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A Surprise Hip Hop Dance Show at this Black Tie Wedding in California

By Patricia Garcia | Photography by 

Coco Tran

Shortly after moving to San Francisco after graduating college, Mimi Huggins, a communications associate manager at Facebook, threw a 90s-themed housewarming party, in which she met Jake Cerf, a product marketer at Salesforce. “He walked in with a Biggie Smalls sweatshirt with the lyrics to “Juicy,” and I was immediately interested,” she admits. “It took quite a few advances on my part that evening for him to get the hint, but eventually he took notice of my moves.”

The couple started dating shortly after, and four-and-a-half years later, the two were on a hike by the Golden Gate Bridge when Jake got down on one knee and asked Mimi to marry him. She said yes, and by the time they got home to their apartment, both of their families were waiting to celebrate with champagne.

Once engaged, Filoli, an early 20th century estate and English renaissance style garden in Woodside, California, immediately came to mind as a potential venue location. “My grandparents were very involved at Filoli, so I grew up attending events, concerts, and other festive traditions on the property,” she explains. “The estate only started allowing weddings to take place onsite last summer. We were the fourth couple to ever get married there.”

The couple wanted their wedding aesthetic to match the sophisticated style of their venue. Working with planner Christine Garrison of CMG Events, they decided on a black tie dress code to give the feel of a Great Gatsby-like soiree and settled on decorating with simple white and green florals and anemones.

Mimi always envisioned herself wearing an A-line ball gown for her wedding day and she found just that in a Martina Liana strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline and simple white meshing in the front. She paired it with Bella Belle shoes and for jewelry, the bride wore her mother’s diamond drop earrings and her grandmother’s pearl bracelet. “The sentimental touches of the day were really important to me,” she says. “My grandma Mime, whom I’m named after, very much cherished Filoli and spent a lot of time on the property. I wore her monogramed handkerchief with her initials around my bouquet.”

Jake, meanwhile, chose a custom tuxedo from Suit Supply, which he monogrammed with their wedding date inside his jacket’s collar. He finished off the look with monogrammed Tiffany cufflinks; a wedding present from Mimi. Bridesmaids wore black Monique Lhuillier dresses, while groomsmen were in formal tuxedos from The Black Tux.

Their ceremony took place right before sunset in one of Filoli’s beautiful gardens. The bride walked down the aisle with both of her parents to an acoustic guitar version of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” “It’s a song my grandfather used to sing often at parties and events,” she explains. Jake’s uncle officiated their wedding, and he spent plenty of time leading up to the day doing his research. “He called our parents, friends, and siblings to procure personal anecdotes about the two of us and our relationship,” Mimi says. 

Once the ceremony was over, guests wove through Filoli’s cocktail reception by the pool where they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, wine, and cocktails. The newlyweds meanwhile snuck off for some portrait photos, and Mimi admits it was one of her favorite times of the day. “Enjoying a few minutes with just Jake, right after we had exchanged such meaningful vows. I was feeling like the luckiest girl in the world!”

Dinner was served in the entry courtyard of Filoli’s brick mansion, which was surrounded with twinkling lights that set a romantic mood. The bridal party and their significant others were all seated at one long table in the middle, and as a special treat, the couple monogrammed white linen napkins with each person’s initials at the head table. “We now have monogrammed napkins that we can use for dinner parties and special occasions,” says Mimi. “It’s an idea I got from another Over The Moon bride!”

A meal featuring seasonal California ingredients was served, while speeches from the father of the bride, the couple’s siblings, and close friends had guests laughing throughout. “My brother and sister got up and did a full on roast—slideshow with embarrassing childhood photos included!” the bride remembers. “Chuck went to my childhood orthodontist to procure the worst photos he could find—I’ve never laughed so hard.”

After dinner and cake, it was time for the newlyweds’s first dance. They started off with a classic, Etta James’s “At Last,” but halfway through the song, the music switched to MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” and Jake and Mimi broke out into a coordinated hip hop dance with MC Hammer glasses. Their surprise dance set the tone for the rest of evening, and guests stayed on the dance floor for hours while local San Francisco band Notorious played music. “We had a basket of wigs stationed next to the ballroom stage, which turned out to be a big hit,” Mimi adds.

After the reception, the bride changed into an Alice + Olivia white silk dress and silver Shultz pumps. The couple exited their wedding through the front doors of the house, while all of their guests were standing outside with giant glow sticks. (The venue wouldn’t allow sparklers on the property.) From there, the newlyweds and their friends all headed off to a classic biker bar in Woodside called The Pioneer, where they set up a Mexican food truck that served late night quesadillas, burritos, and tacos for the hungry late-night revelers. “Our guests filled the entire dive bar until 2:00 a.m.,” Mimi says. “There may have been a few encores!”