Kari and Evan found the perfect outside wedding venue for their small Philly wedding. Here is how they came across this historic Old City gem.
“After we decided to have a minimony, we were originally trying to plan something small in my parent’s backyard. We got quotes for tents and catering, the whole nine yards. During our initial planning phase, my mom had told us about somewhere she heard of called the Shambles at Head House Square, and we couldn’t believe we didn’t think of it ourselves. The building was built in 1745 as a market and is still used as a farmers market every Sunday. It’s one of the oldest buildings of its kind in the country. We live in Old City and walk by the Shambles all the time. In fact, our cat Norman’s veterinarian is in headhouse square. The Shambles was perfect for us because it felt like home.”
Kari and Evan are one of the couples who’s original wedding plans were affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Here is how they navigated that challenge.
“We booked our original wedding in January of 2019 and were supposed to get married in Winterthur, Delaware at the Winterthur Museum and Garden on September 6th, 2020. When the pandemic hit, we were hopeful we would still be able to have our dream wedding, but as conditions increasingly got worse, it became evident that our dream wedding was simply not in the cards for 2020. In May we made the difficult decision to postpone our big wedding to September 5th, 2021. It was a relatively difficult process for us, but in the end, we were able to keep all of our original vendors. However, the thought of waiting another year to get married weighed on us and became agonizing to bear, so in July we decided we wanted to have a small ceremony to make it legal. We knew we only wanted to have immediate family and a few close friends to keep everyone safe and to ensure our “second wedding” still feels special, we saved all of our religious traditions for next year. This year we will be legally married in the eyes of the government, and next year we will be legally married in the eyes of our religious institutions.”
“We met on a dating app! Evan had just come back from a work trip to India where he had been living for two months, and I was living in New York with friends from college. He messaged me first, and we slowly realized we were in each other’s respective neighborhoods, both out celebrating a friend’s birthday. We made some small talk and tried to make plans to meet up that night, which ultimately did not work out (probably for the better). We made plans to get together the next week, and he took me to what he thought was going to be a really fun bar and what I thought was going to be a dive bar. Before I got there, he scrambled to find a different bar for us to go to after realizing it was slightly dingier than he remembered, but we ended up staying and having such a fun night. We played pool and ping pong, and even listened to some live jazz. He promised to redeem himself by taking me to a classy dinner on our second date, which was definitely just a ploy to get me to go out with him again.”
“It took me a while to come up with how I was going to propose to Kari, I had a lot of ideas in my mind but the main thing was I wanted it to be special, unique, and memorable. I decided that I wanted to do it at a destination and away from NYC (where we were living at the time). We had a vacation to the Caribbean coming up, so I decided I was going to do it then. I knew I wanted to do it outside, and I really wanted to do it on the beach. I always wanted it to be more of an event though, so I planned and coordinated the proposal with an event planner at the Eau Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. On the morning of the proposal, I woke up and told Kari that as part of her birthday I got us a couples massage and made dinner plans at the Eau resort. After getting ready, we drove to the resort and hung out in the outdoor pool/relaxation area for a few hours while we waited for our massage. After the massage, we went back separately to get ready, and when I finished, I headed upstairs to wait for Kari. The ring box was too big to keep in my jacket pocket without her noticing, so my plan was to hold my jacket over my arm with the ring box in the pocket. When Kari came upstairs, we went to the restaurant where I gave my name, and the hostess knew to take us to a certain location (not the restaurant). Our waiter took us outside to the pool area, which overlooks the beach. While we are walking I was going to put on my jacket, so by time we get to where we were going I’d have it on and could take the ringbox out. However, I struggled to get my arm through the jacket, and while trying to get it on, the ringbox fell out of my jacket! Luckily Kari had kept walking, and I jumped in front of the box, so she wouldn’t see it, and got the jacket on. Kari had followed the waiter to a pre-setup table with flowers, candles, and a personalized menu in a cabana overlooking the beach. While I was trying to catch up, she read the menu on the table which said “Evan and Kari’s engagement” and when she turned around, I was down on one knee and proposed. Following the proposal, we had a 4-course dinner with Champagne and our own personal waiter. It was the most nervous I had ever been in my life and I’m not even entirely sure what I said, but it was one of the happiest days of my life.”
Kari and Evan offer their advice to other couples faced with the tough decision of how to plan or reschedule their wedding during this time of COVID.
“Our advice would be to think about why you want to get married in the first place. Do what works best for you and your significant other, and everything else will fall into place. You should only do what is truly important to you, what makes you happy, and with people who make you happy. These times are difficult, and planning a wedding during a pandemic can be extremely stressful. Only surround yourself with people who are going to bring positivity and joy into your life and planning process. And finally, keep your guests in mind and be understanding if someone doesn’t want to attend your wedding because of the risks associated with attending.”
Wedding Venue: The Shambles at Headhouse Square
Website: Wedding Cake: The Gingered Peach
Pizza: Emmy Squared
Wedding Dress: Mon Cheri Bridals
Wedding Shoes: Steve Madden
Hair: Marissa Grace Artistry
Make-up: Marissa Grace Artistry
Rings: Diamond Castle
Flowers: Dahlia Florals
Wedding Officiant: Love & Laughter Weddings