This inspirational November wedding in SF and Montara, CA is full of love every step of the way. It all started in all the little moments leading up to their official first date, exactly six years before their wedding. Keep scrolling; we know you'll love this story as much as we do.
Hanging With Friends, Virtually and in Real Life
Maya and Kevin first met back in 2011 through their mutual friend, Jill, who naturally ended up acting as their witness in their SF City Hall civil ceremony. One night, Jill asked Maya to go with her to a club where Kevin was celebrating his cousin's birthday. Afterward, they all headed to Jill's house for some pizza. While hanging out, Kevin sat on the couch playing a hangman-style word game and invited Maya to play on her phone with him. She did, and over the next couple weeks, they got to know each other through the messaging feature of the game. Then one night they decided to go to a bar and made sure to invite their friends Jill and Chris to make it less awkward.
While at the bar, they had a few drinks and danced. Maya swears that Kevin had more dance moves than he does now! Since they were both into fitness, Kevin invited Maya to work out with him at his gym. After a few sessions, they finally admitted that they were interested in each other and decided to go out on their first official date to Monterey. This was November 22, 2011, exactly six years before their wedding day. Shortly after their first date, Kevin had ACL surgery and Maya nursed him back to health. As they say, the rest is history!
Their Proposal in Europe
After dating for more than four years, Kevin and Maya knew they were ready for the next big step. So when they escaped to Europe in May of 2016, Maya just knew that the proposal would finally happen. As Kevin is totally a "typical guy," Maya was so sure that he would propose at the Eiffel Tower, their first stop once landing in Paris, but it didn't happen. (Kevin later confessed that it was actually his plan to propose there, but it was way too crowded and didn't feel romantic.) Maya chalked the trip up to their annual vacation and put any proposal out of mind. She decided to enjoy herself with the love of her life and keep it simple.
The very next day, they had a busy touristy day, including an amazing food tour and a visit to the Louis Vuitton Foundation. At 1 am, Kevin insisted that they see the Louvre at night. The thought of a proposal briefly skipped back into Maya's mind, but it vanished once they finished with their late-night sightseeing and started to walk back to their Airbnb in La Marais. They were exhausted, near the front door, and caught sight of the adorable courtyard that was lit from the light sensors as they were passing through. It was such a romantic spot. Kevin suddenly grabbed Maya's hand, went down to one knee, and...farted. Yes, he farted! Maya blurted out, "Stop f*cking around!" and tried to walk away and head to bed.
Kevin then pulled out the wooden box he'd been hanging on to all day (in his boxer briefs!) and said, "I'm ready to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" Unable to stop the tears, Maya joyously cried, "Yes!!" However, she saw the simple gold band with the tiny .01 carat diamond and added, "Not what I wanted, but yes!" Kevin grinned and responded, "What are you talking about?" He turned the ring over, revealing a gorgeous round solitaire.
Kevin had passed Maya's test. In her own words: "BEST. VACATION. EVER."
November 22, 2017: A Perfect Fall Wedding in SF and Montara
Their wedding was set for a year and a half after their best vacation ever, set exactly six years after their first date back in November 2011. When they first started planning, it was incredibly easy for them to choose San Francisco City Hall for their ceremony. "Because duh, it's beautiful," they told us. Plus, "to keep it simple." It's true, you won't find any simpler ceremony venue than SF City Hall. It's one of the many reasons why City Hall is our favorite ceremony venue! For the reception, it was another easy choice: La Costanera in Montara "because the FOOD and sunset views." We couldn't agree more. This restaurant has some of the best food and sunset views in the Bay Area, bar none. If you're looking for a coastal wedding reception, La Costanera is an easy choice.
Maya's mantra throughout the wedding planning was to keep it simple. Her dress was a simple Martina Liana, but she did splurge on her incredible Valentino shoes! She and her bridesmaids did all the flowers themselves the night before the wedding, and Kevin's aunt did all the garlands. Maya and Kevin made the easel together, and Jill made all the signs with her Cricut. The escort cards were a team effort; Kevin's parents scrubbed the glue from all the tile and their talented friend Helena did all the calligraphy. These were one of Maya's favorite details from the wedding (and one of our favorite to photograph). Pinterest was everyone's close friend for much of this creative work!
They were even lucky enough to have a friend to DJ the wedding - an actual, local DJ. 🙂 RJ Novalta is a friend of Maya's. Fun fact: He was on America's Best Dance Crew! Sadly, he wouldn't bust a move at the wedding. He is a fantastic DJ and Maya and Kevin were so grateful to have such a great DJ at their wedding.
A Perfect Fall Wedding
Maya and Kevin's civil ceremony at SF City Hall was like a dream. It wasn't a crowded day this November weekday at City Hall, and they were able to bring lots of family and friends. San Francisco City Hall rules state that no more than six guests attend a civil ceremony, but we see that rule broken all the time. As long as guests are respectful, they don't mind. We were able to get lots of lovely photos throughout the building, including on the grand staircase that's normally dotted with lots of visitors. After the ceremony, we photographed Maya and Kevin's private vows up on Tank Hill, where we enjoyed a view of all of SF. This view even included the new Salesforce Tower where they had their engagement photos taken.
After this intimate moment, we all drove down to Montara, near Half Moon Bay. We immediately walked straight to the beach for plenty of beautiful coastal photos, including some along the rocks that parallel the shore. Just before heading into La Costanera, we got a glimpse of the sunset behind Maya and Kevin and got some lovely photos of the golden hues behind and through them.
The reception was a blast. Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed all the details and heart that went into this wedding. The joy in that room was palpable. The day went by so fast for Maya and Kevin. Maya told us, "I really wish we took more time to take it all in. And I now tell brides to make sure they pack deodorant LOL!" Wise words, Maya! It's so true!
Much love, laughter, romance, and sunsets to you both! Photographing you on this beautiful November day was an absolute pleasure.
Ceremony: San Francisco City Hall
Reception: La Costanera
Wedding Dress: Martina Liana
Bride's shoes: Valentino
DJ: RJ Novalta
Cake: When Butter Met Sugar Maya: "They did our fake cake. 🙂 We're not huge cake people. She made sure there was a sliver of matcha to cut through and it was so good!!"
Bakery: Hookt Doughnuts Maya: "We love doughnuts though so we had Hookt Doughnuts come through for some fresh mini doughnuts."
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