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Kathryn and Joe
In April 2000, Kathryn Kalabokes was waitressing at a restaurant in the newly opened Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco. Joseph Della Cella was working for a sports radio station and on one of his trips there, they met. Ten years later, Joe, now the director of communications for a nonprofit organization, surprised Kathryn with a proposal at the stadium. She thought they were attending an event there, but instead Joe walked her down to home plate and popped the question.
Kathryn, who now owns Dream A Little Dream Events, a wedding-planning and design company, got to work on their December 30, 2011, wedding, with a plan to showcase their beloved city by the Bay and the romance it spurred.
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Early in their relationship, Kathryn and Joe went to a concert at the Bimbo's 365 Club. The venue, opened in 1931, left such a lasting impression, that they chose it for their location. Its Art Deco decor had dramatic flair and influenced the wedding’s theatrical theme.
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A Warm Welcome
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The First Look
Before the ceremony, the couple got together at the Buena Vista Cafe. "It was so much fun walking through the extremely crowded bar in my wedding dress to Joseph -- the guy that had been waiting in his tux at the end of the bar for 30 minutes," Kathryn says.
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Portraits in the Park
Kathryn and her groom then ventured to Aquatic Park to pose for photographer Kate Harrison. The light rain didn’t dampen the duo’s spirits; they took all of their family and bridal party photos outdoors.
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The Bridal Party
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Kathryn’s bouquet, designed by A Simple Ceremony, featured white peonies and white cyclamen.
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Joe and his groomsmen dressed in Calvin Klein suits, and accented their lapels with boutonnieres of tea roses, dusty miller, and star of Bethlehem.
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A Local Charm
One of the groomsmen’s grandfathers had sat on the board for Golden Gate Transportation and started the tradition many years ago of handing out small pins in the likeness of the famous bridge.
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The Box Office
To honor the venue's original purpose, the couple's friend Carol sat behind the counter and handed out escort-card tickets to arriving guests. "She nailed the part," says Kathryn.
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The Escort Cards
A total of 285 tickets, which doubled as place cards, were handed out.
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The bride’s father, Chris Kalabokes, escorted her down the candlelit aisle to "By Your Side" by Ben Harper, the musician the couple had seen in concert at Bimbo’s years before.
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Kathryn and Joe asked a friend, Gregory Moore, to serve as their wedding officiant. They worked together to create the service, including undergoing "Barbara Walters style" interviews. Gregory peppered their answers and reflections throughout the ceremony. The couple wrote their own vows, too. After officially becoming husband and wife, they stepped off the stage and walked up the aisle to “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen.
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The Cocktail Hour
Beet-and-goat cheese lollipops were just one of the passed hors d’oeuvres from Betty Zlatchin Catering. Others included baby lamb chops, cauliflower-soup shooters, and beef sliders with Tallegio cheese.
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The couple embraced the venue's mermaid statues as part of their décor and had paper napkins foil-stamped with the siren.
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The Signature Cocktails
Guests sipped on cucumber-basil gimlets and Manhattans, the favorite libations of the bride and groom.
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Since their venue had hosted many musical acts over the years, Kathryn and Joe decided to name each table after an album. Custom-designed signs adorned all 41 tables. After the big day, the couple decided to frame the signage as a memento.
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Dinner began with caramelized Warren pear salad and pumpkin ravioli with butternut squash and Lacinato kale. A choice of entrée followeed: filet mignon with patatas, heirloom carrots, wilted chard, red wine sauce, and onion strings; blue nose sea bass with patatas, cauliflower, wilted chard, avgolemono, and skordalia; or Pave d'Aubergine confit (grilled eggplant, tomato, and Moroccan harissa stack) with cauliflower, quinoa, and pine-nut cheese.
The tables were decorated with of peony, dusty miller, and cyclamen centerpieces. Small candle lamps and votives added a warm glow to the ballroom.
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The First Dance
Kathryn and Joe danced to "Lights" by Journey. Then, the band struck up “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” by The Temptations, and Kathryn took to the floor with her father. Halfway through, their family joined in.
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The five-tiered confection by Branching Out Cakes was trimmed with piped frosting to match the beading of the bride’s gown. The pair also decided to included a dessert station of mini churros and Mexican hot chocolate.
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Photography: Kate Harrison Photography
Location: Bimbo's 365 Club
Wedding planning and coordination: Dream A Little Dream Events
Catering: Betty Zlatchin Catering
Flowers: Melissa Comito of A Simple Ceremony
Calligraphy: Michele Papineau
Cake: Branching Out Cakes
Videography: Sandbox Love
Lighting: Got Light?
Engagement ring and wedding bands: Macy's
Hair and makeup: Meaganne McCandess
Valet Parking: California Parking