Katelyn + George's "Lit" Whitemarsh Valley Country Club Wedding
Katelyn (Katie) and George's Whitemarsh Valley Country Club wedding was absolutely beautiful! They met at a party at Millersville University and eventually started dating. The rest was history. Katie and George were one of the resilient couples that dealt with rescheduling their wedding from 2020 to 2021. And then showed their resilience again at their "lit" wedding.
I like to call their invitations "shimmering, hidden pockets". Inspired by the beautiful cornflower blue bridesmaid dresses, we talked through the design. They wanted invitations that were elegant, traditional, and glamorous. A perfect touch of shine was added with ice blue foil print on the invitation and the enclosure tag. The square invitation was wrapped in a shimmering jacket that gave a teaser of the invitation below. We designed it so that the response card & envelope, reception and details cards were tucked neatly into a pocket hidden beneath the invitation. When Katie sent me an illustration to use on the invitations that a friend of theirs created, the design felt fully baked. We added that to the pocket with their hashtag "GETTINGMURRAYED".
You're probably wondering why "lit"? Read on and enjoy Katie and George's wedding story.
The photos included are by New Leaf Photography unless otherwise noted.
How did you meet?
George and I met at a college party he was throwing at Millersville University. We kept running into each other on campus and eventually he DM’ed me on Facebook. We kept in touch randomly, but that summer George and I ended up at the same Phillies game sitting one section, one row away from each other and started talking more frequently after that.
Tell me a little about the proposal…
It was Labor Day weekend in 2019 at Avalon, NJ where my family has a vacation home. My mom had decided she wanted everyone to have breakfast on the beach, something we had not done before. George asked me, while we were waiting for my sister to come to the beach, if I wanted to touch the water. He led me to this beautiful tent that had champagne inside, all decorated and a sign that said, “Will you marry me”. I cried instantly and we celebrated with my family by popping champagne and eating breakfast on the beach in the tent! Our dog Cooper made an appearance thanks to my sister bringing him down (all planned by George). Later that day, George’s parents surprised us by arriving to celebrate as well. Both families had dinner together and a surprise cake from our favorite bakery, Kohlers!
Engagement photos above provided by George and Katie
What surprised you most about planning your wedding?
COVID. Planning a wedding was so smooth up until the point where everything became unknown. It was new territory for everyone – vendors, couples, families. While it was a pain to go through, it strengthened our relationship and made us re-evaluate what was most important to us about our wedding day.
What (or who) did you find was your best resource for planning your wedding?
My mom, Sharon. She took on the role of being our wedding planner. At the time we started planning, both of us were working from Baltimore, which made planning a wedding in the suburbs of Philadelphia difficult. She did research on vendors and helped us with dates for when we had to do certain plans by. Overall, she made the process much smoother. It was also fun to have her involved knowing how special it was for her to see us get married and be happy with what we planned.
Best part of the wedding planning?
George’s favorite part was food tasting! He loved getting to eat cake and the three-course meal we planned to serve at our reception. For me, it was wedding dress shopping. I loved playing dress up in different gowns and got to go to Kleinfeld’s in NYC! I am a big fan of Say Yes to the Dress, so it was cool to see and experience that in person. My mom also made a whole day out of it, so it is a very special memory. I also ended up saying “yes” to the dress there!
Invitation Suite photo above provided by Stone Hill Paperie
How did your invitations set the tone for your wedding day?
Knowing we were getting ready to send out invitations made our wedding day feel the most real, that it was almost here. This is what guests will receive as their formal invite to our marriage ceremony and celebration. I had done research online, but nothing felt our style or taste. George and I wanted these to be special, memorable and tie in the themes we worked so hard to plan over the last year and a half. We wanted this to really kick off our celebration and wow people with the thought and care we put into every aspect of our day. Amy helped make that vision come to life!
Take us back through your wedding day; share your wedding story.
For me, it was an early wake up. I couldn’t sleep, I was too excited. I took our dog, Cooper, for a walk around the block around 6am – just me and him. It was peaceful and I was able to get my thoughts together on what was going to be a huge day. My sister and I went to get our hair done together at the salon and when we came home to my parent’s house, where I grew up, all my bridesmaids were there getting their hair and makeup done. We had an enjoyable morning getting pampered while sipping on mimosas and having some breakfast. Around 11:30am I started getting dressed and taking pictures. Time went so quickly and next thing I knew, the bus was there to pick us up and take us to the church! Our ceremony started at 2pm.
