The story of our wedding day began In 2018 when Val was a volunteer male model for the Jefferson University largest student-run fashion show. It was his freshman year, and I was visiting the college during my senior year of High school, hoping to join the Fashion Design program. We briefly met in the bus-line on the way back to campus, and he and my dad talked while I talked with other fashion students. Two years later, I was a sophomore at Jefferson and Val was a Junior randomly assigned to live in the same hall. One day, Val got back from soccer practice and offered to bring in mine and my roommates groceries. We were having friends over and invited him to join us that night. We became fast best friends and started dating at the end of December. Flash forward a few years later, Val had graduated with his MBA and I just graduated with my Bachelor’s. I was showing a 10 look collection in New York Fashion week, so Val and some of our closest friends and family came to support and hang in New York the following day. We spent the most amazing day in New York, then on Bow Bridge in Central Park, Val asked me to marry him.
We met the first time Val walked in a fashion show, and 5 years later Val proposed the first time I showed my own collection in a fashion show. This was the most amazing, love-filled weekend and we celebrated afterwards at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar.
Val got my dream engagement ring custom made at Chiccarines Diamonds & Jewelry in Collegeville, PA. It is a step-cut asscher diamond, two kite shaped diamonds on either side, and a gold band.
We got married at Drumore Estate in Pequea, PA. Our sister-in-law mentioned the property and we fell in love with the place immediately. Drumore’s beauty shined through for our garden wedding even in the dead of winter during our first visit. The aisle is long like our own personal runway with beautiful gardens surrounding it. There is a water fountain behind the ceremony, a beautiful patio in the front of the estate for the cocktail hour, and tall ceilings in the tent for our outdoor summer wedding. The natural beauty from the estate, paired with the beautiful florals by Sandra Porterfield created our dream wedding venue, and the separate room for dancing let everyone party as hard as they wanted to.
Being a fashion designer, and so much of Val and I’s love story being surrounded by fashion, I took the opportunity to use the aisle as my runway and make my own wedding dress. I initially tried on wedding dresses with my mom and sisters. This helped me get an idea for what shapes and fabrication were most flattering and went best with the garden party theme, deciding to mix laces and different shades of white. After creating a few muslins for fit, I used a 2-D larger scale lace over the bodice and had all the ruffles and frills in my three-tier, 3-d lace skirt. I added a functional bow to cinch the dress in the back, a subtle detail reminding me of my mother’s beautiful wedding dress that had a pale pink bow on the back. We found the perfect pair of ivory bow heels from Anthropologie weddings to speak to the bow detail as well. Later in the reception, I changed into a pair of pink Circus NY heels and a LoveShackFancy dress to dance the night away.
Val wanted a classic look for his tux, but to also stand out as the groom. The Black Tux allowed him to mix and match his outfit. He chose slim-straight black pants with a black vest, black bow-tie, and an ivory jacket with black lapels. So handsome. Val finished the look with a pair of black velvet loafers from Steve Madden.
My something borrowed and something blue were the same piece: a ring with a blue pear-shaped jewel that my mother let me borrow. It was my great great grandmother’s on my mother’s side. As for my other jewellery, I wore a pearl and jewel necklace that had belonged to my Grand Mama and a pair of statement earrings from Anthropologie.
Our flower girl, Geneva MacFarland, wore a dress that my older cousin had worn in my parents wedding. The bridesmaids were given a color palette and inspiration images and chose their own dresses. This way they could choose the shade of pink and silhouette that made them feel the most beautiful and was in their budget. They bought dresses from brands including For Love & Lemons, Lulus, Show Me Your MUMU, and one of my bridesmaids even had a custom dress made by her aunt.
Wedding morning I gifted my bridesmaids with plisse sets from Amazon for them to wear that morning, LuluLemon bags, and other little things for their baskets. Val got his groomsmen custom whiskey decanters and glasses engraved with their initials.
We borrowed Val’s Aunt’s 1978 Black Chevrolet Corvette T Top from for our getaway car.
Our tablescapes included pink linens, white napkins, fruits, frosted Arch table numbers, bud vases for the long tables, and floral centre pieces for the round tables. We also added a small sign on each table with a QR code for our guests to share their favourite memories from our special day.
As for favours, the guests were given fans that they could keep during the ceremony, but our real hit was the late night snacks as favours. At 9:00pm we had soft pretzels, pulled pork sliders, and mini grilled cheeses with tomato soup for our guests that they raved about. No one left a crumb.
Food & Drink
During our cocktail hour, the bar opened and our Whiskey Sours, Blood Orange Mules, and Pink Lemonade Mimosas were a hit. We kept the bar stocked with Peach Highnoons, and with everything for a variety of mixed drinks throughout the night. We also had Shirley temples with extra cherries, the kids favourite. They brought around Asiago Potatoes, sweet potato bites with dusted brown sugar, and cheese and crackers for appetizers.
At dinner, we had buffet style serving salad, mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, boneless short rib, and chicken. We had our late night snacks and an ice cream bar for anyone who did not want cake.
Our first dance song was suggested by my Granddaddy, “All I ask of You” from the Phantom of the Opera. It was elegant and beautiful while Val and I stumbled around and acted like goofs during our first time dancing as a married couple.
We had a DJ for the night, John Cicala, from Silver Sound Entertainment. John was awesome, he MCed during our reception and used all the best songs from our 11 hour playlist that kept the dance floor pumped all night.
Beauty Regime & Wellness
I got my hair and makeup done by Deana Mallamas from Glam by Deana. I had done a trial with her a month or two before the wedding. By the wedding day, I changed my mind for some of my look and Deana was amazing and did my hair and makeup perfectly. She also did hair for six of my 10 bridesmaids.
Favourite Wedding Gifts
We used The Knot for our wedding website and wedding gift lists. It connected our registries from Amazon, Target, and Anthropologie. We were so blessed by our friends and family and loved al of our gifts. Some of our favorites were an Air fryer, KitchenAid Mixer, Ninja Blender,
and everything we got from Anthropologie.
We had the best week ever on the happy island, Aruba, staying at The Hyatt Regency Aruba in Palm Beach.
- Accept help from people who offer it. Wedding planning is a process, and if you are a DIY bride or someone who thinks they can do it all like me, you will find out fast that even if you can do it all, everything takes time. And you will enjoy the wedding planning process so much more if you are not spending all your time DIYing. Things get done faster with extra help.
- There are no rules. We laughed, goofed off, and had fun. Be in the moment. I made a random speech, we did not plan any of our dances, we laughed during the ceremony, and everyone at our wedding said they had the best time ever and could feel the love. Your wedding is about being with the people you love and committing to a lifetime with each other, so have fun while doing it.
- Focus on everything that goes right. Things will go wrong, it is inevitable, but so much. more will go right. So if the linens are not pressed and the timeline gets messed up, remember your flowers that turned out perfect or them serving your favourite drink. The best thing that will go right is marrying your perfect person.
Other Dress & Accessories: @LoveShackFancy @circusny @anthropologie
Bridesmaids: @forloveandlemons @showmeyourmumu @lulus
Groom outfit: @theblacktux @stevemadden
Wedding website: @theknot
Wedding rings: @oliveavejewelry
Hair & Makeup: @glambydeana1