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Wedding Spotlight: Meet the Sterns

By: Joei DeCarlo DiSanto

We’re so excited to kick off the wedding spotlight section of our blog! Our first spotlight features Kelsea & Jake, Montgomery County and Long Island natives respectively, who met on April 30, 2018 at Jose Pistolas right here in Philly over margaritas! Their May 28, 2022 wedding was the perfect sendoff as they wrapped up their Philadelphia chapter, complete with a timeless landmark for their ceremony space and a modern venue for their reception. Since their nuptials, they’ve moved to Los Angeles, CA! I got the scoop from Kelsea on all of her favorite aspects of their wedding, her and Jake’s favorite moments from their big day, and advice they have to offer.

Kelsea and Jake got married at The Shambles at Headhouse Square, at 2nd & Pine. Historically, The Shambles is America’s oldest surviving marketplace. It dates back to 1745 and was designed with the markets of rural England in mind. It’s connected to America’s oldest surviving fire-house, the Head House. The Shambles’ beautiful brick grounds and open spaces (thanks to its columns) provided Kelsea and Jake with the perfect space not only to say their “I do’s”, but also to get engaged! Kelsa said, “Every time my husband and I would walk by The Shambles in Headhouse Square, I would say, "Wouldn't this be such a great place to get married?" And he would mumble in agreement. One year after that moment, he proposed there”.

Family and friends gathered along a flower petal-dressed brick aisle to enjoy Rose and Proseco on tap at the Drinks with Daisy bar cart before and after they watched Kelsea and Jake say their vows under a floral archway designed by Kelsea’s dad, Steve Schagrin, decorated by their florist, Ruby Rivers Floral. The archway was carefully constructed out of PVC pipes. Mr. Schagrin, a plumbing teacher, created the archway for Kelsea and Jake’s big day right in his school’s workshop! The ceremony was complemented by beautiful string tunes thanks to their violinist, Tashka Vojinovic, Lead Violinist of the Philadelphia String Quartet. One of Jake and Kelsea’s favorite moments of the day was walking down the aisle as everything they’d envisioned came to life. “The ceremony turned out exactly as I had envisioned. The weather, the time of day, the music, and the setup were perfect. Everything came together like I was hoping it would!”. They also loved being able to watch their family and friends take in all their ceremony space had to offer from their trolley leading up to the big moment.

After their magical vowel exchange, the newlyweds along with their family and friends headed over by trolley and shuttle to La Peg to get the party started! La Peg is located in the FringeArts building in the center of Old City at Columbus Blvd. & Race St. The venue has an outdoor beer garden, beautiful windows, and 45 foot tall ceilings. Kelsea and Jake had an outdoor and indoor cocktail hour, utilizing two of the three main sections of the space. After their introductions and some dancing, guests were in awe of the reveal of the main reception space. The large wall was pulled back to reveal four stunningly long tables dressed with soft florals and detailed menu and table number signage. Kelsea and Jake were able to look out at all of their family and friends eating family style, celebrating their union in elegance while maintaining a relaxed atmosphere. After enjoying their meal and drinks, the newlyweds and their guests danced the night away and enjoyed their photobooth on the venue’s second floor. Kelsea and Jake experienced another one of their favorite moments of the day after dinner when they got to see their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins standing on the booth seats singing along to their band, The Red Hotts!

Looking back on her big day, Kelsea shared some of her and Jake’s favorite (and not so favorite) aspects of wedding planning, and advice they would pass along to anyone who is currently planning a wedding. Kelsea’s favorite part of planning their big day was, “designing all the little details. I love doing things like designing signage, napkins, invitations, drink-stirrers, etc. I used Canva for most of my designs and printed them through a local print shop. It was so fun getting to customize all of those details''. Thankfully, her least favorite part was Jake’s specialty! “My least favorite part - staying organized!!! Thankfully, my husband is the Excel type of guy. I don't know what I would've done without him! He kept track of payment schedules, vendor info, and everything in between. It's a lot of moving parts, and we always felt like we were forgetting something. This is a large-scale event! It's hard to manage”.

When asked what advice Kelsea and Jake would pass on to those planning a wedding, we were incredibly humbled to hear that it involved us! Kelsea encourages brides to “start a skincare routine way in advance, unlike me. LOL. But, more practical is if you are second guessing any of your decisions or vendors, go with your gut!” She then explained, “We switched out 2 of our vendors during the year-long planning process, and although we lost a little bit of money, it was worth it, in the end, to surround yourself with a team you trust. Think about it, some of these vendors (like my amazing Divas!) will be spending the entire day with you! You want to make sure you have supportive, kind, amazing people who understand you and your family's energy on the most stressful day of your life! Also, HIRE THE WEDDING COORDINATOR. The Diva's were the very first vendor I booked weeks after getting engaged. I read somewhere that if you have it in your budget, get the planner! And that's exactly what I did. The Diva's went above and beyond anything I could've dreamed of; answering every late-night stress-induced question, coordinating things I didn't have the brain space for, and ensuring my day went perfectly”. We love you, Kelsea and wish you & Jake nothing but happiness as you embark on your future together!

Photo Credit: Liz Jean Photography

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