We met at work and were friends for quite some time before we went on our first date. We went to a restaurant we could walk to in Philadelphia and spent all night together, talking about anything and everything until the sun came up. We both instantly knew after that first date, this would be something special. A year and a half later, and after traveling the world together to Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Puerto Rico and every domestic destination in between, Nick proposed at the exact same spot where our first date took place.
Finding the dress was an incredibly smooth and seamless process, due to La Belle Mariee. We found them on The Knot as a recommended bridal location in the local area. They listened to exactly what was wanted and exactly what wasn’t. By the third dress on the first visit, ‘the one’ was found! A cap sleeve gown made of perfection – and the best surprise ever, pockets! It was a family affair with Jacqui’s grandmother, Nick’s grandmother, the MOG and MOB, Jacqui’s sister and godmother all present to enjoy in the fun and celebrate with champagne.
The rest of the planning was simple! We knew we wanted travel to be the core theme. We incorporated it where we could, without going overboard – having luggage tag escort cards which led you to your table named after a destination we had traveled to together. And don’t forget the mints in a little suitcase on your way out! All of the details put into place covered a neutral palette of pinks, peaches and creams. We let the bridesmaids decide what they wanted to wear and let them budget in what they felt comfortable with in buying their dresses. We wanted this wedding to be as easy for our bridal party as it would be for our guests.
Finding a venue might have been the craziest part of our day. We knew we wanted Center City Philadelphia to be the location as it held such a special place in both of our hearts, but the venue we wanted was not even built yet! We were shown renderings and we just knew the moment we saw it, that this venue coupled with the location on Broad Street in Center City would be the perfect place for us. it did not disappoint and exceeded expectations of all of our guests, and us!
Our first look was across the street from the venue, The Lucy, right in front of the Hyatt Bellevue Hotel where a phone booth was located. This was not just any phone booth, it was a phone booth Jacqui’s father had purchased when he was younger in London, and sold it to the property in Philadelphia. Jacqui’s father walked her to meet her husband-to-be for their first look, which was such a magical touch and special moment for the three of us.
Family is so important to us and we wanted to honor those who couldn’t be with us to celebrate. Jim McGilvery did not disappoint, as he played a few quick tunes on his bagpipe for everyone right before we blessed the meal to eat in remembrance of those close to us who could not be there to witness our union.
The rest is history! We partied all night long, ate, drank, danced and even ended the night with a sprinkler set off before heading off to South Africa for our honeymoon to begin. We wish we could relive that day exactly as it was, and if you ask us almost a year later, we wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Bagpipes: Jim McGilvery