Goodness, where to begin with this beautiful styled shoot from Pat Robinson Photography, Clawmade, and Devon & Pinkett? With dusky blues, lovely anemone, and hanging embroidery hoops at the reception, it’s giving us all kinds of good feelings. Oh, and we can’t possibly forget the incredible cake with sugar flowers — just wait ’til you see it!
Gold and blue are a match made in heaven, and this wedding from Emily Wren Photography is here to prove it. As every wedding should be, their day was full of sweet personal details and cute nods to the couple’s love for each other, including the groom’s gift of red Converse sneakers to the bride. The always-on-point Love n’ Fresh Flowers delivered the floral arrangements full of vibrant texture.
When you have a couple as fun as Onna and Chris, you know you’re in for a good time. Their day was nothing short of entertaining. From the top notch eatables to the lively reception bands (that’s right, there were TWO!) to the wedding parade that quite literally swept the streets, we know everyone had a great time. This sweet couple’s love for one another is evident from the start, and we’re so glad they personalized every bit of their celebration. Some of our favorite details include the flower-garnished fans that were swapped for bridesmaid bouquets and the wedding cake sporting soft watercolor brushstrokes. The ever-so-flawless Emily Wren Photography captured every second, so read on for the inside scoop!
Hair and Makeup
Madeline and Dan may have married during the summer, but that didn’t stop the couple from adding nods to Madeline’s all-time favorite holiday, Christmas, into their wedding decor. If anything, this proves there’s no reason not to make your wedding day as personal as possible to best reflect your own style! Becka Pillmore Photography photographed the high school sweetheart couple as they exchanged vows at the ever-stunning Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, which was styled to perfection with Uncommon Events — who also tackled all the floral design. A garden wedding with boho touches, hints of Christmas, all in a greenhouse setting? We’re sold.
From the bride, Madeline: My love for Christmas is borderline obsessive. Over the past 10 years Daniel and I have created Christmas traditions that we take part in annually. One of those traditions is shopping in Philadelphia and getting dinner at one of our favorite restaurants Twenty Manning Grill. On our walk back to our car we walked through Rittenhouse to look at the lights and it was there that he asked me to marry him. On the year anniversary of our engagement, we went back to that very spot and got our engagement photos taken under the lights. The wedding planning process was eventful to say the least. It was a team effort and everyone involved played a critical role in making the day special. Uncommon Events also played a huge role in bringing my ideas to life. Their support throughout the entire process was essential (Melissa and Jess!).
Sometimes you and your wedding venue are a match made in heaven, and that’s exactly how it was for Leanne and Nick at The John James Audubon Center. With no shortage of beautiful grounds to utilize, the couple was able to make their wedding day an event that was truly their own, bringing along the fabulous Emily Wren Photography and Belovely (talk about a winning duo!). Though the color palette consisted of greens and white, Leanne couldn’t resist a pop of fuchsia in her flower crown — which was just the perfect touch.
From the bride, Leanne: We wanted a curated elegant rustic look with outdoor ambiance. We had looked at a few different barn options before we saw The Audubon Center. And with their location (Nick grew up just down the street, only 45 minutes outside of Philly), professionalism of the staff, the illustration history behind the venue (Nick and I both went to the University of the Arts for Illustration), the price, and all of the beautiful locations on the venue i.e.: the apple orchard, the museum, the 1800s barn and the pavilion with its glass doors open to the outside, we knew we had found the right place. Plus we had heard such great things about the caterer Jeffery A. Miller Catering.
Catering and Wedding Cake
Wedding Stationery and Paper Good Design
Wedding Stationery and Paper Good Printing
Filiz and TJ fell in love with their wedding venue as soon as they stepped foot inside, and we fell in love the moment we saw what they did with the space. Maria Mack Photography photographed the couple all the beautiful decor, which was purposefully kept simple in order to complement the eclecticism of the venue. Of course, this didn’t stop Eventricity from rocking the floral design!
From the bride, Filiz: In the beginning, we were really interested in a warehouse/industrial space to make our own. However, we stumbled upon Material Culture and it just spoke to us! It had the warehouse feeling, totally unique, we loved all the vintage and imported good throughout the store, plus at was a nod to my Turkish heritage (my mom was born in Istanbul). We loved it from the moment we stepped foot inside.
Hair and Makeup
If you ever wanted to see what modern glam with an ode to yesteryear looks like, this astounding Philadelphia wedding from danfredo photos + films takes first prize. Deep down, Kaitlin and Mark wanted to throw a huge party with their closest family and friends and the celebration was down-to-earth and relaxed, with heaps of earthy vibes and lush greenery centerpieces by Wild Stems that echoed that aesthetic. And don’t forget to check out the bride’s updo: it’s the bee’s knees.
From the bride, Kaitlin: Front & Palmer is such a beautiful and unique raw space that we wanted to highlight and play off its exposed brick, high ceilings with industrial beams, and gorgeous hardwood floors as much as possible. We felt that this worked well with our vision of a minimal, romantic, earthy vibe with lots of soft candlelight and greenery. As far as our vision of the day itself, it was important to us that it felt more like a huge party with all of our closest family and friends as opposed to a regimented event with specific things needing to happen at specific times.
Photography and Videography
Hair and Makeup
Groom's Attire and Best Man's Attire
Catering and Wedding Cake
Winter weddings can have their tricky moments to plan, but Carrie and Mike carried out their Philadelphia wedding day with such finesse and Redfield Photography skillfully captured all of the goodness on camera. We love that they chose a greenhouse setting and brought in beautiful, deep, jewel red colors and floral arrangements by their event and floral designer, Q|A Events; it brought a fun, vibrant feel to the whole event while keeping in line with the season. This is definitely one ultra-creative way to do a cool-seasoned wedding!
From the bride, Carrie: We envisioned a warm, romantic, bohemian feel for the wedding. We originally wanted something laid back, but when we picked a winter wedding date we decided to dress it up a little bit while trying to keep the bohemian feel. We didn’t really have a color scheme, but we chose marsala and berry tones for our flowers because we thought it would compliment the greenery in the venue as well as the bridal party attire. We didn’t do any DIY projects, but I worked very closely with the event designers and I think we designed something amazing together!
Flower recipe: Eucalyptus, king protea, garden roses, and peonies.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Start as early as possible and stay organized! Also, when things get overwhelming, make sure you take some time alone with your fiancé to have some fun together. It’s simple, but I think it was the only thing that kept me sane.
Groomsmen and family processional: “First Day of My Life”, Bright Eyes
Bridesmaids’ processional: “God Only Knows”, The Beach Boys
Bride’s processional: “Make You Feel My Love” Bob Dylan (It’s our song!)
First dance: Slow version of “You’re My Best Friend”, Queen
Event Design and Floral Design
Let’s just go ahead and say it: we go gaga over watercolors. Any shade or style of this newly-beloved wedding trend is perfect to us and we could spend hours dreaming of fun combos to pair it with. Along with M2 Photography, Belovely gathered up the prettiest, muted blue shades and artistically sprinkled it around this shoot. And we just have to mention that watercolor bridal skirt by Sweet Caroline. The duo of the skirt with marbled-blue swirls and the dainty lace crop top leaves us with two words: wow and swoon.
