I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Margaret and Clay’s stunning southern estate garden wedding took place on the property of both the bride’s parents’ and grandparents’ homes. Margaret grew up across the street from her grandparents and the charmed childhood inspired the gorgeous wedding day planned by Mariee Ami Ami  with abundant florals designed by In Bloom and perfectly captured by Davy Whitener. Read on for more of the love, heartbreak and joy that went into the couples breathtakingly beautiful day.

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Growing up across the street from your grandparents isn’t something most families experience, but this was the only upbringing that Margaret knew. Spending her childhood running back and forth between her home and her grandparents’ allowed her imagination to run wild as she saw the endless possibilities in these places. This experience made decision-making much easier when it came time for Margaret and Clay to choose where they would be married. They aptly chose for their ceremony to be in the backyard of Margaret’s parents’ home followed by an elegant reception in the backyard of her grandparents’ home.

When planning began, Margaret’s family was thrilled about the wedding and her grandparents were especially excited to immediately begin taking on projects to get their home ready for the celebration. Margaret’s grandparents have always had a special place in her heart because they played such a large part in her life, so she was ecstatic they would be part of the planning and her big day as well. The bride’s inspiration was pulled from the overall style of both homes and her desire to bring a real connection between the ceremony and reception. A watercolor of the bride’s home on the save the date was the perfect piece to set the tone for the entire wedding and many other classic southern themes were seen throughout the weekend.

Heartbreak overcame this family when Margaret’s grandfather fell ill during the planning and ultimately passed away before the big day. An immense void was felt by all, but when Margaret and Clay’s wedding day came it was evident he had a hand in the beauty of it – the perfectly manicured lawns, fresh potted window boxes, wrought iron gates and traditional beauty of the family’s spaces were a big part in the design of the wedding and it was all perfectly executed just as if he had been there to make sure of it himself. After a beautiful ceremony, the wedding party was led to the reception by a second line band which really got the party started. With the setting of his home surrounding the celebration, Margaret’s grandfather continued to shine down on the day as the happy couple danced into the night with their loved ones. The elegance of the evening concluded with the bride and groom departing in an antique Rolls Royce to begin their life as husband and wife.


Photographer: Davy Whitener // Planning, Design and Paper: Mariee Ami Ami // Floral Design: In Bloom // Dress: Oscar de la Renta // Hair and Make-up: Celine Russell // Cake: Barb’s Cake // Tent and Rentals: Pre Events // Specialty Rentals: Please Be Seated // Catering: Shindigs // Videographer: Film Poets // Band: Atlanta Rhythm and Groove // Get Away Car: Coats Classic Cars // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

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Eat your heat out Gatsby. Cynthia and Sean’s “festive old-world soiree” is absolutely dazzling and totally the kind of energy we’re looking for right now. Coordinator, planner and florist, Isabella Sikaffy at Florabella Studios, is a one-woman magic-maker who transformed the Bay Area private club into a seasonal vision and deco-inspired dream. Oh, and we’re also totally mesmerized by Cynthia’s stunning Oscar de la Renta gown. Lucky for us, Meg Smith, was on hand to capture all the details is these beautiful images.

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How did you meet and become engaged?

We met at a friend’s dinner party in New York City the day after Valentines Day 2014. It was a snowy night in the city and both of us came close to bailing on the party and staying in. Glad we didn’t! How and when did you get engaged? (Include month and year) Labor Day weekend 2018, we were vacationing on the Amalfi coast. Sean rented a boat for the day, we both love being on the water. We had just hopped back in the boat from a swim in the sea, and he caught me by complete surprise by proposing as we sailed through the “Love Arch” rock formation off the coast of Capri.

Why did you pick the venue? What did you most love about it?

Sean grew up going to this club, so it has special meaning to him. The club itself is a stunning and stately venue at the site of one of the original country estates of the Bay Area. We knew we wanted a formal winter wedding, in a place that could accommodate both indoor and outdoor activity. Between the gorgeous house and lush grounds with a view of the Bay, the club was perfect. To seal the deal, we had recently decided to settle in the area, so it made perfect sense to invite friends and family to our new hometown for the celebration.

