By Stephanie Weers
This wedding, while classic to the core, is full of chic design moments for the modern bride. With a regal color palette of navy, gold and ivory, this graphic designer turned bride, Molly Pollet, carefully planned the big day, and brought on a vendor team, including Global Gourmet, Got Light, TEAM Hair & Makeup and Plum Pretty Sugar to get the details just right. Josh Gruetzmacher captured and we’ve got all the inspo right at your fingertips.
From The Bride…*Austin and I met through a mutual friend. I went to high school with him, and he ended up being Austin’s roommate in college. Although Austin and I knew of each other during college, we were not fully introduced until after we graduated. We both ended up on the same New Year’s trip and instantly hit it off. He made me laugh and conversation was easy and natural. We went on our first date the week after. Actually, it was my “half-birthday” and Austin took me out to celebrate (cute excuse, right?). We were inseparable from there on out. I have to say Austin’s humor and intelligence reeled me in from the start.
Our first date was January of 2011 and we got engaged a little over 3 years later. Austin surprised me and said he was taking me on a weekend getaway to Carmel. We live in San Francisco, so leaving the city definitely made me question what was going to happen. Right after a lovely lunch in downtown Carmel, he took me on a walk on the sand and proposed! While I had some suspicions, he completely surprised me. There was a bonfire, s’mores, champagne, flowers and a photographer. After some photos and lots of kisses, we drove down to Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur to spend the weekend celebrating, just the two of us. It was so romantic and relaxing. We both have busy work schedules in the city, so it was really nice to get away and celebrate what a special time it was.
When we first started planning, we both agreed that making this a special event was most important. Of course, all weddings are special, but we really wanted to focus in on some unexpected things that would make the day just as special for us as it would be for our guests. I am a graphic designer (and wanna-be florist, cook, interior and event designer…) so I really had my hand and eye on every single detail, in addition to designing all of the paper. I was overly specific and overly critical, but I think it all paid off! My mom helped me with all of the design decisions; we had the best time bringing this night to life. We carried fun little details throughout the design. For example, I hand-lettered a “P” monogram that we used on our save the dates, website and menus, stamped onto cocktail napkins and to-go coffee cups, and embroidered onto linen napkins for dinner. It was really special for us, and for our family and friends, to see the whole day come together.
Austin and I asked his older brother, Troy, to officiate our ceremony. Having a strong personal connection to the officiant, we think, made for an exceptionally beautiful and special ceremony both for us and for our guests. He was the perfect balance of humorous and heartfelt. I may be biased, but it was the best wedding ceremony I have ever been to!
Austin’s father is unfortunately no longer with us, so we wanted to do some things that day in honor of him. Austin has a beautiful gold Rolex that he now wears daily that his father left for him. We designed our jewelry around that. My engagement ring and both our wedding bands are set in gold. Austin also wore his father’s gold cuff link with his tuxedo. His dad loved suspenders and often had a lot of fun with patterned ones, so Austin got a pair made to wear with his tux to honor his dad.
Austin’s parents had a tradition where they bought a very large bottle of wine on their kid’s birth years for them to open for a special occasion. Since Austin can remember, he’s had a 5 liter bottle of 1987 Chateau d’Yquem. When we got engaged, we decided our wedding night was the perfect time to open it – to share such a special treat with all of our closest friends and family. After dinner, Austin gave a sweet toast and told the story of the wine, and we were able to give every guest a little taste. It was a wonderful way to honor his dad while also doing something extra special for our guests.
I think these are just a few things that helped make for a very special event. Most important: having delicious food, an open bar, great musical entertainment and great toasts, and keeping the event in one place so that the flow of the night is never interrupted.
Flood Mansion in San Francisco was a dream venue for us. We are both from Southern California, but loved the idea of having a very classic wedding in the city. It’s such a fun place for family and friends to come spend a long weekend! We are both traditional and wanted the wedding to reflect that. The wedding was black tie with classic décor. We had a lot of crisp whites with accents of gold and navy. The architecture and design of Flood Mansion fit so perfectly with the classic elegance we were going for. We also wanted the evening to feel like we invited our friends and family over to our home for a lovely dinner celebration. Being an old mansion in Pacific Heights, Flood Mansion was the perfect fit.
We held the intimate ceremony in the courtyard of the home. There were two existing urns on either side of the alter that Max overflowed with flowers. It was the perfect mix of organic and elegant. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen lined up on either side, in long silk navy dresses and classic black tuxedos. Ceremony turned into cocktail hour – delicious appetizers were passed, including crostinis with Mt. Tam & preserves, stuffed marinated mushrooms, and mini burger bites. Our signature cocktails were an Italian greyhound made with Hendricks gin, fresh grapefruit and rosemary and a Recoil made with bourbon, St. Germain, fresh lime juice and ginger beer. When it was time for dinner, guests walked through the large front doors of the home, hung with fresh wreaths, into the main reception hall that overlooked the entire San Francisco Bay. We had a mix of round and long tables, draped with beautiful white linen and set with gold rimmed plates and glassware and pearl flatware. I designed our menus and table numbers to match the rest of our paper – they were letterpressed in navy, our accent color. Max filled the center of tables with beautiful, organic and elegant florals – lots of whites, greens and gold-tones – in gold vessels. Vines were draped beautifully and naturally onto the tables.
We had my godfather give a blessing and my dad give a welcome toast before dinner. To start the meal, we enjoyed a broccoli shoot panzanella salad, followed with a braised beef short rib over warm wild mushroom farro. During dinner, my sister/maid of honor and Austin’s brothers/best men gave toasts. They were very heartfelt and had the whole room laughing. For dessert, Austin and I cut wedding cake – vanilla with lemon soak, strawberry jam and passion fruit curd. It was the best wedding cake I’ve ever had! We also had a dessert bar filled with our favorites: chocolate chip, oatmeal and peanut butter cookies, rich brownies, and lemon bars. We danced the night away to a live band. It was very important to us to find a venue that really fit our wedding design and visions for the day. Thinking about all of the details and the flow of the night really made a difference.
We danced to John Legend’s “All of Me.” It actually played on the radio on our way home from Big Sur after we got engaged. While we both had listened to it prior, it meant something different that time. We had a pianist play during our dinner reception and we had our lead singer in the band sing the words. It was a perfect song for that piano, vocal duo.
Once everyone was seated for dinner, my parent’s rang their glasses to cue the singer. Austin and I then walked down the long hall, filled with our family and friends, to the end of the room by the windows overlooking the San Francisco Bay. We danced there together for the first time as husband and wife, to a grand piano and live vocals, overlooking the Golden Gate. It was magical!
Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography | Floral Design: Max Gill | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung | Hair + Makeup: TEAM Hair And Makeup | Calligraphy: Janis Anzalone | Lighting: Got Light | Band: Sidepocket | Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren | Ceremony Music: Musical Heart Strings | Hotel: Mark Hopkins Hotel | Venue: James Leary Flood Mansion | Catering + Cake: Global Gourmet | Event Planning, Invitations + Design: Molly Pollet | Groom's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Month Of Coordination: Jennie J. Events | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar