Whimsical Philadelphia Wedding: Carolyn + Brian
Here’s a couple that loves Philly. So much so that they jokingly referred to their wedding as “BH-CH Domestic” for their desire to support as many local Philly vendors for their wedding as possible. “From the sustainable florist in Chestnut Hill whose flowers all come from her own grow fields, to the DJ who’s a Philebrity in her own right, to the Fishtown baker who repurposes extra cake into “Amazeballs”, we really dug the idea that our nuptials would directly support the Philadelphia economy.” How rad is that? And let’s not overlook her darling embroidered BHLDN dress that she wore as Peach Plum Pear Photography shot them in their South Philly neighborhood.
Aside from the artichoke, all flowers in Carolyn’s bridal bouquet were locally grown and harvested by their florist – the dogwood, heirloom daffodils, ranunculus, anemones, and tulips.
My best advice is to sit down with your partner early on in the planning process and identify some top priorities. Otherwise you’ll kill yourself obsessing over things that you never thought mattered till you saw them on Pinterest. (Looking at you, whimsical escort card display!) We knew we wanted a thoughtful, personal ceremony; interesting food and drink; and an unexpected wedding experience for our guests — so that’s what we focused on.
Want to know what that unexpected wedding experience was? Karoke! Yep, they ended the reception with it – a decision I was nervous about at first (who would get up in front of 220 people and sing?!) but one I’m so glad we made. It turns out that a ton of our guests have beautiful singing voices! Plus, it was a lot cheaper than hiring a live band!
You can tell a lot about a couple from their music choices, and based off some of their playlist, we’d say they’re a fun bunch.
Brian and I put a lot of effort into the playlist for the evening, making sure all our favorite music was well represented (and skipping some of the standards that aren’t meaningful to us). From the ceremony (The Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love”; The New Pornographers’ “Letter from an Occupant”) and first dance (Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams”) to the Ke$ha-heavy dance playlist, we made sure the music was a reflection of our personalities. (Our guests loved learning that Brian, who leans toward indie rock and electronica, is the big Ke$ha fan in our house.) Dancing to Ke&ha with my grandmother is a moment I won’t soon forget.
Brian and I knew from the start that we wanted to throw an amazing party for all our friends and family — and get married during it! By thinking this way, we took a lot of pressure off ourselves, knowing that our big day didn’t have to follow the rules of what a wedding was supposed to look like. We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen and we didn’t have a color scheme, but our 215 guests made the day bright, beautiful and full of color. Our self-uniting ceremony, buoyed by a few readings, stories and symbolic gestures from family members and close friends, was personal to us and included lots of laughs — weddings are joyous occasions, so we wanted everyone to get in on our bliss! We both felt strongly that our budget should support the local economy, so all of our vendors (save for the designer, one of my oldest friends and an incredibly talented artist who lives in California) were based in and around Philadelphia, from the florist who grows her own blooms to the DJ who moonlights as a Philly karaoke master. In the end, it was the perfect day because we got to hug our closest friends and family, eat our favorite foods, drink our favorite beer, hear — and sing — our favorite songs, dance the night away and, most importantly, celebrate love with people we love.
Photographer: Peach Plum Pear Photography / Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Icebox at Crane Arts / Event Coordinator/Designer: Natalie Diener / Invitation Designer: Imin Yeh / Hair & Makeup: Matthew Sky (note: Matthew is the bride’s uncle, a makeup artist in New York; he doesn’t do wedding hair/makeup professionally) / Florist: Love ‘n Fresh Flowers / Cake: Whipped Bakeshop / Catering: Diverse Catering / Rentals: Ocean Tents & Party Rentals and Avista Custom Theatrical Services / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Shoes: Anthropologie / Earrings: vintage, from Forage in Fredericksburg, VA / Groom’s Suit: Boyd’s Philadelphia / Shoes: Allen Edmonds