I don’t even know where to begin regarding recapping this weekend’s wedding. The venue. The bride. The food. Oh my! Everything was absolutely stunning. I had so much fun preparing for the evening with 3 of my closest friends – the bride and bridesmaids. We met in college and all these years later we always manage to pick up right where we last left off. My stomach always hurts from laughing so much with these girls.
Ok let’s start with the venue. I will try to create the scene for you…the wedding from beginning to end was held at the Stirling Guest Hotel in Reading, PA. “Guest Hotel” is apparently code for huge magnificent mansion stocked with fine antiques from floor to ceiling. We got ready for the wedding in suites upstairs and stayed the night there as well. In fact, we didn’t leave until after we all had breakfast together the next morning. Imagine staying in a mansion with 30 of your friends after a huge party. Pretty awesome!
See this grand staircase? That’s where the actual ceremony occurred…on the landing with the bridal party on the lower steps below the couple.
There were 3 floors. The processional was down the staircase from the 2nd floor to where the guests were waiting in the center hall or main room of the house. Despite my paranoia, I did not trip down the stairs. Thank goodness.
I don’t have any ceremony pictures to share since I was a bridesmaid but I will make up for that with pictures of antiques and DIY projects, mmm kay? Oh and for those keeping track, this was my 11th run as a bridesmaid. I know. I find it hard to believe too.
Here is the bride looking glam and working the birdcage veil.
Her dress was a fit and flare sweetheart cut with beautiful applique and lace detailing.
Every suite had amazing antique furniture which made for perfect photo opportunities. The red velvet chaise was a favorite backdrop. I love the old Hollywood feel of this.
So imagine going to a wedding in a grand mansion and at the end of the night just walking up stairs to your nearly 1000 square foot suite. And imagine that your friends are staying next door and down the hall. Sounds pretty fun, right? I felt kind of like royalty. Here is a not so great shot of the amazing suite we had. It was easily 1000 square feet. In the foreground is a large table. We found time to hold a round table meeting at the table since it only seemed right.
Each suite had something unique and reminiscent of the era the mansion was built. I dropped the ball on taking pictures of the painted ceiling in our room and the huge fireplace.
Other rooms had ornate crown molding and archways.
European antique furniture.
Fireplaces every where.
Four separate dining rooms where guests had dinner were all cleverly named – the music room, the drawing room, the parlor and the library. It reminded me of the game of Clue.
Do you see the painted ceiling in the music room picture below? And the chandelier? Gorge!
The event didn’t need much of a theme considering the mansion offered so much style on its own. The couple embraced the old world feel when pulling together details such as having the centerpieces raised about 3 feet on silver candelabra.
Purple has been such a popular wedding color lately. It works for so many seasons including a cold winter wedding. The flowers were purple and white; mostly stock, hydrangea, lysianthus, statice and roses.
The escort cards were attached to skeleton keys and displayed in a gold frame. A perfect match for the grand old mansion. And an easy but impactful DIY project.
I was delighted to make the invitations and coordinating stationary for my friends. We decided on an antique style medallion which played into the mansion’s look perfectly. More invitation pictures can be seen here.
Did I mention that it was frrreezing outside? The favor was so appropriate and clever for a January wedding. Hot chocolate all wrapped up to look like another sweet treat – an ice cream cone!
Our bridesmaid dresses were black one shoulder chiffon dresses. I think I am going to cut mine short and wear it again. Seriously.
We danced the night away in the center of that old house celebrating this lovely couple. Congratulations!
We didn’t seem to disturb any of the ghosts of the Stirling either.