Ever since I started blogging about weddings, Manka’s has been a dream location of mine. The coastal beauty, the pier, the local (and whimsical) menu. Actually, come to think of it, I should really make reservations there now that I live so close. Anyway, all of that is to say that I’m excited about today’s feature: a lovely rehearsal dinner along the Northern California coast, from Rosemary Special Events, with flowers by Nicole Sillapere and pics from photographer Kristen Loken.

Erin and David wanted to showcase the beauty and food of Tomales Bay, where the groom had spent much of his childhood at his grandparent’s home, so they selected Manka’s boathouse in Inverness. Rosemary kindly sent over a description of the evening:

“A cool blue palette was perfect for an event on water’s edge, and we used rustic garden chairs and true linen cloths in sea-blue to compliment the seaside weathered look of the boathouse. The couple wanted to play off the simple and natural beauty of the Bay, so we went with natural décor elements such as artichokes, bunnytail grass, Boston ivy and sweet bunches of feverfew. For paper elements, we called on Maybelle Imasa-Stuckuls to pen the menu and then had it letterpressed. Clever descriptions of dishes (see below) added a playful element and made for fun conversation among guests. We added simple calligraphed placecards at each setting for a finishing touch.”

“The dinner was very intimate, served fireside in the charming boathouse with accompanying sounds from a well known local jazz pianist. 100 hurricane candles lined the dock, and added a gorgeous sparkle to the bay after dark.”

Venue / food (see full menu below): Manka’s Boathouse

Photography: Kristen Loken

Event planning: Rosemary Special Events

Flowers / decor: Sillapere

Calligraphy: Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls

Jazz piano: Mike Lipscomb

Thank you to Rosemary and Kristen for sending along these beautiful photos! Oh, and here’s that whimsical (and locally-sourced) menu, since I’m sure you’re curious:

In Anticipation of Erin & David’s Wedding
October 9, 2009
-
Passed Hors D’oeuvres

Crisped Oysters
from the waters beneath your feet
held by a leaf of local little gem greens

Ceviche of Local Halibut
atop a tangle of coastal cucumbers

A Puff of Cheese from Carmody Lane
filled with Inverness duck egg
french scrambled with garden herbs

Wee Burgers
of lamb last seen roaming
on the range of historic ‘H’ Ranch

-
Seated Dinner

A Soup of Coastal Corn
crowned with a dollop of corn musk
and wild herbs pillaged from The Point

Leaves of Local Wild Arugula
draped over baked ricotta of coastal sheep’s milk
and a small riot of local late harvest tomatoes

Leg of Jim’s Duck
nested in a mash of local golds
encircled with a duck sauce dotted with Nan’s olives

A Low Profile Cake of Inverness Apples
and coastal dairy whipped cream

-
Enthusiastically Prepared by
Daniel DeLong and Margaret Grade at Manka’s Boathouse

10 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Other Parties
  1. Joel Flory

    Kathryn, you seriously need to eat here. Cara and I had our all time favorite meal here. Let’s just say that this is where Thomas Keller went for his birthday dinner. Simply amazing. I love these photos. Are you also blogging their wedding?

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  2. Prippy Handboook

    This is so gorgeous! It makes me want to take the trip out there to soak up the unique natural beauty of that area.

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  3. Kamie

    So Gorgeous!! Loving the table scapes and the hurricane candles!

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  4. lizzie

    This rehearsal dinner is so casual and natural…i love the photos and the family’s vibe together…Wee burgers! Adorable!

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  5. Laura Murray

    LOVE that venue! Breathtaking….

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  6. Rosemary

    Kathryn, Joel is right… the food there is beyond delicious and you should move that near the top of the things to do list. Might even be the best meal I’ve had… They only prepare fireside dinners in your room though since the lodge burned down… the perfect rustic romantic splurge. You should give her a call…I’m sure they would love to have you!
    BTW, thanks for featuring this… it definitely ranks high in my all time favorite events list!

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  7. brett

    Where did they have their actually wedding. One day I would love to get married in this area, but it’s so remote, i’m at a loss for reception locations!

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  8. Leigha

    Gorgeous. The scenery, the location, the event, the people, the food…it’s all so good.

    Leigha

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  9. Meg Messina

    Oh Kristen! These are so lovely!!

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  10. Kelsey

    The backdrop is gorgeous, the style and decor are so soft and rustic. But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that menu!!! How cute and funny and sweet! What a great way to start a wedding weekend.

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