The San Francisco City Hall is ~ in my humble opinion ~ one of the most spectacular spots to be married! And apparently, so did Angela and Ben …

photography courtesy of IQ photo

{pretty, pretty, pretty short wedding dress from Dolly Couture}

{angela and ben’s smp photo gallery}

from Laurel

Iowa-born Angela met British Ben in 2007 while working together in London. In March 2008, Ben surprised Angela with a trip to the medieval city of Bruges, and there he proposed in the candlelight of a beautiful restaurant.  He also amazed her by presenting her with a gorgeous ring that had caught her “designer eye” on a jeweler’s website.   The couple wanted to combine their wedding with a visit to family and friends in the US.  After talking about many possible locations for their ceremony, they decided on San Francisco. “San Francisco was on the top of our list because it’s such a fun and funky city,” says Angela.  A cousin living in San Francisco suggested City Hall.  Angela and Ben were completely intrigued when they saw the beautiful pictures on IQ Photo’s website. They were sold  — San Francisco City Hall it was!  In selecting San Francisco and her vendors there, Angela wanted to create a wedding that was fun and carefree with a little twist. “I wanted the day to represent us as a couple – nothing too serious!”

The long distance planning was a breeze for the self-described “Internet hound”.   Good thing, too – because after making preliminary contact with vendors in San Francisco the couple got word from their immigration lawyers that Angela’s extended visa application had been denied, and that she would have to leave Britain by the end of the year!  With only a few weeks to pull it all together, they got on the phone and email that very night.  Luckily, San Francisco City Hall was able to fit them in on New Year’s Eve for the ceremony, and all the other details fell into place.  For her dress, Angela wanted something that really represented her personal style: “nothing too foofy, but elegant and funky with a splash of color. I love retro styles, so I knew I needed to find a vintage-inspired dress.” She found LA-based Dolly Couture, which allows you to select the dress you like and then customize it to your heart’s content.   Angela put together drawings and color swatches for Dolly and her team. “They were amazing from day one. They sent pictures of my dress as it was being made, helped me confirm the type of fabric and color choices – they were so lovely to work with. Once it was ready to go, they shipped it to London and the dress fit like a glove.”

Angela made her own birdcage veil, following instructions on the how-to website Made by Maryann. Ben’s suit was an elegant Paul Smith design, from the Paul Smith store in Covent Garden, and his shirt, tie and cufflinks were purchased at Selfridges in London.  Bride and groom made a point of not telling each other what their outfits were going to be.  Angela says “It was so much fun hiding our garment bags from each other on the flight over and in the hotel. It made the big day even more exciting!” Angela also found the flowers online. One of her favorite flowers is the gerber daisy, so she knew she wanted them in the mix, along with mini calla lilies, roses and orchids in vivid pink and orange to match the accents in her dress.  She searched San Francisco-based florist web sites and came across us ~ Laurel Ann Winzler of Laurel Designs.  Via email she explained what she was looking for and said, “Laurel came back with some great ideas and seemed to understand exactly what I wanted in the bouquet, boutonnière and my flower headpiece. The flowers turned out perfectly and really helped to pull the entire outfit together.”

The day of the wedding was sunny and beautiful, and the setting at San Francisco City Hall created the dramatic backdrop for the ceremony.  Their perfect little bridesmaid was their 8-month-old daughter, Bay, who got into the spirit of the day despite missing her nap.  Following the ceremony, the couple enjoyed a photo session along the San Francisco shoreline and a romantic dinner for two at Woodward’s Garden Restaurant, a local gourmet favorite.  Looking back, Angela says she would not change a single thing. “I loved every minute of it. I think one of the best things that really came out of it was how friendly and helpful every person was who was involved in helping us pull this off. It felt like everything was meant to be as it just fell into place.”

Congratulations on a pretty, pretty, pretty wedding day and thanks to Laurel for sharing!  To see more of Laurel’s sensational floral designs, be sure to take a look at her SMP portfolio gallery and this super-Sausalito wedding featured in December on Style Me Pretty!

Dolly Couture is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Laurel Designs and Wedding Photography by IQphoto are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Wedding Photography by IQphoto

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