A big dinner-and-dancing wedding reception can be a blast, but there are other, equally celebratory ways of tying the knot. At their wedding in June, Laura and Taylor opted to keep things intimate, with just 40 guests in attendance. Inspired by the Parisian Jazz Age, the romantic celebration included a 1920’s inspired dress, a Victorian social saloon, and a gypsy jazz quartet.

Says Laura of their unique venues: “My sister found our venues online: a stark but beautiful Carpenter Gothic church perched on a Tiburon hillside on a wildflower preserve for the ceremony, and a little Victorian reception room from the cargo side-wheel steamer, the S.S. China, for the reception. Both suited our vision for an intimate old-timey wedding.”

After some hilltop portraits, Laura and Taylor hopped in a retro Rolls Royce for the quick ride to the reception room.

Guests enjoyed an oyster bar and two signature cocktails: a Classic Bourbon Old Fashioned, or “The Bees Knees,” a mix of gin, honey, and fresh lemon.

All of the china, vases, and linens came from Laura’s mother’s personal collection. Each guest found a little blue box of chocolates from Cocoa Bella at their seat.

Four cakes from Miette were the Lemon Debutant (sponge cake infused with tart lemon syrup, layered with lemon curd and frosted with lemon buttercream), Raspberry Tomboy (double chocolate cake layered with raspberry buttercream), Old Fashioned (bittersweet chocolate cake with marshmallow boiled icing), and Scharffen Berger (dense chocolate cake covered with bittersweet chocolate ganache).

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Though we live in Minnesota, neither of us is from there originally. My parents moved to San Francisco a few years ago and we loved the romantic getaways we had taken to visit them, so we decided it would be a lovely place to host our wedding. It also meant that I got to collaborate closely with my mom on the planning, which was such a joy.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  My engagement ring was my great grandmother Viola’s and is from the 1920s, and we took it as our inspirational starting point. With our venues selected, we began to dream-up an evening inspired by the Parisian Jazz Age. Sharing meals over a beautifully set table has always been a tradition in my family that I wanted to emulate for our wedding. My mom has always loved vintage china and linens and had a china store called “A Perfect Setting” while my sister and I were growing up, so we came to appreciate the art of table setting. For the wedding, my mom loaned us linens to outfit the tables and collected all the place settings, celery vases, and serving dishes from shops in the Bay Area and on her travels.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  What could be more tried and true than wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue? Although Taylor and I drew from many wedding traditions, this was one I very deliberately maintained! My something old, a lace handkerchief, was something my mom had picked up for me at an antique lace shop in Paris many years ago with the idea I might someday carry it down the aisle. I bought my wedding dress new, borrowed my mom’s Chanel seed pearl studs, and wore a sapphire band. This tradition has helped bring good luck to brides since the Victorian era, so I figured it would ensure that I was lucky too. We also wanted to use herbs for Taylor and his best man’s boutonnieres, as they have also been used in wedding for centuries to ward off bad spirits and bring good luck. We used rosemary “for remembrance,” and of course it smells so lovely too. It turns out though that you don’t need much to feel lucky on a day when you’re marrying your best friend, surrounded by supportive family and friends!

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Be present and stay clam. Perhaps easier said than done, but I did find that taking a long bath the morning of the wedding helped me start the day centered.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Perhaps this is counter-intuitive, as I read a lot of bridal advice that focused on making sure you find time to connect with your new hubby during the day, but Taylor and I set out to mingle with our guests throughout the evening. We did some circulating together, but we separated for much of it. I think this resulted in a warm and intimate evening, as everyone felt integral to it. It’s such a rare occasion to have so many of your dearest friends and family gathered in one place, you want to make sure everyone knows how much their presence means to you! We took a honeymoon directly after the wedding, which was such an important time for us to reconnect as a married couple after all the very social festivities. We highly recommend taking some time away together, no matter what the scale or budget of the trip.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  With singer Kally Price crooning Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” to the wonderful instrumentals of the gypsy jazz quartet, Gaucho; lots of delicious little Miette cakes to eat; and our loved ones gathered together in the little China Cabin overlooking the San Francisco skyline, we had one of the most magical evenings our of lives.


