This weekend, I had a chance to participate in a venue tour around San Francisco. Organized by Blu Bungalow, a group of vendors came together to provide a rich experience for brides-to-be, moms, friends and wedding planners, touring six venues around the city. Andrea of Coquette Events was the lead planner and host for the tour where she provided insights on each venue, designed the beautiful tablescape for our fabulous lunch and helped make this tour a success! There is a TON of content in this post so be prepared to be inundated with vendor info + images but I promise it’ll be worth it. Read on!
The ladies met at Blu Bungalow for breakfast, mimosas and an opportunity to get dolled up before we take on the city. Make up by Nicole from Blush and Elizabeth from Skyla Arts. A blue carpet is rolled out for our guests to board a luxury bus, transportation provided by Pure Luxury.
First venue: One Leidesdorff in the Financial District. We are greeted by the Director of Events, Linda Hylen, who showed us the next 3 properties within walking distances of one another.
Second venue: Merchants Exchange Club. While this venue has been around for over 100 years, the Merchants Exchange Club has now opened its doors to host wedding events beginning this year. It’s a gorgeous underground space that is reminiscent of an old world speakeasy from the prohibition era. With gorgeous original artwork and murals, the Merchants Exchange Club is really an underground gem.
Third Venue: Julia Morgan Ballroom. Located on the 15th floor of the Merchants Exchange Building, Julia Morgan Ballroom is an architectural Beaux Arts masterpiece with historical details and the venue is old world romantic. This is where we had a luncheon and learned more about the wedding reception process, from the tablescape, florals, stationary to catering, no detail was overlooked. We had an amazing lunch catered by Elaine Bell and we even got to meet her. Over 30 years of experience in the industry and based in Napa, Elaine Bell is a true inspiration of someone who loves what she does and has proven excellent. From small intimate dinners to +2,000 guests events, Elaine Bell Catering can do it all. Tablescape design by Coquette Events, rentals provided by Classic Party Rentals. Florals by Fig and Twine, Letterpress Menu by Reb Peters, Catering by Elaine Bell Catering. Our lunch culminated with a tour of the kitchen at Julia Morgan. Linda Hylen was an excellent host!
Fourth venue: The Galleria at the San Francisco Design Center, located in San Francisco’s hip design district. Julia Wagner, event manager at the Galleria gave us a tour of the huge space. Here, Spintronix provided music and showcased their MC’ing skills! Guests learned the importance of mood lighting and how great MC and DJ’s can help set the mood of the party. Very important! The ladies left the Galleria with fun swag bags that included the new Style Me Pretty Book.
Fifth Venue: Bluxome Street Winery. This was one of my favorite venues. A modern space with hints of rustic blends the Napa Valley feel right into the city.
“It’s a little known fact that California winemaking started not in Napa or Sonoma, but right here in San Francisco—SOMA, to be exact.” Bluxome Street Winery
This was the perfect venue to sip on wine to enhance our cake tasting experience. Cake provided by The Whole Cake and Vintage Furniture/Decor provided by One True Love Vintage Rentals. We even did an improptu photoshoot (by yours truly) for the ladies that were interested in getting a headshot. Fun times!
Last venue: Flood Mansion. GORGEOUS! We were greeted by Helen Wu, Rental Coordinator at Flood Mansion, where she gave us a comprehensive walkthrough of this historic building. As we entered the courtyard, Entire Productions performed stunning string music from Mozart, Schubert to Beethoven, filling our ears with classical melodies and enriching the experience. The mansion’s architecture reflected the sounds so well that music traveled throughout the entire building. Lighting, also provided by Entire Productions, helped set the romantic and dramatic tone of the space. This venue was by far one of the most breathtaking spaces from all the venues toured. As you step into the main hall, there is a set of windows that you gravitate to. As you walk towards the window, you’re swept away from the expansive views of the San Francisco Bay. The architecture and views are truly majestic. Winning combination!
Finally as the tour winds down, all the guests end up back at Blu Bungalow for some wine and cheese, followed by a mini spa experience. Faces by Liliana Mobile Spa set up a table for guests to receive a quick massage to help decompress from a jam packed day of touring venues. I even got a neck massage and it was sooo needed after a long day of shooting.
Venues: One Leidesdorff, Merchants Exchange Club, Julia Morgan Ballroom, The Galleria, Bluxome Street Winery, Flood Mansion \\ Event Design and Coordinating: Coquette Events \\ Hair+Makeup: Blush, Skyla Arts \\ Tablescape: Classic Party Rentals \\ Florals: Fig and Twine \\ Letterpress Menu: Reb Peters \\ Catering: Elaine Bell Catering \\ Cake: The Whole Cake \\ Vintage Furniture: One True Love Vintage Rentals \\ Flood Mansion Strings and Lighting: Entire Productions \\ Music+MC: Spintronix \\ Mobile Spa: Faces by Liliana \\ Favor Cookies: Kawaii Kookies \\ Transportation: Pure Luxury