A Nautical Boat Wedding on The Zinfandel in San Francisco, California

In a mere two months, Kyna Zacharias (30 and a physician in training) and Dima Shnayderman (32 and a physician in training) planned and pulled-off a fun-filled summer affair in Dima’s native San Francisco, Calif. Busy schedules originally made a long engagement ideal for the couple, but after Dima’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, they decided to push up their “I do” date. “I wanted our parents to meet each other, and I definitely wanted his mother to be at the wedding, so the sooner the better,” says Kyna.

As a favorite vacation spot and Dima’s childhood home, San Francisco seemed like the perfect fit for the affair, with the spectacular scenery and unparalleled amenities only adding to the city’s allure. The day started with a traditional ceremony at the Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco, a National Historic Landmark building with picturesque architectural features and a lovely garden. “The Reverend Junchol Lee was very understanding and helped make the ceremony exactly what we wanted,” says Kyna. To highlight the unique elements of the space, the couple decided against additional decor, save a few floral arrangements that were already in the church.

For the reception, the couple ditched the idea of traditional and whisked guests off on a boat cruise around San Francisco Bay. With ever-changing vistas adding to the evening’s overall aesthetic, Kyna and Dima kept the decorations simple, topping the tables with Moroccan lanterns and a variety of different seashells. Instead of a traditional guest book, the pair had guests sign a personalized map of the United States featuring hearts over California and Connecticut, where they both grew up. “The map now is framed and hanging over our bed,” says Kyna. “The boat crew did a great job of setting everything up without instruction — I was very impressed with their sense of style and detail.”

“One of Dima's groomsmen, our guest from Japan, served as our DJ during the dancing. I originally asked him to avoid hip hop because I was afraid crude language would offend some of my guests,” says Kyna. “Somehow Lil John's ‘Get Low’ started playing and my parents started tearing up the dance floor — who knew they had a secret desire to get low with the best of them? That had to be one of my favorite memories from the event.”