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


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Yokayo Ranch

Amelia & Michael // Yokayo Ranch Weekend Getaway

March 24, 2020

Gretchen Gause Photography | San Francisco, Joshua Tree, Sonoma County, Los Angeles Wedding Photographer #weddingphotographer #sfweddingphotographer #healdsburgweddingphotographer #sonomaweddingphotographer #sfweddingphotographer #laweddingphotograp…

Why do we gather for weddings? What’s most important? I guess it’s different for everyone in its entirety but if you could break down the parts my guess is there would be a lot of overlap between couples in the venn diagram.

Inviting loved ones to gather, celebrate and spend time together in love and joy seems to be at the top of the list for a lot of folks. And for many, a weekend gathering fits the bill just right. Amelia and Michael invited friends and family from everywhere to camp, swim, dance and dine in honor of their union.

I think if I ever get married again I’d do the same thing. I’d make it a weekend where I go to sleep saying goodnight to my favorite people after a dance fire around a campfire and then wake to coffee, bagels and lox with all of those same faces… My perfect wedding weekend.

Thank you Amelia & Michael, for having me! You, your friends and family were kind and warm and definitely knew how to get down. I will hold your celebration and all of the ways that you exude love and kindness in my heart for all time.

The brilliant team:

Florist: Sarah Schoetz 

MUA:  Lindsay Elcombe

Venue: Yokayo Ranch 

Dress: Jenny Yoo

Suit: Beckett & Robb 

Custom Rings: April Higashi

DJ: Heart Of Gold DJs

Rentals: Encore Rentals 

Catering: Chuy

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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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