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Romantic Candlelit Autumn Wedding

When it came their big day, these longtime loves wanted the focus on family. From their courtyard first look to the family photos filling frames, every moment held meaning. Oleander Floral & Events planned a masterpiece overflowing with lush opulence and seasonal fare, while Lauren Fair filled gallery with images reminiscent of a Golden Age painting.

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Seasons
Fall
Settings
ChurchEstate

From the beautiful Bride…Joe and I were married on November 15, 2014 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Solebury, PA. Our reception was at HollyHedge Estate in New Hope, PA.

Joe is originally from California, but I grew up in New Jersey – about 15 minutes away from the wedding site. After we started dating, it immediately became a tradition for us to visit New Hope whenever we came to visit my parents for wine tastings and walks down by the Delaware River.

When we first met with our floral & events designer, Oleander Floral & Events, my mother and I immediately knew that Cynthia was the only person for the job. The goal for the reception was for the entry way to look like a Dutch Master’s painting, and for the reception to feel like a celebratory European hunting banquet – lush, opulent, elegant. We wanted to play into the venue’s history – it was founded in the early 1700s, and the original stone barn where we had our cocktail hour is a beautiful piece of history and architecture. Cynthia hit it out of the park – our guests literally gasped when they entered the reception space to pick up their escort cards (which were boxes of 2 flavors of locally made truffles – yum!).

Lauren & Tim of Lauren Fair Photography captured nothing of short absolute magic with their cameras – from the “first look” in the old courtyard, to the stunning images from the field behind HollyHedge, to the structural beauty of the church – our wedding would not have been the same without them. They quite simply are unparalleled in their skills and talents, and they are amazing people who felt more like friends than wedding photographers.

It was very important for our fall wedding to be seasonal without being a cliche. One of the ways we wanted to do this was through food- from pumpkin & pear soup, to butternut squash ravioli, to our pumpkin spice & cream cheese wedding cake with sugared apples. We relied heavily on candle & fire light as well, which added a warm atmosphere to the entire space.

When we discussing the planning of our wedding, both Joe and I felt strongly about doing a “first look.” Initially, Joe was against the idea – but he realized that it would mean being able to enjoy cocktail hour and would let us be present for all our wedding events (versus missing cocktails to take photographs). Participating in cocktail hour was a priority for us, because we wanted to maximize time with our guests, half of whom had flown across the country to celebrate with the two of us. We didn’t want to be absent – it’s hard enough on your wedding day to spend time with everyone took part without missing part of the reception. Looking back, neither of us would change a thing. Having a “first look” allowed us to get nervous energy out before the ceremony. It also gave us time alone (with Lauren & Tim) to take the time to appreciate one another, and also allowed all of our wedding party to enjoy the entire day. One of Joe’s concerns with doing pictures before the ceremony was that he wouldn’t get the same impact when the doors opened and my dad walked me down the aisle. He told me afterward that nothing could have prepared him for that moment – despite being together for a few hours before church, he said he was overcome with emotion when I appeared at the doorway and he felt like he’d never seen me before. The look on his face is something I’ll never forget – it was the best moment of my life.

Joe and I met and started dating in 2011. I work as a television producer in New York City, and he’s getting a PhD from Cornell University in Biomedical Engineering – to say that we are opposites would be an understatement! I’m convinced that two people have never laughed so hard or loved as deeply as we have. Our first dance was “Come Rain or Come Shine,” by Ray Charles.

The day of the wedding started with the bridesmaids, my mother, and me getting ready in the bridal suite at HollyHedge. My bridesmaids & matron of honor are my 4 best friends from undergrad – we all met the first week of college freshman year at Bucknell University. The women wore J.Crew bridesmaids dresses with Ross Simons ruby & pearl-drop earrings with camel colored cashmere wraps to keep out the November chill. My dress was a Rivini bridal gown, and I covered myself with my grandmother’s white mink stole (she had recently passed and we were very close).

Family touches played a large role in our wedding day. Joe used his late father’s band as his wedding ring, and I used my grandmother’s wedding band as mine. The sixpence in my shoe was the same one that my mother used at her wedding, and we hand-painted the frames which held family photographs on the shelves surrounding the bar in the old barn. Additionally, my “something blue” was a custom label with the date in my wedding gown, and my “something borrowed” was a pair of pearl and white topaz earrings that are my mother’s.

The incorporation of family elements and feelings of warm intimacy were incredibly important to Joe and me – for us, the wedding was just as much about celebrating the love we have for our family and friends as it was about celebrating our marriage.

Photography: Lauren Fair Photography | Floral Design: Oleander Floral & Events | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: Trinity Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: HollyHedge Estate | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Make-Up: Kimberly Felicetta | Hair: Crystal & Company | DJ: Synergetic Sounds & Lighting | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Catering & Cake: HollyHedge Estate | Cocktail Hour Entertainment: Elegant Ensembles (String Trio) | Escort Cards/Favors: Tom Sciascia | Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew (Pocket Squares & Ties) | Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse (Calvin Klein) | Wedding Dress & Accessories: Exquisite Bride

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Spring Cherry Blossom Engagement Session

With Spring right around the corner, I couldn’t help but stop and swoon over this adorable e-sesh. Nothing says Spring quite like freshly-bloomed cherry blossom trees, and this Philadelphia engagement session is simply picture-perfect! Ashley Bartoletti Photography was there to capture every moment of it, and has me dreaming of even more Spring loveliness in the full gallery right here.


