It's always pretty cool when a wedding has a real sense of place, and a couple lets their backdrop play a big role in their big day.
And for Leona & Reggie, their Philadelphia wedding was all about the city where they grew up, ran into eachother (literally!) and fell in love.
Blending a fun party atmosphere with entirely elegant styling, Leona & Reggie held their wedding at JG Domestic in the centre of town with views overlooking the city.
With gold tones laced throughout their day (the bridesmaid's dresses are so gorgeous!), touches of chic DIY decor included a gilded table plan, sparkling table numbers and of course, the iconic Love sign.
The standout decor has to be those stunning hydrangea garlands that added refinement and romance to their unique and modern restaurant venue.
And at the centre of it all, this impeccably styled couple, Leona in her beautiful Watters gown, and Reggie in his sharp suit, lapping up all the fun, and so obviously head over heels in love.
This wedding is set to make you smile!
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Love Story
Reggie and I went to highschool together. I am one year his senior, and we knew one another, but did not date. He claims he had a crush on me throughout high school, but he's handsome as you can see from pictures so he didn’t have trouble with ladies before meeting me.
I was attending grad school at University of Pennsylvania for Social Work, Reggie was living with a college friend in Philly, so we both lived down town. I went running one morning before school (around 7am) and physically ran into him as he was dressed and ready for work.
I bumped his coffee, and said “I’m so sorry sir”, and the sir turned out to be Reggie. We both were taken aback by literally bumping into one another ( I was the real bumping culprit). I told him I had to run (literally again) so I wouldn’t be late for class, and he went to work.
We later planned to meet up for drinks, and that was that. Love blossomed, we quickly moved in together.
Our Proposal Story
Reggie runs his own business (intellectual property protection) IP Lasso. Reggie had told me we had to go meet a client and his wife for a drink.
He led me to the alleged meeting on a Sunday afternoon. Reggie took me to the park near our home, (Schuykill River Park), got down on one knee and offered me his grandmother’s engagement ring (which he had adjusted a bit).
I was COMPLETELY SHOCKED to say the least, and was even more shocked when he told me that none of our parents knew ( I am extremely close with my parents) and that we could call them on our way home.
We began walking home , which was less than a block away, and as we turned the corner our families came out to the street (we lived on Manning Street at the time) and surprised me.
We went to dinner at Fitler Dining Room (one of our favorite restaurants), and then proceeded to go to another bar (Doobies) for a night cap, here I was surprised again by 40 of our closest friends (in and out of town guests!) filling the bar.
We had more drinks, celebrated, and I caught my breath. It is still the second best day of my life, our wedding day being the best.
Our Wedding Inspiration
I love gold. We love Philadelphia. Reggie and I both grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, we fell in love in Philadelphia, and we plan to live in Philadelphia forever.
Reggie and I planned a weekend of events that would hopefully have our guests falling in love with the city too.
So our colors were, gold, navy, ivory, (going off of my beautiful engagement ring) and the only real theme was Philadelphia.
Reggie and I are at the point of life when many of our friends are getting married, and thus we wanted to stray from the typical wedding outline.
We planned for the wedding to be black tie optional, because dressing up and being fancy is fun, and insisted everything be within Center City, in the hopes everyone would spend more time together all weekend long.
Our wedding in three words? Elegant, vivacious , sparkle.
My bouquet was a mixture of ivory/white hydrangeas, tulips, roses, lilies, really anything white.
The amazing centerpieces were white hydrangea garlands, spanning from 12-24 foot sections down the center of each table.
My aunt Abby Thomsen played the piano as guests were being seated. She played various classical songs, but at our request played the Jurassic Park theme song, given it’s my husband Reggie’s favorite movie.
Our programs had a quote from XO (Beyonce song, redone by John Mayer) “your love is bright as ever, even in the shadows”.
There was also the skyline on the programs as well, since we clearly LOVE Philadelphia.
Our ceremony was traditional. We both belong to Church of the Holy Trinity, and wanted to recite the vows our parents had both recited when they got married.
We included the reading “Soul Mates” by Lang Leav included, because it describes our relationship so well.
Advice for Other Couples
Make sure you and your husband are on the same page before doing anything.
And DELEGATE! Other people have great ideas too, and giving people projects or things to be in charge of makes everything more collaborative.
The day will be amazing regardless because you’re marrying the person you love more than anyone.
Pick a few (three MAX) things that you want to stay steadfast on (mine were, being in Center City, a non-traditional venue, farm tables with floral garlands down the center) and let others (family, bridal party) contribute their ideas, or lead a project on their own.
My sister made the seating chart, my mom and dad chose the band (which was AMAZING!), my entire family helped with the seating chart/tablescape.
It takes pressure and responsibility off of the bride and groom, which lets you enjoy your engagement that much more!
I wore a Watters gown, Viv, and my bridesmaids had the option to pick and purchase whatever gold dress they wanted.
The only theme color that was prominent was gold, so we wanted to make the ladies shine!
The men all wore navy tuxes from The Black Tux rental, which worked out amazingly!
We chose Danfredo because Wil and Danielle are in love with each other, and we know love makes for the best partnerships.
The way they are able to capture real moments, of love, laughter, and other emotions brings you back in time. They’re both such amazing positive people, and if you’re asking someone to document the most important day of your life, you want to be with someone who you trust, and like!
We were hit by a spot of rain on our wedding day, and as we predicted Danielle and Wil were able to creatively come up with ways to give us the best pictures (inside a parking garage nonetheless!)
We went to Riveria Maya, Mexico, Blue Diamond Resort.
It was the best 10 days of our lives. We plan on going back to the same resort for our two year anniversary if that means anything!
We loved our venue for the clean lines, endless possibilities of what you can do with the expansive space, and the skyline view of Center City, (have I mentioned we love Philadelphia?).
We wanted a non-traditional venue, and JG Domestic did just that.
The Decor & Details
We wanted the space to sell it self.
The fantastic site coordinator Caitlin Boshnack helped us insert some details, such as the hanging LOVE sign, and the mirrored seating chart that my sister and maid of honor designed and created.
We included pictures of our parents, and grandparents after their wedding. We have a fantastic family, and always want to show how much we appreciate them.
The backdrop and star of the show (aside from us!) was the skyline.
Our favorite drink is an old fashioned, and fortunately for us, Whiskey Village (a Garces Group restaurant) does a version of it, called the Commodore.
This had an extra special meaning, given Reggie’s father is a sailor, and served in the navy.
There was an amazing cocktail hour (which we extended by 30 minutes so the bridal party, ourselves included, would enjoy it too!).
Dinner was sit down meal, provided by the fantastic chefs at JG Domestic. Anyone in Philly can tell you that all Garces Group restaurants have excellent food…
First dance: ‘Try a Little Tenderness' by Otis Redding.
Second dance: ‘Sunday Kind of Love' by Etta James.
The non-stop dance party, provided by the Sid Miller Dance Band.
Reggie and I love to dance, our guests love to dance and our families LOVE TO DANCE.
Reggie picked me up doing the Whitney Houston song “I Will Always Love You” and spun me around so I was dawning my crowd of guests with love.
It was the best.
So fun and so beautiful. I'm going through a veil phase at the moment, and I just love the texture in Leona's, and how it pairs with the texture in her gown too, so pretty! That venue looks awesome too!
And be sure to read Leona's tips for delegating wedding tasks (and the cool Beyonce quote in their wedding booklet!)
Thanks so much to Danfredo Photos + Films, and of course Leona & Reggie for sharing their cool Philadelphia wedding with us!
Be inspired by more amazing real weddings.