From Lauren of Belovely: Maggie of Maggpie Rentals had asked us to join forces for a Garces Catering Open House and while designing and decorating a tablescape is fun, it is so much more when it’s a full story. So we quickly grabbed our vendor friends (or friendors, as we like to call them) and came up with this spectacular watercolored blue styled shoot.
With inspiration stemming from the delicate designs intrinsic to papel picado, Jessica Cooper Photography set out to create a styled shoot using the decorative paper. Sweet Caroline provided the incredible bridal fashion, a two-piece stunner with a blush pink skirt that couldn’t possibly evoke more romance than it already does, and Papertini put together some of the most beautiful floral arrangements we’ve ever seen!
It’s Friday, which makes it the perfect day for poring over some gorgeous bridal designs from Sweet Caroline‘s new lookbook! A talented team of vendors (including Jessica Cooper Photography and Falls Flowers) came together to showcase this stunning collection of separates, ranging in style from classically sweet to edgy and funky.
From the fashion designer, Sweet Caroline: As a designer, you are constantly asked to define your customer. Who is she; what inspires her; what are her dreams; what are her hobbies; her likes, dislikes? As a bridal designer, I always found these questions particularly challenging. A girl’s street style changes from day to day and is constantly evolving, but what does she wear on her most cherished day? How does she make her bridal style her own? When designing the collection, I wanted to create pieces could adapt to any bride’s style. I chose an array of timeless separates that could be mixed and matched for the perfect wedding day look – from trendy girls who want to make a statement in soft colors or an edgy bride who wants to rock it in bold black, to a classic girl who is looking for the perfect neckline and an elegantly long train. For this shoot, I wanted to tell the story of a bride getting ready for her wedding – choosing who she wants to be and what look makes her feel the most beautiful on the day she says “I do.”
Manicure and Pedicure
Rentals and Styling
Paper Goods, Signage, and Product Styling
Pair up Danfredo Photos + Films and Heart & Dash, and just wait for the magic to happen. This talented duo put together a styled shoot inspired by the back to school season at a brand new wedding (and must-see if you’re in the Philly area) venue called The Bok Building. A reception table laid out on a science lab desk? Love!
From the event designer, Sarah of Heart & Dash: Philadelphia is one of our favorite cities because it has such a variety of venues — from buttoned-up historical to edgy and abandoned. After being vacant for years, South Philly’s Edward W. Bok Vocational School is under new ownership and has plans for the spectacular. When the team behind Building Bok agreed to let us use their space, we couldn’t wait to let the quirky stories of the old school building inspire our concept. Danfredo coined the mantra for the shoot: “let’s get weird,” and helped us find the classrooms with the best natural light. After we all saw the muted paint tones, we decided to use bright, bold flowers and dresses so they would pop.
At Heart & Dash, when we work with a couple to plan their wedding, our goal is to personalize by pulling in elements of their love story. When we do a styled shoot, we start by imagining a real couple. The “couple” for this shoot first met in school and wanted their wedding to honor their playful past while incorporating their —still way fun, but more grown up — future. Along with our super amazing team of vendors, we think that’s just what was accomplished!
Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park Horticulture Center is undoubtedly one of our favorite venues, and we love it even more when adorned with the talents of Brae Howard Photography, Petals Lane, and Lauren James Events. Alysa and Dan’s indoor garden wedding was built around the beauty of their venue, and once you see how gorgeous this space is, you’ll know how much of a wise decision it was!
From the bride, Alysa: We wanted our wedding to feel warm, sophisticated, and easygoing! We didn’t really have a theme. Once I picked the fabric and color (“sea mist”) of the bridesmaids’ dresses, we sort of just went from there, and crossed our fingers that everything would coordinate! The Horticulture Center speaks for itself — our aim was just to accentuate its loveliness.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Choose vendors with good taste who know your venue! Trust your instincts and don’t spend too much time deliberating over details. Definitely hire a day-of coordinator, if you can.
Bridal Party Processional: “Isn’t It Romantic”
Bridal Processional: “The Man I Love”
Recessional; “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
From the photographer, Brae Howard: Alysa and Dan were married at the Fairmount Park Horticultural Center in Philadelphia. Alysa was such a graceful and gracious bride and it was evident how in love these two were. We loved Alysa’s stunning and sleek wedding gown and it was a delight to photograph such a diverse group of women in her bridal party. One cute DIY aspect of Alysa’s wedding is that her little sister made their wedding cake!
Event Design and Flowers
Wedding Dress and Veil
Hair and Makeup
Catering and Desserts
Today we’ve got another wedding that you just might want to set aside some extra time for — it’s just that good. We shouldn’t expect any less when Lauren Fair Photography and Uncommon Events come together, though! Charlotte and Joe’s wedding at Fairmount Park Horticulture Center is one for the books, boasting hanging light bulbs, bright pink and purple blooms, and a stunning greenhouse venue.
From the event designers, Uncommon Events: Charlotte & Joe were in a bicoastal long distance relationship prior to their wedding! They were all about the simple things; family, friends, food, warmth and love. Charlotte and Joe wrote many love letters over the course of their relationship and in designing we incorporated quotes from these notes, a typewriter, and a map to represent their special relationship!
Event Design, Decor, Flowers, Lighting
Hair and Makeup
Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music
Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods
Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum has just made it to the short list of our favorite venues, especially when Pat Furey is behind the camera and Statement Piece Floral is in control of some seriously striking floral arrangements. Sarah and Chris’ wedding was fun and laid-back above all else, and their efforts to include meaningful elements truly shines through in their beautiful wedding images.
From the bride, Sarah: My husband and I planned every aspect of our romantic garden wedding so that it would feel like “us.” We knew that we wanted a laid back and natural aesthetic, and the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia was the perfect venue with its gorgeous greenhouse, lots of blooming Wisteria, and all kinds of greenery! Our goals were to have tons of fun (check!) and for the day not to feel too stuffy (check!). Because we wanted it to be an intimate and personal day (and because we are both financially limited graduate students), we incorporated tons of DIY and family elements. For example, my dad handmade our gorgeous ceremony arch (one of our favorite elements of the day), my uncle played “Here Comes the Sun” on the guitar during the processional and sang live during our garden cocktail hour, my husband’s great aunt and uncle (who were celebrating 50 years of marriage) officiated our ceremony, we wrote our own vows and incorporated traditions that were meaningful to us (like a native American branch unity ceremony), a childhood friend of mine baked our wedding cake, and we chose a family style vegetarian meal (we are both vegetarian) for the reception. I also took on some fun DIY projects like the moss and dried/flower frame we used as a cake backdrop and a vintage wine box/moss place card display.
We were fortunate to work with lots of wonderful vendors including my dress designer Tatyana Merenyuk (I found my dream dress on Etsy and traveled to her studio in Brooklyn for custom design consultations and fittings), and a local florist who helped us create what we wanted on our budget. We also added some fun details, like our sugar skull cake topper (also an Etsy find) that featured tiny sugar skull versions of our cats and sweetheart spoons engraved with my favorite E.E. Cummings poem (“i love you much [most beautiful darling] more than anyone on the earth. And I like you better than everything in the sky.”) Our ridiculously talented photographer documented so many of the day’s magical moments — like my husband taking a quick spin on his motorcycle after opening my wedding gift – an original 1979 magazine advertisement for his Honda CB650.
Processional and Recessional: instrumental “Here Comes the Sun” (as performed by the bride’s uncle, Brian Filone)
First Dance: “Come to Me,” (Goo Goo Dolls; as performed by Brian Filone)
Mother/Son Dance: “What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong
Father/Daughter Dance: “You’ve Got a Friend,” James Taylor
We’ve seen some pretty great venues from various weddings and events over the years, but when The Big Fake Wedding visited Philadelphia for the second time, they may have just found one of our favorites yet with the Painted Bride Art Center. They used the space as the foundation for some lovely candy-colored wedding inspiration, using pastel tones and whimsical details to bring everything to fruition.
View more images + details from Sharyn Frenkel in the gallery
View more images + details from Jessica Cooper in the gallery
View more images + details from Lauren Schwarz in the gallery
Inspiration Board credits from left to right, top to bottom: Natalie E., Floret Flower Farm, Leanne Marshall, Griottes, Emilio Pucci, Martha Stewart, Allie Hine, Hayley Bidez – Board Curator: Ashley Buzzy Lettering + Press
Floral + Event Design: Ceremony Backdrop, Personal Flowers + Tables 6, 7
Floral + Event Design: Tables 3, 4, 5
Floral + Event Design: Head Table + Tables 1, 2
Hair + Makeup
Guest Book + Signage
Invitations: Marbled Letterpress + Beige Envelope Suite
Invitations: Lavender Envelope + Cloth Suite
National Sparkling Wine Sponsor
National Travel Vendor
We’ve got a special treat for you today, darling readers. We’ve teamed up with Freixenet to bring you this remarkably stylish styled wedding from Sarah McKay Photography and Belovely Floral + Event Design, who put their incredibly creative minds together to bring us a weddingscape full of garlands, ivory lace, fuchsia and peach blooms, and of course, a mimosa bar for the party girl inside us all.
Freixenet, pronounced (fresh-eh-net), is a cava produced in Barcelona, Spain. Cava is a sparkling wine much like champagne, except it’s made in Spain with indigenous Spanish grapes instead of the Champagne region of France. Freixenet’s most popular cava, Cordon Negro Brut, is housed in a matte black bottle, making it as stylish as it is tasty! The bottles come in a mini, 750ml and a magnum size, all of which make great accessories even for the wedding day. The minis are perfect for place cards or escort cards, and the magnum bottle is a great idea for a memento guest book you can open and enjoy on your anniversary and the 750 ml could also be used as table number holders!
Event Design and Florals
Hair + Make Up
What could be better than building wedding inspiration from a completely clean slate? Danfredo Photos + Films and Kate Farley Design put together this styled shoot with industrial white brick walls and a keen eye for modern organic style that inspires us for wedding decor as much as it does for our homes!
From the event designer, Kate of Kate Farley Design: The style direction for the sweetheart table design borrowed heavily from my own personal home style. Having a busy life, I strive for simplicity, minimalism and functionality in my every day life which is what Scandinavian design is all about. Danielle of Danfredo Photos + Films was just a perfect match when looking for a photographer because she has the same design style in her own home, so we paired up to make an awesome team. Keeping true to the aesthetic, we created a tablescape that incorporated loads of natural elements such as wood, leather, wool, copper, marble, antlers and skulls, metal, furs, hides and natural greens.
We chose Maggpie Vintage Rentals’ White Whitman table for its sleek design and light color combination of natural wood and white metal legs. The white Lincoln chairs were a perfect match to the clean lines of the table. The rest was a careful curation of items from our own personal homes and Maggpie’s amazing collection. Rather than having an over the top design laden with florals, we decided to take the word sweetheart table literally and create a centerpiece with an assortment of miniature cakes made by Saylormade for a minimalist and functional tablescape. The textural cakes were topped greens such as jasmine vine and button ferns placed atop marble cake stands and slabs. We used square marble chargers, rose gold flatware and copper moscow mules for the table setting and added a small copper pot filled with ferns which created a beautiful contrast on top of the light natural wood top of the table.
Because it’s the sweetheart table, where the bride and groom sit, we executed a design that utilized the entire area, rather than just the table to express the significance of the table. We created a backdrop of wool yarn in white and cream colors, strung from a copper pole. We softened up the lines with a lush green garland. To counterbalance the garland, we brought a styling to the bottom left corner using Maggpie’s leather pouf, plants, candles, skulls, the wedding date in vintage metal numbers and placed the table number in a simple white frame designed by Papertree Studio.
Lovely Bride provided a gorgeously sleek and sexy Nicole Miller gown that was perfectly simple with a touch of adornment with small gems at the bust line. The shoes were nude, the hair and make up done by Sulimay’s Urban Salon was kept clean, yet sexy for understated sophistication. The bridal bouquet only utilized orchids, jasmine vines, plumosa vines and white tulips. Keeping the recipe simple in number of items holds true to the Scandinavian style with an added organic flair with a cascade of soft vines to keep the lines of the bride from getting too stark. The gown’s deep v neck design speaks volumes by itself, so we selected a gorgeous copper bracelet design by Brooke at West Village Tribe.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a bride with an unexpected wedding gown. Take bride Kasia, for example — white gowns just weren’t making her happy, so she opted for an elegant black lace gown from Jill Stuart that fit her to a T. The entire day was completely personalized to the couple, and ended up being nontraditional and absolutely wonderful, as you’ll see in these images from Amber Vickery Photography.
From the bride, Kasia: From quoting first impression texts of how we got together in our ceremony to the band playing everything from James Brown to Beck, we wanted everyone at the wedding to really feel like they had a connection with us individually and as a couple. For those guests who may not have been familiar, we read sections of gchat transcripts in our ceremony that candidly retold the story of our first meeting in a supermarket to falling for and eventually winning each other over. Giving a subtle nod to the city we fell in love in was also important; we chose a caterer sourcing local ingredients and seasonal inspired dishes like duck cassoulet plus served our favorite Philly gelato.
The library and auditorium were so historically interesting on their own (books and busts galore!) that I wanted to let the space drive feel of the wedding instead of trying to fit them into an overall theme. There was no set color scheme but getting married in October in a space full of dark wood lent itself to a rich jewel tone color palate, and after finding the black lace dress with teal underlay, the dark similar greeny blues found their way into the invitation design. A good part of the wedding was DIY from the cake to all the floral arrangements, bouquets + boutonnieres, card box, chalkboard signs. The two large chalkboard signs are black spray paint on scrap drywall I found discarded and hand lettered with sharpened chalk. The card box is an old cigar box and a tiny banner I drew, attached with wire and two bamboo skewers. All place cards and menus were designed using Word and printed (and folded!) by us. For the flowers I woke up (extremely) early the week of the wedding and drove into Manhattan’s flower district, selecting on the fly from what happened to be in season.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? 1. Do what you want. White looks terrible on you? Wear a different color. Love mason jars but worry they’ve jumped the shark? Who cares how unique or traditional it is – the important thing is to make it personal, make it yours. 2. Let people help, really. I definitely had a plan for every single part of the wedding but without family greening the centerpiece urns and patting sprinkles onto the cake the day before, it wouldn’t have all come together. Bonus: great memories of a fun bonding experience. 3. GoogleDocs. Always GoogleDocs.
