We Can’t Get Enough of This Romantic Farm Wedding in Pennsylvania

 Allentown, Pennsylvania, Real Weddings  Comments Off on We Can’t Get Enough of This Romantic Farm Wedding in Pennsylvania
Oct 242016
 

Heading to work is a whole lot more exciting when you have something — or rather, someone — to look forward to. Just ask Lina Fares and Andrew Rodale Norelli, who first met in their office in May of 2011. Fast-forward four years and you'd find the happy pair enjoying a sailing cruise to Greece's Schinoussa Island. There, on July 1, 2015, Andrew asked Lina to be his wife.

As the great-grandson of JI Rodale, one of the first advocates of a return to sustainable agriculture and organic farming in the United States, it's no surprise that Andrew and his bride-to-be knew they wanted to tie the knot on the groom's family farm in Allentown, Pennsylvania. "It's so picturesque and has been the venue for many of my family members' nuptials," Andrew says. With a venue so steeped in family history, it was easy to start planning their June 11, 2016, wedding — and even easier for Lina and Andrew to decide they wanted to infuse their day with pieces of their unique backgrounds. With the help of Mark Kintzel Design, the future Mr. and Mrs. imagined a classic celebration with plenty of bright elements inspired by their farm backdrop. Rebecca Yale Photography captured the breathtaking results, all seen below.

"Since the wedding was going to be outdoors, the hardest part of planning was worrying about the weather and making contingency plans," the couple says. In fact, in the 10 days leading up to the wedding, forecasts were predicting hail and thunderstorms, so Lina and Andrew were forced to make a last-minute decision to tent the ceremony and cocktail hour. Luckily, they tied the knot on a picture-perfect June day, surrounded by 130 of their closest friends and family. "The rain held off, but the tent was a welcome gift for our guests at the temperatures rose into the mid-90s."

Everyone was invited to the festivities with a punchy suite created by Fourteen-Forty, complete with a property map and poppy coral hues that were carried over into the big day itself. And, to ensure friends and family were comfortable throughout their stay in Pennsylvania, Lina and Andrew surprised guests with a package of their favorite goodies and wedding-necessities, like Cape Cod potato chips, Kind bars, organic mints, Advil, and stain remover.

Lina's lace Monique Lhuillier wedding dress was unfussy yet elegant, perfect for the couple's farm wedding. "I wanted something simple and understated for my jewelry, so I went with a Swarovski crystal bangle and earrings," she says. But when it came to picking her shoes, this bride knew she wanted her personality to shine, so she went with a fun coral pair from Stuart Weitzman.

Her bouquet of peonies, garden roses, astilbe, lisanthus, mountain laurel, and hypericum berries looked as if it could have been handpicked right from the property's gardens.

One of our favorite details from this bride's wedding day look? Her subtle something blue nail polish!

Andrew chose a custom slate blue suit from Michael Andrews Bespoke, which he paired with a pale yellow tie and a boutonniere of spray roses and mountain laurel.

Linda's bridesmaids wore bright coral dresses from J.Crew and carried romantic bouquets of peonies, roses, and astilbe.

As a gift for his groomsmen, Andrew purchased the Bonobos suit each guy wore on the big day. Like the groom, each attendant finished his look with a pink-and-green boutonniere.

One of the decisions the bride and groom are most happy they made was deciding to have a first look. "It broke the nerves," Lina says. "This way, we could share our special moments as well as get photos out of the way early."

Although the ceremony was initially set to take place in the open-air, there's no denying Lina and Andrew's greenery-covered plan B tent was absolutely breathtaking. Beneath it, arrangements of hydrangeas and eucalyptus marked the top of the aisle while lanterns and an installation of peonies, garden roses, ruscus, and berries served as the most beautiful backdrop for this couple's vows.

The pair wrote their own vows, but stuck to a traditional format. "We exchanged more personal messages in private on the morning of the wedding," they say. After Lina and Andrew were pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds made their exit of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" while guests showered them in fresh flower petals.

Cocktail hour was held in an uncovered greenhouse, where garlands of greenery were interspersed with café lights, creating an ultra-romantic, cozy space for drinks and light bites. There, the couple served up three signature drinks: Andrew's choice, the negroni, Lina's pick, a spicy passion fruit margarita, and the bride and groom's favorite, a guava mimosa. Guests enjoyed tapas-style snacks, including mini empanadas and lobster rolls, along with a full raw bar.

The party then moved into a sailcloth tent, and guests found their table assignments on a mirrored seating chart. Bare wooden tables and round ones topped with natural-colored linens were arranged across the lawn.

