Using organic, local ingredients—with all of their meals boasting an average of almost six different fruits and veggies—Thistle whips up colorful gluten- and dairy-free fare, with vegan options as well. We're partial to their “poke" bowl: marinated rainbow beets, togarashi-sprinkled brown rice, edamame, cucumber, and avocado sesame ginger dressing. House-made nut milks spiked with mushrooms, plus superfoods like maca, spirulina, and moringa take the menu to the next level. Local couriers deliver in SF and LA, and shipping is available to greater California and Nevada.
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.
Caroline Frost Photography
The first thing you’ll notice about Caroline Frost is that she’s supremely organized: She comes to every event armed with a thorough timeline and a neat list of every shot she needs to get before the day is over. That attention to detail means that she can easily fade into the background on the actual day, never interrupting the special moments around the ceremony or during the reception for photos. Caroline is also famously great at organizing wedding albums—rather than disappearing moments after the event, she’ll walk you through the entire process.
82 14th St., Mission
For a less typical catered meal in the Bay Area, we recommend Rintaro, which serves excellent Japanese-style food at private parties. They also have a restaurant in the Mission, which is worth checking out, too.
855 Bush St., Union Square
Del Popolo’s pizza is worthy of its fame—their Neapolitan-style pizzas are out-of-this-world good. They started off as a mobile pizzeria in 2012 and expanded into a brick-and-mortar space in Union Square in 2015. The beloved truck is still in business–and available for private events within a 50-mile radius of SF.
2790A Harrison St., Mission District
This quality SF ice cream shop (which has locations in The Mission and Embarcadero) caters a crowd-pleasing dessert at events big and small. They're known for their somewhat unusual ice cream flavors (Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, Salt & Pepper, Cucumber, Bacon…), but there’s also plenty on offer for the less adventurous sort.
Tempel Smith started studying Buddhism and meditation in 1989 and even spent a year in Burma as an ordained Theravadan monk; after which he studied in silence for nine months (talk about commitment). He also completed a four-year teacher training program at Spirit Rock, where he learned a particular brand of somatic healing called Somatic Experiencing that's a powerful healing tool for people with PTSD. Though Smith does Dharma teaching and much of his work has its foundation in Buddhist principles, his somatic healing methods are firmly secular.
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