Posts in Bay Area Weddings
The Gardens at Heather Farm Wedding

The Gardens at Heather Farm in Walnut Creek is such a beautiful wedding venue and among one of our favorites in the Bay Area to shoot a wedding at. Tucked along the hillside the garden’s six acres are full of natural beauty all year long. We got extra lucky this Spring however when we photographed Jake and Janel’s wedding surrounded by the lush rose garden in full bloom.

Spending time with Jake and Janel to shoot their engagement photos gave us some insight on just how great of a couple these two are.  Having had this time to capture the two of them together set some high expectations for their wedding day and these two really delivered.  We knew it would be a great time but the level of love and warmth that Jake and Janel have for their family and friends-who so obviously love and appreciate them back is a great reminder of why we shoot weddings.  The elegant, bright and beautiful scenery of Heather Farm provided a beautiful backdrop for a heartfelt ceremony and a loving (and incredibly fun!) reception. 

We love that we are able to document the wedding day as it unfolds while also witnessing friends and family adoringly speak about the couples that we feel are turning into our friends as well.  Jake and Janel’s wedding wasn’t only fun to shoot because of the thoughtful details and well appointed tablescapes throughout the Camellia Room -- it was fun to hear Jake speak about how nervous he was to first ask Janel out on a date, to hear Jake being poked fun of a bit for promenading on a Hawaii beach in his “short-shorts” but ultimately being appreciated for his protective nature, to hear Janel’s intelligence and presence being complimented by Jake’s sister.  

The evening was filled with warmth, laughter, joy and love. It was obvious that family is important to both Jake and Janel and their loved ones. You could tell that Jake’s sister was speaking from the heart when she spoke about Janel felt like a part of the family from the beginning.  We felt that sense of warmth throughout the night and felt lucky to be a part of Jake and Janel’s evening. Congratulations Jake and Janel!

For more information on booking your Heather Farm wedding visit their event website and schedule a tour. As a recommended vendor of Heather Farm, we offer a complimentary engagement session to all Heather Farm referrals who book us for 8 or more hours of coverage. You can see more of our wedding photography here.

Oakland Museum Wedding

It’s probably no surprise to hear but we looove Oakland.  Oakland is where we started our business, where we still enjoy Spring hikes on those lush green hills, and most recently where we shot Luisa and Zach’s wedding at the Oakland Museum of California (one of our favorite venues in town).  

While we love the ever-changing exhibits within the museum and hitting the food trucks at Off the Grid, it was great to see the outdoor areas of the museum transformed into a wedding venue for Luisa and Zach’s ceremony. The setup had a fresh and fun feel that was perfect for their intimate ceremony.  Luisa and Zach opted not to have a wedding party but there were plenty of beautiful details to capture, including Luisa’s lush bouquet of greenery and Zach’s finely crafted Barong Tagalog. We have seen our fair share of weddings over the past 13 years but it never becomes routine as each couple brings a sense of personalization to their big day.  Luisa and Zach brought elegant style and a fun personality to their ceremony which spilled over into the reception.

Wedding days can go by in a blur as there is so much to do, family photos to take, guests to greet, etc. but luckily these two made sure to take some time with one another for a walk through their old Oakland hangouts. We had a ton of fun walking from the Oakland Museum, around Lake Merritt, and to their reception at Duende in the Uptown area of Oakland. These two used to live in Oakland and despite living in Southern California still have their hearts in the Bay. By the time we got to the restaurant we were all ready to dig in to the (thankfully very large) paella dish.

We loved hanging with Zach and Luisa’s families and getting to share a family style dish with them that was fitting for this couple and their very cool day.

Best Outdoor Wedding Venues in Oakland
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Over the past decade, we've been lucky enough to photograph countless weddings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Personally, we love to be outdoors and enjoy the playful qualities of natural light photography. We tend to get asked about outdoor venues and we hope this list can be a resource to couples searching for the perfect space for their ceremony (Updated for 2019).

There is an overwhelming amount of beautiful places to get married in the Bay Area and boy do we have a lot of favorites throughout Berkeley, San Francisco, San Jose, etc. (we're working on those lists too!) but our one true love will always be shooting in our own backyard here in Oakland. Where else can you choose to be married surrounded by redwoods, on the steps of a historic estate, or in the garden of an art museum?

If you want to know our thoughts about a particular venue or have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us! Do you have a favorite venue that you think we missed? Let us know! We'll be updating this list with new images and blog posts in an effort to make it more comprehensive. 