What was your vision for your wedding?

Given the date around New Years, and majestic venue, we envisioned a festive old-world soiree – like Gatsby! Glamourous and classy, with some unconventional twists.

What was the planning process like?

Isabella Sikaffy at Florabella Studios spent quite a bit of time upfront getting to know us as a couple and talking about our vision for our wedding. Once we honed in on what we really wanted, she went to work checking availability and pricing of everything from venues to vendors. Then she came back to us with two proposals for options that we not only loved, but that she knew we could pull off. We chose New Year’s in Hillsborough! One of the wonderful things about working with Isabella was that she’s not just a planner and coordinator – she’s an incredibly talented designer. She created a comprehensive design proposal of the entire weekend, then sourced and coordinated every element of the event from linens and glassware to entertainment and photography. We loved exploring possibilities then seeing even our craziest ideas become reality. For us, planning was a fun adventure.

 

Ceremony and reception décor:

We chose to go with lush tropical greenery – ferns and palms everywhere, even hanging from the ceiling. With lots of candles, of course. The only splash of floral color was the bridal bouquet of red roses.  The décor had an art nouveau feel, with deep jewel toned velvet linens and lounge seating, with gold accents.

How did you personalize your wedding day to reflect who you are as a couple?

We wrote our own vows, which was daunting at first, but turned out to be so much fun and made the ceremony so special and personal. We chose the brother of the bride to officiate the wedding. Having an officiant to who knew us so well made for an extra special personalized ceremony with an element of good humor.

 

Any anecdotes from the dress-shopping experience?

This was the first dress I tried! 2 days and 100 dresses later, I went back to where I started. I’m short, so I knew I needed something minimal, not too heavy. But I also wanted some drama. This dress was perfect! It was simple and sleek in the front, with a wild ruffle down the back. I tried on dozens of gorgeous gowns and could have been happy with many of them. But my dress was the only one that screamed my name. I just felt like myself in this dress.

Special memories, stories, or details from your wedding day:

Not only were Sean’s vows incredible and touching, but he memorized every word! Even though we planned the wedding and knew exactly what was coming, the whole atmosphere and event felt magical with surprises around every corner.

If you could offer one piece of wisdom to couples currently planning a wedding, what would it be?

Relax, have fun, make it exactly what YOU want.

Photographer: Meg Smith // Coordinator/Planner/Florals: Isabella Sikaffy at Florabella Studios // Venue: Private Club // Videographer: Elysium // Officiant: Richard Maus (brother of the bride) // Bridal gown and Veil: Oscar de la Renta // Bridal Stylist: Julie Sabatino, The Stylish Bride // Makeup: Lisa Louie // Jewelry: Jennifer Behr earrings and hair comb // Shoes: Jimmy Choo // Groom’s attire: Traditional Custom Tuxedo from Trumaker // Music (ceremony and reception): Rhythm Collective, and other entertainment from Elan Artists // Accommodations: Fairmont San Francisco

 

This editorial was inspired by how art and color can bring vivacity into any atmosphere, including a desert abyss. The team, led by Sarah Kay Love, loved how the colorful dynamic and tropical charm in the fashion, tabletop and florals perfectly juxtaposed a barren landscape. Stylist Gabrielle Hurwitz and florist Avant Garde Floral Studio showcased that with the right elements, the desert could come to life in full force. See all the vibrance and fabulous design in these stunning images by Valorie Darling.

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Photography: Valorie Darling // Art Direction + Production: Sarah Kay Love // Stylist: Gabrielle Hurwitz // Florist: Avant Garde Floral Studio // Paper Goods + Invitations: Foil and Ink // Video: Carly of Good Vibe Media // Wedding Dress: Lee Petra Grebenau // Bridal Boutique: SPINA Bride // Model: Ali Daniels and Jim Daniels // Hair: Bryanna Casey of Eleven Collective Agency // Makeup: Molly Bardon Gerdes of Eleven Collective Agency // Cakes and Desserts: Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop // Rental Company: Tremaine Events // Palm Plates: Lux by Eros // Earrings: Ranjana Khan // Shoes: Casadei // Clutch: Anthropologie // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Kate and Alden’s mantra during their wedding planning was this: “all we wanted was to throw the best party possible for all of our favorite people in the world.” They made it happen with the help of Riley Loves Lulu at Menlo Circus Club. The florals by Mindy Rosenberg stunned in a warm, sunny palette and decorated the cocktail party and dinner reception on the lawn of the Circus Club’s amazing polo field. Photographer Carlie Statsky was on hand to capture all the warm romance of the day in these lovely images.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

