One Couple's Elegant Wedding at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute

Real Weddings
Bride and Groom in Philadelphia, PA

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

When Elizabeth began throwing her annual Christmas cocktail party for her friends in New York, she had no idea that the event would become so popular, or that one day, three years later, her future husband would walk through her front door.

Ryan arrived at Elizabeth's apartment as a guest of their mutual friend, and immediately knew that he needed to ask her out on a date. With Elizabeth busy cooking, entertaining, and making sure they didn't bother the neighbors, there was barely a moment for them to speak, but she couldn't help but be distracted by the man who kept trying to talk to her. As the party came to an end, Ryan was too nervous to get Elizabeth's number, but instead gave her his email address as he headed out the door. She waited the appropriate two days before writing to him, and their plans to meet for a bike ride began what would become a whirlwind six-month romance.

In June of 2011, after a morning spent in Central Park and an afternoon with Ryan's family, the couple headed off alone to meet friends for a drink. As they rounded 86th street and 2nd avenue, the location of their first kiss, Ryan got down on one knee and asked Elizabeth to be his wife. 14 months later, on August 25th, 2012, the couple tied the knot at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

Monique Lhuillier Ball Gown and Green Badgley Mischka Peep-Toe Shoes

Wedding Bands and Bride's Hand-Embroidered Slip

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

"Once we'd chosen a venue, I let my wedding dress dictate the formality of the wedding," says Elizabeth of her two-piece Monique Lhuillier ball gown. The top was covered in Alencon lace and had elegant cap sleeves. The silk gazar skirt had gorgeous pick-ups, and was finished with a satin ribbon sash. Beneath the gown, Elizabeth wore a pair of green Badgley Mischka pumps embellished with crystal brooches. Her mother hand-stitched and embroidered a slip for her to wear beneath her skirt.

Monogrammed Formal Wedding Invitation

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

The couple's ornate monogram made many appearances throughout the wedding, from the invitations to the programs.

Groom's Dog Wearing a Floral Collar

Bride and Groom Outside the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

The couple's dog was dressed up in a floral collar for the occasion. Ryan wore a classic black tuxedo with a cumberbund and bow tie to complement Elizabeth's formal gown.

Bride in Monique Lhuillier with Yellow Balloons

Bouquets of Roses, Freesia, Hydrangeas and Lily of the Valley

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

As her something blue, Elizabeth wore a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings that her groom gave her as a wedding present.

She and her bridesmaids carried hand-tied bouquets. Elizabeth's featured garden roses, freesia, Lily of the Valley and dusty miller leaves. Her bridesmaids' bouquets were yellow freesia, blue hydrangeas, garden roses and lamb's ear.

Rooftop Wedding Ceremony at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Blue and Yellow Floral Wedding Ceremony Decor

Rooftop Wedding Ceremony in Philadelphia

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

The couple chose the Franklin Institute because it enabled them to have an outdoor ceremony with sweeping views of Philadelphia. The aisle was decorated with arrangements of light blue hydrangeas and yellow roses.

Reception in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in Philadelphia

Cream, Yellow and Blue Floral Centerpieces

Father-Daughter Dance at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

After guests wandered the Franklin Institute's exhibits during cocktail hour, they gathered in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial for a formal reception under the watchful eye of Ben Franklin himself. Vintage inspired silver vessels overflowed with cream and yellow garden roses, lisianthus, and hydrangeas. The Memorial provided a memorable location for Elizabeth's dance with her father during dinner.

Three-Tier Wedding Cake with a Lace Pattern and Fresh Flowers

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

The couple's three-tier wedding cake was a red velvet cake with chocolate ganache filling and white chocolate icing. It was piped with a lace deign and featured the monogram that was used on all of the wedding's printed materials. Fresh roses and hydrangeas provided an elegant finishing touch.

Sparkler Wedding Exit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

Ryan and Elizabeth exited the Franklin Institute in a shower of sparklers. Shortly thereafter, the duo found themselves dancing in the fountain out front with their friends!

Bride and Groom at a Wedding in Philadelphia

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

Elizabeth and Ryan honeymooned in Spain, spending five days on the beach, then heading to the Pyrenees Mountains to spend a few days road biking - a nod to the bike ride that started it all.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Franklin Institute || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier, via The Bridal Garden || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Hair & Makeup: Mackenzie Hughes of Mack Stylist || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung || Groom & Groomsmen's Tuxedos: Black Tie Formal Attire || Wedding Bands: Sackowitz Jewelers || Florist: Nancy Saam || Invitations & Paper Goods: Matthewy Kelsey, Printer || Music: Imagine, EBE Entertainment || Catering & Cake: Frog Commissary || Photography: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

—Jaimie Schoen

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