Real Wedding: Alyce and Shawn, San Francisco
Alyce and Shawn's Wedding by the Bay
In December of 2011, Shawn attended an event hoping to meet someone special. Little did he know just how special that someone would be. After striking up a conversation with Alyce, an attractive brunette, he headed home wanting to find out more about her. A few Facebook messages later, the two decided they should talk more in real life, and exactly one year after their first date, the couple wed with San Francisco’s famous bay as the backdrop.
A Special Spot in the City
To showcase their beautiful city, Alyce and Shawn chose San Francisco's famous Presidio as their venue. With its green spaces, rich history, and spectacular view, it was the perfect spot for a romantic garden party and their traditional Jewish wedding ceremony.
The Personalized Suite
Bridesmaids in Blue
Soft Bouquet with Sentiment
Alyce carried a loose bouquet full of texture and a few special touches: “I remember stopping to smell lilac bushes on road trips with my grandmother,” she said. “I had no idea lilacs came in white—they were perfect.” Also in the mix were white hydrangea, blush ranunculus, and jasmine.
Soft pink ranunculus and dusty miller were clustered for the guys. "Shawn thinks of rosemary as 'nature;s cologne,'" said Alyce, so his boutonniere and her bouquet both included a sprig.
The chuppah in a Jewish wedding ceremony is symbolic of the first roof the bride and groom share together. Michelle at Olam Weddings made a special structure for the couple featuring stripes of ribbon, lace, and green silk leaves.
"It was important to us that the ceremony be outside, so we prepared for afternoon fog with heat lamps," said Alyce. "But we were fortunate to have a beautiful, warm day, and we didn’t have to use them!"
A Spiritual Service
The ceremony combined both Alyce and Shawn's religious traditions—the bride is Orthodox Jewish and the groom is Egyptian Karaite Jewish—including the reading of the Ketubah and reciting of the Sheva Brachot, seven special blessings to honor the wedding.
The Happy Couple
The couple walked up the aisle as husband and wife with Shawn in his prayer shawl.
Many traditional Jews start a celebratory meal by washing their hands, so wedding planner Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details created a special station for guests. Textured ribbons in a variety of hues served as a backdrop and simple flowers complemented the ritual objects on the table.
Succulents and an abundance of eucalyptus decorated long wooden reception tables along with glowing mercury glass votives.
A Savory Selection
Since the couple opted not to have a plated dinner, the couple made sure there was plenty of food available. The framed menu display let guests know all about the tabled hors d'oeurvres being offered: butternut squash ravioli, honey and togarashi chicken drumettes, basil and almond salmon medallions, a Mediterranean eggplant appetizer, and grilled vegetables.
Guests filled their plates at a carving station stocked with rack of lamb and barbequed brisket sliders. Mashed potatoes were served up with an array of garnishes where on display for guests to choose from: sliced black olives, caramelized onions, chopped tomatoes, caviar, salsa fresco, tortilla chip strips, basil pesto, cabernet gravy, and baby peas.
Lit with Love
Tokens of Affection
Instead of having loved ones sign a standard tome, the couple encouraged guests to leave a favorite recipe, funny messages, or a piece of heartfelt marriage advice.
Alyce and Shawn swayed to Jeff Buckley's version of “Hallelujah” for their first dance.
The Happy Hora
The newlyweds bobbed joyfully above dancing guests during the Hora.
Photographer: Jessica Burke
Venue: Golden Gate Club
Wedding planner: Lovely Little Details
Catering: Continental Catering
Entertainment: DJ All Star Jukebox, Brian Wachhorst
Wedding Rings: Elliott Chandler Designs
Hair and Makeup: Sophia Coyne, Painted Ladies