Alden and I grew up in neighboring towns and both of our immediate families are still local and live just a short drive from where we now live in San Francisco. We love to travel and briefly considered getting married somewhere a little bit further afield, but we ultimately realized that it’s so special that we could stay close to home for our wedding. Instead, we chose to incorporate some of our travel loves in other details like papel picado decorations, and a cookbook from a famous wine country restaurant as a guest book.

We loved that we were able to host cocktails, dinner, and speeches outside on the Circus Club’s amazing polo field. The weather was perfect, and having dinner and lawn games outside felt fun and relaxed. When the surprise mariachi band arrived to bring everyone inside, we then danced the night away to from the most amazing band, and took a break only to eat tacos from the late-night taco truck!

While planning our wedding, we just kept saying that all we wanted was to throw the best party possible for all of our favorite people in the world, and we loved every single moment of the day.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I had a really hard time choosing a wedding dress, but was fortunate to find the amazing Jin Wang in San Francisco, who created my dress by combining the bodice of one dress with the skirt of another (plus an amazing bow!). I never grew up imagining exactly what my wedding dress would look like, but I couldn’t have been more in love with mine — I never wanted to take it off.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

Since we stayed around our hometown for the festivities, it was so fun to be able to incorporate lots of small personal touches throughout the day. My bridesmaids and I got to get ready at my maid of honor’s parents’ house around the corner from the ceremony and reception sites. It was so special to get to spend the morning in the same place where we spent so many afternoons, late nights, and sleepovers as teenagers. Because we were local, we also got to invite the family dog to the reception! Hank was a big hit and definitely thought that the crowd was there to just to see him.

We also tried to remember members of our family in some small details too — we added blackberries to the florals in honor of my maternal grandmother, our recessional song was one that my paternal grandfather loved, and we wanted lots of dahlias because Alden’s dad grows them in his garden. Food is also very important to my family, so we honored my mom’s Croatian heritage with some of the passed appetizers and local berry pies for dessert. No one went hungry!

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

The day was so amazing that it’s hard to choose just one moment, but I loved our vows, which we wrote to each other. I would have put money on the fact that Alden would cry while reading them, but I was actually the one that broke! The other special thing about the ceremony was being able to look out at those gathered and to be able to really clearly see everyone’s faces. It was so special to have so many people that we love gathered in one place, and we both loved being able to look out and take it all in.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Alden and I went to high school together! We met in photo class when I was a sophomore and he was a cute, older senior guy. While we were mutually interested in each other then, the timing was never quite right to get involved romantically. We never lost touch though, and stayed close as friends for almost a decade before the stars finally aligned for us a few years ago.

Wedding Planner & Designer: Riley Loves Lulu // Photography: Carlie Statsky // Florist: Mindy Rosenberg // Papel Picado: I Invite You // Venue: Menlo Circus Club // Dress: Jin Wang // Hair & Make-Up: Celia Castaneda // Signage: Paper Caper // Lighting & Draping: Got Light // Rentals: Standard Party Rentals // Tables And Chairs: Theoni Collection // Linens: La Tavola Linen // Ceremony/ Table Top: Bright Event Rentals // Cake: Rachel’s Cakes // Pie: Gizdich Ranch // Transportation: Carey International, Inc // Band: Pride and Joy // Ceremony Music: Music To Go / SF Conservatory // Photobooth: Trulight Photo Booth // Taco Truck: Tacqueria Angelicas

 

Flora Farms‘s elegant— yet relaxed—vibe was the perfect location for Kate and Mike’s (destined) destination wedding in Cabo. They couple had known for years they’d be celebrating their nuptials in Cabo, and with the help of Ximena Perez Marentes of Amy Abbott Events, their day was a vision of vibrance and textural details perfectly fit for the locale they love. Sara Richardson captured all the sun-kissed joy and gorgeous details including flowers by Florenta and stationery by Bells & Whistles.

