We’ve been looking forward to Agata and Ilya’s destination wedding at the beautiful Hans Fahden for a long time. They’re from Chicago and save for a meeting with them at our home studio one evening we’ve only had a chance to get to know them over the phone. Ilya is from Ukraine and Agata is from Polland and interestingly enough they grew up only a few hundred miles away from each other. Coincidentally, their families just happened to relocate to U.S. on the same exact date. And year.
Driving up to Calistoga on their wedding day we didn’t know what type of weather to expect – it’s been so unusually unpredictable lately. It seemed that the closer we got to Calistoga the gloomier it was becoming. And then finally, just before we turned into the wedding venue it actually started to rain. We’ve photographed weddings at Hans Fahden before and we know that it’s a venue made for beautiful outdoor ceremonies. It was time for some improvisation and some thinking that was definitely outside the box :)
We found Agata in the bridal room, not a bit upset, laughing about how they chose Calistoga over Chicago because the weather in Chicago can be so unpredictable. We loved her and Ilya’s positive attitudes and knew that we were absolutely going to be able to make the best of it.
Hans Fahden is a gorgeous venue with an incredibly lush garden and an actual cave for the receptions. Every time we’ve photographed there we’ve taken portraits in the garden area, but because it was raining we needed to use every dry spot we could find (even though it meant that the dry spot was only big enough for the bride and groom!) We had to think quick and get inventive, but it’s surprising what’s possible when you have enough time and a brave and trusting bride and groom :)
At the end of the day the skies parted and I don’t think the rain took away from this celebration one bit. Check out some of our favorites:
It’s truly a pleasure to be a photographer at a wedding at Hans Fahden Vineyards – the grounds are always gorgeous, rain or shine, and photo opportunities are everywhere.
Two of my favorite details of the day: Agata’s wonderful pink Louboutins and their hand-made super cute cake topper:
Agata and Ilya’s first look:
Quick portrait of the beautiful bride:
Loved these simple and colorful bridesmaids bouquets by Verde Flowers:
Love this rainy portrait – these two really didn’t care about the weather!
One of my favorites from the day:
Hans Fahden has this beautiful overgrown pond that looks like it’s from a fairy tale. As soon as the rain stopped we jumped at the opportunity to run all around the property for fun portraits:
OK, this one of our very favorites from the entire day. We knew that Agata and Ilya want to have a wide angle landscape picture of them in the vineyards and we found this beautiful hill prior to the start of the wedding. We were all excited about it, but when it started to rain we lost hope – the hill required quite a hike through tall grass and prickly bushes to get to it. Imagine our surprise when Agata said she is still up for creating this picture! Thank you Agata for being so brave, it was so worth it!
Hiking through the tall wet grass:
Loved shooting portraits inside of the cave:
A great moment during the Ketubah signing:
Agata’s dad gave a very nice and hilarious toast during the reception:
Love this picture of Agata’s dad performing for everyone during the reception:
The beautiful pond on the property:
Couldn’t end this post without a behind-the-scenes image that Mike got – Ilya’s caring the bouquet and me trying to keep Agata’s dress off the ground and off the wet grass:
All the wonderful vendors of the day:
To view other gorgeous Hans Fahden Vineyard weddings photographed by Choco Studio visit: