Tag Archives: reception

Moonlit Jewish Wedding Featured on BRIDES

05 | 18 | 2016


We’re so excited to see this wedding featured on BRIDES.

Photography: Gia Canali

With thanks to all our superb creative partners on this one:

Venue & Catering: Bacara Resort & Spa || Wedding Planner: Geller Events || Florist: The Velvet Garden || Invitations & Paper Products: Tiny Pine Press || Videographer: Elysium Productions || Second Photographers: B Wright for Gia Canali Gown: Inbal Dror with Romona Keveza overskirt || Groom’s Tux: Lanvin


Molly Sims & Scott Stuber’s Wedding: Wedding Day, Part 2

05 | 09 | 2013

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Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - cake cutting

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Did you just love that rose-petal road?! Congrats, Molly and Scott! Thank you for sharing your photos!

photos: Gia Canali Photography

event design & production: Stefanie Cove & Yifat Oren; florals, Kimm, The Velvet Garden; venue: private winery estate in Calistoga; vintage tabletop items: Vintage Table Co; ceremony & cocktail music: Elew; DJ, Michelle Pesce; video, Bliss Productions; lighting: Got Light; bridesmaid dresses: custom-designed Elizabeth Kennedy; Molly Sims’s wedding gown: Marchesa; Scott Stuber’s attire, Tom Ford LA; bride’s hair, Davy Newkirk; bride’s makeup: Monika Prensena; invites, Mr. Boddington; day-of paper: Tiny Pine Press; bride’s jewelry: Lorraine Schwartz


Molly Sims & Scott Stuber’s Wedding: The Rehearsal Dinner

05 | 09 | 2013

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - portrait rehearsal dinn
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Molly Sims cork-backed letterpress rehearsal dinner menu by Tiny Molly Sims rehearsal dinner place cards with calligraphy

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photos: Gia Canali Photography

event design and production: Stefanie Cove and Yifat Oren; cork-backed menus and paper goodies, Jennifer Parsons, Tiny Pine Press; florals, Kimm, The Velvet Garden; Molly’s dress: J. Mendel; Scott’s attire, Tom Ford LA.


S + A: A Sweet Summer Wedding At San Ysidro Ranch with Flowerwild and Twine Events

01 | 14 | 2013

Sharon and Adam are the kind of people that you pretty much fall in love with straight away. So their wedding was accordingly sweet and whimsical, almost impossibly so. I knew we would have lots of fun collaborating, since their engagement photo session was so tenderhearted, but I definitely underestimated how many times they, or one of their parents, would get me to tear up behind my cameras.

Gia Canali Photography

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I loved everything about this intimate dinner reception, from the blooms Kate Holt arranged (I keep thinking the word sculpted as I look at them!) to the hand-drawn table herb table markers (with thanks to the groom’s father and his careful hand). The long summer night made perfect a meandering meal with happy, heartfelt meandering toasts and lots and lots of dancing. We come back to this point often around here, but good memories make for good photographs, and not the other way around. My work is a joy when folks are really relishing everything that’s happening around them, as they were on this night.

Someday, I hope my husband and I are as cute dancing at a wedding as this bride’s parents were (of course, the bride and groom are pretty adorable themselves):

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(That last one is my favorite …)

photos: Gia Canali

florals: Kate Holt, Flowerwild; venue: San Ysidro Ranch; planning: Erica Espana, Twine Events; invites & programs: Tiny Pine Press; dj: Josh Jones, Good Beat Productions


The Why of Weddings (& Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and Other Celebrations)

02 | 22 | 2012

for EG

I photographed a bat mitzvah a few weeks ago.  This is not something I get to do very often, but I always relish the chance.  Bar and bat mitzvahs are so fun, unabashedly celebratory, and I think that age 13 is just about the perfect time to remind a young adult that of the love and support of family and community.  The clients for this bat mitzvah were particularly wonderful and I could tell from the first moment I met them last summer how much they loved their daughter and wanted this bat mitzvah to be a really affirming expression of that love.

The party was exhilarating—a whirlwind, really—and at the end of the night, after all the guests had gone home and I had packed up most of the cameras, I went to say good night to the bat mitzvah girl and her parents.   Her father began to tell me how people had complained to him before the bat mitzvah, “it’s so much money to spend” and “it’s just a party” and  “you’ll never remember it.” He continued on to tell me how happy he was with how the party turned out,¹ detailing how meaningful it was that his people had come all over the world for this party and he concluded, “you know, I think we will remember it.”

