After many years together, Laura and Mike celebrated their wedding at the very place she grew up visiting with her father. There was never any other place she could imagine getting married, and what a beautiful location it was. We are completely in love with the lush, overflowing florals and romantic lighting through their entire day.
Photography by Myrtle and Marjoram.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? This advice was initially given to my mother by my grandmother. In the midst of planning, my mother was stressed and my grandmother said, “What day is your wedding?” and my mother answered, “February 6th.” My grandmother then said, “And on February 7th, you’ll be married!” It was a nice reminder about what all this is about: marriage. So, whenever I started to get stressed my mom re-centered me by asking, “What day is your wedding?”
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Hire professionals. Be nice to your family. And nobody is going to know what you didn’t do. Put down the glue gun. Stop fretting. Every cute idea you see on Pinterest does not need to happen. You’ll have other parties to plan and craft for. Just enjoy your wedding day. It’s a beautiful day!
How beautiful is Laura’s bouquet? Ranunculus, roses, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, speckled fritillaria, hellebores… such a lovely combination of classic wedding blooms and harbingers of spring.
Floral Design by Jackie’s Flowers.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? The B word is hard, but be religious about tracking what you’re actually spending! Be sure to note what big ticket items you’re willing to spend more on and where you can be more flexible later. Every little detail really adds up and it’s so helpful to have a budget tracker from the beginning.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Not a thing!
“Our ceremony and reception took place at The Sutter Club. I grew up attending Father/Daughter dances and family holidays at the Club, and it was the only place I could imagine getting married. It wasn’t hard for Mike to fall in love with the Mission-style architecture and rich history. Plus, it’s the second oldest private club in California and has an amazing past. It’s located across from the State Capitol — which made an extra-special backdrop for photos. We had our ceremony upstairs in the California Room. One of the Club’s largest rooms, it features tall windows, plaster walls, and dark flooring. All the existing elements lent themselves so well to our decor decisions.”
Your ceremony in three words. Traditional, sweet and emotional
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We knew we wanted a traditional ceremony. We’re also both very shy! Our officiant offered us tons of templates and we took bits and pieces from each of them and make a ceremony that reflected us as a couple.
What was your ceremony music? Ceremony music was important to us and we opted for a live pianist. He played standards as our guests arrived and were seated. For our processional, we went classic with Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”. For the Recessional, we went for something a little more fun — “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys. It was a little nod to our early days; we met when were only 18 years old.
Who officiated your ceremony? Selecting and officiant was really difficult for us. After quite a while of thinking, and asking each other “do have a friend or family member officiate?” we hired Reverend Jennifer Tan. She came with a glowing recommendation from our wedding planner, and after meeting her we could see why. She was worth the wait! She was professional, warm, and had a great disposition. She was the a perfect choice for us as a couple and the ceremony we wanted to have.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We did a unity candle and included the Irish wedding blessing.
What were your vows like? We knew we wanted a simple and traditional ceremony. We also wanted to avoid major waterworks and opted for classic vows. (The waterworks came anyway…)
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Mike’s favorite part was the surreal moment of realizing all 165 people in that room were there to support us. My favorite part was my bridesmaids getting choked up one-by-one when Mike got emotional! It was a chain reaction.
“We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. We wanted a classic wedding and just kept things simple and timeless. We took a cue from our venue and chose to go with the rich textures of our venue. We chose creamy, letterpress paper and florals that while in a neutral palette, made a huge statement with volume. We had to use spaces throughout the venue — so that involved both us and our guests ascending descending the grand staircase a few times. We decided to have the florist design a really wild installation on the stairs — it’s probably my favorite decor element.”
How would you describe your reception? It was a great party! We’ve been together for many years and many of our guests have been waiting for us to the tie the knot for a while now. We had a live band during cocktail hour and it was a really special ambience to start the party off. We had to have the room flipped between the ceremony and reception, so, as we re-entered the California room it had been transformed. The room glowed with candle light and was full of blushy, textured floral centerpieces. We used a long garland and pillar candles down the head table for extra drama. After toasts, we headed back downstairs to dance in the library.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? We attempted to avoid any “DI Whyyy?!” moments. My mom and I own a wedding rental company and working in the wedding industry, I’ve come across so many brides who have said they were up all night before the weddings working on seating charts or whatever! Mike and I decided to do a few projects and set deadlines to complete them. We designed our save the dates and invites with the help of my older sister, wrapped our own favors and selected some decor from my own rental inventory to complete the look.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We had so many great moments during our reception, but I think my Maid of Honor/younger sister’s toast takes the cake. She’s a bit of a wild card and she had my parents on the ropes about what she might say. She was so nervous, but delivered the best speech. It was funny, partially ad-libbed (those were the best jokes…) but ultimately so very genuinely heartfelt. Our guests raved about the speech all night and for months to come. We were so grateful to Mike’s parents for insisting we had a videographer!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We served white cake with buttercream frosting.
Cake by Kathy’s Little Cakery.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First dance: “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit
Father/daughter dance: “My Girl” by the Temptations (a nod to our Father-Daughter dance days at the Sutter Club).
Mother/son dance: “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. The dance floor was such a huge part of our wedding. I don’t think I left once the dancing started. Mike and I love music and all our guests were ready to cut a rug. Our play list was full of oldies, R&B and some silly songs. It was a total blast to dance with our family — even the grandparents made an appearance. And of course, Mike’s fraternity brothers did not disappoint.