May 23, 2019

Denise & Peter // Dance Palace Wedding // Point Reyes, California

Denise came to us through our friend and studio-mate who is a dog portrait photographer (also known as the best job ever) and from the second I was on the phone with her, I knew Denise was an awesome human. 

The story of how she met her then-fiancé Peter was so sweet––they found each other through a mutual friend at a party, an unexpected meeting place for both of them.

As Denise and Peter found one another later in their lives than many first-time-married couples, they had the benefit of both being well-established in who they were, and who they wanted in a forever partner. Their attraction to each other was natural, their love rang through loudly, and their promise to be each other’s forever person came around quickly.

Denise booked us within a couple of months of their wedding day when they would hold their vows in beautiful Point Reyes in front of their favorite people. We were stoked we had their date available and always love a quick engagement. So we said––let’s do this thing! 

Since they had quickly planned their wedding details, engagement photos were unnecessary, so the first time we photographed them was on their wedding day. Generally, we try to encourage an engagement session to get to know our clients before their big day, but we somehow felt like we knew Denise and Peter already, and since they’d already had a session with our friend who photographed them with their pups (check out our studio mate, Ellen!), we knew they’d be naturals in front of the camera.

As the day of their spring wedding arrived, we were reminded just how much we love the drive out to the coast through beautiful Marin. The rolling hills of Northern California are simply gorgeous and living closer to the city, it’s easy to forget what natural wonders lay just beyond the city skyline. Drives also give us fun new ideas for portrait and engagement photography locations. Watch out Skywalker Ranch–you’re next on our list!

We arrived at quaint Point Reyes to the Dance Palace. After getting the lay of the land, the two arrived and, as happens on so many wedding days, there was already a mini-crisis…where are the rings?! On most wedding days, we as photographers expect to have some sort of turn of events leading up to the ceremony, and totally understand how stressful it can be for our couples. Don’t worry dear reader.. the rings were found 🙂

 We had a nice moment right before the first look with Peter which gave Denise some time to sit and breathe and collect her thoughts in the gentle springtime sun with a beautiful view of the hills. After we took some time with them getting all romantic and forgetting about the morning tribulations, it was go-time! 

All of their guests were so sweet and enjoyed their pre-ceremony cocktails on the lawn, as this late March day couldn’t have had more perfect weather. You guys––it had been raining for weeks at this point. Point Reyes is also notorious for being foggy, as many coastal Northern California towns are. But not today… it was a sunny dream!

So many tears during the ceremony–the joyous kind! Peter’s vows were hilarious and left not a dry eye in the house (including our own). They both have a way with words. 

To seal their commitment to each they “jumped the broom.” If you haven’t heard of this, it is a wedding ceremony tradition that signifies moving onwards together and leaving everything in your past behind you, starting over as a partnership. We love unique wedding aspects like this-–they are often so fun to capture!

As the evening went on, it was clear that Peter and Denise were quite a dynamic duo, and that everybody there truly loves and respects them for eternity, particularly for their human kindness and genuine nature. 

They had an open mic during the toasting time… What! For any wedding venue vendor, that often means chaos and potential-hours of toasting, which can slow down the celebrations. In this case, it perfectly timed and truly astounding how many guests had (concise) exclamations about their awesomeness. It was touching and ran surprisingly smoothly. We loved it.  Their dinner was eclectic and delicious by Fork Roadhouse & Catering

Per usual, our favorite part of this wedding was spending a few moments alone with Denise and Peter for dreamy sunset photos. Taking them out to the barn for some romantic pictures during golden hour was great, and gave them some time alone to revel in their big day and breathe in some fresh air together.  

Upon our arrival back to the party, everyone had been arranged outside so we were able to get a nice group shot (and so they could set up the room for dancing). It’s always wonderful when that can be arranged easily. It can be terribly tricky to corral 100 guests, but with the right support and cooperation, it’s a really great aspect of capturing a celebration. We cherish our own casual photo of all our guests from our own wedding day.

Their first dance was nothing short of dreamy and everyone was busting out their best moves on the dance floor. There was even breakdancing by some of the young kids. 

After plenty of dancing and dessert at the Dance Palace, it was time to walk down the road to the ol’ saloon. Pretty sure this saloon has been there since the beginning of the town of Point Reyes. So rad. We used more high speed black and white film as it was a dark as any bar could be, and we really love the artistic result.

It was truly an honor to photograph these two. They just bought a house together and Denise had a career change––big things on the horizon! We just love their love and wish them all the best with their new ventures.

Thank you to our fellow creatives!

Photography // Michaela Joy Photography // @michaelajoyphotography

Venue // The Dance Palace // @TheDancePalacePtReyes

Caterer // Fork Roadhouse & Catering // @forkroadhouseandcatering

Florals // Wolheim Style // @wolheimstyle 

DJ // DJ Trev Williams + Santa Cruz DJ Company // @djtrevwilliams & @santacruzdjcompany

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