Atascadero Wedding Photographers. Sylvesters Vineyards and Winery. St. William’s Parish Wedding. Mario and Ashley

I had the privilege of photographing Mario and Ashley’s wedding.  You might remember them from a recent engagement posting.  The ceremony was held at St. William’s Parish in Atascadero.  The reception followed at the Sylvesters Winery in Paso Robles. Both Mario and Ashley were easy to shoot and an overall great couple to work with.  Mario was one of the most laid back and fun grooms I’ve had in recent times.

As always children are such a wonderful part of most weddings and one of my real joys as a San Luis Obispo Photographer.   You’ll see this little handsome guy quite a bit.

As we got ready to shoot the groomsmen – the groom graciously helped the ring bearer put some final touches to suite.  I just wish I could tell what this little guy is thinking at the moment!

Obviously Mario loves children too.   Whatever better way to break the ice getting ready for the shoot – than a little play time with the groom and the ring bearer!

In a moment of desperation and weakness – Mario spends a moment asking himself, “how did I get myself into this mess!”   Of course it is all in good humor – playing for the camera – and Mario in fact feels extremely blessed and very excited to be marrying the love of his life!

One of the important aspects to every wedding is not only the location and decorations of the ceremony and reception sites, but also determining where we will take pictures before and after the wedding. Sometimes it is the ceremony site, the reception site or a site unrelated to the wedding.  This is always something I discuss with the bride and groom and want their input in.   For the guys (a few pictures above) Mario and Ashley had proposed The Paso Robles City Park.  However,  upon arrival we found the park occupied by  some type of carnival, with booths and vendors everywhere.  We had to quickly come up with a “plan B”, so we headed just a little ways down and across the street to the Paso Robles Inn, which has quite a bit of lush greenery.     For the girls, my assistant and I headed a good distance out in the country to Ashley’s parent’s house – a beautiful plantation style estate.  Just gorgeous!    My only regret was that we didn’t have more time there.   I could have easily spent another 1/2 to 2 hours photographing Ashley and the girls.

It’s always wonderful to capture the relationship between individuals at weddings.   This little flower girl was absolutely endearing with here bubbly inviting personality and beautiful smile.  She certainly stole my heart.  It was very pleasurable for me to capture the genuine affection between Ashley and her flower girl.

The girls were a lot of fun as well getting right into a Charley’s Angles pose with not much coaxing.

I just absolutely love this shot that my assistant Tatiana grabbed (below) as we headed back to the house….with one of the bridesmaids playing a little spoof on the bride’s sister.  I just smile every time I look at this one.

Soon it was time to leave the glorious estate and we headed to Atascadero for the church.  Once there, Ashley sequestered herself in of the chapel rooms from which she would make her grand entrance.  While we waited for the start of the ceremony,  I had some extra time to get a few more pictures of Ashely – just before one of the biggest and most wonderful moments of her life!

My favorite flower girl of the day kept peeking into the room Ashley and the girls were waiting in.  I think she was just as excited as Ashley. She seemed to enjoy having her picture taken as well.  The little smiles that we shared through out the day will always be dear to my heart.

One of my greatest joys and biggest responsibilities (as I see it) is capturing the special moments between the bride and groom during the ceremony.  Often this is challenging because quite often couples want a very, very short ceremony.  I always recommend that couples allow there ceremony to be at least 15-30 minutes.  However, regardless of the length of the ceremony it’s my passion and mission to capture those special little moments that often times happen in the blink of an eye.  However, in Mario and Ashley’s situation the ceremony actually went closer to an hour.  This afforded me much more time to capture their ceremony.  Of course being a church ceremony there are always more limitations on where I am allowed to move during the ceremony.   Often times flash is prohibited as well.  Fortunately, equipped with some of the best equipment Canon has to offer I as was able to capture these pictures with no flash – in a (photographically speaking) very dark environment.

Let’s just say if you are accustomed to cartoons and fast paced activities, like this little guy  –  some ceremonies can get a little long. It was fun to be able to get a quick shot of this special moment before he woke back up and realized someone was watching him!

Following the ceremony the brides mother enjoys a special moment with the newest member of her family.

Another fun,  little personality I had the joy of being around.

My absolute favorite pictures to capture are real moments of joy between the couples.

Another contestant for cutest girl of the year award….and a likely winner!

The Sylvesters Vineyards and Winery features a historic train on the property, so it was only fitting we try to make use of it.

Organizing and shooting group shots is not the funnest part of my job.  However, it is an important one.   What is fun is though – is when groups organize themselves and line up for someone else without me having to do anything…and then stealing the shot with out them even knowing it.  Now that is fun!

First dance.  The expressions say it all!

One of the richest sunsets I have seen in a long time.  The sky turned from gray and cloudy to this vibrant, rich, colorful sunset in the matter of a few minutes.

It’s really key that all of your vendors are of the same mindset.  That mindset being:  “We are her to work together for whatever is the absolute best for the bride and groom, no matter what!” Having said that  – such is not always the belief of some vendors.  Some get more concerned with doing it their way, making sure their timeline or pride does not get messed with.

However, I was really touched that all of the vendors at Mario and Ashley’s weddings were indeed working towards the couples best.

According to the time line it was time for the money dance or such. However, in just the course of a few minutes this brilliant sunset unfolded.  Seeing and knowing from experience that this opportunity would literally live only a few minutes (since the sun had already dipped below the mountains)  I whisked the couple from the dance floor to set up and capture these shots while we had the chance. I wanted to discuss this with the DJ before doing such, but I knew that I only had a couple minutes and every second counted.    Many DJ’s would have cried foul or been upset that someone had altered “their timeline” and been so rude to change things up with out even discussing it with them – and  reacted harshly.    However, this was not the case with AMS Entertainment.  After we had concluded with the sunset photographs I went over to the DJ to apologize for whisking the couple away.  The DJ completely understood and agreed with my actions saying he understood exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it…and in fact with a sunset like that, if I hadn’t have done such “it would have been criminal”!    No ego, no attitude – just wanting what was best for the couple.  I truly appreciated that!

As the night wore on, Mario and Ashley took a few minutes to get away from the dance floor to cherish this life altering day for themselves, picking a spot in the darkness of the night.  Not wanting to disturb the couple with a harsh flash thrown on them – the only way I could capture the moment was to leave my shutter open for more than a half a second  ( a long time – in photography), thus causing some  camera shake, but also adding a different possibly “mysterious” dimension to it.

It was a great day, one I feel privileged and honored to have been part of.  Thank you Mario and Ashley and may your love for each other live on and on and on!



3 thoughts on “Atascadero Wedding Photographers. Sylvesters Vineyards and Winery. St. William’s Parish Wedding. Mario and Ashley”

  1. Hey Trent.

    You have such a nice story telling ‘voice’ – and I can hear you loud and clear my friend!

    Anyways, i didn’t see any comments (very surprised)- so I thought I would go ahead and be the first!

    Alright buddy, I will talk to you in a few days.


    Petals and Paws Photography
    Pismo Beach, CA

  2. Hi Trent,
    Our pictures turned out amazing! I love how you captured those special moments we will cherish always, and some moments we didn’t even know happened. Thank you so much. We really enjoyed working with you. See you at my cousin Chrissy and Dave’s, Wedding in October.


    Ashley and Mario

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