This next sentence has been uttered from my lips probably a hundred a times at least and always manages to send my husband into fits of worry but here it goes. I call wedding do-over. Because this wedding of adorable blogger Vmac + Cheese is pure genius. A chic penthouse backdrop at The Fairmount Hotel, an intimate gathering with your nearest and dearest and loads of scrumptious desserts. Now if that doesn’t sound perfect, I don’t know what does. Add in a handful of insanely talented vendors like Amy Kaneko Events, Natalie Bowen Designs and Delbarr Moradi Photography and I promise you, the gallery is the only place you’ll want to be.
From the Bride…Joe and I are the kind of people that don’t entertain often, but when we do, we (or really, I) like to go all out. If we have people over to our home, my goal is always that they feel relaxed, welcome, and most of all, like they want for nothing. For our wedding, we decided to take a similar approach — simple surprises, and an understated (but not underdone) atmosphere. This worked out well, because it took so much of the pressure off of us. You see, we’d been dating for almost ten years when we got married (in fact, our decade dating anniversary was the day AFTER our wedding!), so going into the planning process, we felt like there were some expectations from family and friends about how we might celebrate both important milestones. Instead, we bucked many traditions, and ended up with an event that felt more like a festive, fancy house party than traditional hotel wedding.
There’s no way we could’ve gotten the vibe we wanted if we hadn’t found our venue. The Penthouse at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco was the perfect location to host the kind of relaxed evening we were going for. The suite is gigantic — like 6000 square feet gigantic — which afforded us plenty of options as far as designating different rooms for different uses. In the end though, we lucked out, because San Francisco had one of the most insanely clear, warm autumn nights ever, and most of our guests hung around on the terrace that overlooked downtown, Alcatraz, and the bay, or got down on the dance floor in the living room. There was a near-full moon rise that night, and with the Transamerica building flashing an orange signal light at the top (in honor of the Giants recent World Series win), the moon and sky took on an orange hue that was unlike anything I’d ever seen.
The best part about the Penthouse? You really don’t have to worry so much about event design. The space is on the National Historic Register, and with features like a wood-tiled Moroccan billiards room, and a two story library once used by JFK that features an insanely beautiful hand painted ceiling, we let the interior design speak for itself. All that was needed were lots of mercury glass votives and simple arrangements by Natalie Bowen. It’s a unique experience to be up in the suite, and guests loved roaming from room to room and exploring the suite’s history.
Important to both of us was that the food and drinks were fantastic. We adore Mexican food, so we worked with the hotel to develop a customized Mexican feast that we served buffet style. In addition to the terrace bar, we also set up a second bar in the billiards room that poured two types of margaritas all night. I’m so glad that we opted for Mexican food, which I think people always associate with a relaxed, warm, fun, friendly atmosphere.
Since renting the Penthouse means you also get to stay there overnight, our event kind of didn’t have an end time. Following passed hors d’oeuvres, the Mexican buffet, and a dessert smorgasbord served on the same desk JFK used to work from (we had to really convince the hotel to let us swing that one), guests danced until almost dawn and enjoyed the views outside. There were a few guests that made it longer than I did — somewhere around 2:30 in the morning, I had to tell people I was ready to go to bed! All in all, the evening was simple, without a lot of the typical traditional wedding events (we nixed a cake cutting, first dance, bouquet and garter throws, and any speeches other than a welcome one we gave ourselves), but it allowed our guests to really relax and enjoy the evening out and feel like they were at the biggest and best (and fanciest) house party they’d ever been to.
Photography: Delbarr Moradi Photography | Wedding Venue: The Fairmount Hotel in San Francisco, California | Wedding Coordination: Amy Kaneko Events | Floral Design: Natalie Bowen Designs | Stationery: Tobe Reed | String Duet: Golden Gate Music | DJ: David Hosley | Cake: Susie Cakes | Dessert Table Candies: The Candy Store | Hair + Makeup: Brides by Amy | Bride’s Rings: David’s Diamonds | Groom’s Ring: Cartier | Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel | Grooms Attire: Canali | Hair Accessories: Vintage, The Bride’s