When the opportunity presented itself to shoot at Philadelphia’s Water Works, our vision of reimagining traditional elements with a fresh, modern twist using a local team of talented vendors became possible.
The Fairmount Water Works, historically and architecturally speaking, is a classic and unique venue, famed for its neoclassical style and its location with views of the city and the water. Our aim was to create something that was one part classic and one part modern, appealing to both the traditional and modern bride. By changing either the color or the design of an element, we demonstrated multiple ways that brides can easily recreate this look on their own. We also wanted to highlight in the design the blues seen in the skyline and river, and our bridesmaids’ gowns by John Paul Ataker were the perfect way to do this.
Clear details like vellum pieces for the invitation suite and handwritten calligraphy by Lewes Lettering Co. on acrylic slabs brought a freshness to the overall vision. For the jewelry, L. Priori mixed timeless jewels with contemporary pieces. The bride’s classic, six-prong solitaire was made new with a v-shaped wedding band and mixed metals. Her right hand sparkled with estate pearls worn with an edgier pinky ring. The bridesmaids wore a mix of heirloom quality estate pieces and modern jewels – we think that family jewels look coolest when styled with fresh diamonds!
We concentrated on having all of our metallics match perfectly, so the flatware, napkins, and centerpiece vessels were all the exact same shade of gold, as if they were all from someone’s personal collection. As a rule of thumb for real weddings, according to Laurel and Elm, never have the linen color match the bridesmaids’ dresses to allow your special guests to truly stand out when seated for dinner! Since all of the bridesmaids were in different dress styles of the same color, we planned to make blue an accent on the table. The color looks like it belongs there, but it doesn’t overwhelm. Pops of soft blue in the floral design also help to tie in the color of the skyline, the water, and the bridesmaids’ attire.
Incorporating soft and natural elements is something that will always be timeless, and we continue to see these elements in lots of modern designs today. The natural leaf place card and the watercolor plates were a great way to join those two worlds – modern and timeless! The traditional layout of the table and shape of the centerpieces mixed with the faceted vases (a nod to the geometric bridesmaid’s dress), modern flatware, and unique salad plate also worked to balance our theme well while keeping everything looking cohesive.
For the florals, Cottage Flowers focused on bright colors and fresh designs that blended traditional elements – think classic gold urns filled with punchy pinks and standard whites and greens. To go with the acrylic chivari chairs, a sweet collection of cascading greenery (mixed with pinks and blues), tied everything together. To add a modern look to the tabletop, geometric pieces accented with floral elements were used as decor. We complemented the classic jewelry created by L. Priori by adding some gorgeous florals to the gold cuffs, mirroring the bridesmaids’ bouquets!
Hair and makeup for our bride was classic, but a poppy pink lip elevated the look and blended with our bouquet perfectly. Each bridesmaid showcased a different, yet tailored beauty style – from the bridesmaid wearing the geometric gown to the bridesmaid wearing the pantsuit.
We hope couples will continue to incorporate a mixture of styles – from classic to modern – to make their day as truly unique as they are!