Oakland natives Lauren and Erich have been living in Philadelphia for the past few years as they pursue their degrees, but they knew they wanted to get married in the Bay Area. When Lauren’s mom told them about the Berkeley Country Club in El Cerrito and they saw its expansive view of San Francisco and its bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County, and the rolling hills of the East Bay, they were sold.
The days leading up to their wedding were filled with rain, and we expected the ceremony to be moved indoors when we woke up to drizzle on their special day. However, our couple was determined to have an outdoor wedding and somehow worked their magic.
Shortly before Lauren and Erich saw each other for the first time that day, the skies cleared. The only waterworks during that intimate moment were provided by the bride and groom, who positively beamed when they saw each other. Lauren was stunning in her slip gown with delicate straps, while Erich looked ever so handsome in a dark gray tuxedo.
It started raining again before the ceremony but, 15 minutes before guests were to be seated, the clouds parted and the sun broke free, illuminating the glorious, breathtaking backdrop. The emotional, heartfelt ceremony that followed was chock full of tears, laughter (everyone practically died over Lauren’s earnest, unexpected, and possibly misworded statement that Erich makes “love so effortless”), and so much joy.
“We loved our ceremony. We really wanted it to feel inclusive and be a reflection of both of our cultures and faiths,” says Lauren.
This set the tone for the rest of the celebration, which brimmed with love, well wishes, gut-busting speeches, a sweet slideshow prepared by Lauren’s parents, and an impressive medley of personalized pop hits sung by Lauren’s brother, sister-in-law, and cousins (“the infamous cousins’ toast that we’ve done for all our weddings,” explains Lauren).
As a surprise to their guests, our newlyweds had spent many hours practicing their first dance (professionally choreographed by Sharrone at Art in Motion in Philadelphia) to Sam Smith’s “Make It to Me.” It featured a “Dancing with the Stars”-worthy lift and spin for the finale that no doubt would’ve scored a ten.
Lauren and Erich are huge Sam Smith fans. “Erich especially loves to sing along and would sing through our dance lessons,” says Lauren. “The first year we were dating, I got Erich tickets to the Sam Smith concert for his birthday. They had just come on sale a few days before, but the concert wasn’t for four months. It may have been a bit presumptuous, but it definitely worked out!”
Later on, Erich called her onto the dancefloor to serenade her with John Legend’s “So High.” Lauren’s reaction was adorable, as was Erich’s inability to stop eating the slice of cake they had cut together (something we totally understand! And perhaps one of his rewards for making the wedding invitations). Speaking of delicious, his sister did an amazing job making the cake pops that served as guest favors.
At the end of the night, guests wielding sparklers lit the way for our newlyweds as the sky opened up again. We’re incredibly honored that Lauren and Erich chose us to document this milestone in their lives together. Here are some of our favorite moments.
Bride’s dress: Dress Bridal Boutique (Medina, Ohio)
Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride’s veil: BHLDN
Groom’s suit, shoes, tie: Siegel’s Tuxedo Shop (Oakland)
Rings: Golden Nugget Jewelers (Philadelphia)
Caterer: Berkeley Country Club
Cake: Sweet Adeline Bakeshop (Berkeley)
Flowers/Coordinator: Pierrette Johnston of Stems and Petals Floral
Cake pop favors: Rocio Plate of Plate Me a Cake
Wooden sign: OAKY Designs (Etsy)