San Francisco, CA 94102
Kira takes beautiful pictures. They are true to life and in a natural style. She is super versatile as well and excels in many areas but I am just listing three here: a) if you are a pet-lover and will include your pet in your wedding, b) if you are a fashion-aholic and absolutely need pictures of the decor of your reception site (she is very good at product photos as I can see from her portfolio) and c) a great lighting technican, she will make your photos look natural but glamorous all at the same time.
We did an engagement session with Kira, and she was able to guide us--we are both camera shy--and knew exactly what to suggest for more posed shots, but even better, she caught candid shots of how we really are together when we are by ourselves.
Highly recommended, but ask for any hidden fees up front. Kira will tell you about any additionals if you ask and for e-sessions she will charge to travel anywhere outside of San Francisco because she usually travels by public transportation. She partners with ZipCars for all her special occasions and anyone who uses her services also gets discounts with ZipCar!
She is also one of our Green Vendors :D
Palo Alto, CA 94301
I loooove Satura Cakes. It has a lighter flavor reminiscent of Euro-Japanese baking which will delight the tastebuds but never overwhelm your stomach. We went to a wedding cake tasting and it was really good. Now, I don't know how I will decide on a cake flavor because they are all so memorable.
Stanford, CA 94305-2090
I love this place. We haven't yet gotten married but I am really looking forward to having the ceremony there. The staff that makes this all put together is wonderful. You do have to be affiliated with Stanford or their church in some way or another, but it's not as difficult as it sounds.
If you are a student at Stanford and plan to get married within 6 months of May, you should be able to get a discount on the ceremony fees.
You're required to take marriage counseling which turns out not to be a bad thing at all--the counselors help you to think about your long term goals as a couple, there is a wedding coordinator and the organist who administers the wedding music has a very brilliant personality that makes him seem really fun. The staff will help you puzzle out everything from the stress of coordinating your own wedding to what is the difference between a recessional and a processional?
On top of that, the church is beautiful, which means you may not need ceremony flowers at all.
Saratoga, CA 95070
So far, I've dealt a lot with the Saratoga Country Club and it's become more apparent that they're only interested in your money. The rules for the club are very strict, so be careful.
Pluses: Cake cutting fee is included, the cost of the banquet is reasonable (but is additional to the cost of renting the place) and there is ample room for 200 people.
Minuses: They charge additional per half hour that you go over the 11 pm set schedule.