San Francisco DIY Wedding from Zoom Photography
May 22, 2012
United States
RusticFall Weddings
Jane Austen's handwriting on the programs, well loved doilies on the tables, a ceremony written by the couple, and an Italian family vibe buzzing through the entire affair. If your hand is already reaching toward your mouse to get to this fabulous California affair, I won't stop you - but let me just say one last thing before I send your off into the gallery and beyond... Zoom Photography captured the style, the emotion, and the sweet, sweet love in a way that only she could do. And the whole thing is magical. Now go!

Click here to see the rest of this lovely day!

Joseph proposed with a diamond that has been in his family for over a hundred years. As I love antiques, so we went to the Chelsea Flea Market in NYC with the stone and our fingers crossed! Not only did we find a beautifully ornate handmade mounting, the jeweler who set it assumed it was the original! This act of serendipity set the tone for our wedding, honoring the traditions and stories of our families and creating something wholly ours.

From the start we wanted a warm, romantic affair, harvest time of November was perfect. And we are both Italian, so that entailed a feast! We wanted to celebrate our ancestry and our bi-coastal ties, and so, our theme became “Abbondanza e Amore” (abundance & love). Our logo was created by my brother, it celebrated the iconic bridges that reside in our two homes of San Francisco and Brooklyn. We married at North Beach, the Little Italy of San Francisco, where we shared our first date at a cafe six years ago and stood on the same altar at St. Peter and Paul where my parents married 42 years prior. Our reception venue, the rustic Log Cabin in the Presidio, is brilliantly perched atop a hillside overlooking the entire city with the Golden Gate in the background. Pairing those two venues was a supreme illustration of us, a reverence towards the past and a comfortable, candle-lit dinner served family-style.

To accomplish our vision we enlisted the talents of our friends & family. Joseph & I made everything paper together- silk-screening in our tiny Park Slope apartment, coffee-staining vellum to give an antique feel, wax sealing by candle light, and tying all the ribbons. It meant a lot to us that when our guest received our Save The Dates, invitations, and held our programs that the energy of our labors of love transferred to them! I was overjoyed to find Jane Austen’s handwriting as a font, and an old typewriter font that we used to unite everything together.

Joseph’s 87-year old Nonna knit shawls for all the bridesmaids and for me as it turned out to be a chilly November day. My mother embroidered the initial of every guest on vintage napkins that I had accumulated from flea markets and eBay, this served as the wedding favor. We had a dessert table where the women from both sides baked wedding cookies from all different regions of Italy. On the tables were linens and doilies from both sides of the family - some of them knit by great-aunts and great grandmothers and some from their own wedding gifts! We used tomato cans and vintage bottles as vessels for the rustic flower arrangements. I really wanted the arrangements to feel wild, unrestrained, and elegant. Our florist executed my vision perfectly! On our sign-in table we strung pictures of all the marriages in our families going back generations to Italy. I found my 20s veil on eBay in France and then took it took a veil restoration expert who repaired it and added a full-length blusher. When I held my bouquet under the veil, I was transported to a tranquil lavender field.

Joseph and I planned the entire ceremony together picking all the readings and songs. Our dear friends sang “Ave Maria” from the choir loft - the most majestic moment of the day. My brother played “Ashokan Farewell” on the violin, the same song that he serenaded his wife and my bridesmaid at his own wedding 10 years prior. Joseph and I wrote our vows, borrowing a bit from Neruda and Shakespeare are two of our favorite wordsmiths! 

My wedding day was more than I could have imagined in every way. I am a weepy woman, but that day joy overtook me in a way I didn’t expect. I was pure happiness.

Photographer: Lauri Levenfeld, Zoom Photography / Second Shooter: Jessica Epstein / Caterer: Kim Grubbs, Back to Earth Organic Catering / Floral Design + Decor: Brooke Schwiers, 925-323-8710 / DJ: Dave Tutton / Venue: Log Cabin, The Presidio / Stationery: DIY