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An English-Themed Reception at a 16th-Century Inn in this Bay Area Wedding

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Rad + In Love

Ivy Martinez and Felicia Barrett were each getting out of a relationship when their mutual friends decided to set them up. “They thought we’d cheer each other up and really wanted to see us happy with someone amazing,” says Ivy. “We’re so lucky for their foresight!”

Ivy, who works in HR at Google, and Felicia, who’s a technical lead in the same company, hit it off and dated for three years before deciding one day to pick a month where they would both surprise each other with a proposal. “Once Felicia had a game plan, she said we better tell each other because we often think the same thing, so we did and…she was right!” Ivy explains. “We both had picked Cowell Ranch Beach, our favorite hike in the Bay. We decided to wait for a beautiful sunny day and we went out there and each proposed along different parts of the hike. Felicia read me a journal she had been keeping since we met. It was really special.”

The two agreed they wanted their wedding to feel intimate and romantic, so they looked for venues that fulfilled those two requirements. They ended up falling in love with the Pelican Inn, a small 16th English cottage hotel in Muir Beach. “It really fit the bill and it was so sweet that it was an English pub in the Bay Area,” Ivy says.

Unlike most brides who go dress shopping without their significant other, Ivy and Felicia saw everything the other tried on together. “We’re pretty practical, so we were also committed to going to one shop only and both buying there,” she says. They settled on Heart Aflutter, a small bridal boutique in East London, where the couple is now based. Ivy settled on a dress by Leanne Marshall paired with a Lena Medoyeff cape, while Felicia went with a a dress by Medoyeff paired with a gold cuffs that Ivy gifted her as a wedding present.

The day of the ceremony, guests gathered at the Muir Beach Overlook to witness Ivy and Felicia’s wedding ceremony. “We loved that it was in nature and literally looks like you’re floating above the Pacific Ocean,” Ivy says of their choice of venue. One of Ivy’s best friends, Patrick, served as their officiant. The couple walked out together holding hands to Betty Who’s “I Love You Always Forever” and later met their siblings at the aisle, who walked them down to their parents, which they hugged and kissed before joining their officiant at the front. “Patrick did such an amazing job with our ceremony. He talked about how we came from lines of strong women and how we would continue that tradition and pass it on to our children,” Ivy recalls. “Everyone was crying so much, including us! It was so heartfelt and sweet.”

Once they were married, the newlyweds and their loved ones headed out to the lawn at the Pelican Inn, where British canapés and wines from Bay Grape in Oakland were served. For dinner, more British fare was on offer (roast and Shepard’s pie), while for dessert, the couple brought in sweets from all of their favorite places in San Francisco, including cupcakes from Missions Minis, chocolate from Dandelion, lemon tarts from Tartine, and donuts from Dynamo Donuts. “Our three siblings gave these insanely sweet speeches and again the entire group was rendered to sobbing,” Ivy adds.

For their first dance, the couple picked “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles and later were joined on the dance floor by their friends and family. “We only had 48 guests, so we had quality time with all of them,” Ivy says. “I loved watching folks whom we love who had never met getting along and becoming friends; that was really fun to see.” The party then continued indoors at the inn, where a small group of friends ate some more dessert and watched Ivy and Felicia sign their wedding license to make the whole thing official. The next morning, everyone who stayed at the inn enjoyed a celebratory brunch and later toasted the newlyweds with some bubbly before they headed off to start their mini-moon (and the rest of their lives) at Timber Cove Resort.