A Stress-Free Oakland City Hall Marriage

With a Wednesday afternoon restaurant reception

Natalie, Florist & Ron, Alameda County Health Department

One Sentence Sum-Up of the Wedding Vibe: The most stress-free, easy-going, mellow, casual, and happiest day of my life!

Soundtrack for Reading: “Ferris Wheel” by Donovan

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Other Cool Stuff We Should Know About

We decided to go to Cato’s following our quick ten-minute ceremony at the Alameda County Clerks office. It was brilliant. We showed up around 1:30 on a Wednesday afternoon, the lunch crowd had left so we basically had the run of the place. I had talked to the manager a couple weeks before hand to let him know we’d be coming in with a pretty big crowd—there were thirty of us—and he was excited to have us. We had some friends and neighbors pop in and grab a beer with us and others that stayed and hung out all afternoon.

Favorite Thing About the Wedding

We were surrounded by our favorite people; there wasn’t a limo we had to catch or family members being nervous about running into an old aunt. There was no three-hour getting ready session. It was just really easy and simple and honest.

The Info:

Photographer: Gabriel Harber | Location: Oakland, CA | Venue: Alameda County Clerks Office & Cato’s | Natalie’s Dress: Macy’s—Purchased five days before the wedding. She originally bought a 1960s vintage dress but was uncomfortable wearing it, afraid it would tear. She really just wanted, more than anything, to be comfortable. | Ron’s Suit: Pretty Penny


Staff Picks

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  • StevenPortland

    Love it. I always like seeing weddings in which kids are involved. Congrats!!

  • Amanda Otto

    Donovan is always the perfect choice!

  • Lovely!

  • Fiona

    This is so perfect!

  • Lisa

    Lovely. And the sound track is so right – makes the fun and the ease of the day so evident.

  • Sara

    Absolutely beautiful!! Love that dress!

  • Lena and Aggy

    Gosh this post just gives me all the hopes that yes, in fact, wedding planning CAN be stress-free. Thanks for posting!

  • Beth R

    Beautiful wedding and I love that you ended up at Cato’s and the bookstore next door!

  • Victwa

    CATO’S!!! Yum. Yay for mellow weddings!

  • Ashley Rowe Palafox

    Oh boy, I was loving this all the way through, and then I saw the photo of you two at Owl and Company Bookstore, with the bride holding up a copy of MY book (Barefoot and in the Kitchen)! At the bookstore where my husband works! After getting married in the same room, against the same glittering quilted backdrop as we did. Too much! :)
    You two look lovely and happy and I’m sure you had a great day because everywhere you chose to spend you time after your wedding is a great place.