Our ceremony will continue to be the moment Ray & I look back and cherish most about our Wedding Day. We had dreamed of seeing each other at the ends of the aisle for the first time, hearing our Pastor speak of the lifelong covenant we were entering into, & saying our vows, under God & in the presence of our family & friends. When the moment came, it felt like a dream. An all too wonderful one.
During the dawning days of wedding planning, there was no doubt in our minds that we envisioned an indoor ceremony. We loved the idea of being inside, gathering everyone under one roof, sharing in one moment together, eliminating any possibility for outside distractions to enter in. Our desire was for the focus to be on the clarity of our Pastor's message, allowing the four walls to shelter our vows and warm us with the feeling of our witnesses so near. This was the feeling we were after.
Flash back to 2012, to the first time I ever stepped foot into the little church on 10th and Cabrillo. My church was holding a worship event, Summer of Psalms. My roommates and I were eager to go. We lived near Japantown and when we arrived in the Richmond District, it felt incredibly foreign to me. I never spent much time out there. But here we were, in front of a little, neighborhood church, across the street from the neighborhood market and laundry mat, nestled next to a sweet apartment building, propped up at the end of the row of them.
We entered through these big, white doors, followed by another spiral like staircase. As we turned the corner, I saw the sanctuary for the first time. Awe struck me instantly. Aged wood floors, vaulted ceilings, white walls, rich dark wood moldings. Stepping into that space made me feel as though I was tasting the past, yet could remain ever so present in the moment.A lovely paradox. Nothing else seemed to matter.
I remember we packed every inch of the little church out that evening. Sitting side by side, singing worship songs, feeling hotter than normal. The sound was beautiful, held within the walls, yet possessing the power to burst off the ceiling & reach the heights of heaven. It was an evening I'd never forget.
Little did I know, the following year, I would frequently drive past this quaint, little church. When Ray and I started dating, I found out he just so happened about 10 blocks down the same street! At every drive by, I was reminded of the evening of Psalms, singing in that intimate space, wrapped up in its unique architecture
Now flash forward to 2015, sweet Ray and I are engaged and the venue search has begun. As I spent embarrassing amounts of time, roaming the realms of the internet, I began discovering that a great deal of churches throughout the city held very strict standards in regards to holding a wedding. You'd think they'd just let you rent the space, right? At least that's what I thought! But no, there were limits on everything. From allowing only specific days & times, to strict stipulations on how close a photographer could be to take pictures, how you could decorate, and who exactly would marry you.
However, knowing the rules helped me think outside the box, & with that, I dove into my memory bank. Connections & community are very important to me. Without a doubt, we hoped Dave Lomas, who was our pastor & pre marital counselor and who has been in my life since the birth of Reality SF back in 2010, would be officiating our ceremony. So that eliminated some venues instantly. And then I remembered that quaint little church & thought, "Now, I wonder if we could get married there.. I'd love to get married there..."
So, I just asked!
Yep, I sent an e-mail over to the Pastor of Christ Church, who just so happened to be good friends with Dave. I mentioned how much I loved the church & what an honor it would be to get married there. Trying to sounds confident with my words, while battling with the butterflies that fluttered about in my stomach.
A few days later, a reply entered my inbox. He said, "Yes!"
What a dream! The Lord opened that door for us, enabling our connections within the body of Christ to allow us to experience the joys of community on the day of our wedding.
Having both lived in San Francisco for 9 years, the city has grown to be our home. And now, I live only 10 blocks from the church we got married in! What a full circle. To this day, I love walking up the street to stop by the church, being reminded of my covenant to Ray, our family and friends, and the faithfulness & goodness of the Lord.
more stories to share. till next time. xxx
All Photography by: Josh Gruetzmacher