Producer Wandie Kabule can thank her good taste in movies for her first date with assistant director James Beard—no relation to the chef. “I mentioned Paris Texas on my profile because it’s my favorite movie, and James was the only guy that reached out to me who zeroed in on that film,” she explains. “We had some really fun banter. He had just moved to Los Angeles from New York, so I agreed to show him some fun L.A. spots. We had our first date at a tiki bar in Silver Lake.”
Two years later, James planned a trip to San Francisco completely shrouded in secrecy, except for the fact that Wandie had a feeling a proposal was in the cards. “I knew it was going to be the trip where he proposed because I’m impossible to surprise,” she admits. After scheduling a swim with dolphins, the two went to dinner and arrived at their restaurant early. “James asked me to walk with him across the street. We walked up to the Bay Bridge, and I knew it was coming because he seemed a bit nervous. He got down on one knee, and it was perfect!”
Wandie and James knew they wanted a low-key wedding and decided to tie the knot at San Francisco’s City Hall. Finding the perfect restaurant for the reception after, though, was a bit harder, since their intimate wedding party was only comprised of 13 guests. “Everything was too big or not quite right,” she says. “Finally, I found Hopscotch in Oakland, which had the perfect menu for us, and the cutest space to rent.”
The bride hadn’t even started the process of looking for a dress, when it literally came to her naturally. “My dress was just sitting in my friend’s closet,” she explains. “I described my dream dress to her (fitted, simple, and classic) and she pulled it out and brought it to me. It was perfect because I felt like myself, comfortable and beautiful.” She paired the elegant slip dress with Sophie Buhai hoop earrings, which she fell in love with and still wears almost daily, and a gold hair barrette by Sylvain Le Hen. James, meanwhile, chose a J. Crew suit for the occasion.
On the day of the wedding, the couple got ready at the bride’s sister-in-law’s home, just down the street from San Francisco’s City Hall. Their small group walked over together and got in line with all the other couples getting married that day. “It was really amazing being around so much joy and celebration, congratulating other brides and grooms,” she says. “It was very special and helped create a very positive vibe.”
A reception at Hopscotch followed, where a menu including shrimp and grits, fried chicken, and donuts for dessert was served. The room was decorated with flowers that Wandie and her mother had bought that same morning from the San Francisco Flower Mart, and the whole family helped put the bouquets together as the bride got her hair and makeup done. “Our cake was amazing,” Wandie adds. “Alison at Pretty Please Bakeshop is a genius!” Family members gave a number of toasts, and while there was no traditional first dance, the newlyweds still managed to have some fun later on, the bride shares. “We had a really fun dance party when we got back to our AirBnb to Hall & Oates!”