My Fair Lady

The Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco is the original Fairmont. Seriously. Construction began on it in 1902 by Tessie and Virginia Fair, in honor of their late father, James Fair, who was a US Senator and an overnight millionaire from the Comstock Lode. The varied history of this hotel is pretty unbelievable, actually.

It’s hosted every single US President since Taft, has been worked on by renowned architect Julia Morgan, and by interior design icon Dorothy Draper. It’s a landmark in San Francisco (and nationally, too). And I’m pleased to tell you it’s where we will be getting married. But, even more exciting, we’ll be getting married in the hotel’s historic Penthouse suite. You may know this space from such television shows as The Bachelor.

Yes, it’s true. We’re getting married in the same suite that Ben hosted his “ladies” that fateful night in San Francisco, when Shawntel shows up and ruins the fun and that chick Elyse was all “Who IS she????” But there’s more to the story than that, promise.

I first learned about the suite when my friend Meredith sent me this blog post from Manchik Photography. It kind of blew me away. The SF episode of The Bachelor had already aired, and my first thought was, “I CANNOT get married in the same place The Bachelor was filmed.” But then I thought about it. And I thought about it some more. And I realized that the Penthouse’s history amused and delighted me. Because it’s not only played host to Ben, but to JFK, Prince Charles, Mick Jagger, Elton John — the list goes on. I realized that I found the space to be breathtaking, and kind of perfect for what we wanted in a wedding. I showed the photos to Joe and he liked it too, so much so that I called the next day to schedule a viewing appointment.

The suite was originally a residence, and that’s something I love about it too. When we host our wedding there, it’ll feel like people are coming to a home. I like that intimate feeling it provides. The views over the city we’ve called home for the last five and a half years aren’t so bad either (again, the Manchik Photography post will show better than I could ever explain).

It’s funny, I never envisioned myself having a hotel wedding, but I guess I never really envisioned a lot of things about my wedding so I’m not totally shocked. This will have all the comfort and convenience of a hotel event, with the uniqueness and intimacy that we so wanted. I’m excited.

We’re getting married the day before our 10 year anniversary later this year. I love the idea of waking up the day after the wedding (in the Penthouse, natch) and being all, “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!” It’s perfect!

But lest you think my wedding planning is now all sunshine and rainbows and puppies and I’ve gone over to the dark side after my last post (kidding, kind of), here are the other updates:

+ I spoke with Tamra last week who has been amazing enough to offer me lots of fantastic advice about timelines and how this crazy ass industry works. I didn’t realize I needed to be seriously dress shopping, given that some vendors can take months to procure your dress. Soo…hence the dress appointment later this week. I’m cautiously optimistic it’ll be better. I also should probably look for stuff off the rack too. Ladies who mentioned doing this: where did you shop?

+ Other than booking the venue and our music, I have done literally nothing else. I hate feeling so behind, but with the business and working from home and everything else going on in real life, I just haven’t tackled the wedding to do list. I’m working on it!

So yeah, things are definitely better and I’m freaking out a lot less (I think nailing down the venue really helped), but I still feel like I have a BIG mountain to climb. More to come, I’m sure.

How are all you other engaged ladies holding up?


Leave a Comment


  1. 3.19.12
    jillian said:

    bachelor or not…its a GORGEOUS place! xoxo jillian:: Shopbop $100 Giftcard Giveaway!

  2. 3.19.12

    This place looks amazing – what a choice! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Oh how I love all things wedding related! We got married last year and I kind of miss dealing with all of the beautiful things that are wedding related.

    Best of luck with the rest of the planning!
    Sal x

  3. 3.19.12

    Love the space! Looks like it’ll be perfect for a unique but intimate wedding.

    I actually got my dress at David’s Bridal- I loved it, it fit gorgeously, & was perfect for my wedding. I would suggest just going into stores you might not think you’d ever buy at b/c you never know.

  4. 3.19.12
    amanda said:

    Have you heard of Glamour Closet?
    It’s a wedding gown sample sale shop. Originally, they only had a San Fransisco location when I bought a gown with them 4 years ago. They had brought some of their gowns down to Orange County for a pop-up sample sale, so I was able to score a $5000 Carolina Herrera for $500!! Now they have 2 more locations!

    Your venue is gorgeous! Best wishes for the rest of your wedding planning!

  5. 3.19.12
    Chelsea said:

    I am so happy that you picked it. Oh, it looks so gorgeous, so amazing. Girl, you know I am here to research and plan with you. I am in wedding planning withdrawal. Love you and am so excited. One step at a time. xo

  6. 3.19.12

    the venue is absolutely beautiful! just perfect :) xx

  7. 3.19.12

    Ahhhh so gorgeous and perfect! The fact that the Bachelor is involved only makes it all the more perfect/ funny and speaks to our guilty pleasure side, haha.

  8. 3.19.12
    Jessie said:

    So incredible – how ’bout a rehearsal dinner at The Tonga Room?! Only kind of kidding…

  9. 3.19.12

    eeps! So exciting. Sounds absolutely amazing. Will be absolutely perfect. I think I mentioned this before but my sister bought her dress at Tibi, off the rack – it was amazing! xo

  10. 3.19.12
    Lara Matos said:

    The venue looks soooo cool! So unique!!! Great choice friend. Im positive that all the rest of the details will fall into place.

