Bartram Gardens Outdoor Wedding

Sean and I met as college sophomores in an intermediate photography class nearly ten years ago. Since then we’ve studied together, traveled the world, and started a family He proposed under an Oklahoma waterfall, with a custom ring he designed of his great grandmother’s diamond.

Thinking about our wedding day even now (nearly a year later) brings tears to my eyes. It was exactly what I hoped and dreamed it would be. As a designer, I had a really clear vision of how I wanted everything to look. Sean and I described our day as a modern, funky garden party. I worked really hard to ensure that by the time our wedding day arrived, it felt natural and effortless, but beautifully styled. We were lucky enough to work with some great vendors who really brought my vision to life.

Our wedding took place in early June at Bartram’s Gardens, in Philadelphia. Bartram’s is a unique 10-acre sanctuary of gardens and woodland located smack in the middle of an otherwise metropolitan area. It’s very peaceful and quiet, and home to many rare plants. Exactly 100 of our closest friends and family were with us on our big day. The morning of our wedding started out with some questionable weather, but I was honestly too giddy to even notice. The clear blue sky arrived with perfect timing for our Quaker-style ceremony in the formal garden, followed by cocktail hour. Our guests were encouraged to explore the gardens, play bag toss, and sip Sean’s home-brewed beer and homemade cocktails on the lawn. The reception took place on the brick patio, under a gorgeous draped tent. The fireflies put on quite a show in the open meadow, while the Philadelphia skyline glimmered in the background. At the end of the night, Sean and I climbed into the “party bus” with all of our friends, and took a quick ride to our neighborhood where we ended the night with a mini bar hop.

Planning and Print Design by the bride, Sarah Stone // Venue: Bartram’s Gardens // Photography: Kate Murphy // Flowers: Loven Fresh Flowers // Day of Coordinator: Precise Events Inc // Ceremony Music: Philadelphia Wedding Guitarist

    1. Hi there, thanks for asking! The suit was custom made in Philadelphia, by a small shop that has unfortunately gone out of business. We shopped around a bit and decided that for Sean’s tall, lean frame custom was the way to go. It ultimately was about the same price (or maybe even a little cheaper) than the huge boss and ralph lauren ones we’d considered.

  1. Wedding bands play a major role on your big day. Here are some things to consider: How will the band look with the engagement ring? Should it have diamonds? Do the two of you want matching bands? What type of metal do you prefer? Whatever your personal preference, Aquacrown can help you find the one for you.

  2. What a beautiful wedding! The couple seems so sweet, and Kate Murphy’s images convey such a sense of calm and happyness. Hard to believe the bride did all the planning herself, she seems so relaxed! :) Well done!

  3. Your wedding looks like it was absolutely perfect. I am looking in to a May wedding (2015) at Bartram’s Garden. Who did you have cater the wedding? Was the pricing reasonable? Also, I see that you brought your own alcohol! Did you do that for the entire night?

    Thanks so much!!


    1. Hi Lauren,
      It’s Sarah (the bride) here! We used Diverse Catering for the wedding. The food was really good, but they were expensive and messed some things up. I was also very glad that I hired a day of coordinator. The caterer had insisted that I didn’t need a day of coordinator, but the planner took care of all the little details that I fear would have been overlooked if it had been left to Diverse Catering. It didn’t affect how much I loved my wedding day, but some things that the catering company were responsible for didn’t go as planned like the cake was the complete opposite of what I ordered, and the plates were not the ones I picked and paid extra for. The food was very good, but I think they dropped the ball on a lot of things, and for the amount they charged I didn’t think that was acceptable. We did buy our own alcohol! Sean and I designed the signature cocktails, and we even served some of Sean’s homebrewed beer during the cocktail hour. The rest of the alcohol was purchased in Delaware (tax free), and yes we brought our own for the whole wedding!

  4. Hello- your wedding pictures are so beautiful!! My fiancé and I are getting married in just a few weeks, and we’re currently searching for a tie! We absolutely LOVE the whole look of the groom! Where did you get the tie?? Or do you know who it’s made by? It’s perfect and works so well with the dark gray suit. Please let me know if you have any helpful info!
    Thanks so much, Caroline

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Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding. 

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