Rock Wall Wine Company – Alameda – Rachel & Rory

Rachel and Rory had a magical wedding at a winery in Alameda in mid-October.

As they were exchanging vows and rings, the sun momentarily sizzled through the clouds, making the amazing view of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge in the background glow.

“I could feel the sunset light around me and all the love from the people around me, it was magical,” Rachel said.

She wasn’t sure if her and Rory could pull off everything as they had planned, but the day played out exactly how she had hoped.

“In fact, a lot of people said it was the best wedding (or party) they had ever been to! Our friends and family are from all walks of life but we wanted everyone to get the feeling of love and magic we felt when we got Playa married at Burning Man a year ago — but we didn’t want anyone to feel like Burning Man — just the essence of it, if that makes sense. So we did things like walking out to a Bassnectar song because the song has this sense of drama and nostalgia that we thought would be moving and get our guests to feel that drama and anticipation that we were feeling. I was afraid my more traditional parents and family might not get it– so I was also surprised to find out that they loved it. Everyone got what we wanted them to get out of it — the feeling of love, fun, joy, and just a sprinkling of drama and surprise.”

The bridal party and the guests took the opportunity to get fancy for the occasion.

Rachel said, “Dress code was formal but still — our guests went all out. Everyone looked fabulous in their tuxes and sparkly ball gowns.”

After considering many venues, they decided to have the wedding at Rock Wall Wine Company.

“We wanted to do a wedding of 100 plus people (the final count was 200), and we wanted it to feel “us” in some way. Initially we were looking at 25 Lusk for a reception. But it was hard to find a ceremony site — and I felt that logistically, two locations might be a hassle. We we visited Rock Wall, we knew right away it was the one. People kept asking us to sum up what we were going for and the word we kept using was “magical.” Rock Wall allowed us to do that. The view of the city from across the bay is absolutely spectacular and the space itself is large enough that we could create whatever we wanted inside.”

Rachel said the room was decorated beautifully.

“I knew that it would be a surprise because I asked Jason at Rock Wall to decorate using candles, not flowers, and to do what he thought would be good. I knew it would be great, but I didn’t imagine it would be as perfect as it was,” she said.

To make sure their guests were entertained throughout the evening, the couple had many activities going on.

“The aerialists performed while we were taking pictures so there would be something for them to look at while they had hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. The ice sculptures were a last minute impulse: when we saw the designs we just knew we needed them! I had heard that photo booths were so much fun at weddings. Das Bus was not only a cool design (a VW Bus, how can you beat that!) but they were the only ones to include such a wide selection of fun accessories to wear in the photos. The owners, John and Kate, were also so great to work with. The lion dancers were a gift from our friend who is a eighth degree black belt in Kung Fu. The Chinese tradition is that the lions come into the wedding to scare away evil spirits. Once the spirits are gone, they sleep. The lions were one of my favorite parts, the dancers were incredible — and even a little bit scary — because they looked so real!

When the party at Rock Wall winded down, another party was just beginning. The soul mates headed out on a party cruise.

“We knew that day was going to fly by and we wouldn’t want it to end at midnight! We got to change into more comfortable clothes and really dance. Our DJ was amazing– when we told him about the boat we didn’t really expect him to play, we just invited him to go- but he said, “A party has never outlasted me.” He brought his smoke machine and we brought captain hats for everyone. The upper deck had plenty of seating where you could talk and hang out. The views were amazing. The view of the lighted skyline of SF we had from afar at Rock Wall was now right up close. My favorite part is going under the Bay Bridge. We didn’t get back until 3 a.m., but, again, it flew by for everyone!

They are headed to Kauai in a couple weeks for their honeymoon.

Ice sculptures:
Dragon dance:
Photo Booth:
Bridal Hair & Makeup:
DJ: Dingdong of Brass Tax

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