We're so excited to share Niki and Louis' gorgeous Oakland wedding today!
You might remember their sweet San Fran engagement shoot last year – they had us entirely smitten with their incredible proposal story (spoiler alert: in involved a photobooth!) and we just knew their wedding would be just as creative, stylish and unique.
And it really was! And once again, the amazing Caitlin Turner
Having planned a unique, colourful, and most importantly outdoor celebration, the last thing Niki and Louis planned for their big day, was rain.
But despite the need for umbrellas, their wedding was still as fun, bright, and utterly gorgeous as it would have been had the sun shined, in fact, it was even more special!
With out-of-this-world DIY decor, the most incredible bunch of guests, and a palette that's bold and beautiful, this cool, creative and sweet couple made their day as upbeat, quirky and unforgettable as they are!
Our Love Story
Louis and I were introduced by our mutual friend (turned officiant!), Jackeline, while in college in Seattle. After an amazing year up North, we made the trek (with our cat, Gracie, in tow) back to the Bay Area.
As San Francisco and Oakland natives, we often imagined our paths crossing as little ones at our old haunts.
Musée Mécanique, a vintage arcade in SF where we've spent countless hours together, was one of those spots and where Louis proposed in our favorite photo booth!
The Something Old
For my something old, my mother-in-law wrapped Louis's late grandmother's baby ring and heart necklace around my flowers.
My something borrowed was little Louis's christening bonnet.
My something new was gorgeous jewelry from my mom that perfectly match my rings, handmade by Kate Szabone. By the way, we worked on the engagement ring design together and she was truly wonderful.
My something blue was a garter, also from my mom that a friend of ours caught. He's now engaged – the superstition is true!
Flower day was my favorite! It was incredible to see how talented and helpful my friends are and how beautiful we were able to make the arrangements.
Though everything seemed squared away for the big day, you can't predict the weather. Whereas earlier forecasts had us ready for a “Brilliantly Sunny” day, as the 25th approached, so did the rain clouds.
Out of sheer panic, Louis invested in some last minute pop-up tents. Lucky for us because it poured! It was the last rain for months.
As an avid Alanis Morissette fan, I learned at a young age that rain on your wedding day wasn't a great thing. If I met Alanis now, my answer to “Isn't it ironic?” would be “perhaps, but it's also magical!”
While it certainly caused some troubles, the rain made everything at Roberts Park even more stunning.
Louis, his groomsmen and friends set up the outdoor ceremony and reception gorgeously. The sea of umbrellas and dewy flower vessels took my breath away.
Louis's Uncle Joe and cousin Nate played Van Morrison's “Sweet Thing” to start the processional, and the waterworks started (no pun intended).
My bridesmaids were troopers and walked down the aisle with huge smiles, despite being soaked and freezing. Louis was unbelievably handsome as the droplets of rain fell from the redwoods overhead.
Uncle Joe and Nate switched to La Vie En Rose as my dad and I walked down the aisle. It was a truly perfect moment.
To add to the perfection, two of our best friends did the most poetic and touching readings we could've asked for. Jackeline (the friend who introduced us) officiated and shared our love story to lots of laughs and tears.
Louis's nephew Owen passed us the rings, and just like that, we were husband and wife! Due to the lack of dry space, everyone huddled under the limited tents for an intimate, wonderful champagne toast by each of the dads.
And then, things got interesting…
The Back-Up Plan
Rain was the one scenario we weren't ready for, and it forced us to move dinner inside and completely adjust our schedule.
I have to admit, I let a couple of stress tears flow while getting my makeup done – ack!
Relinquishing control isn't part of my character, but our friends and family came to our rescue! While we were at the park taking cold, wet, beautiful photographs, our friends and family jumped straight to Sequoia Lodge to start decorating on the fly.
Though we were originally going to have three hours to set things up at the reception hall, we ended up with 0 hours and a completely bare room awaiting our guests. That didn't last long.
When we finally arrived at the reception hall, we were greeted with a room that had been decorated perfectly by all the people we cared about. It was a moment we'll never forget, and one that will leave us forever grateful.
The Decor & Details
Planning our wedding was the very best kind of hard work. As a printmaker and artist by trade, I relished in the handcrafted details.
The last bit of carving was for the card box and guestbook piñata. Holy moly, I cannot wait to crack that little guy open!
The crafting days with friends and family were so much fun and made the finished products super special. We paint-dipped compostable cutlery and serving utensils.
Our goal was to have as little waste and environmental impact as possible. My mother-in-law thrifted and scoured estate sales to collect over 160 wine glasses. Family friends who run a Christmas tree lot in Alameda gifted us tree rings.
I hand-lettered the smaller ones and used those to describe dinner & dessert. We spray-painted the larger ones with handmade heart stencils and used them to lead guests to the ceremony and demarcate the aisle.
I am into big color! I needed all that spray paint to splash our organic back drop with vivid pinks, turquoise, red and purple. We all became very familiar with spray paint.
Then it was party time! Here are the highlights:
– Our well-loved photo booth, from Photo-matica, which was a replica of where we got engaged.
– The adorable little kids going nuts in their play area equipped with cameras, animal masks, bubbles & other goodies.
– Two of the greatest toasts ever from our childhood best friends, Adie & Patrick, that brought the whole place to tears and laughter.
– “The best wedding food” people had ever had from Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen, my favorite restaurant.
– Louis' sister Carla's delicious sangria, which we served out of my first wedding purchase – a very kitschy, glowing fountain.
– The unrivaled dessert table, with a Pac-Man cake and croquembouche handmade by Brynne, my bridesmaid and owner of Caballito, plus a ton of treats and a delicious tres leches ceremonial cake from Market Hall.
– The playlist my bridesmaid Gina and I made that had everyone dancing the night away to classics like The Way You Look Tonight and Gettin' Jiggy Wit It.
– One last amazing gift from my mom: a night at the Claremont!
Our perfect day would not have been possible without the love and generosity of our friends and family.
The talent of our vendors is unparalleled, especially our photographer – Caitlin Turner. They all made our wedding the best day of our lives.
Oh wow – isn't it special! I just love how their friends and family rallied together in the rain, and don't you love all that hand-printing too, it's so beautiful.
Thanks so much to the incredible Caitlin Turner