This time of year has me reminiscing about last year’s busy winter, filled with Philadelphia-area weddings with all the classic shots, balanced with the beauty of the stark trees and winter hues throughout the city. I love winter weddings because they’re different for each couple - sometimes we’re fortunate enough to have snow in the background, other times it’s a Christmas-themed wedding with green and red colors everywhere, and sometimes it’s so cold that the bride, groom, and bridal party have to warm up in between photos!
Meghan and Matt lucked out with the weather on their wedding day in Philly last December, but that doesn’t mean they were spared of everything - when I met up with the bride the morning of their special day, I learned that Matt was recovering from a stomach bug he had the day prior. Yet just in time to say “I do,” both Matt and Meghan were feeling well, and so excited for their wedding at the Cescaphe Ballroom, one of Philadelphia’s most spectacular wedding venues.
Meghan and Matt met in their freshman dorms at college, and have been together ever since. The couple currently lives in Washington, DC area, but because their family is from the Philadelphia region, they wanted to get married here. We started the day at the Society Hill Sheraton in Old City and even though Meghan was secretly still a little nervous about the stomach bug, she couldn’t wait to get started.
We started taking the essential “getting ready” photos of the bride and her bridal party, and everyone was so excited. The pre-wedding photos of the bride with her bridesmaids are always exhilarating as a photographer - there’s always a great mix of feeling nervous, excited and so incredibly happy all at the same time. The father-daughter “first look” was a special moment as well!
Matt was so relieved to be feeling better when I met up with the him for photos, and he and his groomsmen were great sports for getting all the photos, including the iconic “bowtie tying” photo - not a lot of people realize how tricky these actually can be to tie… but it always makes for a really awesome photo of the groom and his best man.
As a local wedding photographer, I’ve done engagement photos and wedding photography in some of Philly’s most iconic and scenic spots, so I had plenty of places to recommend for capturing the most beautiful wedding shots. For Meghan and Matt’s “First Look,” I recommended the Merchant Exchange building, which looked gorgeous with the snow from the night before. The bride and groom couldn’t stop smiling!
The ceremony was at Old St. Joe’s Church in the historic Old City District, and I couldn’t stop snapping photos - the Catholic church was astounding! Fun fact: the church was founded in 1733, and was the first Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia.
The Catholic ceremony was beautiful, but my favorite part was photographing Matt’s grandma, Granny, in her special role as one of the eucharistic ministers. I know this was really important to Matt and Meghan, and it was clear they put a lot of thought into every element of the ceremony. While talking with the couple before their wedding day, I learned that Matt had spent weeks reading through scripture so that he could pick out the most meaningful verses to share on his wedding day.
Like I said, the church was beautiful, so taking photos of the newlyweds outside the church, with their Christmassy bouquets and boutonnieres and the pleasant winter chill in the air, was great - the Old City scenery was just perfect! Of course, as any Philly wedding photographer knows, we had to get the iconic photo in the middle of Broad Street with Matt and Meghan kissing in front of City Hall. The sun was just starting to set, so the lighting was ideal, and it was so fun to see all the passersby congratulating the new husband and wife! This shot is always worth the dodging traffic to get right in the middle of the busiest street in the city.
The reception was at the Cescaphe Ballroom, and Matt, Meghan, and everyone in attendance (including me!) had so much fun. I loved seeing the bride and groom dancing together with all their friends and family from different parts of their lives - what an awesome day!
I’m looking forward to another busy season of winter weddings! Here’s to hoping that stomach bug season has come and gone…
Check out even more winter wedding photos on Instagram, and if you know someone who just got engaged over the holidays, share this link with them today so they can customize their perfect wedding photography package.