I am so excited to share these Ruby Hill wedding photos! Sure, I say that for every wedding, but what can I say. As a wedding photographer, I’m your hype girl!
Seriously though, there are four main reasons why this Ruby Hill wedding was so special.
- It’s an Indian wedding. (where my Bay Area Indian brides at?!)
- It’s a pandemic wedding. The wedding took place in December 2020, just as some parts of the Bay Area (not Pleasanton, but closer to SF!) were entering another lockdown.
- It’s a last-minute wedding! Literally, the couple decided to go ahead with the wedding just a couple of weeks before. They enlisted my services about a week before the big day. And it was a rollercoaster to make sure it could actually happen with the ever-changing COVID guidelines!
- It’s incredibly beautiful! The venue is actually stunning and works for many different styles of wedding – big or small, relaxed or formal. However, overall it suits more of an upscale vibe.
So, without further ado by way of introduction, let’s check out the photos from this Club at Ruby Hill wedding!
Planning their wedding
Shefali and Gaurang had been together for 7 years before they said ‘I do’. Though this wedding was pulled off incredibly fast, the couple have definitely had time to let their love come into full bloom.
Planning the wedding was a family affair. It was actually Shefali’s lovely sister Seema who contacted me and enlisted my services. She was also the de facto planner! Seema is a coworker of a past client of mine! I love the Bay Area grapevine!.
So, though I didn’t get to hear very much from the couple themselves, on this occasion it didn’t matter. I was absolutely able to capture the love, color, meaningful Hindu traditions and all the laughs and smiles (safely socially-distanced, of course!).
Plus, Seema was a huge help to me, both in the run-up to the wedding and on the day itself. She guided me through what to capture and what events were most important. As someone who’s completely new to Indian weddings, let me tell you.
There’s a LOT going on! The ceremony lasted about an hour and a half, and the various ceremonial aspects of the Hindu rituals have differing levels of significance. It was a crash course in the Hindu marriage rites!
For this wedding, I was tasked with being a truly candid photographer. The couple requested to have real moments captured, with particular attention to the children. Shefali has a lot of nieces and nephews thanks to her three wonderful big sisters!
Being commissioned to work as a truly candid-style wedding photographer really floats my boat and allows me to do my BEST work.
Having a pandemic wedding in the Bay Area
I bet you’re dying to know what wedding coverage looks like if you want to have a safe wedding day. That’s exactly what I was tasked with, and I would be delighted to fill you in on how it all worked.
As mentioned, this wedding took place right as the Bay Area entered a lockdown period. It was a bit touch-and-go for a while, debating whether the wedding should even go ahead. The venue is usually the deciding party, because if it’s not safe they will just say no.
So, the restrictions that were in place were as follows. The wedding needed to be 100% outdoors. No guests whatsoever were permitted to enter the Club at Ruby Hill indoor areas. We did sneak a few photos in the gorgeous interior, in an area called the Clubhouse Ballroom. However, it was just me and the couple.
We even went up to the Grand Lobby for some dramatic bridal shots. We only had five minutes, but on a wedding day (as any experienced wedding photographer will tell you), you work with what you’ve got!
There were fewer than 50 guests expected to attend the wedding. It turned out to be around 30!
Another restriction: only 4 hours in total for the whole wedding celebration. That means from arrival to departure! Fitting in an entire Hindu wedding ceremony and a small, plated meal into that time was no joke!
Luckily, Janan from Ruby Hill was there to guide the couple through it while honoring their unique vision and that of their culture. Plus, the whole team was super accommodating of me as their photographer and made me feel truly welcome.
Amazing hospitality is alive and well here, while still observing all the correct guidelines for the safest possible wedding!
Order of events at Ruby Hill wedding
So, I started my coverage just as vendors and family members were setting up the space, continued throughout the groom-arrival ceremony and of course the main event. Then, the couple and their guests swiftly transitioned into a seated, plated meal (no-one getting up and walking around).
Peppered throughout the meal were speeches, with many being pre-recorded videos, but others live. It was just as moving and surprisingly seamless having a mix of in-person toastees and some being played on the screen.
Toward the end of the meal time, we stole away for some couples’ photos! This is easily my favorite part of the wedding day, but that crazy colorful, beautiful ceremony comes probably tied on this occasion.
It was my first time spending some time one-on-one with the couple, and they were extremely game! Their idea from the beginning was to incorporate the little bridge that you can see on your way into Ruby Hill.
The light looked breathtaking (as did Shefali and Gaurang!) and I’m glad we took the time to drive for a few minutes to reach the bridge.
We also used the stunning Ruby Hill oak tree as the backdrop for some photos. There are photo backdrops everywhere you look in this venue. Its high-end, classical but still down-to-earth feel is priceless.
Unique features of the Club and Ruby Hill
This venue has to be seen to be believed – I had no idea there was such beauty lurking in Pleasanton. (Just make sure you make an appointment if you do want to check it out – it’s a gated community!) The venue is set on the rolling hills of a world-class golf course and surrounding wine country.
With its mature trees, thoughtful planting and unique architecture, it oozes charm, sophistication and understated elegance.
Ordinarily in a non-pandemic world, the Club at Ruby Hill hosts up to 250 guests for wedding events. It’s recommended that you check directly with the amazing team at Ruby Hill to get the latest scoop on what size weddings they can safely book out. Jennifer, Janan and Meghan from the venue are there to help!
A little birdie tells me that right now – if you’re reading this shortly after I published this post – they are offering some DEALS on your venue rental! This won’t last forever so be sure to inquire about what they can do for your wedding ceremony at the Club at Ruby Hill!
Photography Zoe Larkin Photography
Venue The Club at Ruby Hill
Mandap Avasar Mandap
Zoe Larkin Photography – Club at Ruby Hill wedding photographer
You can learn more about my services and how I approach weddings at the links below. Be sure to check out the portfolio for more examples of my work. Hoping I’ll be back at Ruby Hill soon, shooting your lovely wedding!
Bay Area wedding photographer – Zoe Larkin’s Homepage | Bay Area Wedding photographer – Info, pricing, about me & portfolio