A Lovely Pretty-in-Pink Celebration at the Ballroom at Ellis Preserve

A San Fran proposal inspires a West Coast-style celebration in Philly — cacti included.

What happens when a local couple gets engaged on the West Coast? A gorgeous, San Francisco-style wedding (Think: pink accents, cactus decor) of course! Check out all of the action from Caitlin Carr and Maxwell Vogel‘s summer wedding at The Ballroom at Ellis Preserve in Newton Square in stunning photos by Jeff Frandsen.

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It was anything but love at first sight for Caitlin and Maxwell. Her first impression was, “This guy is way too full of himself.” But things changed five years later, when Max moved in with one of Caitlin’s best friends. They were forced to get to know each other properly, and Caitlin, who works at QVC, realized that Max, a sales executive, was sweet and charming.
The two started talking via email and text. Max fell fast, but Caitlin turned down his date requests for weeks before finally agreeing to dinner at San Nicola in Paoli. They bonded over Game of Thrones and their shared birthday; after two more dates, they became inseparable.

Two years later, the couple headed to San Francisco to visit Max’s sister, Julie — or so Caitlin thought. On their first night in town, as they posed for a photo in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, Max got down on one knee and proposed.

The duo planned a California-style celebration at the Ballroom at Ellis Preserve with the help of event designer Shannon Wellington. In a true West Coast touch, succulents and cacti filled the day — and were free for the taking at the end of the night. Arrangements filled with dahlias, garden roses, ranunculus and silver-dollar eucalyptus topped the dining tables; a sprig of Italian ruscus adorned each place setting. In lieu of a traditional guest book, Caitlin and Max asked attendees to sign a “guest globe” emblazoned with their wedding hashtag, #VogelVows. It’s currently on display in their dining room. A bird backdrop was set up behind the Lynn + Lou seating cards; “Vogel” means “bird” in German. The quote on the table — an Etsy find — further played into the theme.

Other personal details peppered the celebration — a drink menu inspired by their pets, a cigar bar for Max and his father — but the most touching were the vows the newlyweds wrote to each other. “It was so moving to start our lives together with a reminder of why we fell in love,” Caitlin says.


Venue: The Ballroom at Ellis Preserve | Event Coordinator: Shannon Wellington Weddings | Photography: Jeff Frandsen | Videography: Birdhouse Wedding + Life Films | Florist: Fresh Designs Florist | Catering: : Finley Catering | Cake: Termini Brothers Bakery | Bride’s Gown: Martina Liana from Van Cleve Wedding Pavilion  | Groom’s Tux: Sagets Formal Wear | Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell, Jenny Yoo and Joanna August from BHLDN and Bella Bridesmaids | Hair Dresser: Avante Salon | Make up Artists: Gabriella Steindl, Avante Salon; Nadia Grier | Entertainment: Synergetic Sound & Lighting | Rings: Barksy Diamonds | Photo Booth: Philly Party Cam | Transportation: Limo Today

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