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.

Hotel Monaco Wedding Philadelphia

hotel monaco bride getting ready makeup

Lazaro wedding dress blue purple color

bride looking out the window wedding day

wedding photography getting ready

wedding photography getting ready

Manolo Blahnik wedding shoes

Manolo Blahnik wedding shoes blue

groom tying bowtie

groom boutonnière white rose

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.

first look wedding photography

Hotel Monaco Philly wedding

Hotel Monaco Philly wedding

Hotel Monaco Philly wedding

Hotel Monaco Philadelphia wedding photography

Philly wedding Chesnut street photography

Philly wedding photography winter

wedding photography philadelphia Pennsylvania

wedding photography philadelphia Pennsylvania

winter wedding colors cream white

Philadelphia wedding photography

Philly wedding photography


wedding photography philadelphia Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia wedding photography columns

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!”

Philadelphia wedding invitation

Hotel Monaco Philadelphia ballroom wedding

Hotel Monaco wedding event

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

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.”

Hotel Monaco wedding reception dinner event

wedding babys breath centerpieces

wedding cake topper best day ever

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.

wedding reception

wedding dancing

Hotel Monaco wedding photography

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
Jewelry: BHLDN 
Suits: Express; Bow Ties: Bows-n-Ties
Invitations: Paper Presentation
Cake: Brendenbecks
Groom’s Cake: Cakes by Kharis
Cake Topper: ChicagoFactoryDesign, Etsy
Mr. and Mrs. Signs: ZCreateDesign, Etsy
Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz


Comments Off on Philly Wedding at Hotel Monaco: Congratulations Jess and Mike!

Merry Christmas from NYC! I love living in New York, but it is really something magical at Christmastime. I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from Rockefeller Center and the incredible holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman.

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree NYC

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree NYC

Bergdorf Goodman bgwindows NYC christmas windows The Arts

The windows are themed around “The Arts” and included displays for literature, theater, music, painting, sculpture, film and more. If you have a chance to stop by the store on Fifth Avenue and 58th street you will not be disappointed!

Bergdorf Goodman bgwindows NYC christmas windows The Arts

Bergdorf Goodman bgwindows

Bergdorf Goodman bgwindows architechture

Follow me on instagram at PhotosByJS

Rock center Christmas tree

I want to say a special thank you to all my friends and family, couples I have worked with, or will work with in 2015, and anyone who stops by the blog throughout the year. I love sharing my photos with you.

Wishing you a holiday that is very merry and BRIGHT!

Emma and Will were married on a beautiful November day in Bethesda, Maryland, at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church.

wedding dress stained glass

bride getting ready

maryland wedding photography

bridesmaids wedding photography

bridesmaids wedding photography

groomsmen wedding photography

groomsmen wedding photography

Emma’s dad had the biggest smile on his face all day. They were so sweet together!

bride and father wedding photography

Saint Elizabeth Church Bethesda Maryland

Saint Elizabeth Church Bethesda Maryland

Emma shares one of her favorite moments, “Saying our vows, I was so nervous I was holding my breath. Then I looked over Will’s shoulder and saw all the grooms men and the best man, Grant, smiled and nodded at me, and then I looked back into Will’s eyes and a flurry of all the memories we share and all my hopes and dreams about our future memories poured into my heart and I got pretty choked up with happy tears because it was an intense overwhelming feeling of joy.”

Saint Elizabeth Church Bethesda Maryland

Saint Elizabeth Church Bethesda Maryland

georgetown wedding photography washington dc

Georgetown wedding photography

georgetown wedding photography washington dc

Emma and Will met on the Purdue Crew team. She shares, “We were at a regatta in Tennessee and Will saw me running along the race course and made a point to get to know me. After much persistence from Will, I agreed to grab a coffee with him and I think it’s important to credit Will for proposing this as an option since he does not like the taste, smell or flavor of coffee.  Then our first date was at the rowing dungeon in Lambert Fieldhouse at Purdue. I’d agreed to meet him at the erg so he could teach me some of his erging techniques. After a workout we went to my place and I cooked him spaghetti. The rest is history.”

She continues with the story of their propsal, “Both Will and I are competitive and I was lucky enough to continue my rowing career past college and become a two-time Paralympic rower and silver medalist. Will and my family were able to come cheer me on when I competed in the 2012 London Paralympic Games. I’d been avoiding ice cream and pizza in the months leading up to the games to make sure I was in tip top shape so, after our final race and a few glasses of celebratory champagne, Will lured me away to Windsor Castle for a well-deserved ice cream cone. When we got there, he held me close and asked me to marry him. So not only did I get an ice cream cone, I got a diamond ring too!”

georgetown wedding photography washington dc

georgetown wedding photography washington dc

We had so much fun walking around Georgetown taking photos.

