Bay Area Wedding Photographer Gabriel Harber » Fun, Artistic, Joyful Photography that is Real and Full of Stories

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Jill and Jonathan | Sonoma | Ramekins Wedding

For a few days before Jill and Jonathan’s wedding, I had been hearing a funny sound coming from the engine of my 2002 Honda CRV.  Loretta questioned my decision to drive it to Sonoma, but I figured a trip to the mechanics could wait until Monday.  When I arrived at Ramekins, I did a quick check of the engine and found nothing super obvious.  I unpacked my car and began shooting.

Jill and Jonathan are extremely nice people.  They have a very easy-going and pleasant way about them.  Their friends were also a pleasure to be around.  The two of them got ready in adjacent rooms at Ramekins, and we did a first look at the General’s Residence (gorgeous) right next door.  It was a hot day in Sonoma, and the pace of the day seems to laze along in tune with the temperature.  This wedding was filled with smiles, great food, and some awesome dancing.

At the end of the night I packed my car and headed out into the balmy night air.  After driving for about 20 minutes or so, I started to smell something funny.  I optimistically hoped it was something outside.  A couple of miles later I pulled into a gas station.  Smoke was slithering out from the front of the car, and I popped the hood hoping that I wasn’t about to look into the mouth of an engine fire.  As luck would have it, I had around 5 gallons of water with me so I dumped some into the smoky abyss.  I then reached inside the engine and pulled out a severed rubber belt.  I then decided to get back in my car and see if I could still drive it.  The engine started without issue, my engine temp was normal, and there were no other indicators that something was seriously wrong.  Maybe it was just the A/C belt.  I quickly realized it was more than that – I had no power steering.  Well, I figured if that was the only issue, I should be able to make it home.  I got on the freeway feeling like I was steering a ton of bricks.  A few miles down the road my battery light went on.  Ah, that belt probably powers the alternator too, I thought.  A/C, power steering, and alternator out.  No problem.  Around 10 miles down the road I noticed that my temp gauge was pushing the redline.  Problem.  I quickly pulled over, and opened the hood (again).  Within a minute or two the coolant in the engine boiled over and spilled onto the street.  That belt also ran the water pump.  I sat in my disabled car for a few minutes, weighed my options, googled the belt that had broken (the serpentine belt), and called a good friend who manages a restaurant in Oakland.  A half an hour later, I was on my way home.  I figured I could take it to the mechanic on Monday.

Thank goodness all this happened on the way home, and not on the way to Jill and Jonathan’s wedding.  So what is the lesson here?  Don’t ignore funny sounds coming from your vehicle’s engine.  Listen to your partner.  We are sometimes confronted with obstacles in life.  It is helpful to have a positive attitude and good friends.  Jill and Jonathan, may you continue to be wonderful friends to one another, surround yourselves with great people, and traverse life’s trials and tribulations with ease.

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Jill and Jonathan Wedding at Ramekins Sonoma

Jill and Jonathan Wedding at Ramekins Sonoma

  • Amanda - Sorry about your car troubles, but these photos are wonderful!!!July 24, 2014 – 2:06 pm

  • Vicki - Thank you so very much for the lovely photos. Jonathan is my cousin and he is a good man. Jim, the officiant, is my uncle, and it is wonderful to see his face. So thrilled you were able to capture such a special day for Jill & Jonathan.August 2, 2014 – 11:28 pm

  • Carole Soss - Mara Soss, my daughter emailed me this link to show me your work. Your use of light, your stylizing, your discerning eye and techniques are remarkable. I am so excited to have you capture Mara and Josh’s wedding in October.
    May your car issues be the end of your challenges for some time.August 26, 2014 – 9:58 am

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