Happy Fri-yay! Emily here, and as a former Bay Area kid, today’s glorious Jewish wedding tugged at every last one of my heartstrings. From the ceremony at Fairmont Heritage Place at Ghirardelli Square, held on a balcony gazebo overlooking the bay, to the reception at iconic Greens Restaurant, which features yet more beautiful views of the bay — and also happens to be my absolute favorite special occasion restaurant from my California days — Judy and David’s wedding is so quintessentially San Francisco it hurts.
So I might be just a little biased. But even if you’re not a nostalgic ex-San Franciscan, there’s so much to love about this wedding, from the orange and yellow floral color scheme to the whimsical tree-themed ketubah from Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Ink With Intent to the ultra-intimate ceremony, where the couple had their guests stand around them rather than facing them.
Keeping things intimate was key for Judy, an elementary school principal, and David, a software engineer. The pair always knew they wanted a small wedding, with lots of participation from their closest family and friends: Judy’s friends assembled and decorated the chuppah (which the couple found on Craigslist!), family members recited the seven blessings during the ceremony, and they were married by David’s sister, who is rabbi.
Now over to Judy, who looked absolutely radiant in her Adrianna Pappell dress…
How we met
Judy, the bride: We met on Coffee Meets Bagel.
A Venue with a View
David and I are not really the type to crave the spotlight and don’t love being the center of attention. So when we were deciding what we wanted to do for our wedding, we knew we wanted something small and intimate, and wanted to be surrounded by our closest family and friends. We met in the Bay Area and thought something local made the most sense, since most of our family is spread out across the country anyway.
Something else you should know about me and David is that we love brunch. We found Greens Restaurant when we were searching for best brunch spots in the city. We made a trip to the city to check out their Bloody Marys and brunch items and decided that Greens was perfect for our reception. Delicious food, beautiful views of the bay, and a private room that was just the right size for our group.
After making that decision, the rest of it came together. My mom found out that the hotel she had booked, Fairmont Heritage Place at Ghirardelli Square, had a balcony gazebo overlooking the bay so we decided to do the ceremony there.
An Intimate Ceremony
In planning the ceremony, we knew that one of the perks of having a small wedding was that everyone could play a role. Jessica, David’s sister who is a rabbi, asked us over a year before we got married (well before we were even engaged) if she could do our wedding and of course we said yes.
My friends are super crafty and they offered to put together the chuppah and decorate it with flowers for us. And then we asked various family members to say one of the seven blessings during the ceremony.
We wanted everyone to stand around us rather than sit facing us because we don’t like the idea of a wedding feeling like a performance and wanted it to feel more casual and intimate. It all came together really nicely and had exactly the casual but meaningful feel that we were hoping for – and most importantly, David and I had a great time!
We sent an email 🙂
Hair + Makeup
Triple Twist did my hair and makeup – it was a recommendation from my sister in-law who used them for her wedding. I don’t wear a lot of makeup normally so my goal was to have a natural look.
The most significant piece of jewelry I wore was a gold necklace with a large opal stone. The necklace was a gift I received from my mom’s childhood best friend who died of a cancer when I was 11 years old. I wore it on my bat mitzvah and on my wedding day.
I wore teal suede pumps.
A Craigslist Chuppah
We found our chuppah on Craigslist from a couple that had made it themselves using birch poles, cement, and flower pots. It was the chuppah they used for their wedding and they were eager to find another couple that could enjoy it as much as they had.
Our friends offered to help decorate the chuppah. They bought the flowers from the SF Flower Mart and put it all together on the morning of the wedding.
Our flowers were by Ampersand SF – I asked for something bright and colorful, preferably with yellow, orange, and blue shades to complement my shoes.
We decided to have cupcakes and fruit tarts from Noe Valley Bakery because that was my favorite bakery when I lived in Noe Valley. I lived next door to the bakery and would regularly stop there on Sunday mornings for coffee and a treat.
My mom had M&Ms specially made with a picture of us, our wedding date, and the phrase “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” She also got every couple a heart-shaped crystal box from Tiffany.
Judy & David’s little white book
Photography – Sonya Yruel Photography
Ketubah – Ink With Intent
Venues – Fairmont Heritage Place and Greens Restaurant
Bride’s dress – Adrianna Papell
Hair + Makeup – Triple Twist
Flowers – SF Flower Mart and Ampersand SF
Desserts – Noe Valley Bakery
Favours – M&Ms and Tiffany
Sonya Yruel says
Thank you for the wonderful feature! This was such a special wedding to photograph!