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I look through a lot of real weddings each week, and so when one stands out and I keep thinking back to it, I know that it is one I have to share. Siobhan and Kevin's wedding has great details and a unique vibe, but what makes this wedding so absolutely cool is how much fun everyone is clearly having! My favorite is the unbridled joy evident in the photos of the reception where not only the couple, but also the guests, are having a blast.  Allebach Photography has done an amazing job capturing this very special day, and keep reading for Siobhan's thoughts on her wedding planning.

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What was your vision for the day?
My husband, Kevin, and I went through a number of different ideas of what our day would be like, where it would be, even when it would be, and early on in the planning process we felt like we had somehow lost sight of what we wanted. So, we went back to the drawing board and started from scratch, which was probably the best thing we could've done.

Once we discovered the Vesper Boathouse and decided on that for our venue, we decided that we wanted our day to have a healthy dose of old-school glam, modern quirks and just be a ton of fun. Have you ever gone out dancing, and you end up dancing so hard that you're pouring sweat and fighting to catch your breath, and you don't care how awful you look despite the makeup running down your face, because you're having so much fun you feel like you're flying? Yeah, that's what we were aiming for.

We did a couple of DIY projects for the wedding: For our centerpieces, we provided the florist with a bunch of assorted vases we'd collected from thrift shops. We also collected some assorted bowls from the same shops, which we filled with fruit (also used as centerpieces). Lastly, my mom collected a bunch of vintage hardcover books in different books to place on each table under the flowers & fruit bowls.

My mom also did a lot of DIY stuff for the wedding - she did a couple of flower arrangements for the mantels around the venue. She also made paper confetti and garlands that were used to decorate the venue, featuring our names, the date, and cute details. She also made some super-cute trivia cards about me & Kevin, which were placed on all of the tables. My mom is super craftsy and was VERY eager to help, so she definitely brought a lot to the table when it comes to that!

Another "project" that we really did ourselves was the ceremony - we worked with my grandmother, who's an ordained minister, to put together our vows and the ceremony, and it was super meaningful for us to have that. My grandmother was also very honored to marry us, so it was great that we were able to keep it "all in the family," so to speak!

Did your wedding location hold a specific significance to you?
Philadelphia is where Kevin & I really established our roots, so we wanted our day to be as much a celebration of the city we'd come to love as it was about our love for each other. A coworker mentioned that events are often held at the city's boathouses near Fairmount Park - one look and we were in.

What was the most meaningful part of your day?
Everybody probably says this, but it's hard to pick one! I have three parts that were really above all else, though. Our vows were amazing - my grandmother officiated the ceremony, and it was like we could just feel the love radiating from everyone around us as we exchanged our vows. The first dance was also an incredibly moving moment - we danced to Deathcab for Cutie's "I Will Follow You Into the Dark," and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. (My poor father ended up crying like a baby!) Another extremely meaningful moment is when my father presented my husband with the hospital gown he wore when I was born. Kevin & I had no idea he was planning this, and it was so incredibly meaningful and moving - again, everybody started crying their eyes out!

Did anything funny or out of the ordinary happen?
The bagpipes!! My father's been playing since I was a kid, and I also invited a number of family friends who play to the wedding. I don't know why I didn't expect this to happen, but they gave an impromptu performance in the middle of the reception and brought the house down! My father also gave quite a comedy routine, kind of a take on the Bud Light "Real Men of Genius" ads, saluting my husband & me for being a great couple.

Tell us details of the events surrounding the wedding.

Since a good portion of our friends & family would be coming into Philly from out of the area (most of Kevin's family is actually from Niagara Falls, NY), we wanted to make the best of the holiday weekend. We did the bachelor & bachelorette parties Friday evening (the details of which I'll leave out for our families' sake, haha), and we did the rehearsal dinner that Saturday at North Bowl in Northern Liberties - which was a total blast!! Our youngest family members especially enjoyed it, but it was great seeing even some of the older ones joining in on the fun and bowling.

After the wedding ceremony, we also went out to the Moshulu for DJ Deejay's MMP vs. BBG (Madonna/Michael/Prince vs. Britney/Beyonce/Gaga) dance party, which was AWESOME. I changed into more of a party dress, and we went out with most of the wedding party, some cousins & friends in their 20s, and even my dad joined us for the dance party on the boat. We capped off the night with cheesesteaks and cheese fries at Pat's before coming home super late. I know our friends & younger family members kept the party going back at the hotel, but we were so exhausted that we just went back to our suite. All in all, it was a great weekend!

How did you know your partner was "the one"?

Not too long after we started dating, I went through a bunch of devastating events one right after the other - two deaths in the family, a personal health scare, academic problems, job problems, and I even totaled my car. And you know what Kevin did? He stood right by me and helped me get through it - that's how I knew he was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. When things got hard - and did they ever get hard - he was there to support me and encourage me to keep pushing on. Thankfully we got through that, and we've been each other's biggest cheerleaders ever since.

Any advice you'd give new brides who are just getting started?
BREATHE!! No, seriously, take a step back and give yourself a big breather. See how good that feels?! In this day and age, it's so easy to get caught up in the details and stress yourself over planning and forget that this is supposed to be a party! My husband and I definitely made an effort to remind ourselves of that and try our best not to sweat the small stuff, so to speak - and trust me, that wasn't easy! Another big piece of advice that I'll give - don't be afraid to ask friends or family for help. So many people will be happy to help you with any little tasks you can divvy up, and I had people come through with things I hadn't even thought of. (Like the toiletries basket my maid-of-honor showed up with - the thought hadn't even crossed my mind, and it was a great touch for the ladies' room at the reception!) Lastly, do your best to put each other first. You're going to have tons of friends, family, hell even strangers giving their opinions on what you should or shouldn't do for your wedding - forget them. (Obviously family is important, but only to an extent!) Rather than trying to please everyone else, focus on what will make the two of you happy and go with that, and everyone else will end up being happy too.

Vendors:

Photographer: Allebach Photography

Venue: Vesper Boat Club

Dress: David's Bridal

Shoes: Steve Madden

Men's Attire: Assorted (Groom's suit from Macy's)

Catering: Feast Your Eyes

Event Planning: Day-of coordination provided by Feast Your Eyes; all other planning done by ourselves!

Flowers: Wegman's Cherry Hill

DJ: No Macarena