When Katelynne Delaney, 27, and Clarke Gilbert, 29, got engaged in April of 2012, they knew they'd need to start planning right away in order to make their dream of a spring wedding come true. "We really wanted to get married outdoors, so we had to find a venue right away!" Katelynne remembers. Thankfully, the bride already had her eye on The Horticulture Center—and their only available date in the spring of 2013 was the day the couple was hoping for, May 3rd!
With the "where" quickly taken care of, the duo got to work on the "how," planning a fresh wedding with lots of flowers, amazing food, and a comfortable yet elegant feel. Jen Woodruff of JWstudio captured all the details of a wedding so full of spring, you'd never guess it took place right in Philadelphia.
Katelynne knew she wanted to wear a lace dress to go along with her wedding's soft, romantic theme. She fell in love with a Monique Lhuillier design, and set out to find it in person. The bridal salon she visited didn't have it in their store, but they ordered it for her so she could try it on. "The sample was straight off the runway, so I had to squeeze into it," says Katelynne. "It was just as beautiful as I'd hoped!" She nixed the veil in favor of a few sparkling hair pins and a beaded belt.
Below her gown, Katelynne donned a pair of champagne Jimmy Choo pumps. "My mom wore the same shoes," she says. The final detail was her family's heirloom garter, a gift from her mother. "My great grandmother, grandmother, and mother all wore the same garter belt for their weddings," says the bride.
Katelynne carried a soft pastel bouquet of pink, white, and lavender hydrangeas, peonies, ranunculus, lavender, and amnesia roses. The stems were wrapped with a piece of lace from Katelynne's gown, as well as a gold locket holding a picture of the bride's late aunt.
The bridesmaids donned blush pink one-shoulder gowns from Amsale. "I wanted their look to be feminine and effortless," Katelynne says.
The elegant pink peony bridesmaids bouquets were hand-tied with matching ribbon.
Clarke complemented Katelynne's lace gown with a classic custom tuxedo. "The hand-tied bowtie added to the James Bond look," says the bride. His boutonniere featured cream Majolica roses.
Clarke and his groomsmen all wore cufflinks made of antique typewriter keys.
Katelynne loved the combination of her gown's form-fitting bodice and a-line skirt. "It was perfect for dancing!" she says.
Clarke and Katelynne knew they wanted to host their late spring wedding outdoors, so they sought out a venue that had both indoor and outdoor spaces. The floral altar was set up at the end of a flagstone path leading to a reflecting fountain, flooded with sunlight.
The hydrangea, peony, and rose-covered arch perfectly framed the couple's traditional Christian ceremony, accompanied by an acoustic guitarist.
"The Horticulture Center was the first venue we looked at," says Katelynne. "It has everything we wanted, and there's nothing else like it in Philadelphia."
Indoors, beneath a glass roof and hanging plants, were rows of wooden tables. "We wanted the reception to feel like dinner in a family member's backyard—magical, natural, and comfortable," says Katelynne. Low centerpieces and family-style dining brought the couple's vision to life.
Centerpieces in wooden boxes, stone pots, and mercury glass were filled with cream, lavender, blush, and green hydrangeas, stock flowers, peonies, lilac, seeded eucalyptus, roses, and ranunculus. Pillar candles warmed up the room, lighting table numbers painted on ivory cards. Each guest's seat was marked with a tag tied to a sprig of lavender.
Katelynne and Clarke shared their first dance to Ray LaMontagne's "You Are the Best Thing." Katelynne let her hair down for the evening reception, but left in her hair pins for a touch of sparkle.
The family-style dinner featured roasted asparagus with truffle vinaigrette, beef tenderloin with spring mushrooms, and pan-seared scallops. "The menu was super important to us," says the bride. "We made sure to include something for everybody and give our guests a farm-to-table dining experience."
Guests looked on as the bride and groom shared dances with their parents. Katelynne and her father danced to "I Loved Her First" by Heartland, followed by Clarke and his mother, who danced to "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion.
Family-style desserts and a cake display replaced the traditional wedding cake. Guests were served macarons and fruit tarts in addition to dark chocolate and caramel mousse, milk chocolate and hazelnut, white chocolate and raspberry, and lemon mousse cakes.
"I'll never forget the moment as the sun set over the reception," says Katelynne," when I had a chance to take the whole thing in and thank my father for helping me make my wedding dreams come true. It was all I could hope for and more!"
Katelynne and Clarke honeymooned in St. Barths before returning home to Philadelphia. "The day was perfect," she says. "I'm so glad we put such an effort into making it the day we'd always dreamed of, and took the time to enjoy every moment!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Horticulture Center || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier, from The Wedding Shoppe || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Holly Antonelli || Makeup: Samantha Barnett || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Suit: Henry A. Davidsen || Groomsmen's Suits: Mr. T's Tuxedos || Wedding Rings: Milanj Diamonds || Florist: Fleur De Lis || Music: Ripcord || Catering: Stephen STARR Events || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd., Maggpie Vintage Rentals || Lighting & Sound: Eventions Productions || Videography: Be Films || Photography: JWstudio