  11. 3.19.12

    So so beautiful!! I love that your 10 year anniversary is the day after your wedding! How sweet!

    As a comment to The Yuppie Files above. I searched high and low – determined to have the most beautifully unique dress. Sure enough, I ended up buying one at Davids and having it altered and some changes made to the styling… Turned out being much cheaper than designer, very unique, and fit perfect.

  12. 3.19.12

    I love the idea of using a residence-like space! Congrats on finding your venue, we just found ours and I feel like a bit of a weight has been lifted. Now that we’ve locked down the date and the venue, I feel like I can relax for a bit (I may be wrong about this though) -phew!

  13. 3.19.12
    Christine B. said:

    I’m so happy that you found such an amazing venue! It sounds like things are falling into place nicely :) It is absolutely breathtaking! The views…WOW!

  14. 3.19.12

    Ohh!! I LOVE the Fairmont hotels. I’ve never been to the one you are getting married at, but it looks absolutely amazing. There is a beautiful one in Banff – The Banff Springs Hotel, which we stayed at on our honeymoon. That billiards room makes me want a classic gin martinet, high heels, and a Don Draper-ish date.

  15. 3.19.12
    Kate said:

    Especially after meting you, i can’t imagine a more perfect spot for your wedding!! My sister-in-law actually took as to the Fairmont over the weekend (drinks at the Tonga room…klassy all the way!) the decor is stunning…the crushed velvet chaises in the lobby were my fave. I am so, so, SO happy for you!! can’t wait to hear about the dress shopping…eek!! Oh, and I found my off the rack dress at Neiman Marcus :)

    <3 Kate

  16. 3.19.12

    That space is absolutely gorgeous!! So happy for you!

  17. 3.19.12
    viv said:

    Wow, wow! This is the perfect venue for a magical wedding! I can’t wait to hear more about all the details that will play a part in your big day. xoxo

  18. 3.19.12
    Mere said:

    Yay!!! Congrats Victoria. What an absolutely breathtaking venue, and I love that your wedding is the day before your 10th anniversary!! That’s going to be so special. :)

  19. 3.19.12
    Lisa said:

    Gorgeous! Cheers to making progress!

  20. 3.19.12

    Wow. Its absolutely incredible. How amazing that guests will feel like they are in your fabulous home? I love it. Its stunning. So special and unusual too. And yes, definitely dress shop! My dress had a 9 month lead time!

  21. 3.19.12
    Natalie said:

    Congrats, Victoria! It’s beautiful. I can’t wait to see how it turns out, and I’m glad things are going better! I’m kind of at a standstill too. Thankfully almost all of the “big” things are taken care of…venue, dress, DJ, photographer, etc. I feel like I’m slacking on finding a videographer and am stressing about being able to afford one. I’m at the point where I need to start tackling all the details, which I’m excited about, but it’s also so overwhelming because I feel like there’s just so many things to think about! My goal was to get save the dates out by the end of the month and this morning I woke up and thought, “Oh my gosh, it’s almost April! I need to get it together!” And then there’s the honeymoon. Haven’t done anything on that. Oh man, the list goes on forever. I just keep reminding myself to try to get one thing done at a time because that’s all you can really do. Baby steps, I guess. I know it will all come together somehow in the end!

  22. 3.19.12
    Jessie Rhodes said:

    How gorgeous! I am so happy for you! I am doing my wedding at the 4 Seasons San Francisco and had always said that I would NEVER do a hotel wedding! However, it is so logical. We don’t have to bring in anything! The hotel is ready with an outdoor patio, food, open bars, a dance floor, a coat check, tables, chairs, linens, etc.! It makes me feel secure and I felt a lot of peace when I booked it!

  23. 3.19.12
    Crystalin said:

    Seeing pics makes me love this space even more. The balcony view, amazing! Had so much Saturday. Thanks for inviting us and once things settle down a bit (how come it feels like life is crazy right now?) let’s plan a double date :)

  24. 3.21.12
    lexi said:

    The venue was huge for us. Once we had that settled a whole lot of relief swept over us. We actually got married at a SUPER rustic resort – forget the word resort – everyone stayed in log cabins. I never would have thought I’d be a log cabin kind of gal, but I totally was – because it really was the place that made my heart sing when hunting like a maniac for our venue. If you and the fiance love it, that’s all you need!
    ♡ Lexi
    FASHION: Glitter & Pearls
    WEDDINGS: Glitter Weddings

  25. 3.24.12
    Libby B. said:

    Seriously GORGEOUS!! As soon as you said it’s where Elyse said “who IS she?!” I knew exactly where you were talking about!! What a cool place, with both history and pop culture!

  26. 3.29.12
    AndieB said:

    I love this hotel. The interiors were done by Champalimaud Design. They recently completed the Hotel Bel Air renovation and are working on the Waldorf in NYC. Feeling extra fancy now?!!! And yes I am a total CD groupie!
    As for the dress, try (owned by anthro) Lovely stuff and great ideas! Much luck!