Kristen and Nick had a lovely wedding at St. Michael's Church and Martinelli Event Center in Livermore. Kristen is so creative and incredibly organized, and there were tons of amazing DIY details throughout the day! Nick is a huge comic book enthusiast, so the dinner tables were each named after superheroes, and vintage comic book covers decorated the reception space. It was such a fun day filled with love, laughter, and an amazing dance party. Congratulations, Kristen and Nick!
Jennifer and Jason had a beautiful Halloween wedding at Skyfall Panoramic Hills in Berkeley. The venue is dreamy, with incredible views of San Francisco and the Bay, and a charming brick house for guests to stay in. We got SO lucky with a warm, clear fall day - especially since by the following evening, it was pouring rain! I have to give a huge shout out to my assistant Molly, there were a lot of moving pieces and she helped keep everything together and keep me sane. These gorgeous photos from Kreate Photography capture the day perfectly!
Venue: Skyfall Panoramic Hills
DJ: Madison - Chocolate Sound
Ceremony Musicians: We Are Celli
Catering: Chef Bun
Cake: Sweet Adeline
Florals: Stems and Petals
Rentals: C & M Party Rentals
Hair and makeup: Ankara Bridal
Transportation: Franklin Shuttle
From my first meeting with Sarah and Alon, I knew this wedding was going to be special. Sarah found a 100-year-old rental property in Stinson Beach with magical gardens and two gorgeous old houses for everyone to stay in. Most of Sarah's family flew in from the South, and much of Alon's family came all the way from Israel! The whole day was relaxed, personal, and full of love, and I was so happy to be a part of it.
Stinson Estate - I don't even have the adjectives to describe this property! Many famous artists and writers have stayed there in the past, and it has a bohemian, rustic vibe. During the ceremony we could hear waves crashing in the background, and after dinner on the lawn, everyone moved up to the house for music and dancing.
Marble Rye Photography - Melissa (who recently moved to the Bay Area!) was so lovely to work with! She scouted out all the best photo spots and was perfectly unobtrusive while managing to capture amazing, intimate moments. I can't get over how stunning these photos are!
A Sound Objective - We booked Paul through Ivy Hill Entertainment, and he could not have been nicer or more professional. He arrived early, stayed until late into the evening, and did a fantastic job setting up multiple sound systems throughout the property.
Shalimar/On Call Staffing - A friend picked up Indian food from Shalimar in San Francisco, and On Call Staffing provided two servers who handled all the food setup and breakdown, and totally adapted when the original buffet area was getting pummeled with bird droppings (gotta love outdoor events!).
Ohndrea Elliott at Heroes and Hairoines Salon - Ohndrea graciously agreed to drive out to Stinson to do Sarah's hair, and created a classic yet natural and gorgeous updo.
Home Sweet Flowers/Workshop SF - For Sarah's bachelorette party earlier in the week, she and a group of ladies spent the evening with the lovely Lorena from Home Sweet Flowers at Workshop SF learning how to make centerpieces and flower crowns. The flowers held up beautifully for the wedding - such a smart and creative way to DIY wedding florals with the help of a pro.
I was so excited to be a part of Emily and Mickey's wedding! This day was so full of love, you could just feel it exuding from Emily and Mickey and all their friends and families.
In the 100+ years Eureka Books has been around, this was the first wedding held there - it was such an amazing space and perfect for the couple since they love books and it's Mickey's favorite bookstore. Emily's godfather officiated, and they had a reading of the most beautiful poem in both Spanish and English which brought everyone to tears...twice. Also, hello cutest flower girls and ring bearess EVER! The reception was a blast and included some of the most heartfelt toasts I've ever witnessed. Congratulations, you two!
Ceremony venue: Eureka Books - The proprietors of this amazing store were so kind and couldn't have been more gracious and accommodating.
Reception venue: Humboldt County Office of Education - This brand new, gorgeous space and its excellent staff kept things running smoothly all evening.
Photography: Sacred Images - Jan and her second shooter Darci created beautiful images that perfectly captured the day! They were everywhere during the ceremony (climbing a ladder, looking down from the balcony) to make sure they didn't miss a thing.
Catering: Uniquely Yours Catering - Wonderful food and lovely staff who worked so hard to make the reception a success.
Dessert: Verbena Cakes - Cream puffs, fruit tarts, macarons, peanut butter sandwich cookies, white chocolate lavender truffles...WOW! This was the ultimate dessert buffet.
Florals: Emily's aunt Sally put together all of the beautiful, bright arrangements - those sunflowers added pops of color throughout the day!
DJ: Accurate Productions - These guys really kept the dance floor packed - everyone was having so much fun that we extended the reception!
Makeup: Nicole Marie Makeup Artistry - Nicole did an amazing job keeping the makeup fresh, beautiful, and natural. Plus she is the sweetest!
Ok, I'm just going to say it: I have a lot of feelings about wedding cake. It can be really good, really bad, sometimes it looks beautiful but tastes like cardboard...and it can be expensive! Something I'm seeing more and more couples do is a dessert bar instead of a wedding cake, and I am totally on board. A dessert bar is a great way to break with tradition, let your personalities shine through, and give your guests lots of options. Plus it's often a lot more cost-effective which is always a bonus.
Neither my husband nor I are huge fans of cake, so for our wedding we did a potluck-style dessert bar. We absolutely could not have done it without the help and generosity of several family members: my mom, grandma, aunt, great-aunt, grandma-in-law, and even my younger brother and his girlfriend contributed. Not to toot my own horn but it turned out great, so I thought I'd share some tips on how to DIY your dessert table.
Here are some ideas for desserts to include:
- Cookies: chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar cookies, macarons
- Brownies and bars: chocolate brownies, pecan bars, blondies, seven layer bars, rice krispy treats
- Chocolate truffles in various flavors
- Chocolate dipped pretzels
- Pastries: mini fruit tarts, mini lemon meringue tarts, hand pies or regular pies, cream puffs, eclairs
- Cupcakes: mini or regular
- Donuts or donut holes
Breaking it down:
For mostly one- or two-bite desserts, you'll want to make sure you have enough for everyone! Granted, you can't predict which items will be the most popular, but having 3-4 mini desserts per guest is a good rule of thumb. And of course, you want to make it look pretty! Having a variety of platters and cake stands is visually appealing and helps guests zero in on what treats to pick. Just make sure to have some cake plates and napkins on hand so people don't have to juggle handfuls of cookies!
For the day of the wedding, make sure anything that is prone to melting can be stored in a refrigerator or cool place indoors. If you're having pie or cake as part of the dessert bar, it can be helpful to have it pre-sliced so guests can easily serve themselves.
I really wanted to make pie for our wedding, so about a month in advance I made several pies and put them in the freezer unbaked and tightly covered in layers of plastic wrap. One of my awesome foodie friends was in charge of baking them the morning of the wedding - they just took about 20 minutes longer than normal to bake since they were frozen. Your freezer is your friend - brownies and cupcakes (unfrosted) as well as pre-scooped cookie dough will all hold up well in the freezer for a few weeks to a month.
Finally, it's totally ok to source desserts from non-traditional places! We had a cheesecake from Costco (spruced up by putting some fresh berries on top) as our "cutting" cake and it was perfect.
All photos by the amazing Christina Richards