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Brad + Jessica were married in an intimate ceremony on the roof top of Hotel Vitale, which is one of my favorite wedding locations in San Francisco.  I had such a great time capturing all of the moments of their wedding and then equally had a blast roaming the streets of San Francisco on our day after shoot together (be sure to scroll down to check out those pics :)) Kathryn of Dream a Little Dream Events planned their big day to perfection and as always the flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs were beautiful.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to read Jessica’s recap of the day (she has some great advice to other brides with regards to the importance of a wedding coordinator for their big day).


Venue(s) , Date and # of Guests:
Hotel Vitale, 8/8/10, ~40

What inspired you in planning the wedding?
We’ve both lived all over, and we knew most people would have to travel to come to the wedding. So, we wanted to go somewhere that our family and friends would come and stay for a few days so that we could visit with them for more than just the day of the wedding. SF was perfect because it had a little something for everyone. As for the day of the wedding, we wanted great scenery, with a real SF vibe, great food and wine, really just to create a comfortable atmosphere for socializing.

What were your favorite moments, surprises, traditions from the day?
There was a moment before the wedding when I was starting to get really nervous, so one of my bridesmaids took me in the bathroom (away from all the craziness where everyone was getting ready) and sat me down on the toilet seat with a glass of wine and a salad and told me to eat something, drink something and quit freaking out. I was thoroughly impressed with my brothers’ guitar playing before the ceremony and just sorry that I didn’t actually get to hear more of it. I thought my dad’s toast was wonderful and I was touched that he’d taken the time to prepare something so sweet and appropriate.

Dress designer, shoes, Jewelry, Etc. Groom’s suit, Bridesmaids, etc. -
Wow! I honestly don’t know most of this stuff. I would say attire was the least important part of the whole thing, so we really just got things we thought looked good from wherever we could find them.

Wedding Planner, Floral Designer, Rentals, etc. -
Wedding Planner - Kathryn Kalabokes of Dream a Little Dream Events
Floral Design - Natalie Bowen
Rentals - Hartmann Studios

Kathryn did a great job of telling us to pick the things that were most important to us (For me it was pretty flowers and good food, for Brad it was great pictures and a great location)

Menu, Drinks, Dessert, Caterer, Baker, etc. -
All food was provided by the Americano at Hotel Vitale and was all fabulous! Almost every guest commented that the filet was the best they’d ever had (and that’s saying something considering there were people from 10 different states), I loved the chickpea salad and the Pinot Minet. The cake was done by Branching Out Cakes. It’s redundant to keep saying everyone loved it so, I’ll relay a little story about the cake that makes me smile. After they had torn down the venue, all the guests retired to the suite and terrace that we had reserved for the night. Kathryn had made sure that all the leftover slices of cake were put on a desk in the living room area. So it’s about midnight and people are starting to clear out and my bridesmaid Molly’s husband Mike, yells across the room to Molly, “Let’s go! I’m ready now.” So in the time it takes Molly to stand up and walk across the room, Mike picks up a piece of cake and eats it in three bites, puts the plate down, takes Molly by the arm and they leave. All this happened in maybe 15 seconds. It cracked me up that in all of Mike’s urgency to get out of there, he was still able to inhale one last piece of cake. And this is a marathoner who doesn’t eat sweets. Then about 30min later, I’m starting to kick the rest of the guests out so that Brad and I can get to our wedding night bed, and both of my brothers repeat the same exact sequence with leaving, but pausing to eat a slice of cake in a few bites immediately before they walk out the door. I’m saying the sequence was “bye Jess. congrats.” eat cake, walk out of door. So you have these three manly men, completely separate of each other, all deciding that they just couldn’t finish the night without having one more piece of that cake. That’s some good cake.

DIY elements -
We had blankets for the guests to wrap up in. No matter how many times we told people that it would be cold and we’d be on a terrace with the wind blowing, they just didn’t believe us. So I’m glad there were blankets for the women in the light summer dresses. We had also done a Guest Guide in the welcome packet. We put a picture of each guest and a short story about how we knew them and some easy facts about each person to give people some starting points for conversation. In addition to the wedding there were several days of activities before and after, so we wanted folks to be comfortable with each other.

Favorite Blogs or Magazines used in planning the wedding -
I used The Knot a lot. And also just Googled things when I had questions.

Advice that you’d give to other Brides?
Use a Wedding Planner. Interview several and pick the one who you’re most comfortable with, who matches your personality and style. We loved Kathryn because it was like having a friend in SF who was helping to plan the wedding. I thought about it like this, I’ve never planned a wedding before and she’s planned hundreds, who do you think will do a better job? Although, I would also say if you’re going to spend the money on a planner, do yourself a favor and listen to her. This is why I think it’s so important to get the right person. Because when you get it in your head that you want to do a certain thing (for me it was ordering purple table clothes), you need a person who can step in and say, “you really don’t want to do that” and you need to trust that person enough to listen, they know best in the long run. I also liked the way Kathryn told us to pick 1 or 2 things that were most important to us and that’s where you spend the money. That was great advice because then we could get real quality vendors for the things that really mattered to us, and in the end, no one even noticed that we didn’t have monogrammed napkins.

Anything else,
Joel, you were wonderful. The photos are great and I would recommend the day-after session to anyone who can swing it.

  • kathryn Says:

    I loved this couple and wedding, thank you Joel for capturing their day so perfectly!

  • Joel Flory Says:

    Kathryn, you did such a great job planning this wedding. I love Jessica’s comments about why you need a coordinator and why you should listen to them :)

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