Well known wine tour host and guide John Ziegler saw a need when he received a request from a client to drive and photograph his intimate, family-only wedding ceremony at a beautiful winery setting in Paso Robles, as well as capture the abounding residual joy of the event on the wine tour that followed. Having recently purchased a limo, and spent lots of money bringing it up to his standards, this was exactly the answer John needed on how to keep it working on the slow days of the week in wine country- Monday through Thursday.

John is an ordained minister, and wedding officiant, thus enabling Intimate Wine Weddings to become the affordable, one-stop-shop: wedding officiant/vows, photos, and celebratory wine tour- for couples thinking small, intimate, courthouse-style, simple wedding surrounded by the beauty and quality of Central Coast wineries. John is a consummate pro, with deep knowledge and connections in both San Luis Obispo County, and Santa Barbara County, where he began learning his trade working for other transportation companies serving the elite, top tier hotels in SB and Santa Ynez Valley as a first call limo driver.

Backed by well over 1,000 wine tours since 2005, he was quite excited to further expand his photographic skills from a ten year magazine staff writer and photographer gig for Pacific Coast Sportfishing Magazine, to industrial photographer while also a tech writer, and now creating moments and memories frozen in time for his newly wed clients, family and friends. Like his never ending thirst for wine knowledge, photography is in a very close tie for constant learning and skill enhancement.

Photography has always been part of John’s wine tour business from the beginning, when he branded his own service with his initials in 2009, to his Elite Wine Tours Paso, LLC (www.EliteWineToursPaso.com). Taking unforeseen news from his newly hired web guy with good humor, he found out there are millions around the world who don’t know how the other Jay Z spells his name, and John’s original site was getting 10 to one hits from folks worldwide looking for the other Jay Z, hence the need for rebranding to Elite Wine Tours Paso.

John is very happy to be a helpful Central Coast ambassador promoting our famous hospitality and unique, friendly, unpretentious wine experiences. He gladly fields all questions and inquiries whether you’re using his services or not.

The Gear

Great photos start with great gear to digitally preserve those incredibly beautiful, emotional, and joyous moments prior to, during, and after the ceremony.

The centerpiece of John’s kit is a full-frame Canon 500D Mark III- one of the benchmark cameras and brands recognized for superior wedding pictures. John has numerous lenses, like the Canon EF 24-70mm- a must-have for weddings, plus an array of filters, reflectors, and flash tools to choose from during your day. The Cannon EOS t6i that he uses on all his regular wine tours serves as back up camera.

During the ceremony a tripod-mounted GoPro captures the action and dialog so all can concentrate on the main event. John is happy to do lots and lots of photos before and after with his full-frame camera.

“I feel like I’m lucky to be suspended on this cloud of amazing joy with my clients the entire day. Capturing these priceless moments is a job I take very seriously. The amount of happiness gushing out is an incredible feeling- it’s contagious!”- said during our first meeting creating this site. Is that a touch of mist I see in your eyes John?

After the tour, John works tirelessly on developing over 100 wonderful, timeless impressions in Photoshop and Lightroom, which he sends to you via Dropbox shortly after your ceremony/tour day.

Top shelf wedding-quality cameras, along with high quality ancillary gear bring your special day to life every time you enjoy the photos.

Here’s the Package

Complete wedding photo and ceremony video package, licensed officiant performs your ceremony, plus a memorable wine tour and joyous day with your loved ones you’ll always remember. Five hours for $1,000. Extra hours are $125 per hour. Tasting fees vary depending on experience chosen, and are paid directly to the winery by client at time of service, or prearranged payment by Intimate Wine Weddings, charged to your card after your visit.