What a beautiful couple and a beautiful late summer wedding event this was! Careful planning on the part of the bride and groom and their fantastic wedding planner, Lisa Marie Chimento of Kaleidoscope Weddings, ensured that this day was perfect from the morning preparations to the grand exit at the reception. And it was such a joy to be a part of capturing this magical day for Julia and Michael.
Julia and Michael each began their special day enjoying time with their friends and family. Julia, along with her mother and her bridal party, got ready at her grandparents’ luxurious estate, The Valley House, situated on a private, serene lake in New Jersey. There, they all enjoyed a lovely brunch and had their hair done and makeup professionally applied by Daneene Jensen & Associates and Louis Christian/Robert John Salon. There was also cherished quiet time that Julia spent with her mother before the hustle and bustle of the day that was so dear and special to just the two of them. After hair and makeup, Julia’s bridal party made sure to take time out to toast the couple before dressing out of their matching robes and into their beautiful pink and pink & white gowns.
Also during those morning preparations, we were thrilled to have Julia and Michael read for us the sweet love notes they wrote for each other. Michael read his card from Julia as he got ready at her father’s home in Philadelphia. In it, Julia reminisced about their first meeting and described her love for him. Michael and his groomsmen then dressed into their matching classic black tuxedos… and check out those eye-catching accessories! Michael’s groomsmen received such awesome socks with his and Julia’s faces on them! It’s always great to add a touch of personalization and humor to the wedding. It wasn’t long before Michael and his groomsmen were boarding a trolley on their way to Julia’s grandparents’ estate.
Julia then dressed into her gorgeous wedding gown. It featured a beautiful princess silhouette with a classic belt, delicate lace throughout and an amazing illusion neckline. Beautiful already, she was such a breathtaking bride on this most important day. Before Michael viewed his bride for the first time, Julia shared a touching first look with her father. Michael too had a special and emotional first look with his mother. We know these parents are so proud of how their children grew, probably too fast, to be remarkable adults and are so happy that they found such incredible, loving partners with which to spend their lives.
Julia and Michael then met on the pristine grounds on the estate for their own first look. This is always such a special moment and we loved how Michael asked Julia to give him a spin!
There at The Valley House, the couple spent precious ‘alone’ time walking around the gorgeous gardens, along the lake and on the dock overlooking the water. Their wedding party also joined them for their wonderful photo shoot as Amy Rizzuto Photography, who were amazing to work with, captured this beautiful day. Then, they all boarded the trolley to travel to the church together for the ceremony.
Julia and Michael’s ceremony was held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Philadelphia. Julia entered the church on the arm of her loving father and walked up the aisle to meet Michael. You could clearly see the emotion written on Michael’s face and how he fought to ‘keep it together’ at the sight of his bride entering through the doors. We especially loved how Julia looked at her father as she walked and how she gazed up at Michael as she approached him at the altar. Their traditional ceremony included a full Mass… and also the amazing talent of the Keystone State Boychoir!
Following the ceremony, we traveled to Julia and Michael’s reception venue, the historic and stately Union League of Philadelphia. It’s such a grand setting for a wedding event, with its polished marble, rich and detailed woodwork, brilliant chandeliers and prestigious artwork collection. The bridal party all attended the cocktail hour here, during which we were treated to a special performance by the mummers!
At the Union League, the Lincoln Hall ballroom décor overflowed with drama, with tall table centerpieces that included white calla lilies, hydrangeas and orchids surrounded by floating candles. And their six-tiered wedding cake with its intricate piping was absolutely a work of art! This was such a wonderful, glamorous affair and as always, Carl Alan Floral Designs and DFW Event Design did an amazing job with the flowers and décor!
The bridal party entered the ballroom followed, of course, by the couple of honor! Julia and Michael’s first dance together as Mr. and Mrs. was so perfect. The two truly looked like professional dancers performing a wonderfully choreographed dance for their guests. And Michael lifting Julia into the air was just icing on the cake!
Julia’s father delivered a fantastic welcome speech to all the guests and reminded the couple to take in and cherish all the love in the room that evening. During dinner, we heard more fantastic toasts from Julia’s matron of honor and Michael’s best man before that spectacular cake was cut. Touching parent dances followed the cake cutting… and lots of dancing by their guests all evening long to the energetic sounds of the Sid Miller Dance Band!
Julia and Michael’s wedding event ended with a special sparkler exit on one of the twin grand staircases of the Union League, where their friends and family gathered to send them off and into their new life together. This was such a wonderful day of celebration, overflowing with the love of family and friends. Congratulations and best wishes to Julia and Michael!
Photographer: Amy Rizzuto Photography – New York, NY
Floral Design: Carl Alan Floral Designs – Philadelphia, PA
Event Design and Décor: DFW Event Design – Bensalem, PA
Entertainment: BVT Live! – Sid Miller Dance Band – Chadds Ford, PA
Wedding Planner: Kaleidoscope Weddings – Lisa Marie Chimento – Wayne, PA
Church: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church – Philadelphia, PA
Choir: Keystone State Boychoir – Philadelphia, PA
Venue: The Union League of Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA
Accommodations: The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA
December 27th, 2018
by Kristi Chapman
in Pennsylvania Philadelphia Wedding Film