Unfolding on a wintery evening, tucked inside an industrial warehouse in San Francisco, Akemi & Nik exchanged vows beneath Douglas Fir wooden beams harboring otherworldly installations of blush hued winter blossom and crystal quartz.Textured velvet and mixed metal detailing flickered by candlelight. Akemi effortlessly accenting the alpine palette, in an ivory Marchesa, draped silk hourglass gown.
Botanical arrays of cocktails and oysters welcomed guests to the reception, held at the iconic Foreign Cinema, hidden in the Mission District. Think vintage films playing out on soaring concrete walls, intimate fire places and long tablescapes layered in opulent midnight hues and celestial dustings of quartz crystals.
Beautifully documented by Weddings by Sasha
NAMES: Akemi Tamaribuchi & Nicholas Woods William Reed
WEDDING DATE: February 7th 2015
GUEST NUMBERS: 120
HOW WE MET: I’m a stylist and Nik’s mom was my longtime client. She bought him a gift appointment with me and we hit it off as friends. He stayed a client for 5 years while he was living abroad and would make an appointment with me periodically while he was in town visiting his family. One day he asked me to go to dinner but I admittedly and naively didn’t think it was a date. Turned out we had a lot in common including good friends and it ended up being the best date ever. It started out with a drink at a lesbian dive bar and ended with pot pie and a glass of scotch.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: I was rushing home to SF from my last show at NYFW to get to dinner with Nik for our fifth anniversary. Late as usual, I got dressed as fast as I could so we weren’t horribly late to our dinner reservation. But instead of heading to the restaurant Nik casually drove us over to the beautiful but decrepit old Victorian home we closed on while I was in NYC. In my head I couldn’t stop thinking about how we didn’t have time for this, then we walked in and Nik had filled our empty house with roses and hung our favorite art up on the walls. He borrowed his mom’s china and cooked the most incredible lobster on a camping stove. We got tipsy on champagne and the entire time I was thinking “whoa he really went for it for our anniversary and I didn’t even get him a card ”. It was at that very special moment, that I was stuffing my face with carrot cake and I’m sure I was looking my best, that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I must have gone blank because all I remember is saying, “NIK REED! This is very serious!”.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Family, love, friendship, fun, team, happiness..
WEDDING LOCATION: Ceremony: we converted a SOMA wine warehouse into our ceremony space. Tank 18 is a great open space, concrete floors, Black chalk walls, old Douglas Fir wooden structural beams and they have LOTS of wine! Our friends came through a roll up door to a glass of champagne and everyone signed their wisdom and wishes on strips of muslin that our friends then climbed vintage ladders to drape over our Chuppa. Dim, with winter branches, and E.E cummings written on the wall. Reception: Our favorite place to brunch, Foreign Cinema. In the Mission District, 6 blocks from Nik’s childhood home. Incredible food, good cocktails, oysters amongst high concrete walls, fireplaces, vintage films playing on the walls and a gallery for late night.
(Interview Continued beneath gallery)
THEME/STYLE: Well, it was going to be a winter wedding at dusk and we wanted to play off of the mood of the season. We had the space lit dimly with candle light and choose to have our guests surrounded by creeping branches, wilted dusty florals, and our collection of crystals. All of this was balanced with rich textures of velvet, mixed metals, and dark linens.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Sasha Gulish. I love her work and I love her! If someone was going to be following us around with a camera I wanted it to be Sasha. She has such talent and I knew that she would immediately know how to interpret our story through her images. It was a no brainer.
BRIDE’S DRESS: Ceremony: A Marchesa strapless and draped silk hourglass gown with an asymmetrical neckline. Simple and sexy but detailed in that perfect Marchesa way. Reception: A Vera Wang lace, long sleeve, button up shirt collared dress layered over a silk nude colored slip.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: The bridesmaids and brides-men (I had men and women in my bridal party) chose their own velvet dresses and suits. The maids held around their wrists or over their shoulders ribbons that we attached flowers to instead of carrying bouquets.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: Their own. The only requirement is that they were black.
FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: They chose their own ivory dresses and my bridal party made long flower strands to braid through their hair.
WEDDING RINGS: My engagement ring is a vintage oval sapphire with diamonds on the sides and it looks like an eyeball. The wedding band is a sweet and delicate diamond band by Eric Trabert Jeweler SF. Nik has a hand hammered white gold band.
JEWELRY / ACCESSORIES: My own huge vintage clip on rhinestone earrings.
HAIR: I had a simple soft set with a center parting and a veil for the ceremony. For the reception one of my brides-men (Moises Villa) created a braided low chignon adorned with flowers picked off my bouquet and a collection of my grandmothers clip on earrings.
MAKEUP: Glowy, glossy wet metallic eye paired with a pale lip for the ceremony. We made it more dramatic for the reception and darkened the eye and did a dark vampy velvet matte lip. With love from my love Jenna Kristina.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Black and grey linen invitations were sent out to our guests and at the reception we had hand cut place cards so everyone knew where they were going to be sitting. The lovely calligraphy on all of it was done by Kim Roth.
FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: Nik volunteers with SF Bee Cause a non-profit that produces SF local honey. We gave away jars of that honey to our friends and family and wax sealed them with our personal logo.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: Brown Paper Design!! I really love Danielle and the badass team at Brown Paper Design. We talked about the mood being dark and I know that I wanted wilted dusty florals something out of a Dutch still life painting. BPD gave me 2 bouquet options a light creamy version and a dark and dusty version that had some vines, etc. I chose dark.
VIDEOGRAPHY: Only on friends iPhones.
PREPARATION: We got a suite at the Fairmont on Nob Hill (very classic SF) it was just about walking distance from our rehearsal dinner spot in China Town (Golden Dragon, famed Chinese gangster shootout happened there in the 70’s. We had a banquet with too much food, Chinese lanterns and drums, it was a blast) In the morning my friend “Chef Shiloh” dropped off fresh green juice and a gorgeous basket of eggs, fresh bread, fruit and yogurt. We turned up the music and did some hair. My mom and I stole away for a walk where she gave me the necklace that my dad gave her on their wedding day.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: I wanted to create something active for our guests as the arrived. And have something as a keepsake from it. Everyone arrived through the warehouse roll-up door to waiters with glasses of champagne. And were escorted to a gorgeous table that had large wooden bowls of long strips of muslin that they signed with their wishes to us. The groomsmen then took the signatures and wishes and draped them over the dreamy Chuppah that Brown Paper Design built.
So we were married under the wishes of our friends and family. And On our 1st anniversary we are going to read them all and bind them into a tassel like guest book. The rest of the space was simple, petals and candles along the concrete floor up the aisle and the rest of the room was lined with barely budding winter branches.
WEDDING SONGS: Ceremony: A very close friend Sarah Simon of the band Magic Magic Roses played the guitar and sang. It was incredible. Wild Horses (Rolling Stones), Valley (Magic Magic Roses), Wedding song (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s) (this is what I walked down to) Dances: Me + Nik: Once Upon a Dream (Lana del Rey), Me + my son: Stand by Me (Ben E. King)
ENTERTAINMENT: DJ, Cocktail hour: 60’s French Pop. Dinner: Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Bowie, Johnny Cash.. (a tribute to my dad, I wanted to feel like I was having dinner with him) Dancing:Started with Doo-Wop – 70’s/80’s – ended the night with 90’s rap and hip-hop.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: Amazing food! Oyster bar & passed apps for the cocktail hour, 4 course sit down dinner with cakes & candy bar.
TRANSPORT: Sadly our Citroen Deux Chevaux (2CV) did not make it out of the snow storm from where it was being worked on. It was such a bummer. So we had a car service pick take us separate from the rest of the party so we could get a few minutes alone while on our way to the reception.
We both are building new companies and travel a lot, so we only
took a few days away and drove down to Big Sur and stayed at
Ranch Inn. In my opinion it is one of the most special bits of
land in California. And their stainless steel hot tubs overlooking
the Pacific Ocean are incredible. Some day we will take a longer
trip and our plan is to head to Sri Lanka.
CELEBRANT: I have a friend who is a SF Judge. I love her and she is hysterical and the perfect fit for us.
READINGS: We wrote vows, and had a few people say/read. It was the best.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: The LANE of course. And I have
the pleasure of working with lots of incredibly talented designers
in fashion, art and design so I talked to them a bunch. And I do
hair (sometimes ) and have worked on a bunch of bridal stuff
(Marchesa, Carolina Hererra, Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta,
etc..) I have in fact spotted some of my work on The LANE! But I
honestly get most of my inspiration from objects and design, I love
seeing form and materials come together to create a mood.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: My son’s speech brought the house down, in tears that is..
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE… Leave enough time and space for photos. Or at least practice a bit. It’s funny I have done countless editorials, shows, etc but I am always on the other side and neither me or Nik are much for being in them. Hate it actually. So poor Sasha, we didn’t’ give her much time to take them and she was crowded by all of our guests standing around taking them too. Not the best to be on display having 100 of your closest friends and family watching you take pictures. And we did them minutes after we said our vows so we didn’t make time to freshen up or clear our heads. I knew very well how I wanted to style the images, a rug from our house, one of the old ladders that was used to build our Chuppah and I wanted us to sit and stand and hang out. In the dark. Haha! Not so easy for a photographer. Sasha is incredible though and managed the hoards of people so graciously. I wish I could have had another hour for more pics..
AKEMI & NIK’S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Weddings By Sasha
GROOMS FORMAL WEAR: Isaia
WEDDING RINGS: Eric Trabert Jeweler
HAIR: Moises Villa
MAKEUP: Jenna Kristina
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Kim Roth
FLORIST: Brown Paper Design
CAKE: Knead To Make
WEDDING PLANNER: Gillian Shenon
ENTERTAINMENT: Sarah Simon of Magic Magic Roses