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Teri and BJ share a tremendous amount of love in their hearts for each other, the city of Philadelphia, and their totally adorable pups!  This entire day glimmered with radiance from the glitzy bridesmaids dresses down to the dazzling wedding cake created by the amazing Bredenbecks BakeryHotel Monaco served as the perfect location to get ready, followed by a lively cocktail hour at their Stratus Lounge, and concluding with a beautiful intimate reception.  Carl Alan Florist did an impeccable job creating the show stopping florals for this lovely event and we just can’t stop raving about them! Happily, Lori and Paul of Black, White and Raw Photography snapped every beautiful moment to help this couple relive their special day, and we’re so pleased to share it here on the Philly In Love wedding blog.

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From the Bride: “BJ and I met in DC in 2010. Within a few months of meeting, we were both coincidentally relocated to Philadelphia for work. We thought it was a sign, so we moved to Philadelphia to begin a new chapter. After 4 years of dating, BJ decided it was time to pop the question. BJ proposed at Sequoia Grove Winery in Napa, California. I had a work trip planned to San Francisco with a vacation to Napa at the end where BJ was going to join me. My work trip was canceled last minute. Not knowing BJs plan, I insisted we cancel the Napa trip. However, BJ convinced me we should still proceed with our vacation to Napa. We ended up on separate flights. My flight departed an hour before BJ’s. Once I arrived, I found out BJs flight would be delayed then canceled. I ended up spending the first night alone in Napa! I picked up BJ the following morning and we finally begin our trip! We had a wonderful time exploring wine country and forgot all about the craziness of the arrival. BJ got down on one knee in the middle of the vineyard at Sequoia Grove Winery. It was beautiful.”

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“Advice for couples planning a wedding would be to stick to your vision and to your budget. It was so much easier going to vendors once we had a theme/style in mind. Also, setting a budget made it easy to decide the difference between what we really wanted to splurge on and what we could do without. Pinterest is great. But use  sparingly. It can be overwhelming!”

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“Overall, our experience planning the wedding was enjoyable and relatively quick. We planned it all in just under 6 months. We found that choosing a date in the winter opened up a lot of availability with vendors. Though we did spend a lot of time researching vendors online and having consultations. I think our overall theme was,  Once we knew, we knew!  We looked for months trying to find the perfect city venue. We learned quickly that our guest count of 85 would rule out certain larger wedding companies in the city.”

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“After viewing everything from catering venues to restaurants to historic sites, I came across a great wedding review of Hotel Monaco. We’ve always loved the vibe there and the Red Owl and Stratus Bar and couldn’t believe we hadn’t thought to look there sooner. We met our wedding coordinator Samantha Levy on our first visit and loved everything about the venue, food and service. I spent countless hours reviewing and comparing photographers and kept  going back to BWR Photography. Once we set our wedding date, we set up a meeting with Lori and Paul and knew instantly that we wanted to book them. Same with our florist, Vito from Carl Alan Florist. He was great and shared our vision for a glamorous wintry theme with white branches, floating orchids and lots of candles and crystals. Our DJ, Matt Ostrosky of EBE was so easy to work with and such a pro. We knew we were in good hands. He let us have as much or as little control as we wanted with our music selections.”

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Check out Hotel Monaco in our all NEW Vendor Directory!

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“I think the best moment of the wedding was our first dance. Our song was Stand By Me by Ben E. King. It was a great moment for BJ and I alone on the dance floor. Then, mid way through the song, we had all of guests join us. Just seeing the faces of our loved ones while dancing all together to our song was so special.”

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From the Photographer: “Teri and Bj’s classic Philly wedding was an absolutely perfect, effortless day.  This New Jersey girl and her southern gentlemen (titles lovingly lifted from their super cool specialty cocktails), fell in love while in a career training program in Virginia, let fate decide their future and were both transferred to Philly. We got to know Teri and Bj during their perfect engagement shoot and quickly learned what they loved most, their dogs “Mr B” and “Sparky” and classic Philly wedding spots,  all of which would play an important role in their wedding.  After their ceremony we piled into the party bus for photo stops at Broad Street, The Museum of Art, and Second Bank.  The Hotel Monaco was the perfect backdrop for bridal preparations and a stunning winter reception.”


Vendors | Photographers: Lori Foxworth and Paul Cofield of Black, White and Raw Photography | Venue:  Hotel Monaco | Church:  St. Francis Xavier | Make-up: Jenna Kelly and Julia Gerson | Hair: Jennifer Haines | Flowers: Carl Alan Florist | Dress: Madeline Gardner (designer) | Cake: Bredenbecks Bakery | DJ: EBE, Matt Ostroff |