One of San Francisco’s most unique venues is the Fairmont’s Penthouse Suite, with its dramatic decor and sweeping views of the city. Sarah and Jason happened upon it just a month before their wedding, after their first venue fell through, and it was the perfect setting for an intimate celebration. Gladys Jem shared these lovely photos of the day…

Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink

The bride wore a lace dress by Sarah Seven, paired with nude patent leather pumps.

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Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink

“Dating all throughout high school and college in Arizona, we felt beyond blessed when career opportunities allowed us to move together to San Francisco, California. Seven months later, our blessings multiplied when Jason proposed to me on New Year’s Eve in the Napa Valley,” shares the bride. “From the very beginning, we knew we wanted an intimate wedding, where mutual friends we’ve known since the age of 14 could reconnect and immediate family and relatives could finally meet each other. While the guest list was simple, determining the location was more difficult. As anyone familiar with northern California knows, beauty is just about everywhere and when it comes to finding a dazzling locale to say ‘I do,’ one has plenty of options. Ultimately, we decided it would be ideal to get married in the city we now call home.”

Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink
Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink

“The city of San Francisco was what influenced most of our decisions. We wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of the iconic and vibrant city that we live in without a San Francisco theme per say. Our end goal was to have a wedding (and marriage) that could stand the test of time.”

Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink
Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink
Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink
Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink

The best advice Sarah received as a bride? “To include your fiancé on every decision. Not only was his standpoint honest and refreshing (he was right, no one noticed the napkins) but ultimately, it is a day that he will remember for the rest of his life and the day should be a reflection of us as a couple rather than the bride as an individual.”

Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink
Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink

“Thinking back to that day still gives me goose bumps,” says Sarah. “There is not one thing I would change or do differently. The moment that replays in my mind most often is the ceremony itself and how natural it felt. We had written down every word of the entire ceremony with the help of Jason’s stepdad, who officiated our wedding. But during the actual ceremony, it felt as if our words, thoughts and hopes came to life. The same effortless but dreamlike essence carried over into the cocktail hour and set the tone for the rest of this very special evening.”

Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink
Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink

“We chose to let the beauty of the Penthouse Suite speak for itself and only add subtle touches of natural greenery and white floral arrangements to enhance the space. The architectural details and the views of downtown made the terrace, where the ceremony took place, a breeze to accentuate; just gold Chiavari chairs and floating gardenias in the fountain. At the reception, the centerpieces were accompanied by gold mercury glass and candlelight and the textured linen really made the simplistic arrangements pop. We collected gold trays dating back to the era of which the Penthouse was built and used them to display escort cards as well as our dessert spread. We also displayed family wedding photos in vintage frames alongside the guestbook. Every item we added looked like it belonged in the space, creating a refined but comfortable setting for our guests.”

Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink
Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink

“We nixed most common wedding traditions. The thought of first dances, slicing cakes and tossing garters and bouquets just didn’t seem natural to us, so we opted out (and not one guest seemed to mind!). Forgoing the father/daughter dance made walking down the aisle with my dad that much more special. And by cutting the first dance, my husband and I were able mingle with guests that much longer. No need to cause a spectacle!”

Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink Gladys Gem | Snippet & Ink

SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR MORE IMAGES FROM THIS INTIMATE WEDDING AT THE FAIRMONT SAN FRANCISCO PENTHOUSE SUITE.

 

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  When it came to choosing our venue, we were looking for several things. It was important to have both an indoor and outdoor space as our wedding would take place during October, San Francisco’s warmest month of the year. We wanted our out-of-town guests to know that there is more to this city than just fog and clouds. San Francisco is rich in history and architectural beauty and we wanted our venue to be an iconic spot, somewhere that we could return to in 50 years and relish in the memories. Lastly, we needed a smaller space that wouldn’t make our group of 60 feel like ants. Ballrooms and the like were out of the question. When our initial venue fell through just one month before the wedding date, we scrambled to find another space that met our specific needs. We not only found one that met them, but we were fortunate enough to find one that rivaled them! The Penthouse Suite at the Fairmont San Francisco was an absolute dream come true. The view overlooking the entire city was magical. Plus, the design of the suite had recently been restored to its original 1920’s glory and the dining room sat exactly 60 guests. We felt like we had won the ‘wedding-venue lottery.’ We didn’t need much to enhance the beauty of the space; just romantic floral arrangements.

