A Pretty Springtime Wedding That Brought Parisian Flair to Philly

The bride’s custom gown was by Filipino-French designer Monique Lhuillier.

ballroom at the ben wedding

Sarah Trabattoni and Steven Tilsner took couple portraits on the 19th-floor Bellevue Hotel balcony before their Ballroom at the Ben wedding. / Photography by Grace & Ardor Co.

Many couples use their travels together as the inspiration for their weddings — and rightly so. Exploring new or favorite places with your partner creates lifelong memories, just like your Big Day. This pair took that to heart with their Parisian-inspired Ballroom at the Ben wedding, photographed by Grace & Ardor Co. Check out all the romantic, pretty details below.


It’s hard not to fall in love in — and with — the City of Love, and that proved true for Sarah Trabattoni and Steven Tilsner. Sarah, a sales manager, and Steven, an international finance lead, met as students at St. Joseph’s University in 2014. But it wasn’t until after college, in 2018, that the pair became an official couple.

The two enjoyed traveling together, and one trip, to Paris and the South of France in June 2019, had them in awe not just of their surroundings, but also of each other. “It was where we first confided in one another that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together,” says Sarah, who decided afterward that their future union would reflect the trip.

Steven made good on that earlier promise when he proposed in May 2020. And Sarah made good on her choice to bring a bit of Paris to Philly via their April 2022 wedding. “Everything I chose for the wedding design was rooted in a Parisian flair,” says the bride.

Sarah and Steven were married at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church before heading to the reception.

ballroom at the ben wedding

Their reception venue, the Ballroom at the Ben in Center City, set the backdrop with its turn-of-the-century European-inspired architecture. Rather than the high-drama decor typically seen at the Ballroom at the Ben, Sarah and Steven’s reception had a romantic, whimsical ambience thanks to centerpieces of tall cherry-blossom branches and antique brass candelabra wrapped in greenery.

ballroom at the ben wedding

The dreamy florals included garden roses, sweet peas, and cherry-blossom branches, all in the event’s romantic bisque, cream, French blue, soft gray and dusty pink color scheme.

The lounge’s sofa from White Glove Rentals was accented by arrangements of garden roses, cherry-blossom branches, blush hydrangea, yarrow and white lilac that seemed to grow from the ground.


The bride’s custom gown was by Filipino-French designer Monique Lhuillier and blended two of her signature styles. The bridesmaids wore different Amsale styles in a platinum hue, while the maid of honor, Sarah’s sister Samantha (directly behind the bride), donned a Sabina Musáyev gown.



Monique Lhuillier’s Tuileries print was incorporated into the invitation suite (and the sweetheart-table napkins).


Dinner included a choice of filet mignon, Chilean sea bass or chicken Roma.

table numbers

The bride created the table numbers using an Etsy template.

Sarah’s father built the card box, which bore a custom monogram.

card box

The Big Day also nodded to Italy. Sarah’s 90-year-old grandmother, who emigrated from Sicily at age 19, shared a touching dinner blessing with the 220 guests. And after the festivities wrapped up, the couple spent two weeks journeying through Rome, Florence and Venice, celebrating their amore.

Photographer: Grace & Ardor Co. | Venues: St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church (ceremony); Ballroom at the Ben (reception) | Month-of Coordination: Arielle Fera Events | Florals: Winsome Floral | Catering: Finley Catering | Cake: The Master’s Baker | Gown: Monique Lhuillier from the Wedding Salon of Manhasset | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Amsale | Maid of Honor’s Attire: Sabina Musáyev | Groom’s Attire: 1869 Calvin Klein from Men’s Wearhouse | Rings: B&E Jewelers and Gemologists | Hair: Ariel Katrina Hair | Makeup: Carly Giangiulio | Invitations: Minted | Officiant: Bill Waters (priest) | Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works and Sterling Transportation | Music & Entertainment: Jellyroll Band from BVTLive | Videographer: JPS Photography | Photo Booth: TapSnap Photo Booths | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Decor Rentals: White Glove Rentals

Published as “Sarah & Steven” in the Winter/Spring 2023 issue of Philadelphia Wedding.

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