foreign cinema

Erin and AJ | Foreign Cinema Ceremony and Wedding Reception in San Francisco

I think it was raining the day before this wedding. We’ve been in what seems like the rainiest season in years, but it luckily ended up being a beautiful, sunny day. We hit up a few classic San Francisco locations for a few portraits before the ceremony and reception at the always beautiful Foreign Cinema.

(Words from AJ and Erin)

What was the most memorable part of the day?
Most memorable part I think was the moment of quiet time we got to spend alone right after the ceremony. As we were eating the appetizers saved for us and looking at all the different people who came from all the different parts of our lives to celebrate, it really hit us that we had done something that we would remember for the rest of our lives.

What unique detail was the most important for you to include and why?
Capturing the wine capsule in a photo-journalistic way was really nice for us. Neither of us is religious, so it was important that we had a unique, but still symbolically ceremonial aspect to the ceremony. We were afraid that the capsule wouldn't make sense, especially in pictures, but it turned out great since we could clearly see the progression from empty box, to placing the wines, and finally to holding up the sealed capsule.


What came most as a surprise to you about the day?

How fast the actual wedding flew by! We planned this event for over 8 months, with the last 3 months being really intense on our end. We were making all the DIY items, like the wedding arch, the table decorations, and the place cards, while making final plans with every single vendor. It was exhausting and felt like a second job. However, when the day finally arrived, everything went pretty much perfectly and according to plan. We were glad to have done all the work, but for as much as we had to do, it seemed like the day was over just as quickly as it started. Our friends had warned us that this would be the general feeling and advised us to make sure to soak in the little moments, which definitely helped us in our day!


And if you could give one piece of advice to another couple about the wedding, what would it be?
Make sure you get the best vendors that you can find. Everyone who was involved from the venue's events coordinator (with whom we must have exchanged a hundred emails over the course of a year) to the DJ (who pulled double duty as coordinating when she saw things were getting hectic) and especially the photographer (of course!) was extremely professional, talented, and clearly committed to making sure that we had the best and most memorable experience possible. 


Venue: Foreign Cinema
Florist: Bell & Trunk
DJ: Heart of Gold DJs

Mandy and Ted | Union Square Cable Cars & Foreign Cinema Wedding in San Francisco, CA

When Mandy and Ted were discussing their wedding plans with me in the initial stages of contacting me, they told me that they really wanted to do a first look at the cable cars on Powell Street. 

We don't mind if there are strangers and tourists in the background, they said. So we went for it, and it really couldn't have gone more smoothly.

There were so many amazing moments, from Mandy's brother officiating and accidentally uttering his girlfriend's name instead causing the everyone to erupt in laughter, to the quieter moments when Mandy and Ted admired their wedding rings upstairs after the ceremony. You can see the joy of the day from these images.

Thank you for having me be a part of your day!

What was the most memorable part of the day?
(Mandy): It's so hard to pick the most memorable part of the day! The entire day leading up to the wedding, the ceremony, and reception were all so wonderful in their own way. The part of the day that stands out the most to me is the ceremony. It really hit me when we started to line up to walk down the aisle. I stood next to my dad and the processional music started playing. There was so much build-up for this one moment, and it was finally here! My eyes started tearing up, and I looked up at my dad and I could tell how much this moment meant to him. I am so grateful that my dad was able to walk me down the aisle. I remember looking up at him just before we started to walk, seeing my mom, and then looking at Ted as I walked towards him.The entire ceremony was so touching, and it was also filled with so much laughter. My younger brother officiated the wedding, and his message resonated so much with me and everyone else. My older brothers and Ted's sister and brother-in-law were chuppah holders. My younger brother Joe did an amazing job weaving in the meaning of the chuppah, how it represented home, the support of family, and the centrality of the 2 of us in our marriage. Ted and I wrote our own vows but didn't exchange them until the ceremony. It was so funny to see how much our vows complimented each other's. I'll never forget the look of pure love on Ted's face as I read my vows. And I can't even count the number of times I laughed and had tears of joy in my eye. Ted almost ran down the aisle he was so excited to hug after we were officially made husband and wife. The entire ceremony was so incredible, that's the part that is most memorable to me.

What unique detail was the most important for you to include and why?
The food was the most important detail of the wedding. Foreign Cinema is our favorite restaurant and is in our neighborhood. We chose the venue because we know how much they care about the food they serve: from the ingredients to the creativity in how it is served. We were so amazed and happy by the food that was served from the appetizers to the main course, the deserts and the late night snacks. And so many people have commented to us about how much they appreciated and enjoyed the food. 

What came most as a surprise to you about the day?
I was most surprised by how much emotion I felt the entire weekend from seeing so many friends and family on both sides together and celebrating. I had family that I hadn't seen in years there, and I had even more family that hadn't been in the same place all together in over a decade. I don't think anyone could have prepared me - or described in words to me - how that would feel. I was so grateful for all of the love and support we felt on both sides. And I'm so happy to have all of the wonderful photos to look through. An hour felt like a second, so it's been so amazing to look through all of the photos and relive the most wonderful weekend. 

Venue: Foreign Cinema
Wedding Planner: Dreams on a Dime
Florals: The Floral Loft
DJ: DJ Jeremy Productions
Makeup: Julie Dy
Hair: Camilla Betteridge

Lisa & Tim | Intimate San Francisco City Hall & Foreign Cinema Wedding

I've always loved San Francisco City Hall as the backdrop for the usual five person or so wedding where you wait in line alongside seven other couples for your turn to get married. 

But Lisa and Tim reserved the beautiful Mayor's Balcony on the 2nd floor, where 40 of their closest friends and family celebrated their union. After portraits, Lisa and Tim took their guests to Fort Point via a classic San Francisco trolley, then to Foreign Cinema (the Modernism West gallery) for a leisurely dinner and dancing.

Venue: Foreign Cinema (Modernism West)
Florals: Farmgirl Flowers
Hair & Makeup: Clifford Style
Trolley: Events West Tours & Travel

Defne & Cameron | Foreign Cinema Wedding in San Francisco

There were two distinct moments that I remember vividly from Defne and Cameron's wedding at the Foreign Cinema. Actually, make that three, because the first two are so wonderfully connected.

The more a couple can incorporate what's meaningful to the both of them into their wedding, the more excited I get. Defne and Cameron did their first look at a tiny, hidden park overlooking the city where Cameron proposed. What a breathtaking location and backdrop for their first look and bride and groom portraits.

Their ceremony was a few hours later after their first look, but even as Defne walked down the aisle with her parents, Cameron still had the heartwarming reaction as if he was seeing her for the first time in her wedding dress. I think by the time she reached the front, the entire wedding party and the officiant were already in tears. 

(Seriously, this is what makes me want to say #ILoveMyJob)

Another really defining moment (so defining that I selected it as my featured image for this SLR Lounge article) was when I caught the two of them sharing a kiss during dinner when no one else was paying attention. To be so connected and in tune with each other throughout a hectic wedding day emphasized what the wedding day should really be about. 

Congratulations, Defne and Cameron! I am so honored to have been able to document the day for you.

Many thanks to all the wonderful vendors who worked on this wedding to make such a momentous day!

Wedding Coordinator: Michelle Kimmins
Venue: Foreign Cinema
DJ: DJ Von Woo
Florals: Ampersand
Makeup: Pretty Parlor SF