Chic Weddings/Modern Weddings

Stylish Horticultural Centre Wedding with Cool South African Details

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Even with all the real weddings I’ve seen over the years, I often feel like most big days fall in one of two categories: classic or cool. And it’s pretty rare that there’s a total cross-over.

But today’s real wedding manages to be cool, creative and stylish, as well as elegant, luxurious and polished. And that’s an impressive feat, am I right?

Courtney & Jay got married in the bride’s hometown of Philadelphia, with a church ceremony and a reception at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center.

The setting was the perfect choice for their greenery-laced celebration, with vibrant palm centrepieces and fern chandeliers hanging overhead. Paired with refined white details and some South African touches (protea florals, rosé wines, and safari-inspired cake toppers) their thoughtfully curated decor came together in a way that was creative, personalised and so elegant. 

And that’s before we talk the attire – both the bride and groom and their wedding party are so skilfully styled – Courtney’s Marchesa wedding dress is just beautiful and I know you’ll all going to pin her mix and match bridesmaid dresses. 

With photography by Asya Photography, there’s a lot of unique details packed into this beautiful wedding, so let the swooning commence.

 

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Our Love Story

We met through friends years before and always kept notes on one another though we lived across the country. 

Finally Jay got up the nerve to ask Courtney out and they were long distance for less than a year before he moved to New York! 

He proposed in Gramercy Park on a snowy day in March of 2015 (Courtney had lived in the area for years but had never been inside the park itself – you need a special key!) and had all of our friends waiting at HiFi, where we first met years earlier to celebrate – Courtney was very surprised! 

 

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The Style

I truly love fashion and design so having a selection of more playful and colorful bridesmaids dresses that coordinated well with the overall aesthetic of the event were hard to find but in the end it was super rewarding. 

Courtney selected each one and is so proud of how they all came together and complemented one another – each girl looked so uniquely beautiful!

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Advice for Other Couples

We loved Blueprint Registry, J&L Events, & Asya Photography – our photographer was recommended to us by a family friend and it worked out perfectly! 

Hire a day-of planner, a full-time planner just wasn’t necessary for us because we had a clear vision of what we wanted – Jamie from J&L made all the stress disappear day-of!

Don’t obey the rules or follow what every other wedding has done – what makes your wedding about you as a couple are what you love and appreciate and those are the things that will make your guests happy too.

Random advice – I bought a bunch of raffia fans that reminded us of South African handmade goods, it wound up being a fun homage to Jay’s home but also a very helpful to our guests as well! 

We got married in the oldest Episcopalian church in the country and there is no A/C!  It wound up being 90 degrees on our wedding day and the guests used the fans during the ceremony. 

The church kept them and they still use them on warm days in the summertime which we love!

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Favourite Moments

Our first dance was upbeat, we chose “Let’s Dance!” by David Bowie because that’s more our style – playful and celebratory, not so serious.  I think we each loved dancing but we felt even better getting it over with and really getting the party started!

Courtney is from Philadelphia so having everyone of our friends and family together for the first time in her hometown was so special for her! 

We tried as best we could to include touches of South Africa like the Grand Protea flowers and Rose wines from that region to honor Jay and his family and remind them of home.  

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The Honeymoon

We went to Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka), Hong Kong, Thailand (Koh Samui, Bangkok & Chaing Mai).

I’d definitely recommend our trip – especially Tokyo & Kyoto, Japan!

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