Jess and Mike were married on a lovely December day in Philladelphia at the Hotel Monaco. The day began with preparations in the hotel suite.
Jess and Mike decided on the gorgeous Hotel Monaco for many reasons. Jess shares, “Even though we live in DC, Mike and I decided Philly was the perfect place for us to get married! We both have ties to the city and found the perfect venue in the Hotel Monaco. We loved everything about it. Situated across the street from Independence Hall, the Hotel Monaco brings post-modern flair to a very historic area of the city. The gorgeous ballroom and the rooftop bar, which we used for our cocktail hour, were the perfect spaces for our wedding. The décor also provided many great places for photo ops! We also can’t forget the staff, who went above and beyond during the entire process to make sure our day was flawless!”
The hotel had some truly spectacular spots for photos! After the first look, we started out taking some portraits on the rooftop lounge.
Jess and Mike share, “We wanted our wedding to be chic but fun at the same time. While we tried to incorporate some traditional elements into our wedding, we wanted to make sure we added a few pops of our personality so that our big day was a true representation of us!”
Jess continues, “One of my favorite colors is purple, hence the blues and purples in my dress! I chose lots of silvers, whites, and lavender’s for the décor! I even let my bridesmaids pick their own white gowns to wear.
We wanted to include DIY elements into both our ceremony and reception to give it a personal touch. My brother-in-law refurbished a beautiful fireplace mantel, which served as the backdrop for the ceremony! For the reception, my Mom made all of the place cards; she wrapped 150 mini gift boxes and affixed a gift tag with each guest’s name and table number. My sister designed all of our invitations, programs, and customized each guest’s menu card for the evening. Needless to say, our wedding was truly a family effort!”
All the planning came together perfectly. Jess shares some of her favorite parts of the day, “I loved everything about our wedding day from start to finish! Seeing our ceremony and reception décor come to life just as I had imagined was so exciting!
I loved doing the first look with just Mike and me. I was definitely starting to feel a little nervous as we inched closer to the ceremony, but doing the first look was such a special moment between the two of us, and really helped me to have time to relax and enjoy a few moments with Mike before I DO!
I loved our ceremony, it was the perfect representation of us both! We also had two of our groomsmen perform all of the music, which was an extra special touch!
I had a groom’s cake made for Mike in the shape of a drum set with the Green Day logo, his favorite band. Showing it to him before all the guests arrived at the reception and seeing his reaction was awesome!
Getting to dance the night away with all of our family and friends was one of the best parts! Our band, The Ronald Reagans, were so much fun! They played their final set in full 80’s gear, which was definitely a crowd pleaser!
Mike adds, “I don’t think our wedding could have been any better! I’ve seen plenty of “fairytale weddings” in movies and ours completely blew them all out of the water. My favorite part of the day was standing at the alter and seeing Jess walk down the aisle. The way she sparkled in her dress, I’ll never forget it.
All the stresses of planning and preparing completely paid off in the end. As Jess mentioned, we had stellar vendors, several helpful family members and an unbeatable wedding coordinator, all of whom helped make sure every nuance was executed flawlessly. Thank you to everyone who assisted in making our day so special.”
Mike’s friends surprised him by playing a Green Day song at the reception, and then calling him up to join them for one more on the drums.
Congratulations Jess and Mike!
Check out the couple’s engagement session featuring some really fun street art in Philly.
Check out more photos from the wedding day in the slideshow:
Special thanks to all the vendors:
Venue: Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia
Wedding Planner: Lauren Reilly, Something Blu Events
Flowers: Kelly Garson, Whole Foods Florist, South Philly
Band: The Ronald Reagans Big 80’s Band
Caricaturist: Courtney Sell, Caricatures by Courtney
Dress: Lazaro, Love Couture Bridal, Potomac, MD
Headband: Love Couture Bridal
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik, Saks Fifth Avenue
Make-Up: Aleksandra Ambrozy
Hair: Kimberly Harrelson
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BCBG, Neiman Marcus, David’s Bridal, Macy’s, and Nordstrom
Suits: Express; Bow Ties: Bows-n-Ties
Invitations: Paper Presentation
Groom’s Cake: Cakes by Kharis
Cake Topper: ChicagoFactoryDesign, Etsy
Mr. and Mrs. Signs: ZCreateDesign, Etsy
Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz