San Francisco Hilltop Wedding: Angélique + John-Michael

San Francisco Wedding

These days, it’s pretty cool that you make just about any rad spot a wedding venue. Take Angélique + John-Michael, for example, who found Magical Garden Bed & Breakfast in San Francisco, California through Airbnb and turned it into the perfect setting for exchanging their vows! They juxtaposed the natural landscape with lots of fun knick knacks and cool textiles –and had a picnic atop Bernal Heights with their bridal party prior to their ceremony to catch the amazing view of the city! Sounds like a pretty perfect day to us :) Let’s hear more about it from Angélique:

John-Michael and I are travelers at heart. We have adventured to 34 countries, combined, and have no plans to slow down now that we’re married. Because of this, we decided early in the planning process to have a destination wedding in a place we had never been. We picked San Francisco. We had no friends or family there, but thought it was a cool city. We were right. All-in-all, our wedding was a beautiful reflection of who we are. We did what mattered to us, and ignored everything else. 

Thanks so much to Maddelynn + Amari of Foot Candles Photography for the perfect snaps + congrats to the newlyweds on an amazing day!

paper doll invitation

Sarah Seven Wedding Dress

Love Angélique’s Sarah Seven dress + John-Michael was looking stylish in H&M!

burgundy suit

San Francisco Wedding

first look

San Francisco Wedding

deep red protea bouquet

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

Seriously loving the idea of a pre-wedding picnic with your fam or bridal party! (And what a view, right?!)

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

gem succulent holder

San Francisco Wedding

wedding sign

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

During the ceremony, we asked our guests to pray over us, an act to start our marriage with the blessing of God. We washed each other’s feet as a symbol of our commitment to serve one another in our marriage. We read our own vows, which we had written in our journals (used books we found at a book store a couple of days after we first met). And the officiant was one of John-Michael’s closest friends.

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

Eyeing those perfect protea bouquets! Yeah, we are too. They’re the handiwork of Home Sweet Flowers.

gray bridesmaids dresses

burgundy groomsmen

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

succulent favors

succulent favors

San Francisco Wedding

picnic wedding

wedding tats

San Francisco Wedding

Just one? Nope. Can't. Here's three that make us smile:

We were all taking turns at the piñata, perhaps having too much fun blind-folding and spinning each other around 'one...two...three times and...swing!', when the Matron of Honor steps up to bat, swings, and almost lands the blow on the face of my now-Father-in-law! Gasps and exclamations erupted from the whole group, followed shortly by hysterical laughter when it was evident that nobody was harmed.

Sitting on the ground--Eastern European style, Turkish rugs and all--with my new bride, my best friend, laughing and crying as we listened to the speeches our friends and family gave. It was the first time we were seated as a married couple, and it was right. I had the overwhelming peace of knowing that I had just made the best decision of my life--I married my best friend.

We rented bikes for our exit, and *tried* to ride them away into the sunset. Turns out, San Francisco hills, wedding dresses, and bikes do not make for the most graceful of exits. So, we walked our bikes away. ;)

hipster-wedding-36

deep red naked cake

San Francisco Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

Two things that you'll hear a lot: make your day about you and don't stress.

Your wedding day is not, contrary to popular belief, the most important day of your life. That title belongs to every day following your wedding--each day you say, 'I do' without all the hoopla and hype of some big event. That said, your wedding day is quite likely the most elaborate and most celebrated party you'll ever throw. So, make it yours. Don't blindly follow tradition, but choose to participate in the events that are meaningful to you as a couple. For us, this meant that the groom was present when the bride was dress-shopping. It meant that there was no garter or bouquet toss; there was no dancing; there was no alcohol; there was no caterer.

There was, however, a first look on a mountain, a picnic with our bridal party before the ceremony, foot-washing, vows in our journals, and matching wedding bands. Our decor included a plethora of Indian tapestries, Turkish throw pillows, Mexican blankets, and glass, geometric terrariums with beautiful succulents. We had a buffet of local gastronomy, a temporary tattoo bar, large floor rugs all over the ground, and a bunch of games (including twister and the classic 'Guess Who' with the names and faces of our guests, custom-made by Angélique).

We also found ways to cut costs in a city known for it's very high prices: we found our venue--a hillside, backyard garden--using AirBNB; we imported many of our decorations from other countries, getting bulk and wholesale prices without buying in bulk; we found our other decorations online and used coupons and free shipping and spent countless hours searching for the best prices; in the end, we only rented a few items (which we were very happy with!), so we went home to our new and empty apartment with virtually everything that was at our wedding.

