A garden wedding on a picturesque summer day sounds like the perfect way to kick off your wedding festivities. From the bride’s flowing blush two-piece gown, to the thoughtful gifts for her bridesmaids, to the beautiful century old gardens, this wedding has so many sweet details for you to enjoy.
Photography by Justin Tearney.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? At my bridal shower, that was planned by my maid of honor, mother, and bridesmaids, we played a game where everyone wrote their advice on a soon. I then picked my favorite three. These were:
1. Celebrate the small things together, and forgive easily! And drink the good wine everyday!
2. Don’t shout unless the house is on fire
3. Support and encourage each others dreams. After all, you will be living that dream together.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? I think although it is a lovely sentiment to want the wedding ceremony and reception to be perfect for your guests, is important to remember that you also want it to be perfect for you, the couple. Our favorite moment was some of the alone time we were able to get during the busy day—we would recommend other couples try to plan for that.
Nisha wore the beautiful Kensington dress by Carol Hannah which features a draped linen ballgown skirt and a ballet tank. We have always been in love with this blush gown, and she looked absolutely stunning in it.
Chandelier Earrings from BHLDN.
Nisha’s loose and organic bouquet was filled with creamy peonies and ranunculus with a variety of green foliage to add dimension.
Floral Design by Love ‘n Fresh Flowers.
“We chose Bartram’s Garden because we both love Philadelphia, and the garden is near to where we live in South Philadelphia. The history of Bartram’s Garden is also enchanting—it has been around for hundreds of years and is one of the first botanical gardens in the world. Some of the historical buildings are still standing. The reception space has a view of the Philadelphia skyline, and there are also views of the river. The ceremony space was right in front of a beautiful flower garden, and the guests were seated amidst trees that were hundreds of years old.”
How would you describe your wedding? A non-traditional garden wedding.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Our family and friends were instrumental in helping us plan the wedding. Especially my Maid of Honor, who is a floral designer and had lots of useful advice. She recommended our photographer, Justin Tearney, who took the gorgeous photos. He provided us with some advice regarding chosing between different chairs and how they would look in photos.
Who officiated your ceremony? Our friend Jason Mitchell, who is a published poet based in the Philadelphia area, wrote something original for the ceremony. After meeting with him and discussing our ideas about marriage in general, as well as the specifics of the ceremony, we clicked and were on the same page.
What were your ceremony readings? My brother in law read a Pablo Neruda poem, which was sweet because I also read a different Pablo Neruda poem at his and my sister’s wedding. One of my bridesmaids read an excerpt from The little Prince. Another friend wrote something to read at the wedding, offering friendly advice on weddings and being new to marriage, as she just got married the previous July.
What were your vows like? Our officiant helped us to write and personalize our vows.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? The wedding party joined us at center of the garden area in lieu of a more traditional altar. My father walked me down the aisle. Some of our best friends and families chose a reading to give during the ceremony.
What was your ceremony music?
Processional: “At last” by Etta James.
Recessional: “Come away with me” by Norah Jones was played as we walked into the woods for a peaceful monent alone with each other.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? It was wonderful to get a really unique group of people together on a beautiful day outside in the garden with all the tall trees and lovely flowers and plants.
Please tell us about some special details or moments from your wedding day. It was great getting some relatively peaceful time together, just the two of us, while we were shooting photos. We got to take some pictures in the field with a view of center city Philadelphia as the sun began to set, it was very romantic.
“Despite the stresses of wedding planning, we tried to remember that we were doing it all because we loved each other and we wanted to have a really special event to mark our commitment to each other.”
How would you describe your reception? The reception was in the open field area adjacent to the garden. Our reception was outdoors and the weather was perfect—warm but not hot. We had the beautiful view of the skyline to look at. Speeches were given by the Maid of Honor, Best Man, and our fathers. Dancing followed the speeches, where activity on the dance floor elevated as the evening set in and the sun fell.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? The hand written guest cards looked really pretty when they were hung with clothespins on Jute twine tied between two trees so that guests could pick them up as they passed from the ceremony space in the garden to the reception area. I was especially happy with the gifts I gave to my bridesmaids. I had been eyeing the copper hurricanes from BHLDN for a few months, when I realized they would make perfect ‘wrapping’ for my gifts. Instead of wrapping paper, the handmade notepads, and jewelry were showcased inside of the beautiful lanterns.
Did you have a signature cocktail? We served some of our favorite beers—Dogfish 60 minute and Victory Summer Love—Love and Summer themed beers seemed perfect for a summer wedding, and also local to the Philadelphia area.
What was your wedding menu? One of the most amazing things that our caterer, Ken Corell, of Diverse Catering offered to us was the option to serve our guests “family style”. This was an option that was between buffet and single plating in terms of cost and work for the caterer. However it was really even more lovely than single plating in that guests were able to chose what they wanted in the quantity they wanted but not have to wait in line as you would with a buffet. Also, the act of sharing food family style was just lovely, and was fun to do at the wedding.
Catering by Diverse Catering.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Our two layer cake was made from the time honored Philadelphia bakery, Stocks Bakery. My maid of honor who is floral designer, decorated the cake with single flowers that I had purchased from our florist, Love ‘n Fresh Flowers.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
We danced to “If I ain’t got you” by Alicia Keyes. Dances with our parents weren’t planned but happened naturally.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? At dinner sitting with everyone as a married couple, and also the speeches. Highlights include when Warren’s father stated that “Nisha is the best thing that has ever happened to Warren”, the Maid of Honor saying how much fun our families always have together, and the Best Man poking fun at some of Warren’s idiosynchronies.