New Years Eve Wedding at Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA
December 31, 2013
Classic WeddingsBallroom WeddingsWinter Weddings
Sending off a year as gorgeous as 2013 was on SMP California is no easy task, but thankfully this New Year's Eve beauty from Christina McNeill fits the bill. It's overflowing with stunning florals from Hunt Littlefield  and planned to perfection from Dream a Little Dream Events, making every image in this gallery worth raising a glass to. And you can do just that right here.
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From the Bride...Our priorities when planning our wedding were to have really good drinks, really good food, and really good music. We wanted our guests to be comfortable and cared for and to celebrate the New Years in style. When starting to plan, I didn't have a theme or a color palette, just a feeling I wanted to achieve. A lot if the ultimate design choices came from the wedding dress I choose. It was the first one I put on and I fell in love. The dress was so elegant and timeless - it helped us design a modern, clean, and classic wedding.

Since Chris and I live across the country from San Francisco, my mom was critical in the planning of the wedding. I sent her and our wedding planner, Kathryn from Dream a Little Dream events, a few photos of things I liked (lots of candles, colors I liked, etc) and they took it from there, designing the entire space. They worked with our florist and our caterer as a team so the entire wedding was seamless. They took a vision I didn't even know I had and made it absolutely perfect. If left to my own devices, I probably wouldn't have chosen what ultimately became my favorite pieces - specifically the white tables that didn't need linens, the 40s art-deco inspired plates, and the cobalt blue water cups. The best decision I made was giving the reins to my mom!

One thing we we cared a lot about was the food & drink. We did signature cocktails and chose my favorite, a sidecar, Chris's favorite, a gin martini, and my parents favorite, a manhattan. We also served the same champagne my parents had at their wedding! When it came to dinner, I didn't want to make my guests choose an entree and buffet didn't fit with the style, so we opted for family-style. I loved it because it gave everyone a chance to try everything and encouraged conversations among our guests.

I have lots of favorite memories. Day-of, I got ready at my house with my family, and that morning I sat with my mom and dad and ate oatmeal and talked with them as if it were any other morning - that really helped me calm down and put things in perspective. We took all of the city pictures in the neighborhood I grew up in. It was really special for me to be able to capture our wedding where I call home. The ceremony was officiated by my younger brother, which was another special moment for us. It was important to me that we were surrounded only by family at the alter. I was pretty caught up in the ceremony and when I kissed Chris, the room exploded with people whooping and hollering. I had forgotten for a moment that we were there with this group of people who all cared so much for us. The amount of love and joy I had at that moment can't be quantified.

My other favorite moments are: dancing our first dance (and having Chris sing the lyrics to me); dancing with my dad; looking out over the crowd and watching everyone, including our parents, dance in unison to Gangnam Style; and hanging out with our college friends in someone's hotel room until 3 a.m. The most incredible thing to me was the people who we got to celebrate the day with. The night was special because of who was there. Never again will we have every single person we love in a room all together and I know we'll never forget it.

My advice to other brides is to relax. At the end of the day, you will leave married to your best friend. Nothing is going to get in the way of that. Something will probably go a little wrong, but you can't worry about it. Just concentrate on your task at hand - marrying the person you love and having a great time! I would tell brides that probably they will freak out at some point. I had a mini-freakout during the reception and my sister-in-law took me by the shoulders and said "Eva, it's OK." I took a breath and moved on. You will probably have a moment or two, and that's totally OK and understandable, just take a breath and move on. The night is too special to get caught up in the little things.