Between the setting, the opulence, the attention to detail, the choreography, and the sizzling connection between Vika and Steve, this was without a doubt one of the most memorable weddings I’ve ever documented. Vika and Steve are a cosmopolitan couple through and through: gourmands, ballroom dancers, seasoned travelers. But while the couple will likely conquer the world on their own, their wedding day was a beautiful event that not only showcased their talents, but that brought together the love and adoration of their families, and the creativity of their community. The reception brought one creative toast after another. Massive energy was released on the dance floor. The couple were worshipped, toasted, parodied, and, at more than one point in the evening, hoisted up in the air by the crowd. In size and scope, the Four Seasons Hotel provided a magnificent backdrop for the day. Supinere Floral Couture provided an avalanche of elegant floral arrangements, bouquets and centerpieces. Miracle Chuppahs erected a sparkling, glowing canopy that could have easily adorned a biblical temple. Svetlana of Miracle Events brought it all together, and, fortunately, our Sasha Kino team was there to capture it all!
Michelle and Mark invited me to join them and their closest people in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for a tropical destination wedding celebration. After shooting two separate engagement sessions here in San Francisco, we knew each other well and it felt really natural and easy to be a part of their wedding day. Gorgeous, whitewashed Cabo Azul Resort was ready to play host to the festivities. I woke up early on the morning of the wedding day to a dramatic, purple sky, howling winds and intermittent rain. It looked like a very wet wedding day awaited us. However, by noon the clouds were scampering away, and by 2PM the sky was blue as ever. It was an incredible turn of events, and it made everyone even more excited for the wedding ceremony. The vows, much like the setting, took everyone’s breath away. The couple were gorgeous, the party was spectacular, and the day concluded on the beach, as the couple and their guests (despite strong winds) sent several paper lanterns into the night sky. What an incredible adventure it has been with Mark and Michelle. I am so excited to present this highlight film.
First came Laura and Scott’s engagement session in Chicago! A couple months later, my crew and I came to document the couple’s sun-drenched wedding celebration in Healdsburg. It was one of those beautiful, perfect wine country days that you never wanted to end. It was a joy to see Scott and Laura looking so gorgeous, and the setting couldn’t have been better. Truly, the wedding was a cinematic dream: The blue skies, the greens and yellows and browns of the wine country landscape, the rich wood of the property, the glinting sunlight on the wine glasses, the reflections in the pool. Coordination was impeccably done by Off The Beaten Path Weddings. Scott and Laura spoke very emotional vows, and many kind words and hilarious stories were recounted during the toasts. The party really started once Tavin, Scott’s son, walked on to the dance floor. For more on this wedding, check out the wedding photography from Scott and Laura’s Healdsburg wedding celebration.
When Erika and Nikolay invited me to document their wedding celebration at San Francisco City Hall, their cheerful, playful personalities didn’t quite prepare me for the emotion of the ceremony. Among an intimate group of family and closest friends, the couple exchanged rings in the City Hall Rotunda. Tears of joy flowed freely, as you’ll see. The San Francisco City Hall wedding ceremony is a short affair; not much pomp and circumstance, just the moment, and the connection between the two people who are making a life commitment to one another. It was a privilege to be present at such a personal and pivotal point in their lives.
Emily and Shaneil invited me to document their wedding at the majestic Chaminade Resort in Santa Cruz. The setting was incredible, and the Muslim and Hindu ceremonies that sanctified the day were full of meaning. It was quite an inspiring day – there was beautiful sunlight, there was color – red and blue and gold everywhere. But, in my opinion, the most important moments of this day could have happened anywhere. Strip away the guests, the mantras, the finery and the feast. Strip away the music, the dancing and the applause. Strip away the entire world, and what would be left is the way that Emily and Shaneil looked at one another.
Life is full of interrupted connections, but sometimes it also comes full circle. 20 years ago, my father took a studio photograph of Masha and her twin brother – mere children then – and exactly 20 years later, I was on hand to document her wedding. It was an incredibly meaningful for me to be capturing her Jewish wedding at Temple Emanuel in San Francisco. The day began in San Jose. I arrived to document Masha’s preparations, and discovered that the very same image my father made was hanging on the wall inside her home!! After some fun preparation moments and emotional first look with Eugene, we traveled for portraits to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. When the time finally came for the wedding ceremony at Temple Emanuel, I was awestruck by the setting. Temple Emanuel is truly a majestic synagogue, the kind of space that both humbles and inspires its visitors. Another wonderful feature of the venue is that the guests literally had to just go downstairs for the party. And what a party it was! Masha is a former ballroom dancer and instructor, and so the couple had prepared an elaborate first dance. Unbeknownst to the bride and groom, their friends had prepared an elaborate flash mob dance, set to the Spice Girls’ classic “Wannabe”. It was an intense day: emotional, nostalgic, and full of tremendous energy until the very last song sounded on the dance floor.
