First Universalist Unitarian Church Wedding: Wendy and Mario - Grier Cooper Photography

First Universalist Unitarian Church Wedding: Wendy and Mario

Wendy and Mario’s First Universalist Unitarian Church wedding in San Francisco was an elegant and lively family celebration; from the early moments of getting ready laughter echoed through the hallways. Mario and his groomsmen were dressing in the room adjacent to where Wendy and her bridesmaids were preparing. The women let out a cheer every time the guys sounded boisterous next door; for a short time it became a contest to see which group was having more fun. 

Photo of groom dressing at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of groom dressing at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of groom dressing at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of groom dressing at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of groom with groomsmen at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

The bride gets ready

The bridesmaids and Maid of Honor wore strapless gowns in a beautiful shade of muted rose, with beaded detail at the waist. Wendy’s dress had a lace bodice studded with crystal and pearl beaded details. Her mother and sister helped her into her gown, and her mother expertly cinched and tied the corset in the back.

Photo of bride getting ready at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bridesmaids getting ready at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bridesmaids getting ready at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride getting ready at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride getting ready at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride getting ready at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride's shoes at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride's bouquet at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Moments before the wedding ceremony

Moments before it was time to walk down the aisle with her father, tears began sliding down Wendy’s cheeks. She came up with the perfect solution: “Quick, you guys,” she told the group, “remind me of some of the things that bug me about him so I can stop crying.” Her friends were happy to oblige, and she was photo-ready in minutes.

Photo of bride crying at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride crying at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride's father seeing her in her wedding dress at First Universalist Unitarian Church San Francisco | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

The ceremony

Wendy and Mario’s First Universalist Unitarian Church wedding ceremony took place in the beautiful side chapel, a space graced with soaring ceilings and jewel-toned floor-to-ceiling stained glass. The chapel was a beautiful backdrop and just the right size for the intimate wedding. Speeches by the best man and Mario’s sister added an unexpected touch of humor to the ceremony.

Photo of wedding ceremony in the chapel at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of wedding ceremony in the chapel at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of wedding ceremony in the chapel at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of wedding ceremony in the chapel at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of wedding ceremony in the chapel at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

San Francisco had been quite smoky as I arrived at the First Universalist Unitarian Church wedding, (due to the ferocious Northern California wildfires) but the skies had magically cleared after the ceremony when everyone moved outside. The courtyard of the church was quite spacious, able to accommodate all of the guests for a group shot.

Photo of bride in the courtyard at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride with bridesmaids in the courtyard at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of groom with groomsmen in the courtyard at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride and groom in the courtyard at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride and groom with their wedding guests in the courtyard at the First Universalist Unitarian Church | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

The reception at Potrero Neighborhood House

Wendy and Mario grew up in the same neighborhood of San Francisco, and really, they grew up together-they started dating in high school. The couple chose to have their reception at the Potrero Neighborhood House, located in the Potrero Hill district of San Francisco, where they have always lived. Built in the 1920s by famed architect Julia Morgan, the Potrero neighborhood house has a cozy, vintage feel, and spectacular views of the downtown city skyline.

Photo of table decor at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of table decor at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride and groom at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride and groom at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

After a buffet dinner by Senora Maritza Catering, toasts were given by Mario’s brother, and Wendy’s sister, followed by the couple’s first dance and parent dances. This quickly escalated to a family affair as more family members were called up on stage one by one to join them.

Photo of bride and groom first dance at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of groom dancing with his mother at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride dancing with her father at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of groom dancing with his mother-in-law at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

A surprise wedding gift

Wendy’s Maid of Honor had a surprise for the couple: a visit from the San Francisco Giants mascot, Lou Seal. Wendy had always hoped that Mario would propose on the field during a Giants game, so this was the perfect gift.  Lou Seal proceeded to thoroughly entertain the crowd, and in moments the dance floor was packed.

Photo of bride and groom dancing with Lou Seal at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of guests dancing at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of guests dancing at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of guests dancing at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

The couple ended their evening by sharing a slice of cake before returning on stage for the bouquet toss and garter toss. From the early part of the day, at the First Universalist Unitarian Church wedding, to the final moments of the reception at the Potrero Neighborhood House, where the party continued against the backdrop of glittering city lights, Wendy and Mario’s day was joyful and blessed.

Photo of bride preparing to toss bouquet at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride tossing bouquet at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of groom tossing garter at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo pf cake serving utensils at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding ceremony | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA Photo of wedding cake at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding ceremony | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of wedding cake at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding ceremony | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CAPhoto of cupcakes at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Photo of bride and groom sharing cake at Potrero Neighborhood House wedding | photo by Grier Cooper Photography, Richmond, CA

Wendy and Mario, wishing you happiness together always!

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