A Beautifully Personalized Wedding in San Francisco That Came Together in Less Than 10 Days

Planned by Alison Events

Main Image

Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Pro tip: Do your best to meet your future spouse while in costume! In the spring of 2014, Heather Luntz and Michael Crain (who goes by Crain) were decked out in their finest ‘70s attire for a mutual friend’s disco-themed 30th birthday party. “Naturally, we were at a skating rink where Crain could show off his vintage white Levis and his roller skating skills,” she recalls. The pair dated for two and a half years before Crain proposed on Heather’s favorite beach in Cape Cod.

The couple spent ten months planning their October 21, 2017, wedding with Alison Events and had planned to tie the knot at Durham Ranch in St. Helena, California. “The October wildfires in Napa Valley began 10 days before our wedding, and it quickly became clear that we would need a Plan B,” Heather recalls. Their planner jumped into action, securing the sculpture garden at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for the ceremony. “By absolute serendipity, the Ferry Building was available for our reception! Moving our wedding with just days to go was incredibly hard, but it came together beautifully," she says.

The pair invited 215 guests to celebrate with them and ultimately brought a fresh New England vibe to California. The groom even wore his white Levis (from the costume party!) for the occasion. Keep reading to see how Sylvie Gil captured the relocated celebration, which was pulled together last-minute by the team at Alison Events.

water color invitation suite with pins
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
invitation suite with watercolor illustrations
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

“We knew from day one that we wanted Happy Menocal to design our invitations,” says Heather. The inimitable artist incorporated cranes and heather blossoms (a nod to their names!) into the couple’s crest in addition to painting a portrait of the two to send alongside the invitations.

couple holding hands
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
bride and groom kissing and hugging
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

The bride wore a strapless Vera Wang gown with Grecian-inspired draping. “I felt comfortable and elegant, and most importantly, like myself,” she explains. She topped her soft waves with a crown of white flowers and donned gold metallic Jimmy Choo sandals. Crain wore those same white Levis, paired with a navy blue blazer and a custom tie from Taylor Stitch.

bride and groom pins
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Instead of a boutonniere, the groom wore an enamel pin of Heather’s face. “We are mildly obsessed with enamel pins, so we had a series of them—our faces, a crane, heather flowers, and the Jeep from Durham Ranch—made for our wedding,” says Heather. “Most of our guests ended up wearing their pins to the wedding!” Each pin was delivered alongside a hand-written note to each guest.

mismatched bridesmaids dresses
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
mismatched bridesmaids dresses
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Heather’s bridesmaids each chose their own dresses in blush, champagne, and neutral tones, creating a soft palette of pinks in a range of patterns and fabrics. Each woman carried a white bouquet of a single type of bloom, with Heather carrying peonies.

chuppah draped in hydrangeas and greenery
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
reception entrance arbor of flowers
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
ceremony exit excited groom
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
ceremony exit petal toss
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

“The Sculpture Garden speaks for itself! We didn’t want to compete with the art so our florist design a simple chuppah draped in hydrangeas and greenery,” explains the bride. Her brother officiated the ceremony, where Crain and Heather exchanged personalized vows. After their first kiss, SFMOMA’s director of special events led the newlyweds through the museum to take a photo in front of Jim Dine’s “Blue Clamp,” a bright painting of an abstract heart. “It was the icing on the cake after our vows!” says the bride.

iron gate escort card display
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
iron gate escort card display
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Guests were shuttled to the Ferry Building, where live trees filled the space to create an enchanted forest feel. Escort cards were displayed on rusted iron gates—with more enamel pins!

wooden panels instead of a guest book
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Instead of a traditional guest book, the pair invited their guests to sign a pair of wooden paddles. “Crain loves white water rafting, and we can’t wait to mount them on our wall!” says Heather.

indoor reception wedding guests
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
reception with lounge seating
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Three long tables were set beneath the Ferry Building’s vaulted ceiling. Lounge furniture in shades of white and blue created cozy places for guests to gather as they enjoyed miniature lobster rolls and Peking duck summer rolls.

long reception tables green and white centerpieces
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
chinoiserie vases and tall greenery centerpieces
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
minimalist table numbers
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Tables were topped with ceramic vases filled with tall greenery, along with low vases of white flowers. Blue-and-white plates were paired with sleek wooden flatware and minimalist table numbers were displayed on the corner of each table.

The couple’s Happy Menocal crest was printed on each menu, which outlined a meal of roasted Sonoma game hen with Panzanella Verde. “I’m not much of a cake person, so we had cupcakes—and then passed ice cream sandwiches on the dance floor!” Heather says.

couple laughing at reception
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

“Dinner was long but oh-so-personal,” says Heather. “The toasts were funny, heartfelt, and deeply personal. We felt so incredibly loved.”

first dance
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Élan Artists kept the dance floor packed, which was perfect for a late-night crowd-surfing session for the bride and groom! Says the bride, “I can’t imagine ending our wedding any other way,” says Heather.

Wedding Team

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