This Bride Made Ceramic Vases With Bits of Philadelphia Rocks for Her Outdoor Wedding

The groom mixed up Fish House Punch for the cocktails.

Philadelphia Woodlands wedding

Philadelphia couple Paul Schuette and Lauren Mabry filled their wedding at The Woodlands with creative, DIY touches. Photography by Inna Spivakova of Peach Plum Pear Photography

Chalk one up to imagination: This colorful, artistic alfresco wedding at The Woodlands should provide you with plenty of DIY inspiration for your micro-wedding, elopement or future Big Day plans. After all, the Fishtown couple, both creatives in their own right, filled it with touches from handmade vases crafted with Philadelphia rocks to themed cocktails that nod to the city’s history with every sip. Check out all of the details, captured by Inna Spivakova of Peach Plum Pear Photography, below.

Invitation Bridal bouquetGroom's attire

Wisconsin-born Lauren Mabry, a studio artist, and Paul Schuette, a music professor, had a few common bonds when they met on Bumble — their Midwestern roots and love of creativity. That is, in addition to their mutual attraction. “He’s really tall,” recalls Lauren on her initial impression. “He has such sparkly eyes.” For Paul? “She’s kind of a hard ass,” he remembers. “I think I like her.” Their first date took place, on a whim, at the former The Industry in South Philly, where she admitted to being a vegan, while he slurped on oysters. (She is now a pescatarian.)

first look first look first look

Two years later, he got down on one knee at The Woodlands — and a year after that, they said “I do” at that same special location. They wanted to let its hauntingly picturesque and historic facade shine, so they chose to infuse the space with DIY and personal touches that accented, but didn’t take away from, the setting’s beauty. Among the decor details were ceramic table vases made by the bride, with hand-collected and ground Wissahickon schist (the “sparkly bits in some Philadelphia rocks”) on the surface. They were filled with coordinated blooms (orange poppies, white peonies, coral ranunculus, pink snapdragons and purple pops of color) that Lauren picked up from Jig-Bee Flower Farm two days before the wedding; the bride and her mother crafted 40-plus table arrangements. (Jig-Bee owner Cassie Plummer handled the personals, bouquets and ceremony florals.)

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The 115 guests were gifted with welcome bags (put together by the duo) with Philly-themed goodies — Tastykakes, Hi-Chew, soft pretzels, Emergen-C and coconut water.

But the bride’s favorite detail was her heirloom mantia, a 100-year-old handmade lace piece worn by her great-grandmother, who purchased it in Europe. Lauren was the fifth woman in her family to wear it, though that wasn’t always the plan. “I already had my dress and was struggling to find the perfect head [or] hair piece when my first cousin once removed messaged me and sent it for me to try on,” she says. “It was perfect beyond my wildest expectations.”

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Paul, meanwhile, loved the percussion postlude at the ceremony, performed by friends Allen Otte, Zach Larabee and Mike Lunoe. (Pals Will and Jenny Ayers also sang “Strangers,” by The Kinks.) Not to be outdone: Paul surprised Lauren at the reception by singing “My One and Only Love,” accompanied by Liz Radigonda on the piano and Dave McDonnell on the sax.

catering catering speech

For dinner? Wood-fired pizza and salad from Pitruco, savored along with particularly apropos signature cocktails — the Philadelphia Fish House Punch. (The couple selected the libation due to its historical significance; it was noted as early as 1732 and concocted on the banks of the Schuylkill. Paul made the punch while Lauren and her mom were forming the flowers.)

cake cutting favors favors

There was also a red velvet, buttercream, pound, lemon curd, chocolate and raspberry cake from Termini Bros. Bakery and a DIY DJ dance party at the reception. To finish it off, Lauren made commemorative ceramic tiles with magnets on the back for favors — personal, creative and handcrafted with love.

Photographer: Inna Spivakova of Peach Plum Pear Photography | Venue: The Woodlands | Day-Of Coordinator: Swig – Event Staffing & Coordination | Florals: Jig-Bee Flower Farm | Catering: Pitruco | Bride’s Gown: Leanne Marshall from Sabrina Ann | Bridesmaids’ Attire: JJ’s House | Hair & Makeup: Nova Hair Salon | Groom’s Attire: Commonwealth Proper | Entertainment: Friends of the groom | Cake: Termini Bros. Bakery | Invitations: Zola

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