Having grown up Catholic and in the Philadelphia area, Bess and Pat’s wedding at The Bellevue Hotel holds a special place in my heart. The iconic views of downtown Philadelphia, combined with the sweet, traditional moments of their Catholic ceremony made it a wonderful day to be a part of.
A Traditional Catholic Family
Bess came from a tight-knit Catholic family. Their close bond and commitment to their faith was a central part of the day. I loved being part of the meaningful moments like her family praying together before the ceremony and Bess’s dad walking her down the aisle at the gorgeous St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Catholic weddings are rooted in tradition, and Philadelphia has many beautiful Catholic churches to choose from. There are multiple important formalities in the Catholic mass relevant to having a Catholic wedding and adhering to the catholic sacrament of marriage. One of my favorite traditions is taking flowers to Mary in hopes that the Blessed Mother bring good fortune to your marriage.
The Bellevue Hotel: A Historic Gem
The Bellevue Hotel is a stunning French Rennaissance building, originally built in 1886, right in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. It has loads of historic charm, but with all of the modern amenities of a new hotel. It’s a great place for a wedding with its killer views of downtown Philly, delicious food, and comfortable and classy rooms for guests to stay (and its pet friendly, too!). I love the historic elements and extravagant lighting that elevate every event I’ve shot there.
For Bess and Pat, The Bellevue Hotel was the perfect setting for their traditional wedding. Its timeless details made for some epic shots. It offered plenty of opportunities for elegant photos that Bess and Pat will treasure for years to come.
A tour of downtown Philly ending at The Bellevue Hotel
Bess and Pat rented a trolley to see the sights of downtown between their ceremony and reception. We had such a great time capturing the bridal party photos at iconic places like the First Bank, and of course some beautiful photos on Broad Street.
When we rolled up to The Bellevue Hotel, everyone was ready to party, and we all had a great time!
The whole day was a true celebration of love, faith, and tradition, woven together with gorgeous details, iconic settings, and Bess and Pat’s closest family and friends. Catholic wedding ceremonies are very long. It involves a forty-five minute to one hour service that includes taking communion. In a Catholic ceremony, there are usually two to three readings, a gospel by the Priest, then his homily in which he sometimes addresses the couple and what marriage is about. There is also beautiful music that reminds you of ancient hymns.
The service also includes people bringing up the gifts prior to Communion. Often, couples will choose special family members to do this so that they are involved in the ceremony. The readers in a Catholic wedding ceremony are usually family and friends too.
A dream Philadelphia Wedding
If you’re planning a downtown Philadelphia wedding, I highly recommend considering The Bellevue Hotel for your venue! And if you’re looking for vendors, the folks at Petals Lane, Inc. (florals) and Aleksandra Ambrozy (hair and makeup) helped make this wedding as gorgeous as it was. All super talented folks that are great to work with!
When we met with her, it felt so much more natural than anyone else I’d interviewed, and I knew we’d be comfortable having her with us on our wedding day. Since we live in Boston but were married in Philly, we really wanted to capture our Boston time for our engagement session. I feel incredibly lucky that Alli came to Boston for this. We were blown away by her dedication. She came a day earlier than the session, touring the areas I had picked out, finding the right spots in advance, and coming up with a rainy day contingency. She was totally flexible and accommodating, even in this new city. We extended well beyond our scheduled time to get the sunset shots I wanted, and walked all over Cambridge – we had a TON of different looks to choose from given this dedication. We felt totally at ease with her throughout, which allowed my fiance and I to just enjoy the session.
Having grown up in the Philadelphia area, I’ve got lots of great photo ideas from fun engagement sessions to romantic photos on Broad Street. Let’s chat about it! I’d love to be a part of your story.
And if you’re looking for more reasons to reach out, read this review from Bess:
“[Alli] was down for every iteration I hoped for (including standing in the middle of a 4-lane street to get a shot of city hall or …on pews at Church to get a shot of me coming down the aisle from above. There was so much she didn’t HAVE to do but she went above and beyond to capture our day with the vision we had. And that she did – her photos of the day are perfect. There are stunning, elegant, classic, timeless ones; fun, playful ones; intimate, sweet ones, the list goes on. I will obviously have these forever, and I cannot imagine having anything less than ALN Images’ product or our experience with Alli. The attention to detail, the naturalness of it all, and the beautiful images at the end are exactly what you want in a photographer, and I highly recommend hiring ALN Images immediately.”