After a Private Ceremony Outside a Historic Bank, This Duo Held a Socially Distanced Picnic in South Philly
In March 2020, Lindsey and Sandy were still hopeful that their June wedding could happen as intended with friends and family from around the world. "We had planned an intimate 75-person wedding ceremony at Christ Church in historic Philadelphia, followed by a larger reception for 350 people at the Bok Building (the historic school that my company is renovating and re-developing)," says the bride. "But by April, we realized that we needed to reconsider our options." The pair considered simply pushing the date by a few months, but the groom's family in his native Australia pointed out that a large celebration might not be feasible at any point in the near future. "We went back and forth between many iterations, ideas, and plans before ultimately deciding to move forward with a different type of wedding in August," explains Lindsey.
With the help of their planning team, the pair organized a private ceremony for immediate family only followed by a socially distanced picnic in one of their favorite spots. "This never would have happened without Nancy and Neila from Nectar de Fete, who were incredibly patient, nimble, and grounding throughout the process," adds Lindsey. "I reached out to them with so many different ideas and scenarios, but when we spoke to Nancy about the picnic idea, we all got excited and knew this was the right fit for us." The pair loves picnics and spends many weekends at FDR Park in South Philadelphia, making it the obvious choice for their reception. "It is one of our favorite places, so we were really excited to share it with our friends and family," says Lindsey. Loved ones lounged on picnic blankets, drawing the couple's favorite delicacies from individual, eco-friendly bags for lunch. Each bundle also contained a cheese board, utensils, and corkscrew so guests could enjoy their picnics sans sharing serveware. A beautifully arranged beverage station offered bottles of the coupe's favorite wines and soft drinks their attendees could bring back to their blankets to sip.
The charming day was a huge success, and the couple hopes to gather their families and close friends in the future for a celebration somewhere beautiful in Europe. "We all deserve a vacation after this year, so the thought is to rent a big house together!" says the bride. "Greece is the leading prospect, but we will see what the months ahead bring." Lindsey and Sandy ultimately persevered by staying flexible and true to what was important to them. "We were truly heartbroken that Sandy's family and friends couldn't be there and some of my closest girlfriends were absent, but we also just accepted that we couldn't change or control that," says the bride. "Everyone who was there said it was one of the most magical days of the last six months, and many have said it was the most memorable and different wedding they've ever attended."
The bride paired white separates—a jacket from Zara and trousers from The Kooples—into a suit to wear to the private ceremony. "It felt like a symbol of female strength and elegance, but also very different from the classic wedding dress I had always imagined," she says. Her dream gown, which she bought for their original event, is still waiting for her at a shop in Barcelona. "I cannot wait to wear it one day!" she says. Sandy donned a beautifully cut made-to-measure blue suit by P. Johnson, forgoing a tie in order to keep his look relaxed.
Their small Episcopalian ceremony took place in front of the Second Bank of the United States and included a passage from the biblical book of Ruth. "We just met on the steps with our reverend and exchanged our vows with my family on-site and Sandy's family on Zoom (it was 4 a.m. Australian time!)," says the bride. "We hope to do a future ceremony with our dear friends around us, but [this ceremony] was perfect and intimate."
The bank was modeled off of the Parthenon in Greece (fittingly, where the couple hopes to throw their larger celebration down the road), and made an amazing backdrop for post-ceremony portraits.
Along for the Ride
After the vow exchange, the newlyweds biked back to their home, where a few friends and neighbors were waiting to greet them before Lindsey changed into her next outfit.
They paused for a few portrait pit stops, posing around a modern building along the way.
A Second Look
The bride had tried on her mother's wedding dress when she first got engaged (and found that it fit perfectly), but she couldn't think of an opportunity to wear it within the original wedding plan. However, "it was an absolutely perfect dress for the picnic!" she says.
A Tiskit, a Taskit
Lindsey's petite wildflower bouquet, arranged by their full-service planning team, Nectar de Fete, fit perfectly into her basket purse.
An Entrance to Remember
Walking onto a private field at FDR Park, where their picnic reception was set up, was a breathtaking moment for Lindsey and Sandy. "We were the last to arrive, and when we finally reached the spot and saw everyone we love spread out in the field, it took our breath away," says the bride. "It was incredible, and even in these strange times, it was truly a moment of love and community."
A Cute Cameo
The couple's pup, Elwin, made an adorable appearance at the picnic.
A Beautiful Beverage Station
Guests chose from a selection of bottled beverage options artfully arranged on a table decorated with dried pampas grass and fresh greenery. "We served some of our favorite natural wines including a crisp rosé from Meinklang, our favorite cava from Spain, and a lovely lambrusco," says Lindsey.
Pick Your Blooms
Individual bouquets of olive leaves and chamomile were individually wrapped for guests.
A Blanket Statement
Lindsey and Sandy surveyed their loved ones while lounging in the grass; blankets were spaced well beyond social distancing guidelines, so everyone could fully relax.
Personal picnic bags contained a baguette baked fresh that morning; jamon from Spain; bags of Walker's Crisps in traditional flavors; and a bouquet of flowers to take home and dry. Guests took home their picnic blankets, baskets, bags, and all the fixings for future outdoor gatherings.
A Special Spread
The couple worked with DiBruno Brothers to assemble some of their favorite cheeses, including "an incredibly special Robiola Bosina, which is a mild and bright creamy cheese from North Italy that one of our dear friends turned us on to," adds Lindsey.
Oysters, courtesy of 13 Street Cocktails, were offered from a metal tile-lined cart.
Made with Love
In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, the couple enjoyed a pavlova (a traditional Australian dessert) that had a blackberry curd and fresh figs. "We knew we wanted a pavlova as our wedding cake, but we struggled to find someone who knew how to make it," says Lindsey. "We were talking to our friend Michele (a former pastry chef) about it, and she generously offered to make one for us! She did such an incredible job and we were blown away by the final cake."
A Room with a View
The gazebo at FDR Park overlooking Meadow Lake proved to be the perfect backdrop for post-picnic photos.
Photography, Jeremy Chou
Ceremony Venue, Second Bank of the United States
Reception Venue, FDR Park
Wedding Planning, Event Design, and Flowers, Nectar de Fete
Videography, Merryweather Films
Stationery, Lauren Sterrett
Officiant, Reverend Susan Richardson
Bride's Attire, The Kooples; Zara
Alterations, Nilah & Co
Jewelry, 19bis; Bevy of Objects; Catbird NYC; Ohana Jewelry
Clutch, Isabelle Fox
Shoes, Nine West (ceremony); Silvia Lago (picnic)
Groom's Attire, P. Johnson
Engagement Ring, Bario Neal
Wedding Bands, Teresa Kahres
Music, Bachelor Boys Band
Catering, 13 Street Cocktails (oysters, Pimm cups); DiBruno Bros. (meat, cheeses); Machine Shop Boulangerie (baguettes)
Rentals, A Royal Flush
Favors, Nectar de Fete
Picnic Blankets, Vonshef
Picnic Bags, CarryGreen
Picnic Bag Items, Oriental Trading Company; WebstaurantStore
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