Real Weddings

This Long-Distance Couple Spent a Month On the Phone Before Their First Date

And their copper-themed Kimmel Center wedding was totally gorgeous.


Photo by Grace Winter for Asya Photography

Between the romantic Rodin Museum ceremony and the glamorous reception at the Kimmel Center (plus Motley, the couple’s adorable Shiba Inu puppy, who served as “flower dog” for the day), Tristian Williams and Davida McGhee‘s fall wedding was an unforgettable Center City fête. See all the pretty copper details from the long-distance couple’s Big Day at the Kimmel Center in the glamorous photos below shot by Grace Winter for Asya Photography.

Love was already in the air when Tristian first laid eyes on Davida; they were both in Houston for the same wedding. And Tristian was instantly enamored when he spotted Davida at breakfast: “I asked her to save me a dance,” the digital marketing specialist says. Davida did — and even though Tristian “struck out the entire night with awful conversation,” she agreed to give him her number. “He was trying so hard, I figured I’d give him a shot,” she says.

Their relationship unfolded quickly, and mostly over the phone. (At the time, Davida was in New York, while Tristian called Chicago home.) They’d spent a month regularly talking until sunrise when Tristian flew east for their first official date. “We held hands all the way from LaGuardia to Harlem,” he remembers. “We looked like love-struck teenagers.”

Tristian popped the question in San Fran seven months in, but the couple waited a year and a half longer to wed in Philly. (Davida, an attorney, grew up in New Jersey’s West Deptford Township.) Before the Rodin Museum ceremony, the bride gifted her groom with a letter she wrote seven days after they met declaring her intention to marry him; at the rooftop Kimmel Center reception later on, a romantic palette of warm fall neutrals decorated the space.

Bursting with autumnal color, arrangements of garden roses, ranunculus and Queen Anne’s lace topped the tables. The seated dinner included red-wine-braised short rib and mahimahi foriana. The couple’s sweetheart table was marked by a lush floral chandelier filled with more than two dozen kinds of blooms, foliage and greenery.  Salted caramel buttercream finished the copper-painted chocolate whiskey cake.

Later, the dance floor grew so lively that even a few waiters busted out their break-dancing skills, and the good times continued with a ping-pong after-party at nearby Spin. “I met Davida at a wedding and probably had more fun than that groom,” says Tristian, who’d hoped his own Big Day would lead another couple to love. “That didn’t happen, but our friends and family had a ball.”

The Details
Event Planning & Design: Laurel & Elm Events | Photography: Grace Winter for Asya Photography | Venue: Kimmel Center | Catering: Garces Events | Florals: Fresh Designs Flora and Events | Bride’s Gown: Enaura Bridal  |  Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein from Men’s Wearhouse | Hair: Audrey Branche for Audrey’s Hair Care Studio | Makeup: Brittany Hansteen |  Cake: Sweet T’s Bakeshop | Music and Lighting: Philadelphia String Quartet and Martelle Pitts for DJ TKO Entertainment | Rentals: Swoon Vintage Rental | Videography: NST Pictures | Transportation: Academy Bus

Originally published as “Davida & Tristian” in the Winter/Spring 2019 issue of Philadelphia Wedding.

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