urban city chic wedding – Cara & Zach
Cara and Zach’s relationship has been nothing short of a fairytale, their peacock inspired wedding at the Cira Centre Atrium at JG Domestic perfectly captured their love story. Zach has a love of animals and describes Cara as someone who likes to “live her life out loud,” so the tactful inclusion of peacock feathers naturally made sense. After meeting in pre-school based on the premise of both being twins; and then losing touch shortly after, they were both happy to reconnect after college and pick up where they left off. They invited their guests by sending teal, grey and white invitations, inclusive of a touch of Philly theme, by Casa Papel in Philadelphia. The inside of the envelope included a sketched view of the Philly skyline, which is representative of the view that Cara and Zach see from their new house in Philly.
The bride and groom got ready for the big day with their wedding parties at the Hotel Palomar in Philadelphia. The girls were pampered all day and got their hair done by Roselle Lucarini and makeup done by Felicia Greene. They wore matching outfits of black leggings and tank tops with monogrammed denim shirts from Etsy. They had Marathon Grill delivered for lunch. Cara received a bottle of Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque Rose Champagne as a wedding gift. The pink champagne not only enhanced her “getting ready pictures” but also helped to take the edge off as she enjoyed a glass of champagne with her bridal party. Cara couldn’t wait to put on her fully beaded Alon Livne wedding gown that she fell in love with at La Belle Mariee in Langhorne, PA. She loved the almost see-through corset bodice and that one strap had an intricate pewter strap on one side and a single strand of diamonds on the other.
Additionally, she tied her look together with a hairpin from Etsy, which complimented the pewter strap on the bride’s gown. Her twin of honour gave her a diamond bracelet, from Golden Nugget in Philadelphia, PA, as a gift which matched the single diamond strand strap on the dress. Zach was in his own room with his friends getting ready, putting on his tux from Boyd’s.
Once the bride was ready, she got in an Uber with her twin of honour to head to Cira Green to have her first look session with Zach. She would shortly be joined by the wedding party for pictures. Cira Green provides a backdrop of the city as well as a secluded garden atmosphere with lush greenery. It’s the perfect balance of city chic as well as lush gardens. The bridesmaids all picked their own dark teal dresses, which provided some variety to play off the peacock inspiration. Bridesmaids picked dresses on their own from online sites such as Lulu’s & Tobi, as well as storefronts such as Jan’s in Cherry Hill, NJ. All of the shades of dark teal were slightly different but all complimented each other.
Before the traditional wedding ceremony began, the bride and groom, coupled with immediate family, friends, rabbi and cantor gathered into an alcove at the back of J.G. Domestic. The room encompassed a long wooden table and industrial light fixtures and provided the perfect backdrop to sign the Ketubah. A Ketubah is a document in the Jewish religion that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride. Cara and Zach picked a super modern design for their Ketubah, which had bright colours and was an art-décor form of a heart, inclusive of their first initials.
Guests began arriving at the Cira Centre Atrium at JG Domestic and took their seats while listening to music being played by Pop Philly of EBE Entertainment, as they waited for the bride and groom. Cara was escorted down the candle-lit aisle by her parents and met Zach under the Chuppah, which was beautifully decorated by the florist, Alexa of Carl Alan with white hydrangea, white callas, white astilbe, white playa roses, white spray roses and peacock feathers and peacock feathers. The venue’s imposing floor to 150’ ceiling all glass structure provided astounding views of the city skyline. The couple was met at the chuppah by Rabbi Jennifer L. Frenkel, of Congregation M’Kor Shalom who officiated the wedding.
The white draped linens surrounding the ceremony space provided an intimate ceremony, inclusive of personal touches from Cara and Zach’s meetings with the rabbi the previous couple of months. Cara and Zach shared personal vows that they wrote themselves and exchanged rings; the bride used her grandmother’s wedding band during the ceremony to honour her grandmother who had passed away. At the conclusion of the ceremony Zach broke the class and then Cara and Zach walked hand in hand down the aisle.
