Laurie and Deke

wedding date: November 2008

venue: Cescaphe Ballroom

This post is month overdue, but I finally got around to going through Alimario‘s awesome pictures from the November 1st wedding! Thanks T for letting me use your images! You were great to work with!

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I had just left Cescaphe to start my own business, and Laurie called me, asking me to coordinate her wedding at Cescaphe the next year. So a year later, I was back working with Laurie and Deke to make their wedding perfect.

And happy they were the entire day!

The Couple:

Laurie and Deke hired me to be their day of coordinator, and we only met a few times to go over all the details, but we were always in contact via email. Laurie was very organized and did a great job putting all the elements together for her beautiful wedding.

When they hired me, they said they didn’t really need me to do anything specific, such as setting up tables, but I was more like wedding insurance. Closer to the wedding, Laurie pointed out some concerns where cHill Weddings were able to come in and fill in the gaps.

Alimario did not have an assistant, but the families want big family group shoots, but time was limited since the ceremony space had to be flipped to a reception space. I put on my assistant cap, and got family in and out of photos quickly. As a recent bride, I vividly remember how much I hated taking family photos… your legs start to hurt and your face hurts from smiling so much, and plus your mom or your grandma is fussing with your veil and dress non stop… and all I wanted to do was starting dancing! We were able to round up the family members quickly and T’s so great with the camera, and snap snap snap, we were done!

Before the ceremony, the guests at the hotel were to take a bus and a trolley to Cescaphe. I’m been in a situation where guests were left behind on shuttles because they could not find the shuttle or because they were running late. Lessons learned. Now I always assign someone to run the shuttle service, no matter how wonderful the transportation company is. Sometimes, guests stand in the lobby and expect a big announcement to be made, or to be personally escorted to the shuttle… so that is what we did. There are always people who are running late, so we arrange for multiple shuttle runs. It’s better that some guests are early than to hold up a ceremony because of some late key family members. The trolley stayed at the hotel until we were confident no one was left behind… (if you’re a guest and you’re THAT late and miss 3 shuttles… then you can cab it to the reception!*) Two buses and a trolley later, all guests arrived on time, and the ceremony started, on time.

The Flowers:

All flowers were done by my friend Alicia at Il Fiore Bianco, who is the in-house florist for Cescaphe.

Ceremony:

Rev. Natalie Kita officiated the ceremony, which took place in the ballroom at Cescaphe.

The sweetheart table:

They chose to sit at a sweetheart table – where they spent a lot of time together.

The centerpieces:

I love a wedding that’s not afraid of color!

Reception:

Cescaphe always offers a custom made ice sculpture for their raw bar to all their clients. Yummy! I heart cocktail shrimp and oysters.


All cakes are made on the premises. I loved the simplicity of this cake, accented with drapes of icing.


The bridal party took the trolley around for photos before the ceremony. Trolley from Philadelphia Trolley Works, and also a motor coach was used to transport guests.

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All photos were taken by the very talented T Alimario! Special thanks to my awesome assistant Duyen for making sure all the guests got to the ceremony on time!

It was a pleasure to work with Laurie and Deke, and they really are such a lovely couple. Laurie even stopped by after the wedding to meet our baby Oscar! And as always, working a wedding is great when you work with wonderful vendors, such as those below:

Vendor Roundup:
Day of Coordination: cHill Weddings
Venue for ceremony and reception: Cescaphe Ballroom in Northern Liberties
Hotel: Society Hill Sheraton
Officiant: Rev. Natalie Kita of Soul Mates Ceremonies
Photography: Alimario Photo
Music: CTO Park Central
Flowers: Il Fiore Bianco
Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works

*That totally reminds me of my girlfriend’s story:
A while back, my girlfriend’s friend was getting married in a mansion in Chestnut Hill, minutes from my house. I told her that she and her husband were more than welcome to stay at our house before and after the wedding, instead of driving back late at night or getting a hotel room. The night before the wedding, they came over to play some friendly poker with us. We had some Indian food (Tiffin) and played cards well into the night. The next day, she and her husband got dressed up and ready, and drove back in Chestnut Hill for the wedding.

They tend to be late to lots of things (sometimes even to wedding ceremonies and reception, as a bridesmaid!!!), and they were rushing to look for parking. But they pulled up to the house first, and saw some tulle and flowers on the fence. But the house was dark. It was like no one was there. And it was really really quiet.

Frantic, she checks the invitation to make sure she has the right place… and after studying the invitation for a few long minutes, she realized… they really were late. 24 hours late! The wedding was the night before! Oh if she had only known! She was down the street in jeans eating Indian food and playing poker. Goodness, my poor friends felt so bad. So she called and left messages for the bride, apologizing and commenting on the pretty decor that was left over from the night before… and the sweet bride called back. It was okay. We all make mistakes.

The lesson: ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK YOUR INVITE!

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