Lindsey and Grayson first met online in early January of 2013. "Grayson had moved to Oklahoma City a couple of years prior for work, and I had recently moved back home following law school," Lindsey says. "We are still amazed that we had never crossed paths before as we quickly discovered we have several friends in common." After a very successful first date — they were supposed to meet for drinks, but enjoyed each other's company so much the evening turned into a three-hour long dinner! — Lindsey called her mother to tell her she'd have to come up with a new story for how she met her future husband. "Match.com just wouldn't do! But now not a single day passes that I don't thank my lucky stars he and I happened upon each other."
Two years later, in November of 2014, Grayson popped the question while the pair enjoyed a post-Thanksgiving hike near Lindsey's family home in San Francisco. As they considered locations for their September 5, 2015, wedding, the winner was a no-brainer: "Grayson and I both love San Francisco and have both lived in the Bay Area at different times. We chose a long weekend so our guests could make a short vacation of it and really experience our favorite city." The bride and groom worked with Elise Johnson of Shannon Leahy Events to plan a sophisticated, romantic garden party inside the Asian Art Museum — from 1,600 miles away! "Elise gave us all the tools and insight we needed to make every single wedding decision," the bride says. "In addition to having impeccable taste and a knack for negotiating, she has the patience of a saint. Having such a reliable support system in our planned allowed us to enjoy the process much more than we would have been able to otherwise."
See how their day came together below, as captured by the ever-talented Coco Tran!
Although they were initially torn between a wine country wedding and a sophisticated city bash, Lindsey and Grayson's planner helped them choose a chic venue in the heart of San Francisco that would allow them to combine their favorite aspects of each type of party. They invited 115 guests to a ceremony at the Grace Cathedral, a beautiful church the bride had been thinking about since she was a teenager. "I always wondered what it would be like to be married there," she says. "It's truly a breathtaking place."
For their reception, Lindsey and Grayson chose the Asian Art Museum, noting it's beautiful architecture as one of the main draws. "It has a clean and natural but with a sophisticated feel," says the bride. "It almost felt like we went back in time."
A navy and peach color palette, complete with bronze and rose gold accents, quickly emerged as the couple began planning their day, so this pretty invitation suite from Yonder Designs gave guests an idea of what was to come throughout the day.
Lindsey did her homework before she started shopping for her dress. In fact, on the evening before her first bridal appointment, the bride-to-be and her sister poured over photos of wedding dresses while watching Love Actually, searching for inspiration, and came across a Chantilly lace gown from Monique Lhuillier that stood out from all the rest. "I didn't think I'd actually be able to see it in the store the next day, so when it was there and I tried it on for my mom and sister, we all just knew," Lindsey says.
As beautiful as her wedding dress, complete with an asymmetric horsehair peplum, was on it's own, Lindsey didn't skip out on accessories. She wore her mother's tanzanite and diamond ring as her something borrowed and blue and carried a beaded handbag that once belonged to her groom's grandmother. "As is my family's tradition, my father also place a sixpence in my shoe just before the ceremony," the bride says.
The bride's bouquet was a colorful arrangement of peach, blush, and coral blooms, including garden roses, ranunculus, parrot tulips, and stock, all tied together with a silk ribbon.
"Grayson looked so debonair!" Lindsey says of her groom, who wore a classic black tuxedo by Zegna. His textured boutonniere was made of peach flowers, kumquats, and greenery.
Lindsey's bridesmaids stunned in asymmetrical navy gowns from Alfred Sung while her maid of honor chose a black gown with off-the-shoulder straps by La Petite Robe di Chiara Boni. Each carried a smaller version of the bride's bouquet with the addition of colorful kumquats.
The ladies all looked great next to Grayson's groomsmen, who all wore traditional black tuxedos and floral boutonnieres.
Since Lindsey and Grayson wanted the beauty of the cathedral to speak for itself, they chose to only have two floral arrangements decorating the space. Although just the father of the bride walked her down the aisle, Lindsey's mother also joined them at the aisle and helped lift the bride's veil. "I'll never forget that moment," she says.
The bride and groom chose to recite traditional vows, going so far as to even memorize their words. "I'll admit it was a bit stressful, but I'm so happy we did it," Lindsey says. "The moment we said them to each other naturally, as if they were our own words, is one I hope never to forget."
The pair chose a few special readings to help personalize the ceremony, though. They chose Corinthians 13: 1-13 and a passage from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.
Everyone enjoyed a trolley ride to the reception, where guests were greeted with delicious cocktail hour fare, including local oyster, bacon tart, lobster rolls, and burrata crostini. Lindsey and Grayson also served two signature drinks: Hers, a gin Paloma, and his, a classic Manhattan.
A three-piece jazz band kept everyone entertained as they found their tented escort cards.
Once inside the great hall for the reception, guests were treated to an entirely different look. Rectangular tables were decorated with ivory linens and a bold navy and white floral runner. Lush, low centerpieces comprised of lisianthus, garden roses, privet branches, stock, and kumquats covered the tabletops, while other square tables were adorned with tall mixes of the same blooms.
Place settings featured classic white china over rose gold chargers, which were paired with classic crystal glassware and rose gold flatware. "The room glowed in warm candlelight and smelled like a rose garden," Lindsey remembers. "The rose gold tones were echoed in the warm uplighting and called attention to the impressive stone details."
The newlyweds treated their guests to a multi-course meal of heirloom tomato tart, roasted salmon, pork two ways, and a lentil blitz. The bride's sister (and maid of honor!) handled the booze, though: "She's a sommelier and took complete control and handled all the wine for the wedding," Lindsey says. "It was a relief to hand that off and she did an amazing job." For dessert, the bride and groom sliced into a four-tier vanilla bean wedding cake, which was filled with peaches with cream cheese filling and raspberries with mascarpone cream cheese filling.
Lindsey also surprised Grayson with a groom's cake. "He's a geologist and loves all maps, so I ordered a vintage map sheet cake of Mississippi, where he grew us, as well. It was perfect and he loved the surprise," the bride says.
The new Mr. and Mrs. shared their first dance to Ray LaMontagne's "You Are the Best Thing" before their 10-piece band took over, drawing guests young and old out onto the dance floor. To keep the party going, Lindsey and Grayson arranged for a late-night snack of buttermilk fried chicken biscuit bites with honey.
"Show your gratitude," Lindsey reminds future brides. "Looking back, there are moments that I would like to tell myself to get a grip and remind myself to simple express my thanks. It's easy to lose perspective when you're in the wedding planning weeds. Pull yourself out and thank your fiancé, families, and friends for their love and support."
Ceremony Venue: Grace Cathedral || Reception Venue: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco || Wedding Planner: Elise Johnson of Shannon Leahy Events || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Monique Lhuillier || Hair & Makeup: Julie Morgan Hair and Makeup || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung || Maid of Honor's Dress: La Petite Robe di Chiara Boni || Groom's Attire: Zegna || Florist: Michael Daigian || Invitations: Yonder Design || Music: Lucky Devils Band || Catering: Melons Catering & Events || Cake: Branching Out Cakes || Rentals: Classic Party Rentals; La Tavola Linens; Blueprint Studios || Photographer: Coco Tran