Stylish Story Telling with Raw Emotion
Planning their San Francisco Asian Art Museum wedding day from New England wasn’t the easiest logistical feat, and involved several trips out west to make sure everything was in order. But from the beginning they partnered up with those who are the best at what they do. The ceremony was at Saints Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco’s Washington Square and (fun fact), the front steps were where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio posed for their wedding photos after their civil ceremony in 1954. The reception was held at the Asian Art museum —
Helping to realize Carah’s dream of a grand and formal, yet inviting and vibrant wedding, her wedding coordinator Cassandra O’Gara straight knocked it out of the park. From the cavernous nave of Church, to the expansive card catalog room of the Asian Art Museum, they had grand and formal both covered. For all the mini-events happening throughout the day, however, there was a more inviting, family-style feel; from the bubble sendoff, to touring on a trolley car around San Francisco with their wedding party, to Mike’s surprise “groom’s cake”, to a packed, multigenerational dance floor rocking the evening away to the sounds of Pop Fiction, to wrapping up the night eating In N’ Out burgers, it was an epic day for everyone involved.
Michael and Carah’s wedding day happened to be one of the windiest days of the summer in San Francisco, and the weather made for some unexpected mishaps, such as her veil (with its heirloom diamond headpiece) being blown off her head and taking a life of its own, whooshing rapidly across the sky under the domes and columns of the Palace of Fine Arts. This could’ve turned many a couple towards the dark side, but their positivity and lovely spirit saved the day. In Carah’s words:
The engrained memory of our shocked and concerned family and bridal party banding together and sprinting in multiple directions, in their finest tuxedos and gowns, to try and catch the veil is one we still belly laugh about! The veil was ultimately captured by a tree branch that my dear brother had to climb to reach. Unscripted moments like this, while they initially caused some anxiety when they occurred, truly made our wedding day unique and have gifted us with so many great memories to look back upon.
Kevin and Chris’ De Young museum wedding took place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate park. The architecture of the DeYoung is magnificient and the ceremony site was that of stark contrasts. The ceremony took place in the serenity of the sculpture garden, framed in the background by the massively cantilevered steel roof of the museum. Kevin being an illustrator (most notable for his cover art in the Marvel series, “She Hulk”) he brings two dimensional images to life for a living. This larger-than-life architectural backdrop; a bit like Mad Max meets Alice in Wonderland, seemed apropos for this special occasion.
As your friends often know you better than you know yourselves… why not have them officiate your wedding? The co-officiants, Eric and Scott took anecdotal stories from the past and infused them with just the right amount of fiction to keep the crowd completely engaged and glowing
Eric: Welcome to the greatest wedding of all time. Again, I am Eric
Scott: I’m Scott
Eric: Kevin and Chris asked us to co-officiate their wedding ceremony as a reflection of them as individuals. To represent them. Spiritually and emotionally.
Scott: Even physically.
Eric: Yes. It’s like Kevin and Chris asked the question, “Do we have people in our lives that kind of look like us, only better looking, taller, and funnier?”
Scott: I don’t think they found them yet.
Eric: I never noticed but you do look like Kevin.
Scott: We’re like bizarro them!
[this couple is blessed with some truly awesome pals]
In complementary wool suits – earthtone in color – the two faced each other and their audience as the last of the processional, their cuddle-bug chocolate lab Temko, made his way down the aisle with the all-important wedding bands. As a couple, standing up in front of 180 of your closest friends and family as you open your hearts to one another can seem daunting, but again, their officiants’ disarming and hilarious banter throughout added just the right amount of comedic value to ease the nerves.
After a light-hearted welcome, it was time for the couple to exchange vows and they poured their hearts out and Eric and Scott rounded out their marital duties.
Eric: Chris, Kevin, it is one of our greatest honors to send you forth into your life together. We now pronounce you married.
Scott: Make it so!
And with an embrace and a kiss, they indeed, made it official…and the roar of applause and whoots and “yeah’s!” rolled to the edges of that vast space and bounced back to greet them as they walked together hand in hand.
After the ceremony, guests made their way to cocktail hour in the Hamon Observation Tower, a massive steampunk-styled trojan horse of a structure that overlooks the city in every direction. Guests enjoyed music from the San Francisco Music Conservatory, hors d’oeuvres, and some spirited conversations, all set amongst the backdrop of a city in twilight. Following the cocktail reception, guests headed back down to the museum’s Wilsey Court where the space had been transformed into a dining room awash with an otherworldly green glow from the centerpiece of the room, Gerhard Richter’s Strontium (2005), a large scale mural comprised of 130 digital prints. Kevin lent his illustration skills to the decor, personalizing each table with a unique and clever marker. Once dinner had been served, speeches followed and evoked the full spectrum of emotions. I can’t think of any better way to recompose after an emotional round of speeches than hitting the handmade ice cream sundae bar and off to the dance floor. As tables cleared and the dance floor filled, the dj strung together creative mixes of classic house tunes and current pop hits and ended the night – as every wedding night should – rocking.
We are always up for an adventure and we love clients who aren’t afraid of braving a little sideways-rain for a photo shoot! Currently living in New York, Nicole and Andy were in town for a few days visiting with family, and thought it’d be a great opportunity to slap on some rain boots, grab an umbrella, and meet their wedding photographers at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This fall, Andy and Nicole will be getting married on an incredible property in San José Del Cabo that we can’t wait to see. It’s unique to the area and features a 150 acre working ranch and a 10 acre organic farm, among other things.
