REAL STORIES: A Collaboration of Artistry at The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia

July 9, 2012 ,
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centerpieces blown glass Ritz Carlton weddings summer flowers

For a July wedding at The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, we collaborated with the bride and groom, both creative entrepreneurs, to create a brightly-colored summer celebration.

{Photos: Cliff Mautner}

When it comes to designing events in hotel ballrooms, we can safely and confidently say we’ve seen them all in the city of Philadelphia. In fact, we’d be so bold as to say that in our thirty years as event designers, we’ve seen most hotel ballrooms many times over! Grand hotel ballrooms like the ones at The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia have become friends, as we know each and every nook and cranny, chair, linen, charger, hallway and light fixture intimately. And yet, we can still look at these elegant rooms as if we’re seeing them for the first time. Particularly when we have artistic clients who bring to us their own design aesthetic and colorful vision of how they see their event come to life in the space.  For instance, the bride and groom who own a global glass blowing business in Lambertville, New Jersey who wanted to incorporate their own hand blown blue glass vases, bowls, glasses, sculptures and ornaments into their summer wedding at The Ritz-Carlton. Also avid gardeners {and we mean AVID} they loved the idea of layering the vibrantly-hued orange, pink and red flowers found in the heart of summer against the deep cobalt blue glass. Touches of gold were added in the linens, candles, table number frames and chargers would be woven through as a nod towards the classic venue and traditional occasion.

coral orange hot pink bridal bouquet evantine design

A bright and happy summer bridal bouquet in vibrant tones of orange, tangerine, coral, hot pink and magenta. The bride particularly wanted lilies, peonies and tulips in her bouquet and we were happy to provide them along with sweetheart roses and gerber daisies.

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Under the frilly skirts of the bride’s wedding gown.

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Although it was a hot July day in the City of Brotherly Love, the bride and groom ventured out into the city for their bridal portraits. This photo was taken under the canopy of trees in historic Washington Square Park.

bridal portraits with bridesmaids cliff mautner photography

A lovely, quiet moment of the bride with her bridesmaids as they wait for the wedding ceremony to begin as caught by their award-winning photographer, Cliff Mautner. {such stunning light!}

non-denominational wedding ceremonies artistic weddings

The bride and groom, both artists and creative entrepreneurs, wanted a simple, non-denominational wedding ceremony with spiritual elements that reflected their lifestyle. The groom, a professional glass blower, made blue glass ornaments to cascade from our modern wooden structure like celestial orbs that would represent their sense of “enduring love and forever promise” to each other. The ceremony took place in the Petite Ballroom of the hotel.

blue glass ornaments unique wedding details DIY design

We carefully hung the dozens and dozens of hand blown blue glass ornaments over the top and down the back of the structure in a cascading design. Just a touch of colorful florals crossed the front and sides of the ceremony canopy for a pop of color.  The groom made enough ornaments to gift one to each guest as a wedding favor.

Placecard Table Arrangement Blue Taffeta Summer Flowers

As guests journey from the Petite Ballroom on an upper level of the hotel to the Grand Ballroom they are greeted by a dramatic place card table arrangement of summer blooms. Hot pink hydrangea, blue delphinium, pink cymbidium orchids, tangerine roses, star gazer lilies (one of our client’s favorites), coral tree peonies and a tall display of apricot eremurus.

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The Grand Ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, with its high ceilings and marble columns looking stunning with the clients’ blue glass vases mixed with our colorful flower arrangements, gold and glass pedestal candles and deep azure blue perimeter lighting. Even the hotel’s cobalt blue water goblets look fantastic!

Summer Weddings Philadelphia Event Designers Ritz Carlton Hotel

The gold chairs and round tables from the hotel were used for the dinner dance celebration.

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We placed the client’s hand blown blue ruffled glass bowls atop light boxes to illuminate the vessels in the softly-lit ballroom. Each ruffled bowl was filled with summer blooms such as tree peonies, roses, lilies, cymbidium orchids and gerbera.

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We lit the gigantic crystal chandelier floating over the dance floor in deep shades of blue.

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The bride and groom share a moment during their first dance.

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A view of the room from the Sweetheart Table for two.

bridal stemware handblown blue glass made by the groom

The groom even made the couple’s toasting glasses…

handblown blue glass vases philadelphia wedding designers

Even the bars were decorated with the client’s hand blown blue vases. Each placed on a lightbox and filled with summer flowers in loose, casual arrangements.

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The blue and white stacked wedding cake from Van French.

bride and groom city photos Philadelphia avenue of the arts

The bride and groom step out onto the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia for some romantic city portraits. Even the historic buildings along the street are dramatically lit up in blue!


  1. Thanks Dave! We love seeing an old art form come to life in a young artist’s hands… particularly when the art is used in a loving, personal fashion.

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