Processional: “The Luckiest,” Ben Folds
Recessional: “Moves,” The New Pornographers
First Dance: “Playground Love,” Air
The band’s chops were seriously amazing – they learned three songs by very different artists for the reception (Beck, Air, and Har Mar Superstar) plus churning out an insane setlist keeping everyone on their feet all night. A dear friend of ours is a karaoke king and hopped on stage to serenade the crowd with his signature – PYT (Michael Jackson). The energy really brought the party to the next level.
Wedding Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: Amber Vickery Photography / Flowers and Signage: Bride / Venue: German Society of Pennsylvania / Wedding Dress: Jill Stuart / Wedding Shoes: Calvin Klein “Kasia” / Groom’s Suit: John W Nordstrom / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Caterer: Birchtree Catering / Wedding Cake: Bride (my favorite chocolate cake recipe with peanut butter mousse filling) / Gelato: Capogiro Gelato Artisans / Band: Sid Miller Dance Band / Wedding Invitations: Pauline Vassiliadis
I’ve really started to love all shades of purple over the past year or so, and weddings like this one are certainly part of the reason why. Emily and Michael’s Philadelphia wedding was jam-packed with beautiful details and featured a true dream team including Sharyn Frenkel Photography, Sarah Kudlack of Juniper & Dash, and Love n’ Fresh Flowers. Just wait until you get a peek of Emily’s wild dahlia bouquet!
From the bride, Emily: Our wedding story began after we got engaged, I started planning almost immediately. I am a big worrier/planner/nutcase. I knew almost right away that I would need a lot of help. A wonderful wedding planner, Sarah Kudlack, came to my rescue. She didn’t take over and plan my wedding but she helped me focus and talked me down when I needed some support. Michael and I spent a lot of time looking at different vendors and making some tough decisions. Our original venue fell through months before our wedding. That threw us for a huge loop. We ended up at the horticulture center in Fairmount Park and it was a complete blessing. The venue was incredible.
Originally Michael and I had wanted a very intimate small ceremony with close friends, maybe in a field somewhere with a picnic afterwards. Wellll… we ended up with a 160-person wedding in a greenhouse with a 5 star caterer. Not exactly what we originally thought but amazingly, with the help of our planner, it ended up being exactly what we wanted. Up until the day before, I was nervous that it would feel like we were attending someone else’s wedding. But as I was standing with my dad at the beginning of the aisle hearing Beyoncé’s “Halo” being played on the violin, I let out a sigh of relief because I knew at the end of the aisle was my almost husband waiting for me. After the ceremony, Michael and I took a moment for ourselves in the bridal suite and reflected on how well the ceremony went and how happy our friends and families looked. Now, it was time to party! Michael and I spent a lot of our reception saying hi to guests and eating delicious food. All the details we had planned payed off. We danced the night away to our incredible band and as the last song played, Michael looked at me and said “this has been the best day of my life”.
Best moment hands down was our first look. We decided to have a first look because I didn’t want to spend our reception and cocktail hour taking a bunch of pictures. Our first look was in the middle of the city hall courtyard in center city Philadelphia. It was a completely surreal experience to walk up to Michael in my wedding dress while a street performer played his flute impromptu and onlookers cheered. I was so excited and nervous, Michael says he could hear me hyperventilating well before I reached him. It was a perfect moment.
Wedding Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: Sharyn Frenkel Photography / Wedding Planner and Event Design: Sarah Kudlack of Juniper & Dash / Florist: Love n’ Fresh Flowers / Venue: Philadelphia Horticultural Center / Wedding Dress: Watters “Jacinda” / Wedding Shoes: Adrianna Papell Boutique / Hair: Hair by Meghan / Caterer: Stephen Starr Events / Band: Rich Posmontier Music / Lighting: Eventions / Celebrant: Beth Palubinsky / Hotel: Le Meridien Philadelphia
We’re so thrilled to bring you the newest endeavor of brilliant photographer Claire Loves Love – boudoir photography. This is boudoir as you’ve never seen it before, filled with lush floral accents, nods to the bohemian aesthetic, and the most strikingly beautiful lingerie you could imagine. Thanks to Sara Murray of confetti & co. for her styling, and Kate Farley‘s brilliant work with the flowers!
From the photographer, Claire of Claire Loves Love: The shoot included a beautiful cathedral veil from Hushed Commotion’s 2015 line and clothing and accessories from Free People, BHLDN, Tessa Kim, and Lovely Philadelphia. I had Kate Farley come in to add floral styling, which I requested be an Alphonse Mucha-style free flowing installation. Sara Murray from Confetti & Co. helped style the set vignettes with vintage items from Maggpie Vintage Rentals here in Philadelphia. Two models participated, one in a more daring black ensemble and the other in a very classic bridal white to act as a juxtaposition.
Shoot Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: Claire Loves Love / Styling: Sara Murray of confetti & co. / Floral Design: Kate Farley / Venue: Maggpie Vintage Rentals / Wardrobe: Hushed Commotion, Free People, Urban Outfitters, BHLDN, Tessa Kim, Lovely Bride / Hair: Kelly Hursh of Mirror and Mantel / Makeup: Melissa Luther / Models: Samantha of Streamline Model Management, Olivia / Videographer: Squareware Studios
We’ve got a very special treat for you all today, and it comes in the form of a collaboration by Danfredo Photos + Films, Confetti & Co., and Kate Farley Design. Danni of Danfredo films imagined the nuptials of her two sweet pups, and built an entire styled shoot around her vision for their wedding day. To say the result is anything less than brilliant would be selling it short, but judge for yourselves!
From the photographer, Danni of Danfredo Photos + Films: My husband, Wilfredo, and I are both Philadelphia-based photographers and videographers (he’s my regular second shooter or, if a couple books us for both photo and video, he’s the primary videographer). Since we’re relatively new to the area, we thought it would be fun to collaborate with local vendors on a styled shoot – our first one ever. One night (over wine), I joked that we should use our dogs, Hudson and Chelsea (rescue pups from Little Paws Dachshund Rescue), as the models for our shoot. We laughed it off, but I knew we were on to something.
Over the past few months, I’ve become friends with Sara Murray at Confetti & Co. I approached her about the possibility of helping me put together a styled shoot featuring our puppies instead of people. She loved the idea and even volunteered her Frenchie, Millie, to be Chelsea’s maid of honor. Sara had worked a lot with Kate Farley and Ashley Wrenn-Peterson in the past and suggested I pitch the idea to them – they loved it, too. I’ve known the baker, Brooke Saylor, since her wedding day (I was the second shooter for her own wedding which was featured on Ruffled). They, too, recently moved to Philadelphia from NYC and we’ve become really close friends with her and her husband. We’ve also become friends with Claire Hudson, a pet portrait artist (she painted a watercolor logo for the happy couple and well as proper oil paint portraits of them) and Jackie Starker, who owns a local pet store. Claire’s golden doodle, Stamps, accepted the invitation to be Hudson’s best man. Together, all of us started planning Hudson and Chelsea’s industrial chic wedding. All together, we invited nine of Hudson and Chelsea’s friends to play parts in their wedding. For decor, we approached West Elm Philadelphia about donating some pieces for us to use for the shoot and they totally agreed! We built the set in the morning and shot all of our details before having the dogs show up at the venue.
