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Classic Affair in San Francisco with a Modern Twist

A day filled with a Jose Villa wedding is kind of like Christmas in July. Now take away the snow and the ugly sweaters and swap them for a stunning gown and modern gilded details and you have this San Francisco gem. It’s simple, edited, laced with gold and captured in a way that only Jose Villa can do. We’re calling it wildly chic with a side of pure gilded magic. See even more right here along with a film of the day captured by Imaginale below.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
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Mansion

From The Bride…Darren and I got married on a cloudy day in the beautiful city of San Francisco, Ca. From the beginning we knew that our wedding had to have several key elements: classy, yet modern, meaningful, and topped with touches of gold (of course!). First things first, we prioritized several things, photographer, venue, and city. The rest just seemed to fall into place. We chose the fabulous Jose Villa to document our special day, James Leary Flood Mansion for our venue, and the beautiful city of San Francisco as our background. Since we chose such a stunning venue, we wanted our decorations to be simple so it would highlight the beautiful architecture of the mansion. Some of our decorations included mirrors with beautiful calligraphy, vintage frames containing photos from our years together and vintage cameras from local flea markets. Both Darren and I are photographers so we thought this would be a nice personal touch. We are also fans of crafts and design so we DIY’ed several things. We worked together to design a logo for our wedding. This would serve as a piece that we could include in other things to make our wedding cohesive. We designed and printed our own invitations, and added gold foil touches (which took several days to do, but totally worth it!) topped with a gold monogram wax seal. We also added gold foil to our table numbers along with some of our favorite quotes on the back side. Instead of a sign-in book for the guests, we had them sign a gold-painted globe which now nicely fits in our home as decor. Our venue wouldn’t allow us to have sparklers for our “get away” and had many other restrictions so we had to get creative and made gold frills so our guests could wave as we left, worked nicely! Since Darren and I have our own photo equipment, we decided to save some money and put up our own photo booth. Our backdrop was a continuous scroll with the words from the song I walked down the aisle during the ceremony in beautiful calligraphy by Jen Halverson. I had our flowers girls (who walked with balloons instead of flowers), bible boy, and ring bearer all dolled up with Ban.do accessories! I had to! The boys had colorful poms as boutonnieres and the girls had sparkly headbands! Lastly, we’re big IG fans so our wedding wouldn’t have been complete with our very own instagram hashtag, #YGDbestdayever!

Some over my favorite parts of our wedding included all the music during the ceremony. We had some of our dear friends perform songs that are meaningful in our relationship. I walked down to “Most Uncommon Thing” by Five Times August (sung by Kevin Straine on the wedding day), Darren learned this song on the guitar and sang it to me on our first dating anniversary 6 years ago. “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder (sung by Fidi Mwero on the wedding day) was sung while Darren and I tied ribbons for our unity symbol. Towards the end of the ceremony, our pastor asked our family to form a circle around Darren and I while he prayed a blessing prayer. I can’t even describe the amount of support and love we felt while being surrounded by our most loved ones. Kevin Straine returned to sing “What A Difference A Day Makes” as we were announced and walked down the aisle. Truly a difference and beyond the happiest day of my life.

I especially feel thankful and couldn’t have asked for better vendors to work with! Jin Wang personally helped me chose my gown and altered it to fit like a glove! Mar from Team Hair & Make-up is seriously one of my favorite persons…ever! If you ever get the chance to work with her she is amazing and will make you laugh tons! Kristi Herrmann coordinated the wedding, she is so easy to work with and chop full of amazing ideas! Lastly, I can’t image what I would do without Jose Villa (photography) and Alejandra of Imaginale (videographer) on our wedding day! They made us feel completely natural and allowed us to be ourselves throughout the day. There were times when I didn’t even know they were there. And the final products they produced are exquisite! I’m so thankful I have these images and video to relive my wedding with!

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Videography: Imaginale | Wedding Coordinator: Kristi Herrmann | Floral Design: Cambria Wheeler | Wedding Dress: Olivia Couture | Catering: Melons Catering | Calligraphy: Jennifer Halverson | Favors: Lette Macarons | Grooms Attire: J Crew | Groomsmen's Attire: Zara | Hair And Makeup : TEAM Hair And Makeup | Kids Accessories: Ban Do | Mother Of Brides Dress: Ann Taylor Loft | Pianist: Jed De La Paz | Reception Jazz Vocalist: Ellie Gunn | Wedding Alterations: Jin Wang | Wedding Venue: James Leary Flood Mansion

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Jose Villa Photography, TEAM Hair and Makeup and jinwang are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Whimsical Hollywood Engagement Session

I feel like I could float on the tails of one of those balloons straight up to the moon! This LA engagement session simply has everything: love, confetti and, thanks to Sugarfix, delectable cookies. Also, have to give props to the bride-to-be for the super chic Parker and Alice and Olivia frocks. So feel free to wander through the wonderland-inspired shoot with Christine Farah‘s lovely photographs from the day.


