Inside San Francisco’s iconic city hall, actor, writer, and creative director Wyomi Reed wed in a custom Oscar De La Renta gown. Featuring intricate embroidery, the gown’s sequins and glass beads created textural florals evocative of the wedding’s ethereal aesthetic.
The ethereal wedding was romantically captured by Erich McVey.
Names / Wyomi Reed & Aric Christopher
Location / San Francisco, United States
Wedding Date / August 5th, 2023
Guest Numbers / 350
How We Met
Aric and Wyomi’s lives collided serendipitously in January of 2020 in the tinsel town of Los Angeles. After a few brief messages on Instagram, they happened to both be dining just a few blocks away from each other that very evening. After agreeing to meet for a drink after dinner they laid eyes on each other for the first time at The Edition Hotel on Sunset Blvd. Wyomi immediately felt drawn to Aric’s sense of style and confidence as he walked through the doors. In the midst of a busy and bustling hotel lobby, they tucked themselves into a quiet corner and conversed about the past, present and future. No topic was off limits. As the night progressed they felt like they had known each other from a previous lifetime. They ended the evening at San Vicente Bungalows with a bottle of red wine and some famed late night grilled cheese right before making a big first step of spending Valentine’s Day together. Which also happened to be the very next day.
The following month evolved into late night phone calls, beautiful bouquets of flowers at Wyomi’s doorstep and a deep knowledge that there was trust and a connection that transcended time and distance. March 2020. The world shuts down. In a time of confusion and chaos, they knew one thing. They had each other.
Our Engagement Story
During the pandemic Aric and Wyomi spent a generous amount of time on the island of Maui in Hawaii. For Aric the island has always been a second home, visiting every year with his family as a child to owning a property in Wailea in his adult years. It had always been a place of solace and his deep connection to the island had only grown with time. It was no surprise when Aric and Wyomi decided to extend their trip during the pandemic, with nothing pressing to get back to in Los Angeles they found themselves there many months later.
Those few months of being on the island, in what felt like a dream with seldom tourist, happy locals and thriving wildlife Aric had decided he was going to propose to Wyomi.
With a good idea of what Wyomi wanted he reached out to Michelle Demaree diamond expert and jewelry guru. Her immense knowledge about craftsmanship from Harry Winston, Tiffanys and Van Clef & Arpels helped guide Aric in finding the perfect stone for his future fiancé.
A few months later on his birthday he took Wyomi back to their favorite beach in Makena and got down on one knee asking her hand in marriage. It was an instantaneous yes.
What we love most about each other…
“I love Arics zest for life. He knows how to enjoy a good meal, a nice bottle of wine and he chases those moments of enjoyment with such enthusiasm. He keeps the adventures high and yet he’s incredibly grounded. He’s comforting, incredibly generous and he values the things I find important.” — Wyomi
“I love her playful sense of humor, her passion for travel and adventure, and her creative eye and spirit. We always connect with our inner child which keeps us laughing constantly. She has incredible maternal instincts which I find very attractive. She’s an incredible partner to do life with.” — Aric
When deciding on a wedding location, Aric and Wyomi knew they wanted to get married somewhere in California. With Aric and his family having strong ties to the location, they began their search for the perfect place to host 400 guests.
Wyomi knew she wanted a venue that fit her very specific vision and aesthetic. Her love for architecture and history helped narrow the search down, before they knew it they had booked a private tour of the San Francisco City Hall. The Beaux-Arts monument had epitomized the American Renaissance of the 1800’s and by the end of the tour Wyomi was completely in love. The iconic staircase, sprawling balconies and breathtaking architecture were some of the immediate draws for the perfect ceremony location but the overall connection Arics family had to the city helped them make their final decision on the historic landmark.
Coincidently, the reception location fell into their lap when they had discovered The Hibernia a few blocks down the street. Built in 1892, The Hibernia a neoclassical revival and bank turned event space was the perfect pairing to their ceremony location. The interior boasted breathtaking Tiffany-style skylights, large arched windows and ornately gilded fixtures and as they discovered the place more they knew they had found their second location.
