After checking into the incomparable Hotel Santa Fe – which flawlessly hosted all of the weekend’s wedding guests – we arrived at the famed Gerald Peters Gallery, ready to photograph our dapper couple for their Santa Fe wedding. Guests were greeted by a luminaria-lined walkway to the gallery’s entrance – like twinkling stars in a pathway constellation – an invitation to come in.
Viewing the inside of the gallery was a study in complimentary contraries. The contemporary white walls, museum lighting and American Modernist works were flawlessly complimented by the wooden vigas, decorative corbels and classic Western art. The venue was undoubtedly the perfect choice for Richard and Steve’s wedding; the deep thinker and the social butterfly… one another’s’ perfect compliment. Their common threads of elevated culture and generosity to those they love were clearly symbolized by the beautiful art displayed at the gallery; both traditional and modernist art were displayed – both art genres are equally beautiful.
Richard and Steve’s ceremony took place in the Western Gallery; a rustic, southwestern room, where guests sipped on champagne, chatted with old and new friends, and viewed the Gerald Peters collection. As the fiancés stood at the center of the room with their officiants (Heather Hanneman and Vivian Schaefer – both long-time friends of the couple), the crowd gathered around to form a ring- a seamless transition from mingling mass to encompassing circle. There was no ceremony fluff. No decorations, no trendy sand pouring- just Steve and Richard, and their vows to one another. The guests stood in awe as the grooms’ words echoed throughout the room. This couple left very few eyes dry.
Following the moving ceremony, we moved to the Contemporary Gallery; a clean, white space edged with stunning contemporary pieces. The expansive king’s tables were artfully decorated with a literal bouquet of color, like a painters palate somehow resized to fit the evening’s guests. Steve and Richard’s friends and family were treated to a delightful dance of four courses, accompanied by showtunes and classic jazz.
There was much laughter, much fun, and much admiration for this hard-working and exceedingly compassionate couple. The fact that this wedding was featured in the The Vows section of The New York Times is a simple testament not only to their flawless taste, but also to their character. As the evening waltzed to a close, guests threaded past one another, seeking out their final glass of champagne, pursuing a final glance at their favorite painting, or bidding a friend adieu. Photographing this Santa Fe wedding was a dream in vivid pigment, and an experience we’ll never forget.