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Summer
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HotelPark
Styles
Whimsical

From the Bride… Since our wedding was going to take place at The London West Hollywood, we wanted to create two different themes using this modern and chic venue. The theme of our engagement session took place in the garden area of the hotel which resembles an Alice in Wonderland charm. We recreated the tea party scene by having a luscious dessert table filled with “eat me” and “i do” cookies, white frosted cupcakes with mini hearts, confetti, and a splash of red and white flowers. We also wanted to incorporate the black and white chess board with the enormous chess pieces and have some playful shots. From there, we wanted to share the place we call home- and photograph ourselves on the Los Angeles 4th Street Bridge in the Arts District which is a mere 1,000 feet away from our backdoor. For this look, we wanted to create an elegant and more formal wear with a longer pale pink dress and a blazer and bow tie. As the sun was setting, we took a quick little jaunt over to the state historic park and continued capturing the warm sun setting while throwing confetti and being surrounded by love…

Photography: Christine Farah Photography | Arts District: Los Angeles 4th street bridge | Black Lace Dress: Alice and Olivia | Dessert: Sugarfix Desserts | Dessert Stands: Martha Stewart | Hotel: The London West Hollywood | Park: Los Angeles State Historic Park | Pink Dress: Parker | Saucers and Cups: Kate Spade New York Larabee Road Platinum | Statement Necklace: Jcrew

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
Sunny Elings Park Wedding

In wedding-land, you just can’t beat the natural sunlight that shines down on SoCal. It’s crisp, yet soft and oh-so-romantic. And Michael & Anna Costa always capture it so beautifully. Case in point? This sweet al fresco love fest coordinated by Felici Events. Filled to the brim with succulents, gorgeous views and smiles galore, its easy to get lost in all the pretty.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Park
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Elegance

From the beautiful Bride… Hartley and I like to joke that we met through Craigslist. (Only semi-true.) One fortuitous 4th of July, I went over to my friend Scott’s house to hang with him and a bunch of our friends. After a mimosa or two, out waltzes his newest Craigslist roommate, a cute guy named Hartley. I’d like to say that was the beginning of our beautiful relationship, but it took some gentle cajoling from Scott and polite persistence from Hartley to get me on a real date. But one real date later, I was head-over-heels for my guy.

Three short years later, Hartley and I were married on June 22nd at Elings Park in beautiful Santa Barbara. Being from North Dakota and he from North Carolina, but both of us long-time Angelenos, we wanted to show our faraway family and friends just why we loved California so much. We wanted an outdoor venue simply because we adore the beauty of SoCal. Elings Park (Godric Grove, to be specific) was our venue from the moment we stepped foot into the park. Gorgeous views, pristine grounds, nature everywhere… it was perfect.

For our day, we knew we wanted it to be simple, we wanted it to be “us” and we wanted it to be a big ol’ love fest. Anything else would be icing on the cake. The wedding turned out to be more incredible than either of us ever imagined it could be. Our fabulous coordinator, Zohe Felici (Felici Events,) made that day so very stress-free. We showed up to the venue and were wowed by all the work she and her staff had done. She took all of our simple ideas and made them beautiful. All of our vendors added something spectacular to the event: our photographer, Anna Costa, was marvelous. She got spectacular photos and didn’t keep us from our guests for any longer than necessary. Our caterers, (Island View Catering,) kept the crowd happy and kept us better fed than any bride and groom in the history of weddings. Our DJ, (Music by Bonnie,) had put up with all our odd requests and handled the mood of the party from pre-ceremony through reception.

And above all else, our friends and family helped make it what it was. My long-time best friend officiated for us; Hartley’s dad, an incredible musician, played a very personal guitar solo during our ceremony; we asked our aunts/uncles and god parents to stand and share some marital wisdom before we said our vows. One of Hartley’s work friends who had been married at Godric Grove rented us her succulent centerpieces that she had used at her wedding, the perfect California touch. My bouquet was wrapped with Chantilly lace that my Grandmother had worn on her veil when she married my Grandfather. Hartley’s dance with his mother was the best twist-ing any of us had ever seen. Our decorations consisted of photos and our RSVP postcards where our guests had drawn pictures and written poems and sweet notes. It was so full of love and had been made so easy by everyone involved, it left us able to simply enjoy every moment.

It’s been almost a year since that day and I can remember every second of it as if it happened yesterday.

Photography: Michael & Anna Costa Photography ~ Anna Costa | Floral Design: Simply Bouquets | Catering: Island View Catering | Make-Up: La Rouge Artistry | Hair: Saralisa At Mon Amie | Lighting: The Tent Merchant | Coordination: Felici Events | Music: Music By Bonnie | Rentals: The Tent Merchant | Rentals: Marborg | Transportation: Pipeline Transportation | Wedding Venue: Elings Park

Michael + Anna Costa Photography and Felici Events are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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