What could be more lovely than a blushing bride on her wedding day? TWO lovely brides, of course! Add in a soft palette of pinks and corals, gorgeous details, and a stunning museum backdrop… and I’m just swooning from the beauty and romance of this Philadelphia wedding. Marissa Moss was there to capture all of the love and lucky for us, both brides, Tab and Alexandra, are here to share their planning insight:
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
Tab: Our wedding planner Christina Hill (Chill Weddings) by far helped the most. We both work intense jobs on the west coast and had very limited knowledge of the whole wedding process, so she connected us with most of our vendors, kept us on task and helped keep a really relaxed atmosphere. (Marissa not included, she is an old high school friend and a fabulously talented photographer so I snatched her up well in advance).
Alexandra: Christina was amazing! I think the second we met her (over Skype!), we knew she’d be a good fit. She’s super level-headed, made great vendor suggestions and worked hard to make sure we were getting our money’s worth. I felt as if she understood implicitly what Tab and I were asking for, despite the fact that we did a relatively vague job articulating our vision to her (I think we threw a lot of contradictory ideas at her!). On the big day, Christina was a godsend. She and her team were great at dealing with surprises (like when I forgot the final check due to our venue!), managing the guests’ needs and making sure everything was running smoothly (if it didn’t, we certainly didn’t notice). On top of all that, she’s a blast.
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
Tab: We wanted to work with people who shared our vibe of maximizing fun, minimizing stress. It’s safe to say everyone who helped us was incredibly talented and dedicated to their work, but as important, they were low maintenance and very genuine.
Alexandra: I think Tab knew she wanted Marissa as our photographer even before we got engaged! She shot our engagement photos too, and I’m so glad she was willing to travel all the way across the country for us (twice!). She’s incredibly relaxed, has a fantastic eye and really captured all those small moments perfectly.
Our other vendors were fantastic as well – Bill Schaffer from Schaffer Designs did an incredible job on our flowers. He came highly recommended by friends in the floral design business, and frankly, I can’t believe he agreed to work on something as small scale as our wedding (google him – he and his wife are rock stars!). I had originally wanted an outdoor wedding, and he managed to create something beautiful and relaxed in what could have been a really over-the-top and stuffy space. He had great design advice during the planning process, and the day of, accommodated some last minute requests for extras. I really hadn’t put much thought into the flowers (Tab was much more particular than me with respect to the arrangements, linens, etc.), but the day of, I was blown away by Bill and Kristin’s work. I loved my bridal bouquet, and our guests couldn’t stop gushing about how much they loved it all.
I also need to give props to our graphic designer, Carryn Golden (Golden Silhouette), and Tish Smith (Foam Floaterie), whose wedding cakes were the talk of the party. Carryn was incredibly patient and wildly talented; she did a fantastic job bringing our numerous ideas to life. We were lucky enough to get Tish right before she closed her popular South Philly ice cream shop and headed west, and she made us seven mini cakes in a variety of unique flavors (plum cardamom, lemon cornmeal, chocolate hazelnut). We didn’t want to do a traditional cake cutting, but we also didn’t want a generic cake – if you’re going to make room for dessert at a wedding, it should be worth it! Plus, it was a family imperative that we had good carrot cake. Needless to say, the guests loved it, and I know a few sneaky people managed to try every single flavor.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
Tab: If Alex had it her way we would have been married in a barn in rural Pennsylvania, but that wouldn’t have been very easy for our guests. We wanted everyone to enjoy Philly, and we both have childhood nostalgia for the Franklin Institute. We tried to keep a simple and naturally elegant aesthetic that still fit with the the museum. Clearly we love fun, bright colors.
Alexandra: I was really worried that our reception space – this beautiful marble hall – would be far too formal, and wanted to soften it somehow. Our color palette and ideas were really more suggestive of something outdoorsy and relaxed, and luckily the people we worked with understood exactly how to translate that into the museum without making it seem cheesy or out of place.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
Tab: All our loved ones were together under the same roof. Family and friends came from near and far including California, Canada, Florida, India, Singapore, and Burning Man, all to witness and support our love (and drink and dance the night away). That feeling was incredible.
Alexandra: My favorite thing? The outpouring of love and excitement and celebration from our family and friends. Close seconds: when the woman of my dreams surprised me by interrupting the ceremony to say very nice things about me in front of everyone we love. When we were (thankfully) bullied into playing the Hava Nagila, the whole reception ended up on their feet and Tab’s father completely disregarded her request for no chairs! When guests discovered that Tab had temporary tattoos of our faces AND our dog made for everyone. When we had our first dance and everyone joined in. When we finally ate dinner at 3 AM on our hotel room floor.
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
Tab: We’re no experts but if you want to enjoy the most of out of a very short and incredibly important moment in your life, surround yourself with positive people and never lose perspective – you get to marry the most awesome person ever, in front of everyone you love!
Alexandra: I think the most awesome wife ever said it all.
Awesome advice, ladies! I love all of the personal details from Tab and Alex, including the super awesome and incredibly creative temporary tattoos OF THEIR FACES! Genius.
How about y’all? Are you planning any fun surprises or gifts for your guests? I’d love to hear your ideas!