Sarah & Brad // Gerry Ranch Wedding
Brad and Sarah are two of my very favorite people and have one of my very favorite love stories. Let’s dive right in.
They met at the happiest place on Earth—Costco—while they were both working. Sarah worked at the food court, and Brad's favorite food just HAPPENED to be pizza (and still is). Over cheesy slices & cheesier pick-up lines, Brad and Sarah fell for each other. A few years later, on a boat ride as the sun was setting, Brad proposed with the perfect engagement ring (from Costco, obviously) and they were engaged!
Fast forward to this past weekend, as a year of thoughtful wedding planning came to fruition! Brad & Sarah met at the end of the aisle to say “I do” at the beautiful Gerry Ranch, a stunning ranch-style wedding space with rows of lush orchards and hillsides of greenery as far as the eye can see. This venue is DEFINITELY one of my favorites, as it has such beautiful photo spots and ample space for a ceremony, cocktail hour, & reception all wonderfully organized in one area of the property.
The Lewis wedding was one of my favorite *~work days~* ever. First of all, Sarah & Brad's wedding parties were stacked with the funniest characters ever who kept me entertained and laughing all day. Second, the day graced us with absolutely PERFECT weather: 80º with a cool breeze blowing through the ceremony & reception and a BEAUTIFUL sunset (we’ll get to more about that). Third, Brad was THE most excited ever to marry Sarah—watching her walk down the aisle with a huge smile. Right after the ceremony, he randomly exclaimed "that was the best thing I've ever done!!!" Lastly, seeing Sarah’s dad react upon seeing her in her wedding dress was unforgettable. He casually walked up to the bridal party while we were taking photos and saw Sarah, tears welling up in his eyes as he walked slowly forward. As he approached Sarah, his chin was quivering with emotion as he hugged her and she comforted him by saying “it’s ok Dad, it’s ok.” He was just as emotional throughout the day, and said that walking her down the aisle was the best moment of his life. SHOOT here I am crying again. The couple + their family + their friends’ ecstatic and emotion-filled energy kept me stoked throughout the entire day.
After the ceremony, the couple was able to take a few minutes away from their reception to enjoy the sunset & get some golden hour photos(!!!), so we headed up to the ridge where huge trees and vast fields of plants awaited us. We were whisked away on a golf cart (which I rode sitting backwards) (don’t try it at home) and were led to the top of the property where the sun was just beginning to set over the hill. The breathtaking view paired with the opportunity to photograph my own personal Rapunzel (Sarah) and Prince Charming (Brad) had me YELLING "IS THIS EVEN REAL?!?!??" over and over again. As the newlyweds walked through rows of glowing green plants, the sun set behind them and created a soft, warm haze. I seriously couldn't stop repeating "I think these are my favorite photos ever" and stayed so excited through every moment—from hopping under the veil with the couple to having Sarah spin around in her stunning, layered gown—it was all a freakin' dream!!! They really did come out as some of my favorite images ever.
The magic continued at their reception where loved ones gave speeches and Brad's groomsman, Ray, danced with every single woman over 50 on the dance floor. A huge highlight of my LIFE was dancing to MY FAV WEDDING DANCE FLOOR SONG, "Yeah" by Usher, with two of Sarah's bridesmaids. As the night went on, Sarah smashed cake in Brad's face, and the flower girl and ring bearer lit up the dance floor. To conclude the reception, Brad & Sarah stood at the center of the dance floor as their friends & family gathered around them, singing along to “Friends in Low Places” and swaying to the music. Once the last song played and the cake was eaten, the two exited their wedding through a sparkler-lit aisle of all their friends & family. The day was perfectly concluded, and Brad & Sarah drove away as husband and wife in a car draped in a “JUST MARRIED” banner.
At our initial meeting, Sarah and I found ourselves chatting about our lives for about two hours before we managed to talk about wedding photography. We got along swimmingly and I felt like I’d known her forever. After meeting Brad and taking engagement photos for the couple, they both felt like old, familiar friends to me and I looked so forward to celebrating their wedding with them. Welp, it did NOT disappoint, and frankly, I’m bummed it’s over!
It is so special to connect with my clients and to feel them becoming my lifelong pals, and Brad & Sarah are particularly sweet examples of that feeling. This last week, we've had one of the funniest group texts ever—me sending pictures to Sarah & Brad as I edit (a lot of Ray dancing with moms), them sending ridiculous honeymoon snaps to me, and all of us cracking up about drunk wedding things I picked up while they were elsewhere. I giggle every time I think of Brad & Sarah sitting together on their honeymoon in Hawaii.. texting me. I love them.
Mr. & Mrs. Lewis are some of the sweetest souls I've ever met, and I'm certain they'll be my friends for a very long time (they have no choice). It was a joy and a privilege to spend their wedding day with them, and we’re low-key pressuring their friends to get married ASAP so we can hang out on another dance floor real soon. Long live the Sara(h) sandwich group chat. Amen.