By Monique and Scott
Elia and Henry were married at the Twenty Mile House near Graeagle in the Lost Sierra last June. We first met them last fall at the seasonal fair that we had been going to for the past 5 years at the Twenty Mile House. I then did their engagement session at Stanford University, where they met while going to school there.
Their wedding brought together two families from different cultural backgrounds: Elia’s Mexican heritage and Henry’s Chinese heritage. They wanted both sides of the family to enjoy the day and get to know each other while experiencing different Mexican and Chinese wedding traditions from each side. Horchata and Jamaica beverages greeted guests as they arrived at the forest ceremony site, and a mariachi band led guests from the ceremony site to the reception area in front of the historic main house, where they entertained guests during the cocktail hour. Their last song was for the father daughter dance, which was also accompanied by the couple’s friend who sang the Vicente Fernandez version of Y Como Es Él.
A highlight of the reception was the Chinese Lion Dance to celebrate happiness, good fortune, and prosperity. The dance group gave a great performance, balancing on benches, lifting themselves high up in to the air, and dancing through the tables where guests were able to “pet” them! Henry and Elia presented the dancers with lettuce, representing prosperity, and red envelopes, a traditional gift of money. After they were done with their performance, they stayed on the dance floor and posed with guests for photos. Another sweet moment during the reception was right before the first dance when Henry sang a surprise serenade to Elia of Brown Eyed Girl, accompanied by his college a cappella group, The Stanford Mendicants.
It was a festive day, and we are honored to have captured their wedding day story. We ended the evening with a few more portraits of Henry and Elia backlit through the twinkly lit trees.
This couple and wedding was one of our all time favorite Twenty Mile House weddings. We have been photographing weddings there since the current owners first transformed their property in to a wedding venue about 10 years ago. We usually do anywhere from 3 to 5 weddings there a year, and have always enjoyed the drive up Hwy 70 through pasture lands, the historic buildings, and the beautiful setting it offers for wedding photography.
Sadly, we just heard that they have decided to now offer an all inclusive package with another photographer. Apparently, if people want more choices, they will then provide couples with a list that we are still on, but this list is not given out unless people ask for more options. We had been participating in their spring and fall wedding fairs since 2015, but we just got the call last week telling us we are no longer invited to participate. We are pretty disappointed in this news because we feel that by attending the fair, we have always been able to connect with several couples each year looking for something different from the other photographer who is now part of their all inclusive package. Now we just don’t know if couples will realize that they still do have a choice in who they want to hire as their wedding photographer.
Since people’s tastes in photography styles vary so widely, we just don’t see how this new all inclusive package is serving their future clients. There are so many photographers to choose from, all with different styles, different levels of experience, different styles and types of products such as prints and wedding albums, and not to mention different personalities.
We decided to include this new development in this blog post because we want you to know that you do have a choice and can still hire us if you love our style and us as people! If you love the idea of a husband and wife team working together to document one of the most important days of your lives, give us a call. If you love the look of off camera lighting, backlighting through the twinkle lights, and some beautifully lit sunset portraits, give us a call. If you are a discerning bride who wants to have more choices when it comes to your wedding photographs, find a photographer ( and hey, it may not even be us, and that’s OK) whose work and personality really resonates with you. And if that ends up being the photographer that is included in the package, that is awesome too. We just want you to know that you still have a choice.
If you’d like to look back at some of our past blog posts of the Twenty Mile House to see if our wedding photography style appeals to you, just type the venue name in to a search on the main page of our blog, or, you can follow the links below to a few of our all time favorites:
Here is one of our more recent weddings that Scott and I photographed together as a team from last spring: Twenty Mile House wedding
A same-sex wedding from the year before: Twenty Mile House brides
Another all time favorite couple from about 6 years ago: Twenty Mile House
A memorable, snowy wedding from 8 years ago. You will be able to tell it’s an old post because we have a very old, primitive logo on the images! Twenty Mile House wedding photography
And lastly, here is a link to another favorite that is on our main wedding website gallery: Lost Sierra wedding photography