Wedding Photos at the Brazilian Room
Brian & Randy’s DIY Inspired Summer wedding
“Do whatever the **** you want”
Most couples reserve their date in our calendars 12+ months prior to their wedding day.
From the couple: We met at a pizza party in the Castro which ended in a night of dancing at Toad Hall. Totally classy. On the proposal – I told Brian that I needed feedback for a website I was building for a graduate school class that I was taking. As he began to scroll through the content featuring an engagement photoshoot I did with our dog, he began to realize that I was actually proposing to him and this was indeed our wedding website (which I had been working on for months). After he said “Yes!” I began to reveal all of the pages on our wedding website and told him I recorded it all with the help of my MacBook camera!I like fancy things and he does not care about that stuff. So my engagement ring is yellow gold with a little diamond from Cartier and his is basically a rubber band from REI. For our wedding rings, he ended up with a platinum band from Amazon and I got a platinum band with a little diamond from Cartier. Also, we bought our own rings after we got engaged because it was more efficient to do so. Less is more. It’s how we live our life. There’s a time and place for being a little extra, and of course we indulge, but we’ve found simplicity allows us to focus on the important things and to not get distracted with noise. The venue was stunning and spoke for itself and we didn’t want to detract from that. Where we did have to bring in stuff, we wanted it to be really nice, yet simple. This allowed us to focus on making sure we were thoughtful about guests, having great food and quality wine, an amazing time dancing, and allowing us and our guests to just enjoy the time together. We wanted to be comfortable. And we wanted matching suits that were going to photograph well. We loved the colors at the park and knew the suits would work great for the wedding photos at the Brazilian Room. I also found that spending a lot on a suit does not make it nice. So we got our blue suits from the JCrew Factory website, in the clearance section, with an additional 50% off along with our belts and socks. Our suits were $110 each. We got our matching ties (in our favorite colors) from ties.com for $20 each. And our dress shirts from Calvin Klein for 75% off for $25 each. Brian wore his cute brown shoes he already had. In the spirit of being extra, I bought a pair of Balenciaga boots. And we wore the same Tiffany stays that we gave to our brothers and dads and carried the same style of Hermes handkerchiefs in green and blue to complete the colors of the rainbow that we gave to our sisters, mom, and stepmom. We did not have a wedding party. Instead our entire immediate family participated in the ceremony. We had flower moms, ring dads, all seven of our siblings participated in the spoken part of the ceremony and acted as a team of officiants, and our niece and nephew walked us down the aisle. We told them to wear whatever they wanted and that the dress code was chic but not black tie. This attire fit perfectly for the wedding photos at the Brazilian room with our whole group. We wanted them to feel free to express their best selves in a way that was comfortable for them. Our sister in law Debbie was so kind to offer to do flowers for us. To keep things simple and focused we only had one flower arrangement. Brian‘s mom passed away right before we started to date. Her favorite flower was a sunflower. My mom’s favorite flower is yellow roses. And Brian‘s step mom’s favorite flower is sweet peas. We wanted Brian‘s mom to be there with us as well, so we had my mom and Brian‘s step mom walk down the aisle with our dads with their favorite flowers in hand and had them add their flowers to the existing arrangement that already had sunflowers in it. The succulent boutonnieres for me, Brian, and Bennett and the succulent headpiece for Nea reminded both Brian and I of our moms. It’s also why there were succulents on the tables as well. Simplicity was the guiding principle here. The backdrop of the trees and the fog was more beautiful than anything I could have artificially added to the backdrop.
The ceremony had no traditions at all. We had flower moms who walked down the aisle with our ring dads. Our niece and nephew walked us down the aisle to “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Our siblings gave a brief history of marriage (in)equality over the past 15 years. We had non-religious readings from an Astrophysicist and a Supreme Court Justice. Signed our marriage license in front of everyone because that was the focus of our ceremony. Our vows were our own and were sure to say “I do”. We were pronounced as husbands and kissed as people cheered and “Sunlight” by The Magician played. Instead of a recessional, all the guest got up and we took an “everyone” photo on the lawn which segued into the cocktail hour. We chose the Brazilian Room at Tilden Park in Berkeley, CA because it was naturally beautiful, symbolic of our future life in Berkeley, and our money was going to future maintenance of such an awesome public space. The wedding photos at the Brazilian Room were important to us. To round out the dollar store candles and candle holders and mini DIY succulent pots that I got at bulk discount, we went with glasses, utensils, and plates with clean lines that served as simple vessels for the food. We had 15 little courses that came out in waves throughout the celebratory hour and reception that paired nicely with our alcoholic signature drink (the “Pound My Aperol”) and our non-alcoholic signature drink (the “Shrub One Out”). There were 5 little desserts and wedding cake as well — all of which were just so wonderful. Brian and I gave a 2 minute speech thanking our guests, and “Formation” by Beyonce kicked off the crazy dancing that took place thereafter.