Real Weddings

This Modern and Moody Philadelphia Ballroom Wedding Gives Us All the Feels

Just wait till you hear the groom talk about the bride.


Philadelphia Ballroom wedding

Bekah Olson and Tori Hill held their wedding at Philadelphia Ballroom in the fall. Photography by Afrik Armando

This evocative, jewel-toned wedding at the Philadelphia Ballroom, photographed by Afrik Armando, will make you fall in love all over again — particularly when you read what the groom has to say about his bride.

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It was love at first sight for Bekah Olson and Tori Hill. The couple met at a First Friday event in Bristol Borough, where they live. (Bekah is a Philly native; Tori had recently moved to the area from Oklahoma.) The two entrepreneurs (she’s a salon owner, and he’s an artist) agree that they knew instantly they’d found their partner-in-life. And we can’t get enough of his first impression. “This woman has an aura that is way too familiar and special,” says Tori. “She carries herself with dignity and respect, and she moves with a certain elegance that has to make God so proud of his work. And damn she is beautiful.”

Their first date? Tori arranged for them to feed the homeless at Restoration Church in Levittown. He also wanted her to meet his mentor, Bob Baulman. (“Everyone should have a Bob,” Tori quips.) Rather than be surprised by the choice of first date, Bekah jumped right in. “After seeing Tori interact with the people there, and the way he made everyone feel completely comfortable, I thought to myself how much he reminded me of my grandfather. I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with him.” As for Baulman, he took a liking to Bekah’s spirit too. “I like to think Bob and Bekah’s friendship began at that moment,” adds Tori. “Bob and I laugh about it now that she looked like a dove in flight.” 

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Bekah and Tori dated for seven months before he proposed on Christmas morning, with a gold ring he had custom-made with her aunt (the diamond was completely inset so that Bekah could wear it while working with her clients’ hair). And 11 months later, they got married at the Philadelphia Ballroom. The design was dramatic and captivating, with hues of purple, gold and black, and flowers and decor by RAM Floral and Lovehaus. 

Reserved seating was denoted with a purple anthurium (purple and gold were Tori’s mother’s favorite). Jewel-toned dahlias, lisianthus, kale and other dark-hued foliage were mixed with lighter pops of garden and specialty roses. Table numbers, an entrance and program sign, a seating chart and more unique elements were created. And a custom neon sign (with fonts that matched the rest of the wedding’s style) hung over the sweetheart table that read “The Hills.”

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Tori’s favorite detail, however, was seeing Bekah for the first time in her dress, with her intricate cathedral veil. And Bekah’s was having all of their nieces and nephews (16 in total) together. “Our niece, Ally, wore her wedding shoes one week straight before the wedding, refusing to take them off.” Equally heartwarming — with plenty of personality to boot — was Bekah’s dance with her dad. “I didn’t know she could move like that,” says Tori. The couple, meanwhile, danced to “I Get to Love You” by Ruelle.

The evening continued with signature cocktails (Misses Berry and Blue Groom), a dinner of lobster tail and filet mignon, a doughnut wall bearing treats from Angela’s Bakery (their favorite local sweet shop and where they snapped engagement photos) and a to-go bag stocked with a Philly cheesesteak and pretzel. As for the honeymoon? The couple is happily putting it on hold for now; they found out they were expecting right before the wedding.  

THE DETAILS

Photographer: Afrik Armando | Venue: Philadelphia Ballroom | Planning/Design & Invitations: Lovehaus | Florals: RAM Floral | Catering: Milillo Event Group | Bride’s Gown & Bridesmaids’ Attire: David’s Bridal | Makeup: Makeup by Kasey Golden | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Entertainment: AME | Cake: Stock’s Bakery | Custom Doughnuts: Angela’s Bakery | Photo Booth: The Yellow Mirror

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