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Jesica & Karl Black Bear Inn Wedding Photography

Bay Area Wedding Photographers

Black Bear Inn Wedding Photography

Jesica & Karl’s Colorful and Radient Outdoor Wedding

SF Wedding Photgraphy
San Francisco Wedding Photographers

Karl and I met in Mechanical Engineering undergrad at SJSU. At the time, being a female in the Engineering building was almost unheard of and apparently my waist-length platinum hair made me a unicorn.

Black Bear Inn Wedding Photography
Black Bear Inn Wedding Photography
SF Wedding Foftografie
San Francisco Bay Area Wedding Photography

Continuing with the vintage feel, Karl drew inspiration from “many Manhattans and Old Fashions”.

Bay Area Wedding Photographer
SF Wedding Photographers
Bay Area Wedding Photography

 The dress ended up being all that and more, bringing a modern flair with flattering straight lines of lace while at the same time invoking her inner Spanish queen!

SF Bay Area Wedding Photgraphers
San Francisco Wedding Photography
San Francisco Bay Area Wedding Photographers
SF Wedding Photographers

Karl likes to call us “Fire and Ice”. I am a passionate person thanks to my latin blood, I can’t seem to feel emotions halfway. Karl is more mild, he is pragmatic and cool headed.

Black Bear Inn Wedding Photography
SF Wedding Photgraphers
Bay Area Wedding Photography

We wrote first-look letters for exchange to have our own sentimental and private moment which allowed us to skip reciting vows.

Black Bear Inn Wedding Photographers
Black Bear Inn Wedding Photography
Black Bear Inn Wedding Photographer
San Francisco Wedding Photgraphers
Black Bear Inn Wedding Photgraphers

Karl and I spent our weekends building rustic planters (centerpieces) from reclaimed redwood fence boards and planted them with herbs, flowers, and jade for good luck 😉

San Francisco Wedding Photographers
Bay Area Wedding Photographer
SF Wedding Photgraphers
SF Bay Area Wedding Photgraphers

Our ceremony and reception were both at the Black Bear Inn in Arnold California. When we visited for the first time, we knew “this was it”.

SF Wedding Photographers
San Francisco Wedding Photgraphy
Bay Area Wedding Photgraphers

The butterfly release was particularly special to us- we both lost grandparents and relatives who could not be present in flesh, but were in spirit.

SF Wedding Photographers
Black Bear Inn Wedding Photography
San Francisco Wedding Photographers

The centerpieces were meant to be romantic garden planters with a rustic edge- building them together also gave us an opportunity to grow and work as a team (not always easy!)

Wedding Photographers in SF
Bay Area Wedding Photographers
Wedding Photographers in the Bay Area
Wedding Photographers in SF

We also brought a whimsical touch to the seating arrangements, using “South African Spirit Animals” instead of numbers as a nod to our FANTASTIC honeymoon.

SF Wedding Photography
Wedding Photographers in San Francisco
SF Bay Area Wedding Photography
Bay Area Wedding Photography
San Francisco Wedding Photographers

As engineers, making things and the “do it yourself” attitude is part of who we are. We tried to bring that to the tablescapes and decor details.

Bay Area Wedding Fotographers
Wedding Photographers in the Bay Area
Bay Area Wedding Photographers
Black Bear Inn Wedding Photography

Having lawn games and a cigar lounge was something we both agreed upon early on. We wanted our guests to have the freedom to roam and do whatever was comfortable and not feel obligated to dance or sit at the table all night.

SF Wedding Photography
Bay Aea Wedding Photgraphers
SF Wedding Photography
Bay Area Wedding Photgrapher

The music lists were selected ourselves and ordered according to the events throughout the evening. We wanted a cross section of our audio lives, something that is central to our partnership: jazz, swing, classic rock, hip hop, tango, outlaw country and Italian wedding songs (of course!).

Bay Area Wedding photographers
SF Wedding Photgraphy

We are compliments. As we continue our journey in this new chapter, I am amazed at how much we are still learning about one another.