The last final touch for the reception venue was the downstairs industrial warehouse space that distinctly served as a nightclub for the after party. A stark contrast to the romantic theme of the weekend yet an unforgettable moment when everyone truly let down their hair.
Once the venues had been locked in Wyomi drew most of her inspiration from old Hollywood films, previous places of travel and various types of architecture. She collected vintage black and white photos of balls, watched old Hollywood films from the 1940’s and flew to San Fransisco frequently to spend more time in the city to understand and draw more inspiration from the already culturally rich metropolis. She decided on a strong element of wanting to bring a wild garden inside the historic buildings to give life to the expansive spaces.
The morning of Aric & Wyomi’s wedding was a precursor to the festivities in the day ahead. Albeit the ladies had a much earlier start to the morning, 4am for Wyomi and her bridesmaids to be precise, it was no surprise the champagne and laughs had commences as soon as everyone was robed and out of the hair and makeup chair. The energy of the room was bubbling with excitement, as all eleven of her bridesmaids cycled in and out of the suite before some group photos. Just a floor below them, Aric and his groomsmen had taken a much slower approach. Aric spent the better part of his early morning at the spa, after a massage cold plunge and steam he met with his family and friends to toast to a successful day ahead.
“Growing through the marble and stone, the goal was to bring the blank canvas of the venue to life with the feeling of a wild garden.”
Photography had been on the top of the list for Wyomi. As a creative her keen eye searched for the perfect photographer to capture a combination of editorial and realism of the wedding weekend. She had discovered The Wedding Artists Co. A company owned by Lisa Raffo Ashley which represents some of the most recognized wedding photographers in the industry. After their call with Erich McVey they knew they had found the right fit. His creative eye and ability to capture unique moments while still being able stay true to their vision made them comfortable knowing him and his team would get the job done right on their big day.
When Wyomi and Aric came across Julia and Sebastian Bretz of Flame Films, they had no idea how much they would admire not only their creative eye but also their work ethic. Their refined cinematic storytelling visuals with focus on aesthetics was an immediate sell. Soon after their initial call they were even more ecstatic by their choice. Julia and Sebastians enthusiasm and ideas on how to best capture the weekend helped Aric and Wyomi feel confident that they would tell their story in the best way possible.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
After having trouble landing on a wedding planner that was the right fit, Aric had suggested his family friend Andrea Munson that works with Ashley Smith Events. A few weeks later during a dinner celebrating Andreas birthday in Silverlake, Wyomi had asked Andrea if she was up for the task. Andrea, considered to be like a sister to the Christopher family agreed ecstatically to help the couple and make sure their vision came to life.
The goal was to bring the blank canvas of the venue to life with the feeling of a wild garden growing through the marble and stone. For the aisle arrangements Amy Burke Designs used hues of white, ivory, cream and green allowing the Rotunda to be the main focal point. The florals included roses, garden roses, ranunculus, butterfly ranunculus, Queen Anne’s lace, delphinium, gypsophilia, carnations, larkspur, hydrangeas and cosmos and foliage in the color and texture scheme. Clusters of smilax vines were created to ebb and flow of floral material.
The main rotunda staircase adorned the bottom in a thick, lush and cascading garden with tall hedges of white, ivory and cream blooms accented generously with green foliage. Each of these arrangements were designed as if they were sprouting up from the ground yet wrapped lightly around the base of the landing, adding softness that spilled out onto the landing where the bride and groom will be standing.
Wyomi wanted the cocktail tables and other arrangements to have more abstract clusters in the bud vases displaying a single or duo of blooms of white and ivory to slightly echo the floral décor in the Rotunda. Her bridal bouquet, a small arrangement of white stephanotis with delicate accents of gypsophilia, white phlox and mini Sally Holmes garden rose sprays to compliment the appliqués on her gown.
With the reception at The Hibernia the inspiration was intentionally more masculine. The floral décor was structured, heavier in texture and designed with a slightly different color story than the florals created at City Hall. Each table received a centerpiece of an oversized tabletop tree with green crepe myrtle foliage branches tucked throughout the canopy. At the base of the arrangement, Amy created a trio of low, whimsical and delicate gatherings of white and ivory blooms and varying sizes of pillar and votive candles that added both softness and a warm candlelight glow to the tabletop.
