I absolutely love Russian weddings and Anastasia and Nick’s San Francisco nuptials were no different. These two have grown up together in the San Francisco Russian community (so small, yet so big!), but it wasn’t until their teenage years that the mutual attraction blossomed. And then on Anastasia’s Golden Birthday, Nick proposed at Snow White’s Wishing Well in Disneyland (are these two after my heart or what?!), while their families waited at the Grand Californian to celebrate the occasion.
Both Nick and Anastasia got ready at the Fairmont San Francisco (because, why not get ready in one of the most beautiful hotels in SF). In breaking a bit of tradition, the two opted to see each other before the wedding. We set up a lovely first look at the base of the marble staircase in the Fairmont lobby. Shortly after, we took to the street for a swift mini-shoot in front of the hotel.
We all hopped into the party bus and headed over to the cathedral, where my associate, Renee met up with us. Renee had already been shooting the details of the cathedral as well as the guests arrival. Good thing too – because as soon as we pulled up, it was go time! Russian Orthodox ceremonies are some of the most beautiful weddings I have ever witness. With the choir singing in the 3rd floor loft to the crowning of the couple, every portion not only is soaked in tradition, but has beautiful meaning as well. Nick and Anastasia’s ceremony was approximately one hour and after it was completed, the guests formed a receiving line and congratulated the couple at the altar.
Post ceremony we took the party bus up the road to the Legion of Honor for our wedding party and couple portraits. The place was empty and we had full use of the grounds – it was great! Renee took the guys, I hung with the girls. We were in and out in roughly 45 minutes – not too shabby with a large bridal party. We even had a little visitor half way through… A corgi puppy!
The reception was held at the Russian Center of San Francisco. Dinner was served family style and Renee, Sage, and I had the pleasure of being seated with the other guests and feast on some wonderful Russian food! After dinner a series of toasts were made, followed by their first dance to Ed Sheeran’s, “Perfect.” With all of the shots of vodka, donuts, photobooth fun, and Russian dancing, the festive night was one to remember. Heck, you can even spot me in one of the reception shots at the end with some friends I’ve made along the way.
Thank you Nick, Anastasia, and family for allowing us to be apart of your beautiful day.
Nick and Anastasia’s review (found on The Knot):
“Karey is an absolute dream to work with! She is professional, extremely attentive and incredibly passionate about what she does. She shot both our engagement session and our wedding, and we are absolutely speechless with the results. Not only does she know how to capture the perfect angles and lighting, but she also has amazing editing skills which provide an incredibly romantic and ethereal final product.
I have several friends who worked with Karey for their weddings, and once I saw their final photos I knew that as soon as we were engaged, Karey was going to be my first reach out. Hazy Lane Studios was indeed the first vendor we booked, and from the beginning Karey was ready to help us in any way she could. Upon our first meeting, she made us feel comfortable, and we immediately vibed with her. She has an extensive list of vendor recommendations at multiple price points, and is fast to respond to all forms of communication.
Having never done a professional shoot before, my then fiance and I were very nervous and unsure how to act during our engagement shoot. Karey made the entire experience easy, fun and pleasant, and made us excited to shoot with her again for our wedding. The package we chose included a second photographer, and her colleague Rene was also amazing to work with. They make an incredible team and they captured our beautiful wedding to a T.
Working with Karey is hands down one of the best decisions we made, and we are forever grateful to have such stunning photos to remember the most special day of our lives. We look forward to sharing these memories with our children some day, and would recommend Karey to anyone and everyone looking for priceless photos of their special day. Karey, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Nick & Anastasia <3″
Getting Ready Location, Fairmont San Francisco // Ceremony, Holy Virgin Cathedral // Reception, Russian Center of San Francisco // Portrait Location, Legion of Honor // DJ, DJ Rufio // Videographer, Bay Area VDO Production // Cake, LoveNattyCakes // Florist, S & V Collections // Bridal Gown, David’s Bridal // Suits, Men’s Warehouse // Hair, Jessica Hontalas Cotton // Makeup, Katherine Tchertkoff // Invites, Zazzle