SF Wedding Photographers

<h5 style=”text-align: center;”> “You are becoming a union, not a single person.”</h5>


 Most couples reserve their date in our calendars 12+ months prior to their wedding day.


Venue: Black Bear Inn

Caterer: Lady Lunch Catering

Wedding Planner: Beginning Bliss

Cake Pops: Sweet Lauren Cakes

Hair & Makeup: Flawless Hair and Makeup Design

Florist: Kathy Kurgen with: Country Flower Hutch


Karl and I met in Mechanical Engineering undergrad at SJSU. At the time, being a female in the Engineering building was almost unheard of and apparently my waist-length platinum hair made me a unicorn 😛 Karl and I talked in class and he intentionally started “bumping into me” at the cafe. From there, we got to know each other well over many caffeine fueled homework sessions and test cramming into the wee hours of the morning. On our 5th anniversary last year in Nov, Karl surprised me by taking me to Maverick’s beach in Half Moon Bay where we had our first date. He proposed right there on the beach and even had a photographer secretly waiting to capture it all. He further surprised me with an awesome stay at the Ritz HMB. Truly one of the best days of my life. My engagement ring was perfect: a Princess cut solitaire diamond on a white gold setting with a knife edge band. Originally I did not want a second band until I fell in love with dainty stack-able ones. I chose a rose gold 3mm wide (stack-able) band with alternating sapphires (Karl’s birthstone) and diamonds in milgrain oval settings. Karl had a Damascus steel domed band with an off-set rose gold meridian custom made. It’s not a ring, it’s a work of art!

Our ceremony and reception were both at the Black Bear Inn in Arnold California. When we visited for the first time, we knew “this was it”. The grounds were beautiful and incorporated both the garden and natural forest feel. The inn keepers Bruce and Wendi are also incredibly warm and wonderful people. Karl and I spent a great deal of time writing our own ceremony. We wrote first-look letters for exchange to have our own sentimental and private moment which allowed us to skip reciting vows. The butterfly release was particularly special to us- we both lost grandparents and relatives who could not be present in flesh, but were in spirit. We wanted to remember them with our family and friends, and to share their spirit with everyone. Seeing the Monarchs drift around the property during the rest of the day (and weekend!) was a beautiful reminder to us that our loved ones are always with us. Having my nieces and nephews be a part of the procession was so fun for us. They brought a sweet innocence and pure joy to the ceremony that calmed our nerves and made the day that much more special. The processional song was “Here comes the sun” (acoustic cover version) and recessional song was “You’re my best friend” by Queen- both self explanatory in meaning :)

