This past May, Michael and I got hitched. We wanted a small, intimate wedding outdoors. We picked our favorite American city to visit (San Francisco) and our favorite hotel to stay at (Hotel Vitale). My sister, Kristy, was the officiant and my brother, Mike, was the photographer. I planned most of the wedding from our home in Brooklyn, and on the day of, family pitched in to put together paper pom-poms, do hair and makeup, and sweep up rose petals. Like most weddings we see at BRIDES, ours was a combination of DIY, expert help, and family gumption. Hope you enjoy the photos, and maybe even get inspired!—Joyce Bautista, BRIDES
I chose the color of my silk Jenny Yoo dress (Capri blue) and then came up with a color scheme that would complement and not overwhelm it. Amy Burke Designs in San Francisco put together four arrangements used to decorate the terrace where we held the ceremony and, later, the tables at dinner. The paper pom-poms were from Party Poms.
The throwing of rice after a wedding ceremony symbolizes prosperity for the new husband and wife. Taking luck any way we can get it, we followed suit. The calligraphed gauze bags were by Bell'occhio in San Francisco.
My friend Ema talked me off many an emotional precipice back in New York during the wedding planning. Even the day of, she was there, if only in spirit. She put together an emergency kit with everything I might need last-minute.
That's me peeking out from the bathroom, waiting for Michael to arrive at the ceremony. My sister did my hair and makeup after a free consultation at Sephora the day before.
My bouquet (also by Amy Burke Designs) included some of my favorite flowers and foliage, such as lilies of the valley, kangaroo paw, and dusty millers. Those shoes are my first-ever pair of Christian Louboutin heels, and I continue to wear them all the time—I'm getting my money's worth, baby!
The tie is Liberty for Target and features what I think are supposed to be London taxis, but we bought it because they look like VW Beetles—Michael owns a convertible cream one that we both love. The bout was by Amy Burke Designs.
Michael and I wrote our own vows. I forgot about half of mine—I was definitely more nervous than I thought I would be. My engagement ring is from the 19th century and was picked out by Michael all on his own from our friend's Brooklyn shop, Erie Basin.
We went with plain gold wedding bands. Both are engraved on the inside with our wedding date, and mine reads, "Michael <3 Joyce," while his reads, "Joyce <3 Michael." We are total cheeseballs!
The terrace at Hotel Vitale provided a dramatic city background to the ceremony. That was one of my non-negotiables: I wanted to get married outdoors. It turned out to be a typical but lovely cool, windy San Francisco day.
In a blip, it was over. My sister became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church so she could officiate the ceremony.
I went pretty nontraditional for most of the wedding details, but I really wanted to wear a birdcage veil. It is such a cute look, and I think it can look costumey any other time.
That's the Bay Bridge in the background. I love San Francisco almost as much as I love Michael.
The vanilla-and-orange chiffon cake with salted-caramel filling and vanilla-buttercream frosting was made by my brother's friend Kathy Chong, a pastry chef at Town Hall and Salt House in San Francisco. I was inspired to make the ribbon flags by the beautiful food blog Forty-sixth at Grace. The paper banner, which reads "Mr & Mrs Ferrari," was by Bell'occhio.
We didn't have a traditional reception (just dinner downstairs at the yummy Italian restaurant in the hotel), but we did want a first dance. After dinner, Michael and I went back up to the suite and danced to Yaz's "Only You" — I know, total cheesefest!
Photos Courtesy of Michael Bautista