Real Weddings

A Luxe Backyard Wedding at the Home of a CNN Anchor

A marching band escorted guests from cocktail hour to the reception.


Photography by Pat Furey

Because they’re most often built from scratch, private residence weddings are always filled with unique touches. Photographed by Pat Furey, this luxe backyard wedding in New Hope is no exception. With a custom-built bar, a marching band escort into the reception, and, yes, even a Harry Potter reference snuck into the table settings, there’s plenty of haven’t-seen-that-before details.

rustic wedding invitations bride reading card from groom rustic bride and groom bride and groom with vintage getaway car

Caitlin Chagan and Jason Wire were each other’s very first friends at Vanderbilt University, but “the timing just was never right,” says the bride, a real estate marketing VP. “Though we always looked a little longer in each other’s direction!”

Matters finally took a turn for the romantic during a spontaneous trip to New Orleans, and their adventures continued for nine more wonderful years.

bride and groom with dog bride and groom with dog groomsmen in navy suits bridesmaid hoop bouquets pink mismatched bridesmaid dresses

“She opened my mind to so many new perspectives and ideas,” says the groom, a creative strategist at Pinterest. “So much so that she inspired me to join her in moving to Spain for a year after college.”

Jason popped the question on top of Overlook Mountain in upstate New York, and the two married 14 months later at the weekend home of Caitlin’s mother, Lavinia Smerconish, and stepfather, CNN and radio host Michael Smerconish.

ceremony entrance decor outdoor wedding ceremony at a barn outdoor wedding ceremony at a barn outdoor wedding ceremony at a barn

After the ceremony, the Love Revival Orchestra marched the 203 guests from cocktail hour to the tented reception, where everyone sat at long farm tables to dine on hanger steak, fresh herb pasta with ricotta, lobster rolls, and the mother of the bride’s famous Vietnamese grilled chicken. In honor of the bride’s lifelong Harry Potter obsession, some of the dinner napkins read “Mischief Managed.”

donkeys on a farm outdoor cocktail hour at an at-home wedding rustic pink and green wedding flowers chevron wedding bar rustic wedding cocktail hour outdoor wedding cocktail lounge outdoor tented wedding at private residence marching band at a wedding marching band at a wedding golden hour wedding photo bride and groom at golden hour

Furniture played a sentimental role in the celebration: Caitlin’s brothers build the ceremony benches, and Maggpie Rentals surprised the duo by gifting them with a table from the day.

“That we get to eat our dinner at the very table we sat at during our wedding still makes my heart swell,” says the bride. Jason’s favorite detail was the chevron-patterned, built-from-scratch bar created by 13th Street Cocktails just for the occasion.

rustic tented wedding animal chair markers rustic wedding decor at-home tented wedding at-home tented wedding michael smerconish giving a toast emotional bride bride and groom's first dance semi-naked wedding cake

Programs were printed on lavender satchels, and Caitlin’s mother picked the flowers the bride wore in hair from their home garden. Guests left with homemade Pennsylvania wildflower seed bombs, and the couple left with a bounty of memories to look back on during their California road-trip honeymoon.

The Details
Photography: Pat Furey Photography | Event Designer & Coordinator: Rabbit Rabbit Crew | Florals: TableArt | Catering: Birchtree Catering and 13th Street Cocktails | Bride’s Gown: Peter Langner | Hair: Kerri Fawley for Herringbone Salon | Makeup: Shimmer & Spice | Groom’s Attire: J. Crew | Furniture Rentals: Maggpie Rentals | Music: The Love Revival Orchestra | Videographer: Birdhouse Wedding + Life Films | Cake: Cake Life Bake Shop | Tent: EventQuip | Photo Booth: Classic Photo Booth | Restrooms: Restrooms Remembered | Lighting: Synergetic | Tabletop Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.

Get more great content from Philadelphia Wedding:
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | NEWSLETTER | PINTEREST

Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Philadelphia Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.