A Relaxed, Garden-Inspired Wedding Under the Golden Gate Bridge

The bride had one main request: No stuffiness allowed.

Samantha & Michael

The Ganeys

After years of missed connections—including attending the same college, sharing a bevy of mutual friends, and once even sitting at opposite ends of the same table at a business dinner—Samantha and Mike finally found each other in 2017. "Our friend Lily was getting married and we were both part of the wedding," says Samantha. "We quickly hit it off and spent the wedding weekend getting to know each other and dancing the night away."

After several months of long-distance dating, Mike joined Samantha in New York, and in 2019, they relocated together to the San Francisco Bay Area. "Mike and I love to hike and explore the natural beauty in California," says Samantha. In June 2020, we went for a backpacking trip, hiking from Mammoth Mountain to Yosemite Valley over five days. As we approached Yosemite, we hiked through Tuolumne—the most picturesque backdrop with mountains and alpine lakes—and Mike proposed."

As they began planning their wedding, Samantha and Mike wanted to choose a venue that brought together their friends and family from across the country while showing off the beauty of their chosen city. Cavallo Point, with its views of the Golden Gate Bridge and luxury suites in historic, red-roof buildings fit the bill for their 110-guest event on May 14, 2022; planner Jenn Robirds used the venue as inspiration for the wedding day's color palette of white, ivory, and cream with touches of lush green, bridge imagery that accented the paper suite, menus, and escort display, and airy, sailcloth tent.

"We really enjoyed the planning process and never felt rushed into any decisions," says Samantha. During their cocktail hour, they snuck away for a few portraits by the water, taking full advantage of the hotel's location under the bridge. "It was windy and cold by the water, but so worth it!" says Samantha.

Skyline Inspiration

Inspo for Samantha & Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

The red roofs of Cavallo Point and the iconic bridge backdrop charmed the couple from their first visit. "While we live in San Francisco, just 15 minutes away, Cavallo feels worlds away, and is a favorite retreat for us," says Samantha. "That view of the Golden Gate Bridge is so special and is an element we wanted incorporated into our wedding. I love that we were able to share our new home with so many friends from across the country."

Bridge View

Programs at Samantha & Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

Samantha and Mike incorporated the Golden Gate Bridge structure into their paper suite, with a watercolor of the venue's view on the envelope liner, a laser-cut image on wooden tags attached to the dinner menus, and RSVP cards cut in the shape of the bridge's towers.

An Easy Yes

Bride at Samantha & Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

While shopping for her wedding dress, Samantha didn't limit herself. "I went to a lot of different dress shops because I didn't know what kind of dress I wanted, and wanted to be sure I had the chance to try on a lot of different styles," she says. She saved the Oscar de la Renta boutique for last, visiting it with both her parents. "I'm an only child and we're all very close, so this was such a special and intimate family moment," she says. When she tried on her trumpet gown with floral appliquees, a nude underlayer, and a sweetheart neckline, "we all knew immediately it was the one," she says.

Small and White

Bouquet at Samantha & Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

The Posh Posey provided a small bouquet of lily of the valley and omphalodes. "I wanted a delicate bouquet to balance my floral patterned dress," she says.

A Magic Moment

First Look at Samantha & Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

So they could attend most of their cocktail hour, the couple planned their portrait session for before the ceremony. "We are so glad we did!" says Samantha. "The first look was so special, and was actually one of the only opportunities for us to have a quiet moment alone on the wedding day. The first look was the moment where everything felt ready, and all of the anticipation of the wedding turned to joy."

Mike opted for a formal black tuxedo with a bow tie, suspenders, and cummerbund from Suit Supply. His lily of the valley boutonnière was a wedding-day surprise from the florist.

All in the Family

Family at Samantha & Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

Samantha and Mike asked his brother and sister to serve as best man and maid of honor. The maid of honor wore a moss-toned silk dress from BHLDN and carried an all-white bouquet that included lily of the valley, tweedia, and sweepea, and the best man donned a tuxedo to match the groom.

Natural Beauty

Bench seating at Samantha & Michael's Wedding

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Samantha was "against all things stuffy," so for the ceremony, the couple opted for casual benches draped in knit blankets that countered the cool spring weather. Petite white blooms and ferns lined the aisle. 

Dreams Come True

Vows at Samantha & Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

Samantha's father escorted her to the altar to begin the ceremony. "My dad and I are very close, so this was an extremely emotional moment for both of us," says Samantha. "We walked down the aisle to 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, a nod to summers spent as a family in Hawaii while I was growing up."

A stone wall and imposing trees backed the couple as they said their vows, while a low, half-moon floral installation—matching the aisle arrangements—surrounded them.

