When Shanna Giedl's best friend's boyfriend transferred to a new high school, she didn't think much of it—but was surprised when he reported back after a few days that he'd made a friend whom Shanna had to meet. "He was so determined that I meet Nathan," Shanna recalls. And after seeing a photo of Nate's winning smile, she says she was hooked. The pair was inseparable that summer, and their romance survived different colleges, life on opposite sides of the country, and even Nate's six-month stint as a teacher in China. "Being apart made us closer, but I've never been happier than I was when Nate came back to the states and we finally moved in together," Shanna admits.
In January 2017, nearly a decade after Nate and Shanna first met, the pair was on a ski trip to Vermont, cozying up in front of the fireplace after dinner. "Nate had hidden the ring in the couch cushions," she says. "I couldn't believe my eyes when he pulled it out!" The couple told their siblings—who would be their maid of honor and best man—and then waited until the next afternoon to share the news with the rest of their family and friends.
Nate and Shanna live just outside of Philadelphia, and wanted a unique Pennsylvania wedding that was a far cry from the country clubs and gardens they'd seen. "The Booking House, a warehouse-style space in Manheim, was so unique and a complete blank slate," says the bride. "It's family-owned, we could use any vendors we wanted, and, because it's indoors, we didn't have to worry about spring weather!"
On June 8, 2018, the couple exchanged vows in front of 132 guests in a modern, rustic, and romantic celebration full of carefully chosen pops of color. Keep reading to see how they dressed up this warehouse wedding venue, as photographed by Madeline Broderick
"I found my wedding dress in one day, which was a huge surprise given how indecisive I can be," Shanna says with a laugh. "I was sure I wanted an illusion neckline and lots of lace, but after I discovered Pronovias, I was hooked on the simplicity of their designs." She chose a smooth crepe mermaid gown with buttons running down the back, which originally had beaded cap sleeves. "My seamstress removed the sleeves to do alterations, and I suddenly loved the gown even more!"
Shanna's triplet cousins served as the flower girls. "They were born shortly after Nate and I started dating, so they've always been a representation of the true length of our relationship," says the bride. The girls wore tulle and lace dresses with matching flower crowns.
"While taking photos before the ceremony, we realized my cathedral-length veil would catch on the wooden floor," says Shanna. "We solved the problem by having one flower girl lead the way, while the other two carried my veil, Royal Wedding–style!"
Nate matched Shanna's classic dress in a timeless black tuxedo. "He was determined to tie his own bow tie for the occasion," says Shanna. He wore an ivory rose boutonniere on his lapel, while Shanna carried a romantic bouquet of peach ranunculus, blush roses, and white peonies.
After researching bridesmaid dresses online, Shanna realized she loved Jenny Yoo's designs and decided to deck her 'maids out in three flowing A-line styles. "They wore the Earl Grey color, a soft neutral that was totally timeless and a great backdrop for our peach and blush flowers," says the bride.
To soften the industrial space, the couple's ceremony took on a more residential feel. The mantle of the fireplace in the venue served as the backdrop for the altar, with a romantic and edgy display of lush flowers and greenery that appeared to be growing up the wall. "Our florist absolutely nailed it!" says Shanna. The aisle was lined with arrangements of peach ranunculus, white peonies, blush roses, and black scabiosa, which were reused as centerpieces once the space was flipped for dinner.
The flower girls carried sprays of baby's breath as they helped Shanna down the aisle on her father's arm.
"Nate's mom is an ordained minister," says Shanna. "He asked her to marry us on the Mother's Day after we got engaged, and she was so excited." The couple loved having someone they know so well put together a truly personalized ceremony. "We were really impressed that she held it together!" Shanna laughs.
The couple wrote their own vows, but vastly underestimated how hard it would be. "We didn't start until two nights before the wedding," Shanna reveals. Nate quoted Johnny Cash's response when asked about his description of paradise: "This morning, having coffee, with her."
As the couple exited the venue after the ceremony, guests tossed dried lavender, rose petals, and calendulas tucked into ivory linen pouches. Guests sipped grapefruit mimosas garnished with rosemary—a pre-ceremony treat that looked as good as it tasted! "During cocktail hour, we had Pimm's Cups as a refreshing offering," says the bride.
While everyone enjoyed cocktail hour downstairs, the spaces was flipped for the reception. The head table was set in front of the mantle, using the ceremony flowers as a frame for the newlyweds' seats, and aisle arrangements and bouquets were placed on the tables as centerpieces. Bare farm tables were arranged family-style, topped with as many candles as the florist could fit.
"The focus was really on the florals and greenery, so we kept the place settings simple with white linens and china," says Shanna. Each place setting featured a printed menu and a thank you card detailing the charitable donations Shanna and Nate had made to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Special Olympics in their guests' honor.
Once dancing got underway, Shanna and Nate realized they hadn't yet cut their wedding cake. "We wanted to get a shot before our photographer left, so we cut the cake just the two of us," says Shanna. "We actually loved getting to have another quiet moment together." The four-tiered cake featured lemon cake with white chocolate mousse and blueberry filling, as well as bridal white cake with lime curd and vanilla crème filling.
"Don't waste time during your engagement being stressed or discouraged," Shanna adds as a final piece of advice. "You really can make a wedding beautiful on any budget with a little bit of creativity, and you'll want your memories of that time to be about the love and excitement instead of the worry!"
Venue: The Booking House
Bride's Dress: Pronovias
Bride's Veil: Noon on the Moon
Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Bride's Jewelry: Swarovski
Hair & Makeup: ONLO Beauty
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Groomsmen Gifts: Swanky Badger
Flower Girl Attire: David's Bridal
Engagement Ring: Bailey Banks and Biddle
Wedding Bands: Milanj Diamonds
Floral Design: Splints and Daisies
Ribbon: Tono and Co.
Catering: Michael's Catering
Cake: Rosie's Creative Cakes
Cookies: Lori A. Stern
Music: Bachelor Boys Band
Rentals: Barnes Farm Tables
Videography: byDesign Films
Photography: Madeline Broderick