Quirky vintage bookstore wedding at Owl & Co Piedmont Ave

March 19, 2019

Where do I even start with the cuteness of this little wedding? Everything about this sweet wedding is a wonderful story in and of itself, but for the sake of not writing a novel I’ll keep it brief.

I had been on the lookout for a simple, off-beat venue

It all started when Lauren chanced upon Owl & Company Bookstore on Piedmont Ave, Oakland. She and her fiancé Scott had just moved to Oakland from Atlanta GA in search of new opportunities and a new church to pastor.

Lauren says:

“I was exploring in Oakland and wandered into the enchanting Owl & Company. I had been on the lookout for a simple, off-beat venue but that was not on my mind when I went in there, I just love books and immediately loved it. As I was leaving and chatting with Jerry, it hit me how amazing it would be to have an intimate wedding there, and I asked and he seemed open to the possibility. And he mentioned that a photographer had done a bridal shoot there.”

That bridal shoot was this quirky 1950’s style one, and once Lauren Googled and found me, she reached out excitedly informing me about her burgeoning wedding plans.

Shoots and weddings were not really on Owl’s radar until I wandered in there in April 2017 with my vision for a 50’s styled bridal shoot. Who knows where this could lead? I’m excited to see!

You can have your pick of places, even very unusual ones

This is one of the GREAT things about intimate weddings (want to know more about why they rock? Download my free ebook here!) You can have your pick of places, even very unusual ones, which was what Lauren was on the lookout for.

You aren’t limited to venues where they can cater a 150-person sit-down plated meal. Let’s face it – there are only so many of those, and the price tag has to be steep. With small weddings, the world is your oyster!

Lauren and Scott opted for a simple ceremony officiated by a fellow pastor friend who traveled down from Sacramento. The ceremony took place early in the morning before the bookstore started welcoming customers. The couple even had a sweet first look, surrounded by books.

After the short ceremony and a few couples’ portraits, the newlyweds headed outside to the very cute back patio of the bookstore where the small party shared champagne and nibbles.

The bride’s mother, a talented floral designer, had set up beautiful floral displays both inside and out and used her skills to highlight the natural charm of the bookshop and patio to make it the perfect wedding venue.

A friend of the bride, graphic designer from Nashville TN, Natalie Diaz, created beautiful wedding announcements and designed matching beautiful framed keepsakes with inspiring messages about love from works of literature.

After informal toasts of celebration, the troupe headed to Cato’s Ale House just a few doors down Piedmont Avenue for brunch and naturally, ale.

A beautiful, intimate & truly unique celebration.

What’s most evident from Lauren and Scott’s wedding is the absolute determination to do things their way, to walk the aisle less traveled. It ended up being a beautiful, intimate & truly unique celebration that will stand out in the minds of their 17 guests forever.

If you’re looking for a Bay Area wedding photographer that focuses exclusively on really tiny weddings of 50 people or fewer, and travels anywhere in California, the US or world, get in touch to receive my information brochure!


Venue Owl & Co Website / Instagram

Photography Zoe Larkin Website / Instagram

Florals Kim Van Bavel Patrus (bride’s mom) Instagram

Dress boutique Curvique Bridal Boutique Website / Instagram

Dress designer Elegant Designs by Candace Louise Website

Tux Men’s Wearhouse Website

Hair Toni Schafer

Beauty Tiffany Chavanne Shelton

Musician Cellista Website / Instagram

Paper goods Natalie Diaz / Dribbble

Engagement Ring Cumberland Diamond Exchange Website / Instagram

Wedding Rings Zale’s Website / Instagram

Cufflinks Grateful Gadgets Etsy / Instagram

Officiant Rev. Will Norman LinkedIn

Handmade ring book Bluish Studio Etsy / Instagram

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san francisco city hall wedding photographer

Zoe Larkin is a San Francisco-based wedding photographer & fine art graduate originally from London. She specializes in photographing intimate weddings for joyful, free-thinking couples. Zoe creates raw, personal images that evoke a range of emotions, combining documentary photography with a stylized edge. Her work has been published on Offbeat Bride, Equally Wed, Catalyst Wed Co, Love Inc Mag among others. She adores simplicity, kindness & Earl Grey. Zoe is an equality-minded vendor that celebrates diversity in all its forms. Read more about the process here