Intimate Morning Wedding: Dionna + Andrew

morning oakland wedding

Guys, meet Dionna + Andrew! They met in college while on a retreat + have been totally inseparable ever since. Their rustic-meets-modern NorCal fête seems like the perfect way to start the day here at GWS, and one of the reasons being that the wedding itself was a beautiful morning celebration! Morning weddings are still pretty rare, so it’s always fun to see how couples put their own spin on the idea. And how these two ended up tying the knot at Oakland Nature Friends Club (in Oakland, Ca) is a pretty unique story, too! We’ll let Dionna share the details:

We had our wedding planned at the Point Bonita Lighthouse in the Marin Headlands. It has been a special spot to both of us ever since we stumbled upon it several years ago, and we were dead set on getting married there. It’s very close to the Golden Gate Bridge on the Marin side, and the views are absolutely stunning. We even warned our guests (and vendors) that it would be a one mile hike down to the ceremony spot, and everyone would need to dress accordingly. Then the government shutdown happened, and because the lighthouse is in a National Park (and the lighthouse would be closed) we had no choice but to switch up our venue just a few weeks before the wedding. Andrew took a day off of work and had to research every possible ceremony venue in the Bay Area that would come in close to our budget and still be driving distance to our reception. Luckily, we came across the Nature Friends Club and were SO pleased with the way everything turned out. We got to keep our preference of having an outdoor rustic venue, and we got to add elements we couldn’t have at the lighthouse (ie champagne and coffee bar), etc. Everything happens for a reason right?

We totally think so! And as you’ll soon see their day was so, so beautiful. Thanks so much to Kirsten Julia Photography for the lovely photos + big congrats to Dionna + Andrew!

morning oakland wedding

crown bride2

bridesmaids in green


first look

morning oakland wedding

morning oakland wedding

photo invitation

Such a sweet ceremony set up!

ruffle drapery

morning oakland wedding

morning oakland wedding

love is brewing

Dionna is currently the marketing manager for a large newspaper in Silicon Valley, and wrote for her college newspaper, so newspaper was used throughout the design as a nod to her journalism career!

breakfast bar2

donut wedding

morning oakland wedding

Everyone moved to Toast Kitchen + Bar for the reception, which had the rustic/modern vibe that Dionna + Andrew were going for. And choosing a restaurant reception was also a big money saver – total bonus!

clipboard pegboard seating chart

clip table numbers

mr mrs sign


cake toppers


Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

The whole day was such a whirlwind it’s hard to pinpoint a specific favorite moment! If I had to pick one though, I’d have to say it was when we entered the restaurant as husband and wife and immediately went into our first dance. All of our friends and family looked so happy and excited to be sharing that moment with us, and I was so excited to be twirling around with my new hubby. I felt like I was in a scene out of a movie.

first dance

Don’t miss D + A’s sweet wedding film by Joel Van Z!

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

Try to stay as organized as possible. Spreadsheets and checklists will make planning so much easier. Also, don’t be afraid to hire a wedding planner! Initially we thought we would just hire a day of coordinator since I plan events for a living, but at the last minute ended up employing the Going Lovely team for partial design. They were so helpful in coming up with decor and ideas that really made our wedding day.

photography: Kirsten Julia Photography // venue name: Toast Kitchen + Bar // florals: Bride - Prickly Petal Flower Co. // hairpiece: Twigs & Honey // bride's shoes: Sam Edelman // bridesmaid dresses: Assorted from LuLu's // hair stylist: Miabel // makeup artist: Miabel // videography: Joel Van Z // paper goods: Invitations and programs by the Bride, Guest book instructions by Hen & Co // catering: Toast Kitchen + Bar // desserts: Lulina's Cakes // music: Macala Entertainment // day of coordination: Going Lovely // partial design: Going Lovely // ceremony venue: Oakland Nature Friends Club // chalkboard signage: Swoon Custom Chalk // bride's dress designer: White by Vera Wang // groom's suit designer: H&M