Samantha and Mike asked their friend Lily to officiate as they exchanged their own vows during the ceremony. "We officially met and hit it off at Lily's wedding five years earlier, so it was so special for this moment to come full circle as she pronounced us husband and wife!" says the couple.

Dog Days

Dog at Samantha and Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

The couple's French bulldog, Goose, was present throughout the big day—from a custom portrait included in the invitation suite to his attendance at the ceremony and cocktail hour. "We are so happy that he was able to be there for us and mingle with guests," says the couple. "As distracting as he was at times, having Goose involved in the wedding was so much fun. We wanted to make sure our ceremony didn't feel overly formal or stuffy, and Goose definitely delivered that for us. He had such a great time meeting everyone, and was so tired on Sunday morning that we had to carry him to the car!"

Iconic Imagery

Golden Gate Bridge art at Samantha & Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

As guests entered the cocktail space, an escort display featuring the Golden Gate Bridge displayed their seating assignments. 

Find Your Seats

Seating Chart Samantha & Michael's Wedding

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Acrylic signs attached to the board with gold fasteners included the table numbers, each of which was associated with one of the property's historic buildings.

Party This Way

Reception Sign Samantha & Michael's Wedding

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A simple sign, anchored by a sage green block with the couple's monogram, directed guests towards the reception tent.

Neutral Territory

Tent exterior Samantha & Michael's Wedding

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The entrance to the sailcloth tent was draped with green-and-white floral garlands, helping create the relaxed "English countryside" atmosphere the couple envisioned. 

Organic Setup

Tent Interior Samantha & Michael's Wedding

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Inside the tent, similar garlands extended from the roof to the sides of the tent, while floor-length slub table linens contrasted with the wooden cross-back chairs.

Garden Inspired

Place Setting Samantha & Michael's Wedding

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Wicker placemats, fern-colored napkins, and wood-handled flatware kept the tabletop elegant—but not fussy. 

Boxed Florals

Centerpieces Samantha & Michael's Wedding

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Floral runners were set into moss-covered bases, while glass hurricanes around taper candles in wooden holders and tealights in small glass votives reflected the candlelight throughout the tent.

Picture Perfect

Table Numbers Samantha & Michael's Wedding

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Custom illustrations of the property's historic houses, placed into slim green holders, helped guests identify their table.

Ready to Celebrate

First Dance Samantha & Michael

The Ganeys

Samantha and Mike chose Amber Leigh Irish's acoustic recording of "You've Got a Friend in Me" for their first dance. "This is a fun and lighthearted song, and one that we thought would make a great start to our wedding ceremony and married life," she says. 

Signature Sips

Cocktails at Samantha & Michael's Wedding

The Ganeys

The bar menu included two signature cocktails: a Manhattan in honor of Mike and a French 75 for Samantha.

Let's Eat

Samantha & Michael Dinner Guests

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After a meal that included burrata salad, macadamia-crusted halibut, and braised beef short ribs, the couple served their favorite desserts—in miniature form—in lieu of wedding cake. "We offered French macarons, mini donuts, and butterscotch pots de crème," says Samantha. "I love that they were all bite-sized so guests could still peruse the outskirts of the dance floor while enjoying dessert."

Dancing With Mom

Samantha & Michael Mother Son Dance

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After Samantha and her dad danced to the Eagles' "Desperado," Mike spun his mother around to "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra.

On Your Feet

Samantha & Michael Wedding Band

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For the rest of the night, Take 2 Dance Band kept guests on the dance floor, leaving the couple with some of their favorite memories. "All of our guests mixed together much more naturally than we could have expected," say the newlyweds. "We saw coworkers talking all night with our childhood friends, college friends taking pictures with our San Francisco friends, and some pretty creative dancing from both sides of the family."

All Aglow

Samantha & Michael Wedding Tent

The Ganeys

The couple's best advice to duos currently preparing for their weddings? "Try to plan an event that reflects who you are as a couple, and don't get too caught up in what a wedding usually looks like," they say. "Some traditions are great (do a first look!), and others just weren't important to us (like having a cake)."


Samantha & Michael kiss

The Ganeys

Photography, The Ganeys
Venue and Catering,
Cavallo Point  
Wedding Planning and Event Design,
Jenn Robirds Events  
The Posh Posey 
Sean Kenney Films  
Valley Press Co.
Take 2 Dance Band
BBJ La Tavola; Bright Event Rentals; Memorable Events Rentals; Theoni Collection; The Water Cottage; Zephyr Tents
Bride's Gown,
Oscar de la Renta  
Bride's Accessories,
Manolo Blahnik shoes; Mikimoto jewelry
Christy Hannibal  
Camille Goldston  
Bridesmaid's Dress,
The Lux
Yadav Diamonds and Jewelry
Wooden signage and menu tags,
Shimmer and Stain

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