Real Weddings

The Florals at This Secret Garden-Inspired Wedding Bloomed Literally Everywhere

There were flowers in the bride's hair, lining the aisle, hanging overhead at the reception, accenting the cocktails and more.


Bartram's Garden wedding with flowers

Ariana Mundy and Andrew Aulenbach’s wedding at Bartram’s Garden bloomed with flowers. Photos by Kelly Giarracco

Spring is in the air, and if you’re like us, the season of renewal being so close is bringing to mind visions of beautiful blooming flowers. You know what else will have you swooning over spring? This Bartram’s Garden wedding photographed by Kelly Giarrocco. The Secret Garden-inspired Big Day is filled with family, friends — and all things floral.

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Ariana Mundy and Andrew Aulenbach’s love story began in rom-com fashion. They were both students at Temple when Andrew saw a photo of Ariana in a friend’s dorm room and asked who she was. “Ariana, but she has a boyfriend,” he was told. Ariana, in turn, saw Andrew around campus and admits to having a similar “Who is that?” reaction: “He looked like Justin Timberlake on the cover of Justified.” After a year of harboring secret crushes on each other, they finally sat for proper introductions over a “romantic” meal at Temple’s dining hall. 

Bartram's Garden weddingCrying groomBartram's Garden weddingBartram's Garden weddingBartram's Garden weddingThree years later, after the couple returned home to South Philly from a safari vacation in South Africa, Andrew was ready to take the plunge. He had a ring made, then tried to wait for the perfect moment to propose. That moment wound up happening only a few days later, when he decided — during a Charles Manson documentary, of all things — that he couldn’t delay any longer. “He ran to our bedroom, grabbed the ring, came back to the couch, and got on one knee,” Ariana says. “I’ll probably hold it over his head for the rest of our lives.” 

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Come summer, the aisle at their Bartram’s Garden wedding was dotted with blossoms grown by the groom’s sister, Emilie, in the months leading up to the celebration. The Secret Garden inspired Ariana to throw a wedding bursting with blooms. The bridal party dined at a long table beneath overhead arrangements of snapdragons, astilbe, and hanging amaranthus. Low arrangements of garden roses, carnations and eucalyptus gave the reception an old-world feel. 

Ariana wore a lace-accented gown from Philly favorite Lovely Bride. Andrew, on the other hand, outsourced his tux from Hong Kong. Ariana’s bridesmaids wore versatile Twobirds dresses. “As my bridal party is comprised of women of color, I wanted all of their skin tones to be complemented,” She says of the matte rose.

At the ceremony, Ariana walked down the aisle to “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney, a song her mother used to sing to her before bed. Andrew, by his own account, cried his eyes out the entire time. Four of Ariana’s students from her first year of teaching served as ushers. 

Bartram's Garden wedding

For the reception, Ariana opted for acrylic seating charts so as not to detract from the beauty of the venue. “I wanted guests to feel like their names were written on flowers,” she says. Guests dined on herb-crusted barramundi and sipped “The Fancy Jawn” — a lavender, St-Germain and champagne cocktail. The cake was a buttercream confection that alternated layers of vanilla cake with passion-fruit curd and speculoos cake with cookie butter. Nutmeg Cake Design also created cookies featuring portraits of the couple’s dogs, Basil and Lola. 

At the end of the night, Ariana’s Native American aunt performed a ceremony to honor the Lenape who lived in the region previously. “She asked for their blessing on our special day,” Ariana says. “It was incredibly beautiful, and something I will cherish always.”

THE DETAILS
Photography: Kelly Giarrocco | Venue: Bartram’s Garden | Florist: Fresh Designs Flora and Events | Day-of Coordination & Catering: Jamie Hollander Catering & Events | Bride’s Gown: Lovely Bride | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Twobirds from BHLDN | Cake: Nutmeg Cake Design | Calligraphy: Amour & Ink Paper Company | Invitations: Paper Source | Music: DJ Matthew Law | Rings: Halloween

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