Gold compotes held bright mixes of roses, lisianthus, and greenery, adding a fun dose of color to the space. And to make sure the event felt elevated, the bride and groom chose additional metallic accents, like gilded flatware and table numbers.

"We both love to travel and come from diverse backgrounds, which we wanted to showcase throughout our wedding," Andrew says. "The food was a blend of cuisines from all of our travels, including Italian, Spanish, Greek, Dominican, and Lebanese, and was served family-style to bring everyone together for a special occasion."

This couple knew what they were doing when it came to picking fun extras for their reception. In addition to a custom Snapchat filter, the pair treated guests to a photo barn. Yes, you read that right: a photo barn. Guests posed for fun pictures in an antique car that was covered in greenery and bright flowers before leaving a copy of their snapshots for the newlyweds to enjoy.

After dinner, everyone dug into slices of the lemon wedding cake with raspberry filling. Before departing, guests grabbed a mini succulent favor, a nod to the wedding's natural backdrop.

Lina and Andrew, who will be honeymooning in New Zealand this December, have this advice for future couples: "Take a moment for yourselves during the day and savor it, each other, and everyone who came out to celebrate."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Rodale Family Farm || Wedding Planner & Flowers: Mark Kintzel Design || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Jewelry: Swarovski || Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Hair & Makeup: Jackie Schneider Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom's Attire: Michael Andrews Bespoke || Groomsmen's Attire: Bonobos || Wedding Bands: Cartier || Invitations: Fourteen-Forty || Music: Montero Strings; Wesley Works || Catering: Cobblestone Catering || Cake: Katherine Sprules Cakes || Lighting: Tony Millross || Photo Booth: Designed by Mark Kintzel Design, shot by Big Laughs Photo Booth || Photographer: Rebecca Yale Photography

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Feeling inspired by this beautiful wedding? Then get even more ideas from another couple's farm wedding in the video below.

BRIDES Philadelphia: Museum and Library Wedding Venues For an Epic Wedding Reception

 Local, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Philadelphia: Museum and Library Wedding Venues For an Epic Wedding Reception
Oct 102016
 

Whether you and your spouse-to-be are hopeless romantics à la Romeo and Juliet, hard-partying sophisticates like Gatsby and Daisy, or witty banterers like Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, what better way to show off your brainy side than with a museum or library wedding? With unique artwork displayed throughout, spaces that lend themselves to personalization, these literary venues in Philadelphia will make sure your bash is the perfect start to this next chapter in your lives. (Sorry, we couldn't help ourselves!)

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Above)
It's rare to find a place that can cater to a number of different aesthetics all under one (sorta!) roof. In its multiple-building campus, the museum houses unique spaces that can nod to a number of different time periods. The museum's Tuttleman Sculpture Gallery, with its stark white walls, light wood floor and iron sculptures dotting the space is the perfect space for a modern and minimalist bride. Meanwhile, the Washington Foyer, with its vaulted archways, warm-toned walls, gold accents and globe lighting nod to a style closer to — you guessed it — the Revolutionary War period. Read real brides' reviews here!

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Color outside the lines with a wedding at one of the city's cultural mainstays — and home of the Rocky steps. Because of the museum's vast and varied collection of artwork, couples can choose among a number of eras as a backdrop for your nuptials. Host a garden party right outside the Rodin Museum, where a reflecting pool, botany of all sorts and a large collection of Rodin's sculptures will make you feel like you're in the French countryside. The museum's Main Building, marked by its stately outdoor columns and known for its awe-inspiring Great Stair Hall, is the ideal locale for an upscale and elegant affair that a city-dwelling bride would love.

American Swedish Historical Museum

Photo: Courtesy of WeddingWire

American Swedish Historical Museum
Looking to infuse a bit of old school charm into your big day? The American Swedish Historical Museum, built in the style of a 17th century manor, is the perfect fit to infuse style of a bygone era into your event. In addition to honoring Swedish heritage with an impressive collection of artwork, textiles, music, and architectural artifacts, the venue is nestled in FDR Park — its nearly 350-acre expanse of greenery and an ideal nearby backdrop for wedding party photos. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Walk Down the Aisle to Ceremony Music Played by These Local Musicians

Parkway Central Library

Photo: Getty Images

Parkway Central Library
This historic venue with its imposing staircases, stone walls, and columns is a gorgeous setting for a posh party that has some Old World charm. A cocktail party on the venue's second floor landing will allow you to live out your childhood dream of having a massive library all to yourself — yes, we know you imagined yourself in that scene in Beauty and the Beast — except the grown-up version. In addition to its indoor spaces, the locale's terrace provides clear views of the city skyline and adjacent Shakespeare Park. The man practically invented romance writing, so haven't his name nearby surely can't hurt the romantic mood of the day!

