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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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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: 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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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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A Philadelphia Greenhouse Was the Backdrop for One Couple’s Colorful Fall Wedding

 Philadelphia, Real Weddings  Comments Off on A Philadelphia Greenhouse Was the Backdrop for One Couple’s Colorful Fall Wedding
Aug 082016
 

Christine Agnello and Scott Ellis first met through mutual friends in September of 2010, but it took seven months for the pair to officially become a couple. Three years later, Scott popped the question on the rooftop of the house that he and Christine share. Once she said "Yes!" the future Mr. and Mrs. began planning their dream day in Philadelphia, leaning largely on their own expertise and the team of vendors they had in place. "I didn't have a wedding planner at all, so I took on all of the planning and coordinating myself," Christine says. "It was stressful because I wasn't sure if my vision would come together, but all of my vendors exceeded my expectations!"

With the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center locked in as their venue, Christine and Scott invited 150 guests to join them for a colorful fall wedding on October 10, 2015. "We loved the rustic feel of getting married in a greenhouse and that we had the option have the ceremony outdoors if the weather was warm," the bride says. Their day went off without a hitch, and thanks to Lauren Fair Photography, we can take a look inside this adorable duo's poppy-hued party!

Mint, green, and gold are Christine's favorite colors, so it was only fitting that the couple's Wedding Paper Diva's invitation suite featured the three bright hues. To further commemorate their date, Christine and Scott had a rustic wooden sign created with their wedding date. It served as the perfect backdrop for photos of the bride's beautiful engagement ring and the duo's wedding bands.

The bride got ready with her 'maids in low-key fashion: The ladies relaxed with glasses of champagne while having their hair and makeup done, giving Christine the perfect chance to show off her "something blue" manicure.

Christine admits she never had a "magical" dress shopping moment during which she knew she had found her gown. "I just kept going back to the store and trying on the same dress over and over again until one of my best friends said, 'If you've tried it on this many times, I think this is the dress,'" the bride says. The off-white lace style featured an open back and fit Christine like a glove. Although she was meant to complete her look with a pair of blue pumps, she made a last minute decision to wear a pair of comfortable Toms instead. "The heels were sinking into the mud during photos, so I switched to my blue Toms and wore the whole night!"

Her final touch was a bright bouquet of dahlias, succulents, billy balls, and eucalyptus, as well as an all-white flower crown — the latter of which almost didn't make it to the wedding. One of Scott's groomsmen was tasked with picking up the wedding flowers, driving the bouquets to the ladies, and then bringing the boutonnieres back to the guys. While the bouquets arrived without trouble, it wasn't until the groom's attendant made it back to the hotel that the bride realized her flower crown hadn't been delivered. "He didn't have enough time to come back so he sent it with an Uber driver instead," Christine says. But the drama didn't end there. "The driver couldn't find out house, so he actually just handed the bag with the flower crown to a random person walking on the street. That person just so happened to be my photographer, so it all worked out, but that was stressful."

Scott wore a blue suit and a mint green bowtie — which he learned how to tie specifically for the big day. "He's always wanted to learn how to tie a bowtie, so it was really special for him that he learned how to do it for his wedding," Christine says. His succulent and billy ball boutonniere complemented his bride's beautiful arrangement.

Christine had two main requirements for her bridesmaids' dresses: First, they needed to be comfortable, and second, she didn't want anyone to spend more than they could afford to. "I love the mismatched look, so I gave them a range of blue and green colors as options and let them all find their own dresses," the bride says. "It was just a coincidence that everyone ended up wearing full-length dresses. I was so happy with how it all came together!"

To tie their looks together, each attendant carried a natural bouquet with the same blooms as the bride's.

Like Christine, Scott wanted to give his attendants flexibility in choosing their outfits, too. Each guy chose his own shirt, pants, and bowtie, but all wore the same vest, which went well the duo's rustic theme.

Since the weather didn't quite agree with the bride and groom, the duo exchanged vows inside the property's plant-filled greenhouse. At the end of a long aisle, a wooden structure was decorated with draped fabric and a swag of greenery, succulents, and colorful flowers.

On each seat, guests found a paper cone filled with colorful pom poms that were to be tossed once Christine and Scott were officially husband and wife.

The couple decided to write their own vows, which was one of the most special moments of the day for both the bride and groom. "We didn't know what the other person was going to write and we ended up both saying, 'My heart is yours forever.' It was such an amazing moment knowing that we were both thinking the same thing," says the bride.

Fittingly, the newly minted husband and wife recessed to Colbie Caillat's "I Do."

Playing off their greenhouse venue, the bride and groom directed guests to their seats with escort cards that were tucked into mini potted succulents that also doubled as favors.

The greenhouse was transformed for the couple's evening ceremony. Round tables surrounded the black and white checkered dance floor and a long wooden table was set in the back of the reception for the wedding party. Each table was decorated with blue bud vases filled with flowers.

