nontraditional

Margaret and Dan | A Nontraditional Golden Gate Bridge View and Thee Parkside Wedding

When Margaret and Dan first reached out to me about shooting their wedding, they told me that it wasn’t going to be your normal wedding. First off, there was no real “ceremony venue” because they would be taking their guests on a tour bus around San Francisco and somewhere along the stops, they would do a super quick, 2 minute ceremony. They also weren’t going to do a typical sit-down dinner, instead they would have a taco bar for everyone!

How am I so lucky?

Tour Bus: San Francisco Bus Tours
Wedding Ceremony: Golden Gate Bridge View
Reception Venue / Catering: Thee Parkside
Band: Uke-Hunt
DJ: Jackie Sugarlumps

Words from Margaret:

1. Your wedding was definitely unique! Could you tell us how you came up with the Big Bus Tour idea and having the wedding ceremony as part of the quick stop?
Many of our guests were traveling from out of state to be at our wedding, so we wanted to offer them something more than just a party, which they could get anywhere. Taking them to a couple of tourist attractions and seeing more of the city was our way to thank them for traveling so far. 

As for the wedding ceremony, we knew that the reception was the most important part of the wedding for us, so we wanted the ceremony to be quick and inexpensive. We didn’t really know if it would work or not, but we figured we could make it work with sheer numbers. It was so fun bringing 70 guests to a tourist spot and making our own space for the quick ceremony.

2. What was the most memorable part of the day?
The ceremony was definitely the most memorable part of the day. Even though it was cold, it felt magical getting married with the Golden Gate Bridge right beside us.

3. What unique detail was the most important for you to include and why?
We both really enjoyed dressing up our maid of honor and best man! We bought each of them a bright sequins jacket to wear at the wedding. They are both important people in our lives, so we wanted them to show off and be seen, and we knew they would be game for looking a little silly. It turns out they can really pull off the look! 

4. What came most as a surprise to you about the day?
We knew the live band was risky, but they ended up being fantastic. Their energy was contagious, and even though they were a little corny, it was hard not to like them. They set the tone for the rest of the night.

5. If you could give one piece of advice for a couple who also wants a nontraditional wedding, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to cut or rearrange parts of a traditional wedding. By eliminating some things (like a separate ceremony or a sit-down dinner), we were able to save a lot of money. You also realize how much a wedding still feels like a wedding even without the typical fixtures. Your guests will appreciate you being yourselves!

Laura & Gabe | A Unique San Francisco Wedding - Alamo Square Park, Absinthe, Cafe du Nord

Heck. Yes.

Dear couples, a wedding can be whatever you want it to be. As long as the two of you get married, all the other details are just the icing on top of the cake.

When Laura first approached me about photographing her wedding, she described it as nontraditional, with no/few flowers, no aisle, and a dark blue sweetheart lace fit & flare dress. “I feel like this is coming across as negative,” she said, “but we are just focusing on the things that are most important to us :)”

Hear hear! Laura and Gabe got married with their closest group of friends and family surrounding them at Alamo Square Park with the cityscape behind them, had an intimate dinner at Absinthe, then joined the larger group for donuts and dancing at Cafe du Nord.

Ceremony: Alamo Square Park, San Francisco
Dress: Self-Portrait
Suit: Billy Reid
Restaurant: Absinthe
After Party: Cafe du Nord
Donuts: Dynamo Donut
Custom Poster: Matthew J. Fleming

{ From Laura )

  1. What was the most memorable part of the day?
    Though our ceremony was short, that time in the park was the most memorable part of the day for me. It felt incredibly vulnerable, sharing what we normally just say to one another, in front of our friends and family. Looking around to everyone, I could feel the love and joy surround us. It was so powerful, and I felt so present in the moment.

  2. What unique detail was the most important for you to include and why?
    This is the hardest question to answer! The unique detail that I love the most is the custom poster by Matthew J. Fleming, that I commissioned as a wedding gift. The design includes so many details about our relationship and the day, from our favorite records, to the ceremony and reception venues. Music is so important to us, and we have posters from dozens of shows we've seen ourselves and together. Using the back of it as our guest book means that everyone who was there is a part of our commitment to one another. It's hanging in a prime location in our new home.

  3. What came most as a surprise to you about the day?
    How time flew by! I would have loved to have hours more with friends and loved ones, and more time to connect one on one with everyone there.