Allison and Josh know how to put on a good show. They met while studying film at Penn State—and now work in TV and movies in Los Angeles—so it's fitting that their wedding production started with a surprise proposal worthy of a Golden Globe. With two cameras rolling, Josh, disguised in a snowman costume, popped the question on the skating rink at NYC's Rockefeller Center as their families looked on. Two years later, their 200 wedding guests were treated to an equally memorable event at their October celebration at Appleford, a secluded 18th-century estate outside Philadelphia. "It was like stepping into another time," says Allison of her first visit to the grand site, which showcases pristine gardens and antique furnishings. For their wedding, the couple hoped to balance the classic elegance of the grounds with their own more laid-back, hip style.
At their outdoor ceremony, the bride walked down the aisle to music from The Royal Tenenbaums, their first-date movie, and both a priest and a rabbi officiated beneath a wooden chuppah, to honor Allison's Catholic and Josh's Jewish traditions. The lush site needed little embellishing, so the couple requested simple seasonal arrangements: tin pails of yellow and orange mums next to the ceremony chairs, and centerpieces of sunflowers, daisies, roses and dahlias in warm autumn hues, by floral designer Colleen Harrington of Bradley Beach, NJ. "I wanted it to look almost as though I had walked around and picked the flowers," says Allison.
The newlyweds also made their menu seasonal, serving roasted-pear-and-blue-cheese phyllo and mushroom caps stuffed with sausage by Robert Fair Caterers of Exton, PA. A carrot cake—another fall staple—and a mini-sweets station rounded out the meal. After the couple's first dance to "Think of You" by LA local favorite Reeve Carney (whom they had personally contacted to obtain an MP3 of the unreleased song), the crowd joined them for the hora, a lively Jewish dance that segued into lots more activity on the dance floor. Two pals captured all of the festivities on video as their gift to the bride and groom. While Allison and Josh have yet to edit the film, it's likely little will be left on the cutting-room floor.—Michaela Garibaldi
Learn From Allison and Josh
Raise The Bar: In addition to serving a full array of liquor, the couple requested an apple-tini bar, which was set atop an arrangement of green apples. "We love martinis and thought this would be fun," says Allison.
Give Attendants the Royal Treatment: To ease the nerves of her young flower girls, Mykie, 6, and Ava, 2, Allison made them princesses for the day: She had her floral designer craft wands for them from sunflowers and bells, and wreaths of sunflowers for their hair.
Bend the Rules: The couple chose an autumn theme for their menu, but Allison fell in love with a summery entrée—coconut-crusted tilapia—so she had it served as a light alternative to the other heartier dishes.
Oleg Cassini, davidsbridal.com
Hugo Boss, hugoboss.com
Ceremony and Reception Site
Flower Girl Dresses
Us Angels, usangels.com
Robert Fair Caterers, faircatering.com
Faith West, faithwest.com