What advice do you have for other brides?  In all honesty, do not give yourself too much time to plan your wedding. While engaged, the details of your wedding will be the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about before you go to sleep; leaving you plenty of time to question your decisions. We gave ourselves 10 months to plan a wedding in San Francisco but due to circumstances out of our control, we reworked our entire wedding with a month to go. Not only is planning a wedding within a year possible, it also lessens the sting of “post-wedding blues.”

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  One of the best decisions we made was to hire a talented vocalist and acoustic guitarist to play live music during cocktail hour and dinner who could also DJ our reception. Find local talent on websites such as GigMasters.com and negotiate two services for less than the price of hiring two separate vendors.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  Because the majority of the guests flew in from around the country, we turned our wedding day into a wedding weekend. All of our guests stayed at a historical hotel near the wedding venue and upon arrival, they were provided locally made, San Francisco treats, trolley tickets and restaurant suggestions to make everyone feel welcome. We opted out of a formal rehearsal dinner and my husband’s family instead hosted a lively cocktail hour at one of our favorite bars. It was a great way for all of our guests to meet each other beforehand and kick off the wedding festivities. By the time our ceremony rolled around, everyone felt like old family-friends.

Photography: Gladys Jem / Venue, Catering: The Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse Suite in San Francisco, California / Event Planning, Stationery: WedSpring / Dress: Sarah Seven / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Suit: Ted Baker / Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN / Floral Design: Laura Miller Design / Rentals: Hartmann Studios / Music: Brian Bergeron / Cake: Susie Cakes / Dessert: Pacific Puffs
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  • Fairmont Penthouse Wedding from Gladys Jem

    3 June 2014
  • 5 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    This fall wedding from Select vendor Carrie Patterson is further evidence that Jackson, Wyoming is one of the most beautiful places on earth, no matter the season.

    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink

    “Our wedding was located in the meadow at my family’s home, which is within Grand Teton National Park,” says the bride. “When we landed in Jackson on October 12th, it was snowy and the parks were closed because of the government shutdown! Not only was our ceremony supposed to take place within the park, but the National Park was also the key attraction for our guests traveling thousands of miles from both coasts and Europe! Plus the freezing weather for our outdoor ceremony put me in a complete panic! But somehow, someway, the parks miraculously opened first thing on Thursday, October 17th, right as our guests were arriving for the long weekend and with this good fortune also came good weather… Saturday was 55 and sunny.”

    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink

    The couple were wrapped in a shawl as part of their wedding ceremony.

    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink

    All-white centerpieces including roses, hydrangea, and Queen Anne’s lace, were surrounded by white Glassybaby candles.

    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink
    Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink Carrie Patterson | Snippet & Ink

    SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR MORE IMAGES FROM THIS RUSTIC WEDDING IN JACKSON HOLE.

     

    Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  I grew up going to Jackson. My grandparents bought a home there in the 60s, so I’ve spent my entire life visiting Jackson. They purchased the cabin before the National Park was established, so our home now falls within park territory, so it was perfectly secluded and completely romantic.​

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Jackson – the scenery speaks for itself, so I really wanted to embrace it.​

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Ha! I think that would be impossible to narrow down. But I guess the highlights were the first look in the meadow, getting ready with my sisters, and dancing with all of our friends.​ Oh and the late night grilled cheese and tomato soup that was passed around.

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  I think our ceremony was one of a kind. We had a bluegrass band for our ceremony music, my older sister sang Ben Harper’s Forever, and my best friend, a writer, read an original piece about us and our relationship.

    What advice do you have for other brides?  Eat dinner! You planned it, so you should enjoy it. and you need to it to balance out the champagne (and tequila in our case)​.

     

    Carrie Patterson is a Snippet & Ink Select vendor.

