When Bret Bustos of Alameda met Gina Hart the spark between them was instant. They began to date and as their love and friendship blossomed, it became clear to Bret that Gina was the one for him. This ultimately led Bret to pop the question to which Gina happily said yes. Now that Gina & Bret had officially declared their love for each other, it was time to start planning their dream wedding. As they began the process, there were two things they were certain of. First, the wedding would take place in Alameda, the town that Bret grew up in with his family having a rich history. Alameda is Gina’s new home that she has also grown to love as it has provided both of them so many great memories of family and friends. Second, the wedding would be a 1920’s themed wedding paying homage to the Art Deco era. With their vision clear, they had to assemble a team to help create and execute their wedding vision. Their first step was to hire a wedding planner. Their criteria for a planner was very clear. They wanted a planner who was creative, experienced and organized. In order for Gina and Bret to have the wedding day of their dreams, a few things had to happen. They had a venue to transform, a select team of vendors to hire and a budget to maintain. The right planner was critical in achieving this goal.
Gina and Bret decided to work with Sanford Marshall, Owner of The Wedding Coach. The Wedding Coach is a full service event planning company based in Alameda. Sanford Marshall has spent over 15 years producing weddings and events in the luxury category. The Wedding Coach has a philosophy that immediately resonated with Gina and Bret. The Wedding Coach believes the bride and groom deserves to enjoy the entire planning process from start to finish. “Don’t let the stress of planning your wedding spoil your enjoyment of this beautiful process.There are so many special moments in this journey to the altar, relish every one of them.” says Sanford Marshall.
Now with the planner on board equipped with a clear understanding of their vision, it was time to build the team of vendors who would all work together to provide Gina & Bret with their dream wedding. Little did any of them know their dream wedding would not only display their amazing love and affection, it would also serve as a day that brought together a host of local vendors and venues providing to be a showcase of some of the best that Alameda and Oakland has to offer.
The backdrop for this magical day would be at a private residence in Alameda. Gina and Bret wanted a unique space for this intimate gathering of family and friends. They wanted a space they could transform to achieve a certain look and feel. A space that would allow the vibe to feel like you were entertaining friends in your home, then retreating to a backyard celebration. This venue allowed just that.
Gina had one place in mind to try on wedding dresses – Lilac Dress Boutique of Alameda. The owner, Pilar Burlingham, has uniqueness all her own when it comes to giving spot-on advice on what style looks fantastic on you. In February 2009, she opened her own dress boutique–’Lilac’–named after her two children, Leila and Isaac. Lilac is a boutique specializing in special occasion dresses with an emphasis on contemporary and destination wedding gowns. They also carry a collection of dresses perfect for cocktail and engagement parties, prom, rehearsal dinners and that upcoming trip or honeymoon. In addition to this selection of dresses, they offer casual clothing and accessories, such as jeans, tee-shirts and sweaters. In 2012, Pilar has added a mens section to her store.
For their ceremony the choice was clear. David Mann, owner of La Val’s Pizza in Alameda. Dave performed a beautiful ceremony in the backyard filled with love, humor and great advice based upon his many years of marriage.
Gina and Bret wanted a caterer that would showcase local, fresh California cuisine and Royal Raspberry Catering did just that! From the Prosciutto di Parma, perfectly wrapped around local asparagus spears, to the tender grilled Tri-Tip of Beef with their freshly harvested rosemary and oregano, every dish wowed the guests. Royal Raspberry Catering provided top notch service, as their professional, smiling staff made sure every guest was taken care of. The food and the service from Royal Raspberry was impeccable and guests gave rave reviews all night.
Susan Bell was Gina’s choice for her flowers. Susan Bell is a local Alameda florist specializing in personalizing her arrangements for every client no matter what occasion. On this day, Susan added a special crystal sparkle to Gina’s bouquet to give it a vintage Deco feel. . . and even went so far as to give Gina her own mother’s 20′s style Deco bracelet as a gift.
Mitch Aidelbaum from San Francisco, a personal friend of Gina and Bret, immediately knew that if Gina and Bret wanted images that would capture their theme, then the space must be at the Alameda Theatre.
When the Alameda Theatre opened in 1932, it was a glamorous Art Deco movie palace. Throughout the decades, it fell on hard times, but in 2000, the City of Alameda became formally involved in its restoration. A three-part $37.3 million restoration has restored it to its original glory. The lush textures and rich colors would allow Gina and Bret to go back in time and pay homage to the Art Deco era. Mitch’s amazing eye for detail and simple approach made the photographs come alive and allowed him to capture images that are simply stunning.
To ensure their guests would be able to dance the night away, they needed the perfect DJ. A DJ who brings the right energy and style to each and every event. The DJ who achieved this goal was Domingo Reynolds, a.k.a, DJ Hellagood. He has a great local following and reputation for spectacular showmanship and amazing sets that keeps the crowd moving.
The key to the transformation of the venue came down to lighting. Gina really wanted a certain look and feel that would round out the experience. Quantum Music Event Planners provided the perfect package that provided romance and drama utilizing market lights and other accents.
Gina wanted to add something a little different than just the cake at her wedding. The special touch would be accomplished by serving her guests Madeleines from a local Alameda vendor, Donsuemor. These are not your ordinary cookie, it’s a moist little cake with a fresh, unforgettable taste. Gina and Bret also wanted to experience the traditional cutting of the cake. This delightful cake was made from local pastry chef, Caty Kobe and allowed Gina and Bret to experience every magical moment they desired.
The centerpieces captured that vintage look perfectly with Gina’s DIY project of assorted vintage glass plates glued together with candlesticks, champagne glasses and other unique items that transformed them into cake plates. The madeleines topped the cake plates perfectly adding that sweet touch. The Art Deco candle on variety vintage plates added to the romantic ambiance and the gold framed table numbers in Art Deco font rounded off the display.
All of these individual elements when standing alone are already impressive, but on this day as they were all interwoven, they helped make a magical wedding day for this beautiful couple. It truly displayed why a wedding in Alameda can be a special place to have your dream wedding.