A Rustic, Elegant Wedding at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum

Real Weddings

High school carpools may not immediately conjure notions of love and romance, but Danielle and Jonathon would argue otherwise. The couple met as they started high school, carpooling from rural Washington to Portland, OR every day for school. They drove back and forth together for nearly three years before their friendship evolved into something more after their junior prom. College put buses, planes, and trains between them, but the distance was no match for their love.

In 2012, the couple (now expert travelers) headed to Paris after a conference in Belgium. Jonathon surprised Danielle with a romantic dinner on the Champs-Élysées that ended with dessert on the hotel's roof–and Jonathon down on one knee as the lights of Paris twinkled in the background. Danielle said "oui!" and the couple began to plan an elegant, rustic and romantic wedding in San Francisco on May 17th, 2013.

A feeling of warmth and comfort was incredibly important to Danielle and Jonathon as they planned their wedding. They shared that message with their guests from the first moment, choosing luxurious letterpress invitations with a delicate lace pattern.

Modern Trousseau lace wedding dress and lace Stuart Weitzman shoes.

Danielle's lace Modern Trousseau gown had a decidedly vintage feel. Subtle ruching at the waist highlighted the bride's waist, while re-embroidered lace at the bodice and hem "gave the dress a stunning three-dimensional look," says Danielle. The lace theme was carried into Danielle's accessories. Her champagne-hued peep-toe pumps sparkled sweetly under her dress.

Danielle kept her jewelry simple to really let the dress shine. She echoed her beaded belt with a custom crystal bracelet.

Jonathon paired his tuxedo with a silver-blue bowtie and a white pocket square. His boutonniere featured three pearl-accented stephanotis blossoms and a soft dusty miller leaf.

Danielle carried a slightly loose bouquet in pink, peach and white. Overblown peonies, spray roses, sweet peas and lisianthus gave her bouquet a soft and voluminous feel.

Bride with bridesmaids in blush chiffon dresses by Jenny Yoo.

The bridesmaids wore blush chiffon dresses in a convertible design, allowing each girl to customize her look. They all carried smaller bouquets that echoed the flowers in Danielle's.

Jonathon's groomsmen all wore tuxedos and bow ties.

The ceremony took place at the Mission Dolores in San Francisco. Danielle and Jonathon sought out an historic Catholic church, and were thrilled to be able to exchange vows a mere block away from where the bride's grandparents first met, giving the location even more personal significance.

The flower girl, who "was excellent," says Danielle, carried a basket overflowing with roses, peonies, lisianthus and hydrangeas.

The church's ornate altar was a dramatic, humbling backdrop for the couple's vows. It added another layer of elegance and formality to Jonathon and Danielle's wedding day.

Rustic wedding reception tables at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
Wedding reception table with pink runners, peonies and candles.

San Francisco's Asian Art Museum was the ideal combination of unique architecture, warmth, and refined grandeur. The couple rented antique furniture and topped the tables with lush flowers and candles to create a rustic, homey feeling in such a beautiful space. Soft pink runners, bold pink peonies and scattered candles transformed the museum's Samsung Hall into the wedding reception of Danielle and Jonathon's dreams.

Vignettes of vintage furniture created three separate sitting areas throughout the reception, encouraging guests to mingle and make themselves at home in the museum.

The surf-and-turf menu featured butter-poached filet mignon, Maine lobster, Dungeness crab chowder and (a crowd favorite) cornmeal-bacon madeleines.

The couple swapped out the standard guest book for a more playful art piece featuring a whale and three-dimensional balloons. Guests were encouraged to wish the couple luck "from here to the moon," says Jonathon.

White lace wedding cake with pink sugar peonies.

The four-tiered wedding cake, topped with fondant peonies and roses, was decorated with lace details to match Danielle's dress and the invitation suite. The cake inside was a combination of vanilla, strawberry, and red velvet layers.

Later in the evening, guests got to indulge in a Nitro Ice Cream Brownie Sundae station. Ice cream was made-to-order using liquid nitrogen, with flavors ranging from malted chocolate with caramelized Rice Krispies to vanilla bean with bourbon caramel. The favors were a nod to Danielle and Jonathon's Paris engagement: A box of pastel-hued macarons.

So what has life been like for these high school sweethearts since they said "I Do"? Married life began with a honeymoon in Bora Bora, where they stayed in an "epic over-water bungalow," says Danielle. After the months of wedding planning, the couple felt that they had a void to fill, so they took on a new project. They've embarked on a culinary adventure, cooking unique dishes (and making good use of their wedding gifts in the process).

Their advice? "Plan early, plan often, be open minded, and have fun! We planned our wedding together with little advice or direction from our family, which made it a unique experience shared between just the two of us," says Danielle.

Ceremony Venue: Mission Dolores || Reception Venue: Asian Art Museum || Planner: Jubilee Lau Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau || Veil and Jewelry: Sara Gabriel || Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Hair & Makeup: Mimi & Taylor || Wedding Bands: Mark Hadley of The Diamond Reserve || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom and Groomsmen's Tuxedos: Black by Vera Wang || Florist: Nancy Liu Chin || Invitations & Paper Goods: Lucky Luxe || Catering: Componere Fine Catering || Cake: Inticing Creations || Entertainment: Jason Mitchell || Guest Book: SuzyShoppe || Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals, Classic Party Rentals, La Tavola Linen || Photography: Sarah Peet Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Formal Wedding at New York City's American Museum of Natural History
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