I often get asked “What makes a wedding an SMP wedding?” Well my loves, that certain something that is so hard to describe is embodied in this exact wedding from Emily Wren Photography. The color palette that makes my heart skip a beat, that gorgeous Romona Keveza gown, the flowers, the venue, the ambiance… it’s the kind of wedding we talk about at the water cooler for days!
From the beautiful bride… We met at the University of Pittsburgh, both studying for engineering degrees, so in true engineer fashion, we took a practical, no-fuss approach to planning our wedding. Equals in planning from the start, it was important to us to have a stellar venue to accommodate our ceremony and reception. Enter Aldie Mansion, located a few short miles from where I grew up, which provided a beautiful garden patio and long pathway to the altar, as well as a bright ballroom for our reception. We had such a fantastic experience working with the caterer and event staff, creating the little details that made our day “ours.”
Waking up to a thunderstorm is not every bride or groom’s dream; however, we were so fortunate that the storms passed and stayed away on our wedding day! I got ready at my Mom’s house, complete with my Aunts (the Miller girls!), my bridesmaids and a delicious brunch spread prepared by Mom and Aunts. Steve got ready in the honeymoon suite with his groomsmen, and were soon met by Cassidy of Emily Wren Photography for a hilarious photo shoot that included a few priceless hot tub shots of Steve and his groomsmen.
One of our favorite aspects of Aldie Mansion were the bride & groom suites. The bridal suite overlooked the ceremony site, complete with a Rapunzel-esque balcony from which I conducted the flower toss! Leather couches, a flat screen TV and a foosball table rounded out the groom’s suite.
Our first look was so sweet, and wonderfully executed by Emily and Cassidy of Emily Wren Photography. We can’t speak enough of the whole idea of a first look; seeing each other before our ceremony did wonders to our nerves! The grounds of Aldie Mansion provided so many stunning photo locations. This venue defies the meaning of all-in-one. It blows it out of the water!
We received many compliments on our ceremony, which was officiated by Father John Michael O’Sullivan. Coming from two different religious backgrounds, Catholic for me and Lutheran for Steve, it was important to have a traditional wedding ceremony that borrowed aspects from both of our faiths. I processed to Debussy’s Claire de Lune performed on strings by Winterberry Trio, my favorite song. Two of our closest friends, Ali & Sumter, said the readings, and soon enough it was vows, rings, then the kiss!
After some family photos, we enjoyed cocktail hour with our guests. We munched on some great appetizers, and enjoyed the wine, beer and spirits we hand selected for the event. Guests were free to roam the mansion and grounds during the event, and it was surely a beautiful night to enjoy the patio. A big hit were our childhood photos displayed in the library, as well as our calendar, in lieu of guestbook. Guests signed on their birthday, so now there is no excuse to miss anyone’s in 2014!
Dinner was superb. Guests dined on brisket, salmon or vegan quinoa cakes. After cake was cut, red velvet with cream cheese icing, dancing officially began! One of our favorite moments on the dance floor was when the DJ played “Sweet Caroline.” It’s tradition to play the song during Pitt football home games, and everyone chants “Let’s Go Pitt” and “Go Pitt” during the chorus. The dozens of Pitt fans in attendance, and Pitt fans at heart, surrounded us on the dance floor while we lead the chants.
When the DJ stopped spinning and it was time to end our wedding, we gave our guests a late night snack and to take with them. Steve’s family is spread out all over the country, and for many of them, it was their first time in the Philadelphia area. To give them a taste of Philly, as well as please our local guests, we served soft pretzels and butterscotch krimpet Tasteycakes! The Tasteycakes and to-go bags were personalized with our custom stamp.
What a day to remember. It can’t get much better than being surround by loving family and friends, some who never left the dance floor. We will forever cherish our wedding day as one of the best days of our lives, and have to thank all of our vendors for making our wedding day complete.
Photography: Emily Wren Photography | Flowers: Kate Tilghman | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza Legends | Invitations: Minted | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Catering: Buttercup | Make-up: Cindy Singer | Hair: Jill Kozar's Up Your Do | DJ: Grace From No Macarena | Ties: The Tie Bar | Suits: The Black Tux | Officiant: The Garden Gate | Transportation: Sterling Limosuine | Accomodations: Hampton Inn Amelia Island | Beer & Spirits: Frank's Wine | Bride's Jewelry: Nadri | Bridesmaid Robes: Designs By Celia | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Aldie Mansion | Custom Stamp: InvitationBox | Late Night Snack: Jim's Soft Pretzels | Late Night Snack: Tastycake Butterscotch Krimpets | Programs: Vista Print | String Trio: PartyPosh | Veil: Toni Federici | Wedding Day Coordinator: John J. Audubon Center at Mill Grove | Wine: Trader Joe's