Chileno Valley Ranch Petaluma Wedding Photographer: Rebecca & Zach

When we ask if they’re planning a big exit, Rebecca says no, everyone is going back to the hotel together to hang out and party some more.  She explains with a line that really sums up for me what a wedding should be all about: “Zach and I have the rest of our lives together.  When else will we have all of our friends and family together in one place at the same time?  We want to enjoy it.”    You can tell just from that single statement that they’re an awesome couple who really have their priorities in order, and it definitely shows.

Held at the Chileno Valley Ranch in Petaluma, their wedding was a total DIY dream.   With handmade signs, rustic wildflowers, vintage lightbulbs, and tons of string lights, it couldn’t have been lovelier.  Rebecca wore one of the most gorgeous wedding dresses that I’ve ever had the chance to photograph.  It originally belonged to her grandmother in the 1950’s, was worn by Rebecca’s mother in the 70’s, and was then remade for Rebecca’s wedding.

This was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve seen, but it definitely wasn’t a day where everything went “right”.   It’s a perfect example of something I tell brides all the time; My single most important piece of advice to any couple is that once the wedding day arrives, to just let go and enjoy it.   As long as you can step back and laugh at the things that go “wrong”, you’ll have hilarous stories, wonderful memories, great photos, and the rest won’t matter.  It rained all morning.  The ground was covered in mud, and they had to move the ceremony inside at the last possible minute.  And right before we were supposed to take shots of the two of them together, Rebecca spilled a glass of red wine down the front of her dress.  Instead of getting upset, she just laughed and said “oh, this would happen to me!”  Having been raised in a big, wild Catholic family, one thing I know is that the best way to get out red wine is with white.   So we grabbed a bottle and let the guests look on in surprise while I poured it on her dress and dabbed it up with a towel.  Sure enough, it came right out and you couldn’t even see that it had ever been there at all.  Totally unruffled, she and Zach went on a walk through the grounds, and the only thing that shows is how happy they are to be there and how much fun that have together.  Beyond that, I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.

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