Georgetown wedding photography

georgetown wedding photography

rustic centerpiece tree stump

“My wedding style,” Emma shares, “was inspired by the book The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. We wanted it to be elegant but not too fancy, and traditional but not stuffy. Will and I also have a wonderfully talented family so it was our families who made the biggest contributions to the style of the wedding. Will’s dad and his brother Stephen actually cut down a large tree from their backyard in Michigan and used it to make the wood slices. They transported the sanded wood slices to my sister Anna in Indianapolis who stained them and used wood burning to carve W+E on each of them. My mother planned, designed and arranged all the flowers for the wedding, which was not only a huge help, but also a wonderful touch and sentiment. When I walked down the aisle at the church with my dad, I carried my mom’s spirit in one arm and my dad’s in the other. It was perfect. My mom was by far the largest contributor to the wedding style. She made the lace table runners, vases for the table tops, my veil, hair beret, and added grandma Andreoni’s buttons to my fur shawl.”

chalk drawing table numbers wedding

Pinstripes wedding Georgetown DC

Emma shares another of her favorite moments was dancing with my dad during the father daughter dance to A Whole New World from the Aladdin soundtrack. “Dad and I would often dance together when I was growing up. I remember twirling around in a yellow dress and also doing a do-si-do together at the annual father daughter square dance. So to dance with him while I was wearing my wedding dress was a major milestone for us. It was by far my favorite and one I’ll never forget!”

Pinstripes wedding Georgetown DC

unique pretty wedding cake

dancing wedding photography

dancing wedding photography

After the reception Will and Emma threw an after-party downstairs at the bowling alley. It was so much fun!

pinstripes bowling

Pinstripes wedding Georgetown DC

Pinstripes wedding Georgetown DC

Congratulations Emma and Will!

Check out more photos in the slideshow.

Special thanks to the vendors:
Ceremony Venue: St. Elizabeth Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Pinstripes Bowling and Bocce Bistro, Inc. Georgetown, DC.
Flower designer: Lynn Preuschl, Mother of the Bride
Florist: Potomac Wholesale Flowers
Bridesmaid Dresses Designer/Shop: Bella Bridesmaid and Two Birds Bridesmaid
Bride’s Dress Designer/Shop: Love Coutour Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Naturalizer
Makeup and Hair: Bridal Beauty To Go
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
DJ: Bill Izer, Source4Entertainment
String Quartet: Sage String Quartet
Cantor and Pianist: Marty Cosgrove
Cake: Stella’s Bakery
Cake Topper, Wedding Hanger, Decor: Anna Preuschl, Sister of the Bride
Invitations and Graphic Art Design: Kirk Preuschl
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt Photography

Lauren and Sean were married on a chilly but beautiful November day. Preparations began at the bride’s parents’ home, while the groom got ready at a nearby hotel.

New Jersey wedding photography

Lazaro couture wedding dress

New Jersey beautiful wedding photography

New Jersey beautiful wedding photography

wedding bride

bouquet white and pink flowers

groom getting ready

groom getting ready

New Jersey wedding photography

The ceremony was held at Saint Lucy’s Church.

Lauren shares, “I thought I was going to be more nervous for the ceremony, but the minute I saw Sean at the end of the aisle, all of my nerves went away. I couldn’t wait to marry my best friend and celebrate with all of our friends and family. We had a lot of guests at the wedding, but it still felt so small and intimate as we had everyone that we loved all in the same place. It was a day we will never forget and was the best day of our lives (so far!).

Saint Lucy's Church NJ

Saint Lucys Newark Church

Saint Lucy's Church NJ

Saint Lucys New Jersey Newark Church

saint lucys church newark nj

Naninas in the park NJ wedding photography

I love this photo with the vintage Rolls Royce! You both look so happy!

