San Francisco Services
Max Gill Design
Floral designer Max Gill does the opposite of keeping it simple. Instead, the designer embraces the complexity of wild plants by adapting them to interior environments. Gill favors foraged blooms, along with rare botanicals from local Berkeley growers. These are no ordinary arrangements, and Gill’s unique eye lends an earthy seasonality to every space he and his team touch. Next time you pass through Chez Panisse or Zuni Café and find yourself wanting to scoop up the floral arrangements and take them home, ask after the designer—it’s probably Gill.
The Plant Library
702 Harrison St Suite A, Berkeley
There are few rooms more soothing than one packed with plants. Abundant greenery is the niftiest tactic to summon nature, induce calm, or warm up a scant tablescape or too-roomy room. But buying enough plants to echo the garden of Eden is costly, never mind the time involved in finding the perfect royal fern or tallest fiddle-leaf fig. Then we discovered the Plant Library. With both an East (NYC) and West (SF) Coast presence, this smart start-up has been a godsend—and best of all, it’s sustainable. The process couldn’t be more straightforward: Pick a bevy of plants or tabletop arrangements—thriving potted cacti, evergreens, or desert greens—to pack a space as big or small as your needs demand. The Plant Library will deliver them for your event, and when you’re done, these short-term party guests are collected and rented again.
Founded by Paris-born Lana Elie, FLOOM is an online floral delivery service. It is incredibly streamlined. The site is easy to navigate and the arrangements come looking exactly how you order them. The team works with local floral designers in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles to make sure everything is fresh and delivered intact.
Moonrise Standard (Closed)
We recently attended a desert feast, cooked under the stars and inches from our table by Moonrise Standard: platters of lamb so tender we could pull it apart, bowls of spicy hominy, crunchy salads, and an incredible orange polenta cake. The surest sign of a great meal: Everyone stopped talking. Feasts are typically seven courses and emphasize whatever is best that is seasonal and local. The company hosts events throughout California and is available to cater smaller-scale parties and dinners.
1563 Solano Ave., Berkeley
Zephyr likes to think of its tented canopies as sails—billowing, crisp, and made to last. This is appropriate given the tent type: The “Sperry” was initially crafted by New England sailmaker Steve Sperry. These canopies are as beautiful inside as they are outside, with many of the panels hand-sewn and the support poles carved out of wood. Most importantly, the entire structure is waterproof. Tents come in a variety of sizes to cater to events of all sizes, and the crew is top-notch. Conveniently, Zephyr also provides beautiful furniture, much of it made from reclaimed wood, hardwood flooring, and incredible lighting (we love the paper lanterns strung from the tent roof, which is as beautiful as it sounds).
San Francisco-based startup Fireside Provisions is a little like the Blue Apron of camp food—peruse their website ahead of your trip, enter your specifications, and they’ll deliver pre-packaged food with recipes to your door on the day of departure, swiftly eliminating any anxiety over food preparation. This isn’t your Dad’s camping hot dogs, either: Recipes include chilaquiles, salmon pita sandwiches, pork-fried rice, and even trail snacks like apples and peanut butter. No-brainer.
Dylan John Western Photography
Dylan's sensibility skews more fine art than over-the-top wedding, as his style is casual and unobtrusive, capturing candid moments from unusual angles, like the first look from behind a paned window. If you’re planning on getting married in an outdoor venue with a view (whether it be mountains, beach, forest, or plains), he’s an obvious pick.
Laurie Arons Special Events
1850 Union St., Cow Hollow
Laurie’s been in the business since 1994, and while she’s handled everything from dressed-up barbecues to intimate dinners, weddings have always been (and continue to be) her bread and butter. If you’re doing a destination wedding—even if it's just in Napa—book her for weekend and destination planning, which takes the pressure off your guests to entertain themselves by providing activities throughout their stay. In addition to being organized, thoughtful, and easy to work with, she’s got relationships with all of the best vendors in SF.
Claire Marie Flowers
167 5th Ave., Inner Richmond
For high-end, fancy flowers in San Francisco, call Claire Marie. The design studio is a family-owned business that’s been in town for almost thirty years now, handling everything from upscale weddings to formal dinners. Perfect for traditional bouquets and fragrant, elegant centerpieces that take center stage without being overpowering.
Brumley & Wells Photography
It’s awfully rare to find a wedding photographer that shoots in film these days, and that’s exactly what makes Brumley & Wells so unique and different. Obviously, film can be digitized after the event, but the quality of the photo album alone (especially for artists or designers) more than justifies skipping the digital camera. They’re based in San Francisco, but love to travel for destination events.