Noelle and Tyler live in Seattle. The bride’s elegant mother lives in Napa. After two decades as a couple they decided to be married at Sausalito Presbyterian Church. Rain lifted, the air was fresh, and good wishes were many.
As part of their ceremony, Noelle and Tyler and Pastor Paul performed a Handfasting joining of hands and tying them with a ribbon, representing lives bound together.
Ceremony music was important – Noelle has been dancing since she was five. They chose music from film and theater to accompany the entrances and exits.
A gorgeous setting of matching trees, and a very special banner of the “star” and three wisemen, designed and created by Diane Jorgenson, could not have been more beautiful. A Real Winter Wonderland. Noelle chose purple and forrest green for her attendants. For Noelle, all in all lace with a delicately beaded veil, the purple ribbon sash was the perfect accessory.
Noelle and Tyler left their hearts in San Francisco AND Sausalito.
Story and photo by Shirley Latta
Sausalito Presbyterian Church is an exquisite wedding and sacred celebrations site. Picturesque, inclusive, and easily accessible from most Bay Area cities, the architectural and spiritual charm is a delight for all.
Set in the oak-clad hills of Sausalito just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, the craftsman style building has a redwood-shingled exterior and striking architectural features, including leaded glass skylights and a dramatic pyramid-shaped ceiling. Sunlight streams in through tall arched windows, and 20 wall sconces cast a romantic glow. This historic church has occupied its enviable location overlooking the San Francisco Bay for more than a hundred years. And for almost as long it has been a very special place to exchange vows.
Couples of all faiths, nationalities and sexual orientation are welcome! Enjoy the stories and photos of several recent celebrations below. And these short, exceptionally beautiful videos invite your excitement with options for your own celebrations. We would love to help you create the ceremony of your dreams.
Bride Alice was born in Chicago. Her parents were born in South Korea. Groom Aditya was born in India. His parents and close family traveled from India and Dubai for a Sunday wedding at Sausalito Presbyterian Church. A traditional Hindu ceremony was performed on Saturday.
Elegant guests, visiting Sausalito for the first time, brightened the church pews in their many colored silk Indian saris or Korean dress. Music and dance was an important element of the wedding day activities. The Thalea String Quartet performed for the church ceremony. And as the sun was finally going down, Korean and Indian dancers entertained at an Ondine (on the water) reception.
Alice and Aditya will have much to remember since a drone circled above the church and captured the waving sixty-five guests who gathered on the church steps after the ceremony – just as the first breeze of the weekend came off the Bay. The couple will continue their medical practices and make their home in San Francisco.
(Below) THE DOCK OF THE BAY
Stuart and Maria work in Emergency Services in Worcestershire, United Kingdom. Since they have stressful careers, they try to “enjoy life to the full”. For them, as a couple “laughter is key.” Stuart proposed to Maria in Sausalito two years ago and right away they booked their wedding ceremony at Sausalito Presbyterian Church.
It was a delight to welcome this charming English couple and their elegant family and guests to our little church on the hill – men in grey pinstripes and ladies in Summer florals and of course marvelous HATS!
A close friend in a fanciful pinwheel hat recited “An Irish Blessing”. The poem has special meaning because Maria’s recently passed grandfather was Irish. She tied a heart-shaped silver locket with his picture to her wedding bouquet.
As a memory of the wedding, Sausalito and San Francisco – Stuart put together a 30 minute CD of songs for each guest – “On the Dock of the Bay” included everything from The Mamas & Papas and The Beach Boys to Tony Bennet.
After the ceremony the guests were shuttled down the hill and onto the Empress Yacht for a full moon lit champagne dinner.
Each guest “Left Their Heart in San Francisco”. And I heard Maria say to her Dad, “Of all the walks we have taken together, this one I’ll remember forever”
— Story by Shirley Latta
Left: Shirley Latta with some of her lovely flower creations
Right: Our Wedding Singer, professional musician Jennifer Seaman
After saying “I do”, you might choose to lead your guests down the garden steps to your reception at Thomson Hall, which features Australian hardwood floors, more leaded glass windows, and a private courtyard – a lovely spot for mingling over champagne and appetizers or just enjoying the Sausalito sunshine.
Selecting Sausalito Presbyterian Church offers you the pairing of the beautiful location with the services of an experienced Wedding Director, a superbly talented Music Director/Composer, and a Minister to help guide you through the entire event. (scroll down for WEDDING RECEPTIONS)
Click these photos to view this lovely wedding story and larger photos
Click photo to read full story in the New York Times
A WEDDING AFTER 38 YEARS!
The amazing story leading to the Sausalito Presbyterian Church marriage and celebration of Kris and Kevin is so fascinating that it was featured in the Sunday NY Times Style/Wedding Section!
The couple dated in high school. Both their mothers have remained friends for 40 years. But Kevin went off to medical school, became a pilot and ended up in Salt Lake City working as a doctor of chemical dependancy. He lectures around the world.
Kris married someone else, had three children and taught music at the Waldorf schools. When her marriage ended after 18 years, Kevin reached out to her again.
