Cairnwood Estate wedding reception of Rebecca & Ben | Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania

Tell us about your decor and flowers.
Rebecca: We had a combination of burgundy, ivory, blush pink and blue-green foliage hues. The flowers were a real group effort. Astrid and I came up with the colors and she was great at choosing flowers that would complement each other. During our wedding rehearsal fifteen people were downstairs in the Cathedral busily arranging flowers for us. It was lovely to walk down the aisle and know that our friends and family had helped with it all.

We designed the invitations with my sister Francesca. She came up with the idea of two trees bending toward each other with violins at the base. Ben and I met in the mountains and I spent the summer in Aspen at the music festival just before Ben proposed, so Aspen trees seemed appropriate. Francesca painted the stunning artwork for the front and inside and I then designed the back using her work as inspiration. A friend kindly helped us with the layout and prepared the invites for printing. Designing the invite with my sister was incredibly special for me and it was thrilling to see our wedding take on such a personal touch.

Tell us about your cake.
Rebecca: We chose alternating layers of apple spice with cinnamon butter cream and vanilla with lemon zest butter cream. I was dancing so much that I completely forgot about dessert and I almost missed the delicious cake. Fortunately there were a few pieces left in the kitchen.

Ben: Back in January, Becca and her parents came over to Bryn Athyn from London. We did a bunch of wedding planning stuff and the cake tasting was one of the last things we did. At that point, to be presented with a choice of over 30 different flavors was a bit overwhelming. We were exhausted and ended up taking home some mislabeled cake samples. We ended up choosing a seasonal flavor and something lighter that we thought we’d enjoy. It turned out great.

Tell us about your dress.
Rebecca: I bought my dress in Oxford at a little boutique my sister suggested. It was the first place I went for an appointment. I think my mum and sister picked out five dresses between them and I picked out just one – and that was the one. I just felt like the best version of myself in that dress. I felt empowered and radiant.

We had to bring the dress to the States and it had to be transported as a carry-on. My carry-on was a violin so I entrusted the dress to my mother and she brought it over. It was strange not having my dress in the country until about ten days prior to the wedding! Ironically, I bought my dress in the U.K. and was married in the U.S., whilst my mum purchased her wedding dress in the States and was married in London.

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Venue: Cairnwood Estate – Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Dress: Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique – Beaconsfield, U.K.
Hair: Janelle on Location – Warminster, Pennsylvania
Flowers: Astrid’s Flowers – Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Cake: The Master’s Baker – West Chester, Pennsylvania
Caterer: Sage Catering – Berwyn, PA
Officiant: Grant Odhner
Band/DJ: Slippery Band – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Transportation: Sterling Limousine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia wedding photographer – Leslie Barbaro

Cairnwood Estate wedding of Rebecca & Ben | Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania

What was your favorite part of the wedding day?
The day flowed and came so well together that it’s hard to pick a favorite part. Listening to the music performed by our close friends just before we walked up the aisle was particularly special. It was a great opportunity to calm down before the wedding and put ourselves in a relaxed frame of mind.

How did you choose to be married at Bryn Athyn cathedral with you ceremony at Cairnwood?
Ben: I moved to Bryn Athyn when I was 14, and the Cathedral was the church I went to on Sundays with my family. My parents were married in the Cathedral and two of my brothers were married there, so it has both a family and community connection for me.

Rebecca: The Cathedral is a personal place for Ben and I was immediately struck by its warm, reflective atmosphere, which was exactly the environment we envisaged for our ceremony.

My parents saw our reception venue before I did. They visited Cairnwood Estate with Ben’s parents when they were in the U.S. and were impressed. They brought photos back to London and I loved the colors, the details, and the natural lighting. I hadn’t actually seen the mansion in person before we decided on it, but I was pretty willing to be swayed! The idea of our guests walking from the ceremony to our reception appealed to us. The mansion is grand, but importantly, it feels equally like a home.

How does it feel different being married?
It’s a bit of an unusual question for us because we weren’t even in the same country before we were married! It’s fantastic to finally feel like we have the same base and can truly share the same life experiences together.

Now that you’re married, and you’ve been through planning a wedding together, what advice would you give to other couples who are just starting the process?
Rebecca: I’d say it’s good to double check things, but I learned to rely on people. If you do good research when you pick vendors, it allows you to trust them and really enjoy your day. At the beginning, I didn’t understand how much support people would offer us. By the end I really appreciated that.

Ben: Someone told me that at the end of the day you’re really just throwing a great party. And that helped put things in perspective. There are lots of different ways to get married but we wanted to be inclusive and bring a lot of people together. You’re allowing a community to witness it, it’s not just for you as the couple, it’s for your family and for the others who support you.

