One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: A relaxing, introverted celebration with great food, sweets and music that was fun for introverts and extroverts alike! Hooray! (We’re more of the one-on0one conversations type, than a dancing couple.)
Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Wedding’
The Info— Photography: Little Bat Photography / Dress: ABS by Allen Schwartz (2008 graduation gift from older sister, Jessie) / Veil: Little Bat & Bride DIT / Shoes: Something Bleu via Bhldn / Suit: Express Men / Ceremony: San Francisco City Hall / Wine: Arlequin Cafe / Cupcakes: Miette / Ring Bear: Kennedy Space Center
Other cool stuff: We decided to elope the week before, to be married on the anniversary of our engagement. We live in Wisconsin and our county requires birth certificates and has a waiting period for marriage licenses, so we ran away instead to somewhere with simpler policies. I tried to make a dress in that week and gave up on it just 5 hours before getting on the plane to SF. Eloping brides—just use a dress you have, or buy something you like. But seriously, instead of sewing, get a massage. Little Bat Photographer Jillian (APW Sponsor… they are full service, y’all) made my bouquet, helped whip up my veil, and was so incredibly amazing on every front. We had gotten rings in December… just in case. My something borrowed was a hairpin from my friend Kim who I got to see the day before our wedding for the first time in well over a year for sushi and beers. Jesse’s timepiece was his engagement pocketwatch (our initials are engraved on either side of the hunter’s case). The lace at the top of my veil was from the wedding dress I’d planned to wear to the big wedding that wasn’t. Jesse was super cool in every regard.
One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: An entirely personal and vivid day.
Hardest thing about the wedding: Val: Getting ready alone. I didn’t expect to feel so lonely on my wedding day. I’d been planning it since girlhood (I have two sisters; Vanessa the younger was going to be my Maid of Honor, and I’d helped my older sister Jessie into her wedding gown two years before). Or even eloping with my favoritest person by my side (like, how can you feel alone when you’re with your best friend?). But suddenly I remembered that all brides are essentially alone in that particular liminal state. It was my transition to make. And then I felt brave enough to go on. Also, there was definitely fallout afterwards, but it is dissipating with time. Jesse: Nothing. It was awesome.
Favorite thing about the wedding: Jesse: Val’s smiles. Val: We had each other.
The Info—Ceremony Venue: St. Ignatius Church / Reception Venue: ThirstyBear Brewing Company / Dress: Kate’s maternal grandmother’s graduation gown / Kate’s Shoes: Sale rack at Macy’s / Tux: Men’s Wearhouse / Flowers: Lila B Design (A Green Wedding Business) / Photography: One Love Photo (Meg’s Photographers)
Other cool stuff: We wanted to keep our wedding as green as possible, so in addition to supporting small and local vendors, we encouraged our guests to take public transportation across town to our reception location. We assigned friends familiar with the bus system as Bus Leaders, made tour guide pennants for them to carry, and gave them all enough one dollar bills to get our guests tickets. And, bonus, I got to ride a bus in my wedding dress.
One sentence sum up the wedding vibe: Ours was a joyful, hip, approachable San Francisco wedding.
Favorite thing about the wedding: I know I’m not the first (or last) to say it, but seeing everyone we love come together was my favorite thing about the wedding. The majority of our guests had to travel significant distances, and it was strongly emotional for me to feel so loved and so supported by our vast community. It was tangible, and writing about this even a year later makes my heart sing.
Today’s wedding graduate post kills me a little. Not just because it’s so beautiful, but it’s because it’s the wedding we wanted to have… and couldn’t quite manage. And while our wedding was exactly what it should be, well, old dreams die hard. So, I have to say nothing but wonderful words about the Marin Headlands Hostel, where I’ve been staying since I was 14 (book the small house if you can); and the Headlands Center for the Arts. And, you know, Kate Harrison, who shot this wedding. So here are Kelly’s wise words:
My name is Kelly, my husband is Oliver, and we live in San Francisco. We were married May 29, 2010 in the Marin Headlands, CA. There are so many amazing stories and gorgeous weddings shared on your blog. I want to share our story with you, not because I think we did anything so crazy or unique, but because we started as “not wedding people” and ended up planning the most memorable, joyous, FANTASTIC weekend of our lives. The only trick was to make it everything we wanted, instead of the expected, the “norm”. I hope our story might inspire others out there feeling lost when it comes to wedding planning.
