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


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Shaun & Lauren // Stunning Chalk Hill Winery Estate Wedding

June 10, 2021

Buckle up buttercup. This is a long post 🙂 I generally do not photograph friend’s weddings. In fact I wouldn’t have said yes if I knew this beautiful bride would become one of my dearest and trusted friends. But alas… I had the (not even slightly) daunting task of celebrating behind the camera. I generally say no to friends because A) I want to celebrate and not monkey brain the day & 2) I ALWAYS overshoot when I know someone. I mean, I overshoot anyway… who can pass up an intimate moment and they happen all the time, but when I know someone AND some of my dear friends are also guests? There is no holds barred and that means double the editing time. The good news is that I also get to relive such a brilliant day over and over again as well!

These two and so many of their guests are so incredibly special to me. I love them, they keep me laughing and dancing & I can’t think of a pair better suited. I wish them and their coming little one all of the joy in the world (good thing joy isn’t a pie 😉

(PS: You’ll find me dancing with the crew near the end – the Unicorn jumper 😉

Incredible teammates:

Venue – Chalk Hill Winery Estate

Florals – Dragonfly Floral, Healdsburg

Nails – Gypsy Tit Mouse Nails

Hair/Makeup – Brush the Salon

Rentals – Encore Event Rentals

Catering – Chalk Hill Catering Team, Chef Alec Graham

Rings – Pade Vavra

Coordinators – Amber Keneally & Tulle Box Events

DJ – Erica Ashley

Videographer – Unfading Films, Lauren & Shaun’s Film

Harpist – Krista Trader

Cake – Lovely Layers Cakery

Dress – Muse by Berta

Suit – Ted Baker Tuxedo

Transportation – Pure Luxury

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  1. Alison says:

    Truly lovely. I can feel the romance. Especially like the ride. Bride on bike? Brillant

    • Gretchen Gause says:

      Thank you Alison!! It was most definitely a fantastic evening! The bride hopped on during the rehearsal dinner 🙂




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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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