Real Wedding: Amy & Michael

San Francisco City Hall will forever be one of my favorite places, and I love whenever I have the chance to share a wedding there. If you’re considering a less traditional route for your wedding, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in Amy and Michael’s celebration, from its simplicity and intimacy, to the dinner party celebration. Even their invitations were unique, preparing guests for a weekend of incredible meals: cookbooks from Bouchon (the reception location), with a note from the couple that started with:

Several months ago, over a proper English breakfast at The Wolseley in London, we decided to get hitched. Since that day, we’ve talked about what we wanted our decidedly non-traditional, hard-to-even-call-it-a-wedding wedding to be. Central to all our ideas was “the table”…and sharing a special meal with the people we love.

On with the photos!

Immediately following the civil ceremony, the culinary delights started with a rustic Italian lunch at Cotogna. The following day, the newlyweds and 43 guests enjoyed an incredible meal at Bouchon in Yountville.

Amy shared some details about the day with us…

Why did you choose these places for your wedding? We always knew we wanted to create a celebration that was intimate, non-traditional, and authentically “us.” Though we considered other locations, we decided on San Francisco and Napa Valley because we simply love where we live and play. City Hall is undoubtedly one of most beautiful buildings in San Francisco – maybe even the country. We considered Bouchon in Yountville early in our planning because it has been a special place for us for many years.

What inspired you when you were planning? From the moment we got engaged – which was at our favorite breakfast table in London – we knew we wanted to create a celebration that was centered around great food and wine, and a shared experience around the table. Over the 15+ years we’ve known each other, we’ve had the good fortune to experience many wonderful meals together, and as we recollected our favorites, we realized that they weren’t about food or place at all. They were about sharing laughter and tears, about celebrating friendship and family, and ultimately about expressing love. So the concept of celebration our wedding “around the table” was born. We wanted to create an outrageous and fun dinner party, and we wanted our guests to say, “That was one of the best meals I’ve had in my life” as they left.

What is your favorite moment from the day? It’s funny. We’ve each asked this question of one another since getting married, and we both mark the same moment as our hands-down favorite. It was during our civil ceremony – standing under the majestic and light-filled dome at San Francisco’s City Hall. There were only seven other family members present while we exchanged vows, but there could have been 700 for all we knew. We had our eyes locked on each other – totally present in that moment which will forever mark such a remarkable and important transition in our relationship.



Photography: Flory Photo / Ceremony venue: San Francisco City Hall / Dinner party: Bouchon in Yountville, California / Bride’s dresses: both Lily Samii / Groom’s ceremony suit: Luigi Borrelli / Dinner suit: Sartorio / Flowers: In Water


See lots more photos from Amy and Michael’s “hard-to-even-call-it-a-wedding wedding” over on Joel’s blog.


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