But it was a very, very stressful planning process. The combination of having a destination wedding (in a city we had never been to and had no friends or family in), buying every decoration individually and on our own, the logistics of housing and transporting nearly all of our guests and bridal party, and some issues with our original planner made for a lot of lost sleep during the seven months preceding our wedding day. And it was all for a single day, a party.

Finding the balance between uniqueness and too much work is a difficult task, but absolutely necessary if you want to enjoy your wedding and at least some of the planning process. So, our advice is to hire a wedding planner who really, really understands and has experience with your style, and ask friends and family to help.

photography: Maddelynn & Amari of Foot Candles Photography // venue: Magical Garden Bed & Breakfast in San Francisco, California – jeanniestone.sf@gmail.com // housing: Chez Poulet //event design + planning: Bride & Groom // day of coordination: Jocelyn Stewart – joceygabe@yahoo.com // floral design, hairpieces + jewelry: Lorena Cortez of Home Sweet Flowers // flower dyed silk ribbon: Silk and Willow // wedding dress: Sarah Seven // shoes: Charlotte Rouse // bridesmaid dresses: They selected their own // hair + makeup: Samantha Johnsen // groom’s suit: H&M // paper goods: Wedding Paper Divas // picnic catering: Mission Picnic // reception catering: Bi-rite Market // cake: Pretty Please Bakeshop // temporary tattoos: TattlyTattifiy // furniture rentals: Hunt and Gather Rentals // bike rentals: The Bike Hut // officiant: Julio Marin // music: iPod

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryWedding Paper Divas is a Featured Artist in the GWS Artist Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Gallery

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Handmade Wisconsin Barn Wedding: Hailey + Brad

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

When Hailey + Brad initially got engaged, they pictured an outdoor wedding in Hailey’s parents’ yard – “a down-home kind of party in a comfortable space surrounded by late summer cornfields”. But when the time came to turn their day dreams into a reality, the logistics of an at-home wedding became overwhelming. They decided to find a venue that would give them the feeling of a backyard bash, but could realistically (and comfortably) host their 200 guests. And they hit the jackpot with The Barn at Harvest Moon Pond in Poynette, Wisconsin, which gave them the feeling of home + acted as the perfect blank slate for an abundance of beautiful, handmade details.

Hailey says, Brad and I are a laid-back, no-fuss couple who love to have fun and our wedding was planned to reflect those characteristics. Our wedding date was about a month shy of our ninth year together and we wanted our day to be not only a celebration of our genuine love for one another, but a day to celebrate all of our friends and family who supported us along the way. Inspired by natural elements with touches of glam, we had a clear vision for the day and worked hard to bring it to fruition. And by ‘we worked hard’, I truly mean WE worked hard – almost all projects were D.I.O. – do it ourselves.  I designed all of the paper goods – save-the-dates, home letterpress invitations, menus, ceremony programs, and escort cards – and the two of us constructed them together.

Thanks so much to Kate Romenesko for the truly stunning captures + congrats to Hailey + Brad on the loveliest day!

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

Monique Lhuillier Wedding Dress

Hailey’s GORGE blush wedding dress was by Monique Lhuillier – and we love her Kate Spade clutch (via Rent the Runway).

kate spade clutch

bridesmaids

groomsmen

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

Monique Lhuillier Wedding Dress

feather shoes

Dying over Hailey’s shoes!! B Brian Atwood for all inquiring minds :) The bridesmaids looked lovely in mismatched dresses in shades of ivory + cream from Urban Outfitters, BCBG, Target, Gap, and David’s Bridal

bridesmaids

romantic bouquets

Pretty, pretty bouquets by Alluring Blooms

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

Monique Lhuillier Wedding Dress

outdoor ceremony

outdoor ceremony

Such a perfect ceremony site + backdrop!

white garland backdrop

barn door

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

Processional: Canon in D Major – J. Pachelbel

Recessional: Ode to Joy – L.v. Beethoven

First Dance: Golden – Lady Antebellum

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

It wasn’t so much a particular moment as it was a feeling of complete and total happiness seeing both of our families come together as one. It all seemed so natural, as if everyone had known each other for their whole lives. Second favorite moment, you ask? Brad and Jeanne’s (his mom) first dance. They didn’t pick a song until the week before the wedding and true to their style gave an un-choreographed yet amazingly entertaining performance to The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout”.

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

chicken wire escort display

Hailey recently started a blog where she’ll be posting several of her + Brad’s wedding DIY projects. So, be sure to follow along to get the inside scoop on how to craft a day as beautiful as theirs!

