Not that we think you should put your wedding in a box, of course. But chances are you at least have a feeling when it comes to your Big Day: Will it be a swanky formal affair in a candlelit room with a marble rotunda? An airy soiree where your guests sip cool drinks from mason jars with fields of wildflower-dotted wheat in the background and cotton-candy clouds overhead? Whatever your vision for your wedding day, we’re here to help you plan it. In the following pages, you’ll find ideas for five different types of weddings—not just for gorgeous venues in the Philadelphia area, but for your flowers, gown, cake and bridesmaids’ dresses, all from local vendors and shops. Just find the one that feels like you, and you’re on your way.
PART ONE: CITY BALLROOM
A little glitz, a little glamour, and a whole lot of class …
A ballroom wedding begs for a traffic-stopping gown. Cecelia by Monique Lhuillier, an ivory re-embroidered lace and orchidia satin strapless dress with an asymmetric draped corset botdice and tulle ball-gown skirt with cascading lace motif, $8,385 at the Wedding Shoppe, Wayne. Blossom Veils ribbon and crystal headpiece, $295 at Bijou Bridal, Ardmore. Platinum diamond ring, $45,000, and 14-karat white gold diamond earrings, $700, both at J.M. Lichterman & Co., Philadelphia. Kimberlin Brown silver Petal ring with pearl, $395 at Egay Day, Philadelphia.
Sometimes a simple, beautiful neutral is all the glamour you need. From left: Monique Lhuillier silk taffeta bridesmaid dress in cappuccino, $275 at the Wedding Shoppe. Suzanna Dai necklace, $378 at Peter Kate, Greenville. Eugenia silk charmeuse ball gown with jeweled neckline, $2,800 at Nicole Birdal & Formal Shoppe, Jenkintown. Alvina Valenta dupioni taffeta bridesmaid gown in acorn, $250 at the Bridal Garden, Marlton. Reflecting Pools mother-of-pearl cabochon necklace, $600 at BHLDN.com.
An all-white palette with a little sparkle is such a striking combination. Cocktail-table arrangement of white miniature cymbidium orchids and tulips with snowberry accents, $85, created by Petah Bashano Event & Floral Design, Broomall.
Bouquet of individually hand-wired vanda and phalaenopsis orchids with a champagne crystal beaded handle, around $550, created by Petah Bashano.
Boutonniere of vanda orchids with beaded bodkins and satin wrap, $40, created by Petah Bashano.
Originally the Bellevue-Stratford when it was built in 1904, today’s Hyatt at the Bellevue is one of Philadelphia’s most historic hotels—and its Grand Ballroom is one of the city’s most iconic. The white-marble space, with hardwood floors, stained glass, chandeliers by Lalique, original light fixtures designed by Thomas Edison and a mezzanine and hand-wrought grand staircase, also has a stage for your entertainment, and seats up to 898 guests. The in-house catering team will work with you to customize your entire Big Day menu.
Housed in what was once the Hotel Sylvania, the 1920s Art Deco-inspired ARTS Ballroom just off the Avenue of the Arts offers two main ballrooms that you can use any way you like for your wedding, as they only book one celebration at a time. Both feature mahogany floors, dusty-blue walls and coffered ceilings. The Grand Hall (pictured) has room for up to 250 guests and a dramatic granite staircase, and the Sylvania Ballroom can accommodate up to 175. (It’s a popular option to have cocktails here prior to moving into the Grand Hall for a reception.) With both, you also have access to the adjacent Lounge space, perfect for dessert stations, and the mezzanine and balcony, which house the bridal suite and overlook both ballrooms. All catering is done by Starr Events.
Opened in 1913 after years of construction, the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington has more than 30,000 square feet of event space—but perhaps none so well-known as its ballrooms. There’s the popular du Barry Ballroom, designed in a style that reflects Napoleon I and the Empire period and with room for 125, which sits directly above the Gold Ballroom (pictured). (You can have your ceremony or cocktail hour in the du Barry, then descend the connecting steps to the Gold for your reception.) The dramatic, gilded Gold Ballroom features sgraffito patterned walls adorned with medallions representing famous historical and mythical women, and seats up to 300 for a reception. The in-house culinary team includes a pastry chef who can design your cake.
Complement ornate decor with a confection dressed to impress. Key lime cake and vanilla cake brushed with rum syrup, layered with key lime curd, lime cheesecake and graham cracker crunch, and covered in vanilla buttercream and gold-painted fondant, around $8.50 per person (or $1,700 for a 200-person wed- ding), created by Cake Art Studio, Paoli. Charlotte pedestal, $39.95 at Crate & Barrel, multiple locations. Antique-silver pie server, $19 at Pottery Barn, multiple locations. Napkin, stylist’s own.
Styling by Lauren Kozakiewicz Hair and makeup by Dora Salgado. Model: Lauren Bedford/Ford Models. Assistant Styling by Avery Osborne. Cake Styling by Styled Creative.