Had a different big day dream? Browse more Philadelphia wedding venues here!

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BRIDES Philadelphia: Museum and Library Wedding Venues For an Epic Wedding Reception

 Local, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Philadelphia: Museum and Library Wedding Venues For an Epic Wedding Reception
Oct 102016
 

Whether you and your spouse-to-be are hopeless romantics à la Romeo and Juliet, hard-partying sophisticates like Gatsby and Daisy, or witty banterers like Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, what better way to show off your brainy side than with a museum or library wedding? With unique artwork displayed throughout, spaces that lend themselves to personalization, these literary venues in Philadelphia will make sure your bash is the perfect start to this next chapter in your lives. (Sorry, we couldn't help ourselves!)

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Above)
It's rare to find a place that can cater to a number of different aesthetics all under one (sorta!) roof. In its multiple-building campus, the museum houses unique spaces that can nod to a number of different time periods. The museum's Tuttleman Sculpture Gallery, with its stark white walls, light wood floor and iron sculptures dotting the space is the perfect space for a modern and minimalist bride. Meanwhile, the Washington Foyer, with its vaulted archways, warm-toned walls, gold accents and globe lighting nod to a style closer to — you guessed it — the Revolutionary War period. Read real brides' reviews here!

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Color outside the lines with a wedding at one of the city's cultural mainstays — and home of the Rocky steps. Because of the museum's vast and varied collection of artwork, couples can choose among a number of eras as a backdrop for your nuptials. Host a garden party right outside the Rodin Museum, where a reflecting pool, botany of all sorts and a large collection of Rodin's sculptures will make you feel like you're in the French countryside. The museum's Main Building, marked by its stately outdoor columns and known for its awe-inspiring Great Stair Hall, is the ideal locale for an upscale and elegant affair that a city-dwelling bride would love.

American Swedish Historical Museum

Photo: Courtesy of WeddingWire

American Swedish Historical Museum
Looking to infuse a bit of old school charm into your big day? The American Swedish Historical Museum, built in the style of a 17th century manor, is the perfect fit to infuse style of a bygone era into your event. In addition to honoring Swedish heritage with an impressive collection of artwork, textiles, music, and architectural artifacts, the venue is nestled in FDR Park — its nearly 350-acre expanse of greenery and an ideal nearby backdrop for wedding party photos. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Walk Down the Aisle to Ceremony Music Played by These Local Musicians

Parkway Central Library

Photo: Getty Images

Parkway Central Library
This historic venue with its imposing staircases, stone walls, and columns is a gorgeous setting for a posh party that has some Old World charm. A cocktail party on the venue's second floor landing will allow you to live out your childhood dream of having a massive library all to yourself — yes, we know you imagined yourself in that scene in Beauty and the Beast — except the grown-up version. In addition to its indoor spaces, the locale's terrace provides clear views of the city skyline and adjacent Shakespeare Park. The man practically invented romance writing, so haven't his name nearby surely can't hurt the romantic mood of the day!

Had a different big day dream? Browse more Philadelphia wedding venues here!

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An Intimate Garden Wedding at a Historic Pennsylvania Bed & Breakfast

 Gay Weddings, Pennsylvania, Real Weddings  Comments Off on An Intimate Garden Wedding at a Historic Pennsylvania Bed & Breakfast
Sep 262016
 

Though Erin and Katie first met as freshmen in college — and even lived across the hall from one another as juniors — it wasn't until two years after they graduated that the two began to fall in love. The pair dated for two years, when Erin got the idea to propose to Katie during a trip to Italy in July of 2009. "We were living halfway across the country from one another," says Erin. "I visited Katie before our trip, and decided I couldn't wait until we got to Italy, so I spontaneously popped the question!" Katie said yes, but the women waited until it was legal for them to marry in Pennsylvania before they set a date.

Katie and Erin wanted to give their guests a taste of where they live, so they searched for a Pennsylvania venue that would fit their relaxed, intimate vision. They chose the General Warren Inne and, on May 7, 2016, 32 guests joined them for a mid-afternoon ceremony followed by a celebration on the property's grounds. With soft watercolor hues, pastel flowers, and sprigs of lavender sprinkled throughout the event, the couple's wedding was the embodiment of spring. Take a look at these brides' beautiful garden wedding, photographed by Tara Beth Photography, below.

Katie is Irish-American and Erin was born on St. Patrick's Day, so naturally the two brides incorporated Irish touches into their celebration, including these Claddagh rings.

Erin wore a structured lace wedding dress by Truly Zac Posen, with a trumpet silhouette and corset-like boning details. "It fit like it was made just for me, and it fit my style and personality without a single alteration," she says. A pair of pumps with an Impressionist floral print and a colorful bouquet of white, purple, and peach roses, ranunculus, and peonies (with sprigs of lavender, of course!) completed her ensemble.

