Amy & Steve's San Francisco Burner Double Wedding


The Offbeat Bride: Amy, Web Marketing Manager

Her Offbeat Partner: Steve, Paralegal

Location & date of wedding: Stern Grove, San Francisco, CA — 06/27/2009

The happily married couples.

What made our wedding offbeat: Brian and Helen, some of our best friends, were planning to get married around the same time. We came up with the brilliant idea to have a psudo-double wedding; two ceremonies, one big party. It seemed to make perfect sense — our guest lists were essentially identical, except for our immediate families.

The result was an amazing wedding. We all saved a lot of money, and split all the work in half.

While friends were concerned about the possibility of two strong-minded brides butting heads, we girls actually had the time of our lives planning and shopping together.

We did it all "our way". We had non-traditional clothes, mostly made by local designers. We enlisted friends to DJ. Two bridesmaids got together and made 200 cupcakes!

We are very community-minded people and this was truly a community event!

the full wedding party
The entire wedding party.

Our biggest challenge: The plans involved two couples, rather than just one. This meant there were potentially a lot of people to make happy; we had four mothers and a step mom!

 

Love the ginormous ballons!

Thankfully both brides have run many events and been camp mother of some very large Burning Man camps. We're used to making big things happen and ignoring drama.

 

My favorite moment: The four of us had a head table together. We sat down to eat and just looked at eachother with such satisfaction that after 10 months of planning, it was exactly what we wanted!

My advice for other offbeat brides: Get creative! Weddings can involve lots of things including expenses, drama, expectations, etc. But you can pick and choose what you want. Choose the traditions that resonate with you and do the rest your very own way.

At the beginning, we made clear goals about what we hoped to get out of the wedding and we stuck to them. They were very helpful at keeping us on task and setting priorities.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

Enough talk — show me the double wedding porn!:

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  1. Beautiful wedding! Looks like lots of fun too.

    Please tell me about the green shoes in the slide show! Love them! And I'm looking for something I can safely wear in the grass for my outdoor wedding in May.

  2. I am SERIOUSLY in love with their dresses! What a great idea though! If I had friends getting married at the same time I'd consider this as well.

  3. We're doing the cupcake thing as well. How far in advance did you do the cupcakes?

      • There's a lot of stuff you can do a few weeks in advance. If I were to do it again, I'd premix all the dry ingredients in big tupperware way ahead of time. You're basically making your own cake mix. Then when you're baking, you can just scoop out the right amount of dry stuff into your eggs/butter/oil/etc. Some frosting recipes can sit in the fridge for up to a week You also need to have a very large oven or two ovens. The baked cakes can sit for a maximum of 1 1/2 days before they taste stale.

  4. How did you handle the timing? Did you flip a coin to see who would be married first? Was there a break in between the two ceremonies, or was it back-to-back?

    • We talked it out and came to a decision between the two couples. Amy and I went first, then there was about an hour break (the bar reopened) and then the 2nd wedding. The only downside of this is that it made for a long day. By the time we got to the dancing and reception part, some of the older family were pretty tuckered out. But it was very much worth it.

  5. where did you have your reception. I'm also getting married if S.F and I'm still trying to find a ceremony/reception site!

    • It was at Stern Grove. It includes the Redwood meadow, the Trocadero Clubhouse and the parking lots –but not the amphitheatre. It's very inexpensive–$2200 for the whole day or you can do $1100 for half. There's even a commercial kitchen. It's handled through Golden Gate Park.

  6. Can we find out the brand name of those green/blue shoes? They are very much what I'm looking for!

    Beautiful wedding. Congratulations everyone!

    P.S. My parents are friends with Helen's mom. (;

  7. Hi:
    Congrats on cool wedding. Am probably renting Trocadero fall 2010, it would be just for reception, probably about 120-130 people. How did the house work for seating and dancing? Any tips to give me? We want a fun dinner and dance party. How did you set up the tables or were you outside? Was it a buffet? I like that we can buy our own food and drinks and am going to try and do flowers and decorations myself. Maybe buy pots of cacti in and potted flowers and then plant in my yard and give the rest away.

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