Flowering Gardens of Appleford Estate Inspire

July 20, 2011 ,
empty image
empty image

Nestled deep withing one of the most prestigious neighborhoods on the Main Line, a sprawling cluster of suburban towns just outside of Philadelphia, lies the picturesque Appleford Estate. Dating back more than 300 years, this gentleman’s farm is surrounded by 24 of the most exquisite gardens any bride could hope to find for her outdoor wedding.  Originally part of a land grant from William Penn, Appleford is carefully maintained today as a working arboretum and bird sanctuary. The intense July heat proved to be no match against the charm of Appleford’s brightly hued flowering gardens, weeping willow trees, endless Pennsylvania fieldstone walls and trickling streams.

{Photos: Stacey Kane}

The sprawling lawn next to the waterfall and leading down to the pond was an idyllic setting for the non-denominational wedding ceremony.  Dark wood folding chairs were situated in a traditional amphitheatre-style manner under the natural green canopy of the trees.  A collection of sculptural iron urns and garden topiaries were placed at the entrance to the aisle and as the main ceremony backdrop.  Three loosely gathered garden floral arrangements made a grand statement; yet, remained somewhat transparent to allow a clear view of the surrounding setting. Except for a light dusting of tossed rose petals, the lawn itself served as a natural green aisle runner lined by iron shepherd’s hooks holding garden bouquets.  Flowers used included locally-grown green hydrangea; apricot, white and blush roses; white and orange lilies; hypericum berries; green viburnum; and fragrant white phlox.

evantine design weddings philadelphia florists unique wedding locations in philadelphia

Catching the bride as she moved across the lawn on her way to the outdoor ceremony, her classic lacey white gown was complimented by a mixed bridal bouquet of green Lady Slipper orchids, green hydrangea, pale apricot cabbage roses, Sahara roses and rose hips.

Having toured the estate the previous summer, the bride and groom were inspired by Appleford’s colorful perennial gardens of hot pink, orange and green flowers. As a result, the vibrant shades of orange, tangerine and apple green were chosen as their signature wedding colors. The bold colors were enthusiastically embraced in everything from letterpressed save the dates, invitations and programs to green and orange striped ties for the men, and “happy” orange party frocks for the bridesmaids. Boutquets were designed for the wedding attendants using mango mini calla lilies; green hydrangea; apricot coxcomb; green and white parrot tulips; “sunset” roses; and pops of bright white Stephanotis.


After the ceremony, guests were invited to wander the whimsical cottage gardens on their journey to the shady cocktail tent. The Rose Garden hosted a prosecco bar on a table shaded by a large vintage Asian parasol. Below, a large tent was  installed over the Perennial Garden to offer guests protection from the hot July sun or the looming thunderstorms. Wide panels of green and white fabric were draped back and forth throughout the ceiling of the tent. Here and there, white floral spheres were suspended from the tent for a touch of modern garden flare.  Just beyond the tent, heading down to the Woodland Gardens, was an additional cocktail area with iron garden furniture placed under more Asian parasols. Throughout the gardens, Feastivities provided savory food stations, cocktail bars and passed hors d’oeuvres that allowed guests to mingle wherever they liked without straying too far from the refreshments.

Guests were invited to different tented “rooms” on the upper lawn and terraces for a sit-down dinner dance.  Square and rectangular dinner tables were dressed in sassy orange linens, natural Chivari reception chairs and formal ivory and gold filigree dinnerware. A mixture of modern glass vases and traditional glass hurricanes were used throughout the tents for a lighter approach.  A mixture of monochromatic and mixed blossom floral arrangements were designed for each dinner table drawing from the collection of mango, tangerine, apricot and green flowers.  Those floral elements included blooms, foliage and orchard fruits found in Appleford’s gardens:  sedum, coneflower, roses, butterfly weed, hosta and whole peaches.  Weathered gold votives, and antique gold table numbers added a subtle nod to the “estate” setting.  White paper lanterns and orange floral spheres of varying sizes were suspended in the ceiling of the tents.

Not only was there a gorgeous five-tiered wedding cake with orange and green flowers packed in between the tiers, but there was a surprise groom’s cake presentation that received a standing ovation!  Taken completely by surprise, the groom got overtly emotional when he saw this incredible too-real-for-comfort cake inspired by a photo of his beloved childhood friend Tripp.  Truli Confectionary Arts created such a true-to-life replica of the dog that no one could imagine taking a bite!

What the guests could enjoy, and with childlike glee, was the oversized iced coffee and donut hole dessert bar!  A favorite late night snack for the bride and groom, they couldn’t think of any other way to feed their guests’ sweet tooth than with a Dunkin Donuts display!

{Tents by EventQuip; Catering by Feastivities; Wedding Planning and Event Design by Evantine Design; Music by CTO; Stationery by Two Paperdolls; Cakes by Truli Confectionary Arts; Transportation by King Limousine}


  1. Thank you so much for the nice note! Actually, it took only 12 hours as the Appleford Estate had another event the day before… best of luck! and thanks again for the note!

  2. Hi, there! Looks beautiful! You did a great job 🙂 How hot was it? Did the fans do any good? Did the heat affect what you did (or people dancing)? I’m considering having my wedding there in the summer. Thanks!

  3. Hi Kathryn, it was indeed a HOT day! Extra tents offered shade, and yes the fans kept the air moving under the tents. We added hand fans for the ceremony and kept the cakes in the house, but other than that, it happened like we had planned! By the time dancing started the sun had set which lowered the temperature… it’s such a lovely place for a wedding! Best of luck!

Comments are closed.