Located in Healdsburg, Northern Ca.
Documenting wedding days throughout wine country, the Bay Area and worldwide.


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Constance & Eli // Amista Winery Wedding, Healdsburg

August 28, 2020

Gretchen Gause Photography | Amista Winery Wedding, Joshua Tree, Sonoma County, Healdsburg Wedding Photographer #weddingphotographer #sfweddingphotographer #healdsburgweddingphotographer #sonomaweddingphotographer #sfweddingphotographer #laweddingph…

Constance and Eli reached out to me a few short weeks before they planned to be married. It isn’t what they had in mind to begin with but with 2020, is there any plan that has been pulled off without a hitch? Instead of letting COVID-19 rule their day though, they planned something just for the two of them, something incredible.

Without a specific location in mind I reached out to some beloved friends of mine, one of whom is Ashley Herzberg, winemaker at Amista Vineyards in Healdsburg. She make a few phone calls and before we knew it Robert at Amista was connecting with the three of us to let us know of the prettiest spots on the property. He was 100% right. Amista at sunset, in the back under the great Oak, is one of the softest and sweetest spots I’ve photographed. It was absolutely perfect.

Constance and Eli were married at Amista at sunset by Constance’s father, over the phone, and it was everything a wedding could be. It was intimate, loving, full of smiles, vows, hands holding and a few tears. I am forever grateful to these two for including me in such a beautiful moment in their lives.

Thank you to Robert at Amista for making this happen on such short notice and of course to Clara Lam for the incredible florals. You both are magical!

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In my house I print everything. I have stacks of prints that have yet to make it into albums but to me, the organization isn't what's important, it's having the prints to spread out on the floor and talk about with my two children. We've been doing that since they were tiny and the stacks just grow and we share more about what they remind us of and laugh together and sometimes cry a little too.

My son Dorian is 16 and my daughter Hazel is 18 and when they were 3 & 5 their father, my husband Igor, died of suicide. I hesitate to share this with you all because it's kind of heavy but I want you to know where my value in photographs comes from. My prints, those ones that we spread out on the floor, are the stories that they have left and are what keeps my memory fresh. We get to see his happy grin, his dance folly and the hugs he gave his loved ones. There are no possessions I treasure more than those images and there is no gift greater for Hazel and Dorian.

As we print new photographs of our lives, our story unfolds before us. We can map our journey as a family now of three. We can see where the images that include him stop and where our smaller team began and we have hand held evidence of our joys and our adventures reminding us always of the meaning and humor, regardless of loss, in life. 
Wedding days are such precious crowns of tenderness and hope. They bring people together that might otherwise never see one another. They can build bridges and mend broken hearts. I want the experience for you, of spreading out your images, picking each up and being reminded of that moment's joy and the people you shared it with over and over again. 

I photograph weddings because when memories fade, as they eventually do, what you have left are the photographs; physical, celebratory and lasting evidence of what was a magnificent coming together. Wedding days are for laughter and promises and gathering and they are an example of all things good in the world. If that's not worth documenting with full heart I don't know what is.

I'm eager to learn about you, your journey here & your wedding day dreams.


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