San Francisco City Hall Elopement {in perfect Kate Spade style} (:

Apr 30, 2012

It takes a special couple to pull off a stylish wedding with just two weeks of planning. Enter Amber and Aaron. After a year of instant connection and sparks flying, Aaron proposed. Two weeks later, the two exchanged vows in a most chic and unfussy manner. And when you have San Francisco's City Hall as your backdrop, you're wearing the cutest Kate Spade dress in history and you have two uber talented photogs in your back pocket, things are bound to turn out well. Scroll down for the eye candy and some wise insight from the bride and groom...

From Amber and Aaron:
"We met in San Francisco – which has one of the most beautiful City Hall buildings in the world – so that seemed like an obvious place to elope. Having things in the city also meant lots of easy photo ops and great restaurants for celebrating. 

We loved when our photographers surprised us with green balloons for our photo shoot before the ceremony, it just made the "Kate Spade" look come alive.

As for style, we wanted to keep things simple in such an ornate building, and be able to walk around in SF’s urban downtown after the ceremony. For Amber, Kate Spade’s Gimlet dress and matching cardigan felt courthouse appropriate but still feminine. A chunky pearl necklace from J. Crew and gold Nina pumps with bows also kept things fun. 

We needed some help to pull off a ceremony we loved in just two weeks. Amber’s sister-in-law Ellen (who lives in Chicago and has great taste) picked out the bouquet and boutonniere from Church Street Flowers (a favorite shop of Amber's in San Francisco) and had them delivered to us the morning of the wedding. Ellen sent Amber some pictures of possible options from the florist, but in the end, Amber just deferred to Ellen's pick & they were perfect -- they were completely Amber's style and it was an awesome way for our family to be a part of our day even though they couldn't be there in person.

We didn’t have a huge party to worry about, so we able to relax and focus on the ceremony and the commitment we were making to each other. That was definitely the best part. We also had a four-hour lunch at Zuni Café after the ceremony (we didn't even make a reservation, we just walked in & they were so excited that we just dropped in after getting married, guess that's not exactly typical!). The lunch was just us and our photographers (Laura & Bill of eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY) & it was the perfect start to our married life.

Don’t agonize over decisions and trust your instincts. For us, it was about the marriage and not the wedding.  We wanted something special, but we wanted to keep it easy and not get lost in the stress of planning a wedding. We planned most of our wedding in an afternoon from the roof of Aaron’s apartment building, with a bottle of champagne in hand. We decided to have a small, relaxed, wine reception later that night at the Nook Café, a favorite lunch spot, so we just went for it and let the staff decide on the final menu and it worked out great. We didn't fuss over the details. And one random logistical tip: We used an on-demand private car from Uber instead of battling the crazy SF taxi scene in our wedding gear or springing for a limo - super easy."

A part of you wants to elope now, doesn't it? :)
Thanks so much to Laura, of eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY for sharing these most darling photos and big heartfelt congrats to Amber and Aaron. If you'd like to see some more {+ different} shots from this wedding, visit Grey likes Weddings.

And click here and here to see another San Francisco City Hall elopement I previously shared. :)

Vendor Credits:
Photography: eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY
Bride’s Dress: Kate Spade – Gimlet Silk Sheath
Flowers: Church Street Flowers
Locations: San Francisco City Hall & Zuni Cafe

Fabulous San Francisco Ballroom Wedding

Apr 27, 2012

A candlelit ballroom wedding on a foggy evening in San Francisco may be close to the epitome of romance. eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY sent over this lovely wedding and I think you'll love it as much as I do!

From Laura, of eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY:
"The event took place at the Julia Morgan Ballroom, which is in the Merchant's Exchange Building in downtown San Francisco on a foggy San Francisco evening. The setting was perfect for this time of year as the interior is warm, candlelit & filled with gorgeous wood paneling. It was designed by the same architect who did Hearst Castle on the California coast. 

Even better than the setting is this wonderful couple - Stephanie and Clay. They had each just about given up on finding "the one" when they met each other & it was practically love at first sight. They get along perfectly -- he's constantly making her laugh and they both just light up when they see each other. For their wedding, they really just wanted to have a good time with their close family and friends, and to have a timeless, classic affair. The bride carried black calla lilies, with one of her grandmother's earrings tucked in for her something blue. The couple said their vows and in classic character, made each other laugh and cry during the ceremony. 

Their first dance was to the Etta James' classic "At Last," which Stephanie jokingly said "means a whole lot more when you find love in your 40s." Stephanie and Clay planned their wedding in only 3 months, and said that despite the quick timeline, it wasn't too stressful. They lucked out that the Julia Morgan Ballroom had a rare open date they were able to get, and they said they just didn't stress about other details. They used friends' recommendations for vendors, and if they liked them, they booked them. Everything turned out perfectly, so she's probably onto something!"

So sweet! Congrats Stephanie and Clay! And thanks to Laura for sending this wedding in! :)

Vendor Credits:
Photography - eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY -
Bridal Hair & Makeup - Preston Nesbit - and Beauty Mark Inc -
Flowers - In Water Flowers -
Bridal Gown - Jin Wang
Bride's Shoes - Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses - Nordstrom

Friday Find {one day early}: The Victorian Balloon Chair

Apr 26, 2012

The first time I spotted a Victorian Balloon chair {also referred to as a hooded or canopy chair} was in a cramped antique shop in a little town along the Mosel River in Germany {Bernkastel if you're curious}. The VBC was the centerpiece in the middle of a tiny room all the way up in the attic and it commanded your attention like a gung-ho bootcamp instructor. I kinda despised its fraying red velvet upholstery {and the painful-to-look-at price tag} but the structure, the bones ... omg. Hello, furniture lust.

Ever since that fateful meeting, a VBC has been on my "Must Acquire Whilst Living in Europe" list. But, unfortunately, I haven't seen another since. I thought I'd try to quench my longing for one by finding some beauties online and sharing with you.

How fabulous would these be for bridal portraits?! I'm imagining a bride sitting in these crazy gorgeous VBCs with her groom by her side:

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Are you in VBC love now, too? Do you have one???
What piece of furniture are you currently lusting after? I do hope you'll share. :)