Golden Autumn Wedding by Asya Photography

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From Mary, the bride:

Chris and I took a politics seminar together at NYU when he was a senior and I was a junior. The class was terribly boring, and the professor paired up each of the twelve or so students to co-present an article, probably written by himself. I’m rather competitive, and reached out to Chris to make sure his portion of the presentation wouldn’t one-up mine. His response, albeit a bit delayed, was an invitation to dinner.

Believe it or not, I wore a ball gown skirt and top by J. Crew for the ceremony, and later changed into a short feathered skirt by Club Monaco for the reception!)

The theme of our wedding was “gold.” Chris and I both love autumn and the gold haze that seems to hang in the air in the late afternoon in early November.

Printed on our ceremony programs was the quote from the song “Gold” from the musical “Once”:

If a door be closed,

Then a row of homes start building.

And tear your curtains down,

For sunlight is like gold.

It was our ceremony – held on the outdoor grounds amidst the withering autumn leaves and officiated by a dear friend and mentor – that made it unique to us. Our parents, perhaps surprised at first that we decided not to be married in a Catholic church, later noted that the ceremony was by far the most personal they’d seen and hands-down their favorite part of the day.

Our dear friend Laina wrote and performed our very personal ceremony, sharing stories of our first dates, childhood memories and hopes for our lives together. A wise one indeed, she asked us to turn and look into the faces of our family and friends who had joined us for our special day. In so doing, she recognized several significant individuals from our lives who had passed on and were unable to be there. At the very moment she asked us to face the audience, a single white balloon floated silently over the tree line above our heads in the distance. My father relayed this story to me only after the wedding, and we knew instantly who had joined us in spirit.

The moody November skies, with brilliant autumn colors in the background, made for a peaceful, reflective celebration, full of gratitude – perfect for harvest time.  

We’re both very musical, as are many of our friends and family, and we surprised everyone with a performance by The Agnes Irwin School Bel Cantos (my high school a cappella group), and later Chris and I performed “Young and Beautiful” by Lana del Rey (ours a slightly more upbeat version!), while two of my bridesmaids sang “Fields of Gold” and “Songbird.”

Florist – Envy Floral Affairs, Havertown // Cake/Dessert – SophistiCakes Bakery, Drexel Hill // Ceremony, Reception, and Catering – Overbrook Golf Club // Music – Strings by Elysium Quartet, DJ – Schaffer Sound // Planner/Coordinator – Jimmy Bartorillo, Overbrook Golf Club // Stationary – Schank Printing, Conshohocken // Transportation – Philadelphia Trolley Works

The Perfect October Day. {Philly Wedding by AGP Collective}

Meredith and Marty married on a perfect October day…

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One might even say the day was a 10/10, if they’re punny enough.

CONFESSIONAL: Meredith is one of my most beloved friends. I feel like this blog post might sound a little creepy if you don’t know that, and it felt important to disclose. I also can’t end up with a lot of brides wondering why I didn’t buy them flowers. Awkward!

Anyway…the Maaskant wedding weekend started with a Friday night at North Bowl for the couple’s rehearsal dinner, where we got to meet Marty’s relatives from Holland, among others. We all slumber partied it up at the Sheraton Society Hill and woke up bright and early for hair and make-up at Salon L’Etoile, where Meredith works as a manager. Kadi killed it on the bride’s effortless French twist, and Ashley was on her A-game for that winged eyeliner.  We all left feeling like a million bucks. 

When we arrived back to the Sheraton, there was a little surprise waiting for Meredith. In the interest of pinching pennies, she had chosen to make her own floral arrangements using silk flowers, which she revealed to us Friday night. They were sweet but out of place with all the vintage pretty she’d assembled for the day.

Meredith is the sort of person that is always doing the most thoughtful things and choosing the most thoughtful gestures for her friends. I just felt it was time for her to be on the receiving end, since I have received of her goodness so so so so SO many times. I made a plan to sneak out and buy fresh flowers and make her some quick arrangements myself. BUT…when I hit up my friend Kendall of Q/A Designs for advice about where to go, she decided to up the ante and make Meredith a bouquet. With about 12 hours notice.

 And then, she made one for each and every bridesmaid, too. I can’t even thank you enough for spoiling my friend so good, Kendall!!!!! These flowers would have taken me…well, never. I never could’ve put together such amazing bouquets. Kiss kiss kiss to you!

