My dream wedding took place a short time ago on September 22nd, 2012 when I married the love of my life, Sean, on a gorgeous fall day in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Our ceremony took place at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Doylestown, PA, where I walked down the hydrangea and lantern-lined aisle to the beautiful sounds of Shaw Strings, lead by Sean’s cousin playing viola.
Our wedding party wore deep turquoise with gold accessories. I also wanted to include a touch of my favorite color, so I donned turquoise peep toes, reflecting my bright and outgoing personality. Our bouquets were all ivory hydrangea and ranunculus, and each was wrapped in a different vintage silk scarf, all in coordinating ivory and gold tones. My bouquet also contained a very special gold leaf shaped brooch which was once a gift from my grandfather to my grandmother.
Throughout our traditional Roman Catholic ceremony we wove in several personal touches, including a unity candle ceremony, and a ring warming ceremony in which our guests passed around our wedding bands tied to a leaf charm, blessing them as they went from person to person. Once we were pronounced husband and wife, we headed outside the church doors, where we released a dozen white doves to mark the beginning our of new life together. The doves were also foreshadowing of our rustic and nature-themed wedding reception, which featured various branch and love bird decor.
Unexpectedly, we found an awesome rustic red barn right near the church for formal photo ops captured by Shari DeAngelo Photography.
The bridal party and guests headed over to an outdoor cocktail hour at the Knowlton Mansion in Northeast Philadelphia. Everyone enjoyed delicious appetizers and drinks including seasonal soup shooters and a signature fall drink we named “Caramel Apple Kiss”. The talented members of CTO Grand Central set the scene by playing background music during our cocktail hour, including an acoustic guitar on the patio and a pianist playing inside the mansion. Paper by Proud designed beautiful custom invitations and matching signage and menus, creatively displaying our nature theme.
Our guests raved about the lovely, historic grounds of Knowlton Mansion and everyone thought it was one of the most unique wedding locations they had ever experienced.
The rustic, natural, and romantic theme of the night carried through to the reception, which featured elaborate willow branch, river rock, and lantern centerpieces complemented by beautiful hydrangea flowers designed by Petals Lane. We chose to install draping which made the reception area seem very intimate and allowed us to showcase an entire wall covered in romantic ivory pillar candles. Amber uplighting and a branch design dance floor wash, provided by Synergetic Sound and Lighting, really added to the warm, intimate atmosphere.
Everyone raved about the delicious food prepared by Conroy Catering, especially the desserts, which included an extensive ice cream sundae station and a beautiful bananas foster torte wedding cake showcasing a simple, rustic buttercream design.
The incredible artists of CTO Grand Central kept the dance floor packed as we celebrated by dancing the night away. Sean and I had a few very intimate slow dances to some of our favorite songs, including our first dance to Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” and our last dance to Jason Mraz’s version of “I Won’t Give Up”, in which all of our friends and family members gathered around us in one of my favorite moments of the evening.
Another unique feature of Knowlton Mansion is its underground wine cellar, which is entered via an iron spiral staircase just off of the reception room. We lined the entire cellar with romantic pillar candles and invited guests to enjoy a wine tasting while being able to socialize in a quiet, intimate setting away from the dance floor. We also showed our love of wine by using split bottles of a Chardonnay from a local Bucks County vineyard as favors for the evening, which also functioned as seat assignments with rustic wood-burned tags.
By far, the most special part of the day for me was being surrounded by all of our closest friends and family members, all there to celebrate the love that Sean and I have for each other. Another favorite moment was when Sean and I wrote love letters to each other and read them aloud privately, which was captured stunningly in our wedding video. Overall, our wedding was more beautiful and perfect than I ever could have wished for. The entire day ran so smoothly, in large part due to hiring Proud to Plan as my wedding coordinators. Erin and Lisa devoted so much attention to help us plan and prepare for our big day and contributed so many creative design ideas as well as suggestions regarding logistics. Sean and I were easily able to relax and thoroughly enjoy ourselves knowing that all the details of our wedding were in excellent hands and that our special day would turn out exactly how we had dreamed!
After our dream wedding, we celebrated with an amazing honeymoon at Zoetry in Los Cabos, Mexico. We really enjoyed the beautiful, private resort, which was all-inclusive with some of the most delicious food, frozen drinks, and the best spa in the region. Aside from relaxing on the gorgeous beaches, we also loved our time golfing, zip-lining, mountain biking, riding dune buggies, and all of the other adventurous activities Cabo has to offer!
If you’d like to see our recap of Christie and Sean’s wedding, you can go here.