Sam and Mark's Super Happy Wedding Funtime

A Wedding I Won’t Have: Grace Cathedral

Posted on: July 6, 2012

This is the wedding I would want if I were religious. Getting married in a church seems rather inappropriate for me, but if it didn’t, this would be the place.


Grace Cathedral sits at the top of Nob Hill, on the California cable car line. Just up the hill from Chinatown and Union Square and across from some of the grandest hotels I’ve never been in. This is old school San Francisco at its finest. And the wedding would have to match. A stuffy, yet beautiful ceremony. Maybe some singing. Man, some beautiful singing in this place?


Are you getting all teary-eyed just thinking about it? Because I am. Imagine something like the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” filling up that space (1960s Beach Boys will play my wedding). Or David Byrne’s “One Fine Day.” Something timeless and beautiful, with great harmonies. Can you just imagine the voices rising and filling that beautiful, open room- bouncing back at you off the stone walls. Gorgeous, right? I need a tissue.

It would be a winter wedding, taking advantage of the longer night and colder temperatures to make the black-tieness a little more comfortable, a little more fitting. Tuxedos in the summer just don’t make sense to me, but then again, I guess if you have a tuxedo, any season is tuxedo season. The reception would be down the street at the Mark Hopkins. We won’t be losing any momentum here, cathedral to ballroom will be an easy and quick transition.


Cocktail hour would be Cocktail Hour. Classic cocktails in crystal glasses. Whiskey and Gin drinks- nothing fruity or easy going down. These will be strong and savory- both in time and taste. Think Mad Men without the gender politics. So, think Mad Men set design. And, since money is no option, cocktail hour could be at the Top of the Mark. Why not use the glittering skyline as my back drop?


Would it be really weird to make everyone go from upstairs cocktail hour to downstairs dinner? Maybe we save Top of the Mark for the after-party. Do they do after-parties? Who knows. Maybe we just stick to the ballroom.


Classy, right? Following up a cathedral wedding, you have to keep it classy. There is an implicit extra seriousness. This is a solemn vow, not to be taken lightly. God is a witness, folks. God. And God is wearing an Armani tuxedo.

As pretty and grand and emotive as Grace Cathedral is, it just is not the right tone. The only tuxedos at my wedding should be light blue and involve a lot of ruffles. I want cocktails that are fruity and easy to drink. I want springtime and daylight and I don’t want some uninvited deity judging my relationship. I will not be asking for a blessing or approval by anyone without a pulse. I don’t think serious requires severity or that something solemn can’t also be a total silly blast. So Grace, you are spectacular, but you are not for me. I’ll stick to the bottom of the hill.



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