Their marriage ceremony began with Kris’s grandfather declaring “If music be the food of life, then let the music begin”! That was the queue for the Waldorf Alumi Octet, all former students of Kris, to perform selections by Purcell, Pachebel, Corelli, Handle and Torelli. The bride and groom entered the church to an Irish Jig “Haste to the Wedding”. Former Presbyterian ministers and husband and wife performed an elegant ceremony. And the 70 guests continued down the flower lined stairs for a champagne and cake reception where all enjoyed piano jazz.
Shakespeare was right about “Music being the food of life”!
WEDDING IN SAUSALITO
Emily and Jeffrey were married at Sausalito Presbyterian Church. Talented photographer, Ricky Wong of W Photography captured these gorgeous pictures – on the deck of the Casa Madrona Hotel before the ceremony, inside the stunning century old church, in special locations in the garden areas just outside the church, and a final “end of the evening” reception shot on the deck of Ondine. Everything within walking distance. Sausalito, a place for beauty and a Romantic Wedding.
A Family United in Love
After being friends for 28 years, Emily and Jeffrey, with the grace and eloquence of a butterfly, transitioned into marriage at Sausalito Presbyterian Church on April 26th, 2014, and formed a loving home to include daughters Shirley and Julia.
After a surprise butterfly release, the fourteen bridesmaids and groomsmen and the wedding guests, many from the Phillipines, took the short walk down the hill to the Ondine Reception and sunset Champagne toast.
“Best Wishes!” (photos and story by Shirley Latta)
On a perfect Sausalito evening in July, tall elegant bride, Lexie, married her handsome prince charming, Steve, in a ceremony at SPC that was all about love. Lexie and her best-friend attendants entered the church down the aisle bordered with masses of fragrant rose petals and lovely rose pomanders tied to the pews. Most of the guests flew in from Seattle for a packed Sausalito-and-San Francisco weekend of celebrations.
After the ceremony the couple drove down Princess Street in a dark navy convertible with Steve at the wheel and Lexie’s long veil billowing in the evening breeze. The guests followed to the Spinnaker on the waterfront — honking horns as neighbors and tourists shouted good wishes. But not until after a “bubble shower” and a group memory photo on the front steps of the church. A passing neighbor out for an evening stroll added to the evening’s enjoyment by calling, “Wear your wedding dress on each anniversary.” How many of us could still do that?
After the vows were made, the couple celebrated with a champagne toast around the piano as another friend treated everyone with Debussy’s elegant Arabesque. After a few days honeymoon exploring the Bay Area, Yong Bing and Ke will return to their home in China taking with them memories of Sausalito and our little church on the hill.
Sanctuary photo courtesy of Eric Leib (thank you)
Additional info and photos: romanticchurchweddings.com
Sausalito Presbyterian Church, located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco and nestled in the hills of picturesque Sausalito, has a long history of creating classic, meaningful, and unique wedding experiences. Couples of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome to start their lives together in our elegant historic sanctuary. Third-generation families have shared wedding vows in our church, and couples often return to show their children where they took their vows.
The church’s shingle exterior is of the Arts and Crafts style of its famous architect, Ernest Coxhead. The building’s Gothic-arched porch and series of peaked rooflines draw the eye skywards. Some of the church’s most breathtaking features are the dramatic pyramid-shaped vaulted ceiling, leaded glass windows, and clerestory windows above. The interior is paneled in California redwood and the original floors gleam in the sunlight. The chancel curtain is antique gold, and the pews are covered in designer fabric by Ray Eames.
Our wedding staff includes a compassionate Minister to guide you in planning a meaningful personal ceremony that reflects the unique story that brought you to our church, and a skilled Music Director who plays a wide variety of music on organ or piano.
Down the garden steps from the church sanctuary, Thomson Hall and the charming adjoining deck is a lovely spot to celebrate with an informal buffet or an elaborate sit down dinner. The room features beveled windows, Australian hardwood floors, subtle lighting, a baby grand piano, and sound system. The kitchen is just steps away.
The room’s capacity is 95 guests for a sit-down dinner or 110 guests for a stand-up reception.
Music Director/Organist, Ralph Hooper
Ralph Hooper, composer and conductor as well as our church’s organist and choir director, has provided music for over a thousand weddings, from small private ceremonies to major, high-profile services. He is a delight to work with.
For your wedding, Ralph can offer a wide variety of classical organ works as well as theatrical and film music. Major processional music includes Jeremiah Clarke’s highly popular The Prince of Denmark’s March, Johann Pachelbel’s elegant Canon in D, as well as Richard Wagner’s traditional Bridal March. Recessional music includes Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, Henry Purcell’s exciting Trumpet Tune, and a dazzling, original arrangement of the Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. And these pieces are just the beginning. For those who want to include theatrical or film music, the sky is the limit. Composers like Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Andrew Lloyd Webber have graced a number of recent weddings.
Ralph meets with each couple in the planning stages of your wedding and then keeps in touch via email.
(click on a photo to see a larger version)