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Starry, Starry Night: A Rustic & Romantic Wedding at The Island Farm

Carrie Bell

San Franciscans Tina and BJ met in a college math class. A friend suggested Tina ask for his help with homework as a way to get to know him, but Tina passed since she knew how to complete the assignment. As fate would have it, BJ emailed a few days later requesting arithmetic assistance. The couple’s hobbies include stargazing and night-sky photography. However, Tina had long lamented her lack of constellation knowledge and pined for a good map. When it became time to propose, BJ planned a weekend getaway and told Tina he’d found a new identifier app to try. When darkness fell, he had her try the program. It turned out, it wasn’t an app at all. Instead, it was an image he’d created in which “Marry me?” was spelled out by connected stars. Wedding planner Cassy Anderson took inspiration from the artful proposal and loosely incorporated a night sky theme for their wedding by using constellations on the stationery suite and escort signage.

Not typically marketed as a wedding venue, The Island Farm, a private property outside of Half Moon Bay, is an enchanting, woodsy wonderland. The couple shared their first look in the redwood grove, grabbed some alone time in a canoe on a pond (the groom narrowly escaped falling in!) and posed for pictures on a hilltop that looked out to the Central Coast. They exchanged vows in a clearing, dined on porcini-braised short rib with wild forest mushroom ragoût and persimmon goat cheese salad and then danced the night away under bistro lights. Furthering the stellar look were bouquets and arrangements that featured rarely used, unique flora for out-of-this-world impact. This included carnivorous lilies, rattlesnake grass, pokeberries and winter berries, hops, gravellia and chocolate cosmos.

With a nod to BJ’s family background, the wedding contained several Filipino traditions. This included a ceremony ritual in which a veil and cord are wrapped around the couple by family members to symbolize the infinite bond of love. As food is also a huge part of the Filipino culture, his mother made lumpia for the cocktail hour. There was also a halo-halo (Filipino shave ice) bar and late-night siopao pork buns. Those who preferred a more American treat could dive into the ice cream sundae bar. In line with the natural surroundings, each place setting contained a living favor—an air plant.

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