Located in San Francisco’s Russian Hill, Firehouse 8 once served as an actual firehouse dating back to 1917 and still boasts the original pole and timeworn brick walls. When Rashel and Justin came across it, they knew immediately that they’d be having their Valentine’s Day wedding there.
Funnily, Rashel lived in Russian Hill when she first moved to San Francisco and frequented a boutique around the corner from Firehouse 8 that was owned by the same couple.
“When we toured Firehouse 8, Teresa was there and remembered me visiting her shop!” Rashel recalls. “Justin is an architect and specializes in historic preservation and adaptive reuse of existing buildings, so the renovated/converted Firehouse 8 was just the perfect fit for us!”
Their special day started off at another historic landmark—the opulent, late-19th-century Palace Hotel, newly renovated to its original grandeur. Rashel slipped into a lacy mermaid gown with the help of her bridesmaids and mother, while Justin donned a navy suit in the room next door. They both looked stunning but, honestly, nothing could touch their infectious, 1000-watt smiles, especially when they saw each other for the first time that day!
After their first look, we strolled to nearby 140 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco’s first skyscraper. Built in 1925, the 26-story tower is an Art Deco delight and a lovely backdrop for portraits. Along the way, passersby offered their congratulations. A few women even broke into joyful tears at the sight of them.
We captured even more tears (as well as plenty of laughter) during their poignant ceremony, held against a backdrop of white wax-paper petals handmade by our couple.
“Of all the things we spent time on for the wedding, the ceremony seemed like the most important part to get right,” says Rashel. “Luckily, our officiant, my good family friend since childhood, took on the responsibility with a lot of zeal and made it super personal and heartfelt. That portion of the day was just pure joy for me—I couldn’t stop smiling!”
Toward the end of the ceremony, guests cheered as our bride and groom sawed through a log together in recognition of Justin’s German roots. “It took a few weeks for him to convince me that we should go for it, and it turned out to be one of the most memorable moments from the wedding!” says Rashel.
“Another moment that will always stay with the two of us is looking out into the room during dinner and seeing so many of our family and friends from all different times in our lives talking and laughing together. It’s amazing to bring that large of a group together to celebrate such a momentous occasion, and for them all to genuinely enjoy themselves was priceless.”
Few eyes remained dry during the speeches, and we were touched to see not only Rashel’s mom dabbing her eyes but also her dad during his humorous but moving toast. The celebration continued with enthusiastic hipshaking as well as a decadent dessert bar featuring cake, pie, donuts, tarts and homemade Rice Krispies treats. The love was palpable, and we’re honored to share this peek into that wonderful day.
Bride’s dress: Janene’s Bridal Boutique (brand Allure)
Bride’s shoes: French Connection
Bride’s jewelry: Nadri (earrings), Alainn (bracelet), Kate Spade (bangle)
Groom’s suit, tie & pocket square: J.Crew
Groom’s shirt: Brooks Brothers
Groom’s shoes: Allen Edmonds
Rings: San Francisco Diamond Exchange (engagement ring), Bon Levy (bride’s wedding band), Blue Nile (groom’s wedding band)
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Laundry by Shelli Segal, Aidan Mattox, Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids
Groomsmen’s suits: Black Tie Tuxedos rentals
Groomsmen’s ties & pocket squares: J.Crew
Floral design: Ashley Louie of Wild Club
Caterer: Fogcutter SF
DJ: Erica Schwanke of Heart of Gold DJs
Coordinator: Jessica Uhl of City Lights Event Co.
Desserts: Susie Cakes, Whole Foods (tarts & pies), Bob’s Donuts
Hair & make-up: Suzie at Blowology
Custom coasters: Paper Source