This wedding gives me all the feels! Jamie and Cang had a beautiful outdoor ceremony at OMCA – the Oakland Museum of California in gorgeous late fall weather. The sunshine was soft and subtle, casting a warm glow on the gray concrete mid-century modernist building where so much of California’s history is housed. It’s been open for nearly 50 years and was designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Kevin Roche.
For a photographer like myself who is obsessed with storytelling in my work, a museum is such an inspiring choice as a wedding venue. And not just any museum – this three-tiered concrete building is the result of three separate mergers in the early part of the 20th Century and tells the story of our beautiful state of California through visual art, history and natural sciences. It focuses on “telling the extraordinary story of California.”
The outdoor spaces are just as special. Open air architectural features are terraced roof gardens, patios, outdoor sculpture, a large lawn area, and a koi pond. After the short outdoor ceremony on the OMCA’s Peace Terrace and a few group photographs, the couple and I used our ample time to grab intimate couples portraits everywhere around the Museum, from the lawns to the art galleries, the steps leading between tiers and the stunning butterfly mural located in the outdoor public seating area.
There truly were photo opportunities around every corner! A venue as large and diverse as this really warrants some extra time being built into your wedding day to take full advantage of all that the Museum has to offer. Jamie and Cang’s family and friends had plenty to keep themselves occupied with while we spent time taking photos wherever our spirits took us!
What I hope comes across in these pictures, though they can only tell one strand of the Museum’s many lives, is how fun it is here. Friday Nights at OMCA are among my favorite regular Oakland events as an Oakland local. (The other being First Fridays… Anyone with me?) If you are planning a wedding in Oakland, and you want to honor an institution that is so woven into the life and culture of our glorious city, I would say Oakland Museum of California should definitely be on your shortlist!
One of the best things, that Cang and Jamie mentioned to me on their wedding day, is that every couple that gets married there receives a free Museum membership as a wedding gift! Imagine that – being able to revisit your wedding venue as much as you like for years to come and enjoy the gardens, temporary exhibits and the plethora of events. It was a special place for this couple, as they have lived overlooking Lake Merritt for years, sharing a view in common with the gorgeous Peace Terrace. More info here.
If you’re thinking of getting married at Oakland Museum of California, and haven’t chosen your wedding photographer yet, bookmark this page or give me a follow on Instagram and let’s meet up for a casual tea + crumpets and chat about your ideas and I’ll share some inspo with you!