Crissa-181It’s probably a good thing that my first contact with future bride, Crissa Rajczy, was by email because I’m not sure I would have believed my ears.  A loctician at Salon Sugar, Crissa was planning her wedding to TJ at North Bowl, a funky retro bowling alley  in Northern Liberties.  She went on to describe a costume themed wedding where she and her fiance would be dressed Victorian Corpse bride and groom,  along with her lovely teenage daughter, a princess for the evening.  As we got to know this amazing family leading up to their big day, the details got even more fabulous.  The couple would be getting hand tattoos in lieu of wedding rings which would be blessed with a smudge ceremony.  A bouquet of dried roses made by Crissa, the most lovely red and pink dredlocks ever and a chest tattoo of a patchwork, stitched together heart, made our dark little hearts leap for joy.  With the threat of impending rain, we decided to snap some family portraits in the lobby of the Sheraton in Society Hill before venturing out to Elfreth’s Alley, where we thought America’s oldest residential neighborhood in the U.S. would be an interesting contrast for our family.  We then headed over to North Bowl and got some stunning family and bridal portraits in front of some amazing street art, including a spectacular blue beast by Mauro Carrera.

The details at North Bowl were equally spectacular in every way.  Tiny skulls, love potions, and sparklers with black glittery matchboxes with little silver skulls.  A black and white wedding cake adorned with skulls from Puddin’s Cake Corner and topped with skeletal bride and groom was perfect .  Crissa and TJ’s family and friends couldn’t have been any more warm and welcoming and wonderfully wacky.  Some families just touch you in a deeply personal way.  We were thrilled to have been a part of this amazingly beautiful, artistic and deeply personal celebration.  It was like a Black, White and Raw dream wedding, and I couldn’t be any more smitten.  Enjoy!

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A few other great details from Crissa:

Cake was from Puddin’s Cake Corner

T’s costume (groom) was from Pierre’s

Makeup by Kelsey Herbst

mine (bride) is a combo of my grandmothers wedding dress… my own skirt,
the bustle and wrist cuff was from
platform shoes are from
my hair by me: dreadloxoxo at Salon Sugar Philadelphia
corinne’s (daughter) dress was from a thrift shop if you can believe that!!! $25, zero alterations! ha!!! jackpot!!!


I recently had a friend of mine refer to wedding photographers as the “Macgyvers” of photography.   This couldn’t have been any more true of my latest gorgeous wedding at the ultra elegant Racquet Club of Philadelphia.  I had been excited about Meredith and Rick’s classic wedding for months.  We had several plans for photos throughout the day, including bridal party and bride and groom photos in nearby Rittenhouse Park, as well as photos of the lovely couple in the historic tennis courts upstairs.  I was giddy with excitement.  I began to pour over photos of Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in “Sabrina”, in particular the romantic scene on the tennis court, drinking champagne and dancing in that unforgettable white Givenchy gown.

Nope.  Not to happen.  There was a downpour of rain, and not the pretty kind.  A stroll to Rittenhouse was absolutely not happening, so we decided to forgo the park and get all of our shots in The Racquet Club.  No problem.  As soon as the ceremony was over, I dashed up to the fourth floor for romantic tennis court scene that I’d been dreaming of, and was met with the angry glare of 4 young Asian men in the midst of a heated match.  I quickly grabbed my lightstand left with my tail between my legs.  No problem.  The ceremony site!  I ran back down only to find a bustling staff moving chairs to flip the room.  I was crushed and seemingly out of options, until I discovered my bride and groom sharing a glass of champagne in the basement of the building, a floor I didn’t even know existed.  With it’s old wood, and stained glass windows, I was thrilled to find an area devoid of people, protected from the elements, and yes, lovely.

And so Meredith and Rick rolled with the punches, shared a romantic glass of champagne, and weathered the storm in the basement of the 150 year old building.  And it was absolutely lovely.  ‘Cause sometimes it’s amazing to find magic in a  Macgyver afternoon.

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