Elliot and Matthew’s spectacular PAFA wedding was an incredible way for our Elegant Events Planning and Design team to wrap up 2021. They had initially planned a February 2021 wedding which was postponed because of the pandemic.

Philadelphia birde and groom in front of Philadelphia City Council where they met

This civic-minded couple, who met through their involvement in Philadelphia City Council, hosted their wedding in Center City at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

This couple was an absolute pleasure to work with, and we’re very excited to see their story showcased in a New York Times Mini-Vows feature!

Philadelphia bride and groom featured in New York Times

 

The Beginning

The day began with Elliot and her wedding party spending some time together.

Black bride and her wedding party in custom robes

Elliot selected a stunning wedding gown with a white satin tuxedo bodice for her wedding look and complimented the modern look with a bold, colorful bouquet.

Philadelphia bride looking at her wedding gown

colorful textured bridal bouquet by Elegant Events Florist

Matthew, dressed in a classic tuxedo with a hand-knotted bow tie, was ready to see his bride-to-be for the first time.

Philadelphia groom in a custom tuxedo by Henry Couture Paris

We are absolutely in love with the portraits of Elliot as she left the hotel to see her groom.

Philadelphia bride leaving The Notary Hotel

Philadelphia bride on her wedding day

 

A Little Rain Never Hurt

With Matthew waiting anxiously, Elliot made her way across the street for their first look. Watching the photographers capture each step, it was hard to tell who was more excited, the couple of the people surrounding them on the street.

Philadelphia bride and groom having thier first look in a light rain

Philadelphia bride and groom having thier first look in a light rain

Philadelphia bride and groom having thier first look in a light rain

After their first look, the couple took time for some portraits before heading off to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for their ceremony and reception.

Philadelphia bride and groom at City Hall

Groom kissing his bride's hand while they ride on a trolley

 

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, known to many as PAFA, was the ideal location for Elliot and Matthew’s wedding.

The Historic Landmark Building is one of America’s finest examples of Victorian Gothic architecture. PAFA is the first art school and museum in the United States and celebrates the transformative power of art and art-making.

PAFA’s philosophy of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging aligned perfectly with the couple’s desire to make working with Black wedding professionals a priority.

 

With This Ring

Their wedding ceremony was set in the museum’s Washington Foyer. The couple exchanged their wedding vows on the landing, with family and friends seated above them.

A string quartet set the stage as the wedding party and guests gathered.

Ajiee Cello string quartet playing at a Philadelphia wedding at PAFA

With all eyes watching, Elliot, escorted by her father, made her entrance down the sweeping staircase lined with candles and bright floral arrangements in gold vessels. The bride chose ‘Halo’ by Beyoncé, sung by her brother for her entrance.

Philadelphia bride walking down the stairs of the Washington Foyer at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Surrounded by family and close friends, the couple exchanged wedding vows and rings before ending the ceremony by jumping the broom.

Black bride and groom exchanging wedding vows at their Philadelphia wedding at PAFA

Black bride and groom exchanging wedding vows at their Philadelphia wedding at PAFA

Black bride and groom jumping the broom at their Philadelphia wedding at PAFA

 

Dinner, Then Dancing

Working with the museum’s unique layout, the newlyweds and their guests made their way to dinner before transitioning into the third space for desserts and dancing.

The reception was set with tables draped in crisp linens and circled by shimmering chivari chairs. Tabletops were designed with white floral centerpieces in modern glass containers, surrounded by thick pillar candles. Each table included a table number highlighting a famous Black couple.

PAFA wedding with table numbers showing pictures of famous black couples

The couple’s crescent-shaped sweetheart table overflowed with beautiful floral pieces and tiered arrangements of candles.

Sweetheart table arrangement at a Philadelphia wedding at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Following the Blessing, guests were treated to a delicious multi-course dinner. After dinner and the couple’s quick change of attire, everyone made their way into the Rotunda for dessert and dancing.

 

The Best Part!

The newlyweds made their way into the Rotunda for the first dance to ‘Best Part’ by H.E.R. transitioning into parent dances and several toasts.

Philadelphia couple's first dance in the rotunda at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Landmark Building

Philadelphia couple's first dance in the rotunda at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Landmark Building

The couple and their guests took to the dancefloor for the rest of the evening, pausing just long enough to cut their wedding cake before the night’s end.

Three-tiered white and gold wedding cake by Desserts by Dana

Congratulations, Elliot and Matthew! We are thrilled to have been part of your fantastic wedding and wish you a lifetime of happiness.

 

Want More?

If you’re like us and can’t get enough of this gorgeous wedding be sure to watch their wedding video and their wedding gallery!

The Team

Philadelphia Wedding Planner: Elegant Events Planning and Design

Philadelphia Wedding Venue: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Beauty: Recharge Beauty Wellness

Beauty: Top Flight Studio

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Henry Couture Paris

Wedding Officiant: Pastor James E Washington

Wedding Photography: Unique Concepts Studio

Cinema: Glad Films

Floral Design: Elegant Events Florist

Catering: Constellation Culinary at PAFA

Entertainment: Aijee Cello

Entertainment: A Soul Vibe (aka The R Productions)

Wedding Cake: Desserts by Dana

Rentals and Décor: Lounge Around

Stationery: Minted

Transportation: Ace Limousine and Airport Service

Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works

Favors and Gifts: Gifted and Glory

Insurance: TULIP Insurance Services

Accommodations: The Notary Hotel