written by Dolly Marshall

Like a scene out of the Great Gatsby, Courtney and Eric’s wedding is full of dramatic elegance and romance! Full of glorious architectural and evocative details this wedding will definitely put you in a retro-glam mood.


From the photographer, Deibert Photography: “Imagine putting two people together that just exude emotion, joy and love. That’s what you get with Courtney and Eric. We started and ended our day at the Le Meridien in Center City, Philadelphia. Courtney and her girls had a blast getting all dolled up in her suite, while Eric and his guys put on their finest. Then it was over to first look at one of the couple’s fave places in the city – Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Eric was overwhelmed with emotion when he saw his bride, netting one of the best first looks we’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing. We spent time wandering through the gardens before heading to City Hall for more portraits and some bridal party fun. The ceremony was short, beautiful and emotional as Courtney and Eric finally said I do. After that, it was time to don masquerade masks as the couple hit the dance floor and partied the night away.”

wedding party posed in library
groom outside in garden
bride and groom in stone garden
bride and bridesmaids wearing leather jackets

How They Met

“We met at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. It depends on who you ask on who was interested in who first. Eric was a gentleman and we connected over conversation of music, art, and fashion, and enjoyed starting to get to know each other. We became best friends, then Eric asked me out on our first official first date to the Jay Z and Kanye concert in Atlantic City and the rest was history.”

bride and groom pose outside
wedding dress hung in window
bridal clutch and masquerade mask
bride getting makeup applied
bride and bridesmaids pop confetti champagne

The Proposal

“This was the best! Eric and I were going on a trip to London and Paris. It was my dream to go to Paris for years. Eric had a plan and was so anxious in his travels with the precious cargo: The Ring. Eric had set up a photographer through the hotel and surprised me on a bridge with the Eiffel tower in the background. It was a gorgeous beautiful day and we spent hours shooting around the city until the photographer (who became a friend by the end of the day) dropped off Eric and I at the restaurant he had taken his wife to after he proposed. It was a magical glass dome over top of the Seine River; truly the most beautiful day.”

engagement and wedding rings on globe
mom helping daughter into wedding dress
wedding sparkly shes
bride and bridesmaids holing bouquets
groom's outfit essentials
groom getting help with lapel pin
groom and groomsmen posed in front of philly city hall

Wedding Planning

“It started out somewhat bumpy, I was actually so shocked getting engaged I didn’t know where to even begin. We had a huge blow out shindig, that we were so thankful to my parents threw us at Tip O’Learys in Delco. We thought we wanted a destination wedding, so much so that my parents and Eric and I flew to Mexico to plan the wedding, until realizing while it was an amazing vacation it was not what we wanted for our wedding. We realized we wanted to be surrounded by family, friends, and everyone who loves and supports us in the city where we first met. We flew back and saw about 15 venues in three weeks. We found our venue and the rest started rolling fairly easily from there. We had a great time meeting with vendors and attending different planning events. I can actually say we had a lot of fun in the planning process.” 

bride coming down aisle with father
bride and groom being married
groom reading his vows to his bride
groom kisses bride after being married
bride and groom just married

Le Meridien

“After seeing a good amount of options at the end of a tiring day of myself dragging Eric and my mom around we walked into the Le Meridien and immediately realized we had stayed there for our 5th Anniversary trip. From there we fell in love with the old architecture and history, it is actually one of the original YMCA’s of Philadelphia from 1911. The library was a knockout, it was romantic and gorgeous and looked out over city hall. The beautiful atrium and ball room where the cherries on top we needed. The hotel has sleek modern rooms that could accommodate us getting ready as well as our out of town guests.  It was meant to be. “

bride and groom pose in front of library fireplace
wedding reception in ballroom
wedding reception table
bride and groom posed on grand staircase
aerial shot of wedding venue

Wedding Inspiration

“Our inspiration was dark romance, it was the day after Halloween – one of our favorite holidays. Eric and I both really enjoy fashion and aesthetics we love a mix of classic Old Hollywood glamour with a modern twist. We had a lot of clean lines and classic colors ivory and black with subtle pops of deep fall colors (burgundy and eggplant), and lots of candles everywhere. We literally lined the ceremony room with 200+ candles it brought the ambiance and romance we were looking for. The hints of travel with the globe guest book and vintage suitcase we cut into our card box, as well as our hand drawn mirror seating chart with each table named after a city we traveled to were really nice personal touches. Since it was the day after Halloween we thought it would be fun to have masquerade favors which were a huge hit on the dance floor!!!”  

wedding welcome table with globe
wedding table decor with floating candles
masquerade ball masks
wedding cake
wedding reception sign

Best Moment

“We both agree this is a toss up! For me it was hands down the ceremony. It was intimate and beautiful. We each wrote our own vows that were so meaningful and raw, there were not many dry eyes in the house. It was special having our Moms take part in the ceremony with the unity candle, as well as have the people who mean the most to us in the entire world standing by our side and supporting us. For Eric it was our first look. The amazing setting of the Magic Gardens in Philadelphia where we have had a few special dates over the years. It was out of this world- the emotion and build up and realizing this was it, it was the beginning of forever for us. There was an explosion of love, passion and emotion and it was the BEST moment.”

bride reads her vows to her groom
groom writing wedding vows
groom reads wedding vows
first look bride and groom
groom's emotional response to his bride

Wedding Planning Advice

“I would say the number one piece of advice would be to stay true to who you are as a couple. Try not to choose things because other people like or expect them, stay true to yourselves, your style, aesthetic and what’s truly important to you and it will be amazing! Secondly, set a clear realistic budget and then shoot a little under that because there is always going to be unexpected things that pop up and you do not want to feel stressed or strapped. Lastly just take a deep breath and try to enjoy the process – the little things won’t matter and what will is that you two are getting MARRIED!!!! Don’t forget that!”

bride and groom cut wedding cake
bride and groom eat wedding cake
bride and groom's first dance
people dancing at wedding reception
drummer playing music at wedding reception
groom getting down on the dance floor
bride and groom champagne toast each other

Vendors

“It was GREAT!!! We have heard horror stories, so we are super thankful for this. We did A LOT of research before even deciding to meet with our vendors so I think that really helped because we had somewhat of an idea of what we were looking for and what we were getting into. Also, I think we were really communicative about our vision and what we were looking for once that was clear and we were on the same page we trusted that we had picked the best people and allowed them to work their magic. Full disclosure, we had one hiccup with one of our vendors not really understanding our vision and what we were looking for, after a good long conversation of being open and laying it on the table we were all on the same page and got some great results. We feel being open and honest with them ahead of time was key in this situation.  The three stand out all stars were our venue coordinator Kelley Maslanka, our photographers Deibert Photography (Ben & Ashley are Awesome!) and New Pace Videography, they all worked seamlessly, made our lives easier and produced amazing results!!!! 

The best advice here is: RESEARCH, read reviews, look at their work and put in the time so you won’t be disappointed. “


Vendors | Ceremony venue: Le Meridien Philadelphia
Reception venue: Le Meridien Philadelphia | Floral/Decor: Beautiful Blooms
Stationery: Minted | Dress Designer: Allure | Hair and MakeUp: Philly Hair & MakeUp Co. | Caterer: Le Meridien Philadelphia Cake/Bakery: Bredenbecks Bakery | DJ: Greg Bridell | Photographer: Deibert Photography Videographer: New Pace Wedding Films