Nana’s and Raymond’s courtship had been long and anything but straightforward… Fate definitely played tricks on those two! Having known each other for more than a decade, having lived and studied on the same university campus for several years without even being aware of one another, striking up a friendship – then ending up on different sides of the continent, until finally, at long last, they did find one another. As Nana said in her vows – she suddenly realized during their long-distance relationship that she wanted nothing more than being with Raymond, even if it meant moving from Boston to San Francisco. From then on, nothing held the two back any more. Fast-forward to wedding planning: Here is where my company, A Day Like No Other, came in. After all that wait time, Nana and Raymond jumped into preparations in high gear!
After eight months of high-intensity planning and more than 600 emails back and forth, all our hard work came to fruition last Saturday on a perfect Bay Area September day – sunny, warm, blue skies, a slight breeze. A dream!
For Nana and her bridesmaids, the day started with hair and makeup services by Wowpretty Salon – owner Jira personally took care of the bride who otherwise never, ever wears makeup… and transformed her into a classic beauty with an embellished updo and a very natural-looking makeup.
This style fit perfectly with the gorgeous wedding dress Nana had chosen at Novella Bridal Salon: heavy ivory silk duchesse in a ballgown style, its only embellishment (in addition to its perfect proportions) a long row of tiny buttons running the whole length down the back of the dress and unto its impressive train.
Nana’s bouquet, as well as the bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony decor and centerpieces, had been created by Marie Krick of San Francisco Bay Blooms, in a summery palette of ivory, peach and orange, with David Austin roses the stars of the flower lineup …
Of course, Raymond and his groomsmen were likewise dressing up for the occasion!
For their ceremony and reception venue, Nana and Raymond had chosen the Peacock Gap Clubhouse (on the Peacock Gap golf course with endless views of green rolling hills) in San Rafael. Fittingly, the bride traveled to her First Look location in an embellished golf cart!
First Look! That one “butterfly-fluttering” moment when the bride presents herself to her groom in all her finery…
While the couple was out for photos with their photographer Frank J. Lee and video team of Love Unique Studios, the Peacock Gap venue crew under leadership of events director Moira Gubbins, DJ Ron Israel of Spotlight Occasions, and my assistant Trisha and myself were busy putting the finishing touches on the setup. The ceremony area needed to be prepared, and florist Marie and her team adorned the wooden arbor with gorgeous summer flowers.
Soon enough, the first guests were arriving. Ceremony time! Here comes the bride on her father’s arm…
… and then comes the moment for her Dad to “let go” and “give her away” to Raymond.
Officiant “Minister Maggie” (Maggie Beretz) had prepared a very personal ceremony text for the couple and conducted the ceremony in her typical warmhearted, charming way with a dose of good humor.
Nana and Raymond had both prepared their own vows in the format of a personal letter which they read to each other – for the very first time! – during the ceremony.
Time for many more photos with photographer Frank…
After conclusion of Cocktail Hour, guests were invited into the dining room. Even the escort card table had received a little sprinkle of rose petals in the couple’s wedding colors.
Tables were resplendent in ivory and peach…
The rest of the evening went by way too fast… with a surprise slideshow that the couple’s friends and families had put together for them, table visits and a lot of fun for everyone with the infamous “Shoe Game!”
What else? Cake cutting, of course! Krumbs Cakes had created a mouthwatering confection topped with fresh berries…
… and Nana and Raymond performed their official first task as husband and wife – cutting that cake – with bravura.
The cake was a huge hit – at the end of the evening not a crumb was left!
Once Cake Cutting was done, Nana and Raymond enjoyed their First Dance as a married couple, and they actually performed a complicated routine. At the last moment, it turned out that this dance routine was hard to execute in Nana’s “big” wedding dress – so she quickly slipped into a simple short dress. It looked a bit plain without embellishment… but: we were surrounded by the most beautiful flowers! A ribbon and an exquisite orange rose were our friends, and voila: here they are!
The couple’s First Dance opened the dance floor for everyone, and the ensuing dance party to the tunes of DJ Ron Israel completed the evening. Guests agreed: it was beautiful. Everyone left with a big smile on their faces.
Nana and Raymond: may you forever be as happy together as on your wedding day, and keep dancing!