Best friends’ weddings break with tradition, beautifully

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alt The bridal party in Rittenhouse Square shows off the diversity of different dresses in a general gray and yellow color scheme. Courtesy of Love Me Do Photography

I had the honor of being in both of my favorite people’s weddings back to back this summer: a vintage Philadelphia wedding in June, and a gorgeous Colorado one in July. Needless to say, this being my first time in a wedding, I learned a lot.

You always hear that the wedding is the bride’s day and should be her work of art, but both of these weddings really reflected the identity of the couple in so many details, it made you feel so close to them and who they are.


Vintage Philadelphia had so many incredible DIY details that you couldn’t wrap your brain around how they found the time to sit down and do all of this while gearing up for their big day and still be cool as a cucumber. But they did. And you felt as if you were a guest in a whimsical movie.

The venue was Colonial Garden of the Dames (think Great Gatsby garden party). Their centerpieces were thrift shop milk glass pieces laid on top of different books they collected from thrift shops, as well. It all matched their atlas map color scheme. The bride made tiny drink flags in the map colors as well.

The food was all local to Philadelphia and served family-style, which created warmth at your table, and made you socialize over good food – what better way to meet your fellow wedding guests than that?

The bride sent the bridesmaids paint chips of different grays for our dresses and yellows for our shoes, and we were on our own. This made picking a dress out a fun adventure – cost-effective and unique. Everyone looked completely different and it really allowed us to be ourselves and comfortable as bridesmaids.

The bride’s mother made the bridal dress with a matching lace jacket using lace from her very own wedding dress. There was a sparkler send-off for the bride and groom atop their very own pedicab. Obviously, I’m biased since this is my best friend of 20 years, but I’m not the only one who got swept away in their creativity and individuality.

Check out this blog to see the wedding up close:

The wedding in Estes Park, Colo. opened my eyes to how incredible scenery can be to a wedding.

When you first think of a wedding, you think ballroom … not the Rockies. But wow, the Rockies are pretty breathtaking (understatement of the year). Having them as the backdrop for the ceremony while the bride’s grandmother married the couple really intensified the “awe-factor” of the moment.

The location they chose to be married on the mountain was of special significance to the couple; one they had hiked together on more than one occasion. They wrote their own vows, which brought so much honesty and intimacy to what can sometimes be, well, boring. It was magnificent.

Having their wedding photos taken amid wild flowers and white capped mountains felt surreal. Having the beauty of nature incorporated into such a special moment really did take your breath away. They had river rocks on a table outside their reception (in a rustic hideaway lodge with a mountain backdrop) where guests could write an anecdote to the couple. A folk band played music all night long that kept us all moving – not your typical DJ.

My mom passed away this past December and was supposed to be at both these weddings as they are dear family friends of ours. This was difficult to say the least, but both brides wore my mom’s diamond earrings as their “something borrowed.” Funny how something that “small” is really a huge deal. It was another element of special-ness that these weddings encompassed for me on a very personal level.

There’s a saying about bridal gowns: “You want to wear the dress, not have the dress wear you.” Well, I think it goes the same for your “Big Day.” It’s about both of you, who you are and what makes you special. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box of tradition. Those details are what people remember and really are a window into who you are as a couple.

alt The bride and groom are married by the bride’s grandmother in a beautiful Colorado ceremony. Submitted

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