Jess and Andrew-Morris Arboretum wedding

Jess and Andrew had their wedding at Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. From the moment they booked me, I couldn’t wait for their wedding day. I have been dying to photograph a wedding at the Arboretum since I graduated three years ago! Jess and Andrew are so sweet and care free, so I knew their wedding day was going to be anything short from perfect!

It’s always so fun to find out how a couple met, and how they got engaged, since every story is so different and unique! I’ll get to how they met in a second, but I’m going to jump the gun to talk about their proposal. Jess told me that the two of them have always had great communication within their relationship. I could definitely tell throughout their wedding day that they were both so in tune. They both stayed calm and didn’t seem to stress about anything at all during the entire day. Even though