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Venue: Cairnwood Estate – Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Dress: Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique – Beaconsfield, U.K.
Hair: Janelle on Location – Warminster, Pennsylvania
Flowers: Astrid’s Flowers – Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Cake: The Master’s Baker – West Chester, Pennsylvania
Caterer: Sage Catering – Berwyn, PA
Officiant: Grant Odhner
Band/DJ: Slippery Band – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Transportation: Sterling Limousine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia wedding photographer – Leslie Barbaro

Cairnwood Estate wedding preparations of Rebecca & Ben | Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania

About the couple:
Rebecca & Ben are both professional classical musicians – violinists. They met at a summer music festival in Banff, Canada  just over three years ago. They spent the summer studying and performing together, exploring the mountains and hiking with friends while getting to know each other. Then they each returned home – Rebecca to London and Ben to Colorado.  Three years of long-haul flights (and a year of long-distance wedding planning) are over and they are finally married and together in Colorado!

They envisioned personal and relaxed autumnal wedding in the beautiful surroundings of Cairnwood, with music playing a large part.

When was the moment you knew you wanted to marry your spouse?
Ben: I don’t know if there was one precise moment, but even when we were getting to know each other, during the seven weeks at the music festival where we met, we knew it was a special connection. When we left, we couldn’t imagine not being in each other’s lives. I could see a future with Becca that I couldn’t see with anyone else.

Rebecca: When we said goodbye in Banff at the end of the music festival I thought, this cannot be goodbye, I’m going to see this person again, I just have to. The way he thinks about music and the way we were able to talk about music together totally caught me by surprise.

Booking that first plane ticket to visit Ben at Christmas marked the start of a big emotional investment for both of us. That trip was very special – it confirmed everything we thought we knew about each other. We even took a nineteen-hour road trip from Houston to Bryn Athyn to see Ben’s parents and didn’t drive each other crazy. We forgot to pack any forks, ate all the food we packed for the journey with toothpicks and sang Beatles songs at the top of our lungs. I knew that I could spend the rest of my life with this person.

What was the one thing you were most stressed about before the wedding and how did it turn out?
Ben: I hadn’t planned out what I was going to say to our guests. During cocktail hour I was still upstairs jotting down notes for my speech. That was probably the most stressful part of the day for me. Part of the speech was structured and part of it was improvised – it felt like such a whirlwind that I can’t really remember what I even said in the end!

Rebecca: We had a lot of international guests arriving before the wedding, as well as many coming from all over the U.S. I wanted to spend time with everyone, but you have to realize you can’t be in ten places at once. Regardless, I think that everyone enjoyed themselves. People said the reception felt very welcoming and that they met new people who they want to stay in touch with.

Ben: The fact that our wedding was able to bring our families and friends together to build those connections means a lot to us.

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Venue: Cairnwood Estate – Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Dress: Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique – Beaconsfield, U.K.
Hair: Janelle on Location – Warminster, Pennsylvania
Flowers: Astrid’s Flowers – Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Cake: The Master’s Baker – West Chester, Pennsylvania
Caterer: Sage Catering – Berwyn, PA
Officiant: Grant Odhner
Band/DJ: Slippery Band – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Transportation: Sterling Limousine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia wedding photographer – Leslie Barbaro

Winterthur wedding reception of Kathleen & Jacob | Winterthur, Delaware

What was your favorite part of the wedding day?
The best part of the day was getting to see so many family members and friends all together in one place.  Our guests came from all over the place-some international-and we felt so lucky to have all these amazing people travel from near and far to celebrate with us. Also, just seeing everything come together after so many months of planning was pretty great.

Tell us about your decor, flowers, etc.
Our theme colors were navy and gold, with some fall colors mixed in. We went with a lot of orange and peach colors for the flowers and had 3 different styles of centerpieces at the reception for a little variety. Lots of pumpkins too! The string lights that were supposed to be at our outdoor cocktail hour were instead hung in the visitor’s center for the reception, and we also had paper lanterns.

winterthur wedding portraits

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What inspired your decor?
I wanted to go for a “simple yet elegant” theme, and also incorporate elements of Fall- acorns, pumpkins, leaves, etc. We wanted things to look very classic overall but with some fun personal touches, like our cake topper.

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Tell us about your cake…. and your cake topper!
Our cake was from The Master’s Baker in West Chester, PA. It was 4-tier, round, navy/white/gold with buttercream flowers, and had 2 different flavor combinations- pumpkin spice and cinnamon, and red velvet and cream cheese. We had to go with pumpkin because, well it was delicious, and it went perfectly with our Fall theme.  And for the rest of the flavors, Jake loves cinnamon, I love cream cheese, and we both love chocolate.