And something clicked.

He had paid the money and thrown himself headlong into the planning of this event not just for the daughter he and his wife love so much, for her birthday party or to honor and welcome her into a tradition, not even for the guests to have an incredible experience (which they certainly did), but so that he and his wife could have the privilege of gathering their people. From all over the world.  Into one room.

What good sense.  What clarity.  No one has ever articulated the why of a celebration so well to me.  (Also maybe it’s harder to see with weddings, perhaps because we kind of hope it’s really about ourselves when we get married).  You gather your people.  You gather your people at these singular moments in your life for the joy of being together, all together, all at once.

So often my wedding clients talk about how incredible and humbling and overwhelming it is to see their people all together.   One of the keenest memories of my own wedding is turning around during the ceremony and seeing the faces of my loved ones all together.  I think I’ve talked about that here on the blog before. But we don’t always or easily anticipate that, plan for it in the planning of the wedding.

I’ve seen some pretty crummy comments around the web, even here on this blog, about how much money people spend on their weddings.  Although there are lots of reasons for not spending money on a wedding (or anything else), folks might be missing the point.  It’s not about a dollar amount.  It’s about why whatever money people choose to spend is worth it to them.

photo: Gia Canali

¹ Let me just interject that it was one for the books as far as these things go.

J+TJ Rehearsal Dinner Party

08 | 02 | 2011

After Jess and TJ’s guests thoroughly wore themselves out in the field day tournament, everyone dressed up for a tented rehearsal dinner party.  It was the weekend’s most formal event.  Guests dined in a tent that opened up on a little pond and it was embellished with dressy-up, woodsy decor and lots of sweet, handmade touches.  We especially loved all the wooden table numbers, the tree-bark wrapped “vases,” and the escort card heart made of stones with each guest’s name.

{click any image for a closer view}

We stole Jess and TJ away for a few minutes, just before sunset for photographs along the dirt road out to the horse pasture (and spa!) at C Lazy U.   Taking a few minutes here and there out of a busy wedding weekend schedule—particularly in moments with perfect light—to make some beautiful portraits always has a huge impact on the overall coverage of your wedding. We’ll hurry you back to your guests, promise …

I think getting great wedding photographs is one part trained eyeballs (by which I mean vision) and two parts time-management, both on the part of the photographers and on the part of the couple. One little great time-management helper with multi-day weddings is to space out the group photographs across the events.  Not every family photograph needs to be on the wedding day.  We photographed Jess and TJ’s extended families separately at the rehearsal and then TJ requested this lodge-style combined family photograph, which I just love.

Jess and TJ’s friends and families also made almost all their toasts at the rehearsal dinner.  Except for a quick welcome toast from the bride’s father at the wedding reception, this freed them up on the wedding day for an uninterrupted party (!) … a fantastic bonus since it always goes by too too quickly, even when you have four days of celebrating.   This was a sweet way for everyone to get to know each other, too.


The event is also featured {here} on 100 Layer Cake!  Come back tomorrow for more from Jess and TJ’s wedding day!

photographs: Gia Canali

event design: Duet Events (the bride’s design company); planning, Stacy McCain Events; venue and catering, C Lazy U Ranch; florals: Lisa Anderson, Sweet Pea Flowers; dessert (aka tower of awesomeness), Shamane’s Bake Shoppe, Boulder CO.


First Dance LOVE

02 | 25 | 2011

After I photo-edited {this} post earlier in the week about planning for a picture perfect first dance, I remembered a few more absolute favorite first dances, and among those was this one. It was a sweltering hot day in Healdsburg, and the sun was just beginning to set behind the hills, affording the first bit of (exhilarating!) relief we’d felt all day.  We wanted to fit the first dance in before we lost the light and the lanterns were just beginning to glow in the oak trees above a meandering serpentine dinner table.  It really felt like the set of a movie, with the glowing light and live music from a country band.  Plus, there’s nothing like seeing your own beloved friends go through these moments …

P.S. Don’t you just love Tom’s white suit?! I do … My Uncle Rocco almost always wears white suits to weddings.

photo: Gia Canali