- 3 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
I really wanted to wait until our wedding video was done, but it should be ready in the next two weeks and I just can’t wait any longer! So, here is our San Francisco City Hall Wedding.
The Short Version
My DH and 12 of our closest family members and friends all flew to San Francisco for almost a week of wedding celebration. We were married on the 4th floor of City Hall and although there were definitely bumps before we left Canada everything one the day of was perfect. I loved the way we chose to get married and I wish that we could do it again and again!
The Long Version
Before our wedding all sorts of things went wrong… City Hall called the friday afternoon before we were supposed to leave (on monday) to tell us that they hadn’t received our payment and didn’t know if they could hold our space. This was after my final dress fitting where my dress still didn’t fit (it never fit perfectly… I gained 10lbs in Europe 10 days before our wedding) and a nail appointment that almost wasn’t because they had booked me for a pedicure or a polish change instead of a shellac french manicure and the girl didn’t know if she had time. This was also the night of DH’s friend’s rehersal dinner that I didn’t know I had to go to, and the weekend of their wedding. I was also still trying to organize details for our trip (seating plan, place cards, envelopes of cash for vendors etc) so it was all very stressful. But it all worked out…
We all stayed at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental. It was beyond expectations. I met Mark in May during my planning trip and since then we worked via email. He was so good at organizing everything for us, and gave us, and everyone with us, the “wedding discount” which is about 50%!!! We stayed in the terrace suite the night before and the night of our wedding and we also had our “cocktail hour” there – catered by the Top of the Mark. It was a perfect “wedding” hotel and everyone on staff treated us like royalty. It was also nice for our guests because of the great views at the top of Nob Hill.
We were also lucky to get a last minute reservation at Perbacco for our “rehearsal dinner”. We didn’t have a rehearsal at all (I wouldn’t recommend that) so we didn’t think that we needed a formal dinner. We also didn’t want our families to feel like they couldn’t do their own thing. But because my family’s flight was delayed everyone was unsure about what to do and it sounded like a nice dinner was in order. We had to sit at two tables but that was fine as we probably wouldn’t be able to find anywhere with a table for 14! The boys ate quail stuffed with quail sausage and loved it so much that my brother-in-law shook the server’s hand to thank him afterwards haha! DH said that the pasta that he had was the best he’s ever eaten in his entire life. Of corse this meant we had an unbudgeted expense because we were not about to pick an expensive restaurant and then make our guests pay for their own food. But it was worth it.
Wedding day was stressful, but it would have been no matter what. Deidre, our florist from Tutti Fiori came right up to the hotel suite at the time she said she would and dropped off my flowers. She made my dad a boutonnière and didn’t charge me for it. She met my Dad in May and said that she just loved him so much and he reminded her of her own father and she just wanted to make something for him. I’m so glad that she did too because the photos of us walking down the aisle wouldn’t have been as nice without it.
Then our videographers, Carmen and Terry, from One Day Pictures arrived and it was like madness! Haha! She said that I was the only bride she had ever seen do her own makeup and hair and at the time I was regretting it because my skin was so dry from the flight that my foundation was being weird. It of course turned out fine though. I”m also really glad that we got the video (even though I haven’t seen it yet) because there are so many parts that I don’t even remember!
Everyone took cabs to city hall and my dad I took the hotel’s town car. Our Photographer, Officiant and musician were already there (I hadn’t actually met our musician or officiant before then). My dad and I were greeted on the 4th floor by a City Hall Events employee and she ensured that no one else went past the velvet ropes.
To be honest I don’t even remember walking down the aisle or the beginning of our ceremony because I was so worked up. But I do remember thinking “he’s playing my song!” when I could hear the music (I got him to learn a piece for me) and I loved our officiant… She made me feel like she was an old family friend even though we had only just met. She was also very calming, which was definitely needed. We had a short ceremony and then immediately did formal photos with our families. After that we went out front to do our bubble send off. We got lucky because City Hall was very quiet the whole time that we were there.
Then we took more photos there while our families went back to the hotel for cocktail hour. We then went to Crissy field and the embarcadero. Looking back I wish that we had spent more time in City Hall and just skipped Crissy Field altogether because I wanted more photos in city hall and because traffic was so bad that we ran super late and DH was getting tired and cranky towards the end of our photos. Our photographer, Lilia, was wonderful though. We went WAY over time and she didn’t worry or charge us anything extra. She also drove us everywhere and even dropped off my veil at the restaurant afterwards because we had walked closer to One Market than her car while taking photos.
The wine room at One Market was better than I could have ever hoped! It is completely separate from the restaurant and so it feels like you have the entire place to yourself. We also had our own dedicated wait staff and the restaurant had ordered us linens and flowers with no extra charge. Once it got dark we had views of the Bay Bridge and its dancing lights. The food was to die for and we even had our own menus printed. Our glasses were never empty and we were all stuffed by the end of the meal. We had to leave at about 11 or 11:30, which felt early… I guess since we got there a bit late it did feel like it but I mostly just didn’t want the night to end.
Then it was back to the hotel suite, and the next morning we all went to Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Warf and that night most people went to the Giants game (we made welcome bags for everyone with Alcatraz and Giants tickets included)
Then everyone went home and we started our honeymoon… Even though we had a small wedding it was still very crazy and stressful and it took us a good two days to decompress afterwards.
The dress… I had Huge dress regret and thought I should’ve had a mermaid , but I fell back in love with this one and am so glad that I kept it. I just wish that it would have fit properly.
Getting ready… My belt on my dress tore on the way down (or maybe she enver stiched it back on after alterations, I don’t know) so my mom had to stitch it back one once I put the dress on.
The details… my bracelet is my Grandma’s.. my Grandpa gave it to her for Christmas in 1961! It was special because she couldn’t be there due to health issues.
Walking down the aisle. I was SO nervous I told my dad to stop telling me all the wonderful things eh was telling me and to talk about baseball instead so I wouldn’t cry. (of course, my Dad normally has a head)
Cocktail hour and Reception
Our Custom Made Rings