ABOUT US AND THE WEDDING
Matthew and I met at his sneaker and clothing shop, District, in our hometown of Alameda during the summer of 2005. As I browsed through his new store, his attempts at customer service and flirting came off rude and egotistical. Although it wasn’t a great first impression, I felt an immediate connection, but kept my distance after we learned that my cousin was a good friend of his. Two weeks later, Matt’s business partner and my cousin’s friend, invited me to join them as a buyer at a major Las Vegas Convention. My cousin had his reservations, but thought it would be a great opportunity for us to get to know each other. Who could pass up a free trip to Las Vegas, right? Matt asked me to lunch a few days before the trip so that we could get acquainted. We became instant friends and have been inseparable ever since.
After a couple years of dating and while on a winter vacation in New York City, we spent New Year’s Eve 2007 at a Chris Rock performance inside Madison Square Garden. At the stroke of midnight, Matt turned to me and said, “Babe, I’m not going anywhere,” a direct quote from the show. My reaction was, “What? That’s Chris Rock’s line!” He pulled out the box, opened it upside down and held a beautiful cushion cut solitaire in his trembling hands. While I burst into tears, Matt patiently said, “So, what’s your answer?” Although he didn’t officially ask, I cried out, “Yes!”
We were motivated to find a modern and clean venue that could represent our styles and personalities. After a month long search, we approached the new Yoshi’s Jazz Club and Restaurant in San Francisco with the idea of their first wedding and they were sold. The venue was made for our event: we held the ceremony in the jazz club, cocktail hour in the bar and lounge on the main floor and upstairs, moved into the dining room for dinner and back into the jazz club for cake, dessert and dancing!
After we booked Yoshi's, we searched for local businesses that could provide us with the perfect service. Half way through my first day of wedding dress shopping, I tried on one dress that took everyone's breath away. When I found out it was designed by Junko Yoshioka, it was the perfect sign and then, the perfect dress. Another light went off in my head when we realized that we could ask a family friend, Rev. Michael Yoshii, to officiate the ceremony. We were definitely on the right track with Yoshi's, Yoshioka and Yoshii.
Because District and shoes played such a fun symbol in our relationship, we found it to be the perfect theme to tie us and our wedding celebration together. I was first inspired to create a cake unlike any other. Why not stack some shoeboxes on top of each other and top the cake off with replicas of our actual wedding shoes? Matt's new white patent leather croc Vans and my silver sedaraby's by Manolo Blahnik did the trick. After finding a local cake artist, Debbie Does Cakes, to help us embellish our dream cake, the theme took off. I soon reached out to a friend with a local design business, Passing Notes. Abbie helped us create shoe print invitations embedded with our initials, programs tied with a custom made shoelace, personalized shoehorns that guided our 200 guests to their table cities and our shoelace logo, which we projected onto the walls of Yoshi's jazz club. Matt and I also displayed the logo alongside our photo on Yoshi's outdoor marquee and even hand painted our logo on our aisle runner. The logo also added a personal touch to our out of town and wedding party gift bags.
Our purple theme was vibrant throughout the event with strapless Ralph Lauren bridesmaid dresses, purple bowties and argyle socks for the groomsmen. Purple orchids were submersed in tall vases filled with white stones and purple water. Different shades of purple and white orchids were also chosen for the boutonnières and bouquets provided by our local florist, Mints.
Our Uncle blessed the ceremony with his solo guitar, which included six Beatles songs, and a friend personalized our cocktail hour with his DJ beats. Yoshi's provided the ambiance with jazz hits as we seated our guests at communal tables to serve the Japanese family style menu:
1st course: sendai miso soup, edamame, kakiage
2nd course: spicy geisha roll, sarusa roll, japanese roll
3rd course: gindara black cod, creekstone farm black angus ribeye
4th course: chocolate mousse bon bons and wedding cake
Debbie Does Cakes Shoe Cake: lemon cake with raspberry and vanilla filling
Sugar Danny’s Sheet cake: double layered devils food cake and almond cake
The night went off with a bang as we performed our self choreographed first dance to Estelle's, American Boy. We cut the shoe cake, served the bon bons and danced the night away to top hits by the band, D'Groove.
Two days after the best day of our lives, we honeymooned in Nadi, Fiji and explored parts of
New Zealand that involved the Franz Josef glacier, bungy jumping, white water rafting and a helicopter ride over Milford Sound.
We're still enjoying the coverage of our big day and get to relive it through our photographers, Joel Flory and Jon Encarncacion, and videographers, Travis and Curtis from Curtis Nemetz Productions.
Check out more images on Joel's blog…
[images from Joel Flory]