When they first met in high school, Geeta and Desmond probably could have never imagined where life would take them. Years later, at their opulent Ritz Carlton San Francisco wedding, Desmond confessed that he had come upon Geeta by chance, and that he felt like the luckiest man alive. A star player with first the Cal Bears, and later, the Green Bay Packers, Desmond is the proud owner of a SuperBowl ring. But it was clear from watching him and Geeta all day, from seeing him tear up as Geeta walked down the aisle, that the most cherished ring would be his wedding band. We were privileged to capture the couple’s wedding at the Ritz Carlton with both photography and video, and it was a visual feast! Yonan’s Floral truly did an incredible job with the wedding decor. Enjoy the film, and also check out the the couple’s Ritz Carlton San Francisco wedding photography.
Lily and Jeff fell into a whirlwind romance, which culminated in an incredible proposal (Jeff had a plane fly over the beach with “The Question” trailing behind). Afterwards, the couple (with help from Christina at Platinum Wedding Events) set about planning their romantic and fun destination wedding in San Francisco. A ceremony at SF City Hall would be the centerpiece of their experience, but they had much more in store for their guests. Two cable cars whisked them away to the Golden Gate Bridge, and, via Lombard and North Beach, over to Perbacco for a lavish reception. San Francisco obliged with clear blue skies and a beautiful 75-degree day. From the looks of it, Lily and Jeff and their guests had an amazing time! Congrats, guys!
For the full story, check out Jeff and Lily’s San Francisco City Hall wedding photography.
Kate and Kaveh gathered their community for a weekend of celebration in the wine country. First, the rehearsal dinner at Soda Rock Winery, followed by the main event at the unique Barndiva in Healdsburg. It was immediately clear what an incredible amount of effort and attention to detail had gone into creating Kate and Kaveh’s wedding. Soda Rock Winery was transformed with Persian wedding symbols of sweetness, opulence, and tradition. The following day, Barndiva’s welcoming outdoor spaces were in fine form to play host to the ceremony and reception. When rain appeared unavoidable, the Barndiva staff, in a whirlwind of heated effort – and a display of exemplary service – transported the entire reception indoors. Rain or shine, the vision for the wedding ultimately came together seamlessly, and the level of personal detail was especially striking. Arash, Kaveh’s brother observed in his toast that “…Kate put A LOT of effort. She came home … and just dumped out like 30 K’s, like there were just K’s everywhere. And she said ‘Which are the best two, do you think?’” A bevy of clever, hilarious, poignant toasts were dedicated to K & K each night. As family and friends took turns in front of the microphone, it became clear just how much love, respect and admiration surrounded the couple. Despite the pouring rain, the couple decided the ceremony would proceed outdoors as planned, and again the Barndiva staff came through with heat lamps and umbrellas to try to keep the guests warm and comfortable. Being music aficionados, K & K brought in local sensation Monophonics to light up the dance floor on their reception, and it wasn’t long before a party broke out. No one even thought about the rain. Only the warm embraces of family, friends, food, drink and music were palpable on that November evening. The coordination was provided by Downey Street Events. Also, check out Dylan Blue Photography for the photos! Thank you, Kate and Kaveh, for making SashaKino a part of your celebrations. Enjoy the film!!
Maryam and Christian traveled all the way from Germany in order to celebrate their wedding with family here in San Francisco. It was a chilly, foggy day. On days like this, San Francisco can seem aloof and unwelcoming. Fortunately, Maryam and Christian were received into the open arms of family. Inside City Hall, all stood united as Reverend Andreas Pielhoop artfully officiated a lovely ceremony. Afterwards, the couple triumphantly exited SF City Hall into a salute of bubbles, and boarded the cable car, bound for the twilight at the Golden Gate Bridge. This video is an experiment for me. I think it proves that the incantation, the cadence of a wedding ceremony could very well be universal. The act of committing to one another before your community demands a certain order, certain traditions, certain meaningful words and glances. I hope you’ll agree. Congratulations Maryam and Christian! All the best in your new life together.