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Tell us about your wedding:

We have been coming to Cabo as a family over the past 20 years and it has always been a second home to me. From birthdays to graduations, I’ve made countless memories in Mexico. When Mike and I had our first vacation here together back in 2012 we knew if we were ever to choose a destination wedding it would have to be Cabo.  And we knew we wanted a one-of-a-kind venue that truly embraced both of our very different styles ad wanted to share it with the people we loved the most.

With its elegant, yet relaxed vibe there was no other place we could have imagined choosing other than Flora Farms.

Owning a food marketing agency, and being a foodie myself, my one & only priority was having the best food and Flora’s menu is unmatched. Over 100 people came from all over to celebrate with us.

We started the weekend with a welcome cruise around Cabo followed by a cocktail party at the rooftop at El Ciurelo at the Westin, our home away from home. Every year we see the same people (staff) and they are now like second family.

Our rehearsal dinner was an absolute dream. My vision for a casual chic beach party was beyond my expectations thanks to Ximena from Amy Abbott Events who had to bring multiple vendors together to make this night happen. As the rehearsal dinner was on the side of the Club Regina cliffs, it really took an army to pull off as each of them had to bring tables, chairs and a 3 story teepee down flights and flights of stairs into a beach alcove.

Mike and I live in Philadelphia and met at work in 2011 where he proposed on the steps of our office building 7 years later.

I know they say that there are always a few things that go wrong on your wedding day but we had quite a few stressful events. We had family delayed due to storms happening in the U.S, which lost some of our bags along the way including my brothers’ suits, and my rehearsal dinner and afterparty dress! On the day of our wedding, our photographer was sick and had to cancel. Sara and Ramon came to the rescue and we’re so happy they did. Immediately meeting them, there was a sense of ease about both of them that made the entire day flow so much more smooth. They captured everything about our day so perfectly and we are so grateful it was them behind the camera.

If it wasn’t for Ximena, we would have never pulled off the weekend of festivities that we did.

How did you meet, and how long did you date before getting engaged?

We met at work in 2011. We were working at my parents advertising agency at the time. We had to be very secretive about it as I was “the boss’s daughter” Eventually the secret came out and we were engaged 7 years later.

Favorite Moments:

When it came time for my dad’s speech, I knew he would command the attention of the entire room. Being so close, I remember getting extremely emotional. Our wedding guests are still hashtagging the speech #KateChangedMe

With an event this special, who needed a cake! So instead of a traditional cake cutting, we opted for a pinata shaped like wedding cake. Blindfolded and taking turns with Mike to break it open together, while the cameras rolled, and all of our friends and family watched was the most exhilarating part of the night. Once we finally broke it open, Mike scooped me up as guests dived after the treats that exploded around us. It was the highlight of the reception.

Mike and I were married in a private ceremony with close friends and family on the main line in the chapel of my alma mater, Villanova University a week earlier. So when it came time for our Cabo ceremony, we had Mike’s two sisters officiate making it much less nerve wracking, light-hearted, and fun since we were already official. I remember them totally messing up the “official” pronouncing of us as husband and wife and the entire crowd was dying with laughter.

Photography: Sara Richardson // Planning: Ximena Perez Marentes of Amy Abbott Events //  Flowers: Florenta // Stationery: Bells & Whistles // Invitations: Momental Designs // Venue: Flora Farms // Videography: Arocapro // Hair and makeup: Blanc Bridal Salon // Wedding Dress: Naeem Kahn // Shoes: Stuart Weitzman & Chanel // Groom´s Attire: Armani // Logo Design: Think Traffic // Rentals: Let it Be; Baja Boutique Rental Company // DJ: Alex DJ Cabo Events // Live Band: The Shamans // Piñata: Serendipity