Sonia and Kevin wanted an intimate wedding so they decided on a ceremony in San Francisco City Hall followed by a lunch time reception. They were married on New Year’s Eve.
“We both really like the style of the late 50s/early 60s and my outfit was styled with that in mind”, said the bride. “We just wanted a small gathering of our nearest friends and family that was relaxed and not too formal. Simple elegance, if you will.”
“Our ceremony was held on the 2nd floor Mayor’s balcony of San Francisco City Hall, overlooking the rotunda and grand staircase. The space is beautiful on its own, and we didn’t need any additional decorations. Judge Breyer kept things short and sweet, which was perfect for us. We met with him a few weeks before the ceremony and rather than writing traditional vows, he requested that we each send him a paragraph about why we loved the other person. The rules were that we both had to submit something, and had to send it to him without telling the other what we’d written so that he could read them aloud for everyone to hear for the first time during our ceremony. Both paragraphs brought smiles, tears, and laughs from our guests.”
Susan and Patrick were inspired by all the things they love for their wedding. So that meant the day was themed around vintage fashion, vinyl records, Elvis, and bright colours.
“Our wedding planning philosophy was simple: Is it fun and does it make us happy?” said the bride. “The songs we played, the food we served, the vows we wrote, and venue we chose all reflected things that made us happy. We cut out anything that seemed too hard to implement or was otherwise a distraction, like a bridal party, a grand entrance and exit, and a sit down dinner. Instead we added things that seemed fun such as our technicolour wedding arch, my accessories, my husband’s gold lame suit, a temporary tattoo station, and a ukulele performance where my husband and I sang for our guests!”
The wedding was held at Bottom of the Hill, a concert venue in San Francisco. “The entire event occurred at a cool rock music venue where Patrick and I have seen a lot of shows together. And, since a traditional guestbook didn’t seem like much fun, we decided to have a ‘guest-guitar’ which fit perfectly with this! We bought a cheap white guitar and a bunch of multi-coloured markers, and invited all our guests to write us a message on it. People loved it, and now we have a guitar that represents the love of all our friends and family to hang on the wall.”
Tiffany and Josh’s November wedding was inspired by a mixture of Halloween and good old fashioned Rock n Roll! They were married at Bottom of the Hill, a club in San Francisco.
“The club was fully decked out in Halloween decorations”, said the bride. “We gave out sugar skulls and had a trick or treat station. We also embraced that fact that we got married at a rock venue. So we played a few songs, made everyone put on temporary tattoos and had our DJ play a carefully curated 70s power pop set list. We really wanted everyone to feel like they were going to a rock show. Our invitations were designed to look like old punk show flyers and we allowed people to start drinking right when they arrived.”
“I worked really hard to add as many unique elements as I could. What comes to mind is the venue, the temporary tattoo favours, and the food (we went with a Hawaiian/Mexican fusion-sushi, papas fritas, saimin, tacos, etc…). However, the most important thing to us was performing original songs for our guests in lieu of our first dance.”
Josh and Katie, both from the UK, travelled to San Francisco in September to elope. They had a reception for their loved ones back home at a later date.
“We are both very fond of the 70s era”, Katie explained, “Our living room is like something out of a mid-century furniture magazine. I knew my dress would be vintage, but I didn’t have a set style in mind. When I came across my 70s, handmade Mexican dress on Etsy, I knew it was the one. I had bought it within a month of us getting engaged. It needed a fair bit of work, but a friend is a seamstress and fixed it up wonderfully. Perhaps the dress set the bar for the laid-back, bohemian feel.”
“Our wedding was different just because of the way we did it”, she continued. “We decided to elope alone to San Francisco at City Hall. It is one of the most beautiful and grand buildings either of us has had the pleasure of visiting. It was perfect and neither of us can imagine doing it any other way. We got married exactly a year after Josh proposed in New York with an Edwardian ring of opals and diamonds, on the rooftop bar of The Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg.”
For their April wedding, Lydia and Klem wanted a day that would be unforgettable for their guests. They chose a unique venue, Big Daddy’s Antique’s in San Francisco for their reception. However their ceremony took place two weeks prior and was a small, intimate affair.
“We really enjoyed having our small ceremony completely separate from our reception”, Lydia wrote. “It was simple and sweet. But our vision for our big reception was to have the most fun and memorable cocktail party our guests had ever experienced. The only ‘wedding-y’ things we incorporated were a first dance and the cake cutting… oh! And of course we got to wear our fancy wedding duds for a second time. BONUS!”
“I produced many of the signs and favors myself, and we made the invitations. But the only real DIY piece was my show stopper of a jewel bouquet which a close friend created for me. I had put a post out on Facebook asking for any misfit earrings, buttons, brooches or baubles that my friends and family were willing to donate. The end result was absolutely breathtaking and filled with so much love. It is a masterpiece!”
When I was in San Francisco last month, one of the most delicious meals we had was at Foreign Cinema. A super cool restaurant and bar in an old cinema building (pro tip: get the truffle popcorn – so good!), they also play silent foreign film during dinner. The vibe is laid back but super cool. Unsurprisingly, it also makes an awesome wedding venue, and I am super excited to share Stephanie and Jim’s big day with you today!
But before we crack on, can we all please stop for one minute and bask in the beauty that is Stephanie’s Monique Lhuillier dress? I mean, goodness!
This couple love movies and video games, and so that’s where they went for their wedding styling. “I don’t know if it was a theme but we sure had a lot of Mario stuff”, Stephanie explained. “We’re 80s kids raised on Nintendo, so our seating chart and table names were all from the classic Super Mario World map. We got a bunch of Mario toys and spread them all around the tables, and of course there was the insanely awesome cake. It was so detailed, it even had a Rainbow Road from Mario Kart!”
“We had a couple of arcade machines brought in for people to play. We did do a first dance but much more important was the first game of Street Fighter 2 as a married couple. I won!”