Once upon a time, a DC boy named Victor moved across the country to be with a San Francisco girl named Jenny. There, they fell deeply in love and decided to get married. The magical vibe of Nestldown, tucked away in the Santa Cruz Mountains, turned out to be the perfect venue for their wedding.
But before they could say “I do,” surrounded by majestic, towering redwoods, they met at Jenny’s parents’ home in Oakland for a tea ceremony. Our story with them begins there at 8 o’clock in the morning.
While Jenny finished getting ready, her bridesmaids tested Victor’s commitment with a series of hilarious door games outside the house. With the help of his groomsmen, our handsome groom embellished his stylish gray suit with a panda hat and hot-pink hot pants, sang and danced, waxed his legs (!), and gulped down various mystery concoctions. Jenny’s bridesmaids eventually allowed him to see his effervescent bride, who shimmered in her rose-gold qipao/cheongsam (traditional Chinese dress) and matching rose-gold hair.
After a traditional wedding ceremony in front of the family altar, followed by a tea ceremony honoring parents and relatives, we made our way to Jenny and Victor’s home in San Francisco, where Jenny changed into a gorgeous floor-length, rose-gold wedding gown and they exchanged wedding gifts (Victor was especially touched by the illustration of them and their dearly departed doggie Jenny had commissioned). Afterward, we had a blast running around their neighborhood with them.
Our action-packed day continued at Nestldown—and included a surprise for Victor during the ceremony. As Jenny sashayed up the aisle, the wedding party suddenly launched into a choreographed dance.
“We’ve always been a music- and dancing-oriented couple,” says Jenny. “One of many shared music moments, Victor sent me the Beyonce ‘Love on Top’ music video ’cause it reminded him of me and the dancing was a throwback to Motown style and dancing we both love. Originally, we had thought about having the whole wedding party do a choreographed dance at some point in the reception, but it didn’t gel. Having chosen the Beyonce song, I reached out to groomsman Chi to choreograph the dance. The words are meaningful to the journey we’ve been on as a couple as well as the type of music and dancing we enjoy.”
Another cute touch? They outfitted two little boys as winged cupids, complete with bows and arrows, to clear the way for the flower girl and Jenny. A peaceful sound meditation set the tone for heartfelt vows that evoked much laughter, tears, and cheers.
There were more cheers as our newlyweds and their entourage joined their guests via the Nestldown train that circled the lush property. We gushed over the whimsical reception details, such as the hot-air balloon centerpieces created by the florist Mints & Honey, the nods to Alice in Wonderland (books, “eat me” and “drink me” candies and teas), and the carnival-themed cupcake display.
“Victor and I DIY’d our card holders, which were old suitcases with old-timey luggage trunk stickers of where we’re from, some of the places we’ve been together, and the places we’re going to on our honeymoon (Paris, Nice, London),” says Jenny.
“With the help of several friends, we also made party favors, which were Haribo heart-shaped gummy candy in a jar. This is a reference to our love of gummies, including Victor sending me a ton of gummy bears when we were dating long distance in our first year together. The jar also contained a piece of paper in it—a message in a bottle. The message invited our friends to join us in continuing the celebration. It had a QR code to our web page that will have updates to the music events that we’ll be going to in the next year. The idea is for our community to celebrate our first year of marriage together with us through dancing and music.”
Before we knew it, the sun set and Jenny and Victor led the charge onto the dancefloor, which soon became a flurry of arms and legs. They took a break to cut their beautiful cake (rose gold, of course!) and toss tiny parachutes instead of a bouquet or garter off the barn’s loft, but were back on the dancefloor in no time. They even made their grand exit by dancing past their guests into their awaiting 1960s British getaway taxi!
It was such a joy capturing all the love and shenanigans of this incredible couple’s unforgettable day. Here are some of our favorite moments.
Bride’s wedding gown: Essense of Australia from Novella Bridal (San Francisco)
Bride’s reception dress: Watters from Papers and Petals (Burlingame)
Bride’s shoes: Vince Camuto
Bride’s birdcage veil: Elegance at Hand (Etsy)
Groom’s suit: Suit Supply
Groom’s shoes: Millburn Co. from Gilt
Groom’s tie: Luwrine (Etsy)
Wedding rings: Spitz Jewelers (Walnut Creek)
Engagement ring: MaeVona
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Adrianna Papell
Groomsmen’s suits: Indochino
Hair updo: Lindsey at Bloom & Blush
Hair color: Mishi at Morphic
Makeup & lashes: Ash at Ash’s Lashes
Caterer: Toast Catering
Cake: Jen’s Cakes
Flowers: Mints & Honey
Illustrated portraits: HJ Story
Videography: Ric & Rose at Grover Films