From the photographer…I loved working with Christina and David on their engagement session – they are so much fun! David and Christina chose to have their session at The Horticultural Center in Fairmount Park, which was absolutely gorgeous and brimming with spring blooms. Their fun personalities and love for each other is evident in every shot. After we walked around The Horticultural Center for a while we went up to Belmont Plateau to capture a few shots with the beautiful Philadelphia skyline.

Photography: Ashley Bartoletti Photography

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Whimsical Fall Wedding

You know what my favorite part of weddings are? The moment the Groom’s face lights up when he first spots his Bride at the end of the aisle. That is my favorite part. And this whimsical Belovely affair? Well, it’s filled with favorites. Thanks to Alison Conklin and Willow Tree Films, the beginning of their forever is now a  warm memory. From the richly hued color palette to late night ice cream, see it all right here!

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Fall
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Park
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Whimsical

From Alison Conklin Photography… Shannon and Adam wear their hearts on their sleeves and Shannon’s smile lights up an entire room. Their day was filled with such love. They had such a perfect fall day – it was warm and had the most beautiful light. The wedding and reception was at one of my favorite venues and the details were perfect. The warm glow from the candles on the tables was such an inviting place for their guests and the whimsical Little Baby Ice Cream at the end of the night was such a hit.

Photography: Alison Conklin Photography | Videography: Willow Tree Films | Wedding Planner: Belovely | Florist: Belovely | Cake: Addy Maes | Stationery: Apropos In Greenville DE | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Stephen STARR Events | Band: Vincent James Band | Brides Gown: Monique Lhullier | Ceremony And Reception: Horticultural Center | Getting Ready: Hotel Monaco | Ice Cream: Little Baby's Ice Cream

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Intimate Tent Wedding at Welkinweir Estate

Beyond the delicate white Cottage Flowers and unique book-themed details lies one gorgeous affair filled with lots and lots of love. Sharing handwritten vows and hot cider, guests filled wine bottle capsules in lieu of a guestbook whilst surrounded by an oasis of natural beauty. Rachel Pearlman shared a gallery filled with memorable moments and you can see them all unfold, here!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Estate
Styles
Rustic

From Rachel Pearlman Photography… Katonah and Brian’s October nuptials at Welkinweir estate were nothing short of perfection. Beyond the delicate white blooms, greenery and unique book-themed and natural details, this couple is anything but typical. They met while out one night on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, and Katonah fell instantly for Brian’s sense of humor and sweetness. Katonah and Brian love books, reading, nature and music…and so their wedding featured many of those elements. Welkinweir is an oasis of natural beauty, and Katonah chose a simple lace gown with exquisite detail, which went perfectly with a french braid – no veil necessary! There were so many details of this wedding that I fell in love with instantly – but the couples’ handwritten vows topped the list. Brian brought the entire guest list to tears of laughter in his ode to Katonah, which was hilariously witty and sweet. They were married by two members of the bride’s family, and announced as husband-and-wife by a good friend. Guests enjoyed cocktails overlooking a large lake, and were seated underneath a classic white tent when it was time for dinner. As toasts were given, the setting Fall sun created a romantic ambiance. Katonah and Brian had a bourbon bar at the end of the night, and their signature drink was hot apple cider. Personal touches included hand-carved wooden signage placed throughout the space (made by the Bride), wine bottle capsules in lieu of a traditional guest book, and hand written bookmarks that served as escort cards.

From the beautiful Bride… From the moment we got engaged, we had a very clear vision of what we wanted our wedding to feel like: we wanted it to just be us. So we tried to incorporate all of our favorite things—the parts of each other that we’d fallen in love with—into the design and the ceremony: nature (the most important piece for me), books (the most important for Brian), and great music.

When we found the Welkinweir Estate, I couldn’t believe we’d found a venue so perfect for what we were looking for. The estate house and surrounding nature preserve offered amazing views and a rustic ceremony site, so we stuck with an organic color palette to complement its natural beauty.

Our wedding had just under 100 guests, and we wanted it to feel like a big family party. I added a lot of personal touches so that all of our family and friends would feel the love and care that went into planning the day. Our “place cards” were handwritten bookmarks, and I made the wood-burned signs we used to decorate the venue. I made the favors—little jars of honey (an inside joke with my dad, brother, and sister)—and my grandmother and cousin officiated the ceremony, which we wrote ourselves in lieu of a traditional script.

The best part of everything, though, was having everyone we love together to share the experience. It was truly the happiest, most amazing day of our lives, and a big part of that was how well our amazing vendors brought everything together—from the flowers, to the table settings, to the food and beyond. We could not have had a more perfect day.

