This post is for every one of you who said last week you really wanted a city hall wedding, but were afraid you would regret it, or couldn’t get your family to agree to it. Because no. As I was writing this post, big alligator tears kept forming in my eyes… partially because San Francisco’s City Hall is a special place for me, and partially because it’s rare seen a bride look as completely, wonderfully, radiantly happy as Mayi (and that’s exactly how I felt, so light and so free). So take this post, and email it to the people near and dear to you who are worried that a wedding at City Hall won’t be magic. Because Mayi and Jon… they are walking on air. (Oh, and please note the ammmaaaaazzzziiiiinnnnnnggggg El Tonayense taco truck… scrumptious and affordable. We didn’t end up getting them for our wedding picnic, but we’re planning an anniversary party some year, JUST so we can use them.) Take it Mayi:
I meant to write this post a few months ago, when I was still fresh with my thoughts from our Labor Day weekend wedding, but life got a little busy, or should I say queasy – we took home quite the souvenir from our honeymoon in Spain – a baby due in June. We are beyond excited and it’s made looking back on our wedding day even more special. So here goes…
When we first started planning the wedding, there was one detail I knew I wanted: It had to be outdoors. I always wanted a backyard/garden-party type wedding so we found a park/estate place near my work. We started meeting with vendors and after about two months of e-mails and quote after quote, we just got so turned off by the ‘wedding machine.’ Suddenly the idea of getting married went from happy to stressful.
Then one day I somehow stumbled upon an entry on AWP on San Francisco budget wedding ideas and that’s when it hit me: City Hall wedding, followed by a lunch reception at a cafe. From that day on, everything just fell into place. We got married at noon under the beautiful rotunda. Even Jon said that City Hall is such a beautiful building that it would be a shame not to take advantage of the chance to get married there. There’s supposedly a limit of 6 people, but we were close to 40, surrounded by our families and the closest of friends.
Jon’s aunt made my gorgeous bouquet, and what made it even more special was that she used flowers from his grandma’s garden.
As a gift to us, my sister filmed the wedding using her Super 8 camera.
After the ceremony, we all headed to one of my favorite brunch spots in the city, Zazie. We knew that even if our wedding was simple, we wanted good food, so Zazie was a no-brainer, and I was surprised how easy it was to put the menu together, especially after dealing with all the different caterers in the beginning. While we were waiting for things to be set up, we had a couple of celebratory tequila shots at the bar next door. The weather was perfect for Zazie’s garden patio.
My best friends painted the ‘Just Married’ signs that hung on the back of my car and on the fence.
We didn’t have a set schedule or music or dancing, but we had a lot of good food, impromptu speeches, and a whole lot of love that day.We ended our weekend with a party on Sunday night for all our other family and friends we couldn’t include on Friday. We rented out a lounge, had some friends DJ, Jon’s aunt once again did all the flower arrangements for the party, and we hired one of the best taco trucks in the city…because is there anything better than having tacos after a night of drinking and dancing?So in the end, it wasn’t a lavish affair and it didn’t have all the bells and whistles of a typical wedding. Sure, there were a few people who would say things like, “So you’re not having a real wedding?”, or would give certain looks when I would discuss the details of our special day. But you know what? I didn’t feel the need to justify the decisions we made because after all, I still got to wear a beautiful dress (I actually had 3 total!), I still had the backyard, garden-party wedding I always wanted, we still celebrated with the people that mattered in our lives, but most importantly, the wedding truly represented us, and it couldn’t get any more real than that.
Special note: All of Friday’s photos were shot by the awesome Emily of Emily Takes Photos*, who I found on this very blog. She rocked our socks off and was amazing to work with. And lastly I just wanted to say that APW kept me totally sane and grounded throughout the whole wedding planning process. You all made me feel ‘normal’ and ok to want the things I wanted for our wedding.
*sponsor of the blog, though this is not a sponsored post