Photography by Diana Rothery.
Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a winter wedding as cool as this one! Rachel & Dave married on their fifth anniversary at super cool members-only club The Battery in San Francisco. They incorporated romantic florals, fun nods to Dave’s Scottish heritage, and some bold, modern elements (like their acrylic stationery… and that dress!) which fit perfectly with the vibe of their luxe urban setting.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Dave wrote a cute poem on the bottom of my shoe, which was a total surprise and I loved it! Also, as one of Dave’s wedding gifts I made him a video highlighting all of our vacations together – it was something I had been putting off forever, so I think he enjoyed reliving those moments.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We wanted everything to feel comfortable and not forced, so we chose to forego a lot of the typical wedding traditions because they just weren’t us. The Scottish elements we incorporated (groom and groomsman wearing kilts, our bagpiper) were the most ‘traditional’ things we included. I did have something borrowed, something blue, a six pence, and a tartan garter from Dave.
Rachel told us having a first look “helped my nerves and I felt more relaxed when it came time to walk down the aisle.”
What was the best advice you received as a bride or groom? Rachel: it was from Dave on the day of our wedding in a card he gave me – take a breath and enjoy every minute // Dave: I had received that same advice I passed onto Rachel from a friend. It’s so important to do this as the day passes in the blink of an eye.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We chose The Battery for our wedding and reception because the building and décor are stunning. Dave and I both work in construction and love history, architecture and design – The Battery has it all! The building was built after the earthquake in 1907 and sits in the middle of the city near the iconic Transamerica pyramid. The interior is modern and luxurious with rich colors, patterns and textures in each space. We were able to use three different spaces within the building for the ceremony, cocktails, dinner and reception, which gave our guests a change of scenery for each part of the day, without the hassle of traveling across the city.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? After deciding what was most important to us, we asked Dave’s brother for help a and he outlined everything. It was important to incorporate Scottish elements, as Dave is from there, so we had a bagpiper play for our entry and exit and chose a Scottish poem as one of our readings.
What was your ceremony music? Wedding Party Processional: Flower of Scotland / Bride’s Entrance: Highland Cathedral / Ceremony Recessional: Highland Laddie.
Your ceremony in three words. Non-traditional, unique and entertaining… or in just one word, us!
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Dave’s brother, Alan. We wanted someone who knew both of us well and would remain close to us throughout our marriage. Alan was a huge help in putting the ceremony together and really understood the feel we wanted.
What were your ceremony readings? 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 and A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows – they were personal, a little emotional and mostly playful.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Being surrounded by so many great friends and family sharing our special day.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with details, so try to see the big picture and remember the day is about you and your soon-to-be spouse, not everybody else. When it comes to selections, choose a few elements that you are really passionate about, then be flexible and open minded with the rest. My ‘must have’ list included our wedding planner, specific photographer, stationery designer and our specific floral vendor.
Also, we chose to wait to go on our honeymoon – for couples doing the same, we suggest planning a mini-moon (nearby, or even a staycation) while you’re still feeling all the excitement from the big day.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Our venue’s interior design and the city itself were both big inspirations – we wanted something modern, inviting and unique. Our jewel-toned color scheme was incorporated subtly through the flowers and bridal party outfits; it was important that everything be cohesive and timeless. With so many beautiful weddings and styled shoots it’s easy to find inspiration and want to copy everything (!), but try to remember your wedding should have its own identity and reflect what you both like.
Why did you choose this location for your cocktail hour and reception? We celebrated in three locations within The Battery – Musto Bar (cocktails), Parlor (dinner) and Penthouse (dancing). The ability to have the ceremony and reception in one location with an amazing staff and beautiful environment were the deciding factors.
How would you describe your reception? A reflection of us – a lively environment with lots of love, conversation, laughing, hugs, stories, dancing and a few cocktails!
What was your wedding menu? Starter: Roasted Beets, coconut green goddess, cress and fennel pollen-pistachio streusel // Entrée: Petite Bistro Filet, green peppercorn and jus // Dessert: Ile Flottante, honey anglaise and orange blossom and wedding cake.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Set a budget and stick to it, as it’s easy for things to spiral out of control.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Our wedding cake was one tier Lemon Zing and one tier Banana Bread Heath Bar. Dessert was included with the meal, so we didn’t find it necessary to have piece of cake for every guest. We had a small cake for cutting that served twenty-four – so those who wanted additional dessert were given a piece of cake.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance? First dance: Better Man by Paolo Nutini // Mother and son: What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. Watching Dave dance with the flower girls and ring bearer, and getting to dance with my nephew, Isaiah!
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? No!