November 7, 2014

Philadelphia Wedding Photographer | Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts | Stevie + Brandon

Wedding

I have no doubt you’ve been dying to see more of Stevie and Brandon’s PAFA wedding since I first posted their teaser and Rittenhouse Square engagement session the other month.

This offbeat pair is spectacular and their wedding was an absolute delight.  There was no doubt in my mind that it would be something special since I first got on the phone with Stevie and she told me about her wedding plans that involved skulls, a gunmetal handmade dress, the groom’s alma mater, and all manner of special touches.

Stevie got ready at Le Meridien on a rainy Philadelphia day.  If you’ve met Stevie, you’ll know that this really wasn’t a concern.  She beams.  All the time.

rainy wedding day in Philadelphia at Le Meridien with City Hall

Her #1 concern was the gown.  Stevie is a fashion designer for Urban Outfitters and had created her own wedding dress just days before the wedding.  This was attempt #2 because the first one was simply too heavy to wear.

alternative bride getting ready in handmade dress with corset

This white, strapless number was amazingly involved and showed off her beautiful tattoos.  There was a corset, a detatchable skirt, a black tulle underskirt, and likely more components that I can even imagine.

tattooed bride in handmade wedding dress with heavy metal statement necklace

Of course the details have to be right too.  She donned a pair of black Jeffrey Campbell pumps, a quartz crystal tiara/craown, cathedral length veil, and an unworldly Swarovski crystal-encrusted heavy metal necklace (named Falkor).  “Statement piece” is an understatement.

black wedding shoes and heavy metal statement necklace for brides wedding dayblack wedding shoes and black tulle underskirt for bride's handmade wedding dress

We made our way over to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where Brandon had graduated a few years prior.  He was tickled pink that the David Lynch exhibit had just gone up the day before.

groom with mohawk walks into PAFA for Philadelphia wedding

Our mohawked groom waited to see his bride among intricately carved statues.

mohawk groom waits for first look with bride at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia

We spent some time before the ceremony exploring some of the rooms and hallways together.

Alternative bride and groom wedding at PAFA in Philadelphia Alternative bride and groom wedding at PAFA in Philadelphia in David Lynch exhibit Alternative tattooed bride with tiara, statement necklace, and white bouquet at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia bride with long veil and groom walking up stairs at wedding at PAFA in Philadelphia

Stevie’s flower girl, Annalisse, wore a fantastic textural BHLDN gown, a floral head wreath, and chucks for the occasion.

bridesmaid in gray BHLDN dress and hair wreath at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia

The Jewish-infused ceremony took place on the grand stairway of the venue.  Stevie descended the stairs with her father and brother.  Guests gathered around the balconies watching the laughter and tears from above.  And there was lots of both.  Their rabbi friend went over Stevie’s silly nature and Brandon’s brooding one.  He likes to eat at the trendy restaurant; she prefers cheese fries from the local pizza joint.  It was obvious that there’s a bit of each in both and that they meld so well together.

Alternative bride and groom during ceremony at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia guests watching wedding ceremony from balcony at PAFA in Philadelphia Alternative bride and groom during ceremony at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia first kiss with alternative bride and groom wedding at PAFA in Philadelphia

There were more flourishes than I could count.  One of my favorites was the jazz trio playing amazing old timey music during the cocktail hour.

Old Timey trio playing music during cocktail hour

A large, leather guest sign-in book was accented with a lovely antique dip pen and inkwell.

vintage inkwell for guest sign-in book for wedding at PAFA in Philadelphia

Guests were led to their tables by way of antique keys on tags.

vintage keys as escort cards for wedding at PAFA in Philadelphia

And the tables!  Centerpieces were ornate collections of butterflies, cotton, and mosses in terrarium-style clothes with yellowed antique books and classic white hyacinths and roses.

reception table with white flowers, cloches, cotton, butterflies, and books at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia

Brandon created favors at each place setting – tiny antique booked in an intricate origami wrapping with twine and a custom red wax seal.  This is serious attention to detail!

custom wax seal on place setting favors for wedding at PAFA in Philadelphia

The sweetheart table combined some of the same elements and included a neat old skull and awesome etched metal chalices for the bride and groom.

sweetheart reception table with skull, white flowers, butterflies, and books at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia

The couple are big fans of Game of Thrones and incorporated some cheekiness into their cake toppers.  Their tarnished silver rings (ordered the week before the wedding!) were a few sizes too big for both of them.

Game of Thrones cake toppers and tarnished silver wedding rings with skull and diamond engagement ring

This alternative couple entered and shared their first dance together to “There Is a Light that Never Goes Out” by The Smiths.

bride and groom funny first dance at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia

It was a grand time with lots of laughter and a few tears (Stevie’s family is a self-admittedly emotional bunch).

Alternative bride and groom during reception toasts at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia

The rain had passed by the evening and the bridal party took the opportunity to make use of Broad Street with Philadelphia’s marvelous City Hall in the background.

wedding party crossing Broad Street at night for Philadelphia picture with City Hall bridesmaids walking up PAFA stairs at Philadelphia wedding

Stevie partied most of the evening in the full gown but showed off the “new” high-low wedding dress once the detatchable skirt came off.

Alternative tattooed bride with tiara, statement necklace, and transforming hi low wedding dress at PAFA wedding in Philadelphia

Amazing couple, amazing ceremony, amazing day, and I was so happy to be a part of it all!

Alternative bride and groom wedding at PAFA in Philadelphia

Take me out tonight
Where there’s music and there’s people
And they’re young and alive
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
~ The Smith, “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”

Wedding Ceremony: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Wedding Reception: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Engagement Session: Rittenhouse Square
Wedding Photographer: Lindsay Docherty Photography
Getting Ready Location: Le Meridien
Officiant: Rabbi Seth Frisch
Florist: Petals Lane
Wedding Dress Designer: the bride herself!
Veil: Vera Wang
Crown: Elemental Child
Necklace: DYLANLEX
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell
Hair Stylist: Happily Ever After Hair
Makeup Artist: Jessica Pineda
Flower Girl Dress: BHLDN
Jazz Trio: Drew Nugent & the Midnight Society
Reception Music: JProd
Invitations & favors: the groom himself!
Wedding Cake: Jimmy Duffy Catering

 

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