I love weddings that just scream “Philly”, and for me, there is no area as uniquely Philadelphia as Independence Mall.  So a crisp fall day in historic Philadelphia with Hilary and Brian, was exactly what I was craving after a long summer of outdoor weddings.

I’m fairly obsessive about scouting locations that I’ve never worked in advance to get a little inspiration without the pressure of a wedding day schedule looming over me.  I was instantly thrilled.  With hotel, first look and venue all on Independence Mall and plenty of time scheduled for photos, this was going to be a dream to shoot.

After meeting with the girls to see Hilary in her lovely dress, we took a walk to Franklin Court, the site where Ben Franklin’s brick home once stood, and where Brian was waiting for a truly adorable first look, and loads of time to shoot with just the two of them before joining their families for formals at The National Museum of American Jewish History.  After a lovely simple ceremony, Hilary and Brian let us steal them one more time to play on the amazingly staircases around the museum, much to the delight of their guests at cocktail hour who were able to watch our impromptu photo session from the open staircases above.

So congratulations Hilary and Brian and thanks for letting us be a part of a beautiful, classic Philly day!

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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!!!