Kelsey and Foster were inspired by the effortlessly chic alfresco weddings in Italy and the South of France, and I can't think of any more perfect destination for them than the European charm and Californian luxury of Chateau St. Jean (other than Italy itself!) I had already gotten to explore the streets of Paris with the couple for their engagement session, and their wedding was an effortless extension of Kelsey and Foster's impeccable style. 

For portraits, we wandered the grounds of the estate, finding fruit trees warmed by the light of the sun, and magical moments in secret nooks and alcoves behind cascading walls of vines. 

L'Relyea Events is a master of atmosphere, staging the ceremony with the sunset streaming over the rolling vineyards and through lush garlands of simple, yet elegant baby's breath, and the al-fresco reception with calligraphy adorning magnolia leaves for place-settings.  The beautiful flowers were arranged by Papillon Floral.

There are some moments at some events where the charm of the place, and the people, and the flowing wine settles into your heart and connects everyone present. The feeling floated on the breeze after the ceremony, like the scent of jasmine in the night. Beloved friends raised their glasses to toast the couple, guests danced, and the couple mingled and smiled, and held each other through the night.  Now a family. Now married. And forever in love. 


Vendor Team:
Dress: Romona Keveza  |  Boutique: Garnish Boutique
Tuxedo: Christopher Schafer Clothier | Venue: Chateau St. Jean
Rings: Smyth Jewelers  |  Accessories: Twigs & Honey and BHLDN
Bridesmaid Dresses: Rent the Runway  | Linens and rentals: Encore      Invitations: Jolly Edition     |     Catering: Park Avenue Catering       Hair: Wash & Brushup Co.  |  Calligraphy: Ettie Kim   
Florals: Papillon Floral     |         DJ: NorCalProSound
Planner: L'Relyea Events 

What better way to get married than with the rolling vineyards of Sonoma behind you? Kelsey and Foster's Italian countryside-inspired wedding was an emotional and stylish event, with alfresco dining under the palms and dancing under the stars.

European-inspired sonoma destination wedding at chateau st-jean

“The day you sent our photos to me, I sat in my living room and cried. It’s like you shoot glitter out of your camera. You felt like part of our story and made so much sense. You are our people.”

"It's like instead of photographing our wedding, you painted it.”

KELSEY + FOSTER

"I wanted a piece I could hang on our living room wall that would stop people in their tracks, draw them into the scene, and then leave them saying "wow that's you guys." Leah is an artist. She has an eye for beauty and originality that is profound. The tenderness and humanity of what she captured in our photo album is nothing short of extraordinary. Her work 100% speaks for itself, but the experience of working with Leah goes far beyond the masterpieces she creates."

“I searched high and low for Leah. I didn't just want a photographer. I wanted an artist.”

EMILY + DEVON

Every photo she took of my wedding was described by everyone as an “art piece” they would see in a magazine. Beyond her work, Leah made our day so happy and eased my stress. She made the day magical and fun with her warm soul!

“Beyond her work, Leah made our day so happy and eased my stress.”

sARA + AMIR

that's how much of a legend she is. Leah did our wedding in Sonoma. It's hard to articulate how much she means to us – but know that she exceeded every expectation we had and has become a lifelong confidant in the process. She gets that you want something different. She gets that you can't explain what that is. I trust her to chronicle the rest of my life! Every second of our time together was positive-- her energy is infectious and she captures moments that you don't even realize existed until you see them through her lens. Leah is the most talented photographer I have ever seen. Hire her! You'll never look back.

“I wanted to work with Leah before I was even engaged!”

Kelsey + Foster

I will openly admit that when my husband and I got the images back from Leah we cried re-living the day through her pictures. They are that incredible. Leah is super fun and can easily handle a large crowd. She will be out on the dance floor in-the-mix getting great photos, she clearly loves her job. Of all the vendors you hire, the photographer is the person you interact with the most, and Leah has such a bright and lovely way about her it was just like having another friend there.

“ She was able to capture the essence and the emotion of our wedding.”

EMMA + TOM

She will distill what makes you unique and through seeming alchemy generate not just incredible images, but an experience that is magical. After finding your narrative, she will create the world you have only glimpsed in your dreams. Her work is art. You and everyone else will love to look at it for that reason. More than that, she is an incredible person and you too will find yourself transformed by the process.

“If art transforms, then working with Leah is just that--transformative. ”

Genevieve + shaughn

Everything my team does is in duplicate. Our cameras write on two cards, the images are then backed up onto an external hard-drive and those are stored in separate places. Once we're home those images are transferred to my hard drives and the images are not removed from their external cards or drives until they are delivered to you. Two copies of your files are always available until that time.

How do you secure our images?

What is your photo style? 

Yes! I typically like to arrive two days prior to the wedding to acclimate to the local time zone, and to scout your locations in advance. Photographing events with you prior to the ceremony is a great way for your guests to feel at-home with me on the wedding day and day-after photos, such as scenic portraits or brunches round out the photo narrative of your adventure nicely.

Do you do day-before or day-after events for destination weddings?

For destination weddings, you want to make sure you have at least one hour for couples portraits. We want to take advantage of the beauty of the space and location you've chosen, and also have time to visit multiple spots if desired. 

How long should we plan to take couples portraits?

Absolutely. Every destination wedding couple gets one complimentary hour for wedding portraits the next day. But you should especially consider these if you don't have enough time on the wedding day for portraits, you'd like photos in a more scenic location that is further away from your venues,  or you'd like to try something different and unique, like renting a vespa, a helicopter ride, scuba photos etc. 

Should we do a day-after photo shoot in our wedding clothes?

L Hewitt Photography is based in the DC region, but we serve clients all around the world. Your custom-package will be my standard rate plus the cost of travel and reasonable accommodations. If you're working at an all-inclusive resort, many have fees associated with bringing another photographer in, so you may want to get in touch with your coordinator. 

Are there any additional fees for destination weddings?

A FEW OF OUR MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SHOOTING destination weddings

FAQ

A fusion of natural motion, organic moments, and composed shots with the aim of flattering images that bring out the best of your personality and style.  My presence is light, easy-going, and fun - like an old friend - a trusted compliment to your destination wedding activities and events. Capturing your images with discretion and grace is my role, and yours is to enjoy your wedding day fully.

An artist, adventurer, & storyteller.

I’m Leah, and I live in a garden house on a hill.  I was raised abroad as a diplomat’s daughter and adventure is my heritage. I see myself as an ambassador of life. I love catching films in independent theaters, trying new foods, exploring old cities and dark forests, and so much more.  I’m passionate about stories, art, life, and photography. I want you to be too.

get to know leah

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