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We first met Brandon and Bernice when they were guests at a destination wedding we were photographing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Little did we know that they would be planning their own wedding soon and we’d have a chance to play a part in their day as well.

Bernice and Brandon were wed just a few weeks ago at the beautiful Villa Montalvo – a Mediterranean style mansion nestled among the Saratoga hills. With it’s classical architecture, perfectly manicured lawns and colorful gardens, this is one of our favorite venues to photograph weddings in Bay Area. Here are some favorites from this gorgeous day:

Getting ready photo at Villa Montalvo


Do I even have to say anything about these? Love, love, love! I’m happy that the white wedding shoes trend is over and all of our brides have absolutely breathtaking shoes (I’m not saying that the white shoes cannot be gorgeous, I just really like color). This way I can get my shoe fix photographing somebody else’s pairs and not buying more of my own :)

Wedding shoes at Villa Montalvo


This is my favorite photo from the First Look on the upper terraces of Villa Montalvo:

First look at Villa Montalvo


It’s not often we see a groom helping his bride to get ready and I absolutely love Brandon’s level of concentration:

Bride is getting ready


Portrait of bride at Villa Montalvo


Bride and groom by the Love Temple


Wedding portraits at Villa Montalvo


Bride and groom photo on the terrace in Villa Montalvo


The view of the ceremony at the Oval Garden is absolutely breathtaking – we love it when we can climb on top of a great vantage point at weddings and it always makes for dramatic scenes:

Wedding ceremony in the Oval Garden of Villa Montalvo


The first kiss:

Getting married in the Oval Garden


It’s always a pleasure to photograph Villa Montalvo wedding receptions – the light is gorgeous and the whole place has such an amazing, classic feel to it:

Villa Montalvo wedding reception



Wedding reception decor white and red


Loved the simplicity and elegance of this cake by Karl Fong. And it smelled amazing! :)

Wedding cake photo


Villa Montalvo has a beautiful staircase leading to the second floor that’s a must for wedding photos! We just finished all the portraits and Bernice was walking up to have a little break when we asked her to pause for a second:

Bride on the stairs of Villa Montalvo


This view of the Villa never gets old, it reminds me of all the classical architecture of Saint Petersburg:

Villa Montalvo cost


Bernice and Brandon chose to sit with their backs towards the lawn (facing the guests) for the wedding dinner and this made for a spectacular backdrop behind them:

Wedding reception on the veranda of Villa Montalvo



Wedding dinner at Villa Montalvo



Wedding dinner on the terrace of Villa Montalvo


Some more fun portraits:

Wedding portraits by the Love Temple


The background. The dip. The red shoe peaking out from under the gown – this is one of my very favorite photos of the day:

Bride and groom portrait on the lawn of Villa Montalvo


Sunset portraits at Villa Montalvo


Montalvo Arts Center wedding


We walked all the way back to the Italian Garden and captured this photo, among others, by the Love Temple:

Wedding portrait in the Mediterranean Garden of Villa Montalvo



Laugh at wedding reception


Their first dance was on the veranda of Villa Montalvo:

First dance on the Side Veranda of Villa Montalvo


More creative fun on the grand staircase:

Bride and groom photo on the staircase in Villa Montalvo


There was a photo booth with some fun props and we snapped this silly picture of the newlyweds:

Photo booth at Montalvo Arts Center


We just had to take this picture of our favorite couple – John and Madeleine. We shot their wedding almost two years ago in Mexico. This time the roles changed – not only were they guests, but John actually officiated the ceremony!

Cocktails in the Spanish courtyard


Villa Montalvo night shot


We never have any pictures of the two of us from weddings, so we were really happy when Madeleine took this cool shot of us. Thank you so much Madeleine!
Wedding photographers at Villa Montalvo


All the wonderful vendors of the day:

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Villa Montalvo
Wedding Coordinator: Annaliese of Pink Peony Weddings
Hair & Makeup: Kansinee of Beauty Bug
DJ/: Cory of Big Fun DJ
Florals: Tanjeeryn Designs
Catering: Le Papillon
Wedding Cake: Karl Fong of the Sweeter Side

10 Comments August 11, 2011
posted in: Weddings

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Mike and Nat are a husband and wife photography team based in San Francisco Bay Area. Their relaxed style allows them to capture authentic moments while creating a stress-free experience. Choco Studio photographs weddings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including Napa, Sonoma, Carmel, and Monterey.