After a hectic and rushed morning in the Groom’s Room for Marty and the boys, Dan got him in place for his First Look in a beautiful cobblestone alley near the hotel. The gals and the couple’s dog, Tycho, soon joined us. I think Marty’s reaction to the First Look is what every bride hopes for when she’s planning her own. Good job, Marty!!

After some bridal party portraits, we headed over to The Maas Building, where Meredith’s step-mom, Tracy, got to see her in full-on bridal mode for the first time. The gown Meredith wore was worn by Tracy when she married Meredith’s dad. An aunt had worn it in her wedding, as well (you’ll see pics with her later). Meredith had it altered to suit her taste and figure, and everyone agreed it was to die for. There’s just something about a tea length dress with lace long sleeves that slays me. 

Waiting for the ceremony I was a ball of nerves in a way I’ve never experienced before. Because this time, not only was my team photographing without me…I was officiating. This job is so real, and it didn’t all hit me until right before go time.

The ceremony was made easier, though, to hear the words these two wrote about one another. Meredith and Marty’s vows were so REAL and TRUTHFUL and THEM. Hearing them each speak their vows out loud was the highlight of my day and the words were truly an affirmation of their love. One advantage of having a wedding photographer as your officiant is, they know when to step aside and get out of your photo ops. Meredith and Marty’s reception was full of sweet details. The fox theme originated from a painting that Marty did for Meredith (look for it in many of the dance floor shots) and the couple’s event design and planning team, Clover Event Co. took that and ran with it. They were even able to match the tabletop florals with the bouquets that Kendall designed, and the gold-painted Mason jars were a perfect touch. Not only did Cailtin and Alicia of Clover Event Co. design a beautiful collection of details, they also kept the day running smoothly and efficiently. I can’t stress enough to my clients that a day-of coordinator can make or break how much you actually get to enjoy your day. Just do it. The couple’s friend, Gianni, made the gorgeous white paper floral installation that topped off the ceremony space. So unique and fun!

And the cake…ooohhh that cake…was made by the couple’s friend Liz, owner of Sweet Elizabeth’s and it was hands down, legit, the BEST wedding cake I’ve ever eaten. Also stunningly beautiful. Had I know there were two flavors in that cake, I’d have left a few pounds heavier. Especially since one of the flavors was PUMPKIN. The Maas Building was a great place to party and made a super fresh, pretty, Anthro-sque kind of backdrop for photos. The space is pretty limitless in terms of customization and really aesthetically pleasing just as is.

 The reception was more like a perfect backyard party. Food was provided by Pbon’s Fresh Phood of Philly‘s big yellow truck, and crowd favoriteThe Sermon!  performed throughout. The reception was over by 6:30 which was actually kind of amazing! See? These two just don’t play by any rules. (That’s a line from my ceremony script.)

 I want to thank Mer and Marty for their enormous vote of confidence in me, by not only hiring me as their photographer, but believing I could manage that duty on top of bridesmaid-ing and officiating. I think we really all are capable of way more than we believe — thank you for always believing in me and being one of the most supportive friend-couples I’ve got.

l-o-v-e-f-e-s-t!!

~ From Sarah of AGP Collective {friend, photographer, bridesmaid, and officiant extraordinaire}

Photographer: AGPcollective (Sarah Alderman, Eliza Taylor, Dan Wilson) // Ceremony & Reception Venue: Maas Building // Officiant: Sarah Alderman of AGPcollective // Invitation Designer: Martin Maaskant // Planning and Event Design: Clover Event Co. // Cake: Sweet Elizabeth’s  // Catering: Pbon’s Fresh Phood of Philly // Florist: Q|A Designs Philadelphia // Wedding Dress: Vintage/family heirloom  // Hair & Make-up: Salon L’Etoile, MYK // Live Music: The Sermon! // Favors: custom fox candles by Olliver Lifestyle

Mint {Harvest Dinner Series}

It’s our favorite time of year…the Harvest Dinner Series is back!  With each presentation – Heart and Dash never ceases to amaze us {previous features include strawberry, pumpkin, apple, peach, and blackberry}.  This summer’s ‘Mint’ is the continually creative group’s freshest yet, and we can just about smell those mint leaves in the summer air.

