I briskly walk past the AI building, checking my watch to make sure I'm early. Seeing more birds and even more bums, I was near. In a few seconds, I pass by the San Francisco library, seeing the familiar blue and gold on top of the majestic building up ahead.
It never gets old. The sight of the San Francisco City Hall always makes me smile. I got married here myself and the rotunda never fails to make me feel sentimental.
In spite of civil weddings being one of my least expensive packages, I anticipate these short and intimate affairs. Each couple is as unique as their love stories. They've been big and they've been small. They could be as small as an eloping couple with me as the guest, witness and photographer. Today's one of those days.
I instinctively remove my bag and watch as I enter the main doors for security. I proceed, as I usually do, to the restroom to make sure I don't have to excuse myself at any point during the shoot.
As I come out of the cubicle, I see a long haired girl in a beautiful gray dress helping another girl with her sari. A normal scene in city hall restrooms.
I make my way out and check my watch to see I'm 15 minutes early. I sneak out of the building for a quick smoke.
Time check: 10 more minutes. I walk back into the building and call Tristan. He's my groom today and has been my main contact for the wedding. I love husbands-to-be who step up and take part in the actual planning.
A few seconds later, I meet my Santa Cruz couple at the main lobby. He introduces me to Elaine, his bride, the same girl in the gray dress I saw earlier. I asked her about her friend, the one she was helping with the sari. She replied that she didn't know her but she needed help and she offered her assistance. I liked her right then.
We proceeded right away with the shoot, chatting while walking to different locations within the building that I now know by heart.
I made a comment that I liked her dress and her and Tristan's overall color scheme of black and gray as I currently have a fondness for the color. Gray nail polish (which we both had), gray eyeshadow, gray stilettos, gray tights, gray dresses...She gushed as she agreed and started to tell me about the little details -- the bouquet, her belt and Tristan's boutineer -- all of which she handmade herself! I was amazed since they didn't look like some DIY high school project but very creative and well made like something that could easily sell for a good price on Etsy or a wedding boutique.
I loved how she created her bouquet with a mix of pearls and silky oriental fabric in different shades of gray and cream, one of which matched Tristan's boutineer.
Her belt was another work of art like an Asian inspired obi with layers of gray fabric flowers that screamed modern and vintage at the same time. Lovelovelove!
I asked her if she made those for a living (cause they looked professionally made) and she said no and said she just wanted to make their day special and wanted to personally make something for Tristan and herself. At this point Tristan bent down and gave her a kiss as I continued to wait with this young and unique couple for their ceremony.
To Elaine and Tristan, thank you for allowing me to be part of your special day. I hope to run into you guys on my next trip to Santa Cruz. And if you eventually decide on making more and selling your creations, let me know! I'll be one of your first customers. =)
Note: Apparently, the creativity doesn't end with Elaine. Tristan made the ring Elaine is wearing below. I couldn't believe it. Beautiful.
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