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Photography by: Gavin Farrington Photography
About the Venue
How about a sun-drenched, country-style adventure at this incredibly intimate and gorgeous setting lit to perfection? With all the charm and finesse of a barn wedding, Los Altos History Museum is an incredibly fun and sophisticated indoor/outdoor location. Nestled among heritage oaks and surrounded by the oldest apricot orchard in Silicon Valley, the property includes a historic wooden house that towers three levels high at 8,200 square feet. Sprinkled with 1930′s decor, what’s known as the Smith House offers an aspiring collection of historical artifacts surrounded by tall glass doors, wood floors, and soaring ceilings. Filled with romance, nostalgia and lush gardens, the outdoor ceremony and reception locations are warm and magical! The brick courtyard provides a truly lovely ceremony and reception space (as you can see in the photos above). This location is perfect for a wedding of up to 230 people. For ceremonies of 140 or less, you can say your vows under the beautiful heritage Oak tree at the Smith House garden set up. Reminiscent of old Lake Tahoe, this true garden setting is tucked between the Smith House and the gazebo area. At night, ceremony locations are transformed into a warmly lit reception. With outdoor dining under twinkly cafe lighting (provided by the venue), you can dance the night away inside the Museum.
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Mark Perry, wedding coordinator at the Museum, ‘absolutely encourages DIY!’ In fact, many couples come to this quaint and unique venue with concepts and ideas that are typically homegrown. This wedding is a great example that demonstrates making the space your own, from the colorful ribbon backdrop to the delicious array of “homemade-style” cakes. All DIY creativity is welcomed, and almost any color palette under the sun or specialty design scheme could fit right in at this venue.
Gavin Farrington, who did a gorgeous job at photographing this wedding, shares a little behind the DIY inspiration:
Mei (the beautiful bride) put a lot of work into going around to a ton of antique and vintage shops, so everything was matched but mis-matched. For the scheme of the wedding Mei knew that she wanted a soft, romantic feel, giving the scene in the Disney film Tangled with floating lights as an example. The wedding took place on May 5, Cinco De Mayo, and they thought it would be a fun thing to include a piñata. The kids had a blast with that! On a limited budget, Mei was looking for a less well-known and more unconventional venue with a beautiful natural setting and lots of trees. She stumbled across Los Altos History Museum from a friend’s wedding on Facebook. Usually when you hear the words history museum, you don’t automatically think wedding venue…but it’s an open, outdoorsy space with crawling plants and vines that is isolated, it makes it feel really pretty and ideal.
I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Gavin Farrington Photography; Floral – Annie Siu Floral and Events; Cake – Schuberts Bakery; Catering – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; Entertainment – DJ Mike Ewing.
About the Venue
What a sparkling display of DIY fun! I can’t think of a better wedding venue to host this fanciful party than the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon. The Yacht Club is one of the oldest landmark buildings in the San Francisco area. The stunning colonial revival structure resembles a mansion set at the water’s edge with its welcoming facade greeting as you return home from your weary travels.
There is just something romantic about the ocean and the lure of the sea. When you combine this allure with the incredible views of the San Fransisco cityscape, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the bright red spires of the Golden Gate Bridge – well, who could ask for a more alluring view for their wedding reception?
The exterior of the building is one of the most recognized landmarks in the area, while the interior space is a great combination of diverse architecture and stunning details. I find the location to be best suited for a couple who wants to host a reception entertaining about 150 guests. So many couples long for the combination of an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception. While the facility can offer a ceremony location on its deck or solarium, there are so many incredible outdoor wedding vistas within Tiburon that it’s a shame to limit yourself.
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The white wood wainscoting and 20-foot floor-to-ceiling panel windows that adorn the smaller solarium attracts brides first. The feeling is unmistakably East Coast, nautical, and almost “Nantucket,” yet the larger ballroom can hold up to 200 guests with ample room for a dance floor, bar, and other party stops. Some brides may find the wood floors and paneling a bit overwhelming, but I love the use of bright yet muted colors as a design element to soften the interior of the ballroom.
This design does a great job of using the facility’s dark wood as a base and then using severe contrasting elements to create a space that has a more open, airy, and lighter feel.