Nubo Studios came highly suggested by their wedding planner, Andrea Munson. After their initial call they knew they had aligned aesthetically to achieve a cohesive look for the day of paper materials and also their wedding website. After submitting their mood board, Nubo came up with a few different concepts to present Aric and Wyomi. After a few notes and changes they had landed on a look and feel for the overall wedding weekend.
The materials and color schemes used were minimalistic yet still had textures and accents that elevated all the paper materials. Handmade paper, linen bar menus, charcoal frames and letterpress menus. The handwritten calligraphy stayed true to the classical romantic theme of the day.
When deciding on the invitations and the overall branding of the wedding weekend Wyomi & Aric opted to go the untraditional route and created a consistent logo of ‘The Christopher Wedding’ that would eventually be reflected on everything from the welcome signs, disposable hand towels to the directional signage and invitation suites.
Food & Beverages
Being a well versed foodie and taking pride in the family business, it was important for Aric to have Christopher Ranch Garlic incorporated in all aspects of the menu. It was to a great surprise when at their tasting they found out the catering company, Betty Zlatchin has been using their garlic for years.
Betty Zlatchin had customized the menu for the rehearsal dinner, passed bites at the cocktail hour before the ceremony to the sit down dinner at the reception. Staying within the bounds of quintessential Californian cuisine.
“Wyomi collected vintage black and white photos of balls, watched old Hollywood films from the 1940’s and flew to San Fransisco frequently to spend more time in the city to understand and draw more inspiration from the culturally rich metropolis.”
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Bride’s Dress & Shoes
For the ceremony Wyomi wore a custom Oscar De La Renta gown. The botanical embroidery transported the bride into the storybook of imagination the first time she saw the dress at a Trunk Show at the Melrose location. Micro sequin and glass beads were hand embroidered to the individually applied motif, highlighting the gowns delicate beauty and giving it a one-of-a-kind bridal moment, that Wyomi was looking for.
The construction of the gown accounted for over three hundred and fifty hours at the New York City Atelier with the dress being additionally customized to the floor with a matching appliqué veil. Wyomi paired the dress with a pair of lace and satin Manolo Blahnik pumps that matched the peaking crinoline.
For the reception, a Francesca Miranda gown with matching gloves was decided on for a more comfortable yet stylish second look. The dress was customized in Colombia by the Francesca Miranda team just a few months before the wedding. In desperate hope the dress would fit when it was shipped directly to the bridal suite days before the wedding, it was love at first sight when Wyomi slipped into the gown like a glove.
For the third and final look, Wyomi changed into a Paco Rabanne two-piece disc-assemblage that is a legendary trademark of the house. A perfect look for the disco party that wrapped up the wedding weekend.
Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories
When choosing Wyomi’s wedding band, Aric decided to work again with Michelle Demaree to create a special custom piece for his bride. They decided on a 2 carat eternity band featuring round, pear, marquise, and emerald diamond cuts.
For the rehearsal dinner Wyomi’s ‘something old’ was a vintage jewerelly set from Schiaparelli. The blue and gold accents complimented her royal blue Oscar De La Renta gown and gave the look a timeless feel.
Hair & Makeup
The inspiration for the hair and makeup was natural and youthful. For the hair Wyomi wanted a pulled back neat bun with a side part that could carry all the looks throughout the day.
The makeup was set to be minimal and fresh, although that didn’t mean little or next to no makeup. Los Angeles based celebrity makeup artist Leyla Hayauri, an expert at creating the ‘no makeup — makeup look’ had tested a few looks on Wyomi prior to the wedding weekend and had settled on a fresh, rosy and light pink look that complimented the brides floral wedding gown.
Having such a large bridal party, Wyomi and Aric toyed with several ideas when it came to the color scheme of their party. They had decided the best and most effective way to create ease not only visually but for the bridal party involved is to have everyone wear their choice of style of gown in black and tuxedos for the men. The result was timeless and a visually beautiful photo moment.
