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.
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.
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.
The gold coin would be the gift for Richard.
We peeked in as Jamie was getting dolled up for the day.
In the meantime, Richard and his entourage were getting ready a few doors down.
Here’s Richard’s best man Andrew, a close friend since high school back in the U.K.
Three of the four groomsmen are British as is Richard, and they flew across the big pond just for the wedding.
Jamie’s dad who would later give Jamie away, and her mom.
The hair and makeup artist at work while Jamie’s bridesmaids prep the flowers for the day.
Just a few minutes before heading out to the Church.
As we arrived at St. Stephen’s Church, this would be the first time that Richard would see Jamie that day.
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.
Jamie and Richard first offer tea to Jamie’s parents.
And Jamie’s Mom gives Jamie and Richard the surprise gifts.
Jamie’s aunt and uncle offers some well wishes and perhaps some marital advice too for the couple.
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.
Of course, she’ll need matching jewelry…
Jamie gets a first look in the mirror while Mom approves.
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)
And of course, any accomplishment, whether big or small, must be celebrated. Isn’t that the British way?
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…
And we did this…
Meanwhile, everything was prepped perfectly inside the church.
And the guests started arriving…
Jamie’s marched with her Dad and brother down the beautiful church as everyone stood. The ceremony begins…
Cocktail time! Cheers to that!!! Oh wait, photographers can’t drink…
The new husband and wife shared a quiet moment in the church prior to the grand entrance.
Kimball Hall, which is adjacent to the church, is where the reception would be held. Everything looked just about ready…
The awesome serving crew. Well, they’re awesome as long as they keep slipping me hors d’oeuvres.
Let the night begin!
Rather than the traditional wedding cake, Jamie and Richard opted for a small cake and a bunch of delectable sweets.
There was no shortage of photo booth fun. Hopefully, there was a two-drink limit with these guys… (hahaha)
This would be the smartphone paparazzi that kept getting in my way 😉
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.