Your table design plays a large part in this transformation. The use of a light natural textured fabric will uplift the space tremendously. Look at how this couple has chosen a simple ecru linen that drops to the floor and then they have put some character on the table with a vein of burlap running through the design. They have kept the floral arrangements in “loose” simple arrangements of yellow and white seasonal flowers combined with interesting greenery. This keeps the center of the table open and light. The blond chiavari chairs are a good complement as well. If you want to try and accomplish a less formal look, try alternative chairs – they are a bit larger and will add more warmth to the room.
I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Joielala; Event Planner – Charmed Events Group; Floral – Church Street Flowers; Cake – Branching Out Cakes; Entertainment – Larry Lynch and the Mob; Videography – Perma Grin Films; Paper Goods – Paper Moss; Linen Rentals – La Tavola Linen.
About the Venue
With a trend toward outdoor wedding venues, it’s easy to forget the incredible elegance and magic that happens in a well-lit, romantic, indoor location. The Asian Art Museum is a San Francisco classic that doesn’t go out of style – especially if you’re considering a downtown wedding, you should ‘extra consider’ this one! The location is perfect – in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center and minutes from Union Square hotels, shopping, parking, and public transportation. The museum features a blend of beaux arts style and modern design elements, not to mention the architectural genius of the building. The inside is just magnificent, with a stunning hanging chandelier and plenty of room for dining and dancing. Frame the aisle with gorgeous white flowers and a candle-lit walkway to create a timeless feel. Overall, this venue is just plain stylish – it’s romantic, fun, and elegant.
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The gorgeous photography by Andrew Weeks above really speaks for itself. It’s just golden! Here is what the bride and groom had to say about their special day:
Our wedding was everything we wanted it to be. In fact it exceeded our expectations. We were so moved by, and appreciative of, our family and friends coming from all over the world to celebrate with us. Our only regret was how fast it went! It flew by like a dream! That’s why we’re so grateful for Andrew’s photos. My husband and I were completely taken back to that surreal day and night through his memorable images.
I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer and Videographer – Andrew Weeks; Floral – Miguel Torres; Catering and Day of Coordinator – McCalls; Entertainment – Vadim Vozmitsel.
About the venue
Once you’ve taken care of the first important setting (the ring), it’s time to start thinking about a different setting. Fall in the wine country is spectacular, and celebrating the union of your families through marriage at one of Sonoma’s most gorgeous vineyards will give you an ever-lasting connection to this magical place. If you are engaged and your taste buds tend to be tickled by a good Pinot or Zin, then I can whole-heartedly encourage you to check out Arista Winery in Healdsburg as a possible locale for your nuptials.
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I love this couple’s interpretation of color and texture; it flawlessly fuses a very traditional “winery” color palette with sumptuous fabrics and unique textures. It is a great combination of bold and dramatic without being showy. The undiscerning eye may regard this event as a traditional green and purple wine country color palette, but take a closer look…
Check out the table linen – the fabric is a Topaz style fabric. The iridescent shimmer creates the illusion of an underlying “grape” hue that incorporates so many unique options for your table scape. I encourage DIY brides to begin their reception design with an awesome table linen. Like many things in life, you only have so much “real estate” to work with for your wedding design and your dining tables account for a large percentage of it.
The filtered sunlight of a tree-covered garden or the soft warm glow of overhead cafe lights, the depth of a fabric like Hartman Studios or La Tavola’s looks amazing. The playful style of this fabric allows your late afternoon garden part to transform into a chic and starlit dance party without missing a beat.
I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Misti Layne; Floral – Dragonfly Floral; Beverages – Arista Winery; Catering – KC Catering and Event Planning, Entertainment – AMS Entertainment.
About the venue
History meets the gorgeous views of the Gold Gate Bridge – what a fantastic location to host your dream wedding. San Francisco at large is filled with the most to-die-for wedding locations, but few are as fun and whimsical as the Presidio Log Cabin. The Log Cabin has been perched upon the hillside of the Presidio since 1937. A landmark along the west shore of the Presidio, the ruggedly handsome structure is a throwback to the Pioneer days of California.
The charm of the “Log Cabin” design is rooted in the beauty of nature and old-fashioned craftsmanship. The woodsy frontier-style split log architecture is topped with a classical Spanish red tile roof, but don’t let the understated and simple design of the front fool you.
