Photos from my friend Jonathan Canlas always make my day, doubly so when they’re photos from a San Francisco wedding. So excited to share them with you today, especially with all the lovely details from Ashley and John.

Whenever anyone asks me for advice with coming up with a look for their wedding, I suggest using the venue first, then the season, to help shape the aesthetic. It’s the best way to end up with decor and details that are cohesive and make sense, and it’s exactly how Ashley and John determined a look for their wedding:

We first had our heart set on a winery wedding: we both love wine and the wine country, and thought it would make a beautiful backdrop for our wedding, but after months of looking unsuccessfully for a venue that met both our needs and our pocketbook, we realized that maybe we should broaden our search. We found The Hamilton Ballroom after researching many locations. The Hamilton Ballroom is an Art Deco hotel (since converted into condominiums) built in 1929, and we let it be our guide for the wedding’s style. The patio had an urban garden feel and the lobby and ballroom played up all the great Art Deco features. We took those two features and built upon them.

Our favorite moment was the ceremony. John and I worked together to write a couple’s letter, which we read at the end of the ceremony. It felt great to profess our commitment to each other. We were able to have the priest that baptized me, marry us. With it being Fleet Week our guests were treated to the Blue Angels buzzing the church during the ceremony.

John was very particular about the wine we served, and then I worked with Magpie Paper Works to design a surprise wine label for him, using a name John had come up with: “Both Coasts” to represent the two coasts we come from.

Katherine, our florist from Cherries, was amazing. She was able to transform the patio into a private vintage garden oasis. She used her collection of vintage pieces to hold the flowers, and sugared fruits down the center of our long tables.

I was able to use my grandmother’s topper on our cake. In addition to our red velvet wedding cake, we had a dessert bar that brought together our respective heritages: French macarons and Italian cannoli.

Ashley’s advice? Hire a wedding planner! It was so nice not to have myself or anyone in the wedding party dealing with the set-up/breakdown for the day.


See more even more of Ashley and John’s romantic Art Deco wedding in the gallery.

Photography: Jonathan Canlas / Ceremony venue: St. Patrick Catholic Church in San Francisco / Reception venue: The Hamilton Ballroom in San Francisco / Planning: Kim Yee Events / Bride’s dress: Amy Kuschel / Stationery: Betsywhite / Flowers: Cherries Flowers / Custom wine labels: Magpie Paper Works / Catering: Fork & Spoon / Rentals, linen rentals: Classic Party Rentals / La Tavola
  • Art Deco Wedding in San Francisco

    18 January 2011
  • 8 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites
    1. Jill

      I love your blog so much!

      I’m getting married Memorial Day weekend in our hometown, Huntington Beach, California at the Newland Barn. I am completely lost when it comes to how to decorate the inside of the barn where we will have the cocktail hour and cake. We’re on a budget and aren’t afraid of DIY, can you please send some suggestions my way?


      Love, Jill and Sean

      Here’s a link to the venue. There aren’t many pictures of the inside, but the showcase video gives you a little glimpse at what it looks like.

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    2. lydia {ever ours}

      love love the setting of the reception!

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    3. Dynamite Weddings

      Loving the grey suit!

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    4. I Want Wedding Champagne!

      I understand how important the setting and the season can be for a wedding theme. I so wanted a destination wedding in the Thousand Islands, NY in the summertime, but my mother was worried about guest traveling.
      In order to appease her I looked at venues in my hometown in Western NY. And I found the perfect venue…for the winter. The Timerlodge Banquet Facility,
      has a fantastic elegant ski lodge type look, and now I’m smitten with it!
      I’m still deciding whether a snowy January wedding is worth the trouble, but I’m sure something will be figured out. :)

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    5. Jess, Magpie Paper Works

      Such a yummy wedding — what a beautiful venue and a GORGEOUS bride! We had so much fun working with Ashley. Love, love, love her gown!

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    6. elissa, ebb & flow

      i love that the blue angels made an appearance via fleet week. what an awesome treat for guests.

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    7. Dina

      Loved this wedding! So Beautiful

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    8. Kate Holt

      Jonathan’s images are so subtly beautiful. Very nice work!

      / Reply

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