Hey friends! Sorry for the radio silence last week. Nate and I were off exploring the pretty parts of San Fran and Napa Valley. We mixed in visits with Nate’s extended family and a few of our favorite friends from Syracuse. It was a very weird time to plan a vacation, seeing as it’s prime time for leaf-gorgeousness here in New England (and therefor very busy in the family session department). BUT as soon as I accepted the fact that I would not be working for two weekends in a row, I was actually really glad to get away for a while. But enough about me and onto the pictures!

We stayed at Nate’s aunt and uncle’s house in Bodega Bay the first few nights, which happens to be right near the water! Thank you, Jesus, for oceans. The first morning I went running and it was so foggy that I could barely see two steps in front of me! I was just minding my own business when all of a sudden BAM! I rounded the corner and saw a faint view of the ocean, so obviously I had to find my way down to the beach. Ten minutes later this is what awaited me. Heart stopped.

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And then I found a cave.

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Our weekend in Bodega Bay was mostly filled with ocean walks and relaxing, with a few winery tastings mixed in. We stopped at the German Gundlach Bundshu, the Italian Beuna Vista, and the Sonoman (not a word?) Ravenswood. I think the first place was my favorite, mostly because the tasting room was in a rock cave. So.:)

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On our way down to San Fran, we stopped at Muir Woods, which is a huge, amazing, magical forest with Redwood trees! We hiked for about 2 hours and even saw a deer!:)This little side adventure is one of my favorite memories from our week.

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Let me be honest with you. We planned this vacation in two days, not to mention less than a week before we left. I wish I was kidding. Luckily we were still able to find some prettttyyy impressive B&B’s to stay at! Once we got to downtown San Fran, we spent two nights at The Inn San Francisco, which was the cutest B&B maybe I’ve ever seen. So well kept and such friendly staff. Not in the niiiiiiiicest area of town, but it was definitely the nicest house on the block, with a ton of ethnic restaurants just a few blocks over. We had authentic seafood paella at Esperpento!

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Our B&B also had a rooftop deck! This was the view looking over to the heart of San Fran. Looked really cool at night, too!

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If you were wondering if we rode a cable car, DUH. Isn’t that a SF requirement? Those hills are seriously insane.

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We walked a LOT of hills that day! Mostly because we were lost. But half because it was fun.:)We also visited the pier, Lombard Street (the crazy zigzag one), the botanical garden in Golden Gate Park, and Fog Harbor for lunch (where we met not one, but TWO Syracuse alum, thanks to Nate’s ‘Cuse shirt he was wearing.)

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I should also mention that Tartine Bakery is worth a visit.

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Before we trekked off to Napa, we stopped in Sausalito! Maybe my favorite little town? Nate said it reminded him of Italy. Things of note: Galerie Elektra (best art collection ever), Lappert’s Ice Cream (best coconut macadamia ice cream ever), and the views.

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Then it was time to be on Napa time! Our B&B, the Old World Inn, was so fancy! Gorgeous old house, close to down town Napa, amazing breakfasts and yummy desserts every night;)Embarrassingly enough, the only photo I took of it was the bathroom. I hope you can see why. (If you can’t, it’s because it’s GORGEOUS. You’re welcome for the help.) Favorite random memory: stumbling upon a live 6-man band in a little alley and stopping to listen for a while.

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Selfies at Andretti Winery.

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We splurged on the full taste/tour at Castello di Amorosa. It’s a CASTLE. A real (well, never reeeaaal, but authentically made with materials sourced from Italy) CASTLE. The tour was all about the process of how they make wine and we even tasted some straight from a barrel. Also, our tour guide happened to be (the only) Italian (working there), so between the castle and his accent, I don’t have to visit Italy, right? Jk jk, it’s on the top of my list.

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Lunch time at Gott’s! We highly recommend this place, seeing as both our afternoons in Napa were spent gobbling up their burgers and fish tacos.