I ordered a custom cake topper on Etsy with a silhouette of a bride and groom with two fluffy cats.  We have two cats  (Snuggie and Puddles) who had to stay behind in Texas, but I wanted to represent them in some way at our wedding. They love people food so on top of the cake was the perfect place.

winterthur wedding cake from the masterwinerthur wedding bouquet toss

Now that you’re married, and you’ve been through planning a wedding together, what advice would you give to other couples who are just starting the process?
Find and book your venue first, and then work on the other major details and anything that needs to be booked far in advance in the first few months – band/DJ, photographer, florist, etc. The rest of the details can be worked out later. You can find pretty much anything on Etsy. If you decide to hire a wedding coordinator, you will not regret it. Try to make decisions together as a couple – don’t say “I don’t care” about anything.

What’s next for the two of you?
We are living in Dallas and both working at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Jake is embracing his new role as a cat dad. Now that the wedding is over we are exploring our new city (we just moved to Dallas in July), trying new restaurants, checking out museums, etc. We weren’t able to go on a honeymoon after the wedding because we had both just started new jobs, but we are hoping to go to Australia in the spring

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Venue: Winterthur Museum & Country Estate – Winterthur, Delaware
Dress: Jennifer’s Bridal – Hockessin, DE
Suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair & Makeup: Currie – Glenn Mills, Pennsylvania
Flowers: Fresh Designs – Chester Heights, Pennsylvania
Cake: The Master’s Baker – West Chester, Pennsylvania
Invitations: Crane & Co.
Wedding Planner: Proud to Plan – Wilmington, Delaware
Officiant: Reverend William Melnick
Band/DJ: Imagine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Delaware wedding photographer – Leslie Barbaro

Immaculate Heart of Mary & Winterthur wedding of Kathleen & Jacob | Wilmington, Delaware

Who proposed to who and how?
Kathleen: Jake proposed while we were on vacation in the Bahamas in February 2015.  He usually tries to talk me into going skiing in the winter, but I prefer beach vacations, so we’ve tried to alternate ski and beach years as a compromise.  I think it was supposed to be a ski year, but since he was planning to propose I guess he figured he should take me somewhere I would like to go.  He proposed after dinner one night while we were relaxing in a hammock between two palm trees on the beach looking up at the stars.

How did you choose your venues?
Kathleen: The ceremony was at IHM – the church I grew up attending.

Growing up in Delaware, I had been to Winterthur several times, and when I found out they were also a wedding venue I had to check them out.  I loved the reflecting pool area – although unfortunately that didn’t end up being part of the day. The grounds are so beautiful, I knew it would be such an elegant backdrop to our celebration and a great place to take pictures.  Because the majority of our guests were coming from out of town and many had never been to Delaware before, I wanted a venue with a little bit of history that really showcased the beauty of the area.

What was the one thing you were most stressed about before the wedding and how did it turn out?
I was pretty stressed about everything…Jake and I were living in different cities, both far from Delaware, and most of the planning had to be done remotely. Luckily we had a lot of help from my mom, who held it down on the home front and did a ton of legwork for us. And we got some great some great suggestions and guidance from our wedding coordinators at Proud to Plan, as well as the Winterthur wedding coordinators, along the way. In the end everything turned out perfectly.

In the weeks leading up to the wedding I started to get pretty stressed about the weather, because the forecast for October 1st was changing from sun to rain every couple of days. We were planning to have our cocktail hour outside around the reflecting pool at Winterthur, and that obviously wouldn’t mix well with rain. Aaaaaand it ended up being chilly and rainy the entire weekend. The weather unfortunately caused some flight delays and cancellations for our guests, and yes the cocktail hour was moved inside.  On the bright side though, the rain made for some amazing photos and the cocktail hour rain site was gorgeous.

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Does it feel different being married?
A little bit!  Not a whole lot has changed in our day-to-day lives but I think we feel more content. It’s nice not to be spending all our free time planning a wedding!

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wedding party photos at winterthur gardens

winterthur wedding photosVenue: Winterthur Museum & Country Estate – Winterthur, Delaware
Dress: Jennifer’s Bridal – Hockessin, DE
Suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair & Makeup: Currie – Glenn Mills, Pennsylvania
Flowers: Fresh Designs – Chester Heights, Pennsylvania
Cake: The Master’s Baker – West Chester, Pennsylvania
Invitations: Crane & Co.
Wedding Planner: Proud to Plan – Wilmington, Delaware
Officiant: Reverend William Melnick
Band/DJ: Imagine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Delaware wedding photographer: Leslie Barbaro

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