See the full gallery here.

Photographer: Sonya Yruel / Ceremony Venue: Old St. Hilary’s Church in Tiburon, California / Reception Venue: China Cabin in Tiburon, California / Officiant: Father David Rickey / Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packman / Groom’s Suit Designer: S. Cohen Montreal, purchased at Heimies Haberdashery in Saint Paul, Minnesota / Stationery Design: Kate Arends / Letterpress: Studio on Fire / Floral Design: Studio Choo / Catering: Fork & Spoon Productions / Gypsy Jazz Band: Gaucho, a Gypsy Jazz Band / Singer: Kally Price / Cakes: Miette / Rolls Royce Rental: Sausalito Limousines / Favors: Cocoa Bella Chocolates
  • Paris Jazz Age Inspired Wedding

    15 October 2012
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    This weekend I’m having a slumber party with some of my girlfriends – I love slumber parties! I’m thinking I might make my creamy pumpkin pasta for dinner… or maybe we’ll just eat ice cream out of the container like we used to do in high school. (PS – My favorite ice cream right now is Chocolate Orange Confetti by Three Twins.) So what are you up to this weekend?

    Doesn’t this look like a Wayne Thiebaud painting? It’s a photo of real pies by Sharon Core!

    Bar cart round-up.

    Have you seen Oh Happy Day’s awesome series of Halloween costumes for kids?

    Bug memorials, via Design Mom.

    20 pumpkin recipes.

    Toast autumn with this apple orchard cocktail.

    One of these days I’ll have occasion to wear a hat like this.

    Halloween costume for your eyes.

    papernstitch’s best shops for party props.

    If you’re going to elope, why not do it in a canoe?!

    At first I thought these business cards just looked like cookies. But they actually are cookies!

    Pretty (and affordable) dinnerware by Abbesses Ceramics.

    Stripes and flowers – what a happy dress!


    And in case you missed it:

    Laughing bride and groom.
    Lara and Oliver’s romantic secret garden wedding.
    Dreamy wedding dress made by the bride’s mom.
    Autumn inspiration board in plum and gold.
    Simply sweet Southern wedding.


    Have a happy weekend, friends!

    5 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Weekend Round-Ups

    Since many of you subscribe to Snippet & Ink through RSS, you don’t get to see the sponsors on the sidebar – these are some the wonderful vendors who help to support this blog. Without them, there would be no Snippet & Ink! Some of them are longtime sponsors, and others are new, and they’re all wonderful. So I wanted to bring them to your attention, with the hope that you’ll discover a fabulous vendor that was just what you were looking for.

    Chic loungewear from Plum Pretty Sugar.

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    Charming New England wedding planning and design from Desiree Spinner Events.

    Vintage and one-of-a-kind wedding jewelry from Erica Weiner.

    Custom letterpress wedding invitations from Foglio Press.

    Wedding favors, bridesmaid gifts, and alternative registries from Newlywish.


    If you are interested in becoming a sponsor on Snippet & Ink, please fill out our inquiry form right here.

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    One of the first weddings I ever featured was that of Mary Keller and JD, shot by Melissa Schollaert. Today, Melissa is back with the equally beautiful wedding of Mary Keller’s sister and new brother-in-law, Heath and Andy. 

    Heath explains the decision to wed at her grandparents’ home: “We wanted to focus on us getting married and not the wedding. We originally thought we might elope, but the more we thought about it, the more we decided eloping would be more stressful for both of us. My grandparents’ home was the only place I could ever imagine getting married. It’s not only the perfect place for an intimate wedding, but so personal and comforting for us. It was more perfect than I could have imagined.”

