Elliot and Matthew’s spectacular Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 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.
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!
The day began with Elliot and her wedding party spending some time together.
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.
Matthew, dressed in a classic tuxedo with a hand-knotted bow tie, was ready to see his bride-to-be for the first time.
We are absolutely in love with the portraits of Elliot as she left the hotel to see her groom.
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.
After their first look, the couple took time for some portraits before heading off to their Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts wedding ceremony and reception.
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.
Wedding Ceremony in the PAFA Washington Foyer
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.
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.
Surrounded by family and close friends, the couple exchanged wedding vows and rings before ending the ceremony by jumping the broom.
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.
The couple’s crescent-shaped sweetheart table overflowed with beautiful floral pieces and tiered arrangements of candles.
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.
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.
Congratulations, Elliot and Matthew! We are thrilled to have been part of your fantastic wedding and wish you a lifetime of happiness.
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 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Wedding Vendor Team
Philadelphia Wedding Planner: Elegant Events Planning and Design
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
Transportation: Ace Limousine and Airport Service
Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works
Favors and Gifts: Gifted and Glory
Insurance: TULIP Insurance Services
Accommodations: The Notary Hotel