Anyone who’s had the good fortune to have visited San Francisco will know that it’s one mighty city, and certainly worthy of having a whole wedding theme dedicated to it.
That’s exactly what brilliant couple Rachael, a pediatrician, and David, a scientist, did – their beautiful Jewish wedding was a total love letter to the Golden City, which is their hometown, and the beautiful backdrop to their romance.
We are all hearts for eyes over the amazing floristry, particularly the gorgeous and colorful bridal bouquet, and matching centerpieces and chuppah arrangements – simply stunning.
Family participation was integral to the celebration, with the wedding party comprised of family members, and special family heirloom jewelry worn by the bride. In fact, family played such a crucial role that all the guests were gifted one of the bride’s mom’s famous cookies, which sound absolutely delicious. We’ll wait for ours in the post!
We hope you’re as head over heels for the beautiful images by Nightingale Photography as we are, and that you enjoy Rachael’s wonderful, sparkling write up of her and David’s wedding day, particularly her anecdote about kiddush wine, which had us chuckling at our keyboards.
Take it away, Rachael!
A venue with character
Rachael, the bride: We chose to get married at the Julia Morgan Ballroom because we wanted to get married in downtown San Francisco, but we were looking for something with more character than a basic hotel ballroom.
We quickly fell in love with the beautiful design and architecture of the Julia Morgan Ballroom, and they had the date we wanted to get married available, so we snatched it up. It also didn’t hurt that the entire ceremony and reception was inside, so we didn’t have to worry about rain ruining the big day.
A love letter to San Francisco
We used San Francisco as our inspiration for our wedding design (and location!) since it’s our home. We got ready in hotel rooms with beautiful views of the city and the bay, we took our ‘first look’ and formal pictures down at the embarcadero, and we had the SF skyline running across our invitations, photobooth pictures, and escort cards.
We picked light purples, greens, and splashes of gold as our colours to highlight and lighten up the dark wood ornate ballroom. Our good friend Alice Spitalny, who has a day job working for a wedding planning company, helped us plan our wedding to make sure that it was a fun and stress-free day for us.
San Francisco skyline invitations
Our invitation had the San Francisco skyline across the bottom of it, which is where we met and fell in love, and also where we decided to get married, since we consider the city our forever home.
We carried the SF skyline theme throughout our wedding with the photobooth prints, and also with the escort cards.
I had a silver and rhinestone hair clip that I wore. I picked it out because the design reminded me of the beading on my wedding dress. I wore a veil during the formal pictures and ceremony because it felt very classic and elegant, which was the vibe the ballroom gave me, as I was trying to match my dress to the venue.
My earrings were given to me by my parents last year when I graduated pediatric residency. I wore my grandmother’s blue sapphire ring on my right hand as my ‘something old’ and ‘something blue’. I bought three gold rings with the same engraving as my wedding band so that my mom, sister, and I all had matching rings that we wore on our right ring fingers.
The handsome groom in colorful socks
David wore a classic black/white tux he rented from men’s wearhouse. His boutonniere matched the bouquets to tie in the purple and green theme. He left his beard with a few days’ growth as I requested. David loves fun, colorful socks, so he and all the groomsmen (and fathers) wore matching purple socks as a tribute to his favorite accessory.
A Pinterest-perfect chuppah
We searched Pinterest for chuppah designs, and settled on one that was simple, so that it wouldn’t take away from the ceremony space. We added a some greenery and flower accents to one corner to tie in with the bouquets the bridesmaids were holding.
We also decided to add a more ornate lace to the top of the chuppah, since you could see the top from the second floor atrium, where one of the photographers was standing.
The mystery of the missing kiddush wine
A funny story: When the ceremony started, the rabbi couldn’t find the wine that was needed for the wedding blessings (it has been on the ceremony table a few moments before), after a few seconds of awkwardness as she asked the audience where it was, with no reply, I bent down, looked under the table and found the wine (unbeknownst to the rabbi, the wedding planner had filled the kiddush cup then placed the wine under the table so it wouldn’t be in the pictures). Everyone had a good laugh, and the ceremony moved on without any more hang ups.
A personalized ketubah
We wrote our own ketubah instead of relying on pre-printed ones, so that we could individualize our wedding “contract” and vows to what is important to us.
Mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies
We gave out chocolate chip cookies that the bride’s mom made (she is famous for them) for our guests to enjoy as a late-night snack, or on their journeys home the next day.
Family wedding photos
We put pictures of our grandparents and parents on their wedding days across one of the fireplace mantles to honor our families, who made us who we are today.
Importance of family
Our immediate families and close friends were all in the wedding party, so they spent the day with us getting ready and taking pictures. My dad and David spent the whole day crying, or almost crying. They are the biggest saps of the family!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Spreadsheets will become your best friend and help you stay organized! Remember why you are planning the wedding – to marry the love of your life – so don’t stress if every detail is not perfect or exactly as you planned.
Take a few minutes during the wedding day to stop, look around, and appreciate all the people who love you and traveled to be with you for this special day.
Rachel & David’s little white book
Photography and videography – Nightingale Photography
Wedding planner – Alice Spitalny of Alison Events
Venue – Julia Morgan Ballroom of Merchant’s Exchange
Bride’s dress – Anne Barge purchased at Kinsley James
Bride’s shoes – Badgley Mischka
Makeup – By Ann Li
Cake – Jasmine Rae Cakes