For more information about our wedding photography in the bay area, click here


Best Outdoor Wedding Venues in Oakland

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1. Camron-Stanford House

This historic estate sits on the shores of Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland. Treat your guests to views of the lake and the Oakland Hills, enjoy the romantic lighting provided by the classic street lamps and elegant string lights that provide a beautiful atmosphere on warm summer nights. For information on renting the house, visit https://cshouse.org/weddings/

Wedding ceremony at the Oakland Museum

2. Gardens at the Oakland Museum

Overlooking Lake Merritt the public gardens at the Oakland Museum of California are definitely an urban oasis. The space has several ceremony locations to pick from and can cater to small and larger weddings. For more information about the space, visit http://museumca.org/wedding-reception-oakland

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3. Roberts Regional Recreation Area

For a private and intimate outdoor feel you can be married beneath the redwoods in the picnic area of Roberts Regional. Hang around and have your reception in the same area or move down the road just a little bit to the Sequoia Lodge for a more traditional wedding reception. To reserve the redwood grove, visit the East Bay Regional Parks website.

4. Woodminster Cascades at Joaquin Miller Park

Just on the edge of Joaquin Miller Park, the cascades feature beautiful stone steps, reflection pools, and fountains. This location is ideal for smaller ceremonies. Scenic views of the Bay Area below. 

5. Kaiser Rooftop Garden

Can’t decide between a lively downtown venue and a secluded garden venue? This space is a perfect compromise. The rooftop is a hidden gem in the thick of it all in downtown Oakland. For more information visit, www.oaklandvm.com

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6. Pizzaiolo

Weddings at Pizzaiolo are some of our favorites. Pizzaiolo is a local restaurant located in the Temescal neighborhood of North Oakland and they book a small number of weddings each season. Ceremonies take place on their outdoor patio while dinner and dancing happens in the restaurant. Their staff are fantastic and they serve up some seriously delicious food. Visit their website for information on private events.

7. Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate

This historic mansion located in the hills near the Oakland Zoo offers several options for both large and small weddings. The mansion lawn accommodates up to 200 guests or you can opt for a smaller more intimate gathering overlooking their North Pond. No matter the size of the wedding this venue offers elegance and style in an outdoor setting.

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8. Bandstand at Lake Merritt

For a more affordable option, the historic bandstand at Lake Merritt is a beautiful space for an outdoor wedding. Easy to access parking and right next door to the Grand Lake neighborhood and across the lake from the Terrace Room

9. Preservation Park

Thoughtful landscaping, bistro lighting, ample space for dancing under the stars, this venue has it all. Flexibility is also key as there are 6 sites at this spaces to choose from. Visit their website for more details. 

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10. Temescal Beach House

The Beach House at Lake Temescal in Oakland is a lovely place for a wedding ceremony and reception. Its secret garden and lakeside views are beautiful and the surrounding park provides plenty of space for photos. The property is managed by the East Bay Regional Park district, visit their website for more information about wedding rentals. 

 


Found your venue? Now choose your photographer. 

e&b photography is a natural light wedding and portrait photography studio located in Oakland, California. 

Mention this article and receive $100 off your wedding day coverage with e&b. Complete the form below. 

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Tell us a bit about your wedding day, what you might be looking for, and what questions you may have.
Brazilian Room Weddings
Photo of Brazilian Room in Tilden Park

We created a comprehensive guide for everything you need to know about having your wedding at the Brazilian Room in Tilden Park including where to take photos, how to reserve the venue, rental fees, and more.

We’ve photographed several weddings over the years at the Brazilian Room (also often called the Brazil Building) and we love working there. We’re so lucky to have Tilden Park in our backyard and we love that there is a such a great wedding venue tucked within it’s borders. Even better, the Brazilian Room is one of the more affordable wedding venues in the Bay Area.

If you’re interested in other East Bay venues, check out our list of favorite wedding venues in Oakland.

You can view more of our Bay Area wedding work here.


Brazilian Room Wedding Ceremony Locations

The main ceremony location at the Brazilian Room is outside on the patio. The view is beautiful and overlooks the lush tree covered hills of Wildcat Canyon. The patio is adjacent to a large green space, which adds a pop of color to your ceremony backdrop. Due to the abundance of natural scenery, it doesn’t take much to turn the patio into an elegant wedding ceremony site. White chairs and a few floral arrangements are all you need to wow your guests and have them wondering how they can find an opening for their own event.

The Brazilian Room is a beautiful venue both inside and out. The large floor to ceiling windows allow guests to continue to enjoy what nature has to offer during your wedding reception. A reception at the Brazil Room allows you to feel connected to the outdoors while enjoying the romantic comforts of hardwood floors, dark wood paneling and even a large stone fireplace. This venue is a gift from Brazil (a relic of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island) that allows couples and their families to celebrate the landscape of the Bay Area.

Wedding at the Brazilian Room in Tilden Park

Where to take wedding photos in Tilden Park

Tilden Park has so many wonderful areas to take wedding photos and you don’t have to go far to find some great spots. If you’re short on time, even the venue grounds at the Brazilian Room will do nicely. Below are some of our go-to spots for shooting couple, wedding party, and family portraits.

