It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I am so excited to share the story and the beautiful pictures from the wedding that I planned a few months ago. The timing couldn’t be better as the wedding is currently being featured on essence.com!
The story begins with an eager friend (me) who was always on the lookout for a suitable match for her BFF (the bride). We were out one night at a networking event when we were casually introduced to him (the groom). After a bit of small talk, we went our separate ways. She mentioned that she thought he was cute and before she could get another word out, I was heading in his direction to find out what his situation was. Once I gave him the once over, I made sure they exchanged numbers and the rest is history. Turns out he is an amazing guy and he’s perfect for her! I feel so blessed to have made their love connection.
When he proposed, I knew I had my work cut out. As an event planner, naturally I would plan the wedding. But as the bride’s best friend, I was also the matron-of-honor. And since Journey is the bride’s goddaughter, she was the flower girl.
The couple decided to have an intimate wedding in the bride’s hometown of Philadelphia. “Romantic” was the word used when I asked the bride what kind of wedding she envisioned. From that, we decided that the theme would be vintage chic—the perfect fusion of romance and style. The color palette was classic black and ivory with charcoal gray and blush accents.
The bride chose a simple but elegant letterpress invitation. We added the ribbon and rhinestone button to give it a little bling.
Guests staying at the host hotel received a Welcome to Philadelphia goodie bag that included a note from the couple along with information about local attractions, a replica of the famous LOVE statue and a few of the bride’s favorite Philly snacks.
The bride wore a Rivini gown, Badgley Mischka shoes, a custom birdcage veil by Artikal, and a stunning custom-made necklace.
The wedding flowers were a mixture of blush and ivory roses, white calla lilies, white hydrangeas and white francoas that were hand-selected by wedding designer, Hiram Style.
The bride wanted to surprise the groom with a little gift, so she asked me to make this. We had the ring bearer deliver it to him a few hours before the ceremony. Thankfully, he didn’t need them.
Since the bride really wanted a romantic feel to the ceremony, we used lots of floating candles, flowy sheer fabric and soft pink uplighting to create an intimate space.
Rather than have a large wedding party, the couple opted to have honorary bridesmaids and groomsmen that walked in as part of the processional but only had the matron-of-honor and best man stand with the couple. It was a great way to include special friends and family in the ceremony without all of the extra fuss.
Instead of a ring pillow, I decorated this wedding bible for the ring bearer to carry down the aisle.
With groom being from Louisiana and living in Houston and the bride hailing from Philadelphia and living in Brooklyn, New York, we wanted to come up with a way for their family and friends to get to know them better. So we designed a magazine as the program which featured ceremony details along with photos, interviews and tidbits about their relationship. It was also a great way to use the couple’s amazing engagement photos. This was my favorite element of the wedding. Everyone is still talking about it!
Rather than use typical escort cards, I created seating charts using an eclectic mix of mirror and glass picture frames to direct guests to their seats for dinner.
The reception décor featured rhinestones, mirrors and mercury glass to accent the focal point of the room—a stunning 19-foot handcrafted chandelier of dangling pearls. Each table was set with a custom charcoal gray runner to highlight the rich dark wood tables and flowers in mercury glass vases, mercury glass candle holders and floating candles.
The sweetheart table featured a custom monogrammed tablecloth, large flower arrangements and floating candles as well.
As favors, guest received Godiva white chocolate pearls. The packaging matched the wedding colors and pearl chandelier. We personalized by adding the ribbon, thank you tag and a little rhinestone.
We also handed out personalized handkerchiefs and mardi gras beads on the dance floor when the DJ played second line music, paying homage to the groom’s New Orleans roots.
It was a beautiful wedding and couple was all smiles all day! Here are a few other great photos taken by our fab photographer, Nelson. See more pictures and learn more about the couple at essence.com.
Wedding Planner: TRUE
Wedding Photographer: Nelson J. Photography
Wedding Decorator: Hiram Style
Wedding Venue: Hyatt at the Bellevue, Philadelphia, PA