The minute they walked into their venue, Michele, a 29-year-old nurse, and Betty, a 33-year-old resident physician, immediately felt the old-world charm at Material Culture, a train station turned auction hall in Philadelphia. The couple didn’t want a traditional wedding, and once they saw the venue was filled with antiques, vintage furnishings and treasures around the world, they knew immediately this would be the perfect place.    


Not only was this venue unlike any wedding venue we could have dreamed of with a 6 foot tall sequined bear and a room devoted entirely to rugs, award winning Chef Aliza Green’s adjacent Baba Olga’s Café served the most delicious locally sourced food around. Given that we are a non-traditional couple, we were not afraid to be unique on our wedding day.
This showed in our bridal party (which included Michele’s 83 year old grandfather as “best man”) who were allowed to wear whatever they felt beautiful or handsome in as long as it was a wedding color (navy, plum or grey). Michele wore a blush dress and carried a stunning bouquet made of brooches that were collected from family and friends as well a “stem” wrapped in a piece of her mother’s wedding dress and her grandmother’s garter.
Our personal and intimate ceremony was held in the modern furniture room where guests could fight over which colorful chair or love seat to grab while watching us read our own written vows. We tried to incorporate elements of their two hometowns (Michele is a Philly native, I’m  from the Bay Area, now we live in Boston) throughout the night including our entrance dance to a mash-up of Boyz2Men’s Motownphilly and Tupac’s California Love created by the fantastic DJ Greg Shubert of Untouchables Entertainment. We also incorporated end of the night snacks of Philly soft pretzels, San Fran’s Ghirardelli’s chocolates and Boston Baked Beans.
As for seating arrangements, instead of the traditional numbers, tables were named for various places that have been important in the couple’s lives such as Green Eggs Cafe (the favorite brunch spot where I proposed to Michele). Rather than the typical steak, chicken, or fish options of most weddings, our menu included such highlights as dates in a blanket, West African chicken yassa, and Greek braised beef stifado. Instead of the traditional cake, we had a donut tower from our local favorite Federal Donuts. To wash all that wonderful food down, a fall inspired signature drink was served: locally sourced apple cider with ginger and spiced rum. It was truly a magical night, filled with a packed dance floor, delicious food, and lots of love. Luckily, Tara Beth Photography was able to capture charm and beauty of this one-of-a kind wedding.