Elegant San Francisco Wedding | University Club SF | Mike & Gabby

September 25, 2019


The Story:

From the Bride:

I would describe our wedding aesthetic as classic & romantic, with small modern twists. Our colors were a combination of white/ivory, champagne/gold, with accents of greenery. I thought this would best complement the intricate architecture of our venues without adding too much colorful distraction. We added elements such as clear acrylic signage to modernize our details (shoutout to our friend Maria for the amazing signage @weeletters) & made sure to include classic San Francisco elements in both our invitation suite and our cake. I kept my dress simple but elegant with a long train and a cathedral veil, & we opted for tuxedos to dress up the occasion given that it was a city wedding.

Mike & I toured several different types of venues before finding “the one”. We knew we wanted to get married in a place that was special to us – a place we had felt connected to in the past. We wanted something classic yet romantic, & had a hard time deciding between indoor versus outdoor options. When we first walked into the University Club, I remember being blown away by the view and how friendly the coordinators were. The venue was classic & had a ton of old San Francisco charm, while also incorporating that modern element by overlooking the cityscape. Mike has always loved architecture, so it seemed like the perfect place – a historic venue in a city where we went on our first date over 10 years ago, with a lot of space, incredible food options, & a vendor team that would make our day run smoothly.

We then began to look for churches near the University Club. It was important to us that our guests have an easy transition between venues without wasting a lot of time traveling from place to place. We found St Luke’s & immediately fell in love with the warmth & wit of Reverend Miskelley, the beautiful aesthetics of the church, & its history as a long standing Episcopal church in San Francisco. It was also an unexpected added bonus to find out that one of our dear friends from high school, who would go on to sing a memorial for Gabby’s mom during our ceremony, had been a member of the church choir for several years.

Lastly, given that both of our venues were indoors, & that so much of San Francisco’s beauty & charm are its monuments, we decided to search for a place where we could take photos between our ceremony & reception. The Palace of Fine Arts was one of the first places that came to mind – it is an iconic monument with incredible architecture and is a beacon of San Francisco art history. We knew there were many little areas around the palace that would provide beautiful photographs given the combination of architecture, water features, & greenery.

In regards to the remainder of our vendors, we picked them for a variety of reasons, including convenience, aesthetic, & recommendations from our venue or from other vendors. Gabby is a resident physician who works long hours so a huge component in picking vendors was ease of communication & comfort in knowing the vendor would understand the overall wedding aesthetic. We are ecstatic to say that we loved our romantic centerpieces, our cake was not only delicious but beautifully crafted, and our DJ was rated by our friends as “one of the best wedding DJ’s”.

There were so many amazing moments throughout our wedding day, but our first look comes to mind almost instantly when thinking of our favorite wedding memory. It was an amazing way to get our nerves out & spend some quality time together on our wedding day. Wedding days tend to go by so quickly & sometimes have moments of stress, but being able to set everything aside for 30 minutes just to spend time with my future spouse was the perfect way to start the day.

As we were planning the wedding, it was important to include many sentimental details which commemorated our love story. Gabby’s mom, Marie-Anne, passed away shortly after Gabby & Mike met, so we took a little extra time to honor her as well as our grandparents who have also passed on. Gabby wore a bracelet with her mom’s initial on it, & Mike wore one of his grandfather’s old navy cufflinks. Additionally, one of our great high school friends sang a beautiful classical song to commemorate Marie-Anne during the ceremony itself. Lastly, we gathered photographs of all of our family members who have passed & set up a memorial table at our reception for people to reminisce around. It was a great way to bring our families together & to keep our loved ones that have passed close to our hearts on our wedding day.

If I had any advice for future brides, it would be to try to get as much done ahead of time as possible (gifts, letters to bridal party etc.) Things get particularly stressful towards the end of your planning. It’s just the nature of things. Also designate a friend or someone to continually remind you to take deep breaths and enjoy your day along the way. Your wedding day is amazing, but you are so busy all day long that sometimes just having a few moments to stop & enjoy what’s happening around you can be super helpful.

Lastly, hire a photographer that is able to help you problem solve & that can continually remind you to stay in the present. That was one of the most helpful things we had throughout our day, & we highly recommend it. Getting along with your photographer, & being able to get to know them & share some laughs beforehand can make the day so much less stressful.

The Vendors:

Ceremony Venue: St Luke’s Episcopal Church

Reception Venue: University Club of San Francisco

Photography: Tiffany J Photography

DJ/Lighting: Aaron Jacobson from DJ Jeremy Productions

Florist: Vanda Floral Design

Cake: The Cakemaker

Makeup: Rachel Rockwood

Hair: Sarah Frankel Hobbs

Dress: Estee Couture

Rentals: Pleasanton Rentals

Tuxedos: Generation Tux

Invitations: Minted

Signs: Wee Letters

The Images

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About Tiffany

From the delicate details, to the fleeting moments, to the candid expressions, my number one priority as your wedding photographer is to create imagery that takes you right back to how you felt in that exact moment.

Through intentional composition, I strive to zero in on the moments you likely didn’t even notice. Memories are so much more than details … they’re feelings. With every click of my shutter, I want to bring your vision to life while allowing you to be deeply present.