Katie complemented her in a custom-made jacket with a black and navy checked pattern, which she paired with black tuxedo pants and a grosgrain bowtie.

How sweet was the couple's first look in the property's manicured garden?

We love how these two brides incorporated texture and personality into their wedding day looks. Says Katie, "We quickly realized that wedding planning can be a full time job itself. We were happy to have the assistance of Patrick, the venue's proprietor, and his staff during our months of planning."

The ceremony took place in front of an old stone springhouse covered in ivy. Programs featured a botanic floral print in soft pastel shades.

The end of the white aisle was flanked with arrangements of white hydrangeas and peach roses. The brides walked down the aisle with their parents, then exchanged traditional vows. Each of their brothers served as best men in navy suits, while the women in their wedding party wore navy dresses of their own choosing.

Inside the historic property, bronze geometric vessels held white flowers, and each place setting was completed with a sprig of lavender. Each guest's seat was marked with a personalized menu, along with a thank you note from the brides.

After sampling shrimp cocktail, lobster rolls, tenderloin sliders, and chickpea falafel during cocktail hour, guests chose between chicken paillard, filet mignon, New Zealand rack of lamb, and Atlantic wild salmon for their entrée.

For dessert, the brides sliced into a three-tiered cake with lavender and white frosting, decorated with fresh hydrangeas and lavender sprigs.

As guests departed, they grabbed bottles of local honey, finished with a sticker that read "Meant to Bee." Those who weren't done partying joined Erin and Katie (in full wedding attire!) as they had drinks at their favorite local pub.

Says Erin, "Keep your wedding simple, and focus on spending time with your guests. Really show them how much you appreciate and love them, and make sure they have a great time. Little things will go wrong, but the details matter so much less than the memories you make that night!"

Venue, Catering & Cake: General Warren Inne || Erin's Wedding Dress: Truly Zac Posen || Katie's Suit: Commonwealth Proper || Hair & Makeup: Michelle's Beautique || Katie's Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co. || Florist: Cottage Flowers || Invitations & Paper Goods: Paper Source || Photographer: Tara Beth Photography

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Feeling inspired by this beautiful wedding? Then we bet you'll love watching another couple's Pennsylvania celebration in the video below.

BRIDES Philadelphia: Unique Wedding Venues That Will ‘Wow’ Your Guests

 Local, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Planning Tips, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on BRIDES Philadelphia: Unique Wedding Venues That Will ‘Wow’ Your Guests
Sep 262016
 
citizens bank park wedding

Photo: Courtesy of Citizens Bank Park

It's no secret that the City of Brotherly Love is known for its rich history, gourmet restaurants, and must-see sights — but there are also some very interesting spaces that give Philadelphia that one-of-a-kind flare. While there are a variety of traditional and classic wedding venues, the Philly event spaces that step outside the conventional bridal venue mold are quite spectacular. Check out some of our favorite unique Philadelphia wedding venues.

Citizens Bank Park
Whether you first met at a ballgame, want to embrace true Philly sports culture, or are just looking for a truly never-been-done venue, Citizens Bank Park hosts weddings year round. With options including on-field ceremonies (can you imagine those photos?) and receptions in the elegant Diamond Club. With all catering and beverage service provided by their in-house caterer, Aramark, couples can design the wedding menu with the wide variety of options that include buffets, stations, entrees, sushi, Viennese hour, and cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres. For custom touches sure to wow your guests, you can display photo montages via Phanavision, and even have Phanatic make a special guest appearance. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Franklin Institute
Rich in history and science, The Franklin Institute is both a museum, and a center of education and research. Boasting awe-inspiring architecture and a rooftop deck with unobstructed views of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, you can host your cocktail reception amongst their exhibits, creating a cocktail hour experience like none other. Dreaming of a moonlight reception? You're in luck — the Franklin Institute can open their planetarium for your wedding reception, or it can also be held beneath the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. Combining these options with their high-end in-house catering and event planning team, weddings held a the Franklin Institute are sure to be talked about for years to come. Read real brides' reviews here!

