C California Style

Descending the courthouse steps as husband and wife. PHOTO: Drew Altizer.
Mayor Ed Lee married the couple as Stephanie’s daughter, Carissa, looked on. PHOTO: Drew Altizer.
Stephanie’s bouquet from Ornamento in Nob Hill. PHOTO: Drew Altizer.

Laws of Attraction

by C California Style

At the San Francisco Courthouse, Stephanie Barlage and Jim Marver carry out a perfectly civilized union.

San Francisco arts philanthropist Stephanie Marver has worn glamorous party dresses from Giambattista Valli’s couture collections since 2011 when the French designer presented a fashion show fundraiser for the San Francisco Ballet.

“Giambattista Valli’s dresses are wonderfully feminine and joyful, all with a modern flair,” says Stephanie, a longtime patron of the ballet, opera and museums in the city. “I was immediately drawn to his exquisite couture techniques and his beautiful use of handmade lace, highly detailed embroidery and delicate silk.”

In April (after one and a half years of dating), she accepted a romantic on-bended-knee proposal from Jim Marver, co‑founder of a leading San Francisco venture capital firm.

Stephanie’s dress, which was crafted at the designer’s atelier in Paris in less than a month, was a dreamy confection of fluttering organza flowers, layers of Alençon and guipure lace on the bodice, and a flirty, short skirt sculpted with layers of tulle and horsehair. 

The intimate spring ceremony attended by a few close family members was conducted by Mayor Ed Lee in his chambers at the Baroque-style S.F. City Hall. Stephanie’s 6-year-old daughter, Carissa, was the flower girl. 

Afterward, they celebrated with a Champagne toast, and a festive dinner in the Mission at Bar Tartine, the site of their first date. 

By Diane Dorrans Saeks.
PHOTOS: Drew Altizer.