Every couple wants a great backdrop.
By Thea Marie Rood
Photography by True Love Photo
In your mothers’ day, wedding photos mostly ended up in an album, tucked away in a hope chest or dresser drawer. With today’s photocentric social media, however, couples know their wedding shots are going to appear not only on their own Instagram accounts, but on all their guests’ as well, so they increasingly opt for an interesting backdrop as a location.“What I’m seeing is a lot of couples now choosing venues . . . where they will get a wide variety of looks for their photos, including that dramatic sunset shot,” says Beth Baugher of True Love Photo.
Located directly across from the Governor’s Mansion, this event space can be anything you want it to be, but in all its incarnations, it retains a distinct urban chic. Photographers like the 12-foot roll-up windows, allowing plenty of natural light, as well as the white-washed walls and bare concrete floors, the red brick exterior and lush green patio. The studio will set up and style its lounge decor for your event, which includes drapes, candelabras, chandeliers, and modern and vintage furniture. 817 16th St., Sacramento, (916) 798-4292; studio817events.com
The Citizen Hotel
Built in 1927 as the California State Life Insurance Company’s building, this boutique hotel retains its ties to the past with its striking exterior (designed by California’s first state architect, George Sellon), classic interior design and elegant staircases. For trees and greenery, couples can include a photo shoot in Cesar Chavez Plaza across the street, but nothing beats the panoramic view of Downtown Sacramento—especially at sunset—from the hotel’s rooftop terrace. 926 J St., Sacramento, (916) 492-4430; thecitizenhotel.com
Crocker Art Museum
“The Crocker always delivers awesome photos,” says Baugher. Options include the museum’s historic ballroom—built in 1872—with an original staircase and authentic 19th century furnishings and light fixtures; two outdoor courtyards, one with a unique water feature and views of both the old and new wings of the museum; and the ultra-modern Friedman Court with black marble floors, floor-to-ceiling windows and stunning art work. 216 O St., Sacramento, (916) 808-7000; crockerart.org
Grand Island Mansion
This 4-story, 24,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance villa was built in 1917 and is located on Grand Island in the Sacramento River Delta. Remarkable photography backdrops include historic statues and paintings, gardens and fountains, terraced lawns, orchards, a large outdoor pool, original marble fireplaces, and the Delta of course (originally guests arrived by riverboat). 13415 Grand Island Road, Walnut Grove, (916) 775-1705; grandislandmansion.com
The Willow Ballroom
A former fruit-shipping facility, this 11,000-square-foot space is located on the Sacramento Delta and exudes unique character. Photographers like the red brick exterior, stucco walls, rustic cement pillars, eclectic furniture and vintage chandeliers. Included in the venue rental is a photo session at a local private residence and adjacent vineyard. 10724 River Road, Hood, (916) 548-3511; thewillowballroom.com
“Great planning ideas include having the luxury of the indoors in case of rain—I’ve been (working) weddings or have seen friends’ weddings that have been rained out this year, which is very stressful.”—Beth Baugher, True Love Photo