On a river front just a half-hour drive from Sacramento sits Grand Island Mansion, one of the premier wedding venues of Northern California. With magnificent, old world opulence in a lush riverfront setting, this wedding venue north of the Bay Area specializes in beautiful ceremonies and elegant receptions.
This Mansion is unique in that it has top notch accommodations in it’s private setting, so unlike traditional hotels, you and your guests can enjoy the whole weekend free from disturbance. It’s large, elegant dining rooms and spacious ballroom also make it perfect for the traditional Indian wedding that typically draws large extended families.
This year, we had the pleasure of shooting a cross-cultural event that brought together Suchi, a beautiful young Indian bride, and her handsome husband Mike...who’s not Indian (haha). We love shooting these events because of the joy of seeing two cultures and two families mesh together. The team at Grand Island Mansion makes the event even more enjoyable with their expert staff and gracious service.
Even more impressive are the mansion’s stately white columns and sprawling green lawns with beautiful tropical flora. This setting is a dream for wedding photographers and couple’s alike. We love shooting Indian weddings here because the whole family can stay in the luxurious accomodations for the weekend, which make snagging “getting ready”, first look, and bridal party photos easier to plan. Not to mention that Indian weddings are typically full of energy and color - and the mansion provides the perfect backdrop to complement. These circumstances make it really easy to get some fun shots like the one of Suchi and her girls ‘poppin’ bottles of champagne at their get ready brunch and Mike’s crew tossing him in the air like a rockstar in front of the water fixture.
We took some fun shots on the stairs of Mike and the fellas posing like a boy band in their traditional Indian garb before the whole bridal party got together to celebrate. The ladies wore beautiful green sarees that complemented Suchi’s royal pink perfectly.
After the couple photos, we went inside for a traditional Indian ceremony, and captured a priceless photo of Suchi’s tear-stained cheeks as she labored through the joy of the “I-do’s” before the adoring crowd released rose petals in the air and she and Mike held each other’s heads up in excitement. The backdrop to the ceremony was a lovely mandap crowned with stunning red, pink, and white roses and draped with elegant white veils. Free cultural tip - the mandap is a traditional Hindu wedding altar that has four pillars to signify the four parents who worked so hard to raise their children and bring them to this point.
After the ceremony, the couple and the bridal party exchanged their traditional Indian garb for the classic American wedding getup. Suchi’s beautiful brown skin glowed wonderfully in her dazzling white dress. We were able to steal the two away for just a few minutes of intimate couple shots before the rest of the bridal party joined for some final group photos in front of Grand Island Mansion’s beautiful water fountain and lawn.
As the reception commenced, Suchi’s beaming, confident smile captured the room as the couple strolled into the spacious open air pavilion surrounded by their community of family and friends. You can check out some of their first dance photos below. Pro tip - on your first dance, dance like no one else is in the room. It’s something you’ll remember forever and when you are confident enough, no one can tell you don’t know what you are doing. Suchi and Mike had so much fun and we were able to capture some awesome shots because of it.
Looking for a beautiful, spacious venue that offers a private weekend getaway for your family and friends? We highly recommend having your wedding at the Grand Island Mansion.