When Oliver and I first started discussing getting married, we both agreed we were the type of people to elope. It would be inexpensive and best of all, stress free! I never wanted to plan a wedding. But, once we got engaged, our tunes changed. We were so excited to get married and knew for sure that we wanted to share that excitement with our family and friends. Oliver is from Germany and I am from Michigan where, for the most part, weddings are very traditional. All we knew from the get go was that we would NOT be taking that route.
People often tell you that the wedding starts with the dress; once you find the dress, it sets the tone (or maybe I just heard that on Say Yes to the Dress…either way). Ours started with a hostel. We knew if we were going to get all our loved ones to come into San Francisco, we wanted them all in one place for the entire weekend, so it was Oliver who suggested renting a hostel. The Marin Headlands Hostel is a charming building with 80 beds, nestled into a beautiful national park, just minutes from San Francisco. From there we found the Headlands Center for the Arts, right next door to the hostel. This place has such a unique and romantic ambiance, I think you could get away with no decorations at all…my kind of place.
I prefer to not look at it as a wedding day, but more a wedding weekend. A lot of Oliver’s family and friends came from Germany (our wedding was 25% German) and my family and closest friends came from all over the states. Most of our guests stayed in the hostel all weekend. (Sidenote: We thought the hostel idea was the bomb! This is not to say we didn’t get a bit of “we’re staying in a hostel?!”. But to all our peoples’ credit, everyone had an amazing time, even grandma shared a bunk!) Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Kelly & Oliver
So today’s wedding has a bit of a story that goes with it, about the APW virtual community and real life. When I still worked at an office every Thursday I’d go to the farmers market for lunch to get (amazing) tacos. While the tacos were phenomenal, I mostly really needed a moment to get away from corporate America, and feel like I was around my people for a few minutes—even if I still was wearing my stupid heels. So I slowly got to know the guy who served the tacos, and he’d greet me with a big grin and a, “Hey Meg! The usual?” every Thursday. It was really nice, in a time when not much felt nice. So, fast-forward to December, when I told the taco people I was quitting my job. They asked why, and I sort of stumbled around, mentioning the book and having a blog, as these conversations are always really confusing (“You can make a living blogging? People read those things?”). So I said, “I have a popular wedding blog,” and suddenly my taco guy totally focused, and asked which one. I told him, and his whole face lit up. “Oh my god!” he said, “We pretty much exclusively used APW to plan our wedding! Holy sh*t! My wife loves APW! She’s going to be so excited!” Turns out my taco guy was Roem, and his wife was Amber, and they’re great. My people indeed. So, today I get to introduce you to them, and their blog White Picket Passport (about being middle-class and still traveling), and Amber’s exceptionally wise wedding graduate post.
A friend recently asked me if planning a wedding was really “worth it” in the long run or whether, in hindsight, I’d have preferred elopement. It’s hard to answer that question once the memory of the tears and stress fade and you are left with the lingering sense of love and support your wedding (hopefully) inspired. You lose perspective; you are no longer sleep deprived from endless DIY projects and can finally enjoy your pictures without cataloguing every flaw. So while you may not choose to recreate the painstakingly, handcrafted invitations resembling a music record in a sleeve, you can see the benefit of gathering loved ones for the biggest party you will ever throw.
As an encore bride, I knew I wanted a day that was true to both me and my fiancé, Roem. I had done the big traditional country club wedding the first time and I wanted something different. Determined to avoid all those guilt laden “expectations” that so often come with wedding planning, I felt empowered to create a day that was exactly what we wanted. Except it become all too clear that I had no idea what I wanted, and I became overwhelmed with so many decisions. I had no point of reference for the kind of wedding I envisioned and I had no idea where to turn. It was then that I fell headlong into the rabbit hole that is wedding planning websites.