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
Nestled in South Street, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is a wonderland of art and community combined into one. With both indoor galleries and an outdoor instillation, this space I Isaiah Zagar's largest form of public artwork — and it can be all yours (to rent) for your big day! With magical, folksy vibes at every turn, this mosaic art-inspired locale has no requirements when it comes to catering, vendors, or hourly rental minimum — enabling the soon-to-be married couple to create their dream wedding with limited restrictions. Your special day will be set amongst vibrant color, sculpture, mirrors, and endless objects-turned-art — not too shabby in the photography department. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Find The Perfect Mode Of Transportation For Your Guests On Our Local Vendors Page

Adventure Aquarium
While this venue is located across the river in Camden, NJ, it's only about five minutes by car outside Philadelphia city limits, and is well worth the (quick) trip. Whether you have an affinity for aquatic life or are simply looking for a venue that is far from the norm, Camden's Adventure Aquarium may be just what you're looking for. Complete with a traditional ballroom (that just happens to have some floor to ceiling aquarium tank views, too) and separate ceremony and cocktail hour options — the aquarium also offers breathtaking waterfront city views for the couple that wants a little bit of everything when it comes to their venue. With buffet and seated dinner options and a convenient location, this venue is a must for the couple seeking an one-of-a-kind wedding backdrop. Read real brides' reviews here!

Perelman Theatre at the Kimmel Center

It's your day, and you're the star of the show — so clearly getting married in a state-fo-the-art theater isn't that out of the wedding-day realm. This theater and recital hall also doubles as a dramatic wedding venue that can be transformed into the venue of your dreams. The first level theatre seats can be retracted enabling the space to open and offer variety of seating options whether you're looking for a lavish cocktail-party style reception, or a fully seated formal dinner with dancing. Guests can dine and dance while surrounded by all the intricacies and attractions of a state-of-the-art theatre for a truly exclusive experience.

Not quite sold on any of these gorgeous venues? We have plenty more to choose from on our Local Vendors page!

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WATCH: This Couple’s Pennsylvania Farm Wedding Will Have You Dreaming of Fall

 Pennsylvania, Real Wedding Videos, Real Weddings  Comments Off on WATCH: This Couple’s Pennsylvania Farm Wedding Will Have You Dreaming of Fall
Aug 272016
 

If you've been busy crossing tasks off your pre-wedding to-do list, we think you've earned a few minutes of relaxation — big day-related relaxation, that is. Take a break from planning and organizing and get some much-needed inspiration from our real weddings video channel. Packed with tons of adorable love stories from across the country and beyond. Each week we've been taking you inside one of our favorite new celebrations, and today we can't get enough of Chris and Joann's fall wedding on a Pennsylvania farm.

These newlyweds just might be the sweetest, most in love couple we've seen to date. Don't believe us? Just check out the video Tree of Life Films captured of their big day. From pre-wedding portraits and getting ready straight through the ceremony and reception, this pair never stopped smiling and laughing. Their guests fed off that incredible energy, making the entire day a total blast for everyone in attendance.

See More: 17 Ideas for a Harvest-Inspired Wedding Tablescape

There are more than just the couple's great attitudes to love about this video, though. Chris and Joann tied the knot at one of the prettiest venues we've ever seen for a fall wedding. The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm features expansive landscaping, a beautiful interior for the ceremony, and a peaked tent for the reception. With changing foliage and a knockout sunset as their backdrop, their day could not have been more synonymous with autumn.

Although there was some light rain, the bride and groom refused to let the weather put a damper on their day. The party went on with tons of dancing and even some impromptu dance floor shots. When guests finally had to head home for the night, the couple said their goodbyes with a sparkler exit.

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BRIDES Philadelphia: How to Incorporate Your Love of Philly Into Your Wedding

 Local, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Planning Tips, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on BRIDES Philadelphia: How to Incorporate Your Love of Philly Into Your Wedding
Aug 112016
 

Whether or not you're tying the knot in the City of Brotherly Love or are celebrating elsewhere, there are many unique ways to personalize your festivities and incorporate pieces of Philadelphia in your big day. From favors to food, décor, and more — check out our favorite ways to show your Philly pride as a bride. (See what we did there?)

Menu
There are endless food and drink options to add to your wedding menu that feature certain Philly flair. True Philly cheesesteaks in all shapes and sizes (obviously) can be a delicious addition to your cocktail or after party offerings. For local libations, Philadelphia Brewing Company has over a dozen varieties of beers to choose from, and their Session IPA from PHL is a fan favorite (with a colorful ode to PHL right on the label). Guests will go crazy for a cocktail hour station devoted to all things Philly — where Roast Port Italiano, sausages, Philadelphia's own TastyKakes, and Frank's Soda can be served — just to name a few. The website A Taste of Philly, can also directly ship some of the city's most famous delicacies for out-of-staters who wants some Philly love.

Music
What could be more fun and Philly-focused than entering your reception along with the "Rocky" theme song playing? If that's not for you, there are a variety of other local musicians with Philly roots that can have a spot in your DJ or band's rotation. A first dance to a Boyz II Men hit can help set a romantic-yet-playful mood, and cocktail hour music recorded by John Coltrane can help give off jazzy vibes before the party starts. Bridal party entrances to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is sure to be a hit, and if you want some rap for your after party, Meek Mill is a proud Philadelphian, too.

