Mai & Curtis

Sunny San Francisco City Hall Wedding

* Mai, Community Health Advocate & Curtis, Water Department Engineer * Photographer: Vivian Chen * Soundtrack for reading: “1963” by Rachel Yamagata *

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: A joyful and sunny San Francisco celebration.

The Info — Photographer: Vivian Chen Photography / Location: San Francisco, California / Ceremony Venue: San Francisco City Hall / Reception Venue: The Plant Cafe Organic / Mai’s Dress: BHLDN / Mai’s Veil: Handmade, using this easy tutorial by Megan Turnidge / Curtis’ Suit: Bar III from Macy’s / Curtis’ Tie: Ted Baker London from Nordstrom / Hair: Rhea San Diego-Chin, Le Reve Salon / Make Up: Kelly Cendak, Sasha Salon / Videographer: Shakewell Studios

Other cool stuff we should know about: I moved to San Francisco after college to do a public policy fellowship called City Hall Fellows. I met Curtis at my job placement and we started dating while working for the City, so there was never any question that we would get married at City Hall. Everything else was planned around that. Decisiveness was the name of the game because we didn’t want to drag out the planning process. We gave ourselves 4 months to do everything. Many people thought we were crazy, but I’m glad we did it that way because it allowed us to focus on the most important pieces and it curtailed my natural tendencies to over think and overcommit to DIY projects!

Most little girls fantasize about their wedding dress, but the one thing I had always wanted was to handwrite my wedding invitations. The end product was nothing fancy (black pen doodles, copied at Kinkos), but it still made me happy to fulfill that lifelong dream! Our community came together to help us with many other details too. I had two talented stylist friends do my hair and makeup. One friend surprised me by making my sash after I showed her one I liked online. Another designed the community vows poster for guests to sign. My wonderful mom did all the flowers. My cousin played the guitar. And our ceremony was officiated by a close friend, who was a City Hall Fellow with me. We honored our families and our pasts with a last minute idea to put photos on our centerpiece bottles. It ended up being a big hit with everyone, especially our grandmas.

Our wedding felt like a date we would have gone on in our early days—get off work in Civic Center, hop on Muni, enjoy a delicious meal, and delight in being together. It was a treat to share that experience with our all our loved ones.

Favorite thing about the wedding: We rode away from the reception on a pedicab. I didn’t anticipate how wonderful it would feel to have those 15 minutes to finally be alone and bask in the “yay, we did it!” glow, and simultaneously wave at all the friendly strangers wishing us congratulations.

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