Church in San Francisco is an 1895 Arts and Crafts building. When Mason and I
saw it for the first time, we both knew we wanted to be married there. In the
historic Hotel Drisco, just a few blocks away, we found the perfect settings for
the intimate family gathering we had envisioned, in elegant yet understated San
We made plans for a late September wedding
because in September the fog gives way and our guests would be able to enjoy
warm summer weather and clear views of San Francisco Bay. The choice of a hotel
near the church made it easy for our
out-of-town guests to walk to every event
for the wedding weekend. Creating that kind of ease was important to us, since
we wanted to make sure that our guests felt relaxed and at home.
Even Friday nightâ€™s rehearsal dinner was held
in a neighborhood restaurant. After the church rehearsal, the wedding party
simply walked a few blocks to Garibaldiâ€™s to celebrate together. It was perfect;
some members of our respective families were meeting for the first time at that
dinner, and Garibaldiâ€™s had just the right combination of celebratory yet
inviting and relaxed ambiance.
On Saturday, we decided to blend group events
with time set aside for us and for our guests to spend on their own exploring
San Francisco. We had left gift baskets at the hotel, complete with maps of the
city and lists of personal suggestions for everything from my favorite clothing
store on Haight Street to tips for brunch orders at our favorite joint across
town. That gave us some "alone" time â€“ for me some prepping at the spa, and for
Mason a walk through the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park. Saturday evening
the "San Franciscans," hosted a large get-together at a Thai restaurant, giving
everyone a chance to come back together and share stories from their day. Last
thing Saturday night, Mason and I headed to get massages together at San
Franciscoâ€™s Kabuki Hot Springs. I am so glad we made time to do that together;
it was renewing and romantic.
The day of the wedding was beautiful and warm,
just as we had hoped. First we headed over to the Hotel Drisco to join family
and friends for an early brunch.
Then we set out on a walking tour of the
mansions of Pacific Heights. Some of our best photographs from the wedding are
from that walk. People were just being themselves, and Joshua [Ets-Hokin], our
photographer, has a way of capturing the essence of each person with his
pictures. Each time we will see them, we will have such wonderful memories.
For the wedding itself, we turned to Cay Lemon
of Zest Productions to help gather a team of San Francisco professionals to
create a memorable event. Karen Axel of Tapestry helped to design lush, late
summer arrangements of deep reds, coppers, and apricots that beautifully warmed
the church and reception house for a late afternoon wedding. Karen and Laurence
Whiting of Now Weâ€™re Cooking worked together to create beautiful buffet
stations. The food was typically Californian, with lots of Asian and vegetarian
influences. There was only one exception: a table dedicated to Jambalaya, fried
catfish, and spicy corn bread. We had to add Southern food; it wouldnâ€™t have been us if we hadnâ€™t. There
were other touches inspired by Masonâ€™s Louisiana roots.
At the ceremony we drank
port from a two-sided silver chalice that Masonâ€™s mother had used at her own
wedding. (Southern tradition dictates that the spouse finishing first will rule
the household). My necklace also was a French-Quarter treasure discovered during
a trip to a friendâ€™s wedding in New Orleans.
The most special memory of the day? We both
agreed that it was in our choice of officiant, my uncle, Clarence, a chaplain
who flew in from Hawaii for the wedding. He has a tremendous gift of spirit, and
we are so grateful for his being the voice of our wedding. It was a surprise for
us when Clarence ended the ceremony by singing a Hawaiian hymn. "Delight. Truly,
the best things are never what you can plan."
Now We're Cooking