THERE ARE FIVE-YEAR plans, 10-year plans and plans that exist unbeknownst o us. Ashley and Joe had a common bond for decades, but they didn’t learn that until they met. “Joseph was born and raised in Noe Valley and had frequently visited my great grandfather’s pharmacy down the road on 24th Street,” says Ashley, a Kentfield native. Several years later, when Joe proposed, another neighborhood landmark came into play: every Christmas, one Noe Valley
resident decorates the tree on the sidewalk in front of her house with lights, placing a
mason jar below; people passing by write down a wish on a piece of paper and place it in
the jar. The homeowner laminates these wish-notes and hangs them from the tree. Joe
wrote, “I hope she says yes,” then searched for his wish among the hundreds of tags in
ensuing days. He found it, cut it down and the following year proposed to Ashley next to
the tree with the laminated wish. Their wedding was equally inspired. They chose the
Westin in San Francisco, with its 360-degree views of the city lights. Meaningful, loving
speeches from both fathers as well as the reverend were among the standout moments.
“The first dance and the father-daughter dance were highlights for me,” the bride adds.
“Having those two dances with the best men in my life that I love so much will forever
be cherished and kept in my heart.” Discreet photography and filming made a very public occasion with 180 guests feel very private. Fantastic food abounded, and a friendly,
responsive staff ensured the event went off without a snag. But the real beauty was in
the details. The wedding menu featured an image of the couple’s boxer, Bella, and Ashley
carried a bouquet with a photo of her grandparents on their wedding day affixed to the
back. Touches like this along with three musical acts (string quartet, live band, and a DJ)
made for an unforgettable night, confirming that wishes aren’t reserved for wells and
stars — given how this couple’s roots were intertwined, of course they’d wish upon a tree.
Ashley Roebken + Joe Leoncavallo
Westin St. Francis, San Francisco, June 25, 2016