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Ally & Matt's charming Philadelphian Wedding

Posted on 13 Feb, 2015
Ally & Matt's charming Philadelphian Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We met through a mutual friend whom I went to college with and with whom Matt went to high school. Our friend, Stephen (who would become our wedding efficient), was home for the weekend (he lives in Chicago), so he came up to visit me in Boston with two of his friends. Matt was one of them. After listening to local bands, a few drinks, and an entire night of playing it cool, let’s just there was an instant connection that turned into an 8-year relationship.

How long have you been together? 8 years

Do you have a proposal story? Matt really wanted to propose to me while we were hiking since our first “official” date was hiking. However, when we showed up at the trail, our dog Lucy in tow, there were signs everywhere that read, “NO DOGS ALLOWED”. Matt, normally cool and calm, became really agitated, so I suggested we run errands, clean the house, and hike another day. I mean, what was the big deal? We had all Fall to hike. That night, as we were leaving the house for dinner, Matt stopped me and said, “Do you know why I really wanted to go hiking today?” When I hesitated, he continued…”Our first date was hiking and I really want our last date as boyfriend and girlfriend to be hiking.” He then said some really sweet things about us, the family we would become, and how lucky he was to have me in his life. After a busy day of house cleaning and proposals, we were starving. Luckily, our friends, Dave and Audrey, were waiting for us at the restaurant, so we celebrated with good food, good drinks, and good friends!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? June 7, 2014

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where? Franklin Institute Museum, Philadelphia, PA 

2.     What made you choose there? I am from Philadelphia and the venue, Franklin Institute, a science museum, was absolutely beautiful, yet quirky and fun… a venue that we thought our guests could interact with and enjoy. Also, the ceremony space was on the roof deck with the city of Philadelphia as our backdrop. We felt the addition of Ben Franklin, who was born in Boston and prospered in Philadelphia, was a true reflection of the two of us joining our lives together.

3.     How did you find it? My sister’s friend is the Events Coordinator, so she recommended the venue.


The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? Whimsy, romantic….blushes and golds. 

How was the weather on the day? Sunny and warm — 80s

 What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We wanted early summer and the date was available.

Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Amanda Dowds (Maid of honor/sister); Maurita Burns (high school friend, moved to Boston together); Joanna Manieri (college roommate); Patricia Stevens (roommate/friend from Boston)

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship?

David Leonard (Best Man, childhood friend); Kevin Madruga (high school friend); Owen Murphy (high school friend); Ben Kneppers (high school friend)

3.     Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? n/a


Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?

I really wanted a romantic feel to the day. Simple and soft were the adjectives that influenced my decisions. I did not have a wedding planner, but was a heavy user of Pinterest, which served as an inspiration board for me.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I bought my dress through Ceremony Boston, which was recommended by a friend of mine who read about the boutique on a blog.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? No.

How many gowns did you try? About 12

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Ceremony Boston

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the back and the beading on the gown. The entire dress made me feel like vintage, 1950s glamour.

Who helped you pick the gown/who shopped with you? My mom, sister, and mother-in-law


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? BHLDN

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Jos A Bank

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I twisted my Nana’s pearl necklace with a pearl necklace Matt bought me and wore that as a bracelet, My earrings were a Christmas gift from my father, and my hairpiece was from Twigs & Honey.

I bought earrings for each of my bridesmaids. The earrings were from a few different stores. I chose the earrings according to each girl’s personality.

Where did you get your shoes from? Off Broadway Shoes!

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My hairpiece was from Twigs & Honey.

We often hear of difficulties experienced by the mother of the bride and groom in finding an appropriate outfit or the wedding day of their son/daughter, do you mind sharing where they found their outfits at all? My mom bought her dress from Lord & Taylor. I think my mother-in-law bought her’s from a local boutique.



Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.

We used Eventstagram, which projected guests’ instagram photos onto the walls of our reception room.



Florist - Willow & Thistle, Jill Letende. Absolutely beautiful flowers. I chose Willow & Thistle because Jill was very attentive and really seemed to grasp my vision as well as work within my budget.

Photographer – We had Carina and Amanda from Love Me Do Photography photograph the day. We picked this photographer based on Carina’s sweet and genuine personality. We wanted someone who we felt at ease with. Her portfolio, also, was stunning.

Music - The Strangers — BVT Live Entertainment

First Dance - You and Me by Penny and the Quarters

 Celebrant - Stephen Beriau — long time friend. He introduced us.

Stationery - Michael McDaniel Designs — good friends of ours who helped us do something unique and non-traditional with our invitations.

Menu - Frog Commissary

Cake - Frog Commissary

Bombonieres - Donations were made to the Children’s Literacy Initiative, Big Fluffy Dog Rescue (where we adopted our dog), and Charles River Foundation (in honor of Matt’s cousin who has Autism)

Hair & Makeup - The Philly Hair & Makeup Company. Hair: Christina. Makeup: Melissa. AMAZING talent. Absolutely loved my bridesmaids makeup as well as my own.

Wedding Bands - Jean Boyadjian