One Couple Planned Two Different Receptions for Their Garden-Meets-City Wedding in San Francisco
Paul and Natalie's love story is one of constantly missing each other: Paul attended Natalie's college sorority homecoming, but Natalie was out of town for the big event. After they graduated, their first jobs post-college were located just blocks apart and they never ran into one another. Natalie worked at Paul's go-to restaurant—and still, they didn't meet.
When they finally did meet in Los Angeles some two years later, they got a good laugh over how many times they should have bumped into each other—and got straight to making up for lost time. They dated for a blissful four years before Paul popped the question, and spent just nine months planning their October 20, 2018, wedding in and around San Francisco.
Including family in their wedding was very important to Natalie and Paul, who chose the ceremony site—Landmarks Art & Garden Center in Marin, just outside of San Francisco—not only for its beauty, but for its proximity to Natalie's grandmother. They invited 115 guests to join them for the outdoor ceremony, then took the celebration to the city for a restaurant reception at Park Tavern (a nod to Natalie's time in restaurant operations). "It was a day that had family, culture, and history, and tied in elements of the life we have built together and paid homage to the generations past that led us to where we are now," explains Natalie. "We could not be luckier to share it all with those that are closest to us."
With the help of planner Kaella Lynn Events, the day was also gorgeous, filled with epic florals, glamourous fashion, and heartfelt details.
Paul proposed with Natalie's grandmother's ring, which was once a tie pin from her father. "When [my grandmother] got engaged to my grandfather, he was in graduate school and didn't have money for a ring," Natalie explains, adding her grandparents created the ring years later from the pin. "Paul was also in graduate school when we got engaged and [we] loved the history behind the ring in addition to the similar financial situation," she says.
Invitations reflected the wedding's color scheme—a soft palette of blush, peach, and cream, inspired by a tablecloth they spotted in a friend's boutique linen shop in Los Angeles.
When it came to what she would wear, Natalie pictured a modern wedding dress—but struggled find one that would match her vision. "I searched for hours online and couldn't find anything that resonated," Natalie says. But she eventually discovered her Pronovias gown—an elegant matte cream mermaid gown with an open back—in a small boutique.
While her wedding dress was decidedly modern, Natalie's accessories paid homage to history. She wore a gold filigree bracelet "that was part of a long necklace from my maternal grandpa's mom that she brought over from Russia," she says, as well as aquamarine emerald-cut earrings that Paul gave Natalie for their first anniversary.
Bridal Party Attire
The boutonnières looked almost like mini bouquets, with a mix of blooms and colorful leaves.
In place of traditional corsages, Natalie and Paul had floral bracelets made for female family members.
Held at the Landmarks Art & Garden Center, the couple's wedding ceremony was a mix of the couple's religious backgrounds—Christianity for Paul and Judaism for Natalie. (The Song of Solomon was read, and the couple broke a glass to conclude the service.) "We didn't want it to be religious but wanted to have elements of Jewish culture and Paul's upbringing, as well," Natalie says. And with Natalie's uncle officiating the ceremony, it was extra special. "The ceremony was personal, poignant, funny, and light," the bride adds.
A chuppah created from copper piping and green garlands served as the ceremony's centerpiece.
Immediately after the ceremony, the couple asked guests to join them for an informal outdoor reception, where they could enjoy stunning views of the bay and surrounding hills.
Natalie and Paul served Aperol spritzes and sparking rosé—two delicious drinks that also just happened to coordinate with the couple's pink-and-peach color palette.
Guests noshed on a selection of pastries in addition to the two-tiered wedding cake (the couple served dessert first!).
The bride made the couple's wedding cake, a pistachio confection with raspberry filling and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. To create the cake, Natalie baked the layers the week before the wedding, then froze them. She assembled the cake at a family member's home just before the wedding. "It was a little stressful getting it all together but I am so happy with how it turned out," Natalie says. "It was the first time I have made a wedding cake but I love a good project—although I am not sure I will be opening a cake studio anytime soon!"
After the outdoor celebration, guests traveled to Park Tavern in San Francisco for an evening reception. At the entrance, they found their seats on an alphabetized chart.
At this formal reception, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour—complete with a raw oyster bar—followed by dinner and dancing. "I really wanted to do a restaurant buyout," says Natalie of the couple's choice to host their reception at an eatery. "I love the inherent level of service that comes with a restaurant, their wine list was terrific, and plate ware was from Heath Ceramics, a favorite. The space has an old California feel and was elegant, yet casual."
At long tables, taper candles cast a romantic glow over each setting. "But the most amazing part was how Hawthorn Flower Studio transformed Park Tavern with the most incredible, architectural arrangements of foliage, dahlias, and persimmons that were so seasonal and dramatic," Natalie says.
Dinner was served family style, a wonderful way to encourage guests' conversation.
Photography, The Edges Wedding Photography
Location, Landmarks Art & Garden Center; Park Tavern
Event planning, Kaella Lynn Events
Catering, Park Tavern
Flowers, Hawthorn Flower Studio
Stationery, Aerialist Press
Music, Synchronicity Strings
Bride's gown, Pronovias
Hair and makeup, Skyla Arts Makeup & Hair
Bridesmaids' dresses, Jenny Yoo
Groom's suit, J. Hilburn
Groomsmen attire, The Black Tux