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Real Wedding | Abby + Brenda

Tell us a little about yourselves!

Brenda and I met in Seattle, WA in 2021 and have been together ever since. Brenda was born in Bahia, Brazil and I in Southern Oregon. In many ways, we’re complimentary opposites to each other - Brenda is the scientific, mathematical brain of the relationship and I’m the more artsy, musical one. Coming from two different cultures has taught us so much about each other, and ourselves. 

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

After deciding to do a small ceremony, we looked at all of the nearby courthouses in the Bay area and I happened to find the Marin County Civic Center. I immediately knew it was the perfect location. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 60’s and every inch of the space is picturesque and special. The weather was beautiful on December 14th so we felt lucky to have the ceremony outside in the garden area.

How many guests did you have?


What was your budget?

Because we didn’t have many of the costs that come with a traditional wedding, we didn’t have a set budget - we just knew we didn’t need it to be as expensive as most weddings.

Tell us about your outfits.

We both wanted to wear something off-white and fancy. I knew I wanted to wear a dress and Brenda wanted a suit. I think I was more excited to pick out Brenda’s outfit than my own. She borrowed my vintage belt and I somehow convinced her to wear these amazing Dr. Martens loafers with cowhide on the top. Her suit and top were from Aritzia and my dress was from Reformation. We both also wore a wool coat to stay cozy throughout the day. 

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

We just wanted the day to be true to us as a couple. We planned very non-traditional things like our “silent first dance” where we danced, using some old earbuds and a headphone jack splitter, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, stopping by Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach for lunch (pizza is Brenda’s favorite food), going to the Yayoi Kusama exhibit “Infinite Love” at SFMOMA, and each getting a small tattoo of whatever we wanted at Manus Lux Tattoo in San Francisco.

Three of our close friends, and Lukas, our photographer, joined us for all of our adventures around the city, it was so special. For dinner, we decided to rent and Airbnb and have a handful of friends and family over. I cooked most of the food myself and had my mom and a few guests help me put it all together to serve. Doing this allowed us to save a bit of money, serve and eat the food we wanted (yes, I did make us a wedding tiramisu and not a cake), and not have a time limit on how long we could be together.  

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

We knew that delicious food, beautiful photos to document the day (thank you, Lukas Korynta!),  and celebrating in the presence of friends and family would make our day amazing. We most certainly got the good food and stunning photos, but unfortunately Brenda’s family and friends from Brazil couldn’t make it in person to the ceremony. They did, however, watch it over Zoom - we were thankful that they could be there in any capacity. I tried my best to bring a bit of Brenda’s home to our big day by way of cooking a few Bahian and Brazilian dishes like moqueca de camarã, feijoada, and pão de queijo. 

Thankfully, we have plans to do a ceremony in Brazil where we’ll finally get to include her friends and family like we always wanted (and of course, get more beautiful photos and delicious food). 

Any tips for couples getting married?

Do whatever feels truest to you both. Eat the food you actually want, invite the people who truly know you, alter a wedding tradition to fit your style, let yourselves be the main characters for the day.   

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

Just our wonderful photographer, Lukas Korynta! We’re lucky to have found such a talented photographer who was willing to spend the entire day with us (and even luckier to call him a friend!) We’re hoping, if the stars align, he can make it to Brazil with us for the next ceremony… fingers crossed!

Photographer: Lukas Korynta @lukaskorynta | Ceremony Location: Marin County Civic Center | Reception Location: Airbnb in San Francisco, CA | Styling + Planning: by the Bride Abby |

Catering + Beverages: Homemade | Cake: Homemade Tiramisu | Dress: Reformation @reformation | Suit: Aritzia @aritzia | Engagement Rings: Quince @onequince | Wedding Rings: Satomi Kawakita @satomi_kawakita_jewelry | Shoes: Dr. Martens Loafers @drmartens + Nine West Heels @ninewest


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