A Lively Sequel Wedding With Vintage Vibes at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, California

They weren’t looking for just any San Francisco wedding venue. In fact, Nicholas (Nick) Tilly and Tristan (Tris) Taylor steered clear of any of the “w

They weren’t looking for just any San Francisco wedding venue. In fact, Nicholas (Nick) Tilly and Tristan (Tris) Taylor steered clear of any of the “white box” locales to which couples tend to flock in the city. “The theme really came to us after we selected the venue. We wanted to play up the space’s baroque, old-school, Art Deco vibe,” Nick explains. “We called it ‘Moulin Rouge meets disco meets prom night,’ focusing on the space’s reds, golds and architecture!” The aesthetic made perfect sense for a couple who became engaged while strolling along the glittering Seine River in Paris, France.

The grooms were officially married in an intimate San Francisco City Hall wedding, so they planned a grander reception a few months post-vows to celebrate with family and friends. Once they’d selected the Great American Music Hall, they began designing an event teeming with vintage elegance. “The venue is such an incredible space; I did not want to take away from its majestic, over-the-top beauty,” describes Nick. “Our planner assisted me with keeping things simple for decor. Florals were the main decoration, then simple champagne linens, gold flatware and one set of beautiful glassware! I hate when tables are stacked full of glasses and plates at weddings.”

Each groom selected a formal tuxedo in different styles—Nick opted for a black velvet jacket and coordinating slacks, while Tris chose a white jacket with black trim and a white silk bowtie. “He looked so chic,” beams Nick. “He also wore these stunning boots that I did not know he had purchased until the day of! They complimented his ensemble nicely.” In addition to their style, the couple infused personalized details into every reception detail, starting with their arrival. “Since there was no ceremony for our guests to see, I’d say my favorite moment was our grand entrance. The whole room went dark, and we were spot-lit on the Juliet Balcony on the mezzanine, waving to the crowd, laughing and kissing.”

Speaking of customizations, the pair ensured each small decor detail reflected their lives in one way or another. “My favorite personalization was on our napkins,” says Nick. “We had a talented artist friend named Anna Robbins design this insane image of us with our toy poodle, Chico, all sipping champagne out of flutes. It was iconic.”

Guests found their seats for dinner in the ballroom at round and long tables with crisp linens and bold floral arrangements. “Tristan and I love all things tropical, moody, lush and dramatic! Flowers were important to us: they created that vibe,” Nick explains. “Some of our favorites were the dahlias (locally grown), orchids (you know the vibes), anthurium lilies (artsy and moody), bleeding amaranthus (drippy drama), chocolate cosmos (bold and delicious) and green carnations on the main table—a nod to Victorian times when gay men would wear them as a sign to one another!” With the floral designer being a close friend of the couple, each arrangement was genuinely made with love.

Though visually stunning, the star of Nick and Tris’ big day was the support they received from their nearest and dearest. “Our loved ones’ speeches were very special to us,” notes Nick. “They still make me tear up when I think about them. We asked four people to write speeches: my best friend, Tris’ best friend, and a family member each. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.” In addition to the speeches, the newlyweds took the opportunity to toast Nick’s late brother, James, who had passed suddenly earlier in the year. “I missed him sitting next to me so much—I wanted to honor his life with so many of our favorite people in the room.”

Take it from Tris and Nick: “Work with a planner! They make your life easier!” they say, having had an excellent experience with their own wedding planner. “Don’t forget to eat your cake,” they add. “You’ll be sad the next day when you realize you only took one bite.”

Fun, Whimsical Wedding Invitation Suite With Illustration of Couple and Their Dog
Two Gold Wedding Bands With Small Diamonds and Green Gem Embedded
A Groom's Black Velvet Jacket, Stylish Watch and Wedding Band
Grooms in a Black Velvet Jacket and a White Jacket, Black Trim With Dogs Over City
Two Grooms in Different Tuxedos Snuggle Their Dogs Overlooking San Francisco
Grooms in Two Different Tuxedo Styles Pop Champagne on San Francisco Rooftop
Grooms in Different Tuxedos, Colorful Boutonnieres Toast With Champagne
Grooms in Black-and-White Tuxedos Kiss in the Street in San Francisco
A Low Centerpieces With Colorful Flowers on Crisp White Linen Under Colorful Lighting
A vintage, Art Deco wedding reception at the historic Great American Music Hall in San Francisco with long and round tables featuring white linens and low centerpieces under pink and purple lighting.
Small Cupcakes With Pink-and-White Frosting and Sprinkles, Carrot Cupcakes
Grooms in Black-and-White Tuxedo Jackets Cutting Cake Under Purple Lighting
A single-tier wedding cake in an ombre white-and-pink palette on a dessert table filled with tiny cupcakes in pink and white.
Guests Dancing on Dark Dance Floor With Flare Effects