    Photography: Carrie Patterson / Ceremony: private residence in Jackson, Wyoming / Reception Venue: Shooting Star Golf Club in Teton Village, Wyoming / Event Planning: Elizabeth Kelleher / Bride’s Dress: Scarlet, Monique L’huillier / Shoes: Valentino / Earrings: Shawn Warren Earrings / Fur Shrug: Bisang via Bloomingdales / Groom’s Suit, Shirt: Turnbull & Asser / Tie: The Tie Bar Shoes: Jack Erwin / Stationery: A Day in MayFloral Design: Ian Whipple, The Floral Artist / Rentals: La Tavola Linen Canvas Unlimited / Music : Poot of PTOParty Crashers / Catering: JH Fine Dining / Cake: Jackson Cake Company / Favors: Mouth Party Caramels / Candle Holder: Glassbaby / Videography: Moonstone Pictures 
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  • Jackson Hole Wedding from Carrie Patterson

    2 June 2014
  • 4 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    What are you up to this weekend? I’m off for a girls’ weekend as a little mini bachelorette celebration for my friend, Mariam, and I cannot wait! Just some wine tasting and time by the pool with some of my very best friends in the world – it doesn’t get much better than that!

    The House That Lars Built for BHLDN The House That Lars Built for BHLDN

    What a delightful balloon installation!

    The difference between a font and a typeface.

    Kilim clutches, via Design Crush.

    Something to do with little pictures, and big pictures.

    DIY watermelon tote.

    Magical storybook party from David Stark’s archives.

    Do you still use a microwave?

    A yummy idea for using all those delicious raspberries.

    Congratulations to Select vendor Kathleen Deery Design on the gorgeous new website!

    1 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Weekend Round-Ups
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink

    Charleston is a magical city, so it’s no wonder why Bethel and Magnus chose it for their intimate destination wedding. “Magnus’s family is from Norway, my family is from Wisconsin, and we have close friends from all over the globe so there was going to be traveling involved no matter what location we chose,” says the bride. “We considered a number of places before stumbling upon Charleston, but once I started researching the city I knew it would be the perfect place! The historical downtown is adorable, it’s on the water, and I knew that our guests would be able to explore and have fun while visiting. That was really important for me. Plus it’s quite the foodie city – so many amazing restaurants, wine houses, bakeries and cafes.”

    Truly, such a spectacular setting to tie the knot – you’re going to love these images that photographer Ken Kienow sent over from the day…

    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink

    Another reason the couple loved Charleston? “There were so many oak trees with Spanish moss and I loved the idea of getting married under a huge tree.”

    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink

    Bethel shares her favorite moments from the day: “There are three moments that stand out as favorites. First, was standing under the tree during the ceremony with Magnus – once I walked down the path to him and he held my hands in his. We stood under the tree together during the ceremony and it almost felt like we were there alone. Second was during the ceremony when we asked all of the guests to join us under the oak tree in a big prayer circle. Our family and friends prayed for us and that moment was incredibly real and sincere. I was so happy we chose to include that in our wedding! Third, was after the ceremony. Magnus and I walked down the path together and my little sister, Mercy, gave me a huge, tearful, but joyful embrace! I will never forget the love that I felt as she squeezed me. We didn’t have to say goodbye yet, but it was a goodbye hug – a big, heartfelt, sad-happy embrace. Then she hugged Magnus as well. It was a lovely moment.”

    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink

    Despite having a destination wedding, Bethel and Magnus were able to incorporate a number of DIY details, including their favors. “I wanted to give little succulents as wedding favors since they can grow and are easy to maintain. I found the most adorable little pots at a family-owned grocer. They had pale pink hearts on one side and the words ‘I love you’ on the other side. I knew they’d be perfect for the succulents! I ordered the succulents from the Irwin Family on Etsy and had them sent to the pastors home in Charleston. When Magnus and I arrived, we picked up the succulents and potted them at Zero George.”

    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink
    Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink Ken Kienow | Snippet & Ink

    SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR ALL THE IMAGES FROM THIS ROMANTIC SOUTH CAROLINA WEDDING.

     

    Menu:  Baby Greens, Local Strawberries, Spiced Nuts, Shaved Pecorino, Merlot Vinaigrette // Herb Crusted Atlantic Salmon, Creamed Leeks, Oven Dried Tomatoes and Scallion Pistou / Muscovy Duck Breast with Sweet Potato Puree, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Pickled Cherries / Spring Pea Risotto with Summer Tomatoes and Essence of Truffle // Fresh Strawberry Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Swiss Buttercream

     

    Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  I was really set on an outdoor wedding but we wanted to get married in March and it’s certainly not warm enough in Wisconsin to have an outdoor wedding in March! We had already decided that we would have it somewhere in the states, we just weren’t sure where. We considered California, Florida, New Orleans… but nothing stood out until we started looking at Charleston. I went to visit with my mom and we loved walking around the city and looking at all the beautiful houses, cute boutiques, old chapels, and historical landmarks. We started planning a March wedding in Charleston immediately!

