We featured a gorgeous fashion spread at Manka’s Inverness Lodge in Northern California in the latest edition of Pacific Weddings magazine. Surrounded by Point Reyes with its rustic boathouse overlooking Tomales Bay, Manka’s picturesque location is the perfect rural escape for vacations and weddings alike. Photographer Bret Cole captured the simply lovely and intimate wedding of Vicky and Roger in the boathouse.
From the Bride: Our wedding style was simple elegance. Roger and I are fundamentally laid-back, low-frills people and I wanted something that was special and reflective of our personalities. Of all the celebrity weddings I’d seen, my favorite was JFK Jr. and Caroline Bessette-Kennedy’s teeny little event. It was classy, elegant, and oh-so-timeless. We knew we wanted a smaller celebration of family and very close friends. Later in the evening, we hosted a traditional Chinese wedding banquet for our bridal party and family members. This gave us more freedom to do what we as a couple wanted, instead of complying with traditions we’d only heard about.
We decided to have the wedding in the SF Bay Area even though we’re now based in Los Angeles. Most of Roger’s family and friends are in San Francisco. I also knew I didn’t want a hotel ballroom because they all look the same to me. The Boathouse at Manka’s Inverness Lodge was the standout venue despite the drive to get out to Inverness, because of its simplicity and uniqueness. I didn’t feel compelled to “dress it up” to give it personality because it has so much charm of its own. Plus we were fairly certain we would get amazing food at the reception!
The majority of our budget was spent on catering and we received lots of compliments on Margaret Grade and Daniel De Long’s rehearsal dinner and reception hors d’oeuvres. Maralyn at Have Your Cake was amazing and accommodating and Roger was extremely impressed with her craftsmanship. She was able to offer guidance on both visual and financial considerations.
With the event design, I knew that while I’m fairly decent at DIY projects, I also wouldn’t have much time and energy to create what was essentially a destination wedding. A small, simple wedding in a visually interesting venue help to cut-down on a lot of the finicky details and costs. I am the world’s laziest budget bride! It’s been really gratifying to hear from other guests that they liked the way we structured our wedding (number of guests, simplicity, how we went straight to food and socializing after a very short ceremony). Our officiant, one of my best friends from college, has already been asked to do another friend’s wedding!
I was hoping to acquire a wedding dress that could double as an evening gown, rather than a ballgown that I could only wear once. I’d seen the Nicole Miller gown on a few wedding sites and liked it, but hated the fact that I couldn’t try it on before buying it. We finally stopped in at Bloomingdales in SF Union Square on a whim, and I found the Nicole Miller in my size (or close to it) and on sale! Yay! It needed a few alterations…but the moral of the story is, always check the sale racks.
For beauty, I asked Bret Cole, our amazing, amazing photographer, for recommendations. I figured that she’d seen enough people’s work that she’d be able to point me towards someone whose style would shoot well, and wasn’t too overdone. I was right! Chris McDonald and Toni were awesome.
Event Venue: Manka’s Inverness Lodge
Photography by Bret Cole Photography
Event Design: the bride
Catering: Margaret Grade + Daniel De Long at Manka’s
Cake + Favors: Have Your Cake
Invitations: DIY with help from Anita Cheng Design + Econoprint
Hair: Toni Marion
Makeup: Chris McDonald
Bridal Gown: Nicole Miller
Earrings + Bridesmaids Brooches: David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy Twist Wrap
Tealight Lanterns: Bliss Weddings Market
Guestbook: Fat Quarter Shop