Old Homestead Wedding with Ben and Alina

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We met Ben and Alina in Walnut Creek nearly a year before their big day. We immediately clicked and so this wedding has been in our books for quite some time. But, like all weddings, the big day feels surreal until it’s actually here. The couple chose a hidden gem of a location, The Old Homestead located in Crockett, California. Naturally stunning (and right next to an old sugar factory), the setting was the perfect backdrop for Ben and Alaina’s intimate affair.

Although traditional in many ways, the couple knew how to make the day their own by focusing on small personal details, like ice cream buffets and chocolate milk toasts. It was a true family affair from start to finish (Mom baked the cake, Dad officiated, and Uncle played DJ). You couldn’t help but to be enamored with Ben and Alina’s genuine desire to make everyone feel at home and welcome.

In lieu of traditional flowers, Alina designed beautiful bouquets made out of fabric, all of which were created by her mother. Another special touch we loved were the down-to-earth (yet beautiful) tables, complete with books, vines, lights, crayons, and coloring books, which allowed everyone (not just the kids) get creative, relax, and enjoy themselves.

While the Old Homestead is known for being a picturesque and intimate venue, Ben and Alina made it even more so by honoring their values and making sure that everyone who attended felt more than just welcome; by looking at the photos we captured, it’s obvious that everyone felt right at home.

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Photographer: VILD PHOTOGRAPHY | Venue: The Old Homestead |
Event Planner: Wedding Day Hostess | Hair & Make-up Artist: Monique Ignacio |
DJ: Dominic Capurro | Grooms Suit: The Black Tux | Cake: Margie Gutridge

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through

Whether it’s your big day or if you find yourself lucky enough to be on a guest list, wedding season is officially upon us. This means that, for some of us, we’re starting to get anxious. With all of the dos and don’ts (not to mention the unique expectations of each bride and groom), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And, in this state of overwhelm, it’s also easy to forget what’s really important. Not to fear. Below is a list we’ve compiled for you of the 8 things everyone should remember as we enter this busy wedding season.

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography

Embrace The Weather. In all honesty, there’s really no other good option but to accept whatever Mother Nature has created for you. As photographers, we can attest to the fact that some of the best pictures have come in “unexpected” or less than ideal weather. So, while you might have your fingers crossed for blue skies, don’t for a second think a wedding is ruined if the weather does something different. Do what you can to be prepared and then do everything in your power to make the most of it.

Care For The Environment. Summer weddings are often outdoor weddings, which is one of the reasons why we love them so much. But, it can be horrible to witness the “aftermath” of some weddings. You should always live by a “leave no trace” mantra, which means that you should pay attention to the impact you’re having in the environment. While we love getting creative in order to find that perfect shot, we never do it at the expense of the environment. You can do your part at a wedding by being a good example and educating others. Everyone, whether guest, bride, or attendant, should take total responsibility.

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography

Make Guests The Top Priority. Yes, details are important, but nothing is more important than the people at the wedding. Go out of your way to interact with guests - they were invited for a reason! Create memories (and let your photographers capture them on photo!)

Be Organized. A wedding day is meant to be enjoyed, which means the more organized you can get before the big day, the more you and everyone else will be able to enjoy it. While you can get away procrastinating almost any other day, don’t let yourself think anything wedding-related can wait until the day of. Plan and organize now and you’ll be so much happier (and so much less stressed!)

Tell People What You Need. While it’s true for everyone (the bride and groom have gone out of their way to make sure all guests are comfortable and happy), it’s especially true for the wedding party. If you want something, need something - speak up! A wedding is something you’ll remember forever, so don’t live with any regrets. Take charge and live in the moment!

Make Sure The Location Can Be Found. It might seem obvious, but so much stress surrounding a wedding takes place in the “getting-to” the venue. Do everything you can to make sure guests know where they are going and, if you are a guest, do your homework ahead of time, bringing up questions about directions well before the day of.

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography
Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography

Enjoy The Moment. There is so much trying to be squeezed in on one day that it’s easy to get stressed about when and how everything will happen. While you can plan ahead, being as realistic as possible, the best thing you can do is to relax. Embrace the pace that things are going at and enjoy. The worst thing you can do for anyone at the wedding is to stress.

Don’t Compare. Every wedding is unique - and it should be! Don’t take away from the big day by comparing it to any other weddings you’ve been to or seen pictures of. As photographers, we know that the best pictures are the ones that are unique and personal. Don’t try to imitate. Do what makes you happy and the rest will come.

Always keep in mind this one thing: a wedding is a celebration! The more fun you can have and the less stressed you can get, the more the day will be enjoyed by everyone. (And, those “worst case” scenarios you keep playing through your head? They can actually turn into the best photographs!)

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography