there were two things i was certain of when i got engaged
the guy i was going to marry
and that there would be mason jars at my wedding
lots of them
everything else seemed to fall into place
around all the mason jars of course
...and then came baby...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

spotlight on lauren + mike: real wedding

today we're heading to the city of brotherly love and we're going first class all the way. lauren & mike exchanged vows in the same gorgeous cathedral her parents were married in many moons ago. they continued the festivities in a breathtaking ballroom that exudes elegance and was stocked with the best food philly has to offer. not only did these two college sweethearts have an amazing ceremony & reception location to work with, but they had the fantastic city of philadelphia as their backdrop.
if you've never been, you should probably book a trip as soon as you're finished reading this post. i love all of the history, the authentic italian food & the fantastic accents.
ok, enough talk, time to check out the gorgeous photos. sidenote: i absolutely love how almost every photo could be mistaken for a couple straight out of the forties or fifties.

can't get enough of these two

from the bride:
from the moment mike proposed in a beautifully landscaped garden at a symphony-orchestrated fountain show at longwood gardens, i was ready to start planning the wedding of our dreams.......with the help of a few people :)

wow is all i can say

the bride & her maids

the only snag that day which seemed like a huge deal at the time (and in hind sight, is not worth skipping a beat over) was that the vintage rolls royce we had expected did not show up that morning! luckily, between my husband and the wedding coordinator we were able to find a pretty sweet replacement, a vintage bentley, so everything ended up working out and i still had the white car i had envisioned. a piece of advice for future brides is to take a deep breath and roll with the punches, although my initial reaction was one of disappointment, we made it work and i realized there is nothing that is more important that day than saying i do to the man of your dreams.

the bride has arrived!


mike and i are very traditional by nature, so the catholic church and ballroom style wedding suited us perfectly. there was a lot of sentimental value associated with the ceremony location which was an ornate, cathedral style church founded in 1843 - made even more special by the fact that my parents had tied the knot in this same church 29 years ago!

here comes the bride

such a beautifully ornate altar

woohoo, the mr & mrs!


this is one of my favorites

the beautiful rittenhouse square

the handsome groom

the groom & his men


hello backdrop

as for our table arrangements, we nixed the seating cards for framed, poster sized seating charts that incorporated 2 of our favorite engagement photos. the names were overlaid onto the poster sized engagement photos & set on easels - very adorable idea if you took the time to have an engagement photo session and want to put those images to good use.


great gatsby would've been proud

yes, please

we chose fall for a few reasons, 1) that's our favorite season 2) our relationship originally began in october and 3) we love the color scheme & the weather, (and not to mention, the timing with our engagement!) - all made fall the perfect choice for us.

i wanted to tie in the fall theme as much as i could while making sure every detail exuded class, elegance and the ballroom ambiance i was trying to capture. my bouquet consisted of calla lilies, stephanotis with pearl centers, and roses. to add some variety, each bridesmaid carried a different bouquet. the types of flowers remained the same, but they all carried different colored roses, hypericum berries and orchids.


it's hard to pick just one favorite moment of the day because everything felt special and exceeded my expectations. if i had i to pick a few, one would include our first dance which wasn't by any means perfect, but we had a blast!! (and i think the crowd was pretty entertained too!). mike and i performed a choreographed ballroom dance, which added to the fun not only during the big day but in the days leading up to our wedding while taking dance lessons at the society hill dance academy.

the dip

the food/viennese dessert room and the band were just a few of my other favorites. all of the food from our cocktail hour to the final dish was exactly what i had envisioned - it was served and cooked to perfection. the band kept the crowd entertained on the dance floor the entire night. rather than starting out with the normal dinner music routine, we kicked it off with dancing and having all guests join us on the floor - it set the mood for the entire evening. the venetian sweet room was definitely a delight to have. there was something for every guest's sweet tooth - from cookies, to a biscotti and cannoli, to cakes, pies, and an international coffee and liqueur bar- the guests were sure to find something they could enjoy!

sweet! literally : )


time to get down to business

unfortunately, several years ago my grandparents from the mello side passed away, and although they could not be present physically, i wanted to incorporate their memory into my wedding somehow. my father had saved two of my grandmother's brooches just for this occasion and i pinned them both to my bouquet. another great way to incorporate loved ones who have passed is to include their names in your ceremony program booklet.

welcome baskets filled to the brim with philly treats

what a wonderful world

i know i'm missing lots of details and i could go on and on because it truly was the best day of my life. not only did i get to marry the love of my life and best friend, the whole day was magical and there isn't a single thing i would change. if anything, i would love to relive that fairytale day, and every bride should take the time to breathe, appreciate, and savor every minute of their wedding from the planning to the day of!!!

thanks a million to mike & lauren for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us. it truly was a party to top all parties!


reception venue location: the ballroom at the ben at the benjamin franklin house
ceremony: st. paul's roman catholic church
cake and viennese sweet room:
termini brothers pasticceria
flowers: sansone and company, haddonfield, nj
eve of milady from bridal garden
bridesmaid dresses:
bill levkoff
black tie philly
glass slipper productions, sample
the quake
details rittenhouse square
godiva chocolatier
rehearsal dinner:
dante and luigi's
creative images photography