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Classically Romantic Bridal Inspiration in Old Town Philadelphia

I’ve been obsessed with BHLDN’s dresses since first sight, and if you throw some vibrant florals into the mix courtesy of Primrose and Company, I’m one very happy camper. This bouquet bursting with pretty pinks has me pondering which pic to print first and Julie Paisley’s photos in Old Town Philly have me dreaming of old world romance. All in all, this shoot is not to be missed; it’s just that good.

From Julie PaisleyClassic and elegant describes this bridal inspiration look. I chose the blush wedding dress from BHLDN to match the tones and texture in the buildings of Old Town, Philadelphia. Primrose and Company designed a bouquet with a pop of color to accentuate the texture in the buildings even more. I didn’t want to go all pastel and I love the richness in the florals. We wanted to keep the classic and Old World feel so we choose a simple hair adornment and hairstyle with a little vintage flare. Add in a black suit and bowtie for our groom and we have a completed look. A little something different, vintage but modern at the same time.

Photography: Julie Paisley | Floral Design: Primrose And Company | Wedding Dress: BHLDN

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Peony-Filled Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding

So how do you make a wedding for 250 people feel really, really special? Just ask this couple! “If the budget allows, have a ‘must have’ list. For us, we wanted a great band, particular flowers and we wanted to be able to invite as many friends and family as the venue would hold! For us, those factors mattered the most so we were able to eliminate costs elsewhere to make sure these ‘must haves’ were able to happen.” And photographs from the ridiculously talented Mary Dougherty don’t hurt either! More here!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Golf Club
Styles
Elegant

From the Bride…By the time I was 8 years old, I knew exactly the wedding I wanted. Most girls dream of their wedding day at an early age, but as time goes on, their ideas change and by the time it comes time to plan the big day, they are practically at square one! But not for me, my dream wedding did not change one bit and by the time I got engaged, my vision was exactly the same as it had been when I was 8 years old. And, luckily for me, my amazing fiancé was equally on board with all of my ideas.

Planning a Pittsburgh wedding while living in Boston seemed daunting at first, but with careful planning and a solid timeline (and email and cell phones) it turned out to be relatively stress-free. I already knew the exact venue, time of year, and the band I wanted. Another major element to any wedding is the photographer. Every bride wants to make sure they can find someone they trust, also get along with and a photographer whose past work you truly love. For me, this person was Mary Dougherty. It was actually a no brainer as Mary had photographed my sister’s wedding in November 2012 and the photographs were phenomenal! After that, the rest just seemed to fall into place. Between the florist, the cake bakery, transportation, and church, everything just came together!

When the big day arrived, we couldn’t have been more excited. The clouds cleared out and it was perfect June day. We always knew we were going to have a big wedding; there are over 40 aunts, uncles and cousins on the groom’s side alone! Between family friends, high school friends, college friends, coworkers, new friends and family, our guest list topped out at 250. If the groom had his way, that number would be up to 300 people! It was very important to us to have as many of our friends and family there to celebrate as possible. From the flowers, the speeches, the food, the band, and of course, to our amazing guests, our wedding was above and beyond anything we could have imagined. I think the highlight of the night was the spectacular fireworks show that went off during the bands break. It was truly a magical evening.

If I could offer any advice to future brides, it would be to follow your heart and plan the wedding your way. Everyone is going to have opinions and every wedding is different, but do not let others tastes or style influence your vision. Also, if the budget allows, have a “must have” list. For us it was we wanted a great band, particular flowers and we wanted to be able to invite as many friends and family as the venue would hold! For us, those factors mattered the most so we were able to eliminate costs elsewhere to make sure these “must haves” were able to happen. And lastly, have as much fun as you can during the planning process, and take a deep breathe, because your wedding day will be here before you know it!

Photography: Mary Dougherty Photography | Flowers: Bill Chisnell | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Cake: Food Glorious Food | Shoes: Cole Haan | Bow Ties: Vineyard Vines | Venue: Fox Chapel Golf Club | Jewelery: Leon Ohanion And Sons | Linens: Mosaic | Music: Cityscape (Three Rivers Entertainment) | Suit: Joseph A. Bank

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Gem-Toned Philadelphia Fall Wedding

When photographer Sweetwater Portraits captures a moment like the groom seeing his bride for the first time, you can’t help but get a lump in your throat. This romantic Philadelphia wedding is just the pick me up we needed with every detail carefully thought out with help from La Petite Fleur: Weddings & Events. The gorgeous gem-toned bouquets and seriously stunning cake make this wedding a must-see here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Art Venue

From La Petite Fleur: Weddings & EventsFor their fall wedding in downtown Philadelphia, Jessica and Zack sought a juxtaposition of styles—mixing classic elements like calligraphed escort cards with aberrant accents such as varied tablescapes of contemporary floral designs— to create a chic, yet cozy, celebratory retreat.