Ruggedly handsome and uniquely American, rough-hewn log home-plans bring woodsy frontier style to mountaintop, lakeside, or riverfront vacation houses. Typically constructed of cypress, fir, or cedar timbers, contemporary log house designs are rooted in the beauty of nature and the charm of old-fashioned craftsmanship. Centuries away from the simple one-room log cabins and dogtrots that inspired this design, today’s multi-level log houses often feature view-capturing walls of windows, elaborate decks, vaulted ceilings, skylights, and massive stone fireplaces. Their open sunlit floor plans are ideal for grand-scale entertaining with great rooms, kitchens, and dining rooms that open on to each other for a casual traffic flow.
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Who can tell the story behind the design and inspiration of a wedding better than the bride herself? Here are some thoughts she shared with us.
My husband is an architect, so the structure itself was very important to him. We wanted something that looked beautiful on it’s own and held some meaning for the city of San Francisco and for us. When we found the Log Cabin we just knew it would be perfect. It’s an historic building in the Presidio, is beautifully designed, and has the rustic cozy look we were going for. We also liked the irony of a Log Cabin in such a big bustling city.
We drew inspiration for our wedding from the city itself. Greg and I both went to college in the city, met in the city, and live in the city. We feel it really defines who we are. So we drew inspiration from the different neighborhoods and elements that make this place so great – the trolley car to transport our guests and the bridal party, the maracas to show our love of the Mission, the Golden Gate Bridge cake and surfer cupcakes (Greg’s a surfer), the scenic drive sign table cards, and the ‘This Is San Francisco’ storybook for our guests to sign.
My favorite part of the evening was the dancing! The Log Cabin has a great dance floor right in the middle of the room. The floor was packed all night long and DJ Bobby A did an amazing job of keeping the party going. Everyone also enjoyed the amazing cake. It was not only cute, but deeelish too!
I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Cara Mia Photography; Floral (corsages and bridal bouquet) – House of Flowers; Cake and Cupcakes – Cynically Delicious; Catering – Ludy’s Main Street BBQ and Catering; Printed Materials – Oakland Printing Company; Ceremony Chairs and Heat Lamps – Classic Party Rentals; Videographer – Brandon Hopp Productions.
About the Venue
What a fun and brilliant combination of flowers, shapes, and sizes! The bright colors paired with the rustic natural beauty at Kunde Family Estate make this wedding fun and creative, but equally sophisticated at the same time. This gorgeous property offers the opportunity to have an ingeniously mismatched and light-hearted wedding. When you talk about the one-of-a-kind beauty at Kunde, it doesn’t get more gorgeous than a giant Oak tree beaming in the sunset. Kunde is a picturesque Sonoma Winery unlike any other. Situated on top of Boot Hill (where the ceremony took place in the photos above), Kunde overlooks the entirety of the valley – even as far as the Pacific Ocean! And now there are new locations at Kunde that we just have to gush about.
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There are so many wonderful things about the locations at Kunde! The wow factor surrounds you, and guests are constantly in awe of the sites. One of the most popular ways to use Kunde is to have both ceremony and reception up on Boot Hill. Your guests get on a shuttle and have no idea what is in store for them. As they leave the tasting room area, they are whisked to the top of the hill. As they exit the shuttles, they are completely surrounded by vines and have a mountain-top view of the valley. Couples get married under two beautiful Oak Trees that frame the ceremony perfectly. It is important when designing this area that you accent the trees rather than take away from them as the natural beauty of the area is perfect for the beauty of the moment! After the ceremony, guests can enjoy cocktails under the trees as they breath in their surroundings. As dinner approaches, people are moved over to the gravel dinner area. The piazza lights in the trees frame the tables perfectly.
The Kunde magic really starts at sunset – it is one of the best sunset views in the whole valley. Sitting mountain-top gives your guests the best perspective. It is not uncommon for all of the guests to make their way to the west side of the hill to watch the sunset. You will see people laughing, smiling, holding their loved ones and really embracing the moment – now, isn’t that what a wedding is all about? A magical moment for your guests! Let’s put it this way – we have never seen someone check their phones during a Kunde sunset! And as the sun sets, the party begins. People dance the night away under the stars.
