All photos courtesy of With Love and Embers.
If you're looking for traditional, turn back now.
From the moment I met Kelly, I knew I wasn't in for the usual. Her energy lights up a room, and she has a unique, creative vision. Plus, she had some of the greatest one-liners about life, marriage, and people.
"I want a dress that goes, whoooosh!"
The wedding took place at the Maas Building, a smaller, industrial style venue in Kensington, Philadelphia ("it's too nice, make it s***tier", she told me). What made this planning process unique is that her mother contacted me in August, and we pulled the wedding together in two months. Between dress issues and an extremely busy schedule, there were big pieces missing from the usual checklist.
(Note to brides to be reading this: I do not advise leaving your planning until two months out).
Given Kelly's style, finding a photographer was at the absolute top of my list. Thanks to the lovely Brae Howard, we found (and were lucky enough to get) Jillian and Ryan from With Love and Embers. Their style is unique, they do a great job of catching fun moments, and their portraits are absolutely stunning.
After locking in other vendors (and roping in quite a bit of family and friends to help), we got to the fun part: details!
After a stressful dress hunt, she finally chose a deep blue top with her longtime favorite skirt from BHLDN (it does, indeed, go whoooosh).
What made the wedding so much fun were the little things. Kelly and Stephen had their little pup join in on the ceremony, pulling an ittie-bittie sled. Say it with me: AWWWWW.
He preceded the bride into the ceremony, and pulled his flowery sled right up to Stephen. The upstairs room of the Maas Building had been decorated with hoops of greenery and flowers, done by an extremely talented family friend.
Once the ceremony was over, everyone headed down to the garden for hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Dos Hermanos taco truck also provided unlimited tacos (!!!) for dinner.
My favorite bartenders, Kema and Lauren, had cooked up signature cocktails with Kelly and Stephen. If you haven't had an old-fashioned by Kema yet, you're missing out. His is so good, it was mentioned on Preston & Steve.
To alleviate some of the pressure from the bar, we set up a wine table as a serve-yourself option. Needless to say, their guests had a blast!
The cakes were made by The Swiss Haus Bakery here in Philadelphia. Kelly picked their hazelnut cake with mocha icing, and it was positively delicious. Paired with cannoli from the Termini Brothers, it was dessert heaven.
Mid-way through the reception, Kelly traded her veil for a fascinator, changed her shoes, and put on a leather jacket. Both of them added leis, and a whole lot of cool factor.
Anyone else getting some Madonna vibes?
During their dinner, my team and I, along with some fabulous assistance from Jillian from With Love and Embers, turned the ceremony space into a dance floor, complete with -get this- his and hers SWINGS.
It was pretty cool, I'm not going to lie.
Alcohol + swings = Nothing went wrong here.
Thankfully, the bride and groom were perfectly safe in their use of the swings. We didn't see any more injuries than we usually do, either. Dancing's a dangerous sport, dontcha know!
But Stephen's more than a match for it.
The end of the night ended with a dance party in the ceremony space with a lot of fun, raucous dancing. This couple definitely knew how to tear it up.
For the record, she was winning at the song "Shout".
A big thank you to all of our lovely vendors, and especially to all of Kelly and Stephen's friends and family that made this big day come together. From catering to florals, they made it all possible on the DIY end. Deb, you're a star.
Here's a few extra photos, just for fun!