Candles and Garlands Turned This Four Seasons Hotel Wedding Into a Christmas Wonderland
Instead of favors, the couple donated to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
Though the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia is a little more than a year old, Philly’s obsession with it hasn’t waned. Why would it? Occupying the 48th through 60th floors of the Comcast Center, it’s the tallest-situated hotel in North America and has a spa that’s among the world’s best, as well as other accoutrements perfect for your future Big Day plans. And this couple, who said “I do” in December 2019, had the opportunity to hold their glamorous winter wedding amid the sophisticated setting; they even took a hard-hat tour before the venue was officially finished. Their celebration was captured by MLE Pictures, and it’ll put you in the holiday spirit.
It’s not surprising that West Chester natives Anne (Annie) Elicker and Andrew Salvitti chose to hold their wedding over the holidays at the newish Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. They both remember attending the Christmas brunch at the destination’s former location as children with their respective families. While they didn’t spend those particular occasions together as kiddos, they spent many more in each other’s company — their mothers can recall the future life partners side by side in their strollers. When they were seven, Annie’s family had a litter of Labrador puppies, and Andrew (Annie calls him “Sal,” his nickname) and his clan took one home.
Their friendship grew until the summer after college, when both families were spending time down the Shore — hers in Ocean City, his in Stone Harbor. “We slowly started seeing each other more at the beach, and eventually we went from friends to best friends to falling in love,” recalls Annie, a kindergarten teacher. “It was so effortless between us, and we knew we had something very special that we did not want to lose.”
Their first date took place on a rainy October night in their hometown. They chose Four Dogs Tavern for its hideaway vibe: West Chester is “the kind of town where you always see someone you know whenever you go out,” according to the pair, who now live in Fairmount. They cozied up at the bar, ordered drinks and apps, and talked “nonstop” about their lives. They later stopped at a Wawa to buy gummies for dessert and sat in Andrew’s car chatting — and they shared their first kiss before he took Annie home.
They dated for three years before Andrew, a software sales leader for IBM, proposed on a boat in Stone Harbor. (He’d tricked Annie into thinking it would be a beach day with the Salvitti fam before taking her out to sea to “fish.”) Andrew asked for something from his backpack, and she pulled out a black velvet box, which she quickly tossed back into the bag. “That’s for you,” Andrew said in response (while down on one knee). “You’re not just a long-term investment; you’re a lifelong investment. Will you marry me?” After asking if he was serious a few times, Annie finally said (or screamed, according to the couple) yes. They celebrated at Congress Hall that evening, then joined their families for more revelry the next day.
The couple spent the next year and a half preparing for their wedding. They knew they wanted a winter soiree in the city, so they chose December 28th, 2019, for the Big Day. “We knew the new Four Seasons was being built and thought it would be the perfect place,” says Annie. Because the destination was still under development when they first toured it, they had to wear hard hats and safety vests. “But that didn’t turn us away,” she adds. “It drew us in, because we felt even more a part of it.”
Their ceremony took place at Old St. Joseph’s Church. Andrew was moved when he saw Annie smiling as she walked down the aisle toward him. “I was walking toward my best friend and love of my life — so ready to begin our next season together as husband and wife,” she says. The couple had memorized their vows and say it was special to share them with each other in church, in front of their loved ones.
The entire celebration had a romantic holiday aesthetic from start to finish, with a palette of white, green, deep purple and dark burgundy, with gold accents. When guests arrived at the top of the escalator at the sky-high reception venue, they were greeted by a seasonal setting complete with Christmas trees strung with white lights. The couple’s best friends were seated at a long rectangular table down the center of the room. And instead of lots of flowers, tables were lined with candles in varying heights and a green garland down the center. “The flowers and candles were truly amazing,” says the bride. “The ambience was perfect!”
During cocktail hour, attendees snacked on appetizers including mini cheesesteak tacos, deep-fried mac-and-cheese squares, and blackened tuna tataki while sipping whatever they pleased. (The couple chose not to do a signature cocktail.) Dinner served up smoked Maine lobster with almond-milk chestnut velouté and wild mushrooms; mixed greens with sherry vinaigrette; and grilled striped sea bass. For dessert: hazelnut-infused cake with white buttercream.
Ray Lamontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing” set the mood for the first dance, and band Jellyroll (from BVTLive) kept the guests moving and shaking. “Their music selection got the dance floor full and the place jumping,” shares the groom.
As a last personal touch, Annie and Andrew made a donation to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in lieu of favors. A mutual family friend is a lieutenant colonel in the Marines, and he and his wife are active in the nonprofit, which provides academic aid to the children of Marine and Navy corpsmen. It was in the spirit of the season, most certainly.
Photographer: MLE Pictures | Venues: Old St. Joseph’s Church (ceremony); Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia (reception, cake and catering) | Planning/Design: Gina Sole of The Wedding Planner | Florals: Robertson’s Flowers & Events | Bride’s Gown: Reem Acra from Elizabeth Johns (Ardmore) | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Amsale | Hair: Ashley Goodz | Makeup: Chelsea Walls | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Entertainment: Jellyroll of BVTLive | Invitations: The Papery | Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works | Videography: Solidity Films
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