Zazie French Restaurant Wedding San Francisco, CA Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Wedding

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Allie & Matt’s stories on one of my favorites that I’ve gotten to capture yet. It’s rich with beautiful emotions and celebration. When Allie & Matt met, they had been talking online for awhile and Matt hopped on plane and flew across the country to meet his future wife. They didn’t know at the time that they’d fall madly in love and that Allie would leave her life on the east coast to start a new one with Matt.

San Francisco looked good on Allie and Matt and they started to plan their future together. Allie contacted me after following my work for years. She is one of the few die-hards that has watched my work change since the beginning! So her request to shoot her wedding was extra special. A month or two down the line I got an email from Matt asking if I was free for a different and earlier wedding date. A big surprise for everyone, they were pregnant! The best part? They wanted to do the gender reveal of the baby at their wedding reception! I will say that was a first for me and such an incredible honor and opportunity to capture that moment.

Allie & Matt worked hard to get both Daniel and I over to San Francisco and we couldn’t be more grateful to them for getting us there. Their whole day was just as incredible as I had hoped it would be. Friends from all over shared in the hours leading up to their “First Look,” family gathered in sweet celebration during the Ketubah signing and ceremony. The reception at Zazie had Daniel wishing he had stretchy pants…(Ladies, leggings are your best friend) because the food was SO incredible! And of course the gender reveal was just so fantastic! The majority had voted boy, but everyone was just as ecstatic for Allie and Matt’s little GIRL!

There was just so much to celebrate and be thankful for and I am so thankful Daniel and I got to witness and capture so much love. Thank you Allie and Matt, your wedding was extra special and it was such an honor to be there! We love you guys!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

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  • Since our wedding was fairly small, we wanted to keep things intimate. We’re also pretty low key people, so we wanted our wedding to feel relaxed and really show our personalities. To be honest, Matt really did a lot of the planning and executing when it came to most of our vendors, which gave me more time to focus on the handmade aspects like the decorations and invitations (which is much more my thing). We decided on a garden theme, which made getting married at The Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park, and doing photos in The Botanical Gardens pretty perfect. We also both love the outdoors, so there was a lot of importance in finding an outdoor venue. Zazie was the perfect reception venue because it kept with the intimate theme of our wedding, and had a beautiful outdoor patio (plus, the food was delicious). We added a lot of personal touches, including doing a surprise baby reveal, and having Ice Cream Bar make special mini ice cream cones for all of our guests. A lot of thought was put into every detail of our wedding, and I think it really reflected and embodied who we are as a couple.
  • Probably trying to plan everything in such a short amount of time. We only had about 4 months to get everything in order. Even though we had a pretty small wedding, you don’t realize all of the little details that go into the planning process until you actually start doing it. A week before our wedding there were still some things that were up in the air, which created a lot of stress for the both of us. It was a lot of hard work, but it ended up being a flawless wedding day!

  • I would have to say the gender reveal was the most memorable part of our day. Since it was not only a surprise for our guests, but a surprise for us, there was a lot of anticipation leading up to it. There’s something so special about being able to share that moment with all of your closest friends and family. I think we were both on an emotional high after finding out we were having a baby girl. The joy and excitement that filled the room is something I don’t think either of us will ever forget. We are so grateful to have had that moment caught on camera.

  • I think we can both agree the funniest part of the day was when Matt’s mom got up out of her chair and hit me, part way through the ceremony. I think it caught everyone a little off guard, including the Rabbi, who stopped to ask if everything was okay. Cheryl made sure to let everyone know she had to get the mosquito off of me, to which Matt responded, “this is a Jewish wedding, isn’t it?” At that point the mood was lightened and everyone laughed. I’m personally very grateful that Momma Frankel made sure there was NO WAY this momma was getting the Zika virus. 😉

  • We went back and forth a lot about hiring a videographer. We decided against it, and I don’t know that we necessarily needed it, though there were a lot of special moments that I wished we had on camera (i.e. Matt’s spontaneous serenading of La Vie En Rose during our first dance and the baby gender reveal). Thankfully we had friends and family with quick hands and iPhones to video these moments, but I think without that we would have been a little disappointed.

  • Hire a wedding planner! Haha! No, but really…

    Truthfully, Matt was an AMAZING wedding planner. Our day would not have gone so flawlessly without him. I think having an outsider to deal with vendors and all of the hiccups would have saved us from a lot of stress though. We managed without one, and we could not be happier with how our wedding turned out, but in hindsight, we probably would have invested in hiring someone.
  • We relied a lot on an app called “WedHappy” which was a great way for us to track tasks and vendors. Since planning a wedding was something that was completely new to the both of us, it was helpful to have something to reference when it came to what needed to be done, and timelining it all out.

  • Mabyn is a fabulous wedding photographer that I’ve been following for years. We’re both from Syracuse and I had heard a lot about her work through mutual friends and acquaintances. I always knew when the time came for me to find a wedding photographer, Mabyn would be my first choice. I think Matt thought I was a little bit crazy for wanting to fly our photographer all the way from the east coast (when there are plenty of photographers in the San Francisco area), but he appeased me and we could not be happier about the decision to hire her!

  • Mabyn has a really unique and thoughtful eye. I was really particular when it came to choosing a photographer. I wanted someone who could create those nontraditional shots, without compromising capturing our story. If you look through Mabyn’s photos, you can see she’s really great at capturing candid and intimate moments, yet also really great at creating these beautiful shots that the average eye might not see. Nothing ever looks or feels forced or posed. She really tries to bring each couple’s personality to life, and she happens to be really good at it.

  • Not being happy with our wedding photos! I would say the biggest advice we got from friends and family was to hire a good photographer. We had plenty of people tell us they regret that being the one thing they skimped on. Since the photos were the most important thing to me, I knew I wanted to find the perfect person.

  • Not at all! We could not be more happy about the decision to hire Mabyn. Not only did she flawlessly capture our story, she was confident, and really took the time to make us feel comfortable. She took advantage of every shot, and we were more than willing to follow her into whatever wooded area, or dimly lit street corner she took us too.

  • I don’t know that I could choose a favorite. There were so many special moments that were so beautifully captured. However, I will say… I never tire of looking at the portrait of my husband, whiskey glass in hand. He sure makes that whiskey look good.

 

Hair & Makeup Artist: Painted Ladies // Ceremony Venue: Golden Gate Park – Shakespeare Garden // Reception Venue: Zazie Restaurant // Additional photo venue: Golden Gate Park – The Botanical Garden (First Look) Florist: Floral Loft & Jinky Casale // Band:  Goucho // Caterer: Zazie Restaurant //  Cake: The Cakemaker  // Mini Ice Cream Cones: The Ice Cream Bar SF // Chuppah: Under the Chuppah
 

 

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Golden Gate Park Wedding San Francisco, CA – Allie & Matt