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July 25, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

It certainly didn't take long for me to let the blog go by the wayside.  My last post about some Tahoe locals' weddings was back in April, and since then I've traveled to Scotland and Ireland, and then jumped in the full swing of wedding season here in Tahoe.  I could write ten articles to get you up to date with all I've been up to lately, but that's too big a monster for me to tackle right now.  So I'm starting with a re-cap of a wedding at Riva Grill I shot at the end of April.  I've only shared one image from the wedding on my instagram feed and Dorothy and Daniel deserve far more attention than I've given them.  

Writing the vows. Lots of beautiful images from Dorothy and Daniels wedding @rivagrill.

A post shared by CJ Varela (@divided_line_media) on


Spring weather in Tahoe is about as unpredictable as anything and usually the best advice to give someone hoping for an outdoor ceremony is to hope for the best and expect the worst; so always be ready for a backup plan.  That being said, I've had tremendous luck in most of my spring shoots and Dorthy and Daniels wedding was no exception.  
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Dorothy gets her makeup touched in at The Hard Rock Hotel.

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Daniel and his 'best-man', also known as Dad, look on from their balcony at The Hark Rock Hotel.  
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Dorothy transferring her vows from her phone to a note pad.
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Their first Look.... and to the ceremony.
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And party group shots are always a good idea.
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The above picture was a tough moment and one I wasn't sure about photographing.  Dorothy and Daniel and both recently experienced some losses in their family that were fairly sudden and one of which was close to their wedding date.  When the guests cleared and they had moment to breathe they took this time to grieve their losses.  It was a deeply personal moment and I didn't take any photos for along time, but then I realized that I was there to capture their day and this was part of it; so this is part of their story.  It might not be a moment they'll look back on with fondness, but I don't believe that only the best memories are worth keeping.  Weddings are a time of celebration, for sure.  But when there are special people that you've always imagined being there on your wedding day -- who have passed on -- it's also a time where those losses are most intensely felt.  I can only imagine the whirlwind of emotions they were both going through.

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The empty chair left in memory of Mom.  

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Dorothy's parents, Daniel and Debbie, love Riva Grill and when it came time to finding a place for their daughter to get married they didn't have to look long.  
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A candid moment of Dorothy's sister bustling the dress in the ladies room.  
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We went out to the beach for some sunset photos and they were up for the challenge.  The gate to the end of the pier was locked so we went around it.  The consequences to a mistake here, as Dorothy hangs on to the railing, would have changed everything.  But it was their idea so I said "okay."  
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Congratulations to you both, Dorothy and Daniel! I feel honored to have been able to capture your day and wish you all the best.  

As a photographer, some weddings stick with me longer than others, and this will be one that I'll remember for a long time.  I have lots more to share to get the blog up to date but that is it for today.  Thanks for checking it out and check back soon for more updates.

-CJ


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