Details of the menu, handwritten. Chef working in the open kitchen. Homestead. Oakland Wedding Photographer Ella Sophie

An Intimate Wedding perfect for foodies, Homestead Restaurant, Oakland

I’m excited to share a sneak peak of this intimate wedding at Homestead in Oakland

Fair warning, grab a snack, or get ready to make a reservation at Homestead on Piedmont Ave in Oakland. Because these food photos are drool worthy. I can assure you it smelled as good as it looked. And the few bites I managed to snag between shots were so damn delicious!
When Erika and I first met I walked home from our meeting fantasizing about all the shots I could get at Homestead. And I’m happy to say that all those dreams came true. Erika and Doug’s wedding was non traditional in so many ways. While much of the wedding industry’s focus is young, stunning, straight couples, my focus is on people. People who are in love. People who want to commit to be their best selves for each other for all the years ahead. Because weddings happen for people of all ages, genders, body types and orientations. So that is what I’m most excited about capturing. 
The key to having a successful midweek daytime intimate wedding is friendship, love, laughter, and a multi course lunch!
The wedding was on a Friday afternoon in January. Winter in Oakland. The weather forecast showed rain, but miraculously the sun was out most of the day. As I walked to their house to get some getting ready photos I was warm in just a simple blazer and no jacket. I recorded a little Instagram Live video while I walked. Telling my New York friends that it’s never winter in the SF bay area, instead, it is permanently spring and fall. 
Their ceremony begins with a group of friends playing beautiful instrumental music. And their officiant is also a friend. She reminds guests to be present, (ahem, turn off phones) and to help celebrate Erika and Doug’s marriage. The tears came during their vows. Tissues make their way to guests eyes as they stand holding hands with friends around them.
After the ceremony the gluttony begins! Appetizers make their way around, salads start making their way onto the tables. Followed by entrees, including steak and salmon. Each dish looks more delicious than the last. The chef is putting finishing touches on each plate along with the rest of the kitchen staff. 
The day flew by in a whirlwind of laughter, colorful dishes, and heartfelt speeches. I’d say this was the ultimate foodie intimate wedding! 
A little shoutout to Homestead!
Homestead is such an awesome restaurant. So I’m going to take a minute to tell you some of my favorite things about them.
Homestead is a farm to table restaurant. Their menus change regularly according to what is in season. And, what I find most fascinating is how much of their food is truly made from scratch. Like their house churned butter, and the homemade sauces, and spice mixes that line the walls. The restaurant centerpiece is the wood-burning hearth. Seasonal vegetables and delicious meats get cooked in over the open flames. 
I hope I’ve convinced you that having an intimate wedding at a restaurant is a great idea! 

“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves; we need oxygen and a candle to help. In this case, the oxygen for example, would come from the breath of the person you love; the candle would be any kind of food, music, caress, word, or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of the matches. For a moment we are dazzled by an intense emotion. A pleasant warmth grows within us, fading slowly as time goes by, until a new explosion comes along to revive it. Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul. That fire, in short, is its food. If one doesn’t find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not a single match will ever be lighted.”  ― Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate

Finally, here are the photos! Enjoy!

Detailed Ring Photo, in flower bouquet. From an intimate winter wedding in Oakland.

Offbeat Bride and Groom, first look, in their backyard. Oakland. Photographed by Ella Sophie

Bride and Groom, crossing street, walking to their intimate wedding in Oakland. Documentary wedding photography by Ella Sophie

Homestead Restaurant, as wedding venue for alternative intimate weddings in Oakland.

Delicious cupcakes on copper stand at Homestead, Piedmont Ave. Oakland. Photographer Ella Sophie

Detail shots of food and space at Homestead Restaurant. Oakland Wedding Photographer Ella Sophie

Musicians playing instruments at intimate wedding ceremony. Black and white documentary photography by Ella Sophie

Standing guests crowding around the intimate wedding ceremony. Wedding in small spaces. Oakland CA

Couple witnessing their family's wedding ceremony. Intimate wedding in Oakland photography by Ella Sophie

Couple during their ceremony, and detail of musician watching her friends get married. Oakland CA. Photographer Ella Sophie

Bride in navy blue dress, holding bouquet during her intimate wedding ceremony. Ceremony photography by Ella Sophie Oakland Photographers.

