I am madly in love with this next wedding by the always fabulous Daughter of Design. And I mean madly. From those red Kate Spade heels (swoon) to the stunning location (double swoon) to all of the gorgeous, gorgeous images captured by Verité Boutique Photographers, there are not enough minutes in the day for this wedding and me. So, join me in the gallery to devour every last amazing detail.
From the Bride... As wedding planning goes, ours came together quite simply as we wanted our guests to experience “An Enchanted Evening with MNO” (our initials) and everything that defines us as a couple. A large part of the wedding was DIY -- from the calligraphy to designing the dessert table. I was aiming for a very specific look and guest experience that was not readily available on the market. But I knew exactly what I wanted and just had to work on execution.
Thankfully, tackling the three most important elements was the easiest because they were simply the best: planner (Annie of Daughter of Design), photographers (Robyn & Maria of Verité Boutique Photographers), and venue (San Francisco Opera House). The three of them working together created the *magic* of the evening.
We were fortunate enough to get married at the San Francisco Opera House -- where we had our first date and have been season ticket holders ever since. The historical significance of where United Nations charter was adopted in 1945 was particularly meaningful as a nod to the joining of our cultures. The idea of “staging” an opera made the planning even more enjoyable.
To construct the grandeur of old San Francisco, we opted for a formal yet intimate event accented with a palette of blues, golds, and hints of delicate pink. The invitations were handmade with custom calligraphy and petal enclosures with French silk ribbons by colliding stars. We also included personal messages with each invitation thanking our family and friends for their support with hopes that they would journey to California for the wedding -- 80% out of town and several coming from over 6000 miles away.
We wanted to capitalize on the wow-factor of the Opera House and give the feeling of an opera in full swing. In front of the entrance on busy Van Ness in San Francisco, we framed giant posters of our Opera Wedding for all passerbyers to see! Lighting design and ornamental table settings from Hartmann Studios were used accomplish the look. We made programs that mimicked vintage playbills with our love story and the evening’s events in acts and guests as characters. The highlight of the ceremony was our friend/officiant who shared hilarious stories about the progression of our relationship from the early days of workplace flirtations. Our pianist, Michael Udelson, manned the Steinway grand piano and kept our guests entertained with an eclectic mix of modern rock interpretations from Muse to Jimmy Eat World.
We both wanted a classic and timeless look and opted for the designers Melissa Sweet and Hugo Boss. Our accessories were also a nod to our cultures -- red Kate Spade shoes for Chinese good luck for the bride and a Nara Camacie cravat as a Croatian invention for the groom. Learning how to dance in 4-inch heels was a challenge, but we planned in advance with weekly waltz lessons over 3 months. Instead of a typical love song, we danced to “L’amour Toujours” by Sagi Rei since the original euro dance version “I’ll Fly with You” by Gigi D'Agostino was a little too fast.
The cocktail hour and reception were our chances to showcase the best of San Francisco dining and the culinary skill of Chef Dean Rona of Patina. Guests were greeted with nickname/inside-joke place cards and enjoyed a delectable five course food and wine pairing featuring our favorites including duck confit and filet mignon with corn-sotto. In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, we served the groom’s beloved desserts -- handrolled truffles by XOX Chocolates in various flavors, Parisian macarons and dame blanche by La Boulange, and Scharffen Berger chocolate bars a favors.
All-in-all, the planning and wedding was an amazing experience both creatively and bonding with my now-husband. Our guests still rave about what a great time they had and ask when we’re renewing our vows so they can take another trip to San Francisco.
Photography: Verité Boutique Photographers / Floral Design: The Bud Stop / Event Design: Colliding Stars (The Bride) / Event Planning: Daughter of Design / Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location: San Francisco Opera House / Wedding Invitations & Calligraphy: Colliding Stars (The Bride) / Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade / Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet / Catering: Patina Catering / Rentals: Hartmann Studios / Hair: Eric Xia / Makeup: Go Blush by Tammy Son / Pianist: Michael Udelson / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjelm / Groom's Tuxedo: Hugo Boss / Groom's Shirt & Ascot: Nara Camacie / Groom's Shoes: John Fluevog / Chocolate Buffet: XOX Truffles Inc. + La Boulange