See More: Show Your Love of Philly on Your Wedding Cake With One of Our Favorite Local Bakers

Favors
Who doesn't love a TastyKake? Get creative and buy your favorite packaged deserts in bulk, and add a custom sticker label for a personal touch. Krimpets, Kandy Kakes, and Snowballs — yum! You can also have custom M&Ms made with team logos and your initials, wedding date, or new monogram for an extra sweet treat. Soft pretzels (a Philly staple) served warm in custom bags as a parting gift for guests will add a savory snack to the end-of-the-night cravngs. Local city business Pennsylvania General Store offers a variety of options for locally-sourced snacks and sweets you can share with your guests.

Décor
When it comes to bringing a little bit of Philly in your wedding décor, the LOVE sculpture is pretty much a given. Not only is it an iconic piece of the former capital of the United States, but is also oh-so-appropriate for weddings photo ops, too. Consider featuring this design in an ice sculpture or incorporating it into your centerpieces. For your escort table, miniature Liberty Bells, skyline cut outs, or state outlines make the perfect graphics to add to cards or as a way to hold them. Custom cake toppers where you and your groom can be depicted wearing your favorite sports jersey are also a perfect way to show your passion for this Pennsylvania city.

Photos
If you love the Eagles, Philies, or Flyers, here's yet another way to show your pride. Throw on your favorite player's jersey (carefully — don't mess up your wedding hair!) for a few fun wedding portraits you can cherish forever. Or, take these photos and more (on the waterfront, at your favorite city spots) as part of your engagement photos, and then display them at your wedding in a slideshow or around the venue in frames.

Want to add some more local flare into your Philly wedding? Check out some of our favorite local vendors here!

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BRIDES Philadelphia: 5 Beautiful Outdoor Wedding Venues in Philly

 Local, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Philadelphia: 5 Beautiful Outdoor Wedding Venues in Philly
Aug 092016
 
Awbury Arboretum Wedding Venue

Photo: Courtesy of Awbury Arboretum

It's a little-known fact that the City of Brotherly Love is referred to as America's Garden Capital, but it's no surprise that so many brides-to-be choose to get hitched in a lush garden wedding venue. For brides who want to be surrounded by beautiful flowers and vibrant greenery when they say "I do," these outdoor venues in Philadelphia won't disappoint.

Awbury Arboretum (Above)
A secret garden, wildflower meadows, towering trees, and wondrous wetlands make this tranquil 55-acre arboretum in Germantown perfectly picturesque. The venue can hold weddings of up to 200 guests and gives access to the Francis Cope House's foyer, three parlors, and front lawns. Read real brides' reviews here!

Philadelphia Magic Garden

Photo: Philadelphia's Magic Garden

Philadelphia's Magic Garden
Philly brides-to-be looking for a really unique (and a little bit funky!) venue will fall in love with this whimsical haven. Intimate weddings can unfold in the outdoor labyrinth, which is completely decked out in glittering mosaic tiles in different eye-catching colors. Think of all the beautiful photo ops for you and your new spouse! Read real brides' reviews here!

Morris Arboretum Wedding Venue

Photo: Courtesy of Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum
With its fragrant magnolia trees, blooming roses, glimmering fountains, and lushly landscaped grounds, the sprawling 92-acre Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is the perfect plush space for an alfresco summer wedding. Exchange vows in one of its romantic gardens and toast your nuptials in the Victorian Carriage House. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Complement Your Outdoor "I Do" Locale with Beautiful Blooms from Philly's Top Florists

Bartrams Garden Wedding Venue

Photo: Diverse Catering via Instagram

Bartram's Garden
If you've always dreamed of tying the knot at a National Historic Landmark, Bartram's Garden is the venue for you. Distinguishing features of the 45-acre space include the Common Flower Garden where ceremonies take place, the Bartram Barn (the oldest barn in Philly!) where guests can mingle over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and the beautiful Coach House that's perfect for a reception. Read real brides' reviews here!

Physick House and Garden Wedding Venue

Photo: Courtesy of Physick House and Garden

Physick House and Garden
Rich with history, this beautiful brick house built in 1786 (the last freestanding Federal townhouse in Society Hill) is where Dr. Philip Syng Physick treated elite patients like Dolley Madison and President Andrew Jackson. Parties in the house's dream-like garden accommodate up to 100 guests for dinner — and dancing under the stars.

More of an indoor girl? These other beautiful Philadelphia venues are definitely worth a look.

