Stunningly Unique, Radiantly You, Wedding Ideas

Stunningly Unique, Radiantly You, Wedding Ideas

A Magic Gardens Wedding

The featured magic gardens wedding that I bring you today is my very own.  It’s not only unique, but also the inspiration behind this site, Clever Wedding Ideas.  I want everyone to know that it’s okay to be yourself during this entire planning process and how important it is to express your style, no matter how strange it may seem.  If you follow heart there is no doubt you will have an amazingly beautiful event.

Let me start off by saying I planned this wedding in less than five months.  Also, in case you were wondering, you CAN have an amazing wedding without going broke and I’m living proof.  Mine cost under $13,000!  Yes, my film producing background played a role in the organization of the whole event, but it’s definitely doable for any motivated bride that doesn’t want a 1 year + engagement.


My husband’s name is Derek.  He is a writer, producer, director, screen printer, and more importantly, my personal chef (HA!).  Basically he’s the smartest and most talented person I have ever met and the most loyal friend and partner a gal could ever hope for.  Our story isn’t over the top romantic, but hey, it’s my story and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I met Derek while we worked as producers in the independent film industry.  Now don’t let the film industry make this story sound glamorous.  I said INDEPENDENT, which means I still have a day job.  I spend my days selling paper.  Yes, to all you Office/Dunder Mifflin fans, exactly like the show.  At first I found Derek annoying, then I learned to tolerate him.  I have to admit, we had this love-hate thing going on for a while.  That eventually turned into an honest friendship, which transformed when we both let our guards down (meaning:  we were both terrified to admit we were attracted to each other because we were good friends AND worked together). That in a nutshell is how we fell for each other.

Oddly, my first order of business in planning  my magic gardens wedding was ordering the dress.  It kind of happened by accident.  I was in LA working and I stopped by the shop, Dolly Couture.  Their dresses were great, but I wanted something unique, not off the rack.  They worked with me and pieced together all my favorite looks from their collections and custom made a dress just for me.  I was in and out of there in less than 2 hours and created a custom dress for under $1,000.  Score!

Next was venue.  We knew we didn’t want it at a hall or a ballroom because it really just wasn’t our style.  We wanted somewhere intimate, unique, relaxed, and unlike any other wedding we’ve been to.  Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens was exactly what we were looking for.  The magic gardens wedding venue is a strangely beautiful, mosaic art museum nestled between Center City and South Philadelphia (**if you are ever visiting Philly I highly suggest you stop in).  The venue fit our personalities perfectly and really set the tone for the wedding of our dreams.

My daughter Deanna, dressed in red, was my maid of honor and we found her dress through ModCloth and my niece Maria, dressed in aqua, was the ring bearer and we found her dress through Forever 21. Both dresses were under $100 each!  Our flowers were paper and custom made through Etsy.  All under $250 and now look great displayed in a vase in my kitchen.  We also had a friend do our hair and I did the makeup applications myself.

Despite all the planning and research, the weather is one element you just cannot control.  Yes, I had a brief psychotic moment where I looked at the Farmer’s Almanac weather history on my wedding date for the past 10 years, but in the end there is no guarantee of how an outside wedding will turn out.  On my big day, there was a 10% chance of rain.  Of course it rained, but thankfully we got a break from it during the ceremony and dinner.  In the end I wish I didn’t stress about it so much during the planning process.  It was a beautiful day regardless and we just went with the flow.  Plus, rain is said to be good luck!

We wanted the magic gardens wedding ceremony to be short, but meaningful.  Derek’s friend Josh married us and we exchanged our vows from a passage we chose (see below). Both sets of rings belonged to Derek’s paternal and maternal grandparents, an heirloom and vintage, which makes them absolutely priceless.

I made all the magic gardens wedding favors myself, each and every one of them!  I always knew I wanted my favors to be tiny plants and when we booked the venue, I became inspired by all the mosaic murals to create miniature pots for all our guests to always remember our magical night.  (See how to make them HERE!)

Since going out for ice cream is our favorite thing to do together, we decided to have an ice cream man visit instead of a traditional cake cutting.  That wasn’t the only treat though.  We also served a variety of cupcakes and mini pies to accompany our custom made adorable sloths topper.

The photo booth by Lovebirds Wedding and Events was everyone’s favorite part of the magic gardens wedding.  It wasn’t so much a booth, but more a staged set, that used the artwork of the venue as a gorgeous background.  It was a fun way to let loose after the months of stressful planning!

There you have it folks, a glimpse into the happiest day of my life!  I want to thank Allebach Photography for taking the most amazing pictures and my husband Derek for choosing to spend the rest of his life with me.  I am truly grateful for all that I have.