How a Surprise Proposal Turned Into a Sunset Reception
Lindsey and Mike were married on September 1st. The ceremony was held offsite at UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley. Once their “I Do’s” were exchanged, the happy couple and their 70 guests proceeded onto the Berkeley Marina where they boarded the Sunset Hornblower for their wedding reception. Their evening was spent taking in the sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay on the front bow and dancing the night away as the sun set over the city.
Yacht: Sunset Hornblower
How did the two of you meet?
Lindsey: I met Mike on my first day of college. We had the same on-campus job as Event Staff for the University of Minnesota Athletic Department. He was a year ahead of me and I was placed next to him to learn from the experienced ticket-taker he was. It was a double-header, so we had plenty of time to get to know each other.
Did you know he was going to propose?
Lindsey: He didn’t even know!
Tell us the story of how you got engaged.
Mike: We were on vacation in Switzerland and we took a day trip up to the top Mt. Pilatus in the Swiss Alps. I honestly did not have plans to propose there, but I was so overcome by the beauty of where we were that I had to ask her to marry me then and there. I didn’t have a ring, so she didn’t think I was serious at first, but after a few moments, she knew I was serious about it.
Lindsey: Just as our train down the mountain was about to depart he got down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” I assumed he was joking and was making us late for our train – I told him to get up and that people were starting to look. When I locked eyes with him again, I knew he was serious. I said yes and there were a few happy tears from both of us. Our next stop on vacation was to Florence, where we picked out a ring from a gold shop on the famous Ponte Vecchio.
How did feel when you saw Lindsey in her dress for the first time?
Mike: I could not of been happier. Our wedding ceremony was outside in the Redwood Grove at the UC-Berkeley Botanical Garden, so we were surrounded by magnificent nature. Her dress fit perfectly with our surroundings and made her look like a princess.
How did you feel as you were walking down the aisle?
Lindsey: With my mom and dad by my side, I walked through the fairytale-like redwoods feeling surrounded by so much love from all of our friends and family. Seeing Mike standing there smiling at me I couldn’t help feeling overwhelming happiness.
Did you immediately start wedding planning?
Lindsey: At the time that we got engaged, Mike was just finishing up his PhD and had just accepted a job in the Bay Area, so we waited until we settled in out here to start our planning.
How did you balance the decision-making?
Mike: I think our situation is a bit unique since Lindsey often plans large events professionally. Since she is so good at organizing it was hard for me to keep up at times, but I did my best to contribute as much as I could when the opportunity presented itself.
How did you feel when you walked onboard for your wedding reception?
Mike: We were both so happy when we got on the boat. It looked fantastic, and all our friends and family were so excited to get on the boat and out into the bay. One of my favorite things about having our reception on the boat was how much all of our guests loved it. Everyone has been to a lot of weddings and knowing that we were able to give our guests, who traveled from far away, a unique and memorable experience meant a lot to me.
Lindsey: I felt like we were about to embark on a wonderful adventure. We watched the kids’ faces light up as they explored the boat, just as much as the adults.
Were there any particular moments that stick out from your wedding or your reception?
Lindsey: We were able to pull into McCovey Cove just as the National Anthem was playing and the sun was setting before the Giants first pitch. My father-in-law looked at me and said, this is really cool. It was then that it really sunk in that this experience was truly special, not just for us.
Mike: That day had a beautiful sunset over Marin. Watching the sun slowly go down over the bay with all the people I care most about in this world (most importantly my wife!) could never be matched.
What made you want to have your reception with Hornblower?
Lindsey: Knowing that our friends and family are scattered across the country and would all be traveling to the Bay Area, we wanted to find a venue for about 70 people that provided a uniquely-SF experience. We found Hornblower and they happened to have an opportunity for engaged couples to take a brunch cruise. We had the absolute best time and knew that we wanted to share this experience with our friends and family.
Mike: We had an absolute blast on our complimentary trip with Hornblower. The convenience of working with Hornblower and the total package service sealed the deal.
What was the best part of the day?
On a hot September day, the best part of the day was watching the bright red sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge from the middle of the Bay with a crisp breeze. That is a moment that just can’t be recreated.
Finally, what’s one word you would use to describe your wedding day?
Dress: Emerald City Gowns
Suit: J. Crew
Hair & Makeup: BeGlammed
Flowers: Whole Foods Berkeley
Photography: George Street Photo & Video
A Hornblower wedding is truly a departure from the ordinary. We would love to chat with you about your unique wedding, browse our wedding packages at any of our ports: San Francisco, Berkeley, San Diego,New York, Marina del Rey, Long Beach or Newport Beach. Or fill out the form below and a Hornblower wedding coordinator will help you get started.