Our Wedding and Reception Story

SF wedding ideas

Bethann Wagner birdcage veil

Planning a wedding is hard work, which is why wedding resources exist in the first place. Even so, you’ll never truly understand all of nuances of wedding planning until you go through it yourself. To help give local brides some advice on the process, Borrowed & Blue, the online planning resource that knows a thing or two about San Francisco weddings, came to me to ask all about my wedding planning experience. I had so much fun reliving our wedding day through this Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:

casual wedding attire

Describe your wedding in six words. Quaint, picturesque, intimate, simple, nostalgic, unforgettable.

Kaare and Bethann San Francisco City Hall Weddings

Even though you’re based in LA, you had a SF wedding. What makes San Fran unique and how did that play out during your big day? San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We feel lucky to have lived there for a few very exciting years. From passing trolley cars to fog covered hills, you have 7 square miles of beautiful scenery. It’s a city known for it’s fog (I’m looking at you, Karl) and our mid-November wedding day was as cool and dreary as you’d expect; rain included. Rain is said to be cleansing and it actually works really great for photos, so we didn’t mind!

San Francisco wedding Day of the dead cake topper

What moment sticks out most in your memory from that day? Dancing at Top of The Mark with all of our friends at the impromptu after-after party! It wasn’t a private event so we were dancing with strangers. We made some new friends and everyone was so happy!

Hot Sauce wedding favors

What was your favorite detail from your wedding day? Technically, it wasn’t from our wedding day as there was a separate reception we had a little later, but I loved our party favors. We gave out Bacon Hot Sauce which was founded and created in SF by a guy we met in a cooking class! We both love hot sauce and this one was sentimental to us so it was a no-brainer.

Handmade wedding bouquets

Your bouquet was so unique! Can you tell me about it? Why the decision to steer away from using flowers? My good friend made it for me! I wasn’t going to carry a bouquet at all because our ceremony was not traditional, but she put it together for me and I fell in love with it. It was very detailed and each piece meant something. My mom passed away when I was 24 and ladybugs always remind me of her, so there was even a ladybug in the bouquet. It was really special to have that touch that you can’t get from a store-bought bouquet and I get to keep in forever!

I wasn’t going to throw that one!

Carnations at wedding

If you could go back and do your wedding over again, what would you change? My shoes. I found a pair of gently-used blush and cream Louboutins on eBay and had to have them. It was the first pair of Louboutins I ever owned I was clueless about how uncomfortable his shoes can be. To top it off, the strap on one of the sling-backs broke the day of and we had to pin them closed. You couldn’t tell when they were on, thank goodness!

SF weddings Top of The Mark

What would you keep the same? The venues. We got married at San Francisco City Hall. My husband and I think it is the most beautiful venue! The inside is truly stunning and so romantic. Our reception was in his parents back yard! 

Natural wedding makeup

What was the most fun part of planning your wedding? Knowing I was going to marry my best-friend soon! I never wanted a big wedding and I’m not known for my party planning skills. I started a wedding-themed Pinterest board after my wedding! I loved having the freedom to abandon planning guidelines by opting for a small wedding.

colorful carnation centerpieces

The most stressful part? Probably transportation. Uber wasn’t around yet so we had to get taxis to get from City Hall to Hayes Valley where the after-party was. It was raining and everyone was trying to stay dry while they waited for cabs!

Dia de los Muertos wedding cake topper

What do you wish you would have known before you started planning your wedding? I wish I enlisted more help. I thought ‘small’ meant ‘totally manageable’, but I wish I had someone helping with details like sending welcome gifts to the rooms of out-of-town guests and dealing with logistics like transportation.

Which of your wedding vendors would you recommend to other couples getting married in SF? What was great about them? City Hall! They make it so easy whether your affair is large or small.

San Francisco Wedding Ideas

What advice do you have for couples just getting engaged? Enjoy this time together and try not to let other’s opinions influence your decisions too much!

And that’s all! Thanks so much to Borrowed & Blue for reaching out and to everyone who helped make our wedding special.

Photos by friends: Christa Scott and Megan Rogers (rockstars, am I right?)

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