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Decisions, Decisions, Done! October 7, 2010

Posted by missalid in I Want What I Want!, Wedding Planning and More.

Don’t get it twisted, I have been planning and getting things in place. Yeah I’ve been to Disneyland and California Adventure where I was a VIP at Gay Days Disney, but I have been on the job!

I can’t lie though, I was dragging my feet a bit – hence I lost our original wedding date of May 14. However, it’s now an even better day, May 21 – not only an auspicious date on the Chinese calendar but also Judgment Day. Yes, Jesus will return just in time for my wedding. At least that’s what Google tells me.

I decided I wanted a quintessential San Francisco wedding. The Don is originally from Philadelphia, and my family and friends are spread from California to the east coast as well. I hated to think about having scads of people fly into one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and have a wedding in Redwood City or Mountain View. I wanted San Francisco, darn it (something I had to actually say during a family dinner were I was called a Bridezilla). And a view of my beloved City by the Bay (queue Journey!)

And that’s what I shall have.

I searched HereComestheGuide.com and found many venues – some great, and some not so great. It’s amazing how hard it is to find a venue with a view. I did a lot of site checks, first up on my wish list, the Flood Mansion. Perhaps you don’t know me very well, but those who do, would know the word “mansion” on my wedding invitation would have me sold. In the tony Pacific Heights neighborhood of the City, the Flood Mansion is the spot to hold a party. But the joint is booked up months in advance – through July of next year when I inquired way back in August. And I would have to provide valet parking for my guests, to the tune of at least $2400 (a budget line item I wasn’t ready for), and the venue fee is $8500. Yes, just to open the doors and tune on the lights for you.

So I passed.

But I did go right down the street to the other manse, the Hamlin Mansion. A girl’s day school during the week, wedding and party venue on the weekends – it looked like the set of a Harry Potter movie when I looked around. Plus I didn’t like the idea of my guests sipping cocktails, looking out the windows at the Golden Gate Bridge and then seeing a playground and jungle gym down below.

I passed on that one too.

Then I took The Don to the City Club (his first site visit – I doled them out appropriately so not to overwhelm him) in the financial district. Loved the art deco interior, the grand staircase and the lush two-story fresco by Diego Rivera. But the photos online of “the view” were deceiving. The City Club’s set up would have us marrying on the 10th floor, upstairs to the 11th for dinner, then back down stairs to the 10th for cake and dancing. Did I mention a lot of my guests and family fall into that geriatric league? I could totally foresee my mother never seeing me cut the cake, or not folks not enjoying the dance floor, because they were upstairs. I know my crowd.

So I moved on. I looked into the Fairmont Hotel (booked beyond belief) and other venues here and there. Who knew it was more than $10K to use Grace Cathedral up on Nob Hill. It was booked too, but I could use the side chapels for upwards of $7500. Who knew…? I just wondered. I guess now I know.

Actually I picked the first venue I looked at, shortly after getting engaged.

My father was retired military. Growing up each and every Saturday afternoon, after my dance lessons my mother, grandmother and I would venture to the Presidio (and other bay area bases) to do our shopping and have lunch. Sometimes my dad would come with us and take me to feed the ducks while my mother finished up her errands. I was even born at the base hospital. Tax-free benefits. I suppose the post is close to my heart in some ways. The Presidio is now a national recreation center and most of the base facilities and buildings are used for non-profits, businesses, museums and other historical sites. Did I mention the Don worked in one of the Presidio buildings up until 2009?

I always dreamed my father would walk me down the aisle. Since he’s passed on, I thought what better way to pay tribute to my Dad by have my wedding and reception in a place that symbolizes so much about him to me.

And even better, I’m getting my wish to have the ceremony and reception in one place – remembering my geriatric crew in wheelchairs and walkers. No need to move your car – park once, party all night long.

The Don and I will marry at Presidio Main Post Chapel, and then our guests will walk down the hill to the Golden Gate Club for the reception festivities.

I got the view I wanted. Parking is free. I get to pay homage to Vernon. The Don likes it.

I am delighted!



1. MrsTDJ - October 12, 2010

Sounds like a win! I like the connection to your father and Don.

2. CreoleInDC - December 1, 2010

Awwwwwwwwww! I’m sniffling!

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