By Megan Kenney
The effortlessly beautiful style of Paris comes to San Francisco for this architecturally inspired soiree captured by Vivian Chen Photography. Choosing the Legion of Honor for their intimate nuptials, the couple crated a timeless event with details reflecting the City of Lights throughout! Feast your eyes on the rest of the gorgeousness in the full gallery.
From the Bride… There are a few things in life that continue to bring us together and remind us why we are such a perfect match: our love of food, Paris and the Beatles. We went on a trip to Europe two years ago and immediately fell in love with the architecture and art that surrounded us. We knew that as soon as we started planning our wedding that we wanted to try and recreate that sense of time and place. The Legion of Honor in San Francisco was a dream come true! When it’s sunny outside, it feels like a castle perched on the edge of the world, and when it’s foggy outside, it feels like you’ve been magically transported to the far-off land of “once-upon-a-time.” Needless to say, we didn’t need to dress the space up much. Our ceremony took place outside in the Court of Honor. It was an intimate event: just us, our 84 guests — and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” All of our music came courtesy of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and a wonderful string quartet who turned the Fab Four’s rock anthems into lyrically classical themes. After the ceremony, we moved indoors to the galleries for our reception, just in time for the heavy San Francisco summer fog to roll in and set an enchanted forest mood.
Planning the wedding was truly a collaborative effort for us! With such a short time frame and no wedding planner, we agreed that all elements we picked out for the wedding had to be timeless and classic — and yet somehow be in sync with our favorite things in life. It was a challenge, but one we were completely excited to take on! Some aspects were difficult for us to decide on though — we looked at literally hundreds of invitations, but couldn’t settle on one that was quite right for us. So we designed our own, coming up with a design that evoked the simple-yet-elegant honeycomb patterns under the archways of both the Champs-Elysées and the entrance to our venue. We wove the design throughout the day, from the menus and the geometric cocktail hour tables, to the fabrics on the dinner tables. We found a local letterpress to print everything for us. And we must say we’re extremely proud of the results! A little bit of Paris made its stamp on our special day.
Planning the menu was one of our favorite parts of wedding planning, since we are unapologetically addicted to great food. We wanted a dinner and hors d’oeuvres service that was unique but would not polarize our diverse set of guests. We worked with our caterers to design a spread that was both beautiful to look at as well as to eat. (My favorite was the bite-sized croque madame — perfection.) Next came the cake, which posed two very different challenges: How would it compete with the priceless art on the walls? And what flavor is appropriate for a couple without a natural sweet tooth? Our pastry chef came up with something brilliant: vanilla buttermilk cake with a salted caramel and toffee filling.
Probably the best advice we received (from multiple friends and family) is something I would pass on to other brides: It’s a party, so remember to smile and have fun!
Wedding Photography: Vivian Chen Photography / Wedding Venue: Legion of Honor in San Francisco, California / Floral Design: Nicole Ha Designs / Catering: Global Gourmet Catering / Wedding Cake: Cake Coquette / Wedding Invitations: Design by the Bride & Groom, Printed by Mercurio Brothers / String Quartet: Golden Gate Music / Lounge Seating Rentals: Hartmann Studios / Lighting: Impact Lighting / Wedding Dress: Watters / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Hair + Makeup: Makeup Gourmet / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Groom’s Tuxedo: Lanvin / Groomsmen’s Suits: Banana Republic