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Pink Hues and Metallics Punched Up This Classic Country Club Wedding in Pittsburgh

 Pennsylvania, Real Weddings  Comments Off on Pink Hues and Metallics Punched Up This Classic Country Club Wedding in Pittsburgh
Jun 142016
 

Though Alexa and Max had a big group of mutual friends — and even worked in the same neighborhood! — it took dating site OkCupid to bring them together. All those connections worked in their favor, meaning the pair got serious quickly. "We moved in together just a few months after we started dating and got engaged just nine months after our first date!" says Alexa. "It felt right and was different from any other relationship either of us had ever been in."

They spent a year planning their September 12, 2015, wedding, inviting 150 guests to the Pittsburgh Golf Club. "We loved how beautiful the building is on its own and how open the reception area in front of the fireplace is," says the bride. They accentuated the elegant structure with a romantic vision that combined pale pink and metallic hues with lush flowers. See how they personalized their country club celebration, photographed by Willa J Photography, below.

The bride fell for the very first wedding dress she tried on. "My mom really liked it and she has excellent taste. It fit perfectly without alterations. It was classy but also sexy," Alexa says of her Martina Liana sheath with a lace neckline and an open back.

She paired her gown with side-swept curls, a veil embellished with soft flowers, and rose gold Kate Spade heels. Max opted for a classic look, as well, choosing a black tuxedo paired with a white rose boutonniere.

The groomsmen wore blue suits with ivory ties, allowing the groom to stand out. "Max found a great tailor, so all of the groomsmen's suits were handmade!" says Alexa.

Her bridesmaids wore dresses in mismatched shades of blush, complete with metallic accents scattered throughout. "Coordinating their gowns was a challenge, but in the end, everyone looked beautiful!" The 'maids carried bouquets of white and pale pink dahlias, roses, and eucalyptus. Alexa's bouquet combined white dahlias, football mums, roses, and eucalyptus, wrapped in silver fabric.

The ceremony took place beneath an altar decorated with mums, roses, and draped greenery. Max and Alexa wrote their own vows and were wed in a ceremony officiated by the bride's step-grandfather. "We tried to kiss right after our vows — it was such an emotional moment — but we managed to stop ourselves just in time. Our guests couldn't stop laughing!" says Alexa.

And it wouldn't be a wedding without a little mishap. "Max gave his wedding band to his brother, but he forgot it at home. The groom ended up using his best man's wedding band, but it didn't quite fit. He hadn't told me, so I kept trying to push it on further and didn't realize it was the wrong ring!" Alexa remembers.

At the reception, guests dined on shrimp scampi and a pear salad before a DJ kept everyone on the dance floor. Tables were decorated with arrangements of roses, mums, and dahlias in white and pink, surrounded by clusters of votive candles.

For dessert, the pair cut into a three-tiered cake with textured frosting and fresh pink dahlias on the side. The frosting covered layers of German chocolate cake and sweet coconut filling.

The pair headed to Cartagena, Colombia, for their honeymoon. Says Alexa, "Remember to relax! We didn't want our wedding to feel overdone or too planned, so we focused on each other and planning a celebration that reflected us."

Venue & Catering: The Pittsburgh Golf Club || Bride's Wedding Dress: Martina Liana || Shoes: Kate Spade || Wedding Bands: Henne Jewelers || Florist: Gidas Flowers || Invitations: Minted || Music: DJ Selecta || Photographer: Willa J Photography

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This Intimate Celebration at a Pennsylvania Inn Is an Elegant Take on a Fall Wedding

 Pennsylvania, Real Weddings  Comments Off on This Intimate Celebration at a Pennsylvania Inn Is an Elegant Take on a Fall Wedding
Jun 022016
 

In September of 2008, just days after Kelsey started her freshman year at Suffolk University in Boston, she was wandering through the Public Garden with a new classmate when the pair ran into Sean, a junior. "My friend had actually gone to high school with him, so he invited us to a party that night," Kelsey remembers. The couple dated all through college, and ended up moving to New York City together after Kelsey graduated. In September of 2014, Sean took Kelsey back to Boston for a romantic weekend where their relationship began — but he didn't propose! Instead, he waited until they got back to the city, and popped the question outside of their apartment building. "When we got upstairs, our family and closest friends were there for a champagne toast!" says the bride.

They spent a year planning their wedding, choosing the Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm in Holicoing, Pennsylvania, for its close proximity to Kelsey's childhood home. They invited 180 guests to join them at the inn for the weekend of September 26, 2015, hosting everything from the rehearsal dinner to the morning-after brunch on the property. "We felt like we were home for the whole weekend," Kelsey says. The main event was a lush, seasonal affair that highlighted the beauty of the inn with ivory blooms, greenery, and hints of gold. Emily Wren photographed the totally stunning celebration — check it out, below!