For George, he stayed in the hotel the night before to be closer to the venue. He got ready at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club with his dad, groomsmen, and ring bearer. The venue catered breakfast for the guys and set up the room so that they could hang out together until it was time to get ready. They were picked up by the party bus which took them to the church. Once they arrived, they spent a majority of the time taking pictures and waiting for 2pm and the ceremony to begin.
The bus pulled up and I hid inside so no one could see me or my dress before I was ready. Once the coast was clear, I was escorted into a room in the back of the church to wait
for our guests to be seated. The music began to play and everyone settled in. The procession started but I did not leave the room with my dad until only my bridesmaids were left to walk down the aisle. As I started my walk, everyone stood up so it was hard for me to see George but he began to inch over so he could see me, holding back tears. We had a full Catholic mass where the readings and music were chosen by us which made it personal and special. The ceremony is what I remember most vividly because it was the first time that day I was truly able to sit and take it all in.
After taking some pictures in the church, the wedding party boarded the party bus to go to Whitemarsh Valley Country Club for the reception. They had reset the room the guys were in earlier to host a mini cocktail hour for just our wedding party with drinks and hors d'oeuvres. We took more pictures and then excused our wedding party to cocktail hour while George and I took couple pictures out on the golf course.
We entered the reception, did our first dance and listened to beautiful speeches made by our family. We did the parent dances and had dinner, spoke to our guests and then spent the rest of the evening on the dance floor. At one point, I went off the dance floor to get a drink. As I came back, I stood in front of our sweetheart table, which was decorated beautifully with candles, and took in the scene while talking to a family friend. I suddenly noticed something smelled like fire and asked if he smelled it too. We turn around and my dress is in flames! This family friend happened to be a fireman and put me and my dress out with his bare hands, thanks Craig! I was on fire as quickly as I was put out, unharmed except for two large holes in my wedding gown. I blew the candles out, laughed it off and continued dancing. Turns out, most guests don’t attend weddings where the bride catches on fire, so it was a hot (pun intended) topic for the remainder of the evening. Most of our friends describe our wedding as ‘lit’.
Photos above provided from Katie, her dress was literally and figuratively "on fire"!
What was your first dance song?
We decided to do a mash up for our first dance. We chose three songs that meant a lot to us and our DJ blended a minute from each together. The first song was Remember You Young by Thomas Rhett, the second All My Life by K-Ci & JoJo, and the last song was This Is It by Scotty McCreery.
What detail of the wedding was most important for you?
For us it was the venue and the music. We wanted a place to celebrate after our ceremony that had great food and great music. Both of our families love to dance, and we wanted to make sure the party would be able to thrive where we chose to throw our reception.
How did you end the night?
We had a hotel block at the Marriott Philadelphia West which most of our guests booked rooms at. The hotel has a bar downstairs called Legends that everyone gathered in after our reception ended. We hung out there until about 1 in the morning!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
Next to the obvious of getting to marry each other, we enjoyed being with our family and friends. COVID had made it difficult for us to see many of the family and friends that came and it was the first event where everyone got together and it felt like normal. It was also fun to see all the plans and decorations come to life!
What advice would you give to your friends getting married?
For me, I would say before letting the craze of wedding planning begin, have a conversation with each other to identify what the most important parts of the day are. It will help focus your planning on what truly matters and cut out some of the noise and frustration.
For George, he would say to put in the time to know your vendors and find a venue that treats your wedding day as if it were their own.
Please tell me about your vendors…
Ceremony Location: St. Alphonsus Catholic Church
Reception Location: Whitemarsh Valley Country Club
Photographer: New Leaf Photography
Videographer: CinemaCake Filmmakers
Florist: Valleygreen Flowers & Gifts
Cake: Bredenbeck’s Bakery
Uplighting: Shipley Enterprises, Inc.
Bride's Hair: Salon Nochea
Make up & Wedding Party Hair: Something You Onsite Beauty
Dress: Martina Liana
Transportation: King Limousine