Helena is a wedding photographer and Laurent is an artist + web designer, so style and authenticity were both driving forces behind their gorgeous San Francisco garden party wedding! They wanted to create a day that represented them and would bring together family + close friends to celebrate their love and witness their commitment to one another. And most importantly, they wanted the whole day to be a big, incredible party filled with love + music. Sounds pretty perfect to me! :) Here’s more from Laurent about the details behind the day:
Having the limitations of a tight budget, we were the wedding planners and ended up fairly involved with every aspect of the day. In the end we couldn’t of done it without some amazing friends and the support of our families. My father catered the whole event, two of our friends played music, a mutual friend was the officiant, another friend the stylist – our friends were hanging flowers before the event, our friends spun records, and our friends came by with trucks the next day to help us clean up (yeah, we cleaned up our own wedding!). And lest we not forget that we had the most well dressed guests I’d ever seen!
How incredible is this ceremony arch, adorned with kale, artichokes + hanging amaranthus?!
When it came to the ceremony itself we wanted the same mix of old and new. We wanted to do an old pagan hand binding ritual, but we also wanted to create some new ritual. We had talked for awhile about incorporating food into the ceremony and what we came up with was really personal and connected our guests with the history that brought us together:
During the ceremony everyone was passed a piece of chili mango and told they couldn’t eat it. And the minister told our story (with musical accompaniment from the accordion player). It took about 6 months for our relationship to turn into a romance. When it finally did, we were very quickly madly in love with each other. Only a couple weeks after we had fallen for each other I had to fly to New York for several weeks visiting our soon to be best man and mutual friend, Matthew. We couldn’t bear to be apart and Helena jumped on an airplane to come see me. Matthew and I picked her up in a black Cadillac dressed up in suits. We raced back to Matthew's and traded her luggage for bicycles and rode out to Coney Island to catch the tail end of the mermaid parade. When we got there Helena bought a chili mango from a street vendor. She asked me if I wanted a bite and I responded “if I take a bite from your chili mango, will you be my girlfriend?” She said yes and I took a bite. The wedding ceremony was held two years later. And the officiant then allowed everyone, including us, to eat our chili mango. We hope that our guests will forever associate that food with our love.
Such pretty portraits of Helena + Laurent with the cityscape behind them…
Well the worst part of a wedding is planning it but it’s totally worth it. Oh, and the day itself goes by so fast you won’t even believe it happened at first, so get a good photographer if you plan on remembering any of it. We built a website and handled all our communication and RSVP stuff with the guests through Mailchimp and that worked out really well for us.
photography: Nirav Patel, second shooter Bianca Morra // venue: Magical Gardens via AirBNB San Francisco, California // event + floral design: Jessy Brown // hairpieces: Behida Dolic // shoes: $30 dollar gold ballet slippers from Zappos // groom suit: Tailored Vintage Suit // paper goods: Zombie art by Ezra Eismont, Layout by Laurent Martin // catering: Butler and the Chef // guitar: Bruce Salmon // accordion: Sansa Asylum // dj: Ezra Eismont aka DJ Darkat spinning motown records // band: Kally Price // minister: Micha D from Campfire Songs // wedding dress: Sarah Seven