Formal and Modern City Wedding at The Curtis Atrium

written by Dolly Marshall

Brian and Alyssa undoubtedly knew they wanted to get married in Philadelphia. But there was just one thing…their wedding venue, The Curtis Atrium was under some major renovations when they initially booked their wedding. However, due to the stellar reputation of the venue and Constellation Caterers, they knew that the space would surpass their wildest dreams. Unlike a ballroom, but full of grandeur nonetheless, The Curtis Atrium is the perfect combination of contemporary architecture and historic downtown charm.

the curtis atrium
reception table and centerpiece at the curtis atrium
bride and groom pose in front of rolls royce outside Philadelphia museum of art
city skyline with buildings

How They Met

“We met in 2005 at our high school’s freshman orientation. We became fast friends, courting each other over AIM, and that friendship eventually bloomed into falling in love with each other. Given how we met, it seemed very fitting that our wedding day was coincidentally the same day as our graduating class’ 10 year reunion.”

bride and groom in white rolls royce
wedding dress, bouquet and shoes
groom getting ready for wedding in hotel room
monogrammed lining of groom's suit
groom holding wedding invitation
bride and bridesmaids pose in city square
groom and groomsmen pose outside

The Proposal

“September 9th, 2018 was probably the most blustery, cold, rainy day we’ve ever experienced while we’ve lived in Philly. But, it was that day that Brian led me to Race Street Pier under the guise of meeting up with friends, with the intention of proposing. I definitely thought it was odd our friends would want to meet us in this particular spot given the awful weather, but I was nonetheless totally surprised when Brian got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. After a very brief outdoor celebration, with our solid crew of friends that stood by in the rain and cold to witness the engagement, we headed to La Peg restaurant. Brian had arranged for both of our families and even more friends to be there, and it was such a loving and fun celebration.”

bride opens gift from groom on her wedding day
bride and groom hold hands while walking down cobblestone street
bride wearing wedding gown posing on cobblestone street
bride and groom first look

Wedding Planning

“We gained an appreciation for just how much work goes into planning a large celebration, and it can definitely become very overwhelming with the amount of choices to be made and details to finalize. We laughed, I cried, we highly debated elopement, but ultimately no matter how stressful it ever became, we always made sure to shift our focus to each other and the real meaning of the day. That was super important, as we can understand how easy it is to get bogged down looking at Pinterest boards and invitation suites, and even something as minor as linen choices. We knew that at the end of the day, as long as we were married that’s all that really mattered. We think that mindset, and trusting our amazing vendors, ultimately helped us plan the perfect wedding day for us. It was fun, full of love, and everything we could have ever hoped for.”

cathedral church wedding ceremony
bride walks down aisle with dad
bride and groom's first kiss at church wedding
bride and groom at church wedding ceremony

The Curtis Atrium

“Our reception was held at The Curtis Atrium, located at 6th and Walnut. When we met with Leila, the Senior Director of Catering for Constellation Culinary Group, The Curtis Atrium was still very much undergoing renovations and we knew we’d be taking a bit of a gamble signing a contract before we even saw the finished space. Even though there were a good portion of details to be determined, we couldn’t help but fall in love with the stunning architecture of the atrium space. It was also comforting to know the strong reputation Constellation has for curating phenomenal food and cocktails, which was super important to us. We trusted Leila, especially after she willingly and promptly answered our dozens of questions, and had a gut feeling that the renovations taking place would make the space even more grand than it had been before. We had been looking for something a little less traditional than a ballroom, and found the perfect match when we booked The Curtis Atrium. It’s also incredibly tough to beat the location. Being in the heart of Old City, there was so much rich history, not to mention hotels and photo-op locations all within walking distance.”

the curtis atrium
the curtis atrium wedding reception
the curtis atrium waterfall
bride and groom sit at sweetheart table
guests at wedding reception at the curtis atrium
guests at wedding reception

Wedding Inspiration

Philly is our home, and we knew we wanted to get married in the city. With having a city wedding, we wanted it to be a super fun, put on your best dress and dancing shoes kind of affair. We were so fortunate that both our church and reception venue are stunning on their own, so we took an approach to simply complement the dramatic architecture of each space with elegant, romantic details. Having a fall wedding, we went with rich colors, mainly gold and burgundy, to highlight classic ivory shades. Brian is also incredibly talented, so all of our table numbers, signage and programs were designed by him, adding a personal touch to our decor.”

bride and bridesmaids holding burgundy, green and yellow bouquets
table number on reception table
wedding cake with flowers
wedding reception tableding centerpiece
groom dancing with mom at wedding reception
band with singers and horns play at wedding
wedding guests dancing
couple dance on dance floor

Best Moment

“Oh jeez, it’s so hard to pick just one! Experiencing the first look was such an emotional, intimate moment and I’ll never forget what Brian said to me when he turned around. I also felt incredibly touched by what my Dad said to us both when we reached the end of the aisle. I’m paraphrasing here, but he shared that he’ll always be here for us in any time of need, and “it’s a wonderful life, even better when spent together.” I’ll cherish that memory always. Nailing our first dance routine was also huge – we did the dip!”

bride and groom embrace in outdoor courtyard
bride and groom's first wedding dance
bride and groom dance at wedding reception
groom dips bride on dance floor
bride dancing with little boy at weddingreception

Wedding Planning Advice

“Our best piece of advice would have to be, remember that the only two people that matter are you and your partner. Admittedly during the planning process it was incredibly important to us that our guests have a great time, but come day-of, it was about celebrating us as a couple. Planning a wedding can be an emotional roller-coaster, but at the end of it all, saying “I do” to forever with your person makes it all worthwhile. Oh, and hire at least a day-of wedding coordinator.”

couple eating their wedding cake
couple kiss while cutting wedding cake
bride and groom dance at reception
bride and groom wedding portrait outside

Wedding Vendors

“Great! We really did hire a dream team and everyone worked so well together. I’m definitely a type-A kind of person, but it’s so incredibly important to trust that your vendors are the experts, and let them take the reigns and do what they do best. Brian and I were both very involved in the planning process, but still would highly recommend working with a wedding planner, even if it’s just someone who jumps in day-of. The fact that we could just focus on ourselves, and weren’t worried about answering phone calls or coordinating deliveries, was such a relief on the wedding day. We felt so fortunate that we really loved everyone we hired and would wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone else we know getting married.”

Vendors | Venue: The Curtis Atrium | Caterer: Constellation Culinary | Photographer: Matt Genders Photography | Florist: Marcus Hook Florist |Porch & Pearls Event Planning (Marian Braccia) | Videographer: Willow Tree Films | Hair and Makeup: Capelli & Trucco | Band: CTO Music Artists |Dress Designer: Pronovias | Shop: Jennifer’s Bridal, Hockessin DE | Paper Goods/Stationery: Minted