You’ll Barely Recognize Dilworth Plaza in this Fun Fusion Wedding

From concrete to colorful.

Photography by Emily Wren Photography

Here at PW, we love a classic, minimalist wedding, but we’re also always invigorated by a celebration full of color and vivacity. Take a look at one of our favorite fusion weddings in the photos below by Emily Wren

Howard Stern isn’t exactly the king of romance, but when Mary Varghese and John Presti learned over coffee that they both harbored an admiration for the provocative radio personality, they knew they just might have something special.

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They didn’t have to look far for further evidence, either. They had similar lists of other favorite comedians, must-try restaurants — and not only that, but John had been perfectly happy to schlep out to Brooklyn for that first date, even though he lived in Manhattan. (“If you know New Yorkers, they often don’t want to leave their 10-block radius on the first date,” Mary laughs.)

Nearly a year of comedy-and food-related capers later, John brought Mary to the famous Pont des Arts in Paris, overlooking the Seine. It was midnight on New Year’s Eve, and John was holding a metal lock stamped with their names. They ended up fastening it to the neighboring, ancient Pont Neuf — and that’s where John proposed.

The couple wanted an urban, no-frills wedding in Mary’s hometown of Philadelphia, and Dilworth Plaza fit the bill. “It’s totally my heart,” Mary says of Philly, adding that getting married in the shadow of City Hall just felt right: “I’ve always thought it’s such a beautiful piece of architecture.” She secured the help of Tennessee-based planner Shannon O’Kelley (a best friend of a best friend) to help with the details, and the first wedding ever hosted at the newly developed plaza began to come together.

After a sunset cocktail party at Morgan’s Pier and a photo shoot at the Barnes (the couple loved the way the greenery there balanced the cement-heavy plaza), Mary was zipped her into her wedding dress by friends. The ceremony and reception were intimate and exuberant. Mary’s close friend, who has known the pair since they first met, officiated, other friends read from e.e. cummings, and as the sky dimmed, attendees feasted on Indian cuisine (a nod to Mary’s heritage) and Italian fare (a nod to John’s) amid joyful splashes of fuchsia and teal, orange and gold.


Photography: Emily Wren Photography | Venue: Dilworth Plaza at City Hall | Event Planning & Design and Stationery: Sage Nines Event Production | Catering & Dessert: Garces Group and Karma Indian restaurant | Florist: Wild Stems | Bride’s Gown: Tara Keely | Hair & Makeup: Khelsea at Blo/Out | Groom’s Attire: Custom by Saint Laurie | Music: DJ Ravi Jackson

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