I first met Marty when he was performing at a fantastic little music festival by the name of Fell Foot Sound in the Lake District in 2015, which I had been booked to photograph. Fast forward a few years, and a musician who had become a firm favourite of mine invited me to photograph his wedding at the beautiful Gundlach Bundschu winery, just outside Sonoma, California. It's funny how life turns out sometimes isn't it? 

We began the day at a wonderful house that Caroline's family had rented for days around the wedding, and from the moment I joined them, I was greeted like an old friend. The atmosphere of joy and celebration as Caroline and her bridesmaids were getting ready was a joy to be part of, and I really think that comes across in the resulting images. 

Wedding traditions in the USA are a little different to the UK, and one such difference is the concept of 'First Look' photography. Whilst it's seen as bad luck to see your betrothed on the wedding day before you're married, the Americans do things in a slightly different order, with the first look between the bride and groom, plus a few family photos, taking place before the ceremony. This is a lovely touch, which also means that there's less time needed after the ceremony for pictures, which was certainly appreciated in the beating Californian sun. 

The ceremony itself was a delight. Taking place outdoors, in a clearing shaded by trees, and with a spectacular view across the vineyard, it's safe to say it was up there with my favourites. Caroline and Marty are ridiculously in love, and this was apparent throughout the ceremony. 
After the ceremony, and a few more photos, it was time for dinner, and maybe a glass or two or rosé (it seemed rude not to, when in a winery) before we moved on to speeches, and a wonderfully touching first dance right before sunset. 

As the sun went down, we danced in the open air before making our way into the wine cave for an impromptu performance by Royal Jelly Jive, who, touchingly, performed a short set of Marty's songs for us. After that? We departed for Sonoma and took over a local bar... given the number of new friends who bought me drinks after that, I'm afraid it all gets a little hazy. I'm sure it was fun though. 

If you'd like to check out Marty's music (and I'd highly recommend it), it can be found at: 

https://www.martyoreilly.com/


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