Close up of hands during an intimate winter wedding at Homestead in Oakland. Photographer Ella Sophie.

Exchange of rings, Bride putting on groom's ring. Black and White artistic wedding photography by Ella Sophie. Oakland

Guests clapping as intimate wedding ceremony ends with a kiss. Oakland offbeat wedding photographer Ella Sophie.

The first kiss. An older couple embraces during the first kiss at the end of their intimate wedding.

Long family style table, minimalist table setting for an intimate foodie wedding.

Passed appetizer, at Homestead Restaurant in Oakland. Photography by Ella Sophie

Detail photo of corks and bottle caps. Portrait of a wedding guest sitting at the family style table.

Interior decor at Homestead restaurant. A perfect place for an intimate wedding. Photographed by Ella Sophie

Details of the menu, handwritten. Chef working in the open kitchen. Homestead. Oakland Wedding Photographer Ella Sophie

Couple laughing during the wedding lunch. Intimate offbeat wedding at Homestead in Oakland.

Homestead Restaurant, photographed by Ella Sophie during an intimate wedding. Food prep and space.

Details of the food being prepared at intimate foodie wedding in Oakland. Photographer Ella Sophie

Cheese grated over dish. Close up of food at intimate Oakland wedding. Photographer Ella Sophie

Stead plated, and cast iron stove with cook pot. Details from a wedding at Homestead in Oakland.

Happy Bride and Groom during their toasts at intimate winter wedding. Oakland wedding photographer Ella Sophie

A friend gives a toast and raises her wine glass. At Erika & Doug's intimate wedding at Homestead. Photographed by Ella Sophie

Guests cheers, clinking wine glasses after heartfelt toast at intimate wedding. Photographed by Ella Sophie

black and white photo of bride and groom laughing during toasts. Wedding Photography by Ella Sophie. Oakland. CA

Detail photo of wine glasses clinking during toast.

Delicious cupcakes on a copper tiered stand. At Homestead restaurant in Oakland. Photographer Ella Sophie

Bride holds cupcake at her intimate wedding at Homestead. Oakland wedding photography by Ella Sophie

Bride and groom feed each other cupcakes at their intimate Oakland wedding. Photography by Ella Sophie

French Press Coffee and tea self serve station for intimate restaurant wedding. Oakland CA. Photographer Ella Sophie

Guests laughing at intimate wedding in Oakland. Photographer Ella Sophie

Father of the bride, enjoying coffee at the end of an intimate mid day wedding. Oakland Photographer Ella Sophie

Details of bouquet and glass water bottles, guests talking at Oakland Restaurant wedding

Guests mingle at intimate wedding at Homestead in Oakland. Afternoon sun. Photography by Ella Sophie

Close up of Dove at intimate wedding in Oakland. White Homing Pigeon. Photographed By Ella Sophie

Are you in the planning phase of your own wedding? Are you looking for a photographer around Oakland for your offbeat intimate wedding? Then give me a shout! I’d love to chat with you about capturing your special day. Oh and a side note, if you are not in the Bay Area, reach out anyway! I love to travel and I have a few places on my bucket list still where I can happily waive the travel fee. Like, basically anywhere on a mountain top.

All Images © Ella Sophie
Ella Sophie is an artist and photographer living in Oakland California. She specializes in creating images that empower women. Through portraiture, boudoir photography and ethical fashion photography. Ella strives to change the perception that women have of themselves one photo at a time. When she isn’t working you can find her volunteering at the local animal shelter. Encouraging fellow entrepreneurs and artists. Or traveling and taking in the beautiful wilderness.

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