Spectacular and Elegant San Francisco Wedding at the Bentley Reserve
We just loved shooting this wedding and working with Son and Victoria. It’s always great to work with couples who are full of life and are really in to photography.
Son and Victoria’s wedding story in their own words.
How did you two meet?
We met briefly in San Francisco on October 25, 2013. The conversation only lasted 5 minutes, and then Victoria left. Son was attracted to Victoria’s social and bubbly personality. 6 months later, on May 3, 2014, Son and Victoria ran into each other for the second time in San Francisco. Son immediately recognized her and remembered their first meeting. For Victoria, it was a different story — she didn’t remember him one bit. Son approached Victoria and they shared a conversation together on the dance floor. Although brief again, the conversation was fun, with lots of laughter. She had the same bubbly personality that he had remembered. Then, much like their first meeting, she had to leave. However, as she left, she walked passed Son and asked for him to give her a call sometime and gave him her number. Victoria recalls her leaving him quite differently and argues that it was Son who asked for her number. Still to this day, we don’t agree on how contacts were exchanged. In an unusual fashion, Son didn’t call Victoria until almost one month later. Victoria thought the delay was very weird, but didn’t think too much of it, since she didn’t take him seriously to begin with. After a couple of weeks on the phone, they had their real first date, and the rest is history.
What drew you to your wedding venue?
Our venue selection was pretty much a forgone conclusion. We met in San Francisco, got to know each other mostly in San Francisco, and got engaged in San Francisco. So naturally, it felt so right to us that we wed in San Francisco. We actually did not go venue shopping for our wedding. Victoria always loved the Bently Reserve for its grand architectural features including its prominent columns and high ceilings. Son wanted to shop around for venues at first but after seeing the Bently Reserve in person with Victoria for the first time, he knew right away that this would be their venue. Secretly Son was happy to avoid taking trips to Napa to view alternate venues. One of the pros (and also con) is that the venue comes as a blank slate — we literally rented an empty hall. That requires a lot of work, but at the same time, it allowed us to paint the canvas however we like (more details below).
Describe the vision you had for your wedding?
We have similar tastes in many things and that proved true during their wedding planning. We envisioned a wedding that was festive, elegant, contemporary, and yet timeless. Victoria from the get-go wanted a black tie event. Son, preemptively anticipated the complaints from his friends, was initially hesitant, but ultimately knew black tie attire was the way to go. Victoria also knew early on that she wanted clear chairs, a lot of white colors, with accents in gold and silver. In concert with the colors, Victoria knew she wanted branches, big, big, gold branches, as table centerpieces. She also knew she wanted balloons. But not just any balloons — they needed to be big, perfectly round, and white. We met because of music. Accordingly, each guest table was named after their favorite DJ. I’m sure many guests were scratching their heads when reading their escort cards. All the wedding day stationary (table name cards, escort cards, menu, and photo booth strip graphics) tied back to our theme that was original designed as part of our wedding invitation. Cocktail hour was designed to a very chill and lounge-like atmosphere — Son personally created the music playlist for that part of the evening (and most of the evening) and it was a hit. They also were very careful in selecting the right caterer, McCalls. It was important for Victoria and Son that servers were dressed in tuxedos and that guests received the best service worthy of a black tie event. McCalls met every expectation. Lastly, the Bently Reserve came as a blank canvas — only the building. That allowed us to hire Got Light to provide the lighting for the historic building. The high ceilings, grand columns, and marble architecture just waiting to be lit up. We worked very closely with Got Light to customize the lighting so that it seamlessly transitioned from candlelight tone during the ceremony to the more festive blue and red by the end of the night.
1. Son was supposed to DJ towards the end of the night, but that didn’t happen. He had too much fun socializing.
2. We have videos of our kid nephews and nieces inhaling the helium from the balloons, which was super funny.
3. We have a copy of every photo booth photo. Based on the photos, there was one wedding crasher couple! We thought that only happened in movies!
4. There was an after-party at our hotel room until 3am when security threatened to kick us out. After that, all 30 of us moved to the hotel lobby.
5. Victoria originally wanted to elope. Son, being the girl he is, wanted a nice wedding. At the end, Victoria’s happiness was priceless.
6. Victoria said the night went by so fast and wants to do it again. Son rolls his eyes (because he planned everything and does not want to do it again).
Here are some of the wedding vendors that made this event happen.
Venue: Bently Reserve
Food/Beverage/Floral Design/Wedding Day Coordinator: McCalls Catering & Events
Cake designer: Cake Coquette
Lighting/Drapery: Got Light
DJ/Audio/Video: Spintronix Entertainment
Photography: Marcel and Meher Photography
Videography: Lightbulb Videography
Officiant: Hitcher for Hire Weddings Michael Wright
Photo Booth: Exposure Photo Booths