Bridal Affairs

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Angel of Hearts Weddings--Watching Over Your Big Day!

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Monday, October 22, 2012


The view from the suite at the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia was spectacular!  As Mary Ann was pampered in preparation for her big day, she could see the turning leaves and Independence Park out the window.    A lovely table of delicious pastries, fresh fruit juice and pitchers of water with strawberries floating in them were laid out by the hotel to keep the bride fed.  It was nice to see how calm Mary Ann was as she was fussed over by her hairdresser and Kelly Quinlan of Face the Occasion.   After all she had been through, the last thing I wanted was for her to feel the least bit nervous or stressed.      

By the time the photographer got there, Mary Ann was ready to go.  I was touched by the way that she fussed over her mother and actually took the time to dress her, while Sarah Miller and Patience shot photos of the dress and the flowers and the blue shoes.  I also thought it was so sweet how Mary Ann had a brooch pinned to her bouquet with a photo of her dad. When it was time, I got the bride into her gown and sent her off to the hotel roof for
some time alone before the ceremony.  
 Meanwhile, I went to check on the officiant and the Girard Room, where the reception would be held.   Mary Ann had all her own touches to add to the table.  Being an intimate party for just the family, there was one long table.   Gold charger plates and lots of votives made for a glimmering table, with flowers by Cheryl Ann Floral Design.  All the flowers were white with lots of deep green touches.   It made for a spectacular table.   The cake, from Bredenbeck's was so pretty.  I added the fresh flowers to it in addition to setting up the table and the gift table.  

 The ceremony took place on the roof under a perfectly blue sky.   Cocktail hour was immediately following in the Mist Pavilion.  While the guests gathered to share the day, the couple made their way to Independence Park for photos.   And, then it was off to the Girard Room for a lovely dinner and dancing to the sounds of Sound Sensation and DJ Mike Ellis.   

 DJ Mike even got out on the floor and got the party moving!   It was a great day and a beautiful time had by all. 
 As this wedding almost didn't happen, due to a string of disasters 3 weeks before, I must thank Michael Mitloff of the Hotel Monaco and ALL of the staff of the hotel for their outstanding efforts, cooperation and service in order to assist me in making this couple's wedding more than they ever dreamed.   I could not have done this without Michael, whom I called almost every day.  He was tireless in making every detail possible.   I also want to mention Erik Travers, whose attention to detail with the presentation of the meal and constant concern made for a flawless reception and to the chef, Guillermo Tellez, whose food is outstanding!   And, finally, to Nick Gregory, the general manager, who kept in contact with me and made sure nothing went awry.   This was truly one of my biggest triumphs!   Everything went wrong for this adorable bride and yet, her day turned into a magical experience that she could not have imagined.   
I got this from Mary Ann yesterday.   And, they are planning a party early next year for all the people they did not have at the wedding.  So, I will be working with them again. 

  'Thank you for everything. We really can't say enough about how great you were through this entire journey. You are absolutely wonderful.  This was better than we ever imagined and I now believe that things happen for a reason."

Monday, October 01, 2012


On Saturday, Adrianna's parents walked her down the path of her aunt's home to join hands with Paul and his daughter, Emma.   The bride was radiant in her ivory, silk organza gown.  Carrying a bouquet of ivory roses from Ilonka Floral, with her proud father on one arm and her dazzling mother on the other- wearing a gorgeous ice blue silk gown, Adrianna and Paul- and Emma, begin their lives.   Getting there- well, there is a tale to be told!   From the photos, it would seem that a design team came in and transformed this incredible house and property into a lush scene.  But, the team consisted of the bride's Aunt Claudia, whose home it was, and Claudia's talented friends and neighbors- oh, and myself!!  This was a monumental task!!  Just look at how it turned out!!    

THE DETAILS:  It began 3 weeks ago with a frantic phone call from Laura, the mom.   She had been under the mistaken impression that the caterer was going to assist in the execution of the rehearsal and wedding.   When she realized that the caterer DOES NOT get involved with the DIY details or the tent that came from an outside source, she panicked!!  So, three weeks before this big event, I came on board to calm the nerves and pull the pieces together. 

