A Formal and Traditional Green-and-Purple Wedding in California
Tala and Thomas
Tala Banatao and Thomas Growney met the way many modern couples do: online. After dating for six years, the pair wed on October 29, 2011, in their shared hometown of San Francisco. Tala, a children’s clothing designer (she owns Tala Bee Kids), and Thomas, a sales and marketing consultant, called on Alison Events to help pull off a black-tie affair that reflected the couple’s love for each other and for their City by the Bay.
The day's palette -- purples and greens inspired by the colors of succulent plants -- was present on all of the paper pieces. Additional design elements included monograms, graphic patterns, and linen touches.
"Our favorite part of the stationery suite was that it told our story and incorporated my Filipino culture, Thomas’s Irish background, and the heritage of San Francisco," Tala said.
A Warm Welcome
Thomas and Tala were just as excited to see their guests in formalwear as they were about their own attire. The bride accented her Vera Wang dress and sash with Tiffany & Co. jewelry that she borrowed from her mother and Christian Louboutin shoes. Her maid of honor and bridesmaids wore Monique Lhuillier gowns.
The Ceremony Location
The couple's 300 guests gathered at three o'clock in the afternoon at St. Dominic's Church in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.
Her father and her son, Lucas -- who celebrated his First Communion at the church earlier that year -- escorted Tala down the aisle.
The Catholic service incorporated Filipino details in honor of the bride's background. Tala gave Thomas "arrhae" -- gold coins that signify commitment to the their future. They also exchanged traditional Christian wedding bands from Derco Jewelers.
A Sweet Ride
After the church ceremony, the newlyweds hopped into a 1949 Packard convertible.
Guests rode iconic San Francisco trolley cars from St. Dominic's to the reception venue.
The Reception Location
The Legion of Honor, an art museum located in the Lincoln Park district, served as the grand venue for the sophisticated reception.
Guests enjoyed artisanal drinks, freshly shucked oysters, and hand-rolled sushi while mingling in the museum's galleries. The quirky cocktail menu was customized for the wedding and included a spin on the classic gin gimlet renamed a Talatini for the night, and an autumnal whiskey-based libation called the Rhubarb Derby, which went by Growney Derby in honor of the couple's new shared name.
The Seating Chart
Old rolling blackboards were transformed with design elements first seen in the sleek invitation. These were wheeled in to the cocktail hour to reveal where each guest would be sitting.
A cozy seating area, decorated with flowers and family photos, allowed guests to relax.
The seated dinner took place in a clear-topped tent with soft fabric draping along its perimeter. Long tables were adorned with pistachio leaves in tall cylinders. It was erected within the grand entryway of the museum, known as the Court of Honor.
Rodin’s famous sculpture, "The Thinker," anchored the room. Tables were covered with a mix of natural linen runners and silk cloths; floral designer Danielle Rowe of Brown Paper Design created low centerpieces of air plants, succulents, cymbidium orchids, hydrangea, and olive branches.
Menu cards at each place setting outlined the dinner courses and wine offerings prepared by Betty Zlatchin Catering. The meal started with family-style charcuterie and cheese plates, followed by gazpacho and tuna salad. Each guest was then served an entree of salt-roasted natural beef tenderloin.
After dinner, Lynn Jordan and the Shivers got guests on their feet and dancing.
Favors for the Women
A beautiful box, topped with an olive branch, rested on each female guest’s plate.
Favors for the Women
Inside each box was a set of traditional "calado" latticework-embroidered napkins from the Philippines. The design, reminiscent of the hand-embroidered linens gifted to Britain’s Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip by the Philippines in 1947, was given a modern twist. They were accompanied by a note explaining the item’s significance.
Favors for the Men
Male guests leaving the reception were handed bottles of Papapietro Perry wine from one of Tala’s family’s favorite wineries in Sonoma.
The First Dance
The newlyweds took to the dance floor to "Trust in Me" by Etta James.
Photography: Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Ceremony Location: St. Dominic's Church
Reception Location: Legion of Honor
Planning and Event Design: Alison Events
Catering: Betty Zlatchin Catering
Floral Design: Brown Paper Design
Stationery: Chen Design
Cake: Perfect Endings
Music: Lynne Jordan and The Shivers
Videography: Justin Fone Productions
Lighting and Sound: Refraction
Hair & Makeup: Winc Artistry
Transportation: Classic Cable Car Sightseeing and Charters
Wedding Detailer: Heidi Johnson
Babysitters: Sophie's Stress-Free Soirees