Photo by Emily Gutman/Emily Takes Photos
They bonded over a shared love for biking and the city of San Francisco. This summer, they made those two passions the highlight of their beautiful get-away wedding in the city. And we just happened to roll by when they were unlocking their bikes on the big day outside of City Hall.
“A bicycle is really the perfect way to see and enjoy San Francisco,” the couple commented. “It allows you to control the pace of your journey and absorb little details that you might otherwise overlook.” We couldn’t agree more.
Congratulations, Katie and Scott, from all of us the SF Bicycle Coalition!
SF Bicycle Coalition: Where are you from, and what brought you to San Francisco’s City Hall to be married?
Katie & Scott: We currently live in Gainesville, Florida. We both grew up in Florida, but at opposite ends of the state in Lake City (Katie) and Plantation (Scott). When we decided to get married, we knew we wanted it to be a low key but memorable day just for the two us and it seemed like a City Hall wedding was the way to go.
In 2013, like so many people before us, we visited San Francisco together and left our hearts there. We loved the architecture, the parks and natural beauty, the weather, the food, the museums, and most of all we loved riding our bikes in the city and surrounding areas. We were familiar with San Francisco’s beautiful and historic City Hall from our prior trip, and it seemed like the perfect place for us to elope.
We should also add that the weather in San Francisco is far more conducive to riding a bike to your wedding than it is in Florida. Had we ridden our bikes the four short miles from our home to the courthouse in Gainesville this time of year, we would have wedding photos of an uncomfortable couple in their very sweaty formal finery.
Your wedding pictures look amazing! What inspired you to bike to your wedding day?
Bicycles and cycling are some of the things that originally brought us together. We enjoy cycling in many different aspects of our lives, whether for transportation around town, riding our local mountain bike trails, completing a century ride together or just getting outside to enjoy the day. Every time we get on our bikes together, it brings a smile to our faces. We wanted that happiness we feel when riding to be a part of our wedding day. It just seemed natural that we would ride together on that most special of days.
What was it like biking through the streets of San Francisco dressed for a wedding? Did anyone take notice of you?
It was even more fun than we had imagined! We were staying in the Marina District and decided to take a longer (flatter) route from there to City Hall. The route took us through some of the more heavily traveled areas of the City including Fort Mason, the Embarcadero, and Market Street. We were surprised by the number of people that noticed us and voiced their congratulations or well wishes on our ride to City Hall. We were trying to keep count of all of them for a while, but eventually lost track due to the sheer number of positive reactions. Several people even asked to take our picture, including a very nice representative from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition who noticed us and stopped to chat while we were unlocking our bicycles in front of City Hall following our wedding ceremony.
We had rented bicycles from Mission Bicycle Company to ride on our wedding day. (We built Katie’s single speed that she rides in Gainesville around one of their frames following our last trip to San Francisco.) After leaving City Hall, we rode to their shop to return the bikes and received a very warm welcome, impromptu photo shoot and tour of their facilities. They were thrilled that we had ridden their bikes to get married. We followed that up with celebratory tacos and margaritas in the Mission District (and two rounds of free shooters, compliments of friendly locals), after which we decided to Uber back to the apartment in Marina. As soon as the driver picked us up he asked, “Where are the bikes?” because he had seen us riding in the City earlier that day.
All of this really added to the day and made the experience even more memorable, fun, and festive than we had anticipated.
Was it difficult to ride in your wedding attire?
Surprisingly, it was relatively easy to ride in our wedding attire, though we would be misrepresenting things if we didn’t state that we each took a brief “test ride” in our respective garments back home to make sure everything would work. We also did some pre-planning on how to get Katie’s heels and bouquet, our paperwork and the bike locks to City Hall with us. This involved a handlebar bag, some Velcro and quite a bit of gaffers tape. The only mild difficulties of the day were Scott having a couple of moments where his dress shoes slipped on the pedals and Katie having to be mindful of the back hem of her dress not getting caught on the saddle when transitioning from standing to sitting.
Did you bike to your wedding as a special occasion, or is biking a daily habit for the two of you?
As we mentioned earlier, biking is a big part of our life. Since we both work from home, we don’t get to ride every day, but getting on our bikes helps make any day better. We regularly enjoy riding downtown to get dinner or drinks with friends, riding to the gym or to yoga class, or just getting out and enjoying our city and the surrounding areas.
Any cycling related events planned for your honeymoon?
Our trip to San Francisco was a combined vacation, wedding and honeymoon. We were in the city for a total of two weeks, all the while using bikes as our primary mode of exploration and transportation. Some highlights were: exploring Golden Gate Park on Sunday (when the roads are car-free); riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Sausalito, and over to and around Tiburon and back; riding to and exploring the Lands End area; and riding to Baker Beach and back (which was beautiful and rewarding, if a bit labored at moments).
A bicycle is really the perfect way to see and enjoy San Francisco. It’s such an efficient way to get around the City, but also allows you to control the pace of your journey and absorb little details that you might otherwise overlook.
Do you have friends who love San Francisco and love biking? Support advocacy for people who bike our gorgeous city and give the gift of an SF Bicycle Coalition membership today.