This Is What It Looks Like When a Wedding Planner Ties the Knot
While a guest might go to a wedding hoping to meet someone, itâs not usually too high on a wedding plannerâs radar. But in 2010, San Francisco wedding planner Stacy McCain had become close friends with her clients, and during their wedding, a guest of the couple told the planner that she had the perfect guy to set her up with. âMy clientsâ friend was roommates with Kevin Nessâs sister,â Stacy explains. Not long thereafter, during Fleet Weekend, the pair formally met at a rooftop party, and the rest is history.
Four years later, Kevin decided to check something off of Stacyâs bucket list. âHe knew Iâd always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon, so when he returned from a six-week Spanish immersion trip to Costa Rica, he arranged for us to take a ride in Napa Valley,â says the bride. âLittle did I know, that wasnât the only surprise heâd planned!â Once up in the air, Kevin begin to talk about all the adventures the pair had been on together, and Stacy realized he was proposing.
Planning her own wedding was fun, but also a challenge. âIt was hard to switch gears from planner to bride,â Stacy explains. âInstead of knowing that I had a few options, I knew every single option that was out there, so it was tough to narrow it down!â But with a team of vendors that sheâs known for years by her side, Stacy planned a totally timeless San Francisco wedding at the Ferry Building, and on November 14, 2015, she and Kevin wed in front of 124 guests. The white, black, and gold wedding was full of references to the pairâs love of travel and beautiful details every classic bride will love. Photographed by Weddings By Sasha, this shimmering celebration is one you wonât want to miss.
The graphic invitation suite included swirling calligraphy, black ribbon bellybands, and bold black envelopes with white calligraphy.
While shopping with her sister, Stacy tried on this mermaid-style Monique Lhuillier wedding dress, with layers of silk and white lace over latte-hued lining. âMy mom wasnât with us, so we all went back together before I pulled the trigger. It was so special to finalize my decision with them there,â says the bride. She slipped a furry stole over her shoulders to fight the fall chill, and carried an all-white bouquet of peonies, garden roses, sweet pea, and astilbe, tied with an ivory silk ribbon.
Stacyâs sister served as the maid of honor in a floor-length black dress and carrying a smaller version of the brideâs bouquet.
âWe did our first look in the Presidio, near our home,â says Stacy of the forest setting. âI was so nervous, and Kevin looked so cute waiting amongst the trees. Weâre both so happy we had that moment together.â
The groom wore a custom Isaia tuxedo with a white bowtie, which let him stand out from his groomsmen. The flower girl wore a white dress with a black sash, and donned a crown of white roses in her curls.
The ceremony took place beneath the Ferry Buildingâs towering ceilings. âWe didnât have an altar, but instead arranged a semicircle of candles around the crest of the buildingâs floor,â Stacy says.
Instead of traditional readings, the couple invited their parents and Kevinâs sister and brother-in-law to stand up and provide words of wisdom that they have learned from their own marriages. âAfter Kevinâs sister and her husband spoke, their daughter (our three-year-old flower girl) wanted to say something, too. She took the microphone and said âI love you.â As you can imagine, it melted our hearts!â says Stacy.
On the other side of the building, guestsâ seating assignments were printed on ferry tickets and arranged in an ornate frame. Each table was named after a destination the couple has visited together.
During cocktail hour, guests sipped White Sours, a seasonal mix of bourbon, citrus marmalade, orange bitters, and Belgian-style wit beer. Kevin is a serious beer lover, so hors dâoeuvres included a series of miniature beer pairings, like these duck tacos and Firestone 31 pale ale.
Tables were draped with a textured champagne linen and topped with low arrangements of garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, anemones, sweet peas, lisianthus, astilbe, hydrangea, and freesia. Each table was named after a place the bride and groom had visited together, with a photo from their trip on the back of each table name card.
Ivory china with gold bands was paired with gold flatware, crisp black napkins, and gold paper party poppers.
The bride and groomâs chairs were hung with signs that represented the coupleâs love for Spanish-speaking countries, reading âMi Queridita Esposaâ (my darling wife) and âMi CariĂ±oso Maridoâ (my darling husband).
âThis is a tradition my family has had for as long as I can remember,â says Stacy of the gold poppers. âI loved looking around the room and seeing guests in paper crowns, sharing their jokes and prizes with one another!â
As a fun break from wedding planning, Kevin and Stacy took dance lessons and turned them into date nights. The practice paid off when they hit the dance floor to âThe Way You Look Tonightâ by Frank Sinatra.
The elegant wedding cake tied in perfectly to the coupleâs venue. âWe wanted to include the pattern from the buildingâs window arches, so the base of the cake was a hexagon to include all six windows,â says the bride. The round tiers were wrapped in black fondant and topped with hand-sculpted flowers. Flavors included cherry almond, carrot, and cookies and cream cakes.
âDonât lose sight of what is important to you,â advises this wedding pro-turned-bride. âItâs so easy to get caught up in what everyone else thinks, but remember to stay true to what you want. Have fun and enjoy the moment!â