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My name is Stephanie Hopkins and I am a Northern California based photographer, specializing in high school senior portraits and wedding photography. 

CATEGORIES

seniors

WEDDINGS

ENGAGEMENTS

PROPOSALS

Wedding at The Grove | Union Hotel | Occidental, California

Weddings like this remind me why I left an 8 year career doing phlebotomy to take a leap of faith and follow my true passion! This Wedding at The Grove in Occidental was so beautiful in so many ways!

I was lucky enough to meet Nicole and Kevin through our mutual friend Merwyn, who also happens to be one of the first brave families who let me test out my skills when I started my photography business “for real” 4 years ago. These two are so awesome together! Kevin has such a great sense of humor, and Nicole is so sweet and seriously so beautiful!

So, a little back story for how even more special this day was- most are aware of the fires that hit Sonoma County HARD a few weeks ago. Kevin and Nicole live in the heart of one of the majorly hit areas of Santa Rosa, Coffey Park. They had to evacuate early with barely any warning. I remember after the devastation hit, thinking about them both. Knowing that in the midst of all this chaos, trying to think about their last few weeks of wedding planning. I was so happy to hear that Nicole’s wedding dress was not at their home (which thankfully is still standing). I know it sounds silly to worry about a wedding dress when your whole home and life is at risk, but I also knew that was just one more thing to have to possibly replace.

My second shooter Jana was chatting with Kevin and they both realized they lived in Coffey Park, just a few blocks from each other. I really feel the sense of community, and I am so proud to be a resident of Sonoma County!

The day of the wedding was beautiful. The sun was shining bright and I felt so much peace as I drove the scenic back roads out to Occidental. Everyone was so excited! It was so refreshing after the last few weeks of sadness to see and feel the love this couple has for each other, their friends and family, and their community.

Something else special was that this wedding had so many DIY elements! In Nicole’s words, planning and executing her wedding was “a labor of love”. And you could tell. She took a floral arranging class with her Mom and Mother-in-law and they made all the florals! Nicole’s bouquet was incredible! I’m a flower junkie to begin with, so I was in heaven!

The ceremony was such a nice reflection of them as a couple. I shot their engagement session, and they both shared that they loved being outdoors with their dogs (hiking, going on adventures in nature), and so it was so fitting for them to say their vows among the redwoods!

And let’s talk about Union Hotel! Such a great venue, and amazing food! The moment I arrived, I felt like family. I actually went back a few days ago for date night with my husband and he joked that he felt like we were celebrities!

My favorite part of the evening was during the first dances. They asked if any father/daughter or mother/son combos were in attendance to join them on the dance floor. It was so special to see how many families there were! My favorite was watching the father of the bride dancing with the bride and his other daughter (Nicole’s sister and maid of honor). That man’s heart was definitely full! And let’s not forget that Kevin has some mad break dancing skills!

It was an honor documenting your love, enjoy your honeymoon guys!

Venue and Catering: The Grove at Occidental Union Hotel

Hair: Katie from Bella Moda Salon

Makeup: Stefanie Fritz Makeup Artistry

Florals: DIY

Dress: Monique Ihuillier

Cake: Whole Foods, DIY decorations

DJ: Nick with Full Spectrum Entertainment

 

 

Wedding at The Grove puppy helping bride get ready Wedding at The Grove view of downtown Occidental Wedding at The Grove bride shoes Wedding at The Grove getting ready details Wedding at The Grove hair and makeup Wedding at The Grove viewing final look Wedding at The Grove bride putting dress on Wedding at The Grove bride getting dressed Wedding at The Grove bride and Mom Wedding at The Grove bridal details Wedding at The Grove cute little boys Wedding at The Grove bridals at the trees Wedding at The Grove bridals in the redwoods Wedding at The Grove bridal party with beautiful bouquets Wedding at The Grove guys getting ready Wedding at The Grove helping with grooms tie Wedding at The Grove groomsmen gift Wedding at The Grove groomsmen being silly Wedding at The Grove groomsmen walking in the redwoods Wedding at The Grove groom shots Wedding at The Grove ceremony details Wedding at The Grove ring shot Wedding at The Grove bride walking down the isle Wedding at The Grove vows during ceremony Wedding at The Grove first kiss as husband and wife Wedding at The Grove whole bridal party Wedding at The Grove coffey strong Wedding at The Grove romantic portraits in the redwoods Wedding at The Grove more bride and groom Wedding at The Grove reception site Wedding at The Grove reception details Wedding at The Grove table numbers Wedding at The Grove wedding cake Wedding at The Grove first course Wedding at The Grove sweetheart table Wedding at The Grove first dance Wedding at The Grove toasts Wedding at The Grove more toasts Wedding at The Grove father daughter dance Wedding at The Grove father kissing daughter Wedding at The Grove father dancing with both daughters Wedding at The Grove mother son dance Wedding at The Grove everyone dancing Wedding at The Grove grandma dancing Wedding at The Grove bride dancing Wedding at The Grove father dancing Wedding at The Grove groom break dancing Wedding at The Grove more party photos Wedding at The Grove cake cutting Wedding at The Grove groom getting garter Wedding at The Grove bride dancing with friends

 

  1. Nicole Lopez

    October 28th, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Stephanie these are absolutely amazing. Thank you so so much. They are truly beautiful!!!!! It was a really amazing day, thank you for capturing it.

  2. Joan Y

    October 28th, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Gorgeous!

  3. Joan Y

    October 28th, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Gorgeous !

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