Tessica and Robert wed in late August at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Philadelphia followed by a reception at Water Works by Cescaphe in Fairmont, Penn. The event was brought to life by Cescaphe Event Group and tables were sprinkled with ginger jars filled with lush Boston ferns and ivory florals. / Images by Samantha Jay Photography.
Says Tessica, “We loved everything about our venue. The beautiful neoclassical architecture made our urban Philadelphia wedding feel timeless and elegant. We are convinced the views from our reception venue are the most beautiful in all of Philadelphia. Situated on the Schuylkill River and adjacent to Boathouse Row, they offer the most sweeping views of Center City. The iconic views, the classic structures, and surrounding gardens made it the perfect place for us to celebrate our marriage.
Favorite special touches? We loved our color palette of navy blue hues, whites, and greens, and incorporated this throughout our special day. We also chose to weave in classic blue and white chinoiserie ginger jars throughout our celebration. I loved the idea of a custom watercolor crest for our invitation suite and for day-of products like signage, cocktail napkins, koozies, and even our ice sculpture. But I wanted our crest to be different and incorporating ginger jars made our crest stand out.
Favorite moments? I couldn’t sleep the night before the wedding, so I took to writing notes to my parents and to Rob in the middle of the night. I texted my mom about something, and not surprisingly, she was also wide awake. I went up to her hotel room and we spent the early hours of my wedding day talking, steaming pajamas for my bridesmaids, and putting the finishing touches [on the] welcome boxes for our guests. Although by the end of the wedding night I was exhausted, it was so special to have that extra time with my mom ahead of the day’s events. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.
One of my favorite moments of the day was a reveal with my bridesmaids. I didn’t show my friends my wedding dress before the big day, and seeing the look on their faces when I came in the room not only validated my dress choice, but made me feel so beautiful. I also shared a few private moments with my parents and two sisters, my co-Maids of Honor while getting ready. When my sister cried when she saw me for the first time, it was so raw and sweet.
I bought my dress from the Pronovias flagship store in New York City. Prior to that, I had tried on about one hundred dresses and wasn’t completely happy with anything. When I put on my dress, I felt instantly comfortable. I knew that the form fitting cut was exactly what I wanted to dance in at the reception, but I also loved the detachable ballroom skirt that transformed my dress and made it more bridal and dramatic for the church ceremony. My dress gave me two distinct looks and made me feel like I had two separate dresses.
Our bridal table was arranged with ginger jars of all shapes and sizes and greenery and white flowers. Guest tables also had large pairings of jars and Boston ferns. Our venue was located on the Schuylkill River, so the lush green ferns added a different touch than a traditional wedding centerpiece.
I loved my first dance with Rob. As a former competitive figure skater, dancing was always a part of my training, and I had always envisioned a highly choreographed routine that would wow our guests. Rob knew how important this detail was to me and spent many hours attending group and private lessons. When a rose petal cannon went off at the end of our dance to Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love” I was floating on air. It was one of my favorite memories of our wedding day. It was also so special that Rob’s parents danced to this song on their wedding day.
Rob’s favorite drink is a Bermuda ‘Dark and Stormy,’ and requesting it as our signature cocktail was the only detail [he] truly cared about throughout the entire wedding process. As our friends can attest to, any time we entertain, you can count on the cocktail being served! For him, the cocktail brought back his favorite memories of vacations with his family in Bermuda, and to continue the tradition and create more memories together, we chose to honeymoon there for a three-day mini-moon post wedding.
I’ll always remember our wedding as the most epic party of my life and hands-down the most fun night I’ve ever had. I remember Rob telling me ahead of the wedding he didn’t think he’d spend much time dancing, but as soon as our twelve-piece band got started, you could not get him off the dance floor. Our friends are still talking about the band and how much fun our wedding was.
Advice? Enjoy the process—even the parts that seem stressful in the moment. Wedding planning was such a special time for me and I loved having a year-and-a-half long engagement to be fully present and involved in every aspect of the wedding.“
Photographer: Samantha Jay Photography | Ceremony Venue: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Philadelphia, PA | Reception Venue: Water Works by Cescaphe, Fairmont, PA | Event Planner: Cescaphe Event Group | Florist: Beautiful Blooms | Wedding crest: Mulberry and Elm | Wedding Gown: Pronovias | Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply | Bride’s Jewelry: David Yurman | Bride’s Veil: Pronovias | Bride’s shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids’ attire: Two Birds | Wedding Stationery: The Papery of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA | Caterer and cake: Cescaphe Event Group | Transportation: Cescaphe Trolley | Hair and make-up: Capelli and Trucco | Band (12 piece): Jack Faulkner Orchestra | Ginger jar rentals: Celebrations by TMG Events