Shea and Paul‘s love holds a special sentiment for winter. The groom proposed during the wintry season, and now they share another special day this time of year! Alison Leigh Photography captured the pure bliss of their wedding day at the lovely Hotel du Village. With romance and art deco as inspiration, the space was transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland. The arrangements made by Amaranth Florist created a gorgeous red, green, and gold palette for this festive occasion, and the pretty decor paired perfectly. This couple literally had the best day ever, and their wedding is a true inspiration!
From the Photographer, Alison Leigh Photography: “One of my final weddings I wrapped up in 2016 was spent capturing Shealyn and Paul’s simply elegant winter wedding at Hotel du Village in New Hope, PA. The venue itself matched their personal style and character. The two instantly fell in love with the wood architectural elements that gave the venue such charm. They found wedding inspiration from an art deco cozy theme reflecting a classic swoon-worthy wedding. I personally fell in LOVE with the deep red floral tones, winter greenery and gold accent color scheme.
Shea rocked a stunning, romantic long sleeve lace form-fitted gown with a deep low back and a cozy fur shawl to stay warm. Her bride tribe wore elegant, long, dark black dresses with jeweled trimming.
“Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.”
How They Met:
“We actually have a lot of mutual friends. After we started dating, we realized that we had been in the same place several times but never met. We officially met when I was home from college for Easter in 2009 and a mutual friend was having a party that I decided last minute to go to. I don’t really believe in love at first sight, but when I walked in and saw him there was an instant connection. I remember leaving that night and waking my mom up to tell her about Paul. Flash forward a few weeks, and Paul was playing a show with his band in Philly. Two of my college roommates came with me to the show, and they wrote my number on his band’s mailing list as we were leaving. We started dating a few weeks later and have been together since. He even came to visit me in Italy three months after we met while I was studying there for my fall semester.”
“My mom always said one day he is going to surprise you on a random Tuesday and ask. That’s exactly what happened. Paul had been designing the ring for over a month, and just returned from a few weeks in LA where he was writing his next record with Bel Heir. He picked up the ring two days after he returned from LA (that Tuesday morning). After dinner that night, he asked me to go for a walk around our neighborhood to look at the Christmas lights. We lived on South 13th Street in Passyunk Square, which is called “The Miracle on South 13th Street” because of it’s amazing Christmas lights. I thought nothing of this since we often go for a walk after dinner. I also didn’t notice that he put on his big wool winter coat in order to fit the ring box in his pocket, even though it was unusually warm that day (I did comment that his hands were very sweaty though). Apparently, he tried several times to propose during this walk, but I would not stop talking for him to do it. We walked all the way back to our apartment and he waited until we were up the stairs to tell me to stop talking, and then he asked. I loved that the proposal was just the two of us on a random Tuesday in December in the first place we created a home together.”
Wedding Planning Advice:
“Enjoy yourself! It’s very easy to get caught up in the minute details of the day, but they truly don’t matter. No one cares about your centerpieces or the way you do your hair. If they do, then they probably shouldn’t be invited to your wedding! Don’t lose focus on what the day is really about – celebrating your love and commitment to one another. Undoubtedly, things will not go perfectly the day of, and that’s okay. You’ll laugh about it later. It’s no easy feat planning a party for a large number of people, but take each task step by step and getting an early start on things so that you aren’t scrambling weeks before the wedding.”
Wedding Planning Experience:
“It was fun! To be honest, I was never the kind of girl who dreamed about her wedding day, and I always said I would be fine just going to City Hall. Well, that quickly went out the window soon after we got engaged. My side of the family is pretty big (my mom is one of seven) so there was no way we were going to have a small wedding. We embraced that and the mindset that it was the one time we could plan a big event for everyone we love. I’m really glad I quickly jumped on the bride bandwagon and dove into the planning. It was a really fun experience for Paul and I and we really enjoyed sharing the process with our parents as well.”
“The best moment was definitely the ceremony for me. Paul and I wrote our ceremony so it was very personal and emotional for both of us. You could really feel the love in the room and all the support of our family and friends behind us. I will never forget that feeling and I am so grateful to have had it! My husband, however, would say my favorite moment of the day (and the year) was being with my girlfriends. He jokes that the only reason we had a wedding was so I could be with my friends more. I have a close group of girlfriends, but with several of them living in different cities, it’s hard to all be together except for a few times a year. Being with them for the whole weekend of my wedding and getting ready that day is definitely the runner-up for my second favorite moment. You gals are the best (you are too, Paul)!”
About the Venue | Hotel du Village:
“Although we live in South Philly, we knew we wanted to get married in a country landscape that felt more true to our roots of growing up in the suburbs. New Hope is one of our favorite small towns close to Philadelphia and we love the architecture and character of the houses and buildings there. Hotel du Village was the third venue we looked at in New Hope and we instantly knew it was the right place. Every inch of the French country venue is gorgeous, from the grounds to the uniqueness of every room! It fit our style and our vision perfectly. Big kudos to my husband for finding it!”
“We used the diamond from my engagement ring for inspiration. The stone is from the 1930s so we turned to that decade as a muse for a subtle art deco theme. I knew I wanted to wear long sleeves, and I was thrilled that the lace in my dress had a pretty art deco vibe as well. We also love the uniqueness of a winter wedding, and how cozy and romantic a winter wedding feels, so we tried to combine art deco with our cozy/romantic side as well as our own traditional but edgy styles to make the design of everything our own.”
Wedding Vendor Experience:
“It was good, we have a really great relationship with the Maître d at Hotel du Village, Gabe. He was a total rock star and made the planning process and day of very special for us. We had a unique situation where we worked with several wedding coordinators throughout the year so that added some stress but in the end it was great and we have wonderful memories of the entire process.”
More about the couple: Paul is the Owner/Founder of local Philly furniture company, South Philly Barn, and also plays bass in local band Bel Heir. Shea works for an international nonprofit in center city and recently started Instagram account @roofandfourwalls documenting the décor and inspiration behind their new home in Point Breeze.
Vendors | Photography: Alison Leigh Photography | Venue: Hotel du Village | Bridal Gown: Madison James | Groom’s Tuxedo: Indochino | Bridesmaid Gowns: Xscape | Fur Wrap: SissilyDesigns | Bridal Shoes: Kelly & Katie | Grooms Shoes: Aldo | Makeup Artist: Kouture Beauty Designs | Hair Stylist: BA Salon | Florist: Amaranth Florist