From the stylist, Sara of Confetti & Co.: In styling this shoot, we really wanted to keep everything miniature! The biggest piece of styling for dogs was finding cute items that worked with the scale of everything. The adorable West Elm blue patterned salad plates (used as doggy dinner plates) were the jump off point. From there we softened the palette with some mints and then added a touch more vibrancy with pops of pinks and plums within the flowers and added more miniature details, like coasters for dog salad plates and votives as dog drinking glasses. It was fun working at a different scale!
From the florist, Kate of Kate Farley Design: Danni of Danfredo Photo + Films and Sara of confetti and co. approached me with the project idea and being a pup lover, they had me hooked before I could even finish reading the email. They gave me a color palette to work with consisting of soft peachy pinks, deep, romantic plums, sage greens and touches of grey. My color loving mind was racing with ideas for flower selections. I ended up choosing to work with the super romantic David Austin Juliet roses, pink celosia, pale pink astilbe, white lisianthus for some added lightness to the rich plum scabiosa. We also threw in some scabiosa pods for some added texture along with some inky viburnum berries to give the centerpiece a beautiful balance of light and dark.
From the stationer, Ashley of hello, bird.: My starting point for the paper for the shoot was the “couple” themselves. I wanted the invitation to be long and narrow, like Hudson and Chelsea. We had decided on a great color palette, and after seeing the portrait from Pennys & Stamps, I knew I wanted to pick up the mint in the writing. That long and narrow shape was carried through to the place cards and favor tags. The cake topper was circular to be a little more classic and cohesive with their gorgeous cake by Saylormade.
From the baker, Brooke of Saylormade: In my wedding cake business, I focus on making goodies that taste as delightful as they look, and I wanted these doggie treats to be no exception! I packed the cake full of good-for-you ingredients like carrots, peanut butter & wheat germ. But my favorite were definitely the peanut butter krispies with carob ganache, which is like fake chocolate! They loved it!
Shoot Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer and Videography: Danfredo Photos + Films / Styling: Confetti & Co. / Floral Design: Kate Farley Design / Venue: Maas Building / Jewelry: J. Crew / Ties: The Tie Bar and Forage / Desserts: Saylormade / Cake Stands: BHLDN and Anthropologie / Bone Cookie Favors and Guest Bow Ties: Amelie’s Bark Shop / Decor and Place Settings: West Elm / Custom Pet Paintings and Watercolour Portraits: Pennys & Stamps / Stationery and Calligraphy: hello, bird. / Music: Song Freedom (“I Do”, Colbie Caillat)
One look at the incredible floral designs from 7Textures, and you’re bound to fall in love. Bride Rose mixed the soft aesthetic of the flowers with the rich and classic architecture of Philadelphia’s College of Physicians for a look that kept us guessing and simultaneously smitten. Thank you Redfield Photography for sharing your images!
From the bride, Rose: The great architecture and rich finishes of our venue were definitely a source of inspiration and served as a wonderful backdrop for our event. We aimed for a classic and romantic feel, with lots of whimsy and fun. We tried to always think about our guests during the planning process, and made sure to never take ourselves or the event too seriously.
Justin and I took about 10 minutes to ourselves right after the ceremony. We admired our new jewelry and had some quiet time to relax and really take everything in before heading out to all of our friends, family, and the awesome party awaiting us. For the most part, we trusted in our great vendors to execute our vision, but we couldn’t let the day go by without having our hand in a few DIY projects. I designed the printed goods (menus, invitations, save the dates, programs), and tapped my sister’s incredible talents for illustration duties. Justin and I designed our wedding website and he did the dirty work writing the code to bring it to life.
Wedding Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: Redfield Photography / Florist: 7Textures / Venue: The College of Physicians / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals / Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Jewelry: pearl bracelet was a gift from groom; earrings borrowed from bride’s mother / Hair: Brittiany Cunningham of Architeqt Salon / Makeup: Victoria Roggio / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN / Groom’s Attire: Boyds Philadelphia / Caterer and Cake: Catering by Design / Favors: Federal Donuts / Band: Rhythm Collective / Wedding Invitations and Printed Materials: Designed by Bride, floral illustrations by bride’s sister, Love Elsy / Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works
“We wanted our wedding to blend together the heavy industrial, urban feel of Philadelphia with the softer, botanical aspects of the outdoors.” So says the bride from today’s wedding, Samantha, about her vision for her celebration with beau Brian, and her words were music to our ears. Thanks to the lovely Emily Wren, Feast Your Eyes Catering, and Leaves of Grass Floral Design for pulling out all the stops!
From the bride, Samantha: We wanted our wedding to blend together the heavy industrial, urban feel of Philadelphia with the softer, botanical aspects of the outdoors. The venue we found – Front and Palmer – did most of the work for us, being an industrial conversion; the other half of the work was provided by the florist, Amy Young of Leaves of Grass. The end result felt like nature had crept into this old historic space and the two styles had become symbiotic over the years. Clearly I was obsessed with the look! I have Master’s degrees in Urban Planning and also in Historic Preservation and these interests pretty closely match my style in most other respects. So the idea was to bring together harsh and soft, strong and faint, dark and light. I feel like it worked.
One of the most important ideas for the wedding was to make sure everyone felt included. Brian and I are different religions and from very different family backgrounds, but we didn’t want guests to feel alienated by it being too much of side of the family than the other. So we really tried to create a neutral environment that anyone, regardless of religion or income or background, could find comfort in. It made our wedding less traditional, but in a sense it was totally us, and how our lives have come together. We didn’t have a theme or a color scheme, just a sense of working with the tones and textures of the space and keeping our own additions more muted. So the suits and bridesmaid dresses were a beautiful, rich gray tone that matched the steel beams of the venue. The flowers were softer blues, greens, and beige tones. My dress was an ivory that wouldn’t create too sharp a contrast with the darker hues. The florist suspended branches, vines, and candles from the beams and created a “floating” Chuppah that was also suspended from the beams. It was genius the way the florist incorporated the natural elements into the space – I may have had the initial vision, but she make it happen miles beyond what I imagined.
As much as I wanted to DIY everything, finishing my thesis took precedence so I kept my involvement down. I did make the party favors that also served as the escort cards – soy wax candles in tins that were either vanilla, lavender, or grapefruit. The labels were ordered from the Evermine and I made the kraft paper guest tags that hung from them. My sister found a perfect chalkboard with a gray wood frame and sketched out of the whole menu, and also made little signs for our signature cocktail (the Liberty Bell-ini… cheesy I know, but what’s a wedding without a bad pun here and there?). And the guest book was a small side project as well. I found an antique writing desk at a vintage store and just had to use it somehow, so what I did was create postcards for the guests leave messages. I pulled historical images of present day important spots from our relationship (first meeting, first date, first apartment, etc.) and made those the postcard covers.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I made myself a promise that I would not allow myself to get worked up over details of the wedding, but I didn’t expect how worked up other people (extended family, random friends, etc.) would get about our wedding planning! Because I didn’t anticipate that and kind of prepare for it, I got really swept away at times in other people’s stresses about our wedding. I know it sounds crazy, but my advice for brides would be let other people’s expectations roll off their backs. So what if my dress is delayed, or that the groom saw pictures of me in it prior to the wedding day? You don’t like grapefruit scented candles? OH WELL. Stick to your own feelings about the situation and don’t be swayed by others’ input. In the end, its about you and the groom celebrating your future, and creating a party for loved ones and friends. They’ll love it no matter what, so why let their input bog you down during planning?!