Well…warm, desert sunsets and ceviche on the beach were not in the cards for us on this harsh Friday afternoon but they came ready for anything…so we grabbed our umbrellas and channeled our inner Wolfgang Petersen. While not ideal shooting conditions, attitude made all the difference and we had lots of laughs and got some great images while getting to know each other and best of all…we had the place all to ourselves!
I remember sitting in the sand on the southern shore of Lake Tahoe at the age of 5, eating a bowl of ice cream and thinking how nice it’d be to dip my toes in the lake to cool off. It’s one of my most vivid childhood memories. For us, that was a “day at the beach”. At over 1600 feet deep and situated a mile above sea level, Lake Tahoe is our nation’s largest body of water by volume west of the Mississippi. It is incredibly blue, and incredibly beautiful…but absolutely freezing cold year-round.
As much as we love the area, we don’t get up to Lake Tahoe enough, so we were extra psyched for Nina and David’s Homewood wedding weekend. The festivities kicked off with a sunset welcome dinner at Homewood Mountain Ski Resort atop the quail chair lift. It was great to finally meet David, Nina, and their gorgeous boy Remi. Headed up the chairlift, the serenity of the panoramas behind us were breathtaking. As the sun dipped behind Ellis Peak, the veiled evening light hinted at the two wildfires which earlier in the day, had begun raging to our west. The Howard Wiley jazz quartet added the perfect soundtrack to this ethereal dinner setting as friends and family greeted each other and shared a family-style dinner together high atop Big Blue.
The next morning we met Nina at the home that has served as their families getaway spot since she was just 10 years old. In the breakfast nook, the girls were finishing hair and makeup, down in the laundry room dad was wrapping up some last minute ironing, while in the upstairs bedroom, Nina’s brother was revising his final draft for his part in the ceremony. It was family at its best. Over at the boys cabin, David (a savvy music lover as well as a full time music producer) kept the playlist jazzy while friends sipped single-malt scotch on the balcony, overlooking the clearing in the pines where guests would soon begin to congregate for their ceremony.
Friends and family play such an important role in our lives, shaping the people we become and giving us inspiration, hope, laughter, and love. Nina and David’s ceremony was very family oriented and acknowledged the major contributors in their lives and assigned them formal roles which they brought to life through words and song. There were The Connectors (the one’s responsible for the meeting of David and Nina), The Bard, The Wandering Sage, The Scientist, The Humorist, The Balladeer (and evoker of tears), The Midwife, The Guardian, and The Wild Rose. Whether through a funny anecdote, a song, or a shared memory, each provided a new layer and perspective on Nina and David’s life; past, present, and future. In between speakers, the only thing that could be heard was the gentle wind dancing through the pine needles overhead and there was a ubiquitous feeling of combined love and tranquility.
As the ceremony concluded, Howard Wiley and his players led a jazz procession down the windy path to the cocktail reception which was held over Lake Tahoe on the Chambers Landing Dock Bar. Here, guests were treated to freshly shucked shellfish (try repeating that five times), local favorites, and a multitude of libations whilst taking in the ineffable beauty of this special corner of the lake.
The sun set over the Pacific Crest and dinner was served. There were no speeches during dinner, rather a lot of great conversations punctuated by bursts of laughter and smiles filled the room. The family spirit of the day carried through. Remy sat on mom’s lap as she and dad shared their wedding dinner with him and just before turning into a pumpkin, he reluctantly made his way back to the house for some well-deserved snuggle down time. This is when the attention shifted to speeches, cake, and one sumptuously comprehensive cheese board, amongst other things. Friends and family donned props and got their sillies out at the photo booth before the dj directed everyone back inside for the apex of the day’s events: the family band. It seems that everyone in this family is incredibly talented at at least a few things, and the musically gifted members of the family continued their tradition of spontaneous jam-lesions, this time welcoming Nina and David to their first dance with a heartfelt – and slightly more folksy – rendition of I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston. As they danced close, surrounded by friends, family, and band, all singing together, I couldn’t imagine ending a wedding day on any sweeter a note.
There’s something magical about the little bend in Sonoma Valley sometimes affectionately called Valley of the Moon – that’s hard to put into words but easy to understand when you’re there. Located just 20 minutes north of Angie’s hometown of Novato, Charlie and Angie were drawn to Kunde Family Estate and Boot Hill for its beautiful scenery, cerulean skies, fresh local fare, and of course…the wine. And in no department did their day disappoint.
Angie and Charlie first met over a decade ago during their freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania. They became instant best friends, bonding over a shared, silly sense of humor and a deep love for music. Amid a weekend packed with barbecue, bluegrass, and brunch, friends and family were at the heart of it all.
Their day featured elements of both Jewish and Chinese culture and the ceremony was extra special too as Charlie’s uncle David officiated. The pure bliss across their faces as they walked back down the aisle – freshly pronounced “husband and wife” – it seemed as if that their “first” kiss might actually have been their first kiss.
Angie and Charlie supported the area they love so much by serving exclusively local food and wines. The cocktail hour featured Pt. Reyes oysters, artisan cheeses, local beers, Kunde wines and even a mimosa bar serving Gloria Ferrer bubbles. As Oakland based trio Transit of Venus wrapped up their incredible cocktail hour set, guests were seated for the entrance of the bride and groom. Angie and Charlie danced their way into the reception as their band, the KJ Allstars didn’t miss a beat in kicking things into gear. Dinner and speeches followed but it wasn’t long before everyone found themselves back up on the dance floor and Angie and Charlie found themselves above the dance floor for an extremely entertaining hora (check the facial expressions – those chairs were not light!).
Just before leaving, the catering staff brought out a batch of cookies baked lovingly for the couple by Charlie’s mother and grandmother (her own recipe), truly a sweet ending to a magic day.