To set-the-stage for their special day, the couple selected the famed Kimmel Center for its modern architecture, as well as a rich, gem-tone palette (inspired by Pennsylvania’s fall foliage) for its warm, regal character. Both the ceremony and reception took place in the rooftop Hamilton Garden, which sits atop the Perelman Theater and overlooks the entire Kimmel Center complex.

Then, to ensure a happy marriage between their traditional touches and the venue’s modern lines, Jessica and Zack sought the design acumen of La Petite Fleur, weddings & events.

To create a refined, welcoming feel that according to Jessica was “without pretense or stuffiness,” LPF fashioned a layered décor plan. The couple wanted guests to “step-in out of the brisk weather to an elegantly-cozy affair.” With that in mind, LPF incorporated unique blooms with varying textures and hues, vessels of varying materials and shapes, as well as sleek (brushed gold pedestals) and charming accents (birch pole chuppah) to perpetuate the visual interest afforded by juxtaposed perspective.

Jessica carried a garden-style bouquet of warm gem-tone and caramel blooms, including Sahara roses and coral passion calla lilies, astilbe and white Coco Yoko hypericum berries— finished with ivory satin-wrapped stems. Her bridesmaids carried coordinating bouquets of warm gem-tone, textured blooms including coral garden roses, and berries, which radiated against their charcoal dresses.

The contrasting styling approach and rich palette carried through to the ceremony with elaborate aisle décor, as well as to the reception with an unconventional “U-shaped” head table. The progressive floor plan also featured guest tables of varying shapes that boasted three tablescape styles. However, the varied tablescape styles did share specific elements, specifically, gold containers, which infused warmth, as well as garden-style arrangements that all hinted at contemporary construction.

Jessica and Zack even infused their ceremony soundtrack with contrasting characteristics– selecting current songs for a string quartet to perform. Zack processed to Weezer’s “Falling for You;” the bridesmaids, Mumford and Sons’ “I Will Wait;” and Jessica, Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest.”

Then, still with fall in mind, as well as their affinity for ‘Game of Thrones,’ the couple presented guests with mulling cider and hot chocolate favors… for “winter is coming.”

Jessica is a judicial law clerk in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Zack is finishing his MBA at Wharton, after which he plans to return to a career in private equity. The newlyweds currently reside in Philadelphia, PA.

Photography: Sweetwater Portraits | Videography: James Knightly Films | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza Legends | Invitations: William Arthur | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Lula Kate | Hair And Makeup: Duette Hair & Makeup | Groom's Attire: Martin Greenfield | Ceremony Music: The Philadelphia String Quartet | Venue: Kimmel Center | Event Planning And Floral Design: La Petite Fleur: Weddings & Events | Paper Goods: La Petite Fleur: Weddings & Events | Reception Band: Franklin Alison Orchestra

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Romantic Pennsylvania Ballroom Wedding

As an inspiring event planner, this beautiful Bride has a vision for her wedding day, and that vision was completely stunning. With the help of an amazing team, her vision of an intimate (even with 514 guests!) and elegant black-tie wedding came to life. And thanks to Joey Kennedy Photography, we can enjoy all the beauty.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Ballroom
Styles
Romantic

From the Bride… Mine and John’s love was magnetic. The second that our eyes met, my soul kicked with such joy that I knew right then that I found my forever. Yes, I was smitten with his Kennedy-esque looks, but his sense of humor and genuine demeanor pulled me in unlike anything I have ever experienced. There was never a question in my heart; I found my soul mate.

A year and a half later, we found ourselves soaking in the golden beauty that is Pennsylvania in the fall. John planned a lovely day for us that started with a tour of Fallingwater and ended with an al fresco picnic at his family’s farm. Since I am normally the planner in our relationship, I sensed that something was up and that same soul-kicking feeling was fluttering inside me all day long. As silly as it sounds, I instantly regretted not wearing my new maxi dress and thanked the heavens that I by chance had my nails done (like it actually matters). While enjoying champagne and our delicious picnic spread, John rose to retrieve what would be the ring and accidentally stepped on his crystal champagne flute, sending shards of crystal all over our picnic. After a laugh-worthy clean up, some crystal foot extractions and a relocation of our picnic, John attempted to grab the ring once more and got on one knee, asking me to be his wife.