Another great way to have an event at Kunde is to get married at the ruins. This spectacular venue takes place on the historical ruins nestled deep within the property. Rustic, elegant, and romantic pretty much sums the ambiance. After a romantic ceremony in the ruins, your guests are taken to Boot Hill for yet another “wow” moment, which really are around every corner at Kunde. They have two new venues on property – Olive Hill and the Mountain Top Terrace. Both are perfect for smaller events and elopements. In fact, I think they’ve had about 30 engagements on that terrace alone. Kunde is such an amazing venue and should be at the top of anyone’s list for wanting to get married in the valley. ~ Alicia Falango
I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Jessamyn Harris; Designer/Planner – Alicia Falango of Alicia K Designs; Cake – Kara’s Cupcakes; Catering and Rentals – Elaine Bell Catering, Entertainment – Fog City Entertainment, Jean-Paul Buongiorno Trio, Sonny Garcia.
About the Venue
Looking for the perfect romantic Southern California destination with a unique, rancho flair? Try the beautiful grounds of Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa. It’s the perfect blend of lush San Diego foliage and mission-style buildings tucked into flower beds and covered in green. Nestled in the heart of Torrey Pines on nine acres, elegant indoor or lush outdoor ceremonies are equally beautiful in the nearly-perfect weather of San Diego year-round. Using rich, bold colors like the wedding featured above (dark cherry red with a bold red and different shades of green) help tie in the rancho-style feel that this unique venue offers.
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The couple was so fun and we had an amazing time just walking around. They really thought of their guests and family in choosing this venue and made sure guests were cared for from the gift bags at the hotel to transportation to the venue itself. What I love most about this venue is the beautiful garden and foliage, especially when in bloom, that make for so many great photo spots! Everything took place at La Estancia and everything was so well handled by the staff. The ceremony location was beautiful with trees, bushes, and flowers, and the reception site just steps away. ~ Misti Layne
I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Misti Layne; Day of Coordination and Invitations – Melanie Montoya Weddings; Floral – Organic Elements; Cake – CAKE; Catering and Beverages – Estancia La Jolla; Entertainment – Tim Altbaum Productions.
Photography by: Sylvie Gil Photography
About the venue
For the ultimate garden wedding, head north to Napa and let the picture perfect surroundings do the work for you. It’s easy to envision your dream day here with so much flora and fauna all around, not to mention acres of manicured lawns and valleys of vines. The groundskeepers at Beaulieu Garden have thought ahead for you by building canopied sitting and dining areas neighbored by open spaces ideal for custom lounges. Your guests can mingle among the cool moss and ivy with cocktails before and after dinner.
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This is a perfect example of classic style that never goes out of style, this wedding was submitted last year and It’s still one of our favorite!!
For this wedding, the favored planner and designer, Kathy Higgins, created a feminine and shimmer-savvy palette of shades of pink, from light to bright, all accented with table runners of petal perfect linen. The main players with this design element are the twinkle bright chandeliers and the stunning lounge area. This garden boasts an outdoor fireplace and mantle setting up the perfect story for an outdoor living room. These old world linen-lined chairs, loveseats, and chaise lounges trimmed with white embellished wood trim make for an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere. Small cocktail tables throughout the lawn and fanciful arrangements atop the mantle frame the vintage mirror beautifully. And there truly is nothing more romantic than dazzling chandeliers hanging from an outdoor canopy. Classic decoration in the afternoon and enchanting light for night.
We love it when a bride isn’t afraid to mix it up! No need to stick to one or two flower types. For this ‘think pink’ theme, Valley Flora created small petal pink tulip arrangements, cheerful carnation balls, and bunches of peonies and poppies for the bouquets. Rose petals showered in tall glass columns make for a divine setting, as do the plush pale peonies decorating the wedding cake.
I Do Tip: Furniture rentals are easier than you think to manifest your vision. Rent loveseats, couches, and chairs in the design and comfort of your choice at Blueprint Studios.
I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Sylvie Gil Photography; Planner – Kathy Higgins Weddings; Floral – Valley Flora; Catering – Paula LeDuc Fine Catering; Cake – Perfect Endings; Lighting – Got Light?; Linen and General Rentals – Classic Party Rentals; Lounge Furniture – Blueprint Studios; Entertainment – Ever Music Group, Chris Fox of Fox Sounds.