Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Gorgeously Awesome, Deliciously DIY, Downton Abbey Inspired, Philly Wedding

Meet Laila and Stephen, the B+G. I think you can tell by the photograph that they are super fun, laid back and are perfectly suited for each other. I mean... that's what happens when you know each other for eleven years before you start dating and ultimately get married. Right? Wow! That's some serious courting!!

But, bridey, there is so much to this wedding, that I really want to get right to it. Grace Winter, with the talented Asya Shirokova Photography, asked the bride and groom some FAB questions which are incorporated within the post. So enjoy, and get inspired!

The dress, where did it come from? My dress was purchased at David’s Bridal. Finding the dress was a bit of a process and we visited variety of types of stores – Lovely Bride boutique, second hand wedding dress store and David’s Bridal. It was important for me to understand the differences and opportunities there might be by investing time and patience in finding my dress.
Who planned the wedding? Steve and I did most of the planning, however, friends and bridal party were a huge help. We hired a day of coordinator (who is an old family friend and daughter duo) who helped think through all the last minute day of needs. This was one of the best decisions we made as they were incredibly helpful and dealt with all the last minute details of the event.

How did you meet? We met at Drexel University and were brought together by mutual friend. We would hang out often, share in the simple joys of listening to records, take road trips and even saw our City’s beloved Veterans Stadium implosion together. We were great friends, which blossomed over 11 years before we started dating.
Who did your flowers? The bridal party flowers were designed by a local florist called Falls Flowers. I became close to the owner through an old job and she was delightful in working through all the creative elements of floral design.

The tables and surrounding area flowers were all put together by my mother and her sisters from Brazil. They chose red roses for the tables as they were my grandmother, their mother, favorite flower and it was a great way to remember and symbolize her presence with us.

We had many DIY projects. Since Stevo works at a brewery, we had access to interesting resources to help customize our day. We made several signs from wood pallets (Welcome the wedding, photobooth and smoking section).
Do you have a tip for other couples that are currently planning their weddings? Realize the things that you care about and stick to your guns. Your family will have opinions in how the day will go. Pick your battles and know when to stick to stand up for things that really matter to you. They will respect you more in the end.

Get a day of coordinator! You don’t want to deal with all the minute details, get someone who will stick up for you. We hired a family friend and it was ideal in that they got the job done and had a great time with our family/friends.

Where did the cake come from? Why this cake flavor or design? What makes this cake unique? Our cake was baked by a family friend, Susan, who has a passion for baking and hopes to open her own bakery someday. She was kind enough to offer her talent to us and created a beautiful and delicious three tiered vanilla and coconut cake.

What is unique about this venue? What is your favorite thing about the venue? How did you find it?The venue we were married is called the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. This place is very unique and close to us because the bride’s mom works there. The nonprofit has helped children throughout the world with their pioneering work in child brain development and for its programs to help brain-injured children achieve wellness and well children achieve excellence.

The noble work they do and beautiful surroundings made the decision easy. Plus, this was the place the bride’s parents first met.

What was the theme of the wedding, and how would you describe the day? The theme of the wedding seemed to be inspired by the venue more than anything. I will admit, I was watching A LOT of Downton Abbey and the themes went together like peanut butter and jelly (or should I say, tea and biscuits).

If I were to summarize the day, I would describe it as Laid Back Rustic Elegance with a festive edge. The venue is an old mansion that is decorated with flowers, interesting research accomplishments, and people who have contributed to the foundation’s achievements throughout the 50 years in business.

Love. Love. Love.

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Asya Photography
DJ: Brendan Whelan
Dress Store: David's Bridal
Floral Designer: Falls Flowers
Jewelry: The Golden Nugget Philadelphia

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