Crystal + Ben (Wedding Photography) @ The Brazilian Room, Tilden Park, Berkeley, California

Well it wasn’t quite the last day of the year, but darn close I’d say! On December 30th, 2013 I met up with Crystal at her bridal suite at the Lafayette Park Hotel. There was the usual organized chaos, but Crystal shone like her namesake among the hectic crowd. I quickly fell into first gear, getting detail shots of the dress and shoes while also getting a few candid photos. The hotel lobby had a huge Christmas tree set up, and I had scoped out the elevated walkway earlier as a great vantage point for some bridal party photos. As soon as the girls were photo-ready, we took some great shots there, then also a few in the outdoor inner courtyard, which had some amazing warm reflected light to work with in front of the central fountain. Next, we went a couple miles down the road to Lafayette Reservoir where the boys were hanging out; the plan being to do a first look, then get all the bridal party photos done before heading to Saint Monica Catholic Church in Moraga. Ben’s face was priceless as his bride-to-be snuck up behind them; his eyes lit up when he saw Crystal for the first time – I love capturing these special moments. Afterwards, I temped fate by getting bridal party portraits on a dock over the water (everyone stayed dry thank God), then experimented with a few ideas I’d concocted (on dry land). I’m especially proud of the crouching/jumping shot 🙂

The church was a full-mass affair, replete with some excellent singing by Ben’s brother, and some great words of wisdom from the priest, who clearly knows the couple well. After some in-church formals, we were ready to head off to the Brazilian Room in Tilden Park – and thank goodness for iPhones, because it’s a long curvy road to the top of Tilden Park – especially at night! It had been about 7 years since I last shot a wedding at the Brazilian Room, but it all came back to me as soon as I got there. As a wedding photographer, little things like where the outlets are, somehow get ingrained in the gray matter over time! Everyone was all-smiles, and I truly enjoyed the speeches, first dances, and all the little moments that create a unique wedding reception. One of the nicest touches were the ornaments hung on the Christmas tree in the room – all custom made with photos from Crystal and Ben’s engagement session – so creative and useful!

Before I left, I made sure to take a couple dramatic dipping shots of the newlyweds on the patio outside the Brazilian Room – since they’d gotten so good at it. Congrats guys – below are some of my favorite photos from the day, you can check them ALL out at www.GoodEyePhotography.com.

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Getting married at the Brazilian Room in Berkeley?
Bay Area Destination Wedding Photographer Chris Schmauch wants to shoot your big day! (831) 216-6210

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