A Crafty Vintage-Inspired Wedding in San Francisco

A Rooftop Romance

Kate Harrison

Charlene and Bram met as high school students when their paths crossed at a UCLA scholarship event for incoming college students. A friendship blossomed and things turned romantic a few years later when they took a spontaneous road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. After a long-distance courtship and many other adventures together, they tied the knot in the City by the Bay on October 27, 2012. Fusing vintage, industrial, romantic, hand-crafted, and natural elements together, they celebrated their love in their adopted city with a uniquely timed order of events.

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DIY Invites

Kate Harrison

The couple designed and created their invitations using supplies from a variety of vendors, including recycled chipboard, paper supplies from Paper Source, a branding iron of their likeness, rubber stamps, a wax seal, and a return address stamp.

The suite also incorporated an illustration of the duo created by Nan Lawson. It inspired many of the wedding's designed pieces, including the guest book, which was a wooden plaque with the drawing burned on. Guests signed it and it now hangs in the couple's home.

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The First Look

Kate Harrison

Though Charlene doesn't remember much about when she saw her groom for the first time on the big day, Bram recalls clearly that she had a huge smile on her face.

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The Marriage Contract

Kate Harrison

The couple selected a simple design for their ketubah—the traditional Jewish marriage contract. It was intended to resemble a chalkboard.

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The Fashions

Kate Harrison

Bridesmaids wore gray lilac gowns. Charlene originally picked three options for each girl, and every 'maid ended up picking the bride's favorite. The groomsmen wore suits accessorized with custom tie bars from Bram.

The bride chose a Manuel Mota gown that felt both vintage and modern. Rose gold shoes, a pearl-and-crystal hair comb, a "something borrowed" pearl bracelet, and diamond studs she received at the Chinese tea ceremony held the day prior rounded out her ensemble. Bram looked dapper in a three-piece J.Crew suit.

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A Soft Clutch

Kate Harrison

The bridal bouquet consisted of peonies, roses, pieris, and ranunculus.

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Bridesmaids' Bouquets

Kate Harrison

Charlene's attendants carried bouquets of succulents, roses, brunia, rice flower, millet grass, and feathers wrapped in ivory lace and finished with a vintage brooch.

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Lapel Add-Ons

Kate Harrison

The guys dressed up their suits in textural boutonnieres. Bram's boasted bark, scabiosa, millet grass, and a garden rose.

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The Grand Entrance

Kate Harrison

Cocktail hour actually occurred prior to the service, with jazz music, hors d'oeuvres, and signature cocktails named after the bride and groom. After some merriment, guests took their seat for the service. The bridal party entered to the theme song from Game of Thrones just before the bride walked down the aisle with her parents.

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The Ceremony

Kate Harrison

Utilizing the rooftop terrace of Jones, an event space with a San Francisco backdrop and surrounding Edwardian and Victorian architecture, the couple timed their service to coincide with the sunset. Bram's little brother (and best man) officiated the ceremony. The couple exchanged wedding bands they made themselves (melting the metal, molding and sanding the rings, polishing them, and imprinting their finger prints inside), and recited personal vows (hers in Mandarin, his in Hebrew).

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The Golden Hour

Kate Harrison

The sun cast a warm glow over the newlyweds and their loved ones during their embrace.

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The Reception

Kate Harrison

Guests were shuttled to Laurent Studio for the reception as evening fell. After dancing the hora the crowd of 145 people settled down for dinner. When it came time for their first dance, Charlene and Bram went with a jazz rendition of "Mushaboom" by Feist played by Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band.

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Place Setting Details

Kate Harrison

Custom napkins were commissioned by Be Sweetly Inspired and made with repurposed ivory fabrics edged in mustard thread. Vintage icons like a hot air balloon, teapot, and skeleton key were stamped on.

This recycled idea was just one of the eco-friendly elements incorporated into the celebration. Recycled and carbon-neutral materials, locally-sourced ingredients, reclaimed wood, and recycled and refined raw metals were all found in the special details of the day.

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The Menu

Kate Harrison

The couple got crafty with the menus, too, designing and printing them themselves. The meal began with a salad of butter lettuce, persimmon, aged goat cheese, and hazelnuts with shallot vinaigrette. Entrees were grilled lamb chops, tomato-poached halibut, and eggplant parmesan.

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Mix and Match

Kate Harrison

Centerpieces were curated to compliment one another, but no two were the same. Working closely with florist Melissa Comito from A Simple Ceremony, a mix of textured metal, wood, stone, and glass vessels were paired with an overall color palette of ivory, aubergine, mustard, and blush. One table boasted stacked teacups filled with garden roses sitting atop a stack of old books, while another featured various blooms and glowing votive candles in mini galvanized buckets.

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A Table for Two

Kate Harrison

The newlyweds sat at a sweetheart table set with a stone, footed centerpiece and a vintage settee that now lives in their home.

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The Sweets

Kate Harrison

Multiple cakes were served, including this one for the bride. The two-tiered confection mimicked the lace embroidery on her gown. Inside, a carrot cake with walnuts and cream cheese icing, and an almond cake with fresh raspberries and white chocolate mousse.

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Kate Harrison

Photography: Kate Harrison

Locations: Jones; Laurent Studio

Event Planning: Dream A Little Dream Events

Catering: Jersey Tomatoes

Flowers: A Simple Ceremony

Cakes: Branching Out Cakes

Music: (ceremony and cocktail hour) Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band; (DJ) Boutique DJs

Rentals: Hartmann Studios; La Tavola Linen

Hair and Makeup: Giao Nguyen

Lighting: Got Light

Bartending: Bartenders Unlimited

Engagement ring: Twinkle Star Jewelry

Favors: Leland Tea

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