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

wooden table numbers

chevron table runners

menu

chevron table runners

chalkboard menu

bud vases

We love all the pink, gold + chevron. An elegant way to dress up the rustic barn!

wooden table numbers

honey favors

drunk on love napkins

swan cake topper

Wisconsin Barn Wedding

Decide on a vision for your wedding together and do what excites you. Plan ahead and start projects early, even if it seems too early. Don’t sweat the small stuff and soak in every moment of your wedding day. It’s true what they say, it goes by too fast.

photography: Kate Romenesko Photography // venue: The Barn at Harvest Moon Pond Poynette, Wisconsin // florals: Alluring Blooms // vintage rentals: A La Crate Vintage Rentals // catering + bar service: Blue Plate Catering // desserts: Bloom Bake Shop and Hubbard Avenue Diner and Bakery // dj: Sound Solutions // table linens: Ultrapom Event Rentals // hair + makeup: Julia Grace Salon // bridesmaids dresses: Urban Outfitters, BCBG, Target, Gap, and David’s Bridal // paper goods: DIY // wedding dress + veil: Monique Lhuillier // bride’s shoes: B Brian Atwood //  bride’s earrings: Bauble Bar //  bride’s bracelet: BHLDN //  brides clutch: Kate Spade via Rent the Runway  // groom + groomsmen suiting: Calvin Klein //  bowties: Men’s Warehouse

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Bohemian Big Sur Wedding: Sara + Andy

Big Sur Wedding

Deciding to exchange their vows somewhere in nature was one of the most important wedding necessities for Sara + Andy. So, they made a big effort to have their wedding in Big Sur, California – one of the most picturesque natural places on the planet! Both artists by trade, they infused their day with all the right DIYs and made the setting a stunning reflection of the two of them. And that incredible gold Proenza Schouler dress Sara wore only further set their day apart. There are lots of beautiful photos to come, but first Sara explains more about how they took the design of their wedding into their own hands, below:

We are both artists so it was natural that we poured so much of ourselves into creating our wedding. We made almost everything. We shibori-dyed our linens, made the vases for the flowers, designed and silkscreened our save-the-dates, invitations, menus and programs, made the wedding arch and a wall of paper flowers for photos, and most importantly we made our rings. As artists we recognize the importance and power of objects, and we poured our energy into creating things for our wedding.

Thanks so much to Feather Love Photography for the gorgeous images + congrats to the newlyweds on a truly beautiful day!

invitation

Proenza Schouler Wedding Dress

Big Sur Wedding

We can’t even get over that dress! Can you? To celebrate how much we love this number, we’re sharing a round up of some of our fave gold wedding (or could-be wedding) frocks below!

Big Sur Wedding

Big Sur Wedding

little ones

Big Sur Wedding

Big Sur Wedding

Processional: The Pattern, written and played live by couple's friend Taylor Holenbeck of Heartscape Landbreak.

Recessional: A song by couple's friend, Lucas Oswald (There is no name and no recording – it was entirely of the moment)

First Dance: They were planning on dancing to Something On Your Mind by Karen Dalton (but were enjoying the party and somehow it never happened…)

Big Sur Wedding

Big Sur Wedding

Big Sur Wedding

tile escort cards

geodes

long dinner tables

farmhouse table centerpieces

indigo napkins

Sara, on the handmade tablescapes, We had some really good nights staying up late blasting music and silk-screening and some beautiful days getting super messy with huge vats of indigo out in the yard.

farmhouse table centerpieces

Big Sur Wedding

cakes

paper flower wall

I couldn’t possibly choose one. The entire weekend was full of unforgettable moments.

Big Sur Wedding

Big Sur Wedding

Big Sur Wedding

Big Sur Wedding

Andy and I were initially debating whether to have a wedding or not, and I’m so grateful that we decided to go for it. It was a transformative, empowering experience to create an experience and ritual to share with everyone we love. My word of advice is to not forget about the importance of the ceremony. Often that gets overlooked in favor of the celebrating, but a wedding is a rite of passage (one of few that our Western culture performs) and the ceremony is an incredibly powerful part of that.

photography: Feather Love Photography // venue + catering: Ventana Inn Big Sur, California // event design + planning: Sara and Andy and Corina Beczner of Vibrant Events // florals: Kate Healey, Big Sur Flowers // wedding dress: Proenza Schouler // shoes: A Detacher // hair + makeup: hair by Liliana // groom suit: Lanvin // paper goods: Sara and Andy // cake: Edith Meyer Cakes // officiant: Jonathan Peck // music: DJ Andy Maltz plus our friends

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