Californians Emmeline and Paul envisioned a reception space that was modern and large enough to fit their family and friends—yet still intimate. “When we saw the ballroom at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto, it felt perfect,” says Emmeline. “It had a natural, beautiful contemporary design.”
The Scene: Emmeline was struck by the look and feel of a print advertisement for her Oscar de la Renta dress, which showcased a model standing against a lush wall of flowers: “The moment I saw all the fluffy flowers as a backdrop for the gown, I fell in love and had to incorporate it into the wedding design,” she says. Hues of cream, blush and silver painted a muted canvas, and soft, textured fabrics brought dimension and glamour to the ballroom.
The Bride and Groom: Paul had to change his original plan to propose to Emmeline on the Golden Gate Bridge for fear of missing their dinner reservation in Sausalito. After dinner, he took Emmeline to watch the sunset in Marin Headlands, where he gave Emmeline a hug and said, “I need to tell you something.” What he didn’t realise was that he covered her ears during the entire proposal: “I barely heard what he was saying, and then the next thing I know, he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him,” says Emmeline. “It really felt like time stood still.”
The Bride Wore: On Emmeline’s Oscar de la Renta gown, intricate lace and embroidered flowers encrusted the bodice, gradually dispersing towards the hem. “It was the very first wedding gown I tried on, and the moment I put it on, I knew it was the one,” she says.
A Personal Touch: On their first date, Paul surprised Emmeline with a bouquet of her favourite flowers—that is, all except for a single “ugly” carnation, her least favourite bloom. “I laughed when I saw that ugly carnation, and it really captured a piece of my heart.” As a tribute to the flower’s role in their courtship, the couple had the story printed on a large poster, which hung above their welcome table. For escort cards, tags bearing guests’ names and table numbers were tied to glass tubes; each contained a single carnation.
Magical Moment: “All of our guests were enjoying their dinner in the ballroom, and I leaned over to Paul at our sweetheart table and told him, ‘We’re married! Can you believe this is our wedding? Everyone we love is here!’ It was such a special moment to be able to sit back and soak it all in,” says Emmeline. “Seeing all of our loved ones in one place, having a wonderful time in a beyond-beautiful ballroom, really felt like a fairy tale.”