Over the head table, a hanging chandelier of single-stemmed flowers lent a romantic, whimsical vibe to the space. To designate their chairs, Christine and Scott chose painted "Mr." and "Mrs." signs.

The couple's festive signature cocktail was a mix of gin, lemon juice, and prosecco, and was aptly dubbed "Gin + Bubbles." Guests dug into a butternut squash and burrata salad as well as short rib and branzino entrées.

The duo selected homey flavors for their blue and white ombré wedding cake: Tiers were made of blueberry buttermilk cake with peach curd and honey buttercream and red velvet cake with honey buttercream.

"Just focus on each other and forget the rest," Christine, who honeymooned in Signapore and Bali, advises future brides. "It's not worth it to stress about something that no one will notice. It's just one day of your life and the best is yet to come. Seriously!"

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Fairmount Park Horticulture Center || Floral & Event Designer: Belovely || Bride's Wedding Dress: Katie May, purchased at Lovely Bride || Shoes: Toms || Hair & Makeup: Philly Hair and Makeup Co. || Groom's Attire: Henry A. Davidsen || Engagement Ring: Deborah Finn Rittenhouse Jewelers || Wedding Bands: Safian & Rudolph Jewelers || Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas || Music: CTO Tribeca || Catering: Starr Catering Group || Cake: Saylormade || Rentals: Maggpie Vintage Rentals || Videographer: Willow Tree Films || Photographer: Lauren Fair Photography

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Did you love this couple's wedding? Then check out another Philadelphia celebration in the video below.

WATCH: Afraid of Wedding Day Rain? This Celebration Proves You Don’t Have to Be

 Philadelphia, Real Wedding Videos, Real Weddings  Comments Off on WATCH: Afraid of Wedding Day Rain? This Celebration Proves You Don’t Have to Be
Aug 062016
 

If you're a bride-to-be, we have a feeling your weekend looks a little something like this: Eat, sleep, plan a wedding, and repeat. With two free days to devote entirely towards wedding planning, you might be in need of a little inspiration. Enter our real wedding video channel, packed with sweet love stories and idea-packed celebrations. Each week we take a deep dive into one of our favorite new parties, and today we're giving you the inside scoop on Cristina and Ryan's romantic Philadelphia wedding.

Is rain on your wedding day your biggest fear? This beautiful party, which was captured by Florescio Films, will put those worries to rest. Despite less than perfect wedding weather, Cristina and Ryan's wedding at Stone House went off without a hitch — and looked beautiful, to boot. Rainy skies simply meant guests would have one extra accessory: Umbrellas!

See More: 25 Wedding Bouquets Full of Fresh and Fragrant Herbs

Despite the stormy weather, nothing could put a damper on this couple's good mood. They met for their first look on a covered porch, meaning they could stay dry while still having the natural surroundings as their backdrop. The darker lighting also lent a romantic vibe to their ceremony, thanks in large part to floor-to-ceiling windows behind the altar.

You would have no idea that it was raining during this couple's dinner reception and dance party. Guests danced the night away without giving a second thought to the weather outside.

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A Preppy Philadelphia Wedding with a Sparkling Twist

 Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Real Weddings  Comments Off on A Preppy Philadelphia Wedding with a Sparkling Twist
Apr 052016
 

Quinn made his way into Kelly's heart the very first time they met: "We were at my maid of honor's birthday party in 2011, and he was on crutches," says Kelly. "I thought it was adorable!" The pair dated for three years before Quinn got down on one knee during a walk along Philadelphia's Boat House Row with their dog, Sully.

The self-described preppy couple knew they wanted to wed in the City of Brotherly Love, choosing St. Patrick's Church for their ceremony and falling for the glitz of the ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, for their reception. So on July 18th, 2015, they invited 220 guests to join them for an elegant summer affair, planned by Truly You Events and photographed by Tina Jay Photography. See how they captured the city's atmosphere (with a sparkling twist!), below.

After trying on a handful of gowns "just for fun" with her mom and maid of honor — "Let's just say shoulder pads and sequins aren't my style!" the bride laughs — Kelly fell for a Watters ball gown with a beaded bodice and a soft net skirt. She paired the gown with a chic chignon, silver Cole Haan pumps, her grandmother's pearl necklace, and a pearl hair comb hand-made by her cousin. A bouquet of navy-centered anemones, peach stock, blush lisianthus, and garden roses, all tied with gold sequin ribbon, was a perfect match for the summer affair.

The couple's traditional invitation suite (with a shimmering gold bellyband for good measure) let guests know exactly what was in store: A formal event with a lighthearted twist.

The ring bearer donned navy Converse with his seersucker shorts, while the flower girl wore a flower crown and carried a gold-embellished nosegay.

