Confessions of a Philadelphia Bride | “My Vision”

I bet my fiancé, mom, and mother-in-law really thought they were finished hearing these dreaded words, but the time has finally come for me to talk about the great and powerful: MY VISION.  

As I mentioned before, I did not grow up planning my perfect wedding day. But, almost instantly, wedding planning was the only thing I thought about and the venue was the first hurdle that we needed to jump – all details will revolve around where the wedding is held. Okay, fine – find a venue? That can’t be hard, there’s 1,000 venues in the city…right? The panic truly set in on April 3, 2016 after a call to The Ballroom at the Ben to tour their gorgeously renovated space for a wedding in Spring 2017 was met with a giggle letting me know that their next availability was somewhere around Fall 2018. WHAT? Okay, Vicky..remain calm.

Time was of the essence – obviously, so I was off running and tasked with getting four very busy people (my mom, my mother-in-law, my fiancé and me!) to see 1,000 venues ASAP. The tours were stressful – the buildup was intense but the letdown was more intense each time. Every venue a little different, each reaction the same. I was unimpressed with each space and in this moment my all-mighty “vision” was born – a term I’m still teased for using. I can actually feel my mom cringing as she reads this. I always thought of my wedding happening “up in the air” or having a very airy feel, so my focus was on venues with either: lots of windows, lots of light flowing in or on very high floors. Nothing was clicking, I was Goldilocks and my three little bears were not happy with me – this venue is too small, this venue is too big, the venue is too artsy, this venue is too modern.

But then it finally happened: two weeks and one day after the proposal on the very last tour of that day with fiancé, mom, sister and future sister-in-law in toe. We climbed the stairs to the rooftop of The Free Library of Philadelphia. Together, my mom and I looked out at the view of the city (and the random parade happening down The Parkway) and cried. Well played Brulee Catering, well played! OK, so we’ve got a venue.  Step 1 complete.

But…it wasn’t that easy. When we chose the first week of May, we were met with an important and unforeseen decision: tent or no tent? Truly, the only way to ensure that there wouldn’t be AS much stress about the weather for me, my fiancé and our vendors was to choose to have a tent – so just like that, we opened a whole new can of worms! Let me state the obvious – a tented wedding on a rooftop is very different than an open-air wedding under the stars. And although a tent was not my first choice, my vision was exceeded: the wedding would be “up in the air” AND with the perfect city view.

Pinterest became my best friend and worst enemy, Brides magazine became my bible and everyone I encountered began hating me – it was Waxman Wedding 24/7/365. Oh we’re at Target to get toilet paper? Umm look at this super cute “Love is All You Need” sign and lantern that will look perfect in the lounge. Oh we’re at Home Depot getting light bulbs? Let’s also buy fencing to use as the backdrop of our photo booth. The ideas were everywhere! Every store I walked into, every website I browsed, and even the local businesses I followed on Facebook were feeding my vision! But, seriously, most of the inspiration started with the feel of venue, the season (the need for a tent), blogs, trends and Pinterest. I just recently made my Pinterest public: vwaxman if you’re interested!

While everyone else was rolling their eyes, and gagging over this so-called vision – the team at Carl Alan Floral Design was THRIVING. As soon as Vito, Deb and their team got their hands on my 18-slide PowerPoint presentation and my four Pinterest boards, they were off running and I knew I was in the right hands! I found the team that was going to bring my vision to life. Tears filled my eyes when I walked out of the elevators onto the rooftop of The Free Library. Just for the cherry on top of the sundae — I turned to the naysayers and proclaimed, “everyone, meet ‘my vision’!”

Stay tuned for more articles from the Confessions of a Philadelphia Bride series, written by Victoria Waxman.