perfectly inside the church.

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And the guests started arriving…

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Jamie’s marched with her Dad and brother down the beautiful church as everyone stood.  The ceremony begins…

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Cocktail time!  Cheers to that!!!  Oh wait, photographers can’t drink…

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The new husband and wife shared a quiet moment in the church prior to the grand entrance.

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Kimball Hall, which is adjacent to the church, is where the reception would be held.  Everything looked just about ready…

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The awesome serving crew.  Well, they’re awesome as long as they keep slipping me hors d’oeuvres.

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And announcing…

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Let the night begin!

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Rather than the traditional wedding cake, Jamie and Richard opted for a small cake and a bunch of delectable sweets.

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There was no shortage of photo booth fun.  Hopefully, there was a two-drink limit with these guys… (hahaha)

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This would be the smartphone paparazzi that kept getting in my way 😉

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The day was amazing, and I thank Ruben (http://www.rcuevasphotography.com) for letting me join in on the fun.  Good luck to you Jamie and Richard.  It was surely a pleasure capturing these images for you, and a special thank you to Satoko Boris from St. Stephen’s who coordinated the day to perfection.

~ Alex

Photographer: Alex Win Studios (http://alexwinstudios.com)
Venue: St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (http://ststephenschurch.org)
Event Coordinator: Satoko Boris (satoko@ststephenschurch.org)

Kirigin Cellars Wedding in Gilroy | Fumi & Ricardo

It was a gutsy move by Ricardo in the bookstore as he noticed Fumi and approached her after a couple hours of strategizing.  That chance meeting was 6 years ago almost to the date, and now Ricardo and Fumi have tied the knot!

The day started out cloudy, gusty, and frankly a bit cold for what I remember the garlic capital being.  But as the day wore on, the clouds parted giving way to a beautiful blue sky, and a wonderful day for a wedding.

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As I arrived with my team, we met up with Ricardo and his sister who were putting up decoration where Ricardo and Fumi would be married in just a few hours.  It’s not surprising as we later noticed countless number of beautiful handmade decor that the two had put up at Kirigin.

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Soon, the two started getting ready for the big moment they’ve planned for since their engagement exactly a year earlier.

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The two interesting got ready in rooms right next to each other.  As traditionalists, they wanted to save their first look for the ceremony, so I brought them out to the doorway, told them not to say a word, and got a shot of the two of them without them seeing each other.

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Soaking in the moment before the ceremony.

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Ricardo accompanies Mom down the aisle as the ceremony commences.

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Ricardo looks on as Fumi and her bridesmaids arrive in a very unique way.

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As the car moves away, Fumi appears holding her Dad’s arm.

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Proud Dad capturing his eldest daughter on her special day.

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The beautiful gazebo was perfect for the formal photos following the ceremony.

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And the grounds at the Kirigin Cellars were perfect for the romantic portraits for Ricardo and Fumi.

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And according to the big program sign, it’s time for the Reception.

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The couple had a good laugh and some tears as Fumi’s sister Michi gave a touching toast.

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But a big highlight of the reception no doubt was Ricardo and Fumi re-enacting Johnny and Baby from Dirty Dancing to “Time of My Life”.   We’ve got two very talented dancers here…

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Here, I love how Fumi’s Dad is passionately recording the whole dance.  I wonder if he’s available to help out in my next wedding… (hahaha)

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And the party goes on…

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As the day comes to an end, a little alone time.

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Okay, maybe a little alone time, along with the photographers!!!

Needless to say, it was simply an awesome day.  It had been 9 months since we sat down and talked about this day, and now it’s hard to believe that it’s come and gone.  I hope that we were able to capture your special moments so that you can always look back on all the happiness you had together on this day, with all your close friends and family there to celebrate with you.

UPDATE 1/25/16:  We also did a short highlight video of the day leading up to the ceremony for Fumi and Ricardo that I want to share.  Enjoy!

~ Alex, Ruben, and Albert

Photographer: Alex Win Studios (http://alexwinstudios.com)
Venue: Kirigin Cellars (http://www.kirigincellars.com)
Wedding Cake: I do Wedding Cakes (http://idoweddingcakes.biz/)

The Church of the Nativity Wedding in Menlo Park | Daisy and Angel

Daisy and Angel have been together since high school and it’s been a lifelong dream of Daisy to be finally married to Angel, especially with their two beautiful kids, Ivan and Dahlia, there to celebrate with them in their ceremony.  Daisy’s dream became a reality on May 2nd, a beautiful day that started out with her family and bridesmaids at her home.

Let’s start with her beautiful light pink wedding gown…

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And her mint green shoes and the rings!

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And while Daisy was getting ready…

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so was Angel and Ivan.

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Angel’s brother helps out with the jacket.

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It’s safe to say everyone around Daisy was quite a bit more nervous than Daisy.

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Here’s a little playful moment with little Daisy (Dahlia)…

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Mom’s hands were visibly shaking as she helped with the earrings…

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After all, this is the first wedding for her babies.

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Dad tried his best to help with Daisy’s shoes.

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In the meantime, the boys were having a good time at the church.  Angel admits however that he was getting super nervous!

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A few moments with Mom & Dad, and Daisy’s bridesmaids before heading out to the church…

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Daisy arrives at the church in a beautiful Bentley, taking in a moment before stepping out.

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The kids are certainly ready.

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As calm as she looks, Daisy admits her heart was now beating nervous crazy.  The moment has come!

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Brother and sister walking down the aisle for their Mom & Dad…

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And the beautiful march with Daisy’s parents while Angel looks on.

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Understandably, the emotions get the best of Daisy.

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The beautiful ceremony begins.

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And the new Mr. and Mrs. Arroyo emerge!

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Happy moments after the ceremony outside the beautiful Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park.

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“Don’t do it — it’s not too late!!!”

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Yes, it looks like 11 yr old Ivan is going to drive the family around in the Bentley…

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The Reception at The Woman’s Club in Palo Alto.

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The Mariachi band performing for the wedding couple.

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And the toast… no Champagne here — Tequila shots!

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The toast by Daisy’s sister and Angel’s brother.

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And the first dance.

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With a surprise dip at the end!

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Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dance, but with a slight twist…

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And hold on for the crazy Snake Dance!

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Now to search for that elusive garter belt…

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And the toss!

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Did I mention there was a 2nd live band???  The Empresarios!

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The Cake Cutting, La Familia style!

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And the fun has just begun!

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And a quiet moment outside to end the night.

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Congratulations to Daisy, Angel, Ivan, and Dahlia!  You made us feel like a part of your family, and it was a blast spending the day with you and capturing all the special moments for you!

Alex, Yuliya, and Albert

 

Photographer: Alex Win Studios (http://alexwinstudios.com)

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