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Asata & Joel

Elegant Traditions



A chance meeting at Baker Beach in San Francisco led Asata and Joel to the altar three years to the day later. just as they’d instantly felt they met the right person, the couple believed they’d know the perfect venue when they saw it. Envisioning a wedding with subtle colors in a natural setting, they searched throughout San Francisco, ultimately heading over to the East Bay.

When they discovered the Terrace Room in the Lake Merritt Hotel and saw the large windows, podium overlooking the property, and views combined with natural lighting, they knew they had found the backdrop for their special day. Asata also imagined her dream wedding gown would be diamond-encrusted and mermaid-form fitted, but she searched in vain for it through countless boutiques. Finally, she chose a gown with potential and worked through six sessions with a seamstress to turn three ideas for a gown into a one-of-a-kind, perfect wedding dress.

After a slight delay due to a missing veil and some misplaced earrings, Asata and Joel were married at dusk, overlooking Lake Merritt. The ceremony incorporated traditions to honor the groom’s Irish heritage and the bride’s African American heritage, including the lighting of a unity candle to symbolize their union, and jumping the broom, reflecting leaping into marriage.

Asata and Joel wanted a party to have fun and celebrate with their guests. With an open bar and instructions for the DJ to create a clublike atmosphere starting at 9 p.m., Asata and Joel danced the night away with their guests in celebration.

Venue: Lake Merritt Hotel www.lakemerritthotel.com
Photographer: Carmen Alvarez photography www.carmenalvarezphoto.com
Florist: Grand Flowers www.grandflowersofoakland.com
Centerpieces: Flower Divas www.flowerdivas.com
Cake: Torino Baking www.torinobaking.com
Caterer: The Terrace Room www.theterraceroom.com