Real Weddings

A Ben Franklin Impersonator Officiated This Philly-Themed Wedding

The couple’s wedding logo was a soft pretzel, and welcome bags were filled with Tastykakes, Herr’s chips and postcards of the City of Brotherly Love.


Ben Franklin officiant

Susie Kwon and Christopher Burns were married by a Ben Franklin impersonator. Photos by Afrik Armando

Weddings are, naturally, all about love. So why not use yours to show off your love not only for your partner but also the city that brought your relationship to life? That’s exactly what this Fairmount couple did at their Ridgeland Mansion wedding, photographed by Afrik Armando, in Fairmount Park. Explore the wedding below to see how they honored Philadelphia at their big day — Ben Franklin and all.

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Susie Kwon and Christopher Burns met on Tinder in early 2016, communicating for several days via the platform before deciding to meet in person. “We both were very skeptical at first,” Susie remembers. But they each took a leap of faith, going out for dinner and drinks — and having enough fun to stay out until 1 a.m.

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On New Year’s Day in 2019, just shy of three years into their relationship, Chris planned the ultimate Philly proposal: He sent Susie on a scavenger hunt through the city to 12 places of significance to their relationship. “When we got to each stop, he shared why he picked the place and what he valued about us and our relationship,” Susie says. Stop number 12 was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; at the top of the steps, Chris got down on one knee and proposed.

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The pair wed at Fairmount Park’s Ridgeland Mansion on November 2, 2019. They wanted to have an authentic Philly wedding, so they hired the city’s Ben Franklin impersonator to officiate the Big Day. Other nods to the city included the use of a soft pretzel in the couple’s wedding logo that decorated the fleece blankets given out as wedding favors as well as welcome bags filled with Tastykakes, pretzels, peanut chews, Herr’s chips and a Philadelphia postcard.

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The most sentimental moment of the day was not so much a moment, but a detail. Susie, whose brother passed away years earlier, honored him at the wedding with a locket containing his photo attached to her wedding bouquet. It was her way of having him walk her down the aisle alongside their father. Her parents found out about the locket right before the ceremony. “My mom held my hand,” Susie says. “The warmth of her hand and my dad’s gentle pat on my back said everything.”

THE DETAILS
Photographer: Afrik Armando | Venue: Ridgeland Mansion | Planning/Design: GLDN Soul Events | Florals: Winsome Floral | Catering: Joshua’s Catering | Bride’s Gown: Rosa Clara from Mari Mi Bridal | Hair & Makeup: True Beauty Marks | Groom’s Attire: Henry A. Davidsen | Entertainment: Jon Ardito Entertainment | Cake: Sugar Realm | Invitations: Minted | Transportation: Sterling Limousine and Mid-Atlantic Limousine | Photo Booth:  Cut + Paste Photo Booth | Food Truck: Pitruco

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