FaunbrookHarvestMintDinner-108From Sarah K. of Heart and Dash:

Everyone has those ultimate foodie moments – biting into a fresh strawberry, sipping the first mojito with freshly muddled mint of the season, or smelling pumpkin bread baking – that get you beyond excited for the seasonal shift and yummy food that comes with it. Imagine an entire menu devoted to celebrating one of these seasonal flavors and you have the inspiration behind Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast’s Harvest Dinner seasonal series. At the recent Harvest Dinner, friends, neighbors, and vendors gathered to welcome the summer with mint-inspired cocktails and culinary creations.

The Mint Harvest Dinner had an amazing menu that had all the dinner guests excited before they even sat down. Adding to that foodie excitement were some seriously fun tables where local vendors showed off their skills with assorted green dishware, flickering candles, and potted greenery. Guests and vendors dined together, neighbors turned into friends, and a special evening was had by all.

Venue: Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast // Planning: Heart & Dash // Catering: Triple Fresh // Florals: Kati Mac Floral Design // Rentals: Modern Relics // Spirits: Art in the Age // Photography: Brittney Raine Photography // Videography: Solidity Films // Dishware: Dishfunctional // Tent: The Party Center

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English Garden Inspired Moshulu Wedding by Asya Photography

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Rebecca and Andrew’s wedding shows us that the old adage is true – you’ll meet someone when you least expect it.  After meeting at a party where they were both guests-of-a-guest while Becca was studying abroad in London, followed by a few years of travel, then Andrew’s move across the pond, the couple honored their families and heritages in such a beautiful way at their wedding.  Starting with the the deep greens of southern England – and captured by Grace of Asya Photography –  their flowers, music, location, and attire highlighted who they are as individuals, and created a wonderful start to their life together.

231.0003From Becca, the bride:

We met at a house party in North London.  I was studying in London for the year and Andrew was working in the financial district. Each of us was brought to the same house party by our respective friends – neither of us were invited directly. We started talking and Andrew was intrigued when I told him I wanted to save the world. Rather than laugh, Andrew asked me for my number and we had our first date the following week. After one year together in London and two years of long distance from London to Philadelphia where I was in medical school, Andrew moved to the USA to begin our new life together.

231.0021Our ceremony and reception were at the Moshulu, a historic boat in Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. We come from an array of religious backgrounds so we didn’t want to pick one specific church. Many of Andrew’s family have served in the British Royal Navy, and we love boats and being on the water, so we found this venue compelling and special to us. We love how this venue has strong historical character, particularly that it was built in Scotland where Andrew’s family is originally from, and loved feeling that we had something that set us apart from other weddings – a truly unique venue.   Additionally, the many decks and dining hall on the Moshulu gave us all the spaces we wanted to use for different parts of the evening, and as a renowned restaurant, we knew the food would be fantastic!

231.0002 The theme of the wedding was largely traditional and a bit rustic. It was fairly intimate with roughly 100 guests. Our color was forest green, reminiscent of the beautiful countryside where Andrew’s family comes from in Southern England. This was a great color for the fall and brought in hints of nature to this venue. One personal touch we added was customized wine bottle openers for each member of our bridal party. They say our names and the date of our wedding.  I also had surprise t-shirts for the groom and groomsmen – “Team Boy” is how Andy referred to his usher party. We did not need to do too much DIY, since the boat already has so much character, but a unique addition to our wedding was the Scottish Ceilidh band teaching our guests Scottish folk dancing. It was a great way to get all generations out on the dance floor! We also celebrated Andrew’s Scottish heritage by inviting guests to wear kilts and fascinators, which many people did! We borrowed an old British sword from my grandparents to cut our wedding cake, which was also memorable for us. Lastly, my dad used his talents to do all the musical arrangements for the string quartet, which was a sweet personal touch.

231.0031What we remember most is simply that we had the best day of our lives. We have never felt more full of joy, and it was the best feeling in the world to have our favorite people with us. One particular memory is that about ten minutes before the ceremony, just as Andrew was feeling most nervous, one of my uncles who had never worn a kilt before burst into the room where the groomsmen were waiting and asked for help putting the kilt together. This quickly diffused all the tension! One thing that didn’t go quite according to plan was 3 members of our bridal party being in the hospital the week before the wedding – luckily everyone is healthy now but it gave us quite a scare! We love reliving our wedding through the photos and video, and will always cherish the special day our married life began!
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Photography:  Asya Photography // Wedding Dress:  Bijou Bridal // Bridesmaids’ Dresses:  Macy’s Bridal // Groom’s Attire:  Hawes & Curtis // Florals:  Robertson’s Flowers & Events // Venue:  Moshulu // DJ:  East Coast Event Group