A restraining order might be in order when it comes to my complete obsession with Terrain at Styer’s in Philadelphia. It’s perfect. The kind of place worthy of an intimate dinner with friends or a big, fat gorgeous wedding reception. Either or works swimmingly. But the latter, that big beautiful reception I spoke of, when photographed by Paper Antler it makes for incredible images. The kind you could pore over for hours, pulling out all the insanely cute details too jam packed to possibly fit into one post. Hence why the gallery is a must. And be sure to carve out a little time for the film captured by Twelve Twelve Studios; also a must see.

From the Bride… When Rob got on one knee and proposed with an incredible vintage 1920’s ring last January, we had no idea that this ring would end up serving as such an inspiration for our wedding to come. We knew from the moment we started planning that above everything else, we wanted our wedding to be the following: joyful, representative of our personalities, and a time to celebrate our love for one another with those closest to us. It also seemed most appropriate to invite guests to celebrate our wedding at the university and church that brought us together. Originally from Chicago and San Diego, we quickly set a date at St. Thomas of Villanova church in Villanova, PA and grew excited for what would be a “destination wedding” for nearly every guest on our invite list. Everything else happened somewhat organically. Of course, we have the wisdom and guidance of our loved ones (and our amazing vendors!) to thank for what came of our vintage-inspired wedding.

Rob (who from the onset decided to share responsibility for wedding planning; he’s an all-star) stumbled upon Terrain at Styer’s while searching for unique venues in the Philadelphia area. After one visit to Terrain, we were sold. We could not (and still cannot) imagine a more perfect location to celebrate the beginning of our life together. Terrain manages to blend the most beautiful mix of vintage and rustic elements, is surrounded by nature, and offers outstanding seasonal food. We would pitch a tent and live there if we could. Booking our photographers was just as easy of a decision for us. Kelsey knew the husband and wife duo who make up Paper Antler Photography from her hometown of Wheaton, Illinois. Not only are their photos stunning works of art, they also spent 2012 photographing weddings in an effort to raise $50,000 for She Dances, an anti-human trafficking organizing (as social justice/social entrepreneurship nerds, we find this pretty amazing). We booked them the moment we set a date and could not be bigger fans of these two. Kelsey visited several dress stores before meeting with Alice Padrul from Alice Padrul Bridal Couture. The experience could not have been more wonderful. Not only is Alice one of the kindest women you will ever meet, she designed and made a one-of-a-kind gown that surpassed anything Kelsey could have dreamed of.

As lovers of all things with history (and perhaps partly motivated by the nearly 100 year old ring on Kelsey’s finger), we casually visited antique stores and flea markets for inspiration. This quickly turned into somewhat of an obsession as we grew more and more intrigued by the idea of collecting unique items that mirrored tidbits of our personalities. For example, we both adore bikes: riding them, admiring them from up close and afar, and studying how they have evolved throughout history. We were therefore inspired to make a simple DIY save-the-date that included a photo of us riding our beloved bikes and a vintage button. We also used old bike wheels for seating assignments and collected/scattered small bike-themed items throughout the reception space. Similarly, we both go gaga over beautifully crafted antique books. We had a blast with Kelsey’s mom, Jane, visiting several old bookstores to hand-pick books for the invitations (brilliantly designed by Kari Dyas). Jane spent days cutting, gluing, assembling, packaging, and mailing each book invitation and creatively used leftover book pages to make cutout hearts that were later scattered on all of the tables at the reception.

We promised one another from the onset that we would in no way set ourselves up for having a “perfect” wedding; rather, we wanted to view the wedding-planning experience as a lesson in how to give glory to God, best love one another, and gracefully embrace imperfection. This was not always easy. In fact, we will be honest in saying at times it seemed impossible. However, we held one another accountable when we became too focused on details and made an effort to trust that imperfections would only make our wedding more special. We leaned on our faith and our love for one another. And we asked family and friends for (lots of) help. Our wedding weekend was the most incredible weekend of our lives and we will forever cherish the unique experience of having all of our favorite people together in one place at one time, to share in the first day of our life as husband and wife.

Wedding Photography: Paper Antler Photography / Ceremony Venue: St. Thomas of Villanova in Villanova, Pennsylvania / Reception Venue: Terrain at Styer’s in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania / Reception Coordinator + Floral Design: Liz Clark of Terrain at Styer’s (EClark@shopterrain.com) / Wedding Cinematography: Kevin Schmalandt of Twelve Twelve Studios / Desserts: Sweet Jazmines + Crêperie Béchamel / Wedding Invitation Design + Printing: Kari Dyas of Two Upon Ten, Invitation Crafting by Bride’s Mother / Music: Nathan Laing of Habitat Studios / Cake in a Jar Favors: Cake + Frosting by Sweet Jazmines, Assembled by Bride’s Mother / Table Cloths, Runners, Doilies, Mason Jars + Misc. Glass Jars: Family + Antique Items / Wedding Dress: Custom Design by Alice Padrul Bridal Couture / Bride’s Shoes: Remix Vintage Shoes / Hair + Makeup: Mack Stylist