This elegant wedding at the Reading Country Club is brimming with unique elements!  Kara and Matt wanted their wedding day to be surrounded by purpose.  Simple beautiful touches that translate the essence of their relationship can be found in special moments, details, and decorations.  The purple hues present in the floral arrangements by Heck Bros Florist created a mellow mood for the day.  Combined with the lavender bridesmaids dresses from Azazie, this day is giving us all kinds of pretty vibes.  Maria Grace Photography captured every moment that is parallel to this couple’s story!


From the Photographer, Maria Grace Photography: “If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be.”

“I can’t think of a more perfect quote, to sum up, Matt and Kara’s relationship. They met while they both lived temporarily in Chicago working for the local Amate house. While they enjoyed a friendship at that time, once Kara moved to Washington, DC, and Matt returned to New York it could have been the end of their story. But these two were meant to be from the beginning, and after Kara reached out to Matt so he would be her date at a wedding in Long Island, the rest is history. Eventually, she moved up to Manhattan and officially began dating the man she knew she would marry one day.

That day came in the beautiful city of Reading, Pennsylvania, under a cloudless June sky. Matt and Kara spoke their vows during a traditional Catholic nuptial mass before heading to Reading Country Club to celebrate the new family they had just started. The bridesmaids chose lavender dresses in their respective styles while Kara carried a bouquet of purple flowers, greenery, and white. Her all-over lace dress with a chapel train and braided updo were inspired by Pippa Middleton – only I happen to think she made an even more gorgeous bride. Overall, the beauty of the wedding was simply a reflection of some of the purest, most true love I have ever seen.”

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

How They Met:

“Matt and I met while doing a year of volunteer service in the intentional community in Chicago through a program called Amate House. We lived in the same house with 7 other volunteers, shared dinner every night, championed each other’s stories, and were a family for each other–long before we would tie the knot and really become family!”

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

The Proposal:

“When we first met, one of the first things we did with our community was going to the movie theater to see Les Miserables. Matt took note of my love for the book and musical and tucked it away for another day. Now that Matt and I live in New York City, we’re lucky enough to be able to save a few dollars every once in a while to see a Broadway show!  Matt “surprised” me with tickets to see Les Mis on my birthday, though it wasn’t much of a surprise when I opened the envelope on my birthday because he’d been humming the tunes for weeks. After smiling and weeping and sighing through Les Mis, we took a walk along the Hudson River, and at sunset, when we reached the spot where we had practiced our clumsy swing dancing months earlier, Matt got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.”

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Wedding Planning Experience:

“I’ll be honest–planning my wedding was not a whole lot of fun for me, especially because I was planning from out of town for a wedding in a city I’d never been to!  There were some details I really enjoyed (making personalized bookmarks as favors for all of our guests, for example), but the actual planning was not my thing.  The parts Matt and I loved about preparing for our wedding were the parts that focused more on tending to our relationship and preparing for the commitment we were making to each other:  meeting with our priest officiant, going on a retreat to talk about the family and life we wanted to cultivate together, etc.”

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

About The Venue | Reading Country Club:

“We picked the city of Reading, PA first, as an equidistant spot for almost all of our family and friends traveling in for the wedding (most from Western PA or Long Island, NY).  The venues came next.  Our venues were St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church for the Mass/Ceremony and Reading Country Club for the Reception. My dad got in touch with the priest at the local Catholic church, and it was (perhaps literally) a match made in heaven. St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church is a replica of a small cathedral in France. It was absolutely stunning, and needed no extra decoration!  I came across Reading Country Club when I was just about at my wits’ end to find something that could fit more than 150 guests and our budget.  I was immediately struck by the pictures:  it looked like a small European castle.  This ended up being fitting for Matt and me, since I spent a few years in Germany while growing up, and Matt studied abroad in Belgium for a year in college. Like the church, the space spoke for itself, so the need for much extra decoration was minimal, which helped me to focus on my guests.”

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Wedding Inspiration:

“Since Matt and I met in the community, “community” was the inspiration. For our ceremony, we made sure to tap into the gifts and talents of our friends and community members:  a dear friend sang, Matt’s godfather read, my wedding-loving housemate from a former community carried the rings. At the reception, we really focused on making sure that relationship was the focus. We had an outdoor patio for those less inclined to dance to enjoy the beautiful June weather, and a robust playlist for those of us who can’t help but dance. Our seating arrangements allowed old friends the opportunity to catch up (we sat our bridal party with people they already knew, rather than keeping them all together at a head table), family to be together as family, and new friendships to be made. So much of our shared life was spent around the dinner table that we wanted to make sure that the meal was completely uninterrupted to provide space for conversation and sharing. That even allowed Matt and I to eat a full meal!  As far as aesthetics go, my untamed love for Pride and Prejudice (and Jane Austen in general) crept in when it came to having fresh flowers in all of the bridesmaids’ and my hair, floor-length dresses, Regency-era calligraphy “letters” as table assignments, writing/bookish themed favors, etc.”

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Best Wedding Memory:

“I have two things in mind. One was waking up early and going to a local coffee shop with my sister to write a letter to Matt. This helped me to keep my thoughts and feelings centered on the reason for the day, rather than all of the logistics or event planning worries.  When I got back to my hotel room after hair and makeup, I got to read Matt’s own letter to me, and that was exactly what I needed then, too.  Secondly, I had worried that I would be so concerned about everyone else’s well-being or so nervous about all of the attention that I wouldn’t be fully present throughout the day. But when it came time to walk down the aisle on my dad’s arm, all of that just fell away.  Even from the back of a very large church, I could see Matt’s unmistakable red hair, so I zeroed in on him and kept my eyes set on him the whole way down the aisle.  When I got to the front of the church, I surprised even myself by winking at Matt. That was the moment I knew that the rest of the day would be purely peaceful:  when I was finally reunited (and united!) with the person I feel most myself with.”

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Elegant Wedding at Reading Country Club Maria Grace Photography Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Wedding Planning Advice:

“Spend some time thinking about who you are as a couple, and how that can show through in your details.  Write those ideas down somewhere you’ll repeatedly go back to while planning. When you start to get too deep into the weeds and find yourself at the bottom of a Pinterest rabbit hole, remember that the things you want your guests to remember about the day are not the centerpieces.”

Wedding Vendor Experience:

“My vendors were wonderful; they helped me to figure out which details I cared about and otherwise gladly took the reins when something was beyond my desire to worry about.  Working with Maria Grace Photography was definitely the best vendor relationship of them all!  She cares about her clients long before the “big day” arrives and long after it’s over. Plus, all of my family and guests raved about her!”


Vendors | Photography: Maria Grace Photography, Second Photographer: Samantha Jean Photography | Wedding Dress: Allure from The Bridal Suite | Veil: Occansey Designs | Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie | Menswear: Ralph Lauren | Hair/Makeup: Belltower Salon & Spa | Florist: Heck Bros Florist | Ceremony Venue:  St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Reading Country Club | Coordination: Designing Memories | Catering: ViVA Catering | DJ: PartyMasterz Productions | Bakery: Ady Cakes | Videographer: JHS Video Pro

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  1. Maria

    January 24, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I loved reliving this day again! Thanks so much for sharing!

Leave a Reply