"As soon as we walked in to St. Patrick's, I knew how special it would be to meet Quinn at the end of the aisle," Kelly says. The tiled floor and dramatic ceiling didn't need much decoration, so just two arrangements of hydrangeas and garden roses flanked the altar.

"Walking down the aisle with my dad is one of my favorite memories," says the bride. "He looked so proud and happy for me, it was such a special moment."

The couple kept their wedding party classic, with groomsmen in tuxedos and bridesmaids in navy Amsale gowns. "I wanted them to wear dresses that would be comfortable in the July heat," says Kelly. The bridesmaids' bouquets, combining garden roses and white ranunculus, were tied with navy ribbon to match their gowns.

The classically-dressed pair wandered Philadelphia for photos. "I loved my cathedral veil, I felt so regal!" Kelly says.

After cocktail hour, guests were greeted with a dramatic escort card display. Navy sequin linens and white calla lilies topped a table where trays filled with gold glitter held the escort cards. "We used the table again later in the night — for cheesesteaks!" says Kelly.

Inside the ballroom, tables were dressed in navy linens and topped with white and blush arrangements of hydrangeas and roses. Crystal Chivari chairs added a playful spin to the formal, elegant setting. For a touch of sparkle, table numbers were gold glitter script, and candles were placed in gold mercury votives.

The bride and groom's chairs were draped with hydrangeas and strands of gold sequin ribbon. Guests sipped champagne from flutes rimmed in gold sugar and ate slices of carrot cake and vanilla pound cake with raspberry filling.

The couple's pup couldn't be at the party, but they filled their guest book with photos of them and their dog, and skipped favors, choosing instead to make a donation to the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society.

After their first dance to "Is This Love" by Bob Marley, Kelly and Quinn snuck out to Broad Street with their photographer (and some sparklers!) for photos. "We had so much fun!" says the bride, who headed to Australia with her husband for three weeks to tour Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, Lizard Island, and Sydney.

One of the bride's other favorite memories? The evening before. "My mom and I stayed at the hotel together the night before the wedding, chatting and laughing. She made me feel so ready for the wedding, I was so happy to have her by my side," Kelly remembers.

Ceremony Venue: St. Patrick's Church || Reception Venue: The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia || Wedding Planner: Truly You Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Watters || Shoes: Cole Haan || Hair & Makeup: Duette Hair & Makeup Design || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Groomsmen's Attire: Black by Vera Wang || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Winthrop Jewelers || Florist: Petals Lane || Invitations & Paper Goods: Chick Invitations || Music: Sid Miller Dance Band || Catering & Cake: Reception Venue: The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia || Rentals: Ultrapom; Party Rental Ltd. || Favors: Donation to Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society || Videography: Rosetree Films || Photography: Tina Jay Photography

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Looking for more weddings just like this one? Then check out another couple's celebration in the heart of Philadelphia in the video below.

Feb 022016
 

Sometimes in the great search for the perfect wedding venue, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? Browsing the top-notch spots to get married. Ever. In our new February/March 2016 issue (on newsstands now!), we call out the best venues — indoor and outdoor, big and small, luxury and budget-friendly — across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,500 real brides and grooms nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to say "I do" — by rating their own wedding location on everything, including service, food, view, and much more. From great plantations and rustic farms in the South to elegant libraries and grand hotels in the Northeast to romantic, swoon-worthy wineries on the West Coast, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite venues in the Northeast.

Boston Public Library, Boston (Above)
Get hitched in the columned courtyard, then party in the book-lined main hall. Bonus: You can use the old-school reading tables for your candlelit dinner.

Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston
Wherever you wed— the 80-foot-dome rotunda, the dockside pavilion, the rooftop terrace— guests will be wowed by the awesome harbor views.

Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, Massachusetts
At this classic Cape Cod retreat, weddings are all about the sea, whether you make it official on the ocean-view lawn or dance in the beachside boathouse.

White Elephant, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Dress your guy in his preppy best for cocktails, cornhole, and nautical-inspired vows on the hotel's lawn, followed by fresh oysters on the terrace overlooking the harbor.

LaBelle Winery, Amherst, New Hampshire
A wine-country wedding in New England? Believe it. Say "I do" among the grapes, then toast your nuptials with bubbly or blueberry wine in the wood-beamed great room.

The Ashford Estate, Allentown, New Jersey
Take over this 30-acre property and you and your squad will have full run of the mansion, 12 guest suites, manicured gardens, and a rustic barn chapel. theashfordestate.com.

Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, Montauk, New York
With a private beach and a tented deck overlooking the Atlantic, this newly renovated hot spot at the tip of Long Island wins raves for its on-site planner and pastry chef.