We wanted to keep our reception fun and casual- truly a party for not only us to enjoy but all of our guests. Our tables were rustic banquet tables set end to end so our guests could talk and mingle. The centerpieces were meant to be romantic garden planters with a rustic edge- building them together also gave us an opportunity to grow and work as a team (not always easy!). As engineers, making things and the “do it yourself” attitude is part of who we are. We tried to bring that to the tablescapes and decor details. The Italian linens on both the sweetheart table and the cake table were brought from Italy by my (Jes’) Nonna. They were not only gorgeous and hit the nail on the head in terms of look, I was excited to have something of a family “heirloom” at our reception. This was mirrored in our toasting goblets which were the same crystal glasses my Nonno and Nonna used to toast at their 50th Anniversary party. They are good luck! We also brought a whimsical touch to the seating arrangements, using “South African Spirit Animals” instead of numbers as a nod to our FANTASTIC honeymoon. The kids really enjoyed the animal figurines I hid in the planters 😉 Karl put his signature on the libations, sourcing three nearly impossible to get beers and making sure they were ice cold. The music lists were selected ourselves and ordered according to the events throughout the evening. We wanted a cross section of our audio lives, something that is central to our partnership: jazz, swing, classic rock, hip hop, tango, outlaw country and Italian wedding songs (of course!). Having lawn games and a cigar lounge was something we both agreed upon early on. We wanted our guests to have the freedom to roam and do whatever was comfortable and not feel obligated to dance or sit at the table all night. Turns out this was a hit and the lounge saw plenty of action.
Our first dance was a bit of a wrinkle. We realized during cocktail hour that the fancy tango/rumba we learned choreography for didn’t work in my long dress! Nonetheless, we went out there and strutted our stuff as best and classy as we could to Dean Martin’s “Sway.” I had my father-daughter dance to “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel, sentimental to me because I always remembered sitting in my parent’s workshop with them listening to his albums
Continuing with the vintage feel, Karl drew inspiration from “many Manhattans and Old Fashions”. He wanted the guys to look classy but relaxed. The suspenders and peacock print bowties with clean white dress shirts nailed the look. He found some nice linen pants that had a worn charcoal look and also kept the guys cool. Lastly, some chili-brown wingtips brought the modern vintage feel full circle. Of course we couldn’t resist putting our adorable nephews in newspaper boy outfits complete with plaid suspenders, caps, and grey converse! For his own attire, Karl wanted to go all out with an Italian wool herring bone custom suit. He specifically wanted a waistcoat that would look sharp without a blazer (again, August is hot in Arnold) and opted for full-cloth. The bride agrees there’s nothing quite like a beardly man in a well-tailored suit 😉
Jes started her style with a fun peacock feather fascinator for vintage inspiration. She wanted a beautiful vintage gown with lace, cap sleeves, and a feminine silhouette. The dress ended up being all that and more, bringing a modern flair with flattering straight lines of lace while at the same time invoking her inner Spanish queen! Adding lace sleeves with a keyhole back made the neckline a touch more vintage. Jes picked playful teal suede heels and pearl earrings as finishing touches. For hair and makeup, Jes opted for a soft fingerwave and cat eyes, a modern classic. The bridesmaids wore lace peplum dresses with a pencil skirt. Teal kitten heels and peacock feather broaches tied it all together. The flower girls wore whatever they wanted, of course :) adorable white lace dresses.
We both instantly agreed on teal and gunmetal as our colors. I loved the idea of a romantic vintage garden theme with peacock feathers and ruffly flowers. Both of us have always been lovers of the outdoors and nature so this tied together perfectly with the core of our beings. Karl and I spent our weekends building rustic planters (centerpieces) from reclaimed redwood fence boards and planted them with herbs, flowers, and jade for good luck 😉 We also made some planters as cake pop stands to match. We bought simple small birdhouses to hang from the Shepard’s hooks lining the aisle, beautiful draping hops vines for the ceremony arch (shout out to our love of beer too!), and cute custom birdie cake toppers. We were blessed to find such a beautiful location to have our wedding and reception- it really didn’t need any decor and we got to party in a garden by the forest! Our family and relatives are also very important to both of us so remembering our deceased or absent loved ones with a special act was always a plan from day 1. We felt the butterfly release was a meaningful way to tie them into our ceremony.
Keeping with the ruffly romantic theme, the flowers were kept to soft, full bloomed roses, Queen Ann’s Lace, and hydrangeas peppered with hypericum berries, monkey tails, and peacock feathers for added texture. The hues were kept soft- white, ivory, blush, and peach to really let the dark monkey tails and feathers pop. To set the bride’s bouquet apart, Jes made white anemones out of Italian crepe paper because she couldn’t live without that stunning pop of black, even though it wasn’t spring! Her’s also incorporated dried hop flower cones for a lovely soft spring green. The bridesmaids’ bouquets incorporated loops of peacock sword feathers, revealing a delicate blue-green fringe between the flowers. Their stems were wrapped in teal.
Karl likes to call us “Fire and Ice”. I am a passionate person thanks to my latin blood, I can’t seem to feel emotions halfway. Karl is more mild, he is pragmatic and cool headed. Together, we temper one another. We are compliments. As we continue our journey in this new chapter, I am amazed at how much we are still learning about one another. Our advice to new couples is two-fold. First, never stop discovering one another. We humans are incredibly complex animals, it is a disservice to the other person to assume you have them completely figured out. Next, love one another for who you really are, don’t try to change your partner. Being in a relationship means you get to experience all the different sides of the other person, good and bad. You are becoming a union, not a single person.