Regional Parks Botanic Garden

One popular area to visit for wedding photos is just down the hill at the Botanic Garden. This is a beautiful labyrinth of plants that contains hundreds of native California plant species from coastal redwoods to California poppies. It’s the easiest spot to access and one of our favorites. Bear in mind there is an additional fee to use the space for wedding portraits.

Bride and Groom wedding photo at the Botanic Garden in Tilden Park

Tilden Park Picnic Sites

In addition to the garden, there are plenty of nearby picnic sites with open meadows and groves of eucalyptus trees. Immediately behind the Brazilian Room is small open space off Anza View Rd. If you follow Wildcat Canyon Rd. towards Inspiration Point, you’ll pass Mineral Springs and the Quarry Trail Picnic Site both of which are nice spots for photos. The latter option climbs a little bit but the Seaview Trail is worth the view.

Portrait of bride in green wedding dress in Tilden Park
Bride and Groom in Tilden Park at sunset

Inspiration Point

While the name certainly elevates your expectations, Inspiration Point in Tilden Park may not be the best spot for wedding photos. It’s a beautiful place don’t get us wrong but with wedding day logistics it can be tricky to truly take advantage of this place. The immediate view from the parking lot looks out over the San Pablo Reservoir and is slightly obstructed by the hillside trees below. To achieve a view that looks out on to the San Francisco Bay you will have to walk quite a bit along the Nimitz Trail for the tree line to fall away. This is a lovely, mostly paved trail but for a quick scenic spot you’re better off finding a different location.

Grizzly Peak

Grizzly Peak, with it’s panoramic views of the Bay Area, is obviously deserving of a mention too. It’s a popular lookout so it can get busy but if you’re up for a small hike there are several spots you can reach with beautiful views.

Wherever you are in Tilden Park, make sure to stay on trails and watch out for Poison Oak! It’s rampant out there and certainly won’t make for a happy wedding keepsake.


Portrait of bride under cherry blossom tree at Brazilian Room

How to Reserve the Brazilian Room

The park service operates an online facility calendar that you can use to check availability. As with most Bay Area wedding venues, Saturdays and Sundays in the Summer months are quick to go and weekend dates in September are a hot ticket and book up quick.

How much does the Brazilian Room Cost?

One perk about using a wedding venue operated by the Parks Department is price. The Brazilian Room is one of the more affordable wedding venues in the area. Couples looking for a good deal can choose to have their wedding on an “off-peak” day of the week (Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday) and can buyout the facility from 8am to Midnight for $900 (catering restrictions do apply). Booking the whole day on Friday is $2900, $3900 on Saturdays, and $3800 on Sundays and Holidays. You can view the full rental fee document here.


Preferred Vendors

The Brazilian Room has a required caterer list here. You must hire a caterer if you’re having an event on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or on a holiday.

The venue also provides a preferred vendor list for photographers, florists, event planners, and DJ’s but you’re welcome to work with other vendors.


About e&b photography

e&b photography is a natural light wedding and portrait photography studio located in Oakland, California. 

Mention this article and receive $100 off your wedding day coverage with e&b. Complete the form below. 

 
Name *
Name
Wedding Date *
Wedding Date
Tell us a little about your event. Have any questions? Ask away!
 
Beautiful Greenhouse Wedding in Pacifica

We all know that the Bay Area has several destinations that draw tourists from around the world. From the Golden Gate Bridge to the pearl necklace lights of Lake Merritt to the bustling sights of the Silicon Valley, we are lucky to live in a place brimming with obvious attractions. However, it is the little known gems off the beaten path that really light us up as photographers. Shelldance Orchid Gardens is one of those places. It is a place where you can have a greenhouse wedding that feels both majestic and intimate, a perfect place to celebrate the first day of the rest of your lives together.

Leah and Tom currently live on the East Coast, but the magic of Shelldance (as well as their family and friends who live in the area) brought them back to the Bay for their wedding ceremony. The couple said their incredibly meaningful, wry and often funny vows to each other in a cozy greenhouse ceremony, surrounded by vibrant plants that matched the beautiful embroidery of Leah’s gown. We knew Leah and Tom were a lovely couple prior to their ceremony but we felt really lucky to be present for their vows which not only covered their steady love for each other but also Tom’s apparently well known fascination with the weather and traffic patterns. The lighthearted and warm nature that was expressed in their vows permeated the entire event, which made the venue feel even more like a secret hideaway just for the couple and their loved ones.

The event was full of lively details that we were happy to capture, from the live plant centerpieces, a sweet food spread by Fogcutter catering and an upbeat performance by Campbell’s Jazz Soup. These details provided a great backdrop for the heartwarming stories and funny anecdotes shared by Leah and Tom’s friends during the reception. Events like Leah and Tom’s wedding remind us just how lucky we are to be wedding photographers, as we get to be witness to the union of absolutely lovely people. #Blessed