Gramercy Park Hotel, New York
A favorite of the fashion crowd, this hotel draws brides with its chic rooftop garden (complete with a retractable roof), skyline views, and on-point Danny Meyer menu.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York
Set on a working farm just north of New York City, this restaurant is known for its uberlocal cuisine and insane photo ops. Think wild gardens and rolling pastures, plus sheep, cows, and chickens!

See More: Keep Your Dance Floor Packed All Night With These Northeastern DJs!

Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, Philadelphia
Want to slash your flower budget? You won't need much decor for a ceremony in the park's gardens or in its gorge greenhouse, lush with ferns and palms.

Providence Public Library, Providence
With columns, a wrought-iron balcony, and turn-of-the-last-century gilded details, the Grand Hall reads more "palace" than "library." Instead of walking the aisle, make your entrance down an elegant marble staircase.

Mountain Top Inn, Chittenden, Vermont
Kick off the day with a morning hike, then exchange vows on a hilltop or barn with major Green Mountain views.

Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES February/March 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!

Want to see more Northeastern Venues? Check out our Northeastern Venues page to find your perfect location!

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One Couple’s Nautical Wedding at the URBN Headquarters in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard

 Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Real Weddings  Comments Off on One Couple’s Nautical Wedding at the URBN Headquarters in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard
Aug 312015
 

It all started back in eighth grade, when Emily and Matt found one another in the same English and social studies classes. A few shared assignments (and a tip from Emily's best friend) led Matt to ask her to be his date to the eighth grade semiformal. Though they dated — and drifted apart — as eighth graders do, Matt and Emily reconnected as high school seniors, where dinner at the local pizza parlor kicked off their relationship yet again, and this time it stuck. Six years later, for their anniversary, Matt surprised Emily with a timeline of their relationship in pictures scattered throughout their apartment. The last photo was of Philadelphia's Swann Fountain, and Emily had no idea why it was there. A mere half-hour later, she figured it out when Matt led her to the fountain and asked her to marry him.

The couple found a spectacular and unique venue, the headquarters of URBN (home base to Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, BHLDN, and Free People) in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, hired J. Scott Walsh of Oleander Florals & Events to plan every detail, and brought in Lauren Fair Photography to capture it all. Keep reading to check it out!

Even with such a unique space, Emily wanted to keep the event's design classic, timeless, and nautically-inspired. She embodied vintage glamour with a lace and satin Priscilla of Boston gown, a cathedral-length veil, and gold glitter J.Crew flats.

"The dress was so glamorous, but had a modern feel," says Emily. "I loved how I looked in it, and I knew Matt would love it!" She carried a bouquet of white blooms, ranging from garden roses to tulips, all tied with a gold ribbon. Emily's bridesmaids carried similar bouquets, studded with anemones and tied with blue and white striped ribbons.

With bridesmaids in gold sequins and groomsmen in tuxedos, the bridal party offered a formal contrast to the Navy Yard background.

Invitations had a nautical feel, mixing a Philadelphia cityscape with classic script. Emily learned how to do calligraphy and hand-addressed all of the envelopes herself!

The Navy Yard's Chapel of Four Chaplains was the perfect location for the couple's waterfront ceremony.

The church was decorated with garlands of greenery and nautical ropes.

Emily and Matt wrote their own vows, and hers had a fun twist: "I started my vows by quoting "Everytime We Touch" by Cascada. Matt used to text me the lyrics as a way of saying he missed me, so we've always had a soft spot for the song. Our guests burst out laughing, knowing exactly where the lyrics came from!"

Escort cards were displayed on farm tables decorated with white roses and tulips. Emily spray-painted ocean animals gold, then tied them to cards where she calligraphed each guest's name and table assignment. Nautical stripes, white flowers, and warm lighting filled the warehouse space.

Gold vessels were filled with white and green flowers, and green water glasses added a pop of color to the tables. Guests wandered between Southern comfort food stations, including buttermilk fried chicken, dry aged filet with roasted sweet potatoes, and crab cake sliders.

Instead of a cake, the couple served funfetti and red velvet cupcakes, then wheeled out a late-night ice cream sundae bar!

Emily and Matt, who honeymooned in St. Lucia the Monday after their wedding, recommend both the bride and groom getting involved in the planning process. "A wedding is a huge undertaking, and working together with Matt got us both more excited and helped relieve some of the pressure," Emily says.

Ceremony Venue: The Chapel of Four Chaplains || Reception Venue: URBN B543 || Wedding & Floral Design: Oleander Florals & Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston || Shoes: J.Crew || Jewelry: Etsy || Hair: Happily Ever After Hair || Makeup: Dylan Michael Cosmetics || Bridesmaids' Dresses & Groom's Attire: Calvin Klein || Invitations: Spark Letterpress || Music: Silver Sound || Cake: The Createrie || Videography: Willow Tree Films || Photography: Lauren Fair Photography

Ready to get more Philadelphia wedding inspiration? Check out this couple's romantic day in the same city!

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