Bridal Party Processional: “Bonfire Heart,” James Blunt
Bridal Processional: “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” Ingrid Michaelson
Recessional: “Ho Hey,” Lumineers
From the photographer, Emily Wren: Sam and Brian’s wedding at Front and Palmer on September 6th, 2014 brought together an edgy urban setting and whimsical details. As an urban planner, Sam wanted to include some of the best views Philadelphia has to offer: the Race Street Pier, Ben Franklin Bridge, and Spruce Street Harbor Park. This affection for urban life offered edgy backdrops for the couple’s first look as well as photos with the wedding party, friends, and family. Sam’s dress, by Sarah Seven from Lovely Bride Philly, served as a juxtaposition to the edgy, urban feel of Front and Palmer and Philadelphia. Her dress and bouquet gave a soft, feminine feel to the urban backdrops she chose. Amy Young of Leaves of Grass designed a lighted canopy for the ceremony, including branches, ivy, and assorted flowers and lanterns which set the tone for the table settings and other floral details, and carried the same magical feeling throughout the evening.
Wedding Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: Emily Wren / Event Coordinator: Lini Skiba of Feast Your Eyes Catering / Flowers: Leaves of Grass Floral Design / Venue: Front & Palmer / Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven via Lovely Bride / Alterations and Sleeves: Sara Teixeira of The Tailory (I went with a simple dress by Sarah Seven and Sara Teixeira created detachable sleeves that completely changed the look and made it my dress – all in under two weeks!!) / Bride’s Headband: Untamed Petals by Amanda Judge / Bridal Belt: Twigs & Honey / Bride’s Earrings and Shoes: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Beautiful Brides Philly / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Bridesmaids’ Cuffs: Untamed Petals by Amanda Judge / Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Verde Philadelphia / Groom’s Suit: The Black Tux / Groom and Groomsmen Accessories: The Tie Bar / Caterer and Wedding Cake: Feast Your Eyes Catering / DJ: Joe Vespe of JSV Events / Wedding Invitations: LoveLeigh Invitations / Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works
A bride and groom with style for miles, a penchant for bright colors, and opted to visit a bowling alley for pre-ceremony celebrations? Sign us up pronto. Alli and Dan’s wedding day was more of a jovial celebration than traditional fanfare, bringing together the talents and offerings of Shannon Collins Photography, Natalie Diener, and Blooms by the Box to produce a true wedding for the books.
From the bride, Alli: When putting together our wedding, Dan and I contemplated for a while on what exactly we wanted our wedding to feel, look, sound, and taste like. We wanted the day to reflect what we loved the most: each other, our friends and family, delicious beer, yummy pizza, pretty things, and goofy dancing. We felt that it was important to make the event laid-back and approachable so the day could really be about the celebration. After sharing our lives together for over eleven years, we knew that the day would not only reflect us, but all the amazing, lovely community that we have shared our lives with over the years. We felt that the day should be an awesome party to share our gratitude to those that have watched us grow together and supported us through both the highs and lows. To extend the day even further, we had originally planned for a picnic in the park for fun games and mingling. The early rain that day had us move locations to North Bowl but it did not put a damper on our spirits. The community event turned out exactly how pictured.
Our wedding was playful, eclectic, warm, and colorful. We didn’t have a theme or a color scheme. We thought it would be fun to have the colors reflect the time of the year. We mixed patterns with colors, but stuck close to hues of pink with splashes of orange, teal, and gold. Given our budget and love for projects, we designed and produced most of the details of the day. My talented sister made the save the dates. We made teaser invites by hand and sent out goofy video invitations ourselves. We created the wedding programs on Paint and Word. We cut and sewed the strands for the backdrop and my sister helped build the structure for the backdrop. We have loved Dan’s mom’s famous Christmas cookies and were so thankful for the hundreds of cookies she provided for our wedding desserts. We painted and planted the succulents that we used for decor and later for guest favors. We created a DIY bar and Dan’s brother served as the bartender. Our Inner Circle that served as our wedding party came the day before the wedding to come set up chairs, tables, and decorations. After recycling vases from my sister’s wedding, we purchased flowers online and our talented friends arranged each of them. All of our friends were amazing in all of their support throughout the entire weekend.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Always keep in mind what is most important to you and your partner. Secondly, though, remember that this special day is a time shared with your lovely guests. That means, mix your music list up, keep your old Aunt Sue refreshed if it’s 99 degrees outside, and provide food for all your Vegan and Gluten Free friends. We spent months preparing the event nearly independently, but we knew that in order to truly enjoy the day, we needed to bring on some help. It was so great to have someone we trusted to take care of setting up the bar and lighting the candles so that we could kick back and relax with everyone.
Bridal Party Processional: “Marry You,” Bruno Mars
Couples’ Processional: “Tonight You Belong to Me,” Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters
Candle Lighting: “Married Life,” from Up
Recessional: “Crazy In Love,” Beyoncé
Wedding Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: Shannon Collins Photography / Day-Of Coordination: Natalie Diener / Flowers: Blooms by the Box / Succulents: Succulents Galore / Venue: Maas Building / Bowling: North Bowl / Get Ready Location: Wyndham Hotel / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Floral Crown: Kate Farley Design / Wedding Shoes: Swedish Haasbeens / Earrings: Anthropologie / Hair: BLO/OUT Dry Bar / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Anthropologie, Kohls, Urban Outfitters, Boden, BCBG / Shirts and Pants: Old Navy, J. Crew, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters / Bow Ties: TangledTiesBowTies, JustBowties, HaydenHarlowPR, Infiniteabyss / Groom’s Shirt: Nordstrom / Groom’s Pants: Gap / Groom’s Belt: Old Navy / Groom’s Bow Tie: TangledTiesBowTies Groom’s Shoes: DSW / Hors D’Oeuvres: Whole Foods / Food Truck: Pitruco Pizza / Soft Pretzels: Philly Pretzel Factory / Drinks: BJs / Alcohol: Binny’s Beverage Depot and Frank’s Wines / Cookies: Groom’s Mom / DJ: Michael McElroy / Transportation: First Charter Bus
If this Philadelphia wedding isn’t the height of intimate elegance, we don’t know what is. Emily and Edith hosted their beautiful nuptials at Cliveden, an estate overflowing with natural beauty and lush scenery. Thanks to The More We See for capturing all of the lovely details!
From the brides, Emily and Edith: We wanted the wedding to feel elegant and intimate. Having delicious food and great music were our top priorities. We also aimed to have a very locally sourced wedding and found wonderful Philadelphia area vendors to partner with. At the time of our wedding, same-sex marriage was not yet legal in Pennsylvania. We had a small legal ceremony on April 27 with our immediate family in New Jersey. What we called our “real wedding” was on May 17 with a larger but still intimate crowd where we exchanged vows and rings. It was important to us that we celebrated our love in front of our family and friends in the city where we met, fell in love and call home.