    “Getting dressed with my mom and sister in the room we grew up playing in was very nostalgic,” says the bride. Just as her sister had done for her wedding, Heath’s “something old” was a garter made out of lace from her grandmother’s wedding dress.

    On the flowers: “I actually wasn’t involved in the flowers for the house and yard at all,” says Heath. “My grandmother worked with Roots to keep everything consistent. It was so fun to be surprised by the entire house that day – it brought tears to my eyes! Their house has never looked prettier!”

    Heath’s sister and mother wore black dresses that echoed the lace in the bride’s ivory dress. Says Heath of her dress: “It wasn’t actually a wedding dress – I originally found it in black at Coplon’s, and it was exactly what I wanted. Coplon’s contacted the designer and they agreed to make it for me in ivory. It was perfect!”

    Heath found a jazz trio through Furman University, where the saxophonist is a professor in the music department.

    A trolley transported guests from their hotels to the wedding.

    Says Heath, “I loved being able to incorporate special family traditions like homemade country ham biscuits, cheese pennies and my grandfather’s favorite caramel cake being served. Those details made it such a special day!”

    The ceremony was followed by a cocktail reception, with heavy hors d’oeuvres and various cakes.

    The night ended with a sparkler send-off.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We wanted our wedding to be very intimate and personal. We didn’t want to get lost in all the details and options available for weddings. We wanted to keep it simple and classic. I think my grandparents’ home is so beautiful too and we wanted that to show. We really let the natural beauty of their home and courtyard stand out.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?
    Heath: The idea of everyone focused on me made me nervous, so Andy and I decided a while beforehand that we would see each other before the ceremony. I debated whether or not I wanted to do this, since it breaks tradition, but I’m so glad we did. Seeing him before the ceremony was by far the most special moment for me. It was pure joy! It made me relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
    Andy: I have two favorite moments. The first was when Heath and I saw each other before the wedding. It was such an exciting, yet comforting experience. I was very tense when I arrived at Heath’s grandparents’ house, but when I got to see her and give her a hug, everything immediately became familiar and comfortable. My other favorite moment was during the ceremony when Heath walked out of the front door with her Dad. I have never felt such strong emotion for someone as I did in that moment. It was so overwhelming, and she looked so beautiful and happy…..I’ll never forget that feeling.

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The best advice I received was to think about the entire weekend and experience for our guests. When we decided on my grandparents’ home, I knew I wanted our guests to stay downtown so they could enjoy all the shops and restaurants Greenville has to offer. We held our rehearsal dinner downtown so guests could walk and had a trolley pick guests up to bring them to the ceremony. I think it helped guests relax and fully enjoy themselves not having to worry about anything throughout the entire weekend.

    What advice do you have for other brides?  Try to think about the big picture of how you want the day to feel. Once I figured out this piece I was able to explain it to others who could help make decisions for me. I’m not a wedding person and I highly recommend anyone who feels the same way to step back, take a few moments to really think about what you want and then work with people who can execute exactly what you imagine. This wedding would not have happened without my mom, my sister and my grandmother. They were all amazing throughout this entire process and I will never be able to fully explain to them my appreciation. Almost every decision that was made, other than my dress, was by them. Some I didn’t even know about and I was blown away on my wedding day by each and every small detail. I have never felt so much love in my life and for that reason I would recommend that every bride, even those who are hesitant about a wedding, give it a second thought.


    See the full gallery here.

    Photographer: Melissa Schollaert / Venue: private home in Greenville, South Carolina / Bride’s Dress: Lourdes Chavez purchased at Coplon’s / Bride’s Shoes: Grazia / Bridesmaid Dress: Ulla-Maija / Groom’s Custom Suit: John H. Daniel / Groom’s Tie: Ralph Lauren / Flowers: Roots / Calligraphy: DesignsGirl / Caramel Cake: Carolina’s Cakes / Other Cakes: Brick Street Cafe
  • Sweet and Simple South Carolina Wedding

    11 October 2012
  • 28 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings