Real Weddings: Jennifer & James’ Bay City Wedding

San Francisco Wedding

Jennifer & James

San Francisco, CA

Wedding Date: October 8, 2011

Number of Guests: 75

Wedding Cost: $40,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Wedding Reception Location: Sir Francis Drake Hotel

bride and groom kissing in front of streetcar trolley

Sir Francis Drake Hotel wedding ceremony space

orange orchids hanging at the altar

wedding cupcakes with orange flowers

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We wanted to be able to enjoy our wedding day with our closest friends and relatives, not spend the day greeting a massive number of people. In addition, many of our friends and family live on the east coast and are not able to travel across the country.

wedding favors with orange and navy blue ribbon

postcard table numbers

orange wedding bouquets

bride and groom portrait on San Francisco street

Sir Francis Drake Hotel wedding portrait

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

For us, the challenge was that we were getting married in San Francisco, but had only moved here a few months prior. We didn’t have any idea where we wanted to get married, so we spent a lot of time checking out different wedding venues in the Bay Area.

wedding rings on San Francisco postcard

stages salon and spa sign

engagement ring on bride's finger

bride getting her hair done

groom in hotel hallway

orchid boutonniere

groom with mother

groomsmen in hotel suite

groom in black tuxedo with orange boutonniere

enzoani wedding gown hanging in window

orange bridal bouquet

orange rose, lily, and orchid wedding bouquet

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Not really.

orange wedding bouquet

bride getting her wedding gown on

bride in enzoani gown with orange bouquet

bride in sweetheart wedding gown

bride with her mother

bride hugging her dad

bride and flower girl in white dress

bride in ruffled wedding gown

bride and groom in Sir Francis Drake Hotel lobby

bride and groom in grand lobby

bridal party portrait inSir Francis Drake Hotel

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Not really. Since most of our guests were from out of town, only our closest friends and family were going to be able to make the trip.

Sir Francis Drake Hotel wedding venue

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

We wrote vows for the wedding, and although we didn’t share them in advance, they turned out to be very similar.

piano player at wedding ceremony

bridal party walking down the aisle

groomsman escorting mother of the bride to her seat

groomsman escorting mother of the groom to her seat

bride in doorway of ballroom

flower girls in white and black dresses

groom waiting at the altar

bride walking down the aisle

bride hugging her dad at the altar

hotel ballroom wedding ceremony

hanging orchid ceremony backdrop

flower girls at wedding ceremony

groom saying his vows

bride saying her vows

groom putting ring on bride's finger

bride and groom first kiss

bride and groom walking down the aisle

What were the highlights of the reception?

The first dance and last dance were exceptionally special. We had some fun speeches, as well, which I think happen when you have an intimate wedding. Speakers aren’t as intimidated when they aren’t faced with a huge crowd.

bride and groom walking down hotel stairs

wedding cupcakes with orange orchids

wedding favor table

orchid centerpiece

purple orchid and orange flower centerpieces

hotel ballroom wedding reception

cocktail hour appetizers

cocktail hour appetizers

happy bride and groom at reception

wedding speeches

bride and groom first dance in grand ballroom

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Being able to have fun and spend a significant amount of time with friends and family.

mother and groom dance

father and bride dance

wedding dance party in grand hotel ballroom

dance party at hotel wedding

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Make everyone aware early on of the maximum number of people you want at the wedding. This helps to set expectations and reduces the number of last minute “additions” that “helpers” try to make.

bride and groom with giant heart

bride's ruffled enzoani wedding gown

bride and groom in San Francisco

bride and groom in San Francisco

bride and groom kissing in San Francisco street


Photographer:  Vero Suh Photography

Florist: Huckleberry Karen Designs

Stationery: Union Street Papery

Caterer/Cake: Scala’s Bistro

Entertainment: Bay City Music

Gown Design: Allure Bridal

Bridal Shoes: Benjamin Adams

Bridal Jewelry: ABS

Bridesmaids Dresses: Love by Enzoani

Wedding Rings: David Clay Jewelers

Gift Registry: Macy’s

Honeymoon Destination: London, Paris, Alsace

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5 Comments  |  Filed Under: Modern Weddings, Real Weddings

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  1. Posted by Alex on February 6th, 2012 at 2:48pm

    Great pics... what camera do you use?
  2. Posted by Martha on February 7th, 2012 at 2:27pm

    What an absolutely beautiful wedding!!
  3. Posted by Christina on February 7th, 2012 at 4:58pm

    Alex, it's a Nikon D-700.
  4. Posted by Ann on February 8th, 2012 at 5:12am

    awwweeee….these pics are so cute… you guys look adorable!
  5. Posted by kim on March 8th, 2012 at 1:00pm

    Just a beauty.The Bride and her dress was outstanding. The bride and Groom were a perfect couple. Loved the dress.
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