St. Thomas of Villanova and Pomme Wedding by BG Productions {National Dog Day}

When planning a wedding, it’s fun getting the pretty details together, but if you ask most couples, the most important aspect of the day is being surrounded by those they love most.  And in so many cases, those we love most have four legs instead of two…  Today is National Dog Day {!!}, and Delancey and Penn would like to celebrate all the sweet pups out there who are truly ‘bride and groom’s best friends.  The friends who are always there when we need them, whether it’s for a run in the park or a snuggle after a particularly hard day.  Dogs don’t care about all those details that tend to make us crazy during wedding planning – all they care about is love and attention {and maybe a few treats every now and then!}.  If only all relationships were that simple and pure…

BG Productions is a husband and wife photography/videography team who really knows how to celebrate our favorite doggie friends.  They recognized the same in Ellen and Ryan, and the images from their St. Thomas of Villanova and Pomme wedding highlight their appreciation for a bright summer day and their love for their friends and family – both the two and four leg variety.

Ellen and Ryan are truly a remarkable couple.  They were both teachers – who actually met at new teacher orientation – until Ellen made the move to med school, where she’s currently in her first year {and has more than likely been up all night studying!}.  Ryan is in the midst of football season – he’s a coach at a Philly high school.  About a year ago they added Penny {who, with that name, just might become our official mascot!} to their little family, and she’s been the light of their lives ever since.  Penny came from some pretty dire circumstances, as she was found in a dumpster when she was just a baby, but you would never know she had such a rough start in life – she is a very happy girl who loves everyone she meets.

Penny, on this very special doggie day, thank you for reminding us how sweet and unconditional puppy love can be!  We sure hope you get a few extra belly rubs and ice cubes today!! {And be sure to scroll down to read Penny’s story, and the story of the couple in Ellen’s own words…it will totally make your day – promise!!}



From the lovely and oh so eloquent bride…

 Ryan and I like to say we are “high school sweethearts,” although it’s not in the traditional sense. I moved to Washington DC after college to work as a high school chemistry teacher at a local high school. On my the first day of Professional Development for New Teachers, I walked into the cafeteria and looked out at the sea of other teachers and got very anxious, so I reverted to my mom’s advice from when I went to college- “just sit next to the cutest boy in the room.” I think she was kidding, but as you can tell, that was actually very handy advice. 

 As the day went on, they asked the teachers to create a cheer for the school’s football team that we could teach the kids at an assembly the following week. Ryan raised his hand right away and got up, screaming a cheer and doing this silly little dance. I knew that day that he was it. I went home and told my roommate that “I met the man I was going to marry…” she told me that I shouldn’t say that because it was creepy. I had never said it before that and never had to say it again. 

Ryan would like to add that I “ham-handedly” gave him my telephone number and he had no idea what was going on, but he asked me out for drinks anyway. When we started talking, he brought up that since we work together, but I was cool, he would love to possibly meet (and date) my friends. He figured things out eventually… we’ve been together ever since that first date. (Timeline: met on a Monday, first date that Thursday, together forever.) 

I’m a Villanova grad and Ryan grew up in West Chester, so Villanova was a great common ground to celebrate our wedding! We did a search for venues within a few miles of the church in each direction and Pomme was a pretty easy sell. The grounds are gorgeous, the staff is flawless and the food is insanely delicious. All that and air conditioning and we were basically drooling. (My dad’s only two requests: central air and cocktail weenies at the reception. One was a July wedding practicality, the other a family tradition.)

Now  BG Productions! We really lucked out. Finding BG was actually the light at the end of quite a tunnel. We had started our planning from DC and actually had our first photographer AND florist fall through because both were family businesses who found out they were expecting baby and due in July 2015! They both cancelled on me in the same week…. it was a really rough week. I had planned everything in advance so I could focus on school and Ryan could focus on his new job teaching and coaching at Simon Gratz High School. (Go Bulldogs!) I went back to the internet and word of mouth, and having just moved to East Falls, found that we had some fantastic neighbors that could help us out with everything we needed- all walking distance from our house! That’s how we were blessed with the help of BG Productions for photos, Falls Flowers for our florals and Mack Stylist for hair and makeup. Talk about meant to be! When we met with each vendor, we absolutely fell in love with everyone involved. We are very lucky. 