Flower recipe: Blue thistle, lavender lilac, blush spray rose (“Bombastic”), white astilbe, purple waxflower, snowball viburnum (green), salmon matsumoto aster, fresh lavender, ranunculus (range of colors from blush to salmon), blush/white peonies, Chablis spray roses, hosta leaves, and rhododendron.
The wedding color scheme was green. We were married in May so the trees at Cliveden were a lovely new-leaf green and we wanted to play off that color. We both love nature so we wanted the wedding to feel as outdoorsy as possible. The ceremony was outside, the cocktail hour in the grass and we had a clear topped tent so guests could even be among the trees at the reception. For the favors, Emily made Christmas Crackers for each guest to pop after the toasts. They were stuffed with paper crowns, salt caramels that Emily made and riddles that Edith put together representing the Balentine Ale caps of the beer her dad liked to drink. Emily’s dad and grandmother made Spirytus – a family tradition of polish vodka cut with honey. This was used instead of a champagne toast. Edith’s sister made a gluten free the cake, which was used for the cake cutting. Emily’s sister made props for the photoboth and her dad made lawn games. Edith’s college friend sang during the ceremony.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Stay organized from the beginning! We had multiple spreadsheets to track guests, payments and projects which helped us keep sane throughout the process. Pick vendors that you like and enjoy working with. We had a great team around us which made the planning a lot of fun and the wedding amazing. If you can, have your wedding close to home. We could have done the wedding in a state where it was legal but it was a huge benefit during the planning process to live a few miles away from most of our vendors and location.
Processional: Over the Rainbow
Ceremony: “Heavenly Day,” Patti Griffin (sung by our friend Carly Walker)
First Dance: “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” Otis Redding
Dad/Brother Dance: “The Way You Look Tonight,” Frank Sinatra
Cake Cutting: “Ice Cream,” Sarah McLachlan
Last Dance: “Feel So Close,” Calvin Harris
Sparkler Send-off: “Non, Je ne Regrette Rien,” Edith Piaf
Wedding Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: The More We See / Florist: DIY by Emily’s mom, sourced through Falls Flowers / Event Planning and Catering: Birchtree Catering / Venue: Cliveden / Wedding Dresses: Maggie Sottero via Bijou Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Edith – Volume Hair Studio; Emily – Follicles Hair Design Center / Wedding Cake: Stocks Bakery and Edith’s sister / Ice Cream: Weckerly’s Ice Cream / DJ: No Macarena / Officiant: Bob Pileggi of Journeys of the Heart / Wedding Invitations: Our friend Chris Beck designed and produced the invitations / Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works
Another city, another NotWedding to share! The 1st Philadelphia NotWedding brought to life a shibori inspired wedding by a group of talented Philly vendors and shops at the Power Plant Productions. Scroll down for all of the deets and be sure to check out the galleries for more!
Photos by Peach Plum Pear Photo
Photos by Jessica Cooper Photography
Photos by Mary+Roy Creative Studio
Watch the video to get a feel for what the event was like, captured by Uprise Weddings:
Venue: Power Plant Productions / Catering: Oscar’s Catering / Photography: Jessica Cooper Photography / Photography & Save the Date Shoot: Mary+Roy Creative Studio / Photography & Rehearsal Dinner: Peach Plum Pear Photo / Videography: Uprise Weddings / Day-of-Coordination: Aribella Events / Tables 2, 5 & Bridal Party Flowers: Primrose and Company / Tables 3, 6 & Ceremony Backdrop: Aribella Events / Tables 1, 4 & Head Table: Belovely / Invitations: Just Be. / Wedding Dress: Made By Anatomy / Hair & Makeup: Kristen+Alexa / Nails: Jamberry Nails / DJ: The Electric Gentleman / Ceremony Harpist: Adrienne Knauer / Wedding Cake: Philly Cake Maker / Dessert Bar: Cakedoodles / Ice Cream: Little Baby’s Ice Cream / Photobooth: Cut+Paste Photo Booth / Wedding Painter: Denise Fike Designs / Vintage Rentals: Forget-Me-Not Vintage Rentals / National Travel Vendor: Bliss by Luxury Concierge Travel / National Sparkling Wine Sponsor: Ferrari / National Linen Vendor: LinenTablecloth / Wedding Website Builder: Squarespace / Partners: Flower Magazine, Philadelphia Wedding Magazine, The Knot, Partyspace
Peach, coral, and turquoise – doesn’t this color palette just make your heart sing? Bride Allarie set to work incorporating these calming colors into her wedding day, picking up endless DIY projects along the road. All of her DIY work paid off in spades, though, which you’ll see as soon as you pore through these images from Maria Mack Photography.
From the bride, Allarie: Bob and I had a distinct idea about a country estate, or a garden venue, but wanted to centralize in Pennsylvania, since guests were coming from NJ, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Las Vegas, Boston… some places were really nice, but way over budget. Others were reasonable but too “corporate.” One day Bob was looking at someone’s wedding online that seemed to be in a beautiful backyard of a brownstone home. Upon further research, we found out that it was in fact a hidden gem called, The National Society of the Colonial Dames. After a tour of the property, we were overwhelmed by its historical charm and beauty….and decided that day it was where we would have our wedding. Philadelphia captures multiple architectural styles; some of these can be seen surrounding the lovely gardens behind the Philadelphia Chapter of The National Society of Colonial Dames. Tucked away, along a brick-lined alleyway in Center City Philadelphia, this venue offers history, convenience, and urban posh.
Flower recipe: I knew I wanted peonies, ranunculus, garden roses with their complex tissue-like layers, and succulents to provide a bit of green. I provided antique velvet ribbons to tie these bouquets. The floral designs were perfectly executed by Sullivan Owen and her artistic team. The groomsmen had boutonnieres made of ombre ranunculus and blue chambray ribbon. The corsages for the mothers, and grandmothers matched the bridal florals.
I loved the warm and soft peach/pale yellow palette, with a bit of almost neon coral. An artistic type, I wanted this theme to pervade all of the design, but also wanted a “pop” of something, and I felt that touches of bright turquoise would offset the subdued softness of the other colors. This turquoise touch was found in the Mason jars on some of the tables, in the antique Fenton glass pedestal cake plate, and streaming from my bouquet — French velvet ribbons. A small wooden box with slate sides that invited the guest to “wear your heart on your sleeve” contained handmade felt heart pins stuffed with cotton and whip-stitched in contrasting embroidery thread. The wooden “card box” was made by my cousin and his wife, then I covered it in decoupage with whimsical and romantic pictures of love and joy, man and wife…
Guests found their name and table number written on wooden nickels bearing Philadelphia motifs. These hung on antique black carpet tacks stuck into a map-board created by my mother. Famous Philly landmarks were decoupaged all around the perimeter of the antique map. This board was propped against a wooden easel, reminiscent of my artistic talents. With their number in hand, the guests went upstairs to find their table, designated by antique playing cards stuck into vintage wooden thread spools wound with threads matching our theme colors. Each place setting had a hand-made clothespin bride or groom; a few had black chenille “pugs” to represent our dog, Marley. Small wooden branches wound with antique lace and threaded with 4-5 bells were provided for those who “believe in kisses,” so that they could ring when they wanted to command the bride and groom to kiss.
