We Re-Created a Music Festival for Our Kimmel Center Wedding

Some members of the wedding party carried their instruments down the aisle.

Hamilton Garden wedding

Aly Goldstein and Jacob Tobias had a music-themed wedding at Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center. Photography by Asya Photography

If there’s one thing that competes with our love of food here in Philly, it’s our obsession with good music. So it’s no surprise that this city has a long list of wedding and event caterers, and live entertainment can act to set the scene for your Big Day. Extra appealing: when the couple, their friends and their family bring the tunes all on their own. Such is the case with this wedding. The couple and their “band” of pals re-created an outdoor musical festival for their wedding at the Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center. Of course, they got some help from local musicians, too. Here, Asya Photography shares a sound bite.


rings couple couple bridal party groomsmen coupleMusic was a major part of Aly Goldstein and Jacob Tobias’s lives long before they met. (She’s played the trumpet since elementary school; his father and brother are both professional singers.) So when they crossed paths during a STRFKR set at the Escape Music Festival on Governors Island, it was easy to find things to talk about. “Our conversation flowed so naturally,” Jacob says. “Before I knew it, we were parting ways on the subway, and I almost missed my stop getting her number.”

Over the next three and a half years, the pair attended as many concerts as possible — even when they could only make the last 30 minutes. Then, one night, before heading to another STRFKR show, Aly came home to find a trail of rose petals leading to Jacob on one knee.

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For their late-summer wedding, the Queen Village couple wanted to re-create the fun outdoor vibe of a music festival in the city. With its glass walls and balconies, the Kimmel Center was the perfect venue. The couple commissioned close friend Hannah Westerman of Avenue West Creative — who specializes in music posters — to design a welcome sign for their celebration. (It also served as the save-the-date.)

At the ceremony, members of the wedding party who play an instrument carried theirs down the aisle, then gathered at the chuppah to play a live rendition of “Fiya Wata,” by Edward Sharpe, while Aly processed. Jacob’s dad performed an original number after the ketubah reading. In their vows, Aly and Jacob promised to always dance it out. “If we feel a disagreement coming on, someone will pause, throw a song on, and initiate a dance party,” she explains.

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Afterward, all 177 guests sojourned to the second-tier balcony for cocktail hour, with steel drum group Trinidelphia providing a reggae soundtrack.

Attendees found their seats via mini tambourines, which they were encouraged to shake as they entered the reception space. Sweet arrangements of hydrangea, garden roses, zinnias and Italian ruscus topped the dinner tables. Following a dinner of grass-fed New York strip and eggplant involtini, Aly and Jacob whipped out the biggest surprise of the night: a “really intense” choreographed first dance to “Sonnentanz” by Klangkarussell. (The pair spent months preparing with Ballroom Philadelphia owner Vuthy Ou.)

Dancing End

Guests tucked into slices of honey-lavender cake for dessert. (For their cake topper, in homage to one of the couple’s favorite performers, Etsy vendor Alex Huang of Miniucaketopper added Daft Punk-style helmets to re-creations of their wedding-day outfits.) Later, guests snapped pics holding — what else? — blow-up instruments in the photo booth.

Photographer: Asya Photography | Venue: Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center | Planning/Design: Truly You Events | Florals: Papertini | Catering: Garces Events | Bride’s Gown: Maison Signore| Hair & Makeup: Salon Ziza | Groom’s Attire: Stitch & Tie | Entertainment: Ampersand Productions (cocktail-hour music); Remixologists (DJ) | Cake: Cake Life Bake Shop | Transportation: King Limousine | Officiant: Rabbi Eli Freedman | Furniture: Maggpie Rentals | Photo Booth: Party Cam

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