Aric opted for a full Tom Ford look. With the help from their flagship store on Rodeo Drive they helped him decide on a classic tuxedo and matching shoes.
Flower Girls/Page Boy Outfits
Wyomi wanted to find gowns for the flower girls that had appliqués to match her Oscar De La Renta wedding dress. With a simple google search she has stumbled across the most perfect gowns that had matching capes with appliqué flowers. Although they were back ordered, the gowns had come in time for the wedding weekend and they couldn’t have been more perfect for the special day.
Any favourite memories or must-see places you can recommend?) The couple had decided to spend their honeymoon at Burning Man two weeks after their wedding. Although an untraditional honeymoon destination it felt like the perfect trip for a couple that already travels often. Riding through sandstorms, biking around incredible art installations and jumping on trampolines in the middle of the desert. There was no shortage of visual fun and experiences for the two, where they can let their hair down and celebrate the victory of their wedding weekend.
For the ceremony the groom and bride had decided on walking down the aisle to Ride by Lana Del Rey, a beautiful quartet rendition of a memory from their first motorcycle ride together. At the end of the ceremony, Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve slowly crescendoed as the bride and groom walked up the grand staircase to the top of the rotunda. As they walked off and waved from the top of the balcony, unplanned and unbeknownst to the couple, the String Quartet began to play The Succession theme song which made them laugh and feel a sense of relief that the ceremony was now over.
The entertainment and music was the most important part of the wedding day and reception for the groom. He had seen Midnight Special perform at several weddings throughout the years and had vowed he would one day have them perform at his wedding too. A 12-piece band of strong and versatile talent that performed a range of classical American dance to top charting radio requests. “There wasn’t a single person not on the dance floor when they performed at the peak of the night.” said Wyomi.
At the afterparty Aric shifted gears into his alias and DJ’ed till the early morning of the party.
When Aric and Wyomi eloped during the peak of the pandemic at the Beverly Hills Courthouse, Reverend Clint Hufft created one of the most special and memorable and intimate ceremonies for them. It was no brainer that they wanted Reverend Clint to be there again on their special day again. He has a very special way of making you feel incredibly present during a time that can go by feeling like a blur.
A memorable moment…
The most memorable moment was the morning after when we woke up and looked at each other in disbelief. The wedding was even more magical than we could have ever imaged in our minds because of the people and love we had felt in the room by our friends and family. For a fairly large wedding it felt intimate and we had felt present throughout the whole weekend.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
One thing we wish we knew before we started planning the wedding is that it’s important to do your research and not settle on vendors or wedding planners just because they are on top ten list of featured in publications. Taking the time to see who aligns with your vision, budget and makes you feel like you are a priority not just another client in their already bustling schedule is important.
If I could give other couples one piece of advice…
Enjoy the process! The fun moments and the frustrating ones, you’ll look back and realize that chapter is now done and all you have are the memories. Make them worthy of a good feeling to look back on.
Don’t sweat the little things, everyone is there to celebrate you and your special union. The beauty and authenticity of the day lies in the imperfections.
Sources of inspiration…
We drew inspiration from so many avenues. We knew we wanted something cinematic, timeless yet still true to who we were. Visual images were a huge source of inspiration for a lot of the planning and of course The Lane being one of them!
Rehearsal Dinner Venue / The Pied Piper at The Palace Hotel
Ceremony Venue / San Francisco City Hall
Reception Venue / The Hibernia
Wedding Stylist & Planner / Andrea Munson
Videography / Julia and Sebastian Bretz from Flame Films Co.
Bride’s Dress / Oscar De La Renta
Bride’s Shoes / Manolo Blahnik
Wedding Rings / Michelle Damaree
Hair / Emily Hedicke
Makeup / Leyla Hayauri
Flower Girls & Page Boy Outfits / Anthropologie
Groom’s Formal Attire / Tom Ford
Stationery / Nubo Studios
Florist / Amy Burke Designs
Cake / Custom
Catering / Betty Zlatchin
Celebrant / Reverend Clint Hufft
Honeymoon / Burning Man 2023
Entertainment / Midnight Special from West Coast Music
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