Genine and Chike’s beautiful Cavallo Point wedding celebrated their community, family, and multicultural backgrounds. Their wedding day started with getting ready at private homes in San Francisco. Once everyone was ready, we progressed to the Star of the Sea Catholic Church in the Richmond District of San Francisco for the ceremony. After the ceremony, we made a stop off at the Golden Gate Bridge for some quick pictures. We ended our adventure at their intimate reception at Cavallo Point, in Sausalito. While this was not the 400-500 person wedding they had expected, they still had a pretty rocking party.
I stopped off at Treasure Island on the way to Genine and Chike’s house in Hunter’s Point. The day was so clear and beautiful, I wanted to make sure and get a shot of the San Francisco skyline to give a nice opening image for the day.
As I got out of my car in Hunter’s Point, I noticed the shiny mobile barber van parked just down the street. I headed over to check out the rig and found Chike getting a trim for his big day. If this pandemic has any silver lining, it is the innovation and creativity that has come out of the hardship. Luxgroom Mobile Barbershop was a great example of this.
After Chike’s hair and beard were trimmed to perfection, he joined his brothers for a celebratory drink. They laughed, joked, and helped him into his wedding day finery. One of his brothers just had his first child the day before, but still made it out for the wedding. After spending some time with Chike and his brothers, I headed over to Genine’s family’s house where the ladies were getting ready.
Ceremony in the San Francisco Richmond District
The bride and bridesmaids piled into a party bus and heading to the Star of the Sea Church in the Richmond District. When I arrived, Chike and his brothers were already onsite. The ladies arrived shortly after and the ceremony began. My favorite moment was when the priest started singing a song from Fiddler on the Roof.
Wedding Party and Family Portraits
While it is true, that I typically try very hard to do wedding party and immediate family portraits before the ceremony, sometimes the flow of the day demands something else. It is easiest to do portraits after the ceremony when there is a location and time gap between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the cocktail hour.
After the ceremony, we did a few family portraits at the church and then headed to the Golden Gate Bridge for some cold and windy wedding party pictures. After our mini adventure by the Golden Gate bridge, we finished our trans-bay adventure in Sausalito at Cavallo Point.
Reception, Dancing, and Nigerian Traditions
The wedding party was announced and danced their way into the reception. After that, Chike’s father talked about the Nigerian tradition of sharing the kola nut. This bitter and highly caffeinated nut is offered as a symbol of hospitality, respect, and friendship. The nut is super bitter, however, after chewing it for a while, it becomes sweet.
After speeches and cake cutting, there was dancing.
The final ceremony of the evening was a traditional Nigerian light-hearted performance where the bride had to “find” her groom. Guests at the wedding tried to distract her and tempt her from finding her man… but she persevered. Once Genine found Chike, she offered him a drink and they went to seek out her parents to ask permission to marry / blessings on their union. It was a delightful part of the reception. So much laughter and fun.
Just as I started my day with an image of a bridge, so I ended it. End caps to a wonderful celebration.