Christina & Andrew's Sophisticated Fall Wedding at Valley Forge National Park
Christina and Andrew were married at Saint Titus Church in Philadelphia followed by a beautiful reception at Valley Forge National Park on the historic grounds of The Philander Chase Knox Estate. The beautiful estate was built in the late 18th century and made a beautiful setting for an outdoor tented gathering.
Christina’s wedding vision was sophisticated, classic, with an autumn color palette of rich browns and warm neutrals. The square invitation features a luxe, thick white paper whose texture is reminiscent of corduroy printed with bitter chocolate and metallic copper accents.
Pearlized sand stock creates a jacket for the enclosures which was important for Christina as she wanted everything well organized for her guests. The jacket was finished with a monogrammed tag. Everything was tucked into a bitter chocolate envelope lined with a Moroccan inspired pattern Christina absolutely loved.
We asked Christina to share her thoughts on wedding planning and how everything came together despite having to change venues at the last minute! Her and Andrew's story follows with photography by Moon Loop Photography unless otherwise noted.
How did you and Andrew meet?
We met working at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia (which has since closed). Andy was a second-year medicine resident and I was a nurse on the progressive care unit.
How did Andrew propose?
I was totally clueless. We were living in Long Island, NY and it was the 4th of July. We spent the day at the beach with one of our friends. We were getting ready to go to a BBQ with some of Andy's friends from work. He made me eat a fortune cookie leftover from the previous night's Chinese food. Inside the fortune cookie was a typed fortune from Andy (still clueless). There was a riddle that wanted me to open the trunk of his car (still totally clueless). I opened the trunk and he had written "Will you Marry Me" with a bunch of flowers. His friend recorded the whole thing. My response was "obviously."
What was your inspiration for your wedding day details?
I loved metallics and fall colors. I always looked for something "different." I didn't want anything expected. I tried to balance somewhere between formal/traditional and a rustic feel.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding? My favorite part of the wedding was being able to have so much fun with all of our family and friends. Literally, all the most important people in our lives were there. Everyone danced all night and we had just the best day. It's such a good feeling to be surrounded by so much love and happiness.
What surprised you most about planning your wedding?
How quickly costs add up. In the beginning, you pay everyone small deposits. Then two months before everyone wants the rest! I was also surprised by how big the wedding industry is and how many different vendors have worked together.
Best part of the wedding planning? Seeing everything come together. You plan separately with all different vendors and you worry about the little details. That day everything is so perfect that you forget all the stress.
Take us back through your wedding day. The day was perfect! A lot of the details are a blur. Everything happens so fast. There are so many nerves and excitement. We felt such a relief that day.
About two months prior, we found out our original wedding venue was closed through the remainder of 2020. We both were so insistent on having our wedding day the way we envisioned. We were not ready to sacrifice.
After a couple days, we found Philander Chase Knox Estate in Valley Forge Park. I was nervous about having a tented wedding. That was always something I said I never wanted. I was totally proven wrong. The day was beautiful!
We arrived at St. Titus Church (the church I grew up in). In a socially distanced ceremony, we said our vows. We then made our way to Valley Forge Park. The day was fantastic. We took beautiful photos on the grounds of Valley Forge and danced the night away under the beautifully decorated tent.
How did your stationery set the tone for your wedding day?
Our day of stationery features lots of eucalyptus and other greens which coordinated with our flowers and linen choices. My wedding invitations featured dark chocolate brown and copper metallics that complimented the other metallics I used as accent colors, as well as the metallic dresses two of my bridesmaids wore.
What was your best resource for planning your wedding?
Instagram was super helpful for inspiration. Also great for finding hair and makeup. Follow whatever bridal things you can find to see ideas. My sister was also AMAZING! Due to COVID she was furloughed during the busiest times of planning and she did so much for me.
Tell us about your cake!
Our cake was AMAZING! We didn't eat much at the wedding. But ate a piece every night for a week afterward. We also packaged up one slice of each tier (different flavors) for our one year anniversary. We used Bredenbeck's Bakery in Chestnut Hill. This was the featured bakery at our original wedding venue. When we did our tasting we knew this was meant to be. The cake had three tiers, each a different flavor (pumpkin spice pound cake with salted caramel buttercream, a vanilla pound cake with raspberry jam, and a raspberry swirl pound cake with lemon buttercream). I don't know that we could even pick a favorite flavor. We went with a simple naked iced cake with a metallic gold cake topper and some fresh flowers.
First dance song?
Whatever It Is- Zac Brown Band
How did you end the night? We ended the night with a Philly Snacks to go (cheesesteaks, cheese fries, soft pretzels). No after-party since COVID has bars closed. But we all went back to the hotel and hung out, eventually going to bed after a LONG day.
What advice will you give your friends getting married? Do what makes you happy and don't fixate on other people. Also, think about where you spend your money. A lot of things get thrown away after the wedding or are never used again. Invest in things that can be reused. For example, my welcome sign said "Figueroas est. 10-17-2020." Since I didn't write "welcome to our wedding" or something along those lines, I can know hang the sign in our home.
Ceremony Location: St. Titus Church, East Norriton, PA | Reception Location: Philander Chase Knox Estate, Valley Forge Park, Malvern, PA | Photographer: Moon Loop Photography | Videographer: Tag Visual | Florist: Flowers by Jena Paige | Band, Musicians and/or DJ: EBE- Verona | Uplighting & Photobooth: EBE | Hair: Nomadic Artistry (Chelsea Ouimet) | Make up: The Maverick Bride (Alyssa Todorow) | Dress: Naama & Anat Haute Couture (Nicole Bridal & Formal Shoppe, Jenkintown, PA) | Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works One last comment about being a COVID bride. This whole process has really made me realize how lucky we are. We had so many no's and it was so disheartening. I often questioned whether proceeding with our wedding during this pandemic was the right decision. We did this for us and for no one else and we are so happy in the decisions we made. Not everything was exactly the way we would've wanted, but we were beyond happy with how our wedding day went and so happy to have conquered the challenges of COVID.