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


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Cara & Alison // Berkeley California Backyard Wedding

September 23, 2020

Gretchen Gause Photography | Berkeley Backyard Wedding, Joshua Tree, Sonoma County, Los Angeles Wedding Photographer #weddingphotographer #sfweddingphotographer #healdsburgweddingphotographer #sonomaweddingphotographer #sfweddingphotographer #lgbtqw…

Cara and Alison.

What do I even say about these two. They’re wonderful and kind, warm and open; all things I strive to be. We connected straight away over zoom and I crossed all of my fingers and toes that they would choose me after doing so. I knew working with these two would be incredible but also I felt a kinship with them, a friendship even, right away. I WANTED to see them get married. I knew they were made for eachother. I won’t go into their meeting story because it’s not mine to tell but suffice to say it’s extraordinary… a once in a lifetime happenstance.

Then, after booking me, after the excitement of our own little union, COVID hit. Ugh. Like a sucker punch. Cara & Allison were one of the early couple’s that I worked with in 2020 to have planning impacted. Their wedding which was nearly planned, went from The Berkeley Botanical Gardens with a flurry of loved ones to a small intimate backyard affair with just the essentials. It was the second of my COVID weddings and I was absolutely bewildered by how intimate and connected it was. Cara & Alison did it all right, from the seated chairs to matching masks and takeout. It was beautiful.

Cara & Alison, I’m so grateful to have been there. To see and hear such beautiful love and such tender vows that I know you’ll both uphold for a lifetime and beyond. I wish for you many cozy mornings and starry nights to lie under, together, always. Big hugs, Gretchen

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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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