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  I drew inspiration from so many wedding blogs – I loved seeing what people had thought of and how each couple has such unique ideas. I found pictures of floral arrangements I liked from various weddings, tabletop arrangements from others, ceremony ideas, planning advice… there is so much information and inspiration out there!

    Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  In Norway, it is traditional for a couple to get matching gold bands when they get engaged – the couple wears the rings on their left ring finger when they’re engaged, then moves the ring to their right ring finger when they get married. I loved the idea of simple matching wedding bands, probably because I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but also because of the simplicity and equality it signifies. Magnus proposed to me while we were visiting Cyprus and we have both worn the matching bands since then. Instead of exchanging rings during the ceremony we switched each other’s rings from the left hand to the right, while saying our vows. I was glad we could include a Norwegian tradition in the ceremony – and we kept the rings on our right hands since we moved to Oslo after our honeymoon.

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  Magnus and I chose to ask a mentor of ours to give the message for our ceremony. Since he is not ordained as a pastor, we asked a pastor we knew from Charleston to do our vows. I loved how the ceremony went so seamlessly, even though the two hadn’t met before the wedding weekend. They switched off with reading and speaking and it was such a blessing to have them both be a part of our wedding. // On one of the wedding blogs I visited, I had seen a couple include a prayer circle in their ceremony. I loved the idea of having all the guests participate in the ceremony. Magnus and I decided to incorporate it into the ceremony by having our mentor invite everyone to join us under the oak tree and pray for us following the vows. It was an amazing moment!

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Relax and enjoy your own wedding! Everything will work out, and if anything does goes wrong, someone else will fix it. Also, accept help from others. One of my dear friends offered to drop by while I was getting ready and help me, my mom, and my sister with anything that came up. I was so glad she did! She made morning mimosas and relieved any lingering stress with her cheerful attitude and assistance.

    What advice do you have for other brides?  When I was planning the wedding I noticed that a lot of brides on various blogs said not to concentrate too much on the little details of the wedding. However, I think if you have something in mind and it’s attainable and affordable (and even better, if you can do it yourself) then go for it! I was really happy with the way all the little creative pieces came together – and so thankful for the moments I spent making everything with my mom and sister! Don’t lose sight of what’s most important, but if you have the time to get creative, then do so, and enjoy the process.

    Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Magnus and I both agreed that the photographer was important and should be what we spend the most money on (although I argued that both the food and the photographer were quite important. We were very happy with our decision and stuck by it… other details are important, but you’ll have the photos forever. And you can always look back at the pictures to remember every little thing!

    Are there any other details from the day you’d like to share?  My mom helped me make two small signs to place on the favor table – one was for date night ideas, and we placed it next to an old blue glass mason jar (also from my grandma) with extra paper hearts so guests could drops their ideas into the jar. The other sign asked guests to share their favorite Bible verses about life and love with us – we clipped it onto an open Bible and laid a pen out so guests could underline or circle what they wanted to share.

    Photography: Ken Kienow / Ceremony Venue: Middleton Place in Charleston, South Carolina / Reception Venue: Zero George / Dress: Catherine Deane, BHLDN / Shoes: Klub Nico, BHLDN /Bracelet, Shawl: BHLDN / Suit: J.Crew / Shirt: Ljung / Tie: Michaelis / Shoes: Aldo / Tie Clip: BellaMantra / Flower Girl Dresses: Candela NYC / Stationery: Paperless Post / Floral Design, Floral Crown: Out of the Garden / Rentals: The Art of Creating, Polished Tabletop / Music: Classical Charleston / Catering: Zero George / Cake: Dlish Dessert / Hair, Makeup: Bellelina / Hair: Patrick Navarro / Officiant: Pastor Chuck Mayo
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  • South Carolina Wedding from Ken Kienow

    29 May 2014
  • 7 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings