Julie and Josh’s Vie wedding was a spectacular soiree with lots of special touches, and it was our delight to be a part of their incredible day.
Getting Ready at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel + Private Residence
One of our favorite places for wedding day preparations, the Loews hotel was busy as ever when we arrived for Julie and Josh’s wedding day.
High up in a suite, the room was bustling with activity. Julie was having finishing touches put on, and so we happily photographed the stunning details she’d handpicked for her wedding day. Everything from her Allure Bridal wedding gown to her vintage earrings as her something borrowed to the foil pressed invitation suite; we fell in love with stylish look Julie’d put together.
As the time drew nearer for their first look, Julie slipped into her beautifully fitted dress with the help of her mom and with her sweet dog Reggie looking on. Once she was fully dressed, her father snuck into the room and with a tearful hug told her just how beautiful she looked and expressed his great joy.
On that almost makeup ruining moment, we whisked away for the first look at the Azalea Garden behind the iconic Art Museum.
In the meantime, Josh was donning his Enzo Custom suit and, to represent another of his loves, his Philadelphia Eagles socks. He was a little quiet, the nerves starting to work their way up. But his groomsmen stepped up to the plate and brought him back with lots of laughter and encouraging words. He was ready, he had to see Julie. And it was time.
The First Look and Portraits at the Azalea Gardens
In what was one of the rainiest years we’ve seen in the Northeast for a long time (65% of the weekends had rain, ugh!), Julie and Josh had someone looking after them. A beautiful clear Saturday, but with just enough threat of rain that the normally crowded Azalea Gardens was virtually deserted; how lucky!
On the path that runs the length of the gardens, Josh waited. The tension was palpable as Julie walked up to him and gently touched his shoulder. When he turned, he was greeted with Julie’s radiant smile and he melted. After a tender embrace, the moment was interrupted by Reggie. Josh was almost as excited to see him as he was his bride. This led to lots of sweet moments with the three of them. Once Reggie was corralled by Josh’s mom, we wandered for portraits.
We took full advantage of the many beautiful spots in the gardens and behind the Art Museum for their portraits, and Julie and Josh enjoyed being together on their wedding day. Bridal party joined the fun and after documenting how spectacular everyone looked and the special bonds they shared with Josh and Julie, it was time to head over to Rodeph Shalom for the ceremony.
A Traditional Jewish Ceremony at Rodeph Shalom
In a private room, Julie and Josh signed their stunning ketubah in an intimate ceremony as is customary in Jewish tradition. This being witnessed by dear family friends, they were legally declared husband and wife. It was then time for the second ceremony that would bind them in the Jewish religion.
Their rabbi was wonderful and spoke beautifully about the joys and delights of marriage. During the ceremony, Josh’s mom and brother sang a duet that soared through the hearts of all present. We’re pretty sure we caught some tears trying to escape Josh as his mom and brother performed.
Under their chuppah, they donned Josh’s late father’s tallit (a Jewish prayer shawl) for their marriage blessings. Josh then stomped the glass to happy shouts of Mazel Tov and we witnessed their spectacular first married kiss.
The Vie Wedding Reception
One of Cescaphe’s grandest venues, Vie was the perfect place for Josh and Julie’s wedding reception. The ballroom was done to the nines. Julie had handcrafted 6 different centerpieces used throughout the room. EBE Dreamtime had set up and ready to rock the guests all night long. One of the special things about a Vie wedding reception is the petal cannon. After Julie and Josh made their grand entrance, the petal cannon fired and added amazing drama to their kiss.
One thing that we saw more of last year and would love to see in the coming wedding season, was a choreographed first dance. Julie and Josh twirled and whirled about the dance floor, as elegant and regal as you could ever hope to see.
The toasts offered by the parents of the bride and Josh’s mother were heart melting. We were struck by the vivid way they described how Julie had been there for Josh when his father had passed away, and were moved to tears by the way Josh held her hand while these words were spoken.
Just before opening up the room for party time, Josh surprised Julie by bringing his a cappella group in for a special performance while she danced with her father. We loved seeing this groom serenading his bride while she danced with the man who loved her first.
All these special touches added up to make for a truly beautiful and unique wedding. The rest of the Vie wedding reception is a blur of dancing and delight.
Julie and Josh, we hope that you are thoroughly enjoying married life and wish you many happy years together (and Reggie too!)
Get the Guide!
An interactive workbook to help you customize and plan the perfect wedding day timeline!