Monica + Jeffrey love modern minimalism, architecture, elegance, their neighborhood in San Francisco, and of course, each other. When it came to planning their big day, they requested the help of Ashley Smith from Buzzworthy Events. Ashley shares They really wanted to keep the location of their wedding close to home and for them that is the eastern corner of the Mission District in SF. The NewBlk was a huge marker in the process because Jeff is an architect and they are both inspired by historical and architecturally beautiful spaces. The NewBLK is also a historical site in SF where they used to make all of the street signs decades ago, and now its a designer art & furniture gallery. The use of black became a mailable influence in the design, while keeping it feeling warm and not too dark.
Focusing on the modern, clean, and minimalistic feeling, while still keeping it about them, the team created movable walls and hung a 32’ seamless in front of the chuppah that Jeff designed + built himself. Tying in Monica’s Japanese heritage, they incorporated cherry blossoms and Japanese maple leafs into the ceremony and on the cake.
Intrigued? So were we! Let’s take a look at how it all came together in the photos by Jenn Emerling!
Modern + minimalistic — Jeffrey + Monica actually designed the invites themselves + had them printed by J/R Press.
Those blush BEAUTIES!! Who else would happily rock these shoes (time + time again)?
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Monica: My most memorable moment was when I finally got to see Jeff at the venue. I was so excited and…ready! His back was turned as I walked up for the first look, and I couldn’t help myself - I rushed up up to him blurting out, “Hi! Hi!”
Jeff: The most memorable moment for me was when I first saw Monica in her wedding dress. I waited for her inside the venue with my back to the door, and watched the amazing team of vendors assemble and transform their venue. It was awesome to see so many people working to make our wedding so special and unique. When she tapped my shoulder, I turned to find Monica looking absolutely amazing. It is a moment I will never forget.
Monica’s rings are very unique, and not just because they were made by our close friend Masami Kelly. Jeff worked with Masami to design Monica’s engagement ring. Though it appears to be a simple solitaire, the diamond is actually cupped underneath by a platinum flower designed by Monica’s obachama (grandmother), and a small diamond from Jeff’s grandmother’s ring is inset in the bottom of the band.
Dance moves in front of an epic mural on your wedding day? Yes, PLEASE!!
Processional: Our House by Crosby, Stills & Nash
Recessional: 500 Miles by The Proclaimers
First Dance: I Wanna Hold Your Hand by Al Green (Cover Version)
Jeffrey designed + built that modern chuppah himself. How cool is that?!
The night before the wedding, in lieu of a traditional rehearsal dinner, we hosted an intimate “Ketubah Dinner” where Monica’s childhood Rabbi performed a Ketubah signing ceremony in front of a few friends and close family. The Ketubah we chose is printed on Japanese washi paper, and is decorated with a California poppy to reflect the Japanese-Jewish-Californian family that we are creating.
Isn’t this urban, industrial space of NWBLK the coolest place for a reception dinner?
We wanted the event to honor the neighborhood and reflect us, which we accomplished by embracing black as our main color and incorporating copper, grays and unique items like the seamless and acrylic menus.
That setup!! So good!
If you can, hire a wedding planner! Ashley Smith of Buzzworthy SF was amazing. She was the first and best decision we made. We had a few strong opinions on space, look and experience, and she was incredibly receptive; she took our ideas and ran with them. She recommended fantastic vendors - we loved them all! We found wedding planning to be fun and low-stress and we are pretty sure she is to thank for that.
As a final touch, Japanese maple leafs were added to the cake by A Spoonful of Sugar, in honor of Monica’s grandmother.
photography: Jenn Emerling // venue name: NWBLK, San Francisco, California, USA // event design: Ashley Smith of Buzzworthy Events // planning: Ashley Smith of Buzzworthy Events // florals: Eothen // wedding dress: Hayley Paige // hairpiece: Haute Bride // bride's ring: Masami Kelly // hair stylist: Ching Hoang // makeup artist: Julie Dy // groom attire: Hugo Boss and Pocket Square Clothing // groom's ring: Benchmark // paper goods: Designed by Bride + Groom, printed by J/R Press // catering: LRE Catering // cake: A Spoonful of Sugar // tabletop rentals: Encore Events (chairs) // furniture rentals: Pieces by Violet // linen rentals: La Tavola // music: Lucky Devils Band