Philadelphia Wedding Photographer | Morris Arboretum | Joanna + John
I came home from Joanna and John’s wedding thinking, “yes, that was exactly how a wedding should feel.” There were a few raindrops and a storm threatened but the day felt warm, intimate, loving, happy, and so, so right. It was beautiful, pure and simple. The entire wedding took place at the always gorgeous Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.
I love it when I get to take the details, including the dress, outdoors for pictures. Natural light makes everything better.
I love that they did a first look before the ceremony. Sure it was great to get the family formals out of the way and let them go to cocktail hour, but it allowed them to share time with each other without all of the eyes of the guests when John first laid eyes on Joanna.
We took the time to stroll around the grounds to get pictures of the two of them. This monstrous oak tree was one of the main elements that drew them to Morris Arboretum.
There are just so many areas of the 92 acre venue to explore. I came close to calling off their entire wedding just so the three of us could go out and take advantage of it all.
I let them have their wedding and it was marvelous.
The ceremony, presided over by their friend, Reverend Emily Wilmarth, was touching and, yes, perfect. John, a huge Beatles fan no doubt influenced the processional of “In My Life” (the recessional was “Here Comes the Sun”). John said that he wasn’t nervous about things until he was up at the altar. Joanna was a vision.
They read their vows in a back and forth style which only added to the emotion. Joanna held it together until she mentioned how good John was at making eggs. (Note to self: invite myself over for brunch.)
We slipped away for a few minutes of cocktail hour to take a few more shots on the grounds.
I love the Oak Allée.
Guests mixed and mingled on the unique Out on a Limb feature of the venue. It’s a walk through the canopy of trees with views of the property, a huge bird’s nest, squirrel scramble, and larger pavilion. Just go and you’ll understand what I mean.
The tented reception area looked spectacular. Papertini’s lavender, floral, and burlap touches blended so well with the scene.
Loooove the place cards in lavender.
The reception began with Joanna and John’s entrance and their first dance to the Beatles’ “I Will”. (True story: John actually dreamed of getting married in John Lennon’s green suit from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.)
The night was sprinkled with Isgro’s cookies and cannolis, the crowd going wild to Gangnam Style, a scrumptious peanut butter and chocolate cake, a photobooth, and lots and lots of laughter.
There are many, but I think that my favorite thing about Joanna and John’s wedding was how present they were with one another. They made sure to see their guests but they spent much of the wedding talking, dancing, making faces, and enjoying each other all night long. You would be surprised how infrequently that actually happens at weddings. These two were there for the biggest reason of all: each other. It was spectacular.
Joanna and John, I can’t even tell you how lucky I felt to be such an important part of your wedding. Not everything went 100% according to plan but you made it look effortless and happy. Thank you.
And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know, I will
~ The Beatles, “I Will”