With an intimate wedding ceremony at Cavallo Point a few months prior, Carmina and Bill wanted to celebrate their marriage with friends and family in a fun and unique way.
Being on the water holds a special meaning to the newlyweds so in searching for their ideal venue they wanted to ensure that they had the best of both worlds; being surrounded by the people they love while celebrating on the water they love. The venue, The Lake Chalet
in Oakland, California is a beautiful restaurant that was opened in a historic boathouse right on Lake Merritt with stunning views of the lake and the surrounding city.
The venue had beautiful built-in wooden tables and cushioned benches for the private dock that we rented for the reception so we incorporate some color and texture into the scattered tall cocktail tables and low 4-top tables for more intimate seating for guests.
Adding floral elements was a good way to not only add a decor element but to allow them to add a more elegant feel to the reception. Since we didn’t have traditional guest dining tables, we went with a mix of small arrangements as well as beautiful lantern arrangements.
The lanterns were rented, along with all of the linen, from Pleasanton Rentals and although they were not nautical per se, they had a beautiful look to them that worked perfectly in the space. Jennifer, owner and floral designer behind Busy Bees Floral Designs, filled the lanterns with an array of moss, drift wood, succulents, and fresh blooms to create the most amazing unique centerpiece. The tall cocktails and scattered coffee tables in the lounge areas had small arrangements with a variety of white blooms, succulents, and bleached fern to coordinate with the lanterns.
Although this was not a wedding ceremony, it was still important for the bride to have personal flowers for not only herself but for their honorary flower girls and the couples 4 combined older children. The two sweet flower girls were custom floral crowns made by Jennifer. Each floral crown was unique and featerued the tiniest of succulents, greenery, itty bitty blooms, and some fresh wild berries. The Flower Girls felt like the adorable little princesses for the evening! Keeping with the non-traditional aspects, the bride and their 3 daughters all wore very ornate and delicate floral bracelets handcrafted by Busy Bees Floral. The brides bracelet was on an elastic pearl band and donned both roses and succulents while the 3 daughters had bracelets on silk ribbon that tied onto their wrists. The groom and his son wore coordinating boutonnieres, also.
In keeping with the fun, casual and nautical-inspired theme of this reception, we kept the decor simple but with an elegant touch it. The couple is quite funny so we were sure to incorporate some of their sense of humor into their custom signage, too.
The signage that we had made for the party showed the couples fun side as well as their love for boats and being out on the water together. They opted for a “Message in a Bottle” where their friends and family could write a special little note to them and tuck in blue glass bottle for them to read at a later date. The guests loved the fun spin on the traditional guest book!
To keep with the boat-loving theme and provide a fun and unique activity for guests, the couple provided gondola rides around Lake Merritt for any guests who wanted to go on a scenic boat ride!
With the clear blue skies, the warm weather, and a light breeze, it was the perfect evening for the happy couple to celebrate their love with everyone around them. At the end of the evening, while their guests stayed and danced and enjoyed a churro bar, the newlyweds sailed off into the night on their gondola!