Real Wedding | Mariko + John

What happens when you combine Romanesque architecture with a mandate for fun, celebration, and two serious Foodies?  Answer: Mariko and John’s beautiful wedding.  In two words this wedding was grand and golden.  And exactly the celebration this happy couple envisioned.  Read on and enjoy!

Mariko + John |  October 16, 2010  |  San Francisco, California

The Ceremony

John and I thought a lot about where to get married — John’s family was in Oklahoma and New Jersey, mine in Connecticut, England and Japan, and we were living in Los Angeles.  Not to mention our friends were spread out all over the country, though a lot of them were in the San Francisco Bay area, where we went to school.  We realized we could get married anywhere in the country, since our wedding would probably end up being a destination wedding for most people anyway.  In the end, California seemed to make the most sense since it was where we were living (made planning a little easier) and we wouldn’t have to worry about planning for rain!  When we found out that Memorial Church, at our alma mater Stanford University, was available on the dates that we were considering for the wedding, we knew it was perfect.  We were so excited to go back to Stanford, where we met as freshman dorm-mates, and tie the knot!  Right after the ceremony, we drove out to the Arastradero Preserve, only a few minutes away from campus, with our photographer to take some shots as the sun was setting … those turned out to be some of our favorites from the whole day!

The Reception
We really wanted our reception to be a fun time for all of our friends and family.  We had to make sure that the food was delicious, the music was fun, and the drinks were free-flowing!  Both of us are serious food-lovers, so the menu was really important to us.  We had a cocktail hour before dinner, with a few different  passed hors d’oeuvres, like prosciutto chips with manchego cheese and curried chicken purses.  Dinner was an appetizer trio of white corn soup with shrimp, duck confit in lettuce cups, and smoked tenderloin on arugula, followed by goat cheese and warm spiced apple salad, then halibut.

At dinner, we had our two best men and two maids of honor each give toasts, which were funny, adorable, and touching.  Our first dance was a samba to “Say Hey” by Michael Franti and Spearhead … which must have provided some serious entertainment for our guests since neither of us are any good at all at dancing, despite attempting to take proper lessons!

After dinner, everyone excitedly started dancing right away.  In fact, a few of our guests forgot to eat the shortcake with fresh strawberries because the dancing started before dessert was served … luckily, John and I both remembered!  After the DJ packed up, we were all having such a good time that we carried on at an after party through the night and early morning!

The reception was such a fantastic time.  I can’t imagine anything more fun than having a giant party with all your friends and family, celebrating the best decision you’ve ever made!

How Mariko Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Elegant, happy and (surprisingly) comfortable!

Why Mariko Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
When I was looking for wedding dresses, I couldn’t believe how expensive they were!  I looked and looked for a pre-owned dress that matched my style, but I couldn’t find anything that worked.  I’m 6’1″ with (small) heels, so every pre-owned dress that I could find was already hemmed for someone much shorted than me!  I figured my dress would work for someone my height, or someone shorter.

Mariko’s Wedding Dress | Pronovias Medea
Photographer | Noah Hawthorne