Beth and Jay live in Australia, and had always wanted to visit San Francisco, so they decided on an intimate destination wedding there. Laurel at Esla Events and Emily at Gem Photo helped to create a memorable day for the couple and their guests.
Sunnyside Conservatory was the perfect venue for the ceremony: small enough for an intimate group, but open and full of light.
After the ceremony, everyone enjoyed some sandwiches and donuts, then hopped on a trolley for a tour of the city. Says Beth, “We wanted the day to be about everybody having fun, especially since they had all traveled from Australia. So the trolley tour of San Francisco was our way of making sure we got to spend time with everybody as well as enjoying the sights and tastes of San Francisco.”
Hot chocolate at Ghirardelli Square was a highlight, says the bride.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? The entire day was fun, so it’s hard to narrow down. The ceremony was very special. So was getting to relax with our guests on a tour of San Francisco. The dinner reception was also fantastic, and when we returned to our room, the hotel had provided us with a bottle of champagne and chocolate coated strawberries, which was such a sweet and thoughtful surprise.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue was probably the only wedding tradition that we followed. My grandmother gave me a locket that my grandfather gave her in 1937, and the neighbor I grew up with gave me the lace horseshoe she had at her wedding 50 years ago. The something blue was the plastic blue “engagement ring” that Jay proposed with, and something new was really everything else.
What advice do you have for other brides? The best advice is just to relax and enjoy the day, and remember what it is about, which is you and your partner – the rest is just icing. Don’t take anything, including yourself too seriously. Making sure you get great vendors who you trust and who understand what you want makes life a lot easier. Planning the wedding from Australia, it was great to be able to rely on Laurel and Emily for advice and direction, and they did a great job.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? We got married in the middle of the week and outside of peak wedding season, which helped. I purchased a lot of items off Etsy and found that sellers were always very helpful in getting me what I needed on time, and for a reasonable price. Potted lemon trees at the ceremony (as opposed to full floral arrangements) saved some money, but still gave a great effect.
Photography: Gem Photo / Ceremony venue: Sunnyside Conservatory in San Francisco, California / Dinner venue: Twenty Five Lusk / Planner, designer: Esla Events / Officiant: Rick Kaplowitz / Bride’s dress: White by Vera Wang / Veil: Bella Bridal Veils / Pearl jewelry: Pearl Accessory / Bride’s custom mittens: Crafty Little Critters / Hair, makeup: Eliza Desch / Groom’s suit: Lan’s Formal Wear, (415) 921-2615 / Flowers: Crimson Horticulture Rarities / Vintage rentals: One True Love / Post-ceremony snacks: Dynamo Donuts, La Boulange / Cable car rental: EventsWest / Fabric garlands: Two Green Olive Trees / Just Married banner: Victorian Station /
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