After the ceremony, Cara and Zach were escorted by their wedding planner, Milanee Paolilli-Leong of the Garces Events Group, where they had a second to enjoy the moment of just being married together. Additionally, they were given a plate of all of the appetizers being served during cocktail hour, so that they could quickly eat before mingling with all of their family and friends.
Guests moved from the intimate confines of the ceremony space and made their way to the cocktail hour, which was held inside the restaurant JG Domestic. Guests helped themselves to a full bar, including two signature cocktails, “Tie-me Up, Tie-Me Down” (citrus vodka, rosemary and lemon juice) and “The Crescent” (bourbon, mint and ginger). Guests then indulged on the amazing food provided by the Garces Events Group, which included some of its famous staples such as the Village Whiskey slider station and Distrito taco station and guacamole bar. Guests were able to eat and drink while reclining in the restaurant booths, as well as able to walk around and mingle as they ate passed appetizers.
After an hour, guests made their way to the atrium which was turned over to the reception area. They admired the Philly skyline through the floor to ceiling glass windows as they made their way to their tables. The tables had white linens with grey napkins and beautiful floral centrepieces. Six tables were adorned with a Kareem vase with a submerged white dendrobium inside and clear gems. A loose, textured and airy arrangement sat on top inclusive of white hydrangea, feathered eucalyptus, true blue eucalyptus, variegated pitt, white callas, white astilbe and peacock feather. There was then 5 different length strands of crystals hanging down. Ten tables had 24×6” cylinders filled with a small amount of water and large tiered callas, clear gems at the bottom and tiered peacock feathers. There was also a set of clear gem candles holders with a votive inside. One table of guests sat under the arbour area inside J.G. Domestic which had two sets of skinny stem vases with submerged dendrobium and a floating candles the length of the table. There were also 6 silvery Mercury vases, which the bouquets were re-purposed in these vases.
Guests settled in for an amazing 3-course dinner starting with a semplice salad of organic baby greens, shaved red onion, Marcona almonds, fresh herbs, grapefruit white balsamic. This was followed by braised short rib & striped bass, mozzarella mashed potato, haricots verts, red wine jus, romesco. Dessert was a champagne cake with cream cheese icing and salted caramel drizzle by Sweet T’s bakery.
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 honour on to you.” After that, she gave Zach a sash that read, “Cara’s better half.”
Zach’s best man, Ben Birnbaum, stood up and lightened the mood by holding up a poster size picture of a young Zach dressed up like a sailor during his toast.
After dinner, 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 doughnut wall “Donut want this night to end” to give guests the sugar rush needed to make it through an epic last dance set.
Speaking of dancing, the 10 piece band, Pop Philly of EBE Talent provided amazing live music incorporating saxophone, guitars, drums, keyboard, vocalists and even a sound technician to ensure everything sounded up to snuff. The dance floor was packed the entire night as Pop Philly hammered out such classics as: Spice girls, old school hip-hop, semi-charmed kind of life, this is how we do it, no diggity.
The horah really got the energy going as Zach and Cara were hoisted high into the air while friends and family shouted Mazel tov!
As the night wore on, the couple stepped away for some gorgeous night portraits and laid out Philly Pretzels with bags at the end of the night for guests to take home. As the night drew to a close, guests munched on Federal Donuts from the handmade doughnut wall by the bride’s father and listened to Zach spitting rhymes as he rapped on stage at the end of the night.
Photographer: J&J Studios, LLC // Event Venue: The Cira Centre // Reception Venue: JG Domestic // Accommodations: Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia // Beauty: Spice Salon 1998 // Caterer: Marathon Grill // Specialty Foods: Perrier Jouet & Federal Donuts // Band: EBE Talent & Pop Philly (EBE) // Invitation Designer: Casa Papel // Dress Designer: Alon Livne // Dress Store: La Belle Mariee Bridal // Jewellery: Golden Nugget Jewelers & Jay Roberts Jewelers // Tuxedo & Mens Attire: Boyds Philadelphia