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We hung out in the Oxbow Market area of Napa for a few hours. Besides the very cool, well-designed, mostly organic/trendy open market, we also stumbled upon Poor House and Model Bakery. If I lived there, I’d be at all these places a whole heckuva lot.

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The last part of our trip included ALL THESE SPECIAL PEOPLE! The West-Coast-‘Cuse-Crew. It was so great to be able to spend a whole weekend with them (for the first time in 2 years!). They introduced us to the Marin Headlands, which is like the best view of SF ever. Then we drove to a beach. Then we went to Sausalito again! Then we watch the sun set over the ocean! Then we played games until midnight, which is the latest I’ve stayed up in a long time! Church, Taco Sunday, Farmer’s Market, more ocean views, cute coffee shops, more games, more memories… too good. Miss ya’ll already. <3

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Sooooooo that was our San Fran / Napa trip!

If you’re not into personal posts, I’ll be back early next week with a ton of new family sessions for you to look at.;)

Stephanie

“But you’re so busy changing the world
Just one smile can change all of mine
We share the same soul..”
Angel, Jack Johnson

~*~

Everyone around them knew Jon was interested months before Erin ever figured it out. They first met at school… no, not while they were in school, but at the grade school where they both teach math! I remember something Erin said during their engagement session last fall: “The best thing that has come out of our jobs is that we met each other!”:)Literally too cute.

Erin and Jon were married on a wonderfully warm September day in the heart of Cambridge, MA. They picked the Charles Hotel as their venue for both the ceremony and reception! The Charles has probably the best art collection I’ve ever seen in a hotel, and because it sits right in the middle of Harvard Square, there are city views for days!

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Erin and her gals got hair-and-make-uped by the ladies of Special Event Beauty.

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Veils might be my favorite thing to get artsy with. Erin’s amazing, fitted, lace dress (with real buttons!) is by Madeline Gardner NY!

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Then it was time to get married! Erin and Jon’s coworker, who also pastors a church, officiated their ceremony. It was so heartfelt with many personal touches.

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They held on to a Jewish tradition and smashed a glass to make it official!

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Friends from childhood, college and real life stood by Erin’s side. Lots of sweetness in this group of ladies. Those gorgeous carnation bouquets they’re sporting were designed by Poppy Floral!

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Wait, this actually happened. It’s the most colorful (and deliberate) photobomb I’ve ever seen. This guy had no shame! We were all a little confused.

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These handsome men somehow all lost their watches on the same day, but other than that, they were a decently fun group!;)

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We all rounded the corner towards the park, and BAM! We were hit with the yellowiest, sunniest sun! We like to take advantage of things like that.

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I mean, THIS WAS REAL.

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Fave from their day. The pre-kiss. It’s perfect.

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Erin walked two blocks in heels to get this photo! Worth it. Our entire stroll, E+J heard many words of congratulations. AND gasps of excitement from the little girls of Harvard Square.

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Love me a cute couple and some wedding day bokeh.

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Up in the Regatta Bar, everything was Boston themed! Tables were named after places Erin + Jon have explored, lived or went on dates together. Black and gold accents decorated the space and everything looked so luxurious!

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After Erin and Jon’s first dance, dinner was served, speeches were made, and the party got seriously crazy. In a good way!

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And I’ll end on this high note! No, I’m pretty sure they were singing a high note.

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Erin and Jon, you two are so generous and fun and wonderful! Thank you for including me in your day. I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek and I can’t wait until you see the hundreds more;)Best wishes!! <3

~Stephanie

SEPTEMBER. Holy moly. It came and went like lightning. No joke. SO MUCH HAPPENED! 4 weddings, 2 engagements, 3 families, 2 portraits, it was definitely the most FILLED month of photos and friends this season.

