A breakup story with a happy ending: Nycole Evans dated Rod Hammond in high school, stopped seeing him in college, and leapt back in his arms years later when Rod said he hoped she'd find someone who loved her as much as he did. Cue rejoicing families, who had remained close. To celebrate a love so grand, the two wed at the old Federal Reserve Bank (now the Bently Reserve) in San Francisco, which also housed the reception. Surrounded by columns and candlelight, five nephews acted as ring bearers, two delighted mothers lit a unity candle, and one emotional couple recited custom vows. After a dinner of filet mignon and salmon, family blending transitioned into family grooving, as Hammonds and Evanses alike danced until 1 a.m. "It was the most fun we ever had!" says Nycole. —Yolanda Crous
Sob Story: Nycole and Rod knew their families were bound to get teary-eyed during the "I do's," so they included a monogrammed handkerchief with every wedding program.
Regrouping: Adding to the celebration's reunion-like feel, the twosome hired an extra photographer to take loads of guest group shots during the couple's formal wedding-snap session.
Viva Italia!: Instead of marking reception tables with numbers, the couple named each one after a locale in Italy (Naples, Sicily, Venice), site of the pair's honeymoon.
Best Money Savers
Bid for Bargains: On eBay, Nycole found vintage brooches that she used as hair accents and to decorate her gown's bustle.
Stuff It: Instead of compromising her stationery vision—an invitation with multiple cards and a program with a pocket to hold an insert—the bride put together the elaborate pieces herself to save on assembly costs.
BYOB: Nycole and Rod's strategy for shrinking the bar bill: finding a venue that would let them purchase their own wine. They spent about $18 a bottle, a sharp contrast to the caterer's list, which started at $50.
Alvina Valenta, alvinavalenta.com
Paul Robertson, prfloraldesign.com
Perfect Endings, perfectendings.com
Hartmann Studios hartmannstudios.com
Ceremony and Reception Site
Old Federal Reserve Bank, bentlyreserve.com
Michelle Walker Photography, michellewalker.com