Wedding Inspiration: A Botanical Bonanza at the Julia Morgan–Designed Berkeley City Club

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For this couple, their love came full circle on the dance floor.

As part of the Bay Area's fusion dance community, Markaley Smith and Francesco Georg met, well, dancing. After seeing each other at multiple events, Georg needed a ride. She offered, and has been driving him around ever since. When he proposed, it was with a ring he had 3-D printed. "He knew I wanted to pick out my own engagement ring, but he didn't want to propose without one," she explains.


When it came to planning their wedding, Smith's Cortana gown was the first big decision. "I chose a dress made of the softest silk tulle—it was comfortable, dance-able, and perfect for my wedding day." She accented it with a sash handmade by her mother-in-law—the two had spent hours sourcing beads and materials and trying different designs. To finish her look, she went with handmade, bespoke clogs from San Francisco–based Bryr.

"I got to chose my heel height, the style of clog, and the color to go perfectly with my dress. They also can personalize the heel stamp of each pair of clogs—one of my shoes said 'MarMar + CoCo' and the other has our wedding date."

After trying on 20 different suits, Georg landed on a blue Armani with a cream bowtie and luggage leather Magnanni dress shoes.

It was that dress, though, that served as inspiration for the rest of the affair.

"I wanted something simple and romantic; unique but timeless," she says. They took to Julia Morgan–designed historic women's club, Berkeley City Club. "We loved the design of the building, the gorgeous windows, and the interior gardens. The library room spoke to my book-loving heart, and the grandeur of the ballroom was perfect for Francesco's love of all things fancy."

Florals were their primary decor, put together by another Bryr bridal client, florist Katie Chirgotis; the bursting botanicals adorned everything from the ceremony to cocktail hour and the reception. "Katie filled an alcove with beautiful blooms for our ceremony backdrop. She created the florals of my dreams for our reception space—a variety of vases spilling over with lovely blooms and berries, candle votives making everything more romantic, silk table runners pulling everything together."

Working with Silk and Willow, who only uses natural fibers, their tables were swathed in blue slate linen napkins and silk table runners dyed with black walnuts. Stationary consisted of handmade paper with mixed hues and textures. SHare Studios made paper for their guest name cards, welcome sign, and signage, which they then handed over to Everlace Design Co. for calligraphy. "The only part of our wedding that was DIY was the name cards for my family placed on the first two rows in our wedding ceremony. It was a joy to write out each of their names, knowing they'd be there to support and celebrate our marriage!"

Naturally, they also incorporated their own dance moves into the big day as well as a musician DJ they knew from their dance community, who played live keyboard for the ceremony and upbeat tunes for the reception. He even received an encore, and obliged with one more song before the party ended.

Ceremony venue: Berkeley Faculty Club

Reception venue: Berkeley City Club

Dress: Cortana

Shoes: BRYR

Suit: Armani

Groom's shoes: Magnanni

Makeup: Michellezstyles

Floral designer: Eothen Floral

Linens: Silk and Willow

Stationary: Share Studios

Calligraphy: Everlace Design Co.

Caterer: Berkeley City Club

Photography: Kat Ma

Music: Josh Gronner of THi5

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