This Wedding Took Place in a Plant-Filled South Jersey Home-Decor Boutique
“Our guests loved how we were so creative, to imagine getting married in this place,” the bride says of Bespoke Home + Life.
Unique venues are always a good idea, and we’ve seen plenty of them during the pandemic as couples got creative and turned their living rooms, rooftops, front yards and backyards into “I do” locations. For this couple, “Best of Philly”-winning Bespoke Home + Life, a plant-filled boutique in South Jersey, was the obvious choice for their intimate, low-key approach. Laura Briggs Photo snapped the garden-party goodness, which you can see below.
Anh Pham and Francesco Storniolo never wanted a big wedding. For them, it was always about having an intimate celebration with their closest friends and family, going on a honeymoon (Singapore is on their wish list), and starting a family. “We didn’t want to break the bank for a lavish day,” says Anh, an operations manager from Pennsauken. “It’s not us.”
She and Francesco, a sales adviser from Audubon — where they live — met during college. They sat near each other in class but only shared casual small talk. A friend eventually suggested they go to lunch, and a bond was formed. Their first date: a movie, ice cream, and a lakeside stroll. They sat on a bench and chatted for hours. That bench became their special spot. Ten years later, Francesco popped the question there on a sunny December morning.
The couple set the date for July 19th (their dating anniversary) and chose Bespoke Home + Life, a decor and plant store in Collingswood, because of its significance to the bride. “I fell in love with the shop when I took my grandmother for a visit,” says Anh. “She loves gardening, and it’s what we did together.”
While owners Eric Hillegass and Patrick Bartscherer had never hosted a wedding, they took Anh and Francesco’s modern, minimal vision and ran with it, using the shop’s Montauk-inspired seasonal theme as the backdrop. At first, the couple’s 35 invited friends and family members were confused by the venue. “But when they arrived, they were in awe,” says Anh. “They loved how we were so creative, to imagine getting married in this place.”
The store’s ferns and small trees added lush greenery to the decor. Leaves were put to use as name cards, and photos of the couple were mixed in with the retail goods. A live moss wall created by the shop’s owners was a fresh backdrop for pictures. One of the groom’s favorite details was the farm table set up inside the shop for dinner. “We didn’t know if it would fit,” he says. “We were very pleased that it was able to hold our family while we were social distancing.”
Because the couple loves games, they had guests write notes on Jenga pieces that they can reread every time they play together. It all delighted the duo and their guests, who took home mini limoncello bottles from woman-owned distiller Pollyodd in South Philly — a nod to Francesco’s Italian background.
“It was one-of-a-kind, and we still have friends and family who talk about it,” says Anh. “It was a beautiful, happy day during uncertain times.”
Photographer: Laura Briggs Photo | Venue: Bespoke Home + Life | Planning/Design: Two Little Birds Planning | Personal Florals & Table Centerpieces: Leigh Florist | Catering: Gia Bella Catering | Bride’s Gown: L’Amour Calla Blanche from Country Way Bridal | Bride’s Veil: Sabrina Ann | Hair & Makeup: Alicia McGlynn | Groom’s Attire: Custom-made by Henry A. Davidsen | Rings: Barsky Diamonds | Entertainment: Matt & Genevieve LaPalomento | Cake: Sweet Eats Bakery | Invitations: The Papery of Philadelphia | Rentals: South Jersey Party Rentals | Favors: Pollyodd
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