Photography: Rachel Pearlman Photography | Floral Design: Cottage Flowers | Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm | Cake: The Master's Baker | Invitations: William Arthur | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Jewelry: BHLDN | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy Group | Catering: Robert Ryan Catering | Makeup: Face The Occasion | Hair: Bella By Design | Groomsmen's Attire: Vera Wang | Table Numbers: Sweet Carolina Collective | Wedding Venue: Welkinweir Arboretum And Gardens

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Philadelphia Museum of Art Engagement Session

You won’t be able to stop smiling after reading the adorable story of how these two lovebirds met! What started as a chance encounter bloomed into romance with a proposal on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum Of Art. The super talented KT Merry captured all the special moments of this engagement session around the city — and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Proposal Day than taking a whirl right here in the gallery.

From The Groom-to-be… Paula and I have a very unique story of how we met. I was being set up on a blind date by one of my good friends, Theresa. I met the girl in a group setting… it didn’t work out. So I thought I was going to spend the rest of the night just hanging out and having a few drinks with friends — then, in walks Paula with a couple of her friends. She looked absolutely stunning! She was there for maybe five minutes just to say hi to someone and walked right back out. I thought to myself, I would have loved to have been set up with her!!! But she was in and out in that five minutes so I thought I lost my chance forever. After that, I met up with some more friends and we proceeded to bar hop. At our third stop, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw her standing there at the bar with her friends. I grabbed Theresa and said, “There’s that girl again! Since your first attempt at setting me up failed you have to introduce me to her!” Theresa went over to Paula and introduced herself, chatted with her for a little bit, and called me over. “Paula, this is Mike. Mike, this is Paula. Goodbye!” said Theresa and she walked away leaving the two of us alone. Needless to say, we hit it off and ever since that moment I’ve been hooked! We had our first official date a week later at Paula’s restaurant of choice, a burger and beer place… my type of place. We had a great night getting to know each other and the rest is history.

From The Bride-to-be… At the time, I was a volunteer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art… one of my absolute favorite places to be. Michael was going to meet me at the museum at the end of the day so we could have dinner together in the city, which is something we often do. As I was finishing up for the day, Michael and his brother Sean called me and told me to meet them at the front of the museum by the main stairs, the famous museum stairs that were featured in the Rocky movie, because apparently Sean wanted to run up and down them just like Rocky had done. At first I refused but after some persuasion I reluctantly agreed to meet them there. As I walked around to the bottom of the stairs, I looked up to search for them and saw Michael standing way up in the middle of the stairway, a smile on his handsome face, all dressed up in a suit, holding a bouquet of red roses. I yelled, “What’s happening?!” He crooked his finger as if to say “come here.” I slowly made my way up the stairs all the while trying to process what was happening. As I approached Michael, he got down on one knee and took my hand. I will never forget his sweet words to me. He pulled out a beautiful custom-made ring… he had met with our jeweler to design it himself! At this point, a crowd of people had gathered and were watching the entire thing. To this day I still don’t know if I ever even said yes but I just threw my arms around him and held on. The crowd cheered. One lady cried! Some of the bystanders ran to congratulate and take photos with us. Sean had been filming us the entire time. As we made our way down the stairs to leave the museum, people from all around were shouting their well wishes and some were giving Michael a thumbs up, waving, and grinning at us from their cars. Michael then took me out to a romantic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants where I was able to catch my breath and absorb all that had just happened. Afterwards, we went to the bar where he first caught sight of me to celebrate with some of our friends. It was the. best. day. ever. Isn’t he dreamy?

We took our engagement photos on the one year anniversary of our engagement. We walked around in the city of Philadelphia where we met and fell in love and ended the photo shoot right back where he proposed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Our little Pomeranian, Baby, joined us for the day. As you can see, she isn’t the most cooperative little thing (haha!) but she sure is cute and we love her dearly.

KT and Chad of KT Merry Photography were such a pleasure to work with. Michael and I felt like we were on a double date with friends rather than a professional photo shoot, which made for a relaxed and happy atmosphere. I discovered KT Merry during a Style Me Pretty binge and I knew instantly I needed to have her as my photographer. I just love the ethereal quality of KT’s work; she perfectly captures what daydreams are made of. I cannot wait for her to shoot our wedding this coming May. Most of all, I cannot wait to marry my best friend… I love you Michael Mullane!

Photography: KT Merry | Diamond Stacking Rings: Safian Rudolph Jewelers | Michael's Attire: J.Crew | Michael's Attire: Calvin Klein | Other Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | Other Jewelry: Bauble Bar | Paula's Dresses: Alice + Olivia | Paula's Hair & Makeup: Jaclynn & Nicck from Mack Stylist | Paula's Shoes: Steve Madden | Paula's Shoes: Louis Vuitton | The Engagement Ring: Jay Roberts Jewelers | Venue: The Dandelion | Venue: Rittenhouse Square Park | Venue: Parc Brasserie | Venue: The Union League Of Philadelphia | Venue: Philadelphia Museum Of Art | Venue: Swann Memorial Fountain

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