A Formal and Traditional Green-and-Purple Wedding in California

Tala and Thomas

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Tala Banatao and Thomas Growney met the way many modern couples do: online. After dating for six years, the pair wed on October 29, 2011, in their shared hometown of San Francisco. Tala, a children's clothing designer (she owns Tala Bee Kids), and Thomas, a sales and marketing consultant, called on Alison Events to help pull off a black-tie affair that reflected the couple's love for each other and for their City by the Bay.

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The Save-the-Date

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Simple letterpressed patterns and the couple's first names decorated the front of the folded cards, created by Josh Chen of Chen Design. Inside, a poster-style designed that announced the pair's upcoming nuptials (and hinted at the reception's art museum location).

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The Invitation

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

The day's palette -- purples and greens inspired by the colors of succulent plants -- was present on all of the paper pieces. Additional design elements included monograms, graphic patterns, and linen touches.

"Our favorite part of the stationery suite was that it told our story and incorporated my Filipino culture, Thomas's Irish background, and the heritage of San Francisco," Tala said.

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A Warm Welcome

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Totes filled with an information packet from the couple, a map, and local goodies such as apples, Sweet Revolution Caramels, Scharffen Berger chocolates, and Gary Poppins cheddar and kettle corn were given to guests when they arrived at their hotels.

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The Fashions

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Thomas and Tala were just as excited to see their guests in formalwear as they were about their own attire. The bride accented her Vera Wang dress and sash with Tiffany & Co. jewelry that she borrowed from her mother and Christian Louboutin shoes. Her maid of honor and bridesmaids wore Monique Lhuillier gowns.

The groom looked smart in a tuxedo from Al's Attire and was accompanied by his dapper best man and groomsmen in Selix suits.

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The Attendants

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Three of the flower girls wore Susanne Lively dresses, but the bride designed the youngest one's dress herself.

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The Ceremony Location

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The couple's 300 guests gathered at three o'clock in the afternoon at St. Dominic's Church in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.

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The Processional

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Her father and her son, Lucas -- who celebrated his First Communion at the church earlier that year -- escorted Tala down the aisle.

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The Ceremony

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The Catholic service incorporated Filipino details in honor of the bride's background. Tala gave Thomas "arrhae" -- gold coins that signify commitment to the their future. They also exchanged traditional Christian wedding bands from Derco Jewelers.

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A Sweet Ride

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After the church ceremony, the newlyweds hopped into a 1949 Packard convertible.

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The Transportation

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Guests rode iconic San Francisco trolley cars from St. Dominic's to the reception venue.

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The Photos

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Tala and Thomas chose Alta Vista Park as the backdrop for their portraits with photographer Thayer Allyson Gowdy. "It's close to our house and it's where we go to play with my son, Lucas, and our dog, Buster," says Tala.

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The Reception Location

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

The Legion of Honor, an art museum located in the Lincoln Park district, served as the grand venue for the sophisticated reception.

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Cocktail Hour

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Guests enjoyed artisanal drinks, freshly shucked oysters, and hand-rolled sushi while mingling in the museum's galleries. The quirky cocktail menu was customized for the wedding and included a spin on the classic gin gimlet renamed a Talatini for the night, and an autumnal whiskey-based libation called the Rhubarb Derby, which went by Growney Derby in honor of the couple's new shared name.

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The Seating Chart

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Old rolling blackboards were transformed with design elements first seen in the sleek invitation. These were wheeled in to the cocktail hour to reveal where each guest would be sitting.

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The Lounge

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A cozy seating area, decorated with flowers and family photos, allowed guests to relax.

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The Reception

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

The seated dinner took place in a clear-topped tent with soft fabric draping along its perimeter. Long tables were adorned with pistachio leaves in tall cylinders. It was erected within the grand entryway of the museum, known as the Court of Honor.

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The Reception

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Rodin's famous sculpture, "The Thinker," anchored the room. Tables were covered with a mix of natural linen runners and silk cloths; floral designer Danielle Rowe of Brown Paper Design created low centerpieces of air plants, succulents, cymbidium orchids, hydrangea, and olive branches.

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The Menu

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Menu cards at each place setting outlined the dinner courses and wine offerings prepared by Betty Zlatchin Catering. The meal started with family-style charcuterie and cheese plates, followed by gazpacho and tuna salad. Each guest was then served an entree of salt-roasted natural beef tenderloin.

After dinner, Lynn Jordan and the Shivers got guests on their feet and dancing.

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Favors for the Women

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A beautiful box, topped with an olive branch, rested on each female guest's plate.

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Favors for the Women

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Inside each box was a set of traditional "calado" latticework-embroidered napkins from the Philippines. The design, reminiscent of the hand-embroidered linens gifted to Britain's Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip by the Philippines in 1947, was given a modern twist. They were accompanied by a note explaining the item's significance.

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Favors for the Men

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Male guests leaving the reception were handed bottles of Papapietro Perry wine from one of Tala's family's favorite wineries in Sonoma.

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The Cake

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Perfect Endings incorporated some of the stationery suite's elements into the confection's design. Two flavors filled the inside: double chocolate and pound cake with raspberry filling.

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The First Dance

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The newlyweds took to the dance floor to "Trust in Me" by Etta James.

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Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Photography: Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Ceremony Location: St. Dominic's Church

Reception Location: Legion of Honor

Planning and Event Design: Alison Events

Catering: Betty Zlatchin Catering

Floral Design: Brown Paper Design

Stationery: Chen Design

Cake: Perfect Endings

Music: Lynne Jordan and The Shivers

Rentals: Blueprint Studios; Classic Party Rentals; La Tavola Linen

Videography: Justin Fone Productions

Lighting and Sound: Refraction

Tent: Michael Hensley Party Rentals

Hair & Makeup: Winc Artistry

Transportation: Classic Cable Car Sightseeing and Charters

Wedding Detailer: Heidi Johnson

Babysitters: Sophie's Stress-Free Soirees

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