The ceremony site was in the main garden directly behind the historic Gamble Garden House. It was just the perfect time of day, with the setting sun streaming over the top of the house. It was also really lovely the way Jeanne and Charlie's immediate family (their only guests) fit perfectly in one row of seats in the open space. Most everyone was wearing face masks during the ceremony due to the pandemic.
Gamble Gardens is a pretty fabulous oasis in the middle of the bustling city of Palo Alto, CA. It is a perfect little venue for an intimate elopement wedding ceremony. This type of wedding wasn't plan A for Jeanne and Charlie. But that also kinda sums up 2020 - it was a year of adaptation, for everyone. We all had to dodge, adjust, regroup, problem-solve, and make difficult decisions. And, we had to persevere.
Jeanne and Charlie's wedding was originally scheduled for June 2020. It was delayed at first, but it was then decided to change the venue and the scale of the wedding. In a way, all of the difficulties of 2020 led Jeanne and Charlie down a path the ended in this gorgeous garden on a really beautiful fall day in northern California. It was a lovely gathering with only immediate family in attendance.
Wedding and Event Picture from the Gamble Gardens inside a small structure adjacent to the gardens where the bride and her mom were getting ready
There is a small structure adjacent to the gardens where Jeanne and her mom were getting ready for the elopement ceremony. There was no wedding party and this little space turned out to be perfect for just Jeanne and her mom. I love the contours and soft lighting in this image.
The lights weren't working inside and Jeanne's mom needed a bit more light to pin up Jeanne's hair. The intensity and focus in her eyes is really fabulous.
Jeanne was walked into the ceremony by her Dad. They started inside the old historic house at the Gamble Gardens. I knew I wanted to make an image from inside the house as they made their way down the steps. This vantage point is so telling and provides a wealth of information for the photo story. It being an elopement in COVID times, I was photographing solo. There was no 2nd photographer and no assistant. So, after making this image, I ran from this place out the side door and into the gardens so I could also document the reverse perspective from where Charlie, the groom, was waiting.
Gamble Garden Wedding Venue image showing The small group of family sharing a few very heartfelt toasts in CA
The small group of family shared a few very heartfelt toasts. Of course, this small elopement ceremony wasn't their first choice. The wedding plans shifted and changed due to COVID and family members shared their thanks for being able to be together and also their sadness that other friends and family couldn't be there.
Elizabeth F Gamble Garden Wedding image of guests taking pictures of bride and groom sitting out of frame
The bride and groom were sitting on a bench (out of frame). And literally, everyone who was at the elopement was taken by this moment and taking photos of it with their phones. This image captures their moment of documentation.
Wedding image from Elizabeth Gamble Gardens following The bride sore from wearing some incredible stiletto heels
Jeanne was wearing some incredible stiletto heels. You can see them on the ground - they were at least 3-inch heels. Earlier in the day she had told me that since the pandemic had started she had basically stopped wearing heels and she was worried that she wouldn't have the endurance in her calf and leg muscles to pull them off. At this point in the afternoon, her feet were in quite a lot of pain. Charlie, the great husband that he is, was quick to offer his services and a foot massage. This really sweet and tender moment ensued.
Outdoor Wedding Image from Elizabeth Gamble Gardens showing a dress that was very complex and difficult to bustle
Jeanne was wearing a dress that was very complex and difficult to bustle. Here she is standing on the back steps of the historic house at Gamble Gardens as her mother, mother-in-law, aunt, and grandmother all try their best team effort to figure out the bustle puzzle.