Leah & Peter's Empire Mine Wedding | Grass Valley, CA

It was a beautiful September day when Leah and Peter got married at the gorgeous Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley, CA. They opted to do a first look which I'm always a fan of because it gives us more time to capture images that the couple wants. Leah is funny, down to earth, sweet, and her outgoing personality set the tone for the day. Both she and Peter just graduated from law school and have begun their careers. During the toasts, her dad spoke of all of their accomplishments in the last year - graduated from law school, passed the BAR, got engaged, got jobs in their field, and got married. Quite the year, huh? These two have a lot to be proud of. Congrats to you both!

Leah and her crew got ready at the historic Holbrooke Hotel in downtown Grass Valley. Such a cool place.

Leah cracks me up! I love the expressions, girl ;)

Leah...where did that tissue come from?!

Christina & Dave | Grass Valley/Sacramento Wedding Photographer

As I was preparing these photos for the blog, I was thinking to myself, "Geeze Bre, you are such a blog-aholic" - I had a horrible time narrowing it down. There are certain weddings where I wish I could just give you the log-in for their entire gallery and let you have at it, I love so many of the photos! However, I doubt you want to scroll through that many photos of people you don't know, so I consolidated down to 53 photos this time :) Christina and Dave got married at the gorgeous Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley. Per their website, "The oldest, largest and richest gold mine in California." Let me just say, this place is HUGE and in my wildest dreams I could not have fully utilized the grounds even if I wanted to, photography wise. Christina and Dave decided to do a first look which allowed us a ton of time for their photos together as well as photos with their bridal party. Part of me is traditional in the fact that I love it when a groom sees his bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle, but another part of me wishes that every couple did a first look. It allows the couple to have a very special time together, alone, and it also opens up the day photography wise. We did 90% of the formal shots before the ceremony even took place which allowed the new Mr. and Mrs. Sierra about 30 minutes before the reception to sit on a bench alone and relax.

I need to give a big, huge shout out to Christina's older sister and Matron of Honor, Anita Martin. Anita is a fellow photographer and found me on an online photography forum and referred me to Christina. Without Anita, I likely would have never had a chance to photograph this wedding. Anita did their engagement photos which were AMAZING and she also handled all of the getting ready photos. You MUST check them out!! Head on over to her Facebook page for a look. Next month I have the pleasure of shooting another one of Anita's referrals but this time since the bride isn't her own sister, she is going to 2nd shoot with me. It will be a great time!

Okay, without further ado, here is the new Mr. and Mrs. Sierra!

Speaking of many talents, Anita (the photographer sister!) is also a florist and created the beautiful bouquets! Email her at themartins33@hotmail.com if you are interested in utilizing her talents :)

4 sisters...what an amazing family to have! Poor dad ;)

From one generation to the next. Loved this shot.

Okay, coolest thing EVER! Christina and Dave's AMAZING wedding planner, Kelli, had a surprise for the couple. She brought out all kinds of In-N-Out gear during dinner. Christina and Dave met while working at In-N-Out and I guess a lot of the bridal party had once worked there too. Such a cute, fun touch and everyone loved it!

I'm serious. Every bride, no matter their budget, should have a wedding coordinator. I can't tell you have easy it was to have Kelli around. She helped me do my job better, she kept everything running smoothly, and she added personal, unique touches that may have been overlooked otherwise. She is a rock star, I recommend her 110%, and you should definitely call her if you're getting married. Kelly Litzau, (925) 961-7866, kellilitzman@aol.com. She also does amazing desert tables and goodies!

I think the honor of the cutest, sweetest speech ever should go to Christina's sisters :)

...but she looks so innocent! haha

Boys will be boys!

That's some serious bro love there, Dave ;)

And last, but certainly not least, a major shout-out needs to go to the amazing Diamond Dave - I'm sorry, but is your DJ a white guy who sings "Low", "Toxic" and "Baby Got Back"? Well, Diamond Dave does! I had the pleasure of sitting next to him at dinner and not only is he a true entertainer, he is a great, kind, down to earth guy. The guy has skills.