The love story of Tracy Wu and Daniel Woods begins in middle school. Though their lockers were next to one another at Garnet Valley Middle School — and Tracy admits to having a huge crush on Dan early on — they remained nothing more than friendly acquaintances until the end of high school. They got to talking at a house party and traded screen names, whereupon Tracy plucked up the courage to ask Dan over to watch The Aviator with her. The night was “really awkward” — Tracy remembers Dan being intent on sitting as far away from her as possible, and her mother not-so-secretly spying on them from the kitchen — but they went on to become senior-year prom dates and, later, a bona fide couple. See the love captured by Elicia Bryan Photography from Tracy and Dan’s wedding day below.
Ten years in, Dan planned a surprise around the time Tracy graduated from veterinary school. After a morning spent walking around an arts festival in Kennett Square, the couple pulled into the Loch Nairn golf course parking lot in Avondale. They played the back nine, and both played well — until it came to the last hole. Dan teed off straight to the green, while Tracy sank her ball into a lake. Dan zoomed ahead in their cart, leaving the slightly annoyed Tracy to walk to catch up. But all was forgiven when she got to the hole: There, next to a circle of flowers and with a secret photographer hiding in the woods, Dan took her hands and asked her to spend forever with him. She said yes, and cheers erupted from the nearby clubhouse, where family and friends were waiting to celebrate.
Before the pair traded vows close to home in Fitler Square park on April 29, 2017, Dan gifted his bride-to-be a book of poetry. (She gave him custom cuff links featuring their cats.) One of Dan’s sisters officiated, and the couple and their 196 guests then walked the five blocks to the 23rd Street Armory, where a cherry-blossom-filled reception awaited.
Event planner Arielle Fera created the day’s modern plywood signage — used to welcome and direct guests — herself. Escort cards were paired with springtime blooms and fern fronds and hung over a lovely shade of pastel pink drapery. Wild Stems created the evening’s stunning overhead installations from dogwood branches and cherry blossoms and Synergetic added to the romantic ambience with nearly 1,000 linear feet of bistro lighting. To help create the captivating and tall — at six-and-a-half-feet-tall — donut wall, the bride enlisted the help of her bridesmaids and wedding planner. Needless to say, it was a group effort.
Attendees dined family-style on honey chipotle salmon, aged gouda grits and roasted beet salad, and the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. swayed to “Life” by Josh Rouse for their first dance. The four-layer champagne cake was covered in gold leaf and marbled strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream — and let’s not forget about the delicious pastel macaroons! In between bustin’ a move to a mix of Top 40, hip-hop, disco and classic rock, guests relaxed in two vintage-furniture cocktail lounges that flanked the dance floor.
Photography: Elicia Bryan Photography | Reception Venue: 23rd Street Armory | Event Planner: Arielle Fera Events | Florist: Wild Stems | Catering: Day by Day | Lounge Furniture: Maggpie Rentals | Bride’s Gown: Tadashi Shoji, Moda Operandi | Groom’s Attire: Marcello Luciano, Armen’s Custom Tailor | Makeup: Shimmer and Spice | Hair: ONLO | Rings: Bario Neal and Golden Nugget Jewelers | Cake: Nutmeg Cake Design | Transportation: City Wide Limousine | Videographer: 4LC Studios | DJ and Lighting: Synergetic Sounds and Lighting | Ceremony Music: Elegance String Quartet | Photo Booth: Cut + Paste Photo Booth | Signage: Arielle Fera Events | Doughnuts: Federal Donuts
This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2018 print edition of Philadelphia Wedding magazine. Grab yours here.
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