Rita Marie & Sergio from San Antonio, Texas, were super excited to hold their intimate wedding at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts on the winter solstice. They had it all planned: a photogenic spot overlooking the pond; thick blankets specially embroidered for their five guests (plus Sergio’s mom, their officiant); champagne and a small cake to celebrate with afterward. We’d even run over to nearby Crissy Field for some dreamy photos with the sun setting behind the Golden Gate Bridge before they zipped off to their favorite restaurant for dinner.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t want to cooperate and was predicted to shower the Bay Area with nonstop rain that entire week. The day before their wedding, Rita Marie and Sergio told us they had decided to nix the Palace of Fine Arts idea. A last-minute change in wedding venue typically spells disaster, but for them everything worked out beautifully.
It turned out that Sergio’s mother is a rector at a church in Walnut Creek (roughly 40 minutes east of San Francisco) that maintains a lovely redwood chapel from the late 1880s. So rather than subject their guests and themselves to biting winds and rain, Rita Marie and Sergio tied the knot in a charming historic site adorned with glorious stained glass and a darling mini pipe organ.
After the ceremony, the wedding party moved to the larger church for champagne and cake, which was topped with adorable replicas of our bride and groom that Rita Marie had impeccably painted and decorated. We couldn’t believe they weren’t professionally crafted and joked that Rita Marie could moonlight as a cake topper artisan.
Everyone was in good spirits. There were no chattering teeth, no popsicle hands, no sopping outfits. The rain even let up intermittently so we could capture our couple in their wedding finery. Rita Marie sparkled in a 1960s-inspired champagne-colored cocktail dress. Sergio sported a vest, a jaunty bow tie, polka dot socks, and ’50s-style saddle shoes.
As they set off for dinner, we realized that we’d be in the same area finishing our holiday shopping and offered to take photos of them with the giant Christmas tree in the town plaza after dinner if they felt up to it. They were and we did, and it was a wonderful, spontaneous end to an enchanting day.
You can read the bride’s take on the day at Offbeat Bride.