What happens when you combine a greenery-filled wedding venue with one of the hottest wedding trends of 2017? A whole lot of pretty. We love the way geode crystals are incorporated into almost every decor element of this John James Audubon Center wedding, captured beautifully by Emily Wren Photography.
Kate Michener and Brian Boyle only had to look at a single wedding venue to know it was the one. They’d always been attracted to naturally striking settings—that’s what inspired Brian to propose in Hawaii in 2013, during a special trip for their sixth anniversary. (Kate had always told Brian she wanted a vacation before a ring; she got both.) Though they didn’t know each other then, the couple attended the same high school—Haverford, in Havertown—and started dating during their time at Temple University, after a mutual friend introduced them.
A comfortable, familiar area they could return to for years after their wedding for hikes, picnics, bird-watching and day outings seemed ideal, so when Kate and Brian saw the lush meadows surrounding the John James Audubon Center in Mill Grove, a historically registered stone house on the edge of Valley Forge Park, they were sold. It was the perfect summer setting, with its stunning views of sun-splotched landscapes, rich greenery and plenty of attractions. “It felt formal enough to be a fancy, classy wedding,” Kate says, “but at the same time had an atmosphere where we felt comfortable—felt like ourselves. It seemed like a natural choice.” The couple even got a special unexpected guest to join them during cocktail hour: an owl from the on-site bird conservatory.
Kate and Brian had discovered a shared love for rock climbing while they were dating, so it was something they knew they wanted to incorporate into their celebration. With geology in mind, Kate thought of the agate geode and its swirling, shimmering crystal center. She knew she could fit the stone’s pattern into their wedding theme effortlessly, especially via the cake and invitations.
The venue’s charming reception area completed the natural theme. Sunlight flooded the room through floor-to-ceiling windows, making it open, bohemian and romantic. And when the day’s unseasonable temperatures made the couple rethink the outdoor portion of wedding, they had a backup plan: the barn. “I wanted it to be a part of the wedding either way,” Kate says. “With its high ceilings, with lights strung up, it didn’t feel like a compromise. It was just as beautiful.”
Photography and Videography: Emily Wren Photography | Venue: John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove | Event Planning & Design: Confetti & Co. | Florals: Valt + Vine | Signage: MaryKateMoon | Catering & Cake: Jeffrey A. Miller | Bride’s Gown: Anna Campbell, Lovely Bride | Hair & Makeup: Michele Wilderman | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: ASOS, Lulu’s, Amsale, Adrianna Papell and BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Stationery: Minted | Music: Schaffer Sound Disc Jockeys