My dress was one of my favorite parts of the wedding. I would probably wear it everyday if it was socially acceptable; it would go nicely with my new white coat. I actually found my dress on Pinterest and encountered every Pinner’s nightmare- no details. It was just a picture. I reverse Google-imaged it and was directed to the Pronovias website, where I found the name and style of the dress and knew that it was the one. (As you can tell, I don’t really dwell on decisions if I feel they’re right.) I tracked down a local store that carried the brand and when I called, they said they didn’t actually have that dress, but had plenty of other styles by Pronovias, so I decided to make an appointment to check them out. The day before I got there, they called me absolutely freaking out, telling me that the shipment they got that day contained a dress that looked almost exactly like the one that I fell in love with– same style, just made from different material. It was the first one I tried on and it was the one I wore down the aisle! 

Now the most important part—- Penny is the best dog ever.  She loved being a part of our wedding day almost as much as we loved having her there!

 We adopted Penny last May from The Riley Rescue, who I found through We had just moved to Philly (more on that later,) and we purposely chose to rent a place with a backyard that allowed dogs because we were dying to add a pup to our family. We adopted her at the TOTALLY wrong time- Ryan was finishing up his school year teaching in Washington D.C. and I was starting the Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program at Temple University, which is a wonderful program, but allows for almost NO personal time, especially if science doesn’t come naturally to you. Even though it was just “us girls” in the house until Ryan was done with school for the year, Penny started and continued to bring SUCH joy and whimsy to our house. She was a pokey little 9 week old puppy in a big Philly world. (She’s 1 year and about three months now.) There were some mishaps at first in the realms of potty training, crate training, and teething, but we were lucky because Pen really wanted to make us happy. For example, one morning after a 4 am potty emergency, I was snoozing on the couch. She wanted to tell me how much she loved me, so she found a dead mouse in the backyard, brought it inside, and put it right on my chest, with its little mouse face looking me right in the eye. I woke up and Penny was basically grinning at me. I could see the love in her eyes… then I saw her precious gift. I screamed SO loud that Ryan came bounding down the stairs in time to see me wildly smiling at Penny saying “THANK YOU, PENNY! NO MORE! NO MORE!” That’s what I had read that you say to cats when they bring you dead mice as gifts. It seemed to work. There was a similar event with a cockroach at one point, but besides that, she now shows her affection with kisses and snuggles. 

Pen is such a sweet girl-a lover of all humans and dogs- also a lover of ice cubes, peanut butter and sitting on the porch and wagging her tail at the neighbors as they pass by. Most of the neighbors know her name, although we aren’t sure if some even know ours! One of everyone’s favorite of her attributes is the iconic “one ear up.” She looks like SUCH a goofball. She tells you what she’s thinking with her ears. The one up, one down situation is when she’s just hanging out. Ears go straight back when she’s happy or excited. They are straight up when she is very focused. When she knows she’s in trouble, I don’t know what her ears look like because she runs and hides under the coffee table. As you can probably tell, we are absolutely in love with her. As a side note- we picked the name “Penny” because, when we got her, she was seven pounds and almost jet black. She had just a bit of copper undertone to her fur. I was taking general chemistry class at the time and had just learned that copper is currently one of the most highly valued (and under-appreciated) elements at this point in time. Being that the rescue found Pen and her brother in a dumpster, and she turned out to be the cutest little pup in the whole world, we deemed the name appropriate. She is currently highly-valued and formerly under-appreciated!

Photography:  BG Productions //  Florist:  Falls Flowers // Hair & Makeup:  Mack Stylist //  Reception Venue:  Pomme // Dress:  Pronovias

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