Being a huge fan of warm weather and all things glam, I love the 4th of July. Something I love more: weddings where the couple makes a whole weekend of it and doesn’t just have a rehearsal dinner, but almost a whole other event.
When Emily Griesedieck and James Simonson’s California wedding submission came into our office from Jo Kaplan Lee of Allegro Photography, I loved the wedding and loved the surprise folder labeled “rehearsal dinner.” When I saw the red, white and blue all-American San Francisco soirée I was very excited and knew that you would love to see it. And the best part: tomorrow you get to see their very pink and very romantic wedding, too. Enjoy!
According to the Bride:
The 4th of July has always been both James’ and my favorite holiday; hence the patriotic theme for our rehearsal dinner. When choosing the location, I left the decision up to James’ parents as they were the ones hosting the event, but was secretly thrilled when they suggested having it at their home. I have always had two “dream weddings” in my mind: one was our big fancy, elegant and romantic wedding that we actually had; the other was a backyard, vintage-elegant party with twinkling lights and candles strung throughout the trees and a celebration under the stars. James’ parents have a fabulous, white shaker-style home that was the perfect fit for an all-American celebration.
One thing we really wanted to make sure of was keeping the rehearsal dinner as different as possible from the wedding. We really wanted each to be it’s own event and each equally memorable. James’ mom and sister did most of the decoration and I loved it. My favorite was the front door, which they had painted red just for our party!
The dinner started with a delicious green salad with fresh summer peaches, goat cheese and walnuts. For the main course we had family-style dishes of barbeque tri-tip, chicken, vegetables and mini baked potatoes; an ice cream bar on the patio served as dessert. It was the perfect backyard summer soirée!
Speeches were held after dinner. One really special moment was when James’ dad presented me with my first gold bangle — a Simonson family tradition. Every married woman in the Simonson family gets a thin gold bangle for every year of marriage. Another memorable speech was given by James’ sister, Ann, and her husband, Pat. They performed a skit where they reenacted the 10 years of James and Emily. It was hilarious, especially since Pat played me and Ann played James!
The evening ended with a real “bang” … quite literally. Every year, part of our 4th of July celebration involves lighting off as many illegal fireworks as we can until the police come. Being a pyromaniac, James turned on Katy Perry’s “Firework” and shot off a great show! he best part: the cops never came!
Location: Simonson Home; Caterer: Weir and Associates Catering and Event Planning, San Carlos, CA; Bride’s Dress: Emily Jane Clothing, San Francisco, CA; Photography: Allegro Photography, San Francisco, CA and Boston, MA
Thank you so much Emily and James for sharing your rehearsal dinner with us and thank you Jo Kaplan Lee of Allegro Photography for sharing your gorgeous photography with us!