Every morning for months I would wake up and face the day with increasing anxiety as I checked my overflowing google reader. My stomach would clench with anxiety as I saw all those unread wedding blogs and I was convinced the one idea for the perfect centerpiece was buried in there somewhere. My convictions slowly eroded and my bridal calm evaporated. I began to seriously doubt myself and in defending my ideas to others, I grew increasingly worried that my vision was fatally flawed. In actuality my husband is the cool, artistic musician while I am the more traditional Type-A bride that insists we have a seating chart because that’s what PEOPLE DO AT WEDDINGS. I began to worry that our wedding would come off as not eclectic and pretty, but instead just cheap. I agonized over how much money we were putting into this one day event and I cried that we couldn’t afford to do anything that would seemingly make this process a little easier.
It was then that I discovered APW. I felt the tension in my body release just a little as I read about Meg’s incredibly beautiful wedding and philosophy towards planning a practical wedding. I read the sassy comments and posts all over this website from insightful, understanding people and was brought to tears. However experienced I thought I was at the beginning of wedding planning, I was still tirelessly trying to please everyone but myself. I was challenging the establishment and railing against expectations in all other aspects of my life, but I still was buying into most of what the WIC was telling me. Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Amber & Roem
Today’s wedding graduate post is all in the APW family, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Emily of Emily Takes Photos has been reading APW since the very very beginning. She was starting her photography business just as I was starting a blog, and somehow we stumbled upon each other. Emily’s been an APW sponsor for about as long as I’ve had sponsors, and has shot… 20 or 25 (depending on how you’re counting) Team Practical weddings. Plus, she shot our engagement pictures, and hosts APW books clubs, and everything. ANYWAY! A year and a half ago I got a really excited email from Emily that she and Ed had gotten engaged, and I knew it was going to be the most APW-esq wedding of all time (because **none** of us has gone to as many Team Practical weddings as Emily). And sure enough, the woman is wise, her wedding was hopping, and the joy exploding off the page. Oh. And I LOVE that she paid it forward by hiring a brand new central coast wedding photographer. Love. So, with out further ado, I bring you Emily:
I’m a wedding photographer, so naturally, I go to lots of weddings. There comes a point every time during the reception, usually after the cake has been cut and the party starts to wind down, that I think to myself, “That’s it. All those months of preparation and planning, and now it’s over.” Don’t get me wrong, those parties never disappoint, but those moments during each wedding helped me keep perspective when it came to planning my own. No matter how much time and effort I was going to put into this event, it would eventually end. That single thought is what ultimately kept me grounded throughout the planning process.
I took on most of the work myself, though my husband did have a hand in planning. I had worked as an event coordinator a few years back, and I had an arsenal of wedding inspiration from working in the industry, so it just made sense. For a minute, and not much longer, I was worried that we fell into that category of bride-who-decides-everything and groom-who-nods-quietly, but I realized that was dumb, and the way were doing things made absolute sense for us and even mirrored our life together: he speaks up when he feels particular about something, the rest he leaves to me, knowing I’ll do what I think is best for both of us, making it pretty while I do it, because damn it, I care about the aesthetics!
By the time we got engaged, we had been living together for nearly four years, so I wasn’t expecting a huge transformation or enlightenment during our engagement or even after our wedding. What surprised me is that during our engagement and planning, I learned more about my relationships with other people in my life than I did about Ed’s and my relationship.
I learned that my family (even the more prim and proper side) didn’t have as many opinions as I thought they would have. Would they think having a dinosaur-shaped piñata was odd? Nope. Would they appreciate my smart-ass invitations? Well, they kind of saw that one coming. Would my Catholic-priest uncle think the wedding was an abomination if there was no mention of God during the ceremony? Not even a little bit. I learned that some friends, while they mean the best, really just won’t come through when you need them to, which can be kind of heart-breaking. I also learned that other friends, who you don’t think you can count on, so you don’t even bother asking, will surprise you with support (or manual labor) when you least expect it. Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Emily & Ed