Nanina's in the park

Naninas in the park NJ wedding

Naninas in the park NJ wedding

Naninas in the park NJ wedding

Vintage Rolls Royce

wedding photography

wedding photography NJ

Lauren shares, “I don’t know if I can say that I really have a wedding style. I received a lot of input from my twin sister and my sister-in-law as they practically had my entire wedding already planned before I even got engaged! They clearly have great taste. I think everything looked absolutely perfect. Sean and I really wanted to have great food and wanted it to be a really fun time for all of our guests and I think we did a good job of achieving that! I have to give major credit to my florist. I gave her my trust in creating an elegant atmosphere and she completely blew me away with the flowers–from the bouquets to the centerpieces. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I cannot say that I was a bride who had a perfect vision for this day so I really was happy when I saw everything come together all at once.”

wedding escort cards corks

Naninas in the park NJ

Naninas in the park NJ wedding

Lauren continues, “We absolutely loved Nanina’s in the Park when we were looking at wedding venues. It is a beautiful venue, but also makes you feel at home (a very fancy home but also very welcoming!). We had heard that the food was great and when I saw that they offered a macaroni and cheese bar where you got to pick all different types of toppings for your mac n cheese, I was sold! I have heard so many stories of people getting married at other venues who said they didn’t get to enjoy any of the food at their wedding but Nanina’s in the Park made sure that Sean and I got to taste a little bit of everything there was to offer from the elaborate cocktail hour to the unbelievable Viennese hour.”

Naninas in the park wedding photography

Naninas in the park wedding photography

“There were so many little special details, including the “barbell-ini” signature cocktail. Sean and I met at a gym and it is a really big part of our lives. We were able to incorporate that throughout the day which made it really personal and special for us.”

Naninas in the park wedding photography

NJ Naninas in the park wedding photography

Naninas in the park Venetian hour

Naninas in the park NJ wedding

Nanina's in the park

Congratulations Lauren and Sean!

More photos in the slideshow:

Check out their engagement session in Hoboken.

Special thanks to the vendors:
Church: St. Lucy’s
Venue: Nanina’s in the Park
Transportation: Rt. 22 Limousine Corp.
Officiant: Father Tom Brosnan
Wedding Coordinator: Lauren Dietrich
Flowers: Perla & Company
Dress & Veil Designer: Lazaro
Bridal Accessories: Elle Garretson Designs
Videographer: Kiss the Bride Films
Band: East Coast Music & Entertainment
Photobooth: VIP Entertainment
Make-up: Makeup By Scarlet
Hair: Melissa D’Aloia & Co.
Cake: A Little Cake
Invitations: Judy Fitzpatrick
Menus / Programs: Paper.Ink.Love Design
Engagement Ring: Khames Jewelers
Wedding Bands: Salvatore & Co., Peter Cardella
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz

Crystal and Michael came all the way from New Mexico for a winter wedding in Central Park! Crystal got ready in a hotel near the park.

Wedding ring

wedding details preparation photography

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winter boutonniere wedding

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winter wedding bouquet

The beautiful ceremony took place on the Gapstow Bridge.

The ceremony was performed by Crystal’s best friend, Kathryn. Crystal adds, “We have known each other for only four years but it feels like we have known each other all of our lives!  She is so important to Michael and me and we were so thrilled when she agreed to officiate our wedding!”

wedding ceremony

During the ceremony, Crystal and Michael had a special tribute to their new family; Crystal married Michael and gained two daughters and a son.

central park nyc wedding

wedding nyc

Winter Elopement in Central Park NYC

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Crystal shares, “I have always wanted to have a small wedding in NYC and I love winter! Michael and I got engaged in August, and winter was only a few months away! Planning a wedding in a few months from across the country wasn’t easy but it turned out better than we could have imagined. All of our vendors were amazing.  We got our winter wedding and were married on our 8-year anniversary!

The whole day was absolutely beautiful.  It was supposed to be one of the coldest days of the year but it seemed like the universe was on our side.  The sun was out, the wind had stopped and the weather was perfect.  I was so happy to have both of my parents walk me up the bridge. Seeing Michael for the first time that day was incredible. After 8 years together, I still get butterflies when I see him. Our wedding day was better than any fairytale I could have ever dreamed of!”

Michael adds,  “The most memorable moment was when I saw Crystal walking towards me as I was standing at the top of the bridge.  Everything flowed so naturally, it was magical.”

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Grand Central Station Wedding photography NYC

Family and friends gathered at Brooklyn’s The River Cafe for the wedding reception.

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brooklyn river cafe wedding photography

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wedding cake pink ruffles and diamonds

Congratulations Crystal and Michael!

Special Thanks to the Vendors:
Venue: Gapstow Bridge in Central Park, The River Cafe
Officiant: Kathryn Ebbens
Flowers: Flowers by G Bella
Hair: Liz Nevin
Makeup: Clarissa Luna
Cake: City Cakes NYC
Dress: David Tutera
Groom’s suit: Rothmans
Bride’s shoes: Betsey Johnson
Invitation: The Blushing Belle
Bride’s hair comb: Veiled Beauty
Garter: Bridal Special Day










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