When I first met Adrianna and her mother and aunt at the aunt's sprawling home, there were antique linens, vases and various other beautiful touches all over the dining room.  The yard was in transformation mode and Claudia was still accumulating things to decorate with.   There was no real game plan until the day before the wedding.   And, the linens for the tent were not arriving until three hours before the guests, there was a lot of work to be done.  

In the three weeks before the wedding, the details of the tent had to be figured out.  Many conversations and several trips out to the house later, the tent was up- with a floor, by Wednesday.   On Thursday, when I got there for rehearsal, there was still no sign of a successful execution of a wedding on Saturday.   But, as evidenced here, that was not the case on Saturday at 5PM when the guests started arriving.  

I arrived at noon on Saturday, with an assistant.   When I got there, the patio was awash with tables, garden tools, ladders and two of Claudia's friends, making arrangements to hang on the patio and on the shepherd's hooks lining the bridal path.  One of my first tasks was to make big tulle bows for all of these arrangements, while my assistant walked the yard looking for the leavings of the three dogs!   She and the bride's uncle collected several "surprises" that could have been disastrous to the the bride!   After the bows, my assistant and I set about creating the gift table, the escort card table, the table for the guest book and filling at least a hundred mason jars with candles to line the patio and steps.   At about 2PM I called to check in with the bride ( since I am usually WITH the bride at this point) and she was upset.  The florist had not made the bridesmaid bouquets the way she was supposed to make them.   I told her not to worry.   And, I sent her aunt out to get me 2 dozen pale pink and two dozen ivory roses.   When the girls arrived at 4:15 ( yes, an hour before the ceremony), I took apart the bouquets, remade them with the roses and retied them for pictures.   Adrianna was much happier!   The ceremony took place in the center photo here.  The linens on the escort table and the guest book table are family pieces.   Every flower arrangement was made by Claudia and her friends.                 

 Adrianna waited in the house, trying not to be seen by the groom.  He was not cooperating!  The girls were dressed in pewter, chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of ivory and pink roses, blue hydrangea and tied with green ribbon.  The flower girls- of which there were five, carried mini bouquets of blue hydrangea.   The ceremony was very personal and lovely, and ended with the new family sending up three white balloons into the clouds.  Emma loved this part!   Cocktail hour was on the patio and then dinner was served in the tent.   The party was very lively and sounded like Jerry Blavat was spinning records.  This was a crowd of oldies lovers for sure!!   Mixed with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin for Adrianna's Italian family and, of course, a tarantella!   Adrianna danced to a beautiful Italian song with her dad- very sweet!!  The homemade wine was flowing and everyone was on the dance floor!! 
Provence Catering did an amazing job!  The stationary hors d' oeuvres table was loaded with Italian meats, cheeses and breads.   They passed sliders and stromboli along with several other delicious goodies.  The staff is wonderful at Provence!  They are so pleasant and helpful.  And, for this wedding that was special! It took all of us to carry all the centerpieces back into the house at the end of the evening.      

The cake was delicious.  And, the dessert table was full of homemade Italian cookies and pastries, mostly made by Adrianna's aunts and grandmother.   The food alone was a picture!  Great job, Provence!   What a wonderful team of professionals!!
 There were seven little ones in the wedding party- five flower girls and two ring bearers.  They were all so darling.   Emma, Paul's daughter, was so excited.  And, the littlest one, Olivia, was  really funny!  I love this photo of them all watching Adrianna and Paul cut the cake.  And, little Olivia got icing on her nose.   After dinner, the kids made their way into the house, PJ's on and watching Cinderella.  A fitting way for little cherubs to end their big day.    
For the grownups, they ended their day on the Bocce Ball court.  This yard was incredible- and big!   I just had to take this last shot as I was limping to the car.   

All in all it was a perfect day.  There were lots of twists and turns.  There could have been some disasters.  But, with a competent planner on board ( even though at the 11th hour), it all turned out just as the bride wanted.   

Thanks to Provence Catering, Jeremy Hess Photography, Ilonka Floral and Joe Amoroso DJ's for helping make Adrianna and Paul's wedding a beautiful day!