Matt and I got married!! (Which means I’ll be changing all my social media handles from Dent to Bocchese!) Our wedding was on August 17 at St. Patrick’s Church and Union Trust in Philadelphia, and it was the PERFECT day. Everything went according to plan and all our of vendors were incredible. It was a little hot but it was the middle of August, so it could have been worse and thankfully it didn’t rain at all!
If you’ve been interested in learning more about our wedding and all the details that went into planning it, I’m revealing EVERYTHING in the post! If you prefer just to look at the wedding photos, I have plenty of those, too 🙂
Our wedding at St. Patrick’s Church and Union Trust in Philadelphia
If you’re just tuning into our story, I wrote all about how Matt and I met in Denmark and how he proposed, so read it and catch up before continuing!
We had a fairly large wedding with 120 guests, and our goal was to have a traditional, religious wedding ceremony and a laid back, fun reception. We wanted to keep it low key and didn’t want the planning to be overwhelming, so we stuck with the traditional wedding “necessities” and didn’t really have anything extra at the reception, like favors or a photobooth.
All of the vendors we worked with were AMAZING! I’ll talk about each of them throughout the post, but I wanted to highlight our photographer since all the photos in this post are from her. Kristen from Petal and Glass Photography is one of my favorite people, AND she’s a fabulous photographer. I’ve known her for a couple of years and she takes all of my business branding photos, so hiring her was a no-brainer. Kristen was so great at being organized and keeping to schedule, and her photos turned out beautiful, even the photos in the dark church and reception hall! So if you need a wedding photographer (or a brand or family photographer), I can’t recommend Kristen enough 🙂
We got our rings at Campbell & Company on Jeweler’s Row in Philadelphia, and they did a great job! Matt designed my rose gold, sapphire engagement ring with them, and I wrote all about it on my engagement post. I designed my wedding band with aquamarines, and Matt got a tungsten ring.
We got our save the dates and wedding invitations from Minted, and they turned out beautifully! I loved the Philadelphia skyline invitation and was able to customize the colors to better match what we were looking for. We also used Minted for the place name cards for the reception.
I LOVED our wedding flowers! I get flowers from an Amish stand at the Rittenhouse Square farmer’s market every weekend, and we were able to use their relatives for our wedding flowers. Matt and I even got to visit their farm in Lancaster. Since I wanted a wildflower look since it was a summer wedding, I just told them to design everything however they wanted and just to make it whimsical and colorful. They did an amazing job, and I loved how unique all the bouquets and centerpieces were!
For the wrapping around my bouquet, I used pieces from my mom’s veil and bridesmaid dress and lace from Matt’s mother’s veil for my “something old.”
Wedding ceremony at St. Patrick’s Church
Matt and I got married at St. Patrick’s Church in Philadelphia because it’s our home parish. The sanctuary is so beautiful that we didn’t decorate it at all! Our ceremony was very traditional and beautiful, and I loved how personal our priest made it.
Wedding portraits at Rittenhouse Square
Rittenhouse Square is a block away from St. Patrick’s Church, so it was a quick walk over. Matt and I wanted to take pictures in true Philadelphia spots, but Rittenhouse Square is also a place that Matt and I visit often since we live nearby. I’m there all the time for the farmer’s market or while walking Annika, and when the weather is nice, Matt and I will hang out in the park and read together. It’s also beautiful in the snow, and we take Annika there to run around and chase snowballs!
There’s a man who paints at Rittenhouse Square and I’ve always loved his paintings and have chatted with him before. So for a wedding present, Matt surprised me with one of his paintings of Rittenhouse Square!
We had a pretty large bridal party because I have 4 siblings and we have a lot of close friends. Matt and his groomsmen got their tuxes from Ozzy’s Tux in Haddonfield, NJ. His groomsmen were my three brothers, his brother, two childhood friends, and two college friends.
I gave my bridesmaids a color palette and told them to get whatever dresses they wanted, and I think it turned out great! They looked like a pastel ocean wave altogether. My bridesmaids were my sister, two sisters-in-law, a childhood friend, three friends from college, and one of Matt’s friends from college who became my best friend in Philly!
Wedding portraits in front of City Hall
City Hall is my absolute favorite building in Philadelphia! I think the architecture is beautiful, and I take pictures of it every time I pass by. I’ve seen people take their wedding pictures in front of City Hall before, so I knew we had to for our wedding. Since Broad Street is so busy, we had a LOT of people honk and yell congratulations while we were taking these pictures!
Wedding portraits by Independence Hall
Since our wedding reception was so close to Independence Hall, we had to take pictures there since it wouldn’t be a true Philadelphia wedding without photos by such a famous site! We also took our engagement photos behind Independence Hall and around Old City, so we went back to some of those spots for our wedding photos. The front of Independence Hall was pretty crowded with tourists, but behind it was quiet and empty.
