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Katie and John have such great chemistry and I loved the energy at their wedding. John rocked the bow tie and Katie was stunning in her Amsale dress. I knew after their engagement session that we were going to have a blast roaming the streets of San Francisco and Golden Gate Park and boy did we ever.  Some of my favorite pics came at sunset on the roof top of the City Club so be sure to scroll down to see those. I loved all the details from John’s custom bow tie and custom cuff links to their cake topper and map of San Francisco for their guest book.  I should also add that I LOVED working with Curtis Nemetz and Natalie Bowen as always. Curtis pushes me to see things from a different angle and my photos are better because of it, thanks Curtis! Be sure to scroll to the bottom to see Curtis’s video from the day along with Katie and John’s recap of the day with information on all the vendors and details and their advice to other couples planning their wedding.

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John and Katie from curtis nemetz on Vimeo.

Venue(s) , Date and # of Guests - Sept. 18, 2010. Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park (ceremony); City Club of San Francisco (reception). 190 guests

What inspired you in planning the wedding?

Both of us having grown up in the Bay Area, nature and the outdoors are obviously a large part of our lives. We wanted an outdoor wedding to capture that California spirit and embrace everything San Francisco has to offer, while also incorporating the urban side of the city as well. San Francisco is where we first lived together, where we got our dog Cuba, and where we want to grow old - we had to involve all the different things that make the city great. And in all honesty, the major driving factor in our planning was to make sure our guests had a good time. The majority of what we planned and how we put together the day revolved around our guests. Judging by the comments we’ve received since the wedding, I think we succeeded fairly well :).

What were your favorite moments, surprises, traditions from the day?

The moment we saw each other for the first time - that’s something we’ll never forget. The speeches from our dads, my brother and Katie’s maid of honor were all top-notch. After stressing out for weeks - months - on end, being able to relax with friends while getting ready and just enjoy the lead-up to the event was a godsend to us both.

Maybe the most welcome surprise came about out of necessity. The day before the wedding was horrendously rainy, cold and muddy - at the rehearsal, there was a gigantic mud puddle smack in the middle of the aisle we were supposed to walk down to the altar. Obviously, Katie didn’t want to traipse her gorgeous dress through the mud, so a last-minute switch was made - the guest chairs were flipped around to face the gates to the garden, and the altar was moved from the patio at the far end to the brick path leading from the gates. Nobody had to walk through any mud, the guests got to watch everyone walk down the aisle facing straight ahead, and the background ended up being much prettier than the alternative. And the sun came through and produced a spectacular day. Not too shabby, if I say so myself.

Dress designer, shoes, Jewelry, Etc. Groom’s suit, Bridesmaids, etc.

Katie’s dress was by Amsale, and her shoes were designed by Rose Tahal for a boutique in Palo Alto called In Her Shoes. The boutique donates all of its profits from sales to the Global Fund for Women. Her earrings were from Kate Spade.
My suit was by Theory, and the shirt was from Joseph Pink. Our super-snazzy purple bow ties were designed by Molly Rodgers, an independent designer out of Sebastopol. The bridesmaids’ dresses were designed by Amsale.

Wedding Planner, Stationer, Floral Designer, Rentals, Music, Videographer, etc.

Jessica Goldblatt was our day-of planner - we did the rest of the planning ourselves :). Our invitations, escort cards and favors were designed by Viola Sutanto of Chewing the Cud (an amazing feat considering she was EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT at the time. Hi Maika!)
Our florist was Natalie Bowen of Natalie Bowen Designs, who tipped us off to La Tavola for our linen rentals. The ceremony chairs and reception lighting came from Classic Party Rentals. Our fantastic DJ was Chris Harnett, and our videographer extraordinaire was Curtis Nemetz. The cake topper was designed by TogetherForever. A hearty and well-deserved thanks to every one of you!

Menu, Drinks, Dessert, Caterer, Baker, etc.

We had three choices for dinner: char-grilled steak with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli raab; grilled salmon with spinach and fingerling potatoes; and butternut squash ravioli on a bed of greens. For dessert - courtesy of the wonderful Tracy Auseklis from The Buttercream Studio - we had four different types of cupcakes: carrot with cream cheese frosting, chocolate with Oreo frosting, banana fudge with cream cheese frosting and lemon-raspberry with vanilla frosting.
Tracy also made us a two-layer bride and groom cake - almond cake with raspberry filling, and vanilla cake with passionfruit filling. AMAZING.

DIY elements

So much DIY … so, so much. The table numbers (I stamped those myself), the menus and programs (designed and printed by Katie and I), the poster-guest book, the text copy in the invitations … and a lot more that’s not springing to mind right now :).

Favorite Blogs or Magazines used in planning the wedding

Style Me Pretty, Brooklyn Bride, Once Wed, Martha Stewart Weddings (duh), Etsy Wedding, 100 Layer Cake.

Advice that you’d give to other Brides?

Start early - WAY early. If you do have to do things at the last minute, get help. Pick vendors who are nice and nice to work with - like Joel! - because they’ll be around all the time. Involve your fiancee as much as he or she wants; you’ll often be surprised how much input and opinion they have.
Lastly, don’t put too much pressure on the day - and on yourself - to be the most amazing experience ever. We both were so stressed and overwhelmed in the planning, it was hard to imagine a day that would make it all worth it, so we both went in with fairly low expectations. And we ended up having a better time than we expected! It seems crazy to advise tamping expectations on the most important day of your life, but it worked for us.

Anything else…

Make the effort to spend as much time as possible with your guests from out of town. Your friends and family who live nearby? You’ll see plenty of them before and after the wedding. Those people who flew hundreds or thousands of miles to celebrate your wedding - those are the people you’ll want to remember, and the people who will make the day truly special.
And of course, and hearty, MASSIVE thanks to Joel, Cara and Natalie - the most amazing photography team any couple could ever ask for! You guys rock.


  • Jessica Says:

    Amazing images!! Especially love #118. What a beautiful wedding..

  • gladys jem Says:

    so lovely joel. it just kept getting better and better. oh and shakespeare garden. absolutely awesome!

  • 10 Best California Wedding Locations | Says:

    [...] Photo from floryphoto.com [...]

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