Rustic Elegance in Valley Forge
Philander Chase Knox Estate was a befitting venue choice for this couple’s rustically elegant outdoor wedding. Jessica and Brett dreamt of bringing together their family and friends for a bohemian affair as they focused on their love and what brought them all together. Their tree planting ceremony and gorgeous abundance of blooms in the decor were the perfect little details that truly illustrated the natural beauty they wanted for the day. Jennifer Green Photography perfectly captured every detail that made this wedding unique and more loveliness awaits below.
How They Met
“It all started with a car accident. On a Friday night in March 2012, Brett was driving to go mountain biking with his friends. That is, until his car was hit and totaled. Luckily no one was hurt, but he never made it mountain biking that night. Instead, he begrudgingly made his way downtown for a night out with his friends. Jess’ friend was dating one of Brett’s friends at the time, so the two groups of strangers were meeting up for the first time. Brett and Jess met and chatted briefly, but as the evening went on, Jess and her friends left the group in search of food. There happened to be a cat-themed party going on at the bar we ended up at, so by the time Brett and his friends joined us again, Jess and her friends had their faces painted like cats, in the name of discounted beer specials. Needless to say, after this first impression, we hit it off…and the rest is history!
Shorter version: We met through mutual friends.”
“It was a complete surprise! Brett had the ring in December and was waiting for the right opportunity to propose. He was able to take a weekday off and had been trying to get me to take a day off with him. I happened to have a bad cold and completely lost my voice over the weekend, so I ended up staying home from work (along with Brett) that Monday. By late morning my voice had come back and I was feeling much better. So, we decided to make the most of our afternoon and went to brunch, then did holiday things in the city- ice skating, the Macy’s light show, and the Dicken’s Christmas Village. He then tried to take us up to the lookout on top of City Hall to recreate our first real date, and was planning on proposing there- but we missed the last trip by 2 minutes! So, as his last-minute back up plan, we ended up in a holiday light garden by City Hall. Brett set up his GoPro camera and we smiled for a picture under an archway. Then he said “…and one more” and got down on his knee. So we ended up with a great photo of the moment he proposed! (And it was worth having to go into work the next day and tell everyone that I got engaged on a sick day!)”
“We planned our wedding in about 9 months, so there was a lot to do in a relatively short period of time. We never really had a lull where there wasn’t something to be working on and planning. Parts of it were fun, and parts of it were definitely stressful, but we tried to remember the big picture and keep it fun and true to us. Our families were a huge help in getting everything done and we can’t thank them enough!”
Philander Chase Knox Estate
“We got married at the Philander Chase Knox Estate in Valley Forge National Historical Park. The historic building surrounded by the beautiful park was the perfect mix of rustic elegance and natural beauty that we were looking for. We also have a personal connection to the park, since Brett used to live nearby. We had explored the park together many times before and had fallen in love with the giant Pawling Sycamore tree nearby, where we ended up doing our first look. It just felt right to get married there! And we ended up with the most gorgeous weather we could have asked for, so we were able to be married outside as we had hoped.”
“We both love the outdoors and wanted an elegant bohemian vibe. We wanted the ceremony and reception to be personal, laid back, and fun for everyone. We were married outside by our good friend, picked our own readings and music for the ceremony, and did a tree planting as part of the ceremony. We included things that felt right to us and left out the things that didn’t. We felt, and were told by many guests, that it seemed very true to us, which is exactly what we wanted!”
“The entire day was the best! But if I had to pick one moment, it would be when Brett swept me off my feet, picked me up, and spun me around and around in the air during our first dance. The crowd reactions varied between gasping, cheering, and weeping (on the part of some of our bridesmaids). We had been nervous about dancing in front of everyone, but that ended up being one of the moments we’ll never forget!”
Wedding Planning Advice
“Work together, help each other, and take one thing at a time. Try not to get caught up in all of the little decisions, and remember the big picture of what’s important to you both. Remember that, as thoroughly as you may plan everything ahead of time, there are some things that are out of your control or might go wrong on the big day, but at that point, you won’t care! You’ll be too busy enjoying your day.”
“Our experience with our vendors was wonderful! Everyone was so helpful and easy to work with. They listened to what we wanted and gave us guidance when we needed it. Our day would not have been so beautiful or gone so smoothly without all of their help.”
Vendors | Venue: Philander Chase Knox Estate | Photographer: Jennifer Green Photography | Hair: Salon on Main | Makeup: Dylan Michael Cosmetics | Florist: Valleygreen Flowers and Gifts | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Place Cards: SGS Paper Co. | Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell, Macy’s | Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Calvin Klein, Macy’s | Wedding Cake: The Master’s Baker | DJ: DJ’s Available | Videographer: The Pros