Dawana Jones and Marvin Sadler

July 21, 2008  •  Leave a Comment

A “destination” wedding can be local. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, any wine country wedding becomes a destination for many of the guests. We just photographed the wedding of a long-time friend’s daughter at the Martinelli Event Center, in the middle of the Livermore Valley. For those that only know of Napa and Sonoma as the California wine country, the truth is, some of the first grapes planted in California were planted in the Livermore Valley in the late 1700’s. The Livermore Valley lies about 25 miles east of Oakland, just south of the busy 580 freeway. The one comment heard most often during the day was, “I didn’t know all this was out here”, coming from the many long-time Bay Area residents.

This July 4th afternoon was blessed with a bit of relief from the smoke from the many wildfires nearby that had blanketed most of the state for the last few weeks. The sea breeze from the bay cleared out enough of the smoke and haze to make it a beautiful day. The temperature was mild for July in Livermore. Instead of the more typical 95+ degrees, we had a pleasant 85 degrees with a comfortable breeze that made it feel even cooler.


Dawana and Marvin have dated for a long, long time, and their relationship has endured separations while they attended college. As a result, this was a gathering of relatives and good friends from all over the country. The couple themselves was returning home for the ceremony, having recently settled in to live in Portland, Oregon.


The Martinelli Event Center is located in the center of the wine country. Events are managed by Garré Winery, located just a quarter mile away. The adobe styled center, sitting in the middle of a vineyard, has many great scenic backdrops. The opportunities for great photos are almost endless, and we tried to use as many as we could in the short time we were there.


Marvin and Dawana opted to take most of their more posed pictures before the ceremony. With all of the wedding party getting dressed at the facility, and no travel time between venues, this made for a very calm and relaxed atmosphere for everyone. Pictures of the complete wedding party and the bride and groom’s photo sessions were the only formal shooting to be done after the ceremony. Organizing the flow this way allowed the couple to enjoy more of there brief visit with family and friends, without interruption from us. At the same time, we got many great shots of those interactions. (Collage link)


The ceremony area on the open lawn presented it’s usual challenges, but the warm glow of the late afternoon sun blended perfectly with the vineyard scenery. There were fantastic open shade areas that provided some of the most interesting shots of the day. With an unusual amount of free time in our shooting routine, we were able to try out a few new toys. Some yielded glamorous results, some not so glamorous.


We also worked with a great DJ for the event. I DJ’d weddings and events for a very long time and have been disappointed with the quality of the younger DJ’s I’ve seen lately. There is a huge difference between a party DJ and a wedding DJ. Voice quality and the ability to make clear, crisp announcements are very important. Professionalism is critical in coordinating the activities of a reception. I took pride in the attention to detail my longtime DJ partner and I took when handling weddings. Tony Sparks of Close Cut Productions is the only DJ I’ve come across lately that works in the style I used to. His coordination with everyone associated with making the reception flow smoothly is superb. For San Francisco Bay Area couples looking for a wedding DJ, check him out at www.closecutproductions.com.


For us, we have a short break in our schedule. We’ll still be busy preparing for the arrival of our first grandchild in September. We’re just hoping he doesn’t decide to arrive the weekend we’re shooting the Monterey Jazz Festival!


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Keywords
Archive
January February March April May June July August September October November December (1)
January February (1) March (1) April May (1) June July (1) August (2) September (1) October November (1) December
January February (1) March (4) April May (1) June July (1) August September (1) October November December
January (2) February March (2) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December (1)
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December