Northern California Wedding at Catta Verdera - DIY Done Right - AZstills.com
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Catta Verdera Country Club

Growing up here in Northern California, I've always heard and seen ads for the famous Catta Verdera Country Club, but I've never actually visited. My golf swing isn't up to par (pun intended) and I had yet to be booked for a wedding at the venue. That all changed on the weekend of August 13th when Stephanie and Richard tied the knot and had me as their photographer. I am forever grateful they decided to hire me. This wedding is one for the record books. 



The only way possible to make this location even more beautiful is to add a gorgeous Bride, handsome Groom and a good looking bridal party. Once the Wedding officially was under way and the Bridal Party walked down the aisle to Darth Vader's Theme music, the scenery took a backseat and all eyes were affixed to the ceremony's participants. 

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Mr. & Mrs Stark

The Darth Vader Theme music was an awesome surprise, everyone loved it. I feel it took some of the edge off and gave the guest an early indication that Stephanie and Richard were about to have a lot of fun on their Wedding day. Thankfully, we had a great wedding coordinator to keep everything on time and under control. Event Manager Christina Addiego was extremely helpful and was a huge reason why the Bride and Groom were able to relax and actually enjoy their day. After the well said and heartfelt vows, the happy couple said their "I Do's" and were officially Mr. and Mrs. Stark!

Post Ceremony Formals

Thanks to Christina and the great team at Catta Verdera, the Wedding was running smoothly which gave us more time for photos after the Ceremony. Other than heels sinking into the ground, the location was perfect for group photos. I had tons of fun the entire day, but hanging out with the Groom and his Groomsmen while capturing epic photos was one of the highlights for me. These guys were so cool and had their man's back the whole night. Thanks for this epic portrait guys. 

Beauty Meets More Beauty

After the ceremony, the guests were directed to the reception for cocktail hour while the newly-weds and my team had our own chariot awaiting to take us to a few locations for portraits. I feel these photos prove what a coordinator can do to improve every aspect of your wedding, especially the photos. Even though they are not the ones capturing the photos, or even suggesting any ideas, they can help by giving you time. As a Wedding Photographer, I normally have about five minutes with my couples, that's just the way it goes sometimes. I was so happy I had a little bit more time with Stephanie and Richard. It also helps that they are great in front of the camera. 

We now know Catta Verdera has lived up to the hype, we have a great team keeping us on track, we have a beautiful couple, now everything comes together for some of the most beautiful Wedding photos I've ever captured. It's like they specifically made this venue for Stephanie and Richard. I couldn't make them look bad even if I tried. Putting them two together at Catta Verdera was the perfect recipe for beautiful portraits as made obvious by these photos. 

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DIY Done Right

Once we came back around closer to the reception area, I asked my second shooter Michael Avalos if he could capture some of the Bride's creations. The reception hall was filled with amazing wedding decorations. When people think of DIY, they might think it's not as good as a name brand item. Trust me when I say this, Stephanie went all out and the only thing people were thinking when it came to decor was, "where can I buy this"? Everything from the cake topper to the center pieces, Stephanie constructed them all by herself. Even the pretty bouquets, she did it all! I've tried a few DIY's in my day and I've failed miserably, Stephanie did an amazing job and the look on everyones face as they marveled at her creations was awesome. My girlfriend Stephanie Ximenez was asking if the Bride might be available to help us when it's our turn to tie the knot lol. How amazing are the small bird cages with chocolates inside? Stephanie was focused and knew exactly how she wanted her Wedding to look. She was determined to get the job done and she accomplished that job perfectly.  

Please view all of Stephanie Stark's creations below. There is so much to love about all these decorations. I feel Stephanie might have a calling for this type of thing. The photos do not do them justice, but this is an example of DIY done right! Photos captured by Michael Avalos.

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A Closer Look

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I don't know how Stephanie made these bouquets, but I wanted to put a little more emphasis on them. They made the perfect backdrop for the couple's rings, but I seriously think Stephanie could open up her own business making these. I was shocked to learn that Stephanie made the bouquets all on her own. Even as I write this, I am double checking with all of my sources to confirm she made them. Simply beautiful, great job Stephanie, you have a gift. 

Can You Do the Conga?

After a beautiful first dance and well said speeches (view those images at the bottom of this page), DJ Buddy Holly got on the mic and asked everyone to join in on the Conga line per request of the Bride and Groom. We knew Stephanie and Richard wanted to have fun, this was their way of getting everyone involved. It was an epic success. 

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Hope You Brought Your Dancing Shoes

Now that the Bride and Groom are officially Husband and Wife, the formal portraits are done, the speeches were said, the cake was cut, the bouquet and garter had been tossed, it was time to party. This was a fun wedding reception to capture. Stephanie and Richard have four kids together and even they were out having fun on the dance floor with mom and dad. DJ Buddy Holly had everyone moving the entire wedding. 

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All things do have to come to an end, this Wedding would be no exception. I was not over exaggerating when I said this Wedding was for the record books. Talking to Richard at the end of it all, I couldn't thank him enough. I knew even before reviewing my images I had just captured one of the most beautiful Weddings of my career. I am truly lucky to have been given the opportunity to capture this Wedding. Thank you Richard and Stephanie for choosing to book with me, words can't describe how happy I am with how great your Wedding day went and how amazing your photos look. A huge thank you to Stephanie Ximenez for always helping me and of course, thank you Michael Avalos for shooting along side of us. You guys are the best and I couldn't have captured this entire day without you two. I'll leave you with one last photo in which the Bride's Aunt advised. Just an exclamation point on the day and really shows how much fun we had together. 

Congratulations once again Richard and Stephanie Stark! I wish you two nothing but the best and thank you again for everything!


Please view more images from the wedding below and thank you for stopping by!


-Andrew Zaragoza

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