Having known each other since 9th grade, Hillary and Matt have shared many summer vacations on the beaches from New Jersey to the British Virgin Islands. So many in fact, it’s no wonder that Matt chose to pop the question during one of their sunrise walks on the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey. Just days later, as they watched the sun set over the sparkling blue ocean from their hotel room in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, they knew they’d be back for their June wedding.
[Beach photos courtesy of Kellie Hayes
Hillary and Matt decided on an intimate destination wedding in the incredibly beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. Known as having the “Best Beaches in the World,” the Turks and Caicos consist of forty different islands and cays covered in pearly white sand and surrounded by crystal blue waters. To this day, of those forty islands only eight of them are inhabited. Certainly, an idyllic location for a vacation, let alone a romantic destination wedding. As many couples do, the newly married couple stayed in the islands after their wedding ceremony to enjoy a sun-filled honeymoon before returning home to Philadelphia. Upon their return, the bride and groom celebrated their wedding with 250 guests at the Loews Hotel Philadelphia.
[Philadelphia photos courtesy of Philip Gabriel
The Loews Hotel is located in the PSFS Building, which was designed by George Howe and William Lescaze in 1932. Built by the oldest bank in the United States, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, the building is known as one of the world’s first modernist skyscrapers. At the front of the building, floors are cantilevered beyond the columns to allow continuous glass for maximum light, something that their wedding photographer took advantage of during the couple’s “first look” photo session. Although the bank organization was liquidated subsequent to the U.S. savings and loan crises of the late 1980’s, the roof of the building still holds the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society’s initials in 27 foot high red neon letters. Yet another sensational location for fun urban photographs for couples brave enough to face those crazy heights!
In addition to using the Loews Hotel’s stunning architecture for photographs, the couple’s wedding photographer, Gabe Fredericks, chose to balance the modernity with the classical facades only City Hall and Washington Square Park could provide.
In every crowd there’s a young photographer just waiting for the perfect frame.
When it came to designing the wedding, Hillary knew she couldn’t imagine working with any other event decorator but Evantine’s Arlene Bluestein. After all, Arlene designed Hillary’s bat mitzvah forteen years earlier to such rave reviews that the bride’s family was still talking about it at the wedding! Working in such a contemporary venue, with its forty foot high ceilings, black marble floors and crisp granite walls, called for drama. Nothing conveys “drama” as efficiently as lighting does. Arlene layered tones of intense blue and lavender lighting across the space, washing the entire ballroom ceiling, uplighting walls and highlighting floral designs with tremendous effect.
Ice blue linens were layered with metallic silver vine overlays and silver ballroom chairs for a pale blue palette. The Eddie Bruce Orchestra took center stage under a custom monogrammed backdrop of white drape that ran the length of the ballroom.
Magnificent flowers in romantic colors of white and ivory with touches of lavender were creatively designed in simple clear glass vases, frosted arabesque cylinders, low clear glass flat bowls, and on wrought iron trees. The bride particularly loved fragrant oriental lilies, calla lilies and roses that we combined with summer hydrangea, French lilac and green vines. Floating candles, white pillar candles and shimmering votives added just the right amount of soft candlelight across the room.
The incredibly charming Director of Catering for the Loews Hotel, David Hall, not only created a menu that was playful and stylish but also brilliantly executed throughout the evening.
Hillary’s beautiful hand-tied bouquet of Vendella roses, Stephanotis and sweet pea looked amazing sitting prettily (if not precariously) against the glittering Philadelphia skyline.