Nate and I made the BRILLIANT decision to up and move, so that added to our fun-filled month. Moving… For us, it meant about a week of limbo; you know, setting up the new place, making sure all our crap was out of the old place, and trying to make the new place feel like home. It’s the first time we’ve ‘moved’ together. Our old apartment was our first, and I settled in a good month before our wedding, after which Nate did. So this was a new experience for us. Luckily we got rid of a ton of stuff that was just taking up space. Three large deliveries to the Salvation Army later and I felt so free! Ever have that feeling? Sometimes ‘stuff’ just weighs you down. Anyways, we’ve been exploring our new little town the last few weeks, checking out the coffee shops and restaurants when we have time. I have yet to go on a run and find any new trails, though :O. By the way, we only moved 3 miles away. I’m still all yours, just-west-of-Boston-area.;)

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I was able to travel up to Newry, Maine for my cousin’s wedding! Him and his now-wife are avid skiers/snowboarders, so they had their wedding at their happy place, Sunday River! Part one (the ceremony) was under a gorgeous covered bridge, which is just about as New England as you can get. I loved every second. Part two (the reception) was on TOP of a mountain! We took a ski lift to get there! The weather was perfect and the views were incredible. Family weddings are seriously the best.

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October came in with a bang. We trekked up to Syracuse to see my college friend Steph (lovingly know as “the other Steph”) get married!:)Oh my gosh, I can’t tell you how awesome it was to see her and meet her husband and hang out and reminisce. Get this, her sister made that amazing cake! And Pascale’s pumpkin ravioli blew my mind.

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Ugh, obsessed with these two. Seeing them makes me miss college SO MUCH! <3 <3

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Next week we leave for a week-long vacation to SanFran and Napa Valley. Not the most convenient time for vacation, seeing as it’s peak fall / family session season up here, BUT I am definitely excited to explore and see some other favorite college friends! Any recs for cafes / coffee shops / amazingly cool walls? Yes, walls. Like murals and ivy and bright-colors. I’m serious, I want to find all the cool walls. Don’t laugh.

~Stephanie

“My whole heart
Will be yours forever,
This is a beautiful start
To a lifelong love letter.”
Sara B, I Choose You

Julianne and Mark are married! This adventurous, fun, silly couple, who met when they both joined a community volleyball team, were married on a gorgeous day in September. The leaves were already changing and the sunshine was thick. Everyone got ready at the same hotel, but I had special instructions that J+M did not want to see each other before the ceremony! We maneuvered our way in and out of the hotel for bridal party portraits, making sure everyone’s windows were closed so no one accidentally snuck a peek!

Jules and her gals were a fun crowd! I felt like I fit right in when I arrived (thanks loves!). Lots of laughing, selfies, stories of childhood and big hugs. And lemonade;)J’s BCBG dress was SO pretty, maybe one of my favorite’s ever? The lace, the sash, and the vintage-like detail were just so gorgeous.

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The best laughs!

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My wonderful friend and second shooter, Tiffany, stuck with the guys and took these next three images of Mark and his men.

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Julianne’s flowers by the Greenery were perfect! Daisies are her favorite.

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Oh my gosh, stunner. AND YOUR PERFECT RED HAIR!:D

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J+M had a generous family friend who let them borrow this amazing car, which was definitely a snazzy addition to the day! Dudes lookin’ snazzy, too. Tiffany took this shot!

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Lisa and Julianne have been friends for a very long time. I love this moment!

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Their love is the kind of love that involves more winks and giddy smiles than it does the outwardly-mushy stuff. Their ceremony was personal and fun, meaningful and quick! Perfectly them.

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Arial shot by Tiffany!

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Then it was time for portraits. I’m telling you, we had some of the thickest, most colorful, intense sunlight that day! It was perfect and I may have squealed like 15 times.

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I love this frame that Tiffany took!

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Their reception was held in the ballroom of the Quonset O Club. J+M pulled some great stunts dance moves during their first dance!

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After three heartfelt toasts from Julianne’s best friend, Mark’s brother, and Julianne’s dad, dinner was served and the party started! Music was provided by Red Supreme Productions, fun was provided by the bridesmaids;)

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Julianne+Mark, thank you so much for choosing me to capture your wedding! Best wishes, friends! Let’s go fishing together someday.;)

Lots of love,
Stephanie

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