After announcing and celebrating our engagement, we set our date for September of 2014, my absolute favorite month of the year! Coming from big Irish and Italian families, we always knew that we were going to have a large Pittsburgh wedding; the wedding party itself consisted of 15 bridesmaids and 13 groomsmen! We decided to have our wedding ceremony at St. Bede Church, a small parish church where John’s family belonged. With a final guest list of 514 invitees, we booked the stunning Omni William Penn Hotel ballroom to host our reception.

My bridal party and I got dolled up for the 3:00 ceremony in a suite at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Music, laughs and lovely sentiments filled the space and, when the time arrived, my girls helped me put on my blush lace Monique Lhuillier gown. I was given the honor of donning John’s mother’s lace cathedral veil for the occasion and I also pinned a piece of my mother’s wedding dress into my dress so that I would have a piece of both of them with me all day long. I also decided to keep a sweet tradition from my collegiate years and wore the Penn State Pi Beta Phi bridal pin on my gown, which has been passed down to bride-to-be’s since 1954.

The one thing I loved about hosting such a large wedding in a smaller church was that every single pew was filled with guests, decked out in their finest black tie garb. There wasn’t an open seat in the house, much like a scene straight out of a movie! The excitement was contagious. This atmosphere was only amplified by John’s older brother, an ordained Catholic priest and the celebrant of our Sacrament of Matrimony. Bringing the crowd to both laughter and tears, Father Chris Donley, and my now brother-in-law, delivered a heartfelt and personal homily which will sit in our hearts forever. Our ceremony was both religious and deeply personal, making it my favorite part of the day. We left for our reception in true vintage style, jumping in John’s dad’s 1930 Rolls Royce.

As an aspiring event planner, I had a pretty detailed vision for our wedding reception from the get-go; a blend of organic elegance with vintage touches, creating a rich, intimate atmosphere. It was important for us to host a formal, black tie event without all of the stuffiness that those can sometimes entail. Guests were welcomed into our cocktail hour with walking hors d’oeuvres and an open bar as well as some fun, personal touches; two giant gold Jenga sets and vintage typewriter guest books set the tone for the lively evening ahead.

Dinner was held in the grand ballroom, featuring kings’ tables, candlelit balconies and candelabras, a live quartet and a personalized round dance floor. Shades of gold and elegant pomegranate centerpieces cast a warm tone throughout the ballroom, creating a charmingly intimate vibe throughout dinner. Personalized menus led guests to their seats where they enjoyed a four course meal and poured wine service.

One of my favorite parts of any reception is when the groom toasts his bride, and John certainly rose to the occasion. Being the stoic Irish man that he is, John is not one to share his feelings with the world, so his toast touched me deeply. The sincere and beautiful words that came from his mouth resonated with the entire room and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house (mostly just the women I should add)!

After toasts and the cutting of our gilded gold cake, we were all led into the dance portion of the evening in the former cocktail hour room, which was now complete with lounge seating, a full 9-piece band, dance floor, slow motion video booth, coffee bars and a crepe station. My Italian family owns a pretty famous pizza shop in the Pittsburgh area, so the crepe station eventually made a late night switch to a pizza bar, which the guests enthusiastically embraced. The remainder of the evening was spent dancing, singing and laughing with our closest family and friends.

If I had to pick one theme for the entire day, it would be joy. It surrounded every detail and every minute of our wedding day; so tangible you could feel it! It truly was a magical day, and the best part is that it is just the beginning for us.

Photography: Joey Kennedy Photography | Videography: ShoFilms | Event Design: Something New Events | Floral Design: Something New Events | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Oakmont Bakery | Invitations: Copper Willow Paper Studio | Ceremony Venue: St. Bede Church | Reception Venue: Omni William Penn | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy | Band: Free Spirit | Hair Accessories: Helena Noelle Couture | Headpiece: Helena Noelle Couture | Linens: Mosaic | Rentals: All Occasions | Video Booth: ShoFilms

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Glamorous 1920s-Inspired Pennsylvania Wedding

It’s all the little details that make this glamorous wedding such a huge success. From the custom Monique Lhuillier lace gown and mismatched Amsale bridesmaids dresses, to the Ring Bearer’s adorable top hat and the reception’s 1920s speak-easy vibe, this Pittsburgh wedding captured by Clean Plate Pictures really wows. Fall in love with all the pretty here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall

