Bridal party posing with Philadelphia in the background

The view from the Cira Centre Atrium matched the view from the couple’s new home. The food was everything they could have wanted. The decor matched their vision for their big day. Complete with light peacock details, the urban backdrop the bride and groom were looking for, and personal vows that were one of the bride’s favorite parts of the big day, Cara and Zach’s wedding became a union of two families, with everyone now spending holidays together.

real wedding at the cira centre, couple holding bands
real wedding at the cira centre, bridal party photo skyline

real wedding at the cira centre, mother and son dance
real wedding at the cira centre, father daughter dance

How They Met

You could say that Cara and Zach owe it all to their respective twin sisters! They finally ended up together after a long, winding road led them to each other. Cara says, “When we were little our parents met and became friends based on the premise that they both had twins the same age. We went to pre-school together but then ended up in different towns and going to different schools. We went to the same Hebrew school and knew of each other, but weren’t friends. After college, I moved to Philly and randomly lived in the same building as Zach’s twin sister. We recognized each other and started to become friends. During this time, Zach and I matched on tinder. I messaged him first, and we went on our first date. Luckily, his sister was happy we went out after I told her I had gone out on a date with her brother!”

jewish real wedding at the cira centre

The Proposal

Cara paints the picture of her December engagement, “It was the first snow of winter. We were planning to go to Estia for Zach’s mom’s birthday. We always celebrate birthdays together, so the plan made perfect sense. Zach and I lived at 19th and Lombard at the time, and he suggested that we walk to dinner. Since it was snowing pretty hard, I found that a little odd, but Zach and I usually walk everywhere in the city. We were walking down Addison street, which is a beautiful street in Philly that Zach and I love. He then got down on one knee and proposed. Luckily he had hired a photographer (John Ryan) to capture the amazing moment. We did then go to Estia where our parents, twin siblings and their significant others were waiting. They had decorated the room and even had M&M’s with our faces on it. It was a perfect night!”

Wedding Planning

Cara had a stroke of luck in planning her wedding, with her twin sister having tied the knot just two months prior. Her twin was a big help, as, “She sent me all of her checklists, questions to vendors and even table settings for our side of the family. She also gave me tips and things she learned from her own wedding experience. Having her guidance and checklists was extremely helpful from a logistics point of view.”

Cara and Zach focused on the parts of the wedding that were most important to them, didn’t sweat the small stuff, and “I also had very supportive and helpful vendors who were understanding of our busy work schedules and helped us pull our vision together.”

Cira Centre Atrium

Cara and Zach’s Cira Centre Atrium choice was a calculated one, with the venue checking a few boxes for them. According to the couple, “We loved this venue since there are floor to ceiling glass windows and you can see the Philly skyline. We had just bought a house in Fairmount and loved knowing that the skyline was the backdrop of our wedding. Additionally, the cocktail hour was in the restaurant JG Domestic which has wooden beams and trees coming out of tables, and was the perfect combination of rustic and chic. We loved the look and feel of our venue but also being foodies, having food served from some of Jose Garces’ famous restaurants was amazing. At cocktail hour, we had a Village Whiskey slider station and Distrito taco station, just to name a few of our favorite items on the menu.”

The wedding incorporated sweet moments from their families. In fact, photographer J&J Studios, LLC adds, “During dinner, Cara’s twin sister Corin stood up and gave a tear-jerking speech where she said, ‘I was always Cara’s better half, but now I must pass that honor on to you.’ After that, she gave Zach a sash that read, ‘Cara’s better half.'”

Cara’s dad also played a significant role in the couple’s big day, as told by photographer J&J Studios, LLC: “Cara’s father, Robert, got up for a heartfelt toast during which he serenaded his daughter with a melodious saxophone cover of ‘My Little Girl’ by Tim McGraw. As her father got up to speak, printed lyrics of the song were handed out to all of the guests so that they could sing along as Robert played the saxophone. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, Robert incorporated several DIY aspects into the wedding. He hand made several hundred gorgeous stained wooden coasters as gifts for every guest and built a towering 6’ high donut wall (Donut want this night to end) to give guests the sugar rush needed to make it through an epic last dance set.”

Wedding Inspiration

“The inspiration for our wedding was peacock feathers paired with Philly chic,” the bride says, because husband Zach loves animals and says that Cara is a person who likes to “live her life out loud.” Including peacock feathers in a tasteful way felt right for the couple.

Flowers, decor, and the cake had feathers placed throughout. The bridesmaid gowns were all shades of teal. Cara and Zach’s invitation suite from Casa Papel also included the theme’s colors, teal, gray, and white, along with a nod to the city — the Philadelphia skyline was sketched on the inside of the envelope.

Wedding Planning Advice

The couple says, “Stay organized and get all of the ‘big ticket’ items done early on.” A big ticket item could be your ceremony and reception venue/s, caterer, DJ/band, photographer/videographer, or anything else you and your future spouse consider most important for you.

They also offer that a wedding should reflect the couple, saying “Make sure you and your significant other are on the same page… Friends and family members have great suggestions and it’s amazing to have a support system to help out, but… if their vision isn’t aligned with yours, it’s okay to veto someone’s suggestion.”

Wedding Vendors

All good things for Cara and Zach! “The vendors we worked with were all amazing. Everyone was responsive and provided us options to help us make decisions. We never felt pushed in a certain direction and feel as though everyone came together to bring our vision alive. We definitely received the Philly chic vibe filled with beautiful peacock feathers from our florist. She also brought extra feathers to decorate the cake. Our centerpieces and chuppah were beautiful, and we loved the addition of twinkly lights in the cocktail space. Our band kept the party moving all night where the dance floor was filled all night. Our photographer captured all of the amazing moments from our special day, including a video which has parts of the vows we wrote each other and my dad playing the saxophone as part of his speech. The venue was very accommodating in terms of walking through the space with us a couple of times and making sure the flow of the wedding the day of worked well.”


Vendors | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cira Centre Atrium| Floral/Decor: Carl Alan Floral Designs Ltd | Stationery: Casa Papel | Dress Shop: La Belle Mariee Bridal | Dress Designer: Alon Livne | Bridal Accessories: Golden Nugget Jewelry, Etsy | Caterer: Garces Events | Cake/Bakery: Sweet T’s Bakeshop | DJ/Band: Philly Pop (EBE Talent) | Photographer & Videographer: J&J Studios, LLC