I got my dress from BHLDN and my veil from Antonia’s Bridal, who also altered my dress. I’ll be honest, wedding dress shopping wasn’t my favorite part of the wedding planning process because I’m not a big fan of shopping, and a lot of the dresses were really heavy and uncomfortable! But when I tried on this dress at BHLDN, I knew it was the one for me because I didn’t want to take it off! It was sooooo light and airy, which is exactly what I needed for our August wedding.
The dress is a light blush color with embroidered flowers on the top that continues past the waist. Plus, I loved that BHLDN dresses are pretty affordable compared to a lot of dresses in other bridal stores! And the staff at the BHLDN store in Philadelphia were incredibly nice and helpful, and I highly recommend going there if you’re in the city.
Reception at Union Trust
I LOVED having our reception at Union Trust! The reception hall is a pretty unique wedding venue. It’s an old bank with huge decorative windows and a balcony, which is where the cocktail hour is held. They serve WAY more than enough amazing food, and I was full halfway through dinner! (Plus, they donate any food that’s leftover, so nothing goes to waste). The staff was very nice and friendly, and they were very attentive to us and all the guests.
And for a large wedding in Center City Philadelphia, Union Trust is one of the more affordable reception options, but they still treat you like royalty!
We didn’t want our beautiful centerpieces to go to waste, so we used Forget Me Knot to repurpose them. It’s a local company that picks up flowers after receptions and donates them to nursing homes. That weekend, Forget Me Knot was actually featured on the news, so our flowers were famous!
With Union Trust, it’s an open bar and you can have two signature drinks. Matt’s was a “Matt-jito” and mine was a “Juli-apple Cider” (and I designed the sign for them). When Matt and I met in Denmark, I had a Somersby cider at the dive bar, and it’s now my favorite drink! They just started selling Somersby in the US, and I was so excited that Union Trust went out of their way to get it for our reception.
Matt’s host family came all the way from Denmark for our wedding!
Our first dance was to Cloud Cult’s “Meet Me Where You’re Going.” We wanted to do something a little different, and Cloud Cult is one of Matt’s favorite bands and we went to their concert together a few years ago. It’s a really sweet song, and we actually didn’t tell anyone what the song was beforehand so it was a surprise to everyone!
My dad gave a sweet speech and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the building! Our father-daughter dance was to Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely?” and Matt’s mother-son dance was to Carole King’s “Child of Mine.”
I absolutely LOVED our cake topper! Matt and I met in Denmark while I was there to study Vikings, and I’m currently getting my Master’s to continue studying the Viking Age. I’m a little obsessed with Vikings, to say the least (I even had a Viking themed bachelorette party), so I got a custom made Viking cake topper! I got it from the Etsy shop The Rosemarry Toppers, and they did a fantastic job creating what I asked (I made sure the details were historically accurate because that’s how much of a history nerd I am). I love it so much that it’s on display in our living room now!
Our cake was made by Termini Brothers, one of the oldest Italian bakeries in Philly. I didn’t want a fancy design because I was so excited for our cake topper and wanted that to be the main feature, and the cake was DELICIOUS! Each tier was a different flavor: lemon with raspberry puree, chocolate chip with chocolate ganache, and chocolate with salted caramel cream. Even if you aren’t getting married and don’t need a wedding cake, I recommend visiting Termini for some of their cakes and pastries!
I’ve been to a few weddings with bad DJs who are rude or play music that you just can’t dance to, and I’m picky about music and love to dance a lot at weddings (even though I’m not very good at it!). So I was a little worried about finding a DJ, but Amber from Stylus DJ Entertainment was great! She played all the songs we requested (even super random ones, like an obscure line dance from NC and a song from “My Fair Lady”), and the dance floor was full most of the night. So if you need a DJ in Philly, I highly recommend Stylus!
Our beautiful wedding video from Zela Films:
So that’s it! Matt and I had a wonderful day, and I couldn’t have imagined a better wedding. The day after our wedding, we went on our honeymoon to Germany and Austria, so stay tuned for the hundreds of pictures I took there! 🙂
Our amazing wedding vendors:
Photographer: Kristen from Petal and Glass Photography
Videographer: Zela Films
Venue: Union Trust with Finley Catering
Flowers: Glick Farms (they’re Amish so they don’t have a website, but if you want to work with them, I can give you their phone number)
Hair and makeup: Eva Marie Swartout
Floral repurposing: Forget Me Knot
DJ: Stylus DJ Entertainment
Transportation: Trolley from Founding Footsteps