Jake and Mandi’s wedding was our last wedding of 2016, and what a way to end our season! It was an added bonus that a snow storm hit right after we left CT. So although our Facebook news feeds were full of photos of snowfall and shoveling, we were enjoying our destination of San Francisco.
As a destination wedding photographer, Chris and I don’t always get to meet our couples ahead of time but Mandi, Jake, and their son William met us for coffee the day before their wedding. It was so wonderful to hear more about their vision for their wedding day. They had some subtle and unique ideas planned (heck yes for a couple magical Harry Potter details.) Most of all they wanted to focus on making sure they and their guests would have a laid-back and fun experience.
The morning of their wedding everyone got ready at the Harbor Court Hotel, a waterfront hotel in the Embercado area of San Fran. Getting ready is always a different story for the guys and girls. Jake, his groomsmen Scott and Brandon, and William spent their morning playing video games while the girls had their hair and makeup done.
Mandi and her girls Rachel and Katherine had their makeup done by Pearl Cabalan, who created bold and elegant looks for all of them. Pearl used metallic gold eye makeup for Rachel and Katherine, and Katherine commented that Rachel looked magical in her makeup and dress. “Like some kind of nymph”, and I have to agree! Gold was a perfect choice to pair with their deep hued bridesmaid dresses. Mandi had her eye makeup done to match her purple hair, which was styled by Andrea Hidalgo. Mandi and her Mom had put together a beautiful flower crown out of baby’s breath that Mandi wore on top of her full curls.
Rachel and Katherine wore dresses from Just Dress and Charm, an etsy shop with unique convertible dresses. They also wore necklaces with charms in the shape of wands from Harry Potter, which I loved, and found out were from Amazon! Mandi had a couple more subtle Harry Potter references hidden in her details, including her own jewelry and her amazing custom Toms shoes. I was pretty excited they had already grabbed a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and booked marked “The Wedding” chapter for us to use in detail shots.
A lot of love and care was put into Mandi’s look, including her full length veil and bouquet put together by her Mother. Mandi’s flowers were a combination of hand made paper flowers (made by Mandi and Rachel), flowers from Safeway, and greenery. One of my favorite parts about this bouquet was the personal touch of family member’s portraits included in the flowers, to keep her family heritage close. She also wore an heirloom watch from her Mother in Law that had been worn by generations of women on Jake’s side of the family on their wedding days, and carried with her a handkerchief from her doula. The watch belonged to Jake’s Great Grandmother, and Mandi was the first girl marrying into their family to wear it! It was incredible how many people wanted to make sure Mandi and Jake felt loved and cared for on their day.
Once the girls were ready, Mandi’s Mom helped her into her gown. She wore a gorgeous lace crop top and full tulle skirt from dress designer Judy Lee’s Ju.Lee Collection.
Mandi and Jake had their first look outside of the Ferry Building. I’m a big sucker for an emotional first look, and I just love Jake’s reaction to seeing Mandi for the first time.
They walked back to the hotel hand in hand, while onlookers shouted congratulations. A classic San Francisco trolley awaited them, and brought us all to Golden Gate Park.
Golden Gate Park is huge, and Mandi and Jake wanted to make sure they had a perfect, private place for their ceremony. The Chain of Lakes Meadow was perfectly picturesque and secluded. Rachel and Katherine wore matching jackets from Fashion Nova, and the adorable flower girls wore matching jackets and dresses from Macy’s. They were married by Jake’s Uncle, Gaylan Wright.
Mandi and Jake shared heartfelt vows in front of family and friends they had written themselves. They spoke of their commitment to one another, their son William, and everything they had already been through together before exchanging rings. Their guests cheered and sent them off to their reception amidst a shower of bubbles!
Golden Gate Park was the perfect intimate wedding setting for this amazing couple!
After one more photo op, we all headed back into the trolley and were on our way to the reception at Bruno’s Nightclub. Dinner was catered by Southpaw BBQ, which was comfort food at it’s very best! Instead of a cake, Mandi and Jake opted for gelato from Pop Up Gelato.
After dinner, Mandi and Jake shared their first dance. After dancing together they invited the rest of their family and friends to dance with them. Even Grandma jumped on the dance floor, and she had some pretty sweet moves too! The rest of the reception was full of dancing and laughter, and all the laid back fun they had hoped for.
Congratulations, Mandi and Jake!