French Oak Ranch Wedding | Anika and Garrett | Calistoga, CA

Anika and Garrett have the kind of relationship that makes you believe in happily ever afters. Despite growing up just miles away from each other, it wasn’t until they went off to college in another state that they met and fell in love. Six years later, they are back in the Bay Area and are starting a new chapter in their lives together. Their French Oak Ranch wedding was absolutely incredible from start to finish, filled with DIY touches (Anika and her bridesmaids arranged all of the flowers themselves), sentimental details (Anika’s grandmother got the diamond from her great-grandmother’s engagement ring set in a necklace for her), heartfelt speeches, and lots of fun (everything from Scandinavian traditional drinks to keg stands!).

French Oak Ranch wedding bride kissing groom on top of the hill at sunset

As soon as I made it to the door of the hotel room where Anika and her girls were getting ready, I knew the day was going to be a blast! Anika and the girls were getting ready to the soundtrack of 90s pop, with lots of laughter and mimosas to boot. Many of Anika’s bridesmaids are childhood friends and high school besties, and it was obvious how much they all love each other. Anika’s bridesmaids gave her the sweetest gift, framing a paper with lipstick kisses from each of them.

  bride and bridesmaids getting ready at French Oak Ranch

Anika and Garret chose to get married at French Oak Ranch, which is actually owned by a family friend who attended the wedding. It is a beautiful property located in the hills of Calistoga with a gorgeous barn for the reception and stunning scenery. Anika and Garrett didn’t do a first look, but both Anika’s dad and brother stopped by before the ceremony to see Anika. Anika made sure to show off her something blue (fabulous blue cowboy boots) to both of them.

Their ceremony was short and sweet, just over three minutes, haha! The funniest part was when Anika went to put on Garrett’s ring and it got a little bit stuck. She said she /knew/ it wouldn’t fit, got it on, and then said, “Now it’s not coming off!”

French Oak Ranch Wedding Ceremony laughing bride and groom

Anika’s dad gave a welcome speech complete with pre poured akvavit/aquavit shots (a Scandinavian traditional drink) for everyone.

We snuck away for sunset photos at the top of the hill and were lucky enough to get an absolutely gorgeous sunset. Special shoutout to Anika’s cousin Michelle who was the best assistant and made sure Anika’s dress, veil and hair always looked perfect!

Jessica Lasky Catering did an amazing job with both the catering and the coordination. They kept the day running smoothly and all of the guests well-fed with delicious appetizers and dinner. AMS Entertainment helped the guests dance the night away with some awesome music!

I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed so much at a wedding! My cheeks were literally hurting before cocktail hour was even over. I had so much fun photographing Anika and Garrett’s wedding and can’t wait to get their full gallery out to them! Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Hagerla!!

Contact me or email me at to book photography for your wedding at French Oak Ranch!

Alice Che is a San Francisco Wedding Photographer based in the Bay Area specializing in intimate, emotional wedding, engagement, couple and boudoir photography. Serving the South Bay, Peninsula, and East Bay: San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, Burlingame, Los Altos, Milpitas, Union City, Fremont, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. She is available for destination weddings and engagement sessions! Contact her for more detailed pricing.

  1. Pamela Hagerla

    September 12th, 2018 at 11:14 AM

    OMG…This is amazing!! Awesome Job!


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