From Clean Plate PicturesOn a perfect September evening, Ashley and Jeffrey Czaplicki began a new journey together with a ceremony on the steps of the Frick Art & Historical Center’s museum patio in Pittsburgh, PA. Soft tulle and crystal beading draped the trees with the aisle railings covered in lush greenery. The bridal party included friends, family and siblings, as well Sammie, the couple’s adored pup, who shared a moment with the groom. As a piano and trumpet played, the bride arrived with her father in a vintage car wearing a custom-made Monique Lhuillier gown with a cathedral veil. Guests cheered as the couple shared their first kiss and the pastor, who married the bride’s parents more than 30 years ago, announced the newlyweds. The couple released a pair of doves to signify that they will forever fly together.

The bride carried a full white and blush bouquet containing, Vitality, Patience and Peach Juliet David Austin roses, ranunculus, cabbage roses, seeded eucalyptus, ivy weaved through and dusty miller at its base. The bridesmaids wore different variations of Amsale gowns and carried David Austin Keira roses, spray roses, cabbage roses, seeded eucalyptus, greens weaved into bouquet and dusty miller at its base and tied with a white satin ribbon.

After the ceremony, guests were invited to the lawn of Henry Frick Mansion which had been transformed into a 1920s inspired speakeasy complete with signature drinks from the era. The ritzy affair featured a biography table detailing the couples’ journey from first date to matrimony, the sounds of smooth jazz from the Boilermaker jazz band and singer and appetizers served by a set of flappers. Textured linens and pearls draped over roses, as well as lots of palms and bartenders outfitted in black bow ties, set the theme.

As night began to set in, guests were invited into the peaked tent on the Great Lawn. A walkway led friends and family into an elegant fabric draped sanctuary complete with luxurious crystal chandeliers and beauty around every corner. The couple shared their first dance to “1000 years” by Christina Perri before inviting everyone to join in on the fun.

Guests danced to a live band on a white dance floor with a custom monogram. Afterwards, the couple cut their six tier wedding cake outfitted with pearls and fresh roses. Guests joined each other at tables covered in gold sequin linens that featured gold candelabras dripping in ivy and adorned with blooms including, David Austin roses and hydrangeas. Each centerpiece was surrounded by candles. The place settings included gold china and flatware and matching gold rimmed glassware.

The bridal party sat in front of a custom built live ivy wall covered in ornate gold mirrors with the newlyweds sitting together in a tufted white leather chair. Custom designed stationary was found throughout the evening. From the ceremony program to the dinner menu, to the amazing 10 foot tall mirrors which served as the place setting assignments to a beautiful handwritten signature drink menu, all were designed and created by the groom’s talented sister.

After dinner, guests enjoyed watching the bride dance with her parents and the groom with his mother. Many guests enjoyed dancing the night away, enjoying a treat from the traditional Pittsburgh cookie table, exploring the beautiful grounds of the venue and socializing in the lounge. Guests also enjoyed a special surprise when the bride revealed her second dress. As her bridesmaids gathered around the bride, the groom sat waiting for the bride to reveal that underneath her tulle skirt was a gorgeous full lace down.

The couple enjoyed a two week honeymoon in St. Thomas and St. John. They are enjoying life as newlyweds and anticipating the arrival of their first child in July 2015.

Photography: Clean Plate Pictures | Videography: ShoFilms | Floral Design: Della Robbia Flowers & Gifts | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Rania's Catering | Makeup: Jacqui Phillips | Hair: Izzazu Salon, Spa & Serata | Groomsmen's Attire: Jhanes Barnes | Groomsmen's Attire: Jhane Barnes | Transportation: Pittsburgh Transportation Group | Venue: Frick Art & Historical Center | Alcohol: Dreadnought Wines | Bride's Earrings: Henne Jewelers | Bridesmaids' Earrings and Bracelets: Kate Spade | Ceremony Design: Paula Lysy Designs, Inc. | Cocktail Hour Band: The Boilermaker Jazz Band | Cookies: Pastries A-La-Carte | Custom Signs & Reception Stationery: Phillips Designs | Event Coordination: Hello Productions | Greenery: Premier Foliage | Groom's Custom Tuxedo: Paul Marlow | Hair Broche: Clarissa Boutique | Linens: Mosaic Inc. | Reception Band: In The Mood by Three Rivers Entertainment & Production | Rentals: Pittsburgh Wedding Rentals | Rentals: Party Savvy | Rentals: All Occasions

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