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A Classically Elegant Wedding in San Francisco

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Josh Gruetzmacher

Graphic stationery designer Molly McGlone first crossed paths with her future husband, Austin Pollet, in college, but they didn’t properly meet until after they’d both graduated from school. “We ended up on the same New Year’s trip and instantly hit it off,” remembers Molly. “We went on our first date the week after and were inseparable from then on out.”

A little over three years later, Austin surprised Molly one day with a last minute trip to Carmel. “Leaving the city definitely made me question what was going to happen,” she says. After lunch and a walk on the beach, Austin got down on one knee and proposed. She said yes, and they celebrated with a bonfire, s’mores, and Champagne. “After some photos and lots of kisses, we drove down to the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur to spend the weekend celebrating, just the two of us.”

Even though they both are from Southern California, Molly and Austin ultimately decided they wanted to get married in San Francisco, where they currently live. For the location of their wedding, they settled on The James Leary Flood Mansion, which reflected the traditional and elegant feel they wanted for their big day. “We wanted the evening to feel like we’d invited our friends and family over to our home for a lovely dinner celebration,” explains Molly. “The Flood Mansion in Pacific Heights was the perfect fit.”

While the invitation suite was a cinch for this bride, Molly, who is a self-confessed “wannabe florist, cook, interior designer, and party planner” also took care of the rest of the planning with the help of her mother. “I really had my hand and eye on every single detail, in addition to designing all of the paper,” she said. In order to relax on the wedding day, the two decided to brought in Jennie Janzen of Jennie J Events to take care of last-minute details and handle coordinating with vendors during the ceremony and reception.

When looking for her wedding dress, Molly wanted something just as classic and elegant as her venue. She finally settled on an Amsale dress made of white silk with a sheer illusion neckline and a small, sweet bow at the bottom of the back—“anyone who knows me knows I love a good bow.” To top off the look, she wore her engagement ring, her mother’s gold bangle bracelet, and simple pearl earrings with her hair pulled back in a low bun. “I carried a perfectly sized Lily of the Valley bouquet with my grandmother’s gold and pearl brooch pinned to it,” she says. “I really wanted a classic look, so I could look back at my photos in 50 years and still love it.”

The couple was married in an intimate ceremony in the courtyard of the mansion by Austin’s older brother, Troy. “Having a strong personal connection to the officiant made for an exceptionally beautiful and special ceremony for both us and our guests,” says Molly. “He was the perfect balance of humorous and heartfelt.”

Austin’s father, Andy, had passed away in 2001, and the couple honored his memory with a few details during their wedding day. “Austin has a beautiful gold Rolex that his father left for him that he wears daily,” she explains. “We designed our jewelry around that; my engagement ring and both our wedding bands were set in gold. Austin also wore his father’s gold cuff link with his tuxedo and a pair of patterned suspenders, which his dad also loved.” Troy capped off the tribute by sharing a sweet story about his late father during the ceremony. “It was a cute reminder about not forgetting to have some fun in life,” said Molly.

After the ceremony, guests were treated to cocktails and appetizers including crostini and mini-burger bites. When it was time for dinner, everyone headed inside the mansion into the main reception hall, which featured a stunning view of San Francisco Bay. Once all of the guests were seated, the bride’s parents rang their glasses to cue the singer and quiet down the room. The couple then entered the long hall, filled with family and friends, and took to the dance floor for the first time as husband and wife to John Legend’s “All of Me.” “That song played on the radio on our way home from our Big Sur engagement trip,” Molly shares. “While we both had listened to it prior, it meant something different that time.”

The dinner that followed included broccoli shoot panzanella salad and braised beef short rib over warm wild mushroom farro. During the meal, the bride’s sister/maid of honor and Austin’s brothers gave toasts that were both heartfelt and funny. The night ended with the couple cutting the cake, a dessert bar filled with the couple’s favorite treats, and hours of dancing to a live band.

After resting the day after, the couple flew off to Florence for their honeymoon early on Monday. They took a road trip through Tuscany and ended their travels with a stop on the Amalfi Coast. “I still dream about it all,” says Molly. “The incredible wine, the mouthwatering pasta, our private boat ride to Capri, the warm sunshine—it was absolutely amazing.”