For Vika Samarina and Steve Berkovich, getting married in San Francisco was a no-brainer. “It’s the city where we grew up and nearly all of our friends and family live in or near San Francisco,” says Vika. The couple also looked to their beloved city for their wedding theme. “Cherry blossoms are everywhere during the spring in San Francisco, so we used that as inspiration,” explains Steve. The bash was an ethereal yet sophisticated event in the grand ballroom at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco.

The Scene: Vika and Steve divided the Hotel’s oversized ballroom into three sections for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. The ceremony space was transformed into a magical spring-like setting complete with lavender and white uplighting, silver Chivari chairs and dramatic cherry blossoms draped with crystals. “The wedding had a modern, dynamic look and feel,” says Vika. “We wanted our guests to experience something different every time they entered a new room.”

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Magical Moment: Not one to keep secrets, Vika had trouble not divulging every detail about her Maggie Sottero gown to her betrothed. “I was dying to show Steve my dress!” she says of the couple’s first look on their wedding day. “I was so excited to see him and have him see me. In those few seconds alone, it felt like we were by all by ourselves.”

The Bride and Groom: Sometimes love is serendipitous. Such was the case when Vika and Steve—both Russian ballroom dancers—were introduced. “I knew Steve’s dance partner,” says Vika. “Steve and I made eye contact but never spoke.” Later, at another dance competition, the two finally chatted. After a year of friendly banter when they would run into one another, the two fell into deep conversation at a friend’s birthday party and began dating.

The Bride Wore: Vika had dreamed of having that “aha” moment when she tried on her wedding gown but after trying on dress after dress, she was discouraged. “But the moment I put my Maggie Sottero gown on, that was it,” she explains. “That dress embodied everything I wanted.” The strapless gown was classic yet modern with a sweetheart neckline, fitted bodice and ball gown skirt. “It was fun. I could dance in it all night.”

Personal Touch: The couple incorporated a wine bottle and wooden box, to which Vika and Steve then added their personal written vows. “The only time we can open up the box is if we’re having marital problems,” says Steve, “or on our 10-year anniversary.”

Photography Choco Studio

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