Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel Wedding | Olivia Shi & Dan Astor

When Olivia and Dan booked us for their wedding, we were instantly smitten with this sweet and bubbly bride and her equally sweet and kind fiancé. We knew their wedding at the Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel was going to be lovely, and we were totally right.

Getting Ready at the Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

When we arrived at one of the penthouse suites at the Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, we found one of the most serene scenes. Some quiet Taylor Swift playing from a phone, hair and makeup wrapping up, and Olivia, relaxed and happy. She excitedly greeted us and showed us her details. Her stunning dress was so light and fluffy we thought we were going to die. The delicately beaded top shimmered and paired beautifully with the gorgeous string of pearls Dan had given her. But the details were overshadowed by her parents and how excited they were. Love and joy is a universal language, so even though we weren’t able to understand much of their conversation, it was obvious that they were overjoyed and so happy for their daughter. Olivia’s mom was eager to help her button up the dress, put on her necklace, and make sure everything was just so. While mother and daughter were a flurry of activity, her dad watched, quietly, from the other side of the room. The look of adoration was deep and full. His only daughter was getting married. 

When we’d had the chance to get Olivia into her dress, we used one of the super cool green velvet chairs at the Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel for bridal portraits. It was beautiful light and Olivia sat there like a princess, looking stunning. We couldn’t wait for Dan to see her, and knew that he shared the feeling. 

Dan, meanwhile, had his own room at the Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel and was busy getting himself ready. His personalized cufflinks shone bright, and he was in high spirits. We’re pretty sure there’s not a thing in the world that would have put on a damper on his cheer. His love for Olivia was on display front and center, and the day had finally arrived. Ceremony time was just a few minutes away.

Floral wedding invitation with pearl bracelet detail
Bride putting on her wedding gown with mother buttoning the back
Bridal portraits with bride putting on her bracelet and shoes
Mother of the bride helping bride put on her necklace and veil
Traditional sitting bridal portraits with purple and pink bridal bouquet
Traditional window lit bridal portrait
Bridal bouquet details and bride pinning boutonniere on father
Groom prep details with tuxedo jacket, red tie, dress shoes, and cologne
Window lit groom portrait of groom tying his tie and getting ready
Groom prep portraits with groom tying shoes and putting on jacket
Traditional window lit groom portrait

The Ceremony at the Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

The rotunda overlooks the glass awning of the hotel as well as some of the oldest sites in Philadelphia. It was in the shadow of the Second National Bank (a favorite place of ours), that Dan anxiously waited at the top of the aisle for his bride. When she appeared in the doorway, he could barely control himself. And as she drew closer, he let go. Tears welled and spilled. Everything was perfect. 

They heard a reading from Dan’s sister and were exhorted to always love one another. They repeated their vows and I Do’s, and as they exchanged rings, Dan could barely choke out the final line. The room was full of sniffles, and we knew that this couple was well loved by all their friends and family. Not that we are surprised at all. They were pronounced man and wife and enjoyed their first married kiss. Then it was time for some portraits!

Wedding ceremony space and stationary and floral details
Father of the bride about to walk bride down the aisle
Groom watching bride walk down the aisle in indoor wedding ceremony
Groom smiling at bride during indoor wedding ceremony
Bride and groom exchanging rings during wedding ceremony
Black and white portrait of bride and groom kissing during wedding ceremony
Bride and groom walking up the aisle after wedding ceremony
Bride and groom laughing and walking together after wedding ceremony

Portraits in Old City 

In a secluded little park, we photographed Olivia and Dan and the two people who stood by their side during the wedding: Best Man Jeff and Maid of Honor Alyssa. There was lots of laughs and lots of beautiful views of the city. But the best was when we got to capture the very first vestiges of Olivia and Dan’s married moments together. The sweetness emanated forth and we captured as much as we could before heading back for family formals. After the formals, it was party time. Let me just say this: Hit me baby, one more time.

Wedding party portraits with maid of honor and best man walking in urban outdoor garden space
Traditional bride and groom portraits under veil and looking into each others eyes
Traditional black and white wedding portrait with groom kissing bride on the cheek
Traditional bride and groom portraits in urban outdoor garden space
Traditional wedding portrait with groom kissing bride on the cheek
Outdoor traditional groom portraits and bride portraits with bride spinning in her gown
Traditional black and white bride and groom gazing at each other portrait
Bride and groom portrait hugging from behind with wedding band and veil details
Bride and groom walking up stairs together

The Reception at the Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

Olivia and Dan were announced as Mr and Mrs Astor to applause and cheers. Their first dance song began and they held each other close as they drifted across the floor. Toasts and parent dances followed, with Dan’s mom barely making it without crying. Then there was a scrumptious dinner (some of the best mashed potatoes ever) and then the floor opened up. It took a few minutes to get going, but the magic began as the music with some latin flair got everyone into the dancing zone. But it really took a turn for the epic when some 90’s teen pop came over the speakers. Mike Noble from EBE Talent really played his crowd well. Dan was possibly the most into it. He grabbed the tie of one of his buddies and sang his heart out to the infamous “hit me baby one more time!” It was seriously fun to watch and capture. 

Wedding reception table, floral centerpiece, gift bag, and lace floral cake details
Wedding reception entrances with parents of bride and groom and maid of honor and best man
Bride and groom make first entrance and first dance as husband and wife with family in the background
Best man, maid of honor, and parent toasts during wedding reception
Parent dances between father of the bride and mother of the groom
Bride and groom cutting wedding cake and gently feeding each other
Dramatic black and white night portrait with bride and groom kissing between pillars

It felt like it was all too soon that we were bidding a goodnight to these two lovely people. Olivia and Dan, thank you for such a sweet wedding to capture!

Their special day was made possible by:

— Photography — Ashley Gerrity PhotographyVenue — Renaissance Philadelphia — Florist — Willow and Thistle — Stationary — Papersource — Cake — Bredenbecks Bakery — Entertainment — EBE Talent — Wedding Dress — bhldn — Bride’s Shoes — Badgley Mischka — Wedding Rings — Steven Singer — Menswear — Mens Wearhouse and Johnston & Murphy

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