It was a beautiful, cold and windy day at Jess & Paul’s artsy Philadelphia wedding. Their adorable first look took place in the elevator lobby, on the 8th floor of the stylish Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia where the bride and groom were staying. He might get mad at me, but I have to say it was so sweet to see Paul– a tall, muscular guy with a big burly beard– become a little emotional when he stepped off the elevator and saw Jess standing in front of him in her gorgeous wedding gown. It really was the perfect moment.
We planned to take the majority of our family and bridal party formals on the steps of the Second Bank of the United States, then make a stop at Washington Square Park, and finally, take some candid, gritty images of the bride and groom on the city streets around their venue… but we ended up finishing formals even before our allotted time on our permit started because it was just too cold outside. So with plenty of time to spare, we photographed around the hotel, and ended with some additional images in and outside their venue, Front & Palmer, where the ceremony and reception were held. The venue was an artistically embellished industrial building, with the perfect mix of texture, light, artsy decor, and elegance. The rest of their night was filled with memorable toasts, sentimental parent dances, and lots of singing, dancing, and fun. The evening finished with a surprise for their guests– a performance by their friend and singer, Rich Baker— the perfect way to end a beautiful day.
I always create a timeline to make sure we arrive at our destinations as close to the designated times as possible, but in the end you never know what’s going to happen come the actual day. That’s the true beauty of a wedding. For Jess & Paul, nothing with pictures seemed to go according to what we had planned. And although we were a bit limited by the weather and needing permits for certain places, this challenge made the images we took even more spontaneous and fun. And what DID happen was the exciting, authentic, REAL STORY of their perfect day. Jess, your amazing, infectious smile, and Paul, your laid-back attitude, (and awesome beard) made everything that happened this day truly beautiful and memorable. Thank you so much for trusting me with your memories. I hope this was just the first of so many of the “happiest days of your lives” <3.