Planning a Wedding

May 27, 2015

A Very Personalized Day

We met through mutual friends, who we both knew from growing up.  At their February 2009 wedding, sparks flew (we were both in the bridal party)! At the time, I was living in California and Dave was living in the Philadelphia area.  We communicated long distance via email for months and finally decided we should meet up.  We spent a super fun weekend in Las Vegas and decided that we could make the long distance thing work!  We were 3000 miles apart for a year and a half and used this time to get to know one another in a real and deep way through lots of conversation.  In 2010, I decided to move back to the Philadelphia area to allow our relationship to grow.  On December 28, 2013, Dave completely shocked me when he proposed in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. In my mind, we were headed to dinner with friends!  He had a different plan.  The best part by far was that he arranged for all of our family and closest friends to be waiting at a local restaurant.  As soon as I said “yes!” we were greeted at the restaurant by lots of love, congrats, and champagne.  It was a magical evening.  Our wedding day was such a fabulous start to our life together, as so many people we love were in one space.  We’re so excited for the future—to continue to build our home and family and love for one another.

We knew we wanted something modern, eclectic, and not super traditional.  When we visited Reading Art Works, we fell in love!  We loved the unique feel and the ability to personalize and make the space our own.  The loft space is just amazing- the light! The wood floors! The open feel! We really wanted a space that could house everything, so that all our guests needed to worry about was having a great time. Reading Art Works worked really well, as we had our ceremony upstairs, cocktail hour in the gallery, and the reception back upstairs. I will never forget the moment of walking down the aisle, with all of our friends and family in the space, the sunlight gleaming in the windows, the lights at the altar twinkling, and Dave there smiling and waiting.  It truly was a beautiful moment in a breathtaking space.


A beautiful wedding at RAW

ViVA Catering was wonderful, especially our coordinator Rachael.  Working with her was like a dream come true.  She was incredibly organized and really listened to what we wanted and helped make it happen.  I love check-lists and every little detail spelled out, which Rachael made happen seamlessly. The food was so tasty (we got tons of compliments!) and the service was top-notch.  Rachael was my ally in making sure all of the moving parts came together.  I came to trust her so much and was so happy that she was actually there for our wedding day.  We had a very positive experience with VIVA Catering and would recommend them to any engaged couple.

We were pretty much obsessed with making our wedding a reflection of us.  We wanted lots of joy and laughter and fun.  For our ceremony: we had a close friend marry us and designed our ceremony from scratch.  We wrote our own vows and incorporated the music we liked into our ceremony.  We invited a friend to read a poem and friends to give us marriage advice.  We also served a pre-ceremony cocktail, which was really fun! Karen from Reading Art Works created as awesome altar installation made of fabric and ribbon that was the perfect back drop for our “I do’s!” In terms of attire: I had my girls choose their own styles and I gifted them with accessories that I thought each girl would like.  For our guys, we wanted suits and shirts that they could use again and loved the idea of each choosing a bow tie or regular tie.  For my dress, I wanted something traditionally styled, but modern.  When I found the striped ballgown—I knew it was the one.  In terms of our reception:  I tried to incorporate lots of patterns (love to pattern mix!) and lots of sophisticated gold.  Our centerpieces were collections of antique bottles, which my father has been collecting since he was a teenager, on top of table runners, which my aunt sewed by hand.  Our top priority was an amazing band that would keep the party going all night, which we found in The Edge.  Everything came together in the most amazing and beautiful way.  We were unapologetic in being true to ourselves and our style and it totally paid off.


David & Sara (and her striped ballgown!)


Color-coordinated cocktails







Early on, we listed our top priorities and non-negotiables.  There are SO many ideas and not all fit our event. I kept a private Pinterest board (gotta keep some surprises for the big day! 🙂 and shared with my bridesmaids. For any idea, I considered if it fit with the overall vision of the day (sophisticated, fun, mint+jade green+gold) and either incorporated or ditched.  I loved the idea of mixing round tables with banquet tables, which we incorporated into our reception.  Gold is also having a ‘moment’ right now and I totally jumped on board.  I tried to not get overwhelmed with everything we could do, and just stuck with our priorities.  For example, we ended up not having a photo booth (could have been fun!), but in the end, no one really noticed or cared.  We did have props for the dance floor and they got quite the use!  In the end, we tried not to let the details stress us out (because they totally will if you let them!) One piece of advice we got was to have a videographer.  We teetered as to if we really wanted/ needed one and in the end, I’m so glad we went with it!  Our videographer, Darla Fox Events, captured so many beautiful moments that we didn’t even realize happened.

Do what feels right for you two and be true to who you are.  It was important to us that our wedding be the reflection of us and our personalities.  As the wedding planning starts, so many opinions will pop up and people will name what you should do. Go with what will make you happy and don’t be scared of something because it’s different or non-traditional.  Our guests still talk to us all the time about little elements and details from our big day.

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