Bethlehem Christmas Wedding from Alison Conklin Photography
August 28, 2012
Mid Atlantic
VintageHotels + Resorts WeddingsWinter Weddings
If Jackie O were to plan a holiday wedding for a super lucky SMP bride, this would be it. We're talking silver and gold woven throughout, beautiful high necklines, and style for freaking miles. If you fall in love with one wedding this afternoon, Alison Conklin Photography has ensured that this is it by filling a gallery with the most amazing images you will totally flip over.

Click here to see the full gallery!

After sorting through what seemed like millions of wedding themes--and booking a Thanksgiving-weekend date--I knew I wanted this wedding to first and foremost have the two things every SMP wedding does: warmth and joy. My venue--the stunning art-deco Hotel Bethlehem in Bethlehem, PA, which I grew up going to dinner and events at with my family--set the stage. Bethlehem (about halfway between Philly and New York) goes by "The Christmas City," and is home to a breathtaking display of holiday lights.

The hotel's traditional Christmastime decor is magnificent--I just wanted to go with their vintage-holiday flow. I stuck to gold and silver, with forest green and muted red accents. Atop a mountain outside Bethlehem is a giant electric star visible from the hotel and streets--its Moravian shape recurred throughout our wedding, on the stationery and in our centerpieces. (I'm not huge on florals, so we chose simple clusters of winter greens, candles and sparkling Moravian stars suspended in the light.) Etsy was my best friend planning this wedding. I put a crazy ad dreaming up the cake topper you see here in Marketplace; a fabulous woman brought it to life. The invitations, too, were exactly as I envisioned. And several of my bridesmaids' gifts were handmade by Etsy artists.

Our ceremony was so special: we had a choir that sang holiday hymns throughout the ceremony. I was inspired by the film "It's a Wonderful Life"--not only is it a very special family tradition, but Erik and I had happy memories of seeing it at the IFC Theater in New York, where we had lived for most of our time dating each other. So one of my favorite moments of the wedding, thinking back to the happy last singing scene of that movie, was our recessional exit to "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

Our reception was warm, simple, and all about our friends and family dancing in the candlelight--and to the Cafe Wha band, an amazing group, also from New York. (Go see them at their West Village bar if you're ever in the city!) But what inspired me most about the day was the family-history touches we were able to incorporate. I had on my bouquet Erik's grandmother's rosary--my something blue--and a wedding-bell necklace that my grandfather had bought my grandmother overseas, while he was serving in the Korean War. My mother and I wore my grandmother's furs. I got ready on the porch of my childhood home. My wedding band belonged to my grandmother. That was a surprise: my engagement ring is rose gold, and my mom and I were shocked to find that my grandmother's original gold band matched it perfectly. (A jeweler later told me that, because it had been purchased during World War II, it was likely filled out with copper, which gave it the rosy tone.)

I've never felt so much in the presence of love and support as I did on my wedding day, and every Thanksgiving from here on out, Erik and I will look back on that happy day and remember how lucky we are. (Oh, and I'll have to say a bonus thanks each year for the rest of my life for my dress--it was a dream come true.)

Photography: Alison Conklin Photography / Cinematography: Evan Scott Videography / Flowers: Hairy Mary's / Ceremony Location: St. Isidore Church / Reception Location: Hotel Bethlehem / Stationery: Ugly Kitty / Shoes: Nina Shoes / Dress: Monique Lhuillier, from The Wedding Shoppe / Bridesmaids' Dresses: Max and Cleo / Maid of Honor's Dress: Kay Unger / Band: Cafe Wha / Rings: Leon Mege (engagement ring), Catbird Jewelry (men's wedding band) / Cake: Wayne Brunner / Cake topper: Pile of Hats