Madie + Alex | Fort Baker, Sausalito | Cavallo Point Wedding

A year ago my sister Madie married Alex in Sausalito, by the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Their recent 1st anniversary gave me the added inspiration to finally make the blog post we never got around to the first time. From a photography point of view, this wedding was truly an NLP family production - we have images here taken by my dad, Kiera, Vale and myself. It was such an honor that Madie would trust us with the photography, although I can't say I was too surprised!  It was the best both worlds for me to be able to capture their wedding day and still boogie down at the best kind of party there is. As a bonus, Madie has contributed her own words to this post describing some of her favorite details and moments of the day.  It's a pretty unique and awesome opportunity for us to have one of our bride's narrate the photography.  Even though this is our longest post yet (most epic-est, you might say?), be sure to read Madie's contribution below the photos.     -Cole

But first: the photos.

VENDOR CREDITS // Dress: Amy Kuschel, San Francisco  |  Floral arrangements: Fioribei, Berkeley  |  Venue:Presidio Yacht Club, Fort Baker, Sausalito  |  Lodging: Cavallo Point Lodge, Sausalito  |  Catering: Kate McMillan Catering  |  Groom/groomsmen attire: Tommy Hilfiger, shoes by Cole Haan  |  Bridesmaid attire: Amsale  |  Music: DJ Sam Isaac  |  Cake: Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, Berkeley  |  Cake design & late-night Oreo cookie bar: Sweet Kiera, San Francisco  |  Menu and print design: Cole Stipovich Design & Photography, San Francisco


Our wedding was such a collaborative effort with our very talented family and friends. We were very lucky to have my father and brother Jim and Cole Stipovich of Natural Light Photography as our wedding photographers. We all thought pretty carefully about whether it was a good idea to have family photograph the wedding, and ended up making the right call. On the one hand, my dad would have photographed the whole thing anyway, even if we had hired someone else (you can't get the camera out of his hand), and growing up in this family has given me pretty strong opinions about photography (especially wedding), and I knew I might be a 'nightmare client' to anyone else- and likely not happy with the end product. One look at the beautiful photos of our day confirms why I wanted my family on the job!

The inspiration behind our design and decor really came from the natural surroundings of our incredible venue! I like to call it "California Coastal", which is not the same thing as "Nautical", which feels very East-Coast Preppy to me, and while cute, has never really been my style. We took the coastal idea and ran with it, from collecting trunk-loads of driftwood for the tables from Northern California beaches (I recommend San Gregorio State Beach), to the poppies that decorated the cocktail tables in the bar. As part of the table-scape, I took inspiration from an old Martha Stewart project and decided to make mini succulent terrariums that would both decorate the long farm-style dinner tables and serve as a beautiful, lasting favors for guests to take home. The succulents were sourced from all over the bay area (sometimes one or two at a time, in a pocket!) and from the SF Flower Mart. They were assembled in a group-effort planting day in Alex's mom's backyard, about a month before the wedding, so they would have time to take root and not look too stunned. People ended up calling them our "love plants" and I occasionally get updates like, "Your love plant is still growing!" which makes me so happy!

My uber-and-multi-talented brother Cole also designed our invitation suite with us, and I did the watercolor backings and assembly by hand. He also designed the menus and seating charts. Our caterer was a local talent and family friend, Kate McMillan, who is so lovely and easy to work with. She instantly understood our desire for California coastal food- nothing too fancy, just casual and delicious. We did not hire a wedding coordinator, but had key day-of help in the form of Kristi Mollard, who is a close family friend and a tornado of efficiency.

Alex and I both love pelicans, and after watching pairs of them fish for hours around the Fort Baker marina, it became an obvious choice for our little totem. Cole designed the lovely little pair by hand, and it was used on our invites and in grand scale with huge painted, wooden cut-outs which decorated the dock, made by my sister Vale and brother-in-law Mark. Apparently no project was too daunting!

Another DIY project was our flags we set on the dock, for which the inspiration came from the actual yacht flag for our venue, the Presidio Yacht Club. It is painted on the building above the dock. I just adapted the color of the center diamond to my two favorite colors, blue and citron green. They were constructed in another happy work-party day with crucial help from my mom, sister, and best friends Linsey and Jess, and I loved seeing them fly above the ceremony. There is just something so celebratory about flags!

I also collaborated with my crazy-talented sister-in-law Kiera Stipovich (Sweet Kiera) on the design for our cake. She helped distill all my scattered thoughts and ideas into one gorgeous citron-colored 4-tier cake, which was executed by Sweet Adeline Bakeshop. Kiera also made our late-night snack of homemade oreos (my favorite) and milk, and of course wowed everyone with her presentation skills.

So it really was a family affair, and we wouldn't have had it any other way. From all the meaningful design details to the quintessential Bay Area location to our hand-written vows, the day was such a perfect representation of us, our love, and the joining of our families.

Finally, one last shot from the archives - The happy newlyweds the next morning!