From the Bride...Most of all, we wanted an evening that reflected who we are. Among many other things, we are book nerds (we met in a literature class in grad school), and as we made various decisions along the way, the book thing became something of a theme-- our flowers were made of book pages, our coasters had books stamped on them, our first dance was "The Book of Love" by The Magnetic Fields and our favors were books we'd hand picked for our guests.
We're also big on eating and traveling, so we wanted our food to reflect our favorite things to eat, both at home and abroad. This resulted in a somewhat eclectic menu of small bites (many featuring our favorite ingredient: pork!), including green curry rice noodles in takeout containers, bacon and pork chop hand pies and a late-night taco truck. We also passed on traditional cake in favor of a donut tower. Finally, we wanted it to be a really fun party-- the kind that we'd be excited to attend ourselves-- and something a little different than other weddings we'd been to. We felt strongly about not doing a traditional entrance (we did an opening dance together instead of a bride-and-father aisle walk), not doing a seated meal (all the food was passed and there were various tables, chairs, couches and stairs to sit on) and having lots of our friends and family contribute their words to the ceremony and toasts. We wanted everyone to have a great time, and leave feeling like they knew us just a little bit better.
We wanted to get married in San Francisco, because we met here, we live here and the city is very much a part of who we are. We were looking for places that were a little off-beat, would be able to handle a big ol' cocktail party for around a hundred and fifty people and were excited about our not-quite-traditional wedding vision (i.e., "of course you can pull up a taco truck!"). When we walked in to Ambiance Antiques, our first thought was "do they really let people have parties here?" It is a funky and stunning space, with old furniture everywhere, multiple staircases and hidden nooks and crannies all over. It felt like visiting a rich, eccentric uncle's house, full of warmth and intrigue and undiscovered surprises. Plus, they were incredibly sweet and easy-going to work with-- it was like being invited into their home, and we could actually use all of their gorgeous furniture!
Our ceremony was centered on why we were there, and in our vows we gave each other the reasons we wanted to get married. We had six friends each give a little talk on why they were there, but then our officiant surprised us by reading testimonials from many of our other guests-- he had secretly contacted dozens of our other friends to gather their thoughts. It was lovely, and very touching. And then there was when the donut tower came out, the wonderful toasts by our families, my cousin coming up to me and screaming "Holy (expletive), there's a taco truck outside!"…and on and on. Our favors ended up being a really wonderful surprise all around. We picked out a used book for each attendee (or attending couple) and inscribed them all. Our guests were really surprised and excited about having a personal and personalized gift. What surprised us was that we'd thought that people would take their books on their way out, but almost everybody grabbed them early on and carried them around the party. People ended up striking up conversations with other folks they didn't know by asking about their books, so many of our friends got to meet each other that way. It was really cool to watch that unfold.
Jennifer Lynch was our caterer, and her food was whimsical and damn tasty. She really got our vision, was a great help in planning and her waitstaff was thoughtful, smooth and professional. She also makes a mean tower of donuts (which we got from Dynamo Donuts, here in San Francisco). Christopher Lee was our event planner/coordinator/director of all things awesome. Without him we would have been really, really stressed. During the party, we wanted for nothing, and everything went smoothly. He was somehow everywhere at once. Totally amazing. Alison Bank of First Comes Love Photo was our photographer, and she could not have been better. She's warm, funny and a delightful person to have with you as you're being prettified. We had so much fun with her, and she really understood the kind of things we were trying to do. She also made us look really good-- her pictures are top-notch. Lastly, a special shout-out to Monte's Tacos and Rudy, the owner. Having carnitas tacos at the end of the reception was a pretty amazing treat, and people are still talking about it!
Venue: Ambiance Antiques / Wedding Photography: First Comes Love Photo / Doughnuts: Dynamo Donuts / Catering: Jennifer Lynch / Late-night Tacos: Monte's Tacos (also known as Rudy's Taco Truck) / Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller via Lilac Dress Boutique / Bride's Shoes: Vintage Hush Puppies via Bordeaux Boutique / Suit: Gucci via Sui Generis / Paper Flowers: PoshStudiosWedding / Coordination: Christopher Lee of Leftwich Event Specialists Inc