Not that we think you should put your wedding in a box, of course. But chances are you at least have afeelingwhen 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 FIVE: On the Beach
The sun, the surf, and a vibe as carefree as the two of you …
Tying the knot on the beach is the perfect time to get a little less formal and a lot more fun. Cotton tulle Kauai dress with leaf embroidery, braided neck ribbon and asymmetrical hem, $800 at BHLDN.com. Rene Caovilla sandals, $1,895 at Neiman Marcus, King of Prussia. Maria Beaulieu silver Josephine tiara with South Sea pearl, $1,900, Kimberlin Brown silver Petal ring with pearl, $395, and Ted Muehling three-times-around pearl necklace with 14-karat gold clasp, $3,800, all at Egan Day, Philadelphia.
Extend the playfulness of a beachy celebration to your cake with a design that winks at its surroundings. Devil’s food chocolate cake filled with almond buttercream and toasted coconut, covered in white chocolate buttercream and vanilla fondant, topped off with sugarpaste seagulls and starfish, around $10 per person (or $2,000 for a 200-person wedding), created by the Cake Studio of Ocean City. Great White medium cake stand, $24.99 at Pottery Barn.
What better color cues to take than those of sand and sea? Bouquet of white dahlias and spray roses, blue delphinium, ‘Sahara’ roses, scabiosa pods, white coral and glass bubbles (top), around $250, created by Beautiful Blooms, Philadelphia.
Boutonniere of scabiosa pods, white spray roses, blue delphinium and glass bubble (right), around $15, created by Beautiful Blooms, Philadelphia.
Centerpiece of white coral, dahlias, delphinium, hydrangea, ‘Sahara’ roses, scabiosa pods and glass bubbles, around $250, created by Beautiful Blooms, Philadelphia.
When it comes to beachy fabrics, flowy is the way to go. From left: Amsale chiffon bridesmaid gown in sky, $275 at Nicole Bridal & Formal Shoppe, Jenkintown. Marchioness dress in serene blue, $350 at BHLDN.com (ribbon sash, stylist’s own). Crinkle georgette tulle gown with bias strip, $2,400 at Nicole Miller, Philadelphia and Manayunk. Kimberlin Brown peach and pink Japanese keshi and biwa pearl necklace with Australian opals, $990 at Egan Day, Philadelphia.
With LBI’s Bonnet Island Estate, you’re literally on your own private island for your Big Day. The main estate, with its gray shingles and white trim inspired by the coastal mansions that span from Charleston to Nantucket, holds the grand ballroom, which seats up to 250 and features panoramic views of the bay through windows that stretch from the floor to the 30-foot-high cathedral wooden ceiling that resembles the inverted hull of a classic sailing ship. There are also English gardens on the grounds, as well as the Vermont-style barn Boathouse Chapel and 12 guest suites, which are yours for the weekend. Merri-Makers catering offers a variety of menus to choose from.
In 1816, Cape May’s Congress Hall was a boardinghouse for summer visitors. After it burned to the ground in 1878, it was rebuilt in brick and became popular with U.S. presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, and Benjamin Harrison, who called it his “summer White House.” The current owners purchased the oceanfront property in 1995 and restored it to its original glory, with the decor in the grand ballroom—where they hold wedding receptions for up to 250 guests—influenced by the 1920s, featuring Tiffany blue walls and a black-and-white checkerboard floor. All catering is done by the in-house team, including a pastry chef who can turn out a fabulous Big Day cake.
Between the lobby with its couches, low tables and chrome-and-marble bar, the study that leads to the outdoor terrace overlooking the beach and Atlantic City skyline, and the main Atlantic Room ballroom (pictured), One Atlantic has more than 10,000 square feet of event space. The polished modern venue actually extends 100 yards out over the ocean about 80 feet above the water’s surface, which can be seen through the floor-to-ceiling windows in every room. Moveable walls and drapes mean various configurations for parties of all sizes (it can fit up to 1,175 for a standing reception!), and the full-service in-house One Atlantic caterers can accommodate all cuisines, including kosher.
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.