I had the idea to create a tissue paper backdrop about a month before the wedding. I though my mom was gonna kill me if I added one more DIY project. Of course with the help of my bridesmaid, we decided to go forward with the idea and I am so glad we did! The structure was made using plastic shrub netting stretched over a wooden rectangle frame, and pom poms were poufed during a long evening at my mom’s house. We then tied each pom pom through the netting, being careful not to duplicate colors. This was hung in a paneled space in the reception room, using Command strips so that no damage to this historical venue would happen. It was really the focal point of our room and made such a lovely scene for pictures.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Start planning early. Make the crafting fun! Have friends and family help out—they really love being part of the process. Guests enjoy seeing their handiwork at the venue. Don’t stress. If something goes wrong, you are the only one who really knows it, because no one but you knows what was supposed to happen. Find ways to avoid having to deal with weather. It can really ruin your day if everything hinges on it. Have a plan B that you are just as happy with, built in. Lastly, stay true to yourself. With all of the technology, wedding advice, and decor available these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all. Choose colors, decor, music, and details that really represent you and your groom. In the end, it’s just one day to tell the story of your love, so make it count.
Processional: “Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles
Recessional: “Happy,” Pharrell Williams
First Dance: “Nothing Can Change this Love,” Sam Cooke
The DJ played music for both the ceremony and the reception. We selected an instrumental version of “Here comes the Sun” (Beatles) since the Bob regularly sings this in the morning to awaken me. Bob and I love old singers. After narrowing it down to three songs, we decided on Sam Cooke “Nothing Can Change This Love”. The lyrics speak for themselves and prove true to our story. During our dance Bob whispered to me “I love our song”. That’s all I needed to hear.
I come from a dance background and Bob loves music as well. When deciding on a DJ, we knew we wanted someone who wasn’t going to play typical stuff. His club experience allowed for a wide variety of songs to be mixed up and reach out to the masses. Being 80s babies, of course we included everything from Prince to Bel Biv Devoe, but music stretched all the way back to 50s doo wop.
Wedding Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: Maria Mack Photography / Bouquet and Boutonnieres: Sullivan Owen / Reception Flowers: Bride’s mother / Event Planner and Catering: Diverse Catering / Venue: Colonial Dames / Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller / Wedding Veil: abusymother / Wedding Shoes: Harriet Wilde / Bracelet: Ben Amun / Earrings: Dee Griffith Mathura / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Groom’s Suit: Bar III via Macy’s / Caterer: Diverse Catering / Wedding Cake: Stock’s Bakery / DJ: Mike Mariano of The Remixologists / Wedding Invitations: Simple Simon Design / Programs: Erin Fudge Smith
Sabrina and Hamad exchanged vows in picturesque St. Lucia, but they didn’t let that stop them from celebrating back in the states with their friends and family. Birmingham Botanical Gardens was the ideal location for their reception, where Mary Margaret Smith, Meghan Cease of M. Elizabeth Events, and Hothouse Design Studio brought their A-game to create a memorable celebration.
From the bride, Sabrina: Hamad and I really have a love for travel, so we decided on a private ceremony in St. Lucia and honeymoon while there. We were already legally married in the States as to avoid the hassle of their marriage laws. It was just the two of us saying our vows that we wrote on napkins the morning of the ceremony. It was important to us to be in the moment and capture our feelings of the day. Once we returned home, we had a small reception for only close friends and family to celebrate our marriage. We wanted to create a laid back atmosphere as if you were coming over to our house for dinner. The event was held in a small cafe at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens where guests were welcome to walk around, eat, and mingle. No schedules or itineraries, just fun!
Our style had a whimsical and eclectic flair which very much suits our own personality. I love the look of oil lamps, so the design team took this idea and ran with it. They were brilliant! Our colors were different shades of blue, peach, blush, and cream. A few DIY touches were added to the decor like the photo booth. My husband is very techie so he set up the photo booth while I made the fabric strips backdrop and photo booth props. I also made honey jar wedding favors filled with local Alabama honey, bride/groom signs, Mad Libs words of wisdom cards, and framed pictures of us throughout the venue of our ceremony in St. Lucia.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? If you are considering a destination wedding, find out the marriage laws of that particular country. Some are more strict than others and you will want to be prepared. As far as the reception planning, go with vendors that you feel the most comfortable and those who understand your vision. Then, trust them! It makes the planning process less stressful. I know the saying goes “the devil is in the detail,” and to an extent, it is. But there is so much online now days, you could spend hours and hours pouring over it. This can be a little overwhelming so don’t get swept away in it all. I recommend internet browsing just to get a general idea for your style, brainstorm with your design team, and then let your imagination take over!
We had background music inside the Cafe: a mix of Frank Sinatra, Nora Jones, Michael Buble, Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole. Our song is “Come Away with Me” by Nora Jones and was our feature song.
Wedding Location: Birmingham, AL / Photographer: Mary Margaret Smith / Planning and Coordination: Meghan Cease of M. Elizabeth Events / Floral Design: Hothouse Design Studio / Ceremony Location: Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Saint Lucia / Reception Venue: Birmingham Botanical Gardens / Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau via Ivory and White / Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Hair and Makeup: Melissa Moore Bogardus / Groom’s Suit: J. Crew / Groom’s Tie: Calvin Klein / Catering and Pies: Kathy G. and Company / Wedding Cake: Dreamcakes / Decor: Prophouse Birmingham / Rentals: Decor to Adore / Wedding Invitations: Sonia Davis
Sometimes a bit of bubbly is all you need to glam everything up. When we partnered with Freixenet, we couldn’t wait to create an inspiration shoot with its gorgeous matte black bottles. This Spanish sparkling wine label makes mini bottles that are perfect for wedding favors at bridal brunches and showers. Plus, the bottles are so beautiful on their own, they double as decor!
Lauren of Belovely Floral and Event Design dreamed up a farm glam setting, mixing different textures and metallics bringing the best of country and city life together, captured by Pill Photography with a video by Between Sleep & Awake. The black bottles with gold foil labels were used here as escort cards, sitting pretty on a tray with calligraphy tags that Megan Fitch made with paper goods by Papertree Studio.
Freixenet, pronounced (fresh-eh-net), is a cava label made in Barcelona. Cava is a sparkling wine produced in the same way of champagne, but made in Spain. These famous matte black little bottles are as delish as they look, and can double as place cards, wedding favors or be the star of the bar. They also come as Cordon Negro Memory Magnum size, its large size version. You can use this large bottle as a guestbook for guests to sign with a gold sharpie and open it on your first year anniversary!
We can all agree these Freixenet mini bottles are a must for any party, yes? So how about a sweepstakes where you can enter to win 125 mini bottles plus a Memory Magnum bottle you can use at your wedding or event? Follow this link to enter the sweepstakes on their Facebook page.
Be sure to watch the video by Between Sleep & Awake:
Thank you to this wonderful team of Pennsylvania vendors!
Shoot Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: Pill Photography / Event Design: Belovely Floral and Event Design / Venue: Stonebrook Farm / Wedding Dress: Watters “Farrah” / Makeup: True Beauty Marks / Wedding Cake: Addy Maes / Paper Goods: Papertree Studio / Calligraphy: Megan Fitch / Videographer: Between Sleep & Awake