Ashley and Nic’s wedding is full of unexpected, outside-the-box twists of which we couldn’t help but take note. For example, Nic proposed to his girlfriend with a bracelet he handmade for her. Next up is their untraditional wedding venue, a photo studio tucked in the heart of San Francisco. Also, both the bride and groom are members of the Baha’i Faith, which has no ceremony traditions – so the couple had the freedom to tailor the ceremony exactly to their needs and desires. Christina McNeill and brownpaperdesign are just the very beginning of the talented team of vendors that brought this day together!
From the bride, Ashley: In June of 2013 Nic and I traveled around Istanbul and Cappadocia, Turkey. After days in Istanbul, we went to beautiful Cappadocia, the home of amazing landscapes, cave homes and hundreds of years of mind-blowing history. One afternoon after a long day of touring, we decided to hike up to an accessible cave house on our own. While we were in awe of this historical cave (probably 200+ years old) I started to take a panoramic photo and as I turned around I see Nic on one knee holding a bracelet he hand made for me. He said “Let’s get married” and I said “Are you serious?” That month we were very seriously talking and praying about getting married so I wasn’t surprised that we’d be married within the year but was very surprised that Nic formally proposed.
Bouquet recipe: My bouquet flowers were pink garden roses and for the reception Danielle from Brown Paper Design used dahlias, hydrangea, garden roses and lysmachia with pops of safflower and lupine.
We knew we didn’t want a traditional venue so we looked around for photo studios and warehouses. Something that could be raw and cool and really work with lots of colors, when we saw DogPatch Studios we fell in love. For vendors we decided to go with who were thought had a similar aesthetic interests as us and then gave them basically all the reigns. We REALLY lucked out in finding like minded creatives and vendors who were, surprisingly, available for that weekend. Nic and I still dream about the food from Small Potatoes Catering (and grateful they worked so well with our budget and time frame). We first fell in love with our photographer, Christina McNeill’s editorial magic and then completely fell for her when we met up to tell her our story. She made us feel so comfortable, was a blast to work with and produced jaw dropping photos. We had Bicyclette do our cake which was delicious and they were a pleasure to work with. Our florist, Brown Paper Design was so awesome to take us on for their busy weekend. We gave them a few floral photos (non-specific at all) and said “we trust you.” After meeting with Danielle from Brown Paper Design, she took our personalities and tastes and created a colorful mod dream!
The ceremony was the most important part of the wedding for Nic and I. We are both members of the Baha’i Faith which has no wedding ceremony traditions. As Baha’is we are only required to do 3 things: 1. Receive parental consent 2. Say this vow: “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God” and 3. have 2 witnesses sign off on the wedding license. The beauty of this is deciding exactly how we wanted our ceremony to go! Our close friend and extremely talented artist, Kelsey Bulkin, sang a prayer for marriage then our other talented married friends Golriz and Devon Gundry sang a song on unity. Once our friends ended, Nic and I exchanged rings, said our Baha’i Vows, kissed and walked down the aisle. I have never felt so much love at one time. The Reception was a blast! The food was killer, the gold wall photo booth was a hit and the toasts were tear jerking. And despite what you might think, we broke it down on the dance floor even with a dry wedding! The following day we invited our friends to meet up for brunch at a local coffee shop and park in our neighborhood (and favorite part of town) Hayes Valley. This was the best way to get to continue the fun and spend time with our favorite group of people all in one place.
I didn’t plan on getting a proper “wedding dress” considering my quick engagement, however I wanted to try some on for fun. I went by myself to a couple of boutiques and had a great time, but wasn’t impressed. I then tried on this Ulla Mijia and had the “dress moment” that I didn’t believe existed. Knowing that I needed it under 3 months, the sales consultant called the designer to make sure it could be made in time, normally they can, however the designer had run out of the lace which was produced in France and the mills had closed for the summer. So, I couldn’t get one in time, but the boutique offered to sell me the sample. I FaceTimed my family and everyone agreed, I needed to get it. THEN, the boutique pulled their offer to sell me the sample and I left empty handed. I was determined not to be brokenhearted, so I went to another dress shop thinking I now knew what I wanted in a dress and multiple dresses later, I was began to feel discouraged. My brother called to ask if I ended up getting the Ulla Mijia dress and I told him what happened. He then asked for the name of the designer, the dress, the size and the color. The next morning he called the designer and got a list of every retailer in the U.S. that carried that dress and proceeded down the line until The Ultimate Bride in Chicago agreed to sell him their sample dress. It arrived two days later on my doorstep, like a dream.
Groom’s Processional: “Blood Fountain,” Horseback
Bride’s Processional: “2 Rights Make 1 Wrong,” Mogwai
First Dance: “True Love Ways,” Buddy Holly
Wedding Location: San Francisco, CA / Photographer: Christina McNeill / Florist: brownpaperdesign / Event Design: Bride, Ashley Ludwin / Venue: Dogpatch Studios / Wedding Dress: Ulla Maija “Simone” via Ultimate Bride / Veil: Custom Made by Wee Scotty / Wedding Shoes: Steve Madden / Hair: Brian of Population Salon / Makeup: Drew Burch / Groom’s Suit, Shirt, Tie, and Shoes: Banana Republic / Wedding Caterer and Rentals: Small Potatoes Catering & Events / Wedding Cake Bicyclette / Lighting: Creative Lighting SF / Tassel Garlands: Confetti System / Wedding Stationery: Paper Source