One week before the wedding date, Rhea messaged me about the forecast for the weather that started to show tell-tale sign that bit of long awaited rain may become a factor for the destination ceremony at Sonoma's Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards. I decided to scout the venue as I was already in the North Bay as I hadn't visited the vineyard in sometime. By the time I arrived there, the forecast on my mobile had shifted to "cloudy" with small chance of shower and was also relieved to hear from Gloria Ferrer coordinator that underground cave cellar would also be available on event day.
I messaged Rhea back to let her know that we should be OK for the date...and that if anything, we should welcome the nature's cloudscapes that's been absent for most of the year. I love the grand presence of clouds as background to wide angle environmental portraiture.
Event date. It poured throughout the morning. I gave an extra hour to arrive at Gloria Ferrer and we got there just in time and the rain miraculously stopped to let the celebration proceed with the best natural light possible. Rhea looked exquisite and the portraits attest to her naturally photogenic qualities. The couple was able to exchange vows at the outdoor alcove looking over the vineyards as planned and we were still granted rare access into the cask caves down below the winery.
Rhea also wanted to capture both of them walking through the great vineyards below with C.J. leading her. I also had some long brewing shots that I wanted for her and after all of the celebration at the winery, we drove back toward the front of the vineyard looking towards the hills and made our effort through to the spot I wanted to set up our scene. Caution for all thrill seekers, rain and vineyard soil do not create a pleasant combination. But I think we are all happy with the results and I feel we captured the special day that it was for Rhea and C.J.
Post Script 02/12/17.
Here's my thanks to Rhea for her wonderful review on The Knot describing the challenges we had for the vineyard portraits. That experience came in handy for my recent shoot. So, for all brides and groom seeking vineyard portraits in the rain or wet grounds, make sure you have a pair of great hiking shoes that you can walk onto the setting. And be prepared to tussle with the cleanup!