I'm not quite sure if there is a more romantic backdrop than the Golden Gate Bridge when you are taking your first peek at your soon to be husband and lucky us – it makes for REALLY beautiful pictures as well. The extremely talented Lauri Levenfeld of Zoom Photography captured every pretty minute of this first look as well as a host of other perfect details from this Sausalito gem. Held at Cavallo Point right outside of San Francisco and beautifully crafted from beginning to end by Melissa Panico of MAP Events, this is equal parts classic, elegant and pretty, pretty, pretty. For more from the day, be sure to stop by the gallery.
We worked together for 18 months at Applied Biosystems in Foster City before we began dating. Our relationship changed when we embarked on a business trip together to Flagstaff, AZ that included a five-hour car ride from the Phoenix airport to Flagstaff. It was during that car ride that we both shared very intimate details of our lives. I’m not sure what compelled us to both be so open, but that ability to speak openly would later become the foundation for our relationship – honest communication. During our one-year anniversary, Chris was on a month-long business trip in Europe and invited me to join him in Paris for a long weekend. Although both of us had traveled to Paris previously, the city felt even more romantic and special as we explored it together. We spent our four days wandering the neighborhoods and gardens and indulging in French cuisine. One of our afternoons led us to Jardin du Luxembourg where we took a photo from a park bench that would become our holiday card to family and friends that year. Three years later on a gastronomic vacation to Lyon and Paris, and on our fourth anniversary together, Chris insisted that we visit the garden again. Locating the same exact park bench, Chris surprised me and proposed while on bended knee. I happily said yes. We took another photo for our holiday card and included our save-the-date.
The minute we returned to our hotel room at L’Empire Paris that evening, we contacted Cavallo Point Lodge to inquire about holding our wedding there. We knew we wanted to get married there although we had never discussed it openly with one another. We had visited Cavallo Point several times to have lunch or cocktails on the deck outside of the restaurant, Murray Circle, following hikes in Marin. Cavallo appealed to us because it’s an eco-resort that provided luxury accommodations but focused on sustainability. We were especially drawn to the food which is locally produced, organic and sustainable as well as the setting with stunning views of the city and beautiful surroundings that were both historic and modern.
By being just minutes away from San Francisco yet excluded enough among the trees and Marin headlands, Cavallo provided the perfect destination without leaving the convenience of San Francisco. Many of our friends also have children and would not have been able to travel to a remote destination. We wanted to create a sense of community by having all of our friends join us for the entire weekend in order to spend as much time as possible together and allowing everyone to get to know each other. Cavallo is a great destination for kids – tons of activities: the Bay Area Discovery Museum, beachcombing, hiking. Also dog-friendly – we had some guests from Los Angeles bring their dog and they said Sandro was treated like a king. They also provide babysitting services through Aunt Ann’s agency in San Francisco – our reception for an adult affair so the kids were in good hands with the babysitters nearby.
We loved Lauri because she was interested as were we of capturing the emotion of the wedding and the people in the beautiful surroundings. We wanted to capture the essence of the wedding – not with staged shots but through the natural interaction of the people. Her energy is amazing as is her ability to keep things moving without disrupting the natural flow of the day. Map Events – Melissa Panico, as we neared the wedding we understood that we needed help with the day of logistics and timeline. Her attention to detail, professionalism, and relationships with the other vendors were invaluable. Our wedding could have not gone more smoothly.
Photography: Lauri Levenfeld of Zoom Photography with Second Shooter, Jessica Epstein / Venue and Catering: Cavallo Point, Sausalito, California / Event Planning; Melissa Panico of MAP Events / Florist: Cherries Flowers / DJ: Chris Fox / Lighting: Creative Lighting / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Hair and Makeup: Kathleena Gorga Makeup & Hair Design / Invites: Wedding Paper Divas