Kelsey's bridesmaids (and her mom!) totally sparkled, all wearing silver beaded gowns that popped against the bride's lace wedding dress.

Silver Jimmy Choo wedges and a lace-edged veil complemented Kelsey's lace fit-and-flare wedding dress by Pnina Tornai. The stunning silhouette was complete with a plunging back and was perfect for an evening of dancing. Her bouquet combined dahlias and ranunculus, surrounded with eucalyptus leaves and tied with fabric from the bride's mom's veil.

Sean wore a classic tuxedo with a white ranunculus boutonniere. His pocket square actually belongs to the bride, and was embroidered with her name by her godmother.

"We loved the charm and feel of Bucks County, and knew we wanted to have the entire wedding in one place," says Kelsey of their decision to marry at the Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm. The groomsmen matched Sean in classic tuxedos, while Kelsey's bridesmaids wore white and silver beaded Parker gowns.

Included in the wedding décor was a tandem bicycle, decked out in fresh blooms. "Sean and I used to love renting a tandem bike in Boston while we were in college — we even had gold tandem bikes printed on our cocktail napkins!" Kelsey explains.

The ceremony took place beneath a towering tree, with vintage pews used for the first and last rows of chairs.

The entrance to the aisle was marked with arrangements of dahlias and hydrangeas, studded with stalks of wheat. The flower-covered altar had strips of ivory fabric flowing in the breeze and glass orbs with tiny succulents tucked inside.

The pair had a traditional ceremony, but added a few personal touches. "Sean requested that I walk down the aisle to 'Can't Help Falling in Love,'" says the bride. "And my uncle is the band director at Virginia Military Institute, so he played the trumpet alongside a string quartet. For our recessional, I chose 'All You Need is Love' — I definitely stole that from Love Actually!"

Cocktail hour was on the inn's lawn, where guests were treated to a beer tap wall featuring three of the couple's favorites: Miller Lite (their college beer of choice), Yuengling (from Pennsylvania) and Santaky Light (in honor of their favorite memories on Nantucket).

The escort card display was a lush tray full of succulents, roses, and orchids surrounded by votive candles. Cards were hung from strings and tucked in between the blooms for an organic, natural feel.

Instead of a gift table, guests were encouraged to drop boxes and bags into a handmade wheelbarrow, set alongside potted blooms and an ornate birdcage card holder.

Beneath the tent, farm tables were arranged across the wooden floor. To help blend the reception tent in with the rest of the property, posts were wrapped in greenery and twinkle lights, and white drapery hung from the ceiling added a dose of glam. Round tables were covered with white linens and dressed with centerpieces of hydrangeas, gold-painted seed pods, and eucalyptus leaves.

Other tables featured taller arrangements of hydrangeas, delphinium, and orchids to complement the height of the tent's ceiling. The farm tables were decked out with long, low arrangements of orchids, roses, and greenery, with candles nestled in between.

The main showstopper was the "living chandelier", with hydrangeas, orchids, and astilbe hanging elegantly over the dance floor.

Place settings featured gold-rimmed chargers and menus tucked into napkins alongside sprigs of herbs. At the sweetheart table, an organic arrangement flowed off the edge and an upholstered love seat awaited the newlyweds.

For dinner, guests were served a grilled peach salad and a petite filet with bay scallops. "But the real highlight was the late night snacks! We had mini Philly cheesesteaks because I'm from outside of the city, and mini lobster rolls because Sean is from Connecticut," Kelsey says.

We're totally in love with this cake table, with an elevated glass platform covering a lush display of moss, roses, orchids, and hydrangeas. The cake itself is simply sweet, with all-white frosting and a cluster of fresh white dahlias.

A live band played during the reception, with a DJ taking over for the after-party. "We had wish lanterns and a fire pit with s'mores outside, and it was the perfect 'send off' before heading to the after-party," says Kelsey.

The bride offers up some great dress-shopping advice. "Even if you know you want a fitted dress, try on a ball gown just for fun," she says. "I put on a few, and it actually made me a little less calm — I wasn't as sure as I'd thought about a fitted dress, until I put on The One!"

Venue & Catering: The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm || Wedding Planner: LeeAnn Kalb; Weddings & Events by Janet || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Pnina Tornai || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Parker || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Diana Vincent Jewelry Designs || Bouquets & Cocktail Hour Décor: Newtown Floral Company || Reception Florals: Weddings & Events by Janet || Invitations & Paper Goods: Minted || Cake: The Caketeria || Videographer: Video One Productions || Photographer: Emily Wren Photography

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Want more rustic wedding ideas? Then check out another couple's laid-back nuptials in the video below.

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