Margo & Mike | Purple Wedding at Fort Mason Center

It’s raining here in the Bay Area, so I thought a gray San Francisco wedding was appropriate (I was married on a gray day in San Francisco, so there’s a special place in my heart for weddings like this).

The bride and her bridesmaids all wore romantic dresses by Sarah Seven. “I also wore something old (my engagement ring was Michael’s maternal grandmother’s and my earrings were vintage), something new (my dress and shoes), something borrowed (my garter from my aunt and my mother’s tanzanite ring), and something blue (also that gorgeous tanzanite),” says Margo.

Margo’s aunt made her bouquet, along with the bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, and reception arrangements.

Margo shares a bit about the ceremony… “Our ceremony was our favorite part of the day. Hands down!  It was so personal and joyous. It really was the 20 minutes or so at the core of a beautiful day. We included a few key Jewish traditions: We were married under a chuppah, we signed our Ketubah (marriage contract), and, Michael broke glass, of course.”

Some tidbits about the day…

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We wanted to be married someplace iconically San Francisco – someplace that we could visit and enjoy for years to come as a staple in the city. We also wanted our setting to be distinctly urban. Fort Mason met these requirements, plus it is a place that we have visited over the years and, it is right on the water!

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Our major inspiration was us as a couple. That seems so simple, but we really wanted the day to feel personal, and we wanted to share the joy in our relationship with our loved ones.  So, we focused on the things that we adore – photography, eating and cooking, intimate gatherings, for instance – and made those factors central to our celebration. I read numerous wedding blogs every day. Just seeing tons of weddings was useful in determining what resonated with me. I would save photos from those weddings that I liked most, then Michael and I would review those together and use them as a kind of road map to guide our choices and help us decide where we could add personal touches, or put our unique spin on another couple’s ideas.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Last I checked, our wedding cost approximately 2/3 the price of an average wedding in San Francisco of the same size. We did absolutely everything that we could ourselves, and we shopped tirelessly for affordable resources. This kept our spending down, but we put a ton of time into the planning process, so know that saving money might mean more time spent on something. Also, we found that it was easy to stay on budget when it came to the big things, and that it was the little odds and ends that cost us. When you are down to the decorative specifics, decide which details are worth the money. What will you really delight in on the day?

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  Often, I felt like wedding planning was a total slog. But, at the end of the day, I don’t hesitate to say that it was 110% worth it!  Michael and I had our dream “urban modern meets vintage, art opening inspired, quintessentially San Francisco” wedding, the memories of which will be a gift for the rest of our lives together.



Photography: Jon Rivera / Venue: Firehouse at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco / Bride’s dress: Sarah Seven / Bride’s shoes: Melissa / Veil: Jade Rose Designs / Bridesmaid dresses: Sarah Seven / Groom’s attire: Brooks Brothers


PS – Margo is selling her lovely dress on Craigslist, so if you’re in the Bay Area and love it, check out the listing right here!


  • Emily says:

    Your shoes are EXACTLY what I want for my wedding in April! Can you PLEASE tell me where I can purchase them and the style name? Your photos are beautiful!

    • Margo says:

      Hi Emily!
      I bought my shoes in Winter 2011, so I doubt that you will be able to find the same style. But, I can tell you that they are Melissa jellies. You often see the Melissa shoes designed by Vivienne Westwood, but these are a less familiar style. You can check out the current collection here: In case you are in San Francisco, Nida (in Hayes Valley) carries the line.

  • Rebekah says:

    Cathryn you’re so right-this is perfect for today’s dreary weather (same in Oakland!). I love her dress too and forwarded it to a bride of mine :)

  • Rebekah says:

    Ack-sorry *Kathryn- my name is constantly misspelled and it’s such a pet peeve of mine!!

  • Hi, Margo – I too love those shoes. What beautiful smiles you both have! Since I’m on the east coast thought I’d try the Nida store in SoHo, NYC. If you get any more information on them, please pass it along – I couldn’t find anything on the web. Thanks!!

    • Margo says:

      Gals, I cannot tell you what a pleasure it has been to see you all enjoy my special day by way of these photos. (God, I love our photog, Jon Rivera.) And, thanks so much for your sweet remarks!

      To Liz, here is a list of the US stores that carry Melissa shoes: They are worth the hunt. I didn’t once think about my feet on the day of.

      Brides to be, if you see anything else that you’d like a lead on, just let me know. I am happy to provide any information that I have at my fingertips to help you all have amazing wedding days yourselves.

  • Lovely photographs. I am love with your shoes. They are so gorgeous. Uniquely matches with your bride’s maid colors too. Simply awesome.Congratulations!

  • Erin says:

    I love the jewellery in the first photo. Is all of it vintage/ heirloom or did you buy any of it for your event? I am look for vintage jewellery for my bridesmaids and am really struggling. Many thanks!

    • Margo says:

      My sister is a fashion stylist, so much of the jewelry came from her vintage archive. However, I did buy each of my bridesmaids one piece of vintage jewelry as their bridesmaid gift. All of the pieces that I purchased (including my earrings) came from elle-meme: The store owner, Denise, is a treasure! Every piece of jewelry that my husband has purchased for me is from her store. And, she helped him to restore my vintage engagement ring before he popped the question. She worked with my budget for bridesmaids gifts and everyone loved what they got. She works with brides near and far (via e-mail and mail). Based on what you are seeking, I definitely recommend reaching out to her, and feel free to mention me.

  • the joy and love on the bride’s face instantly made me want to get married again! i remember that feeling so well. lovely photography, location, and couple!

  • Emilie says:

    Margo – such a fabulous wedding, Your photos inspired me to look into Ft. Mason Firehouse as a potential venue. Was it private enough? What was the inside like? Does the band go inside or outside? I would love to hear from someone who experienced it first-hand.

  • we’re getting married at the Firehouse in May, and hoping (weather depending) to have it outside as you did. Question: in the photo, i notice a small skiff tied to the pier– we’re trying to arrange a way to arrive by row boat. we have the boat and are just wondering if you came/went by boat and how you worked the logistics– there’s no ladder at this time. Thanks in advance!

  • Kelly says:

    Hi! I came across this blog entry to look for inspiration, as we’re also getting married at the firehouse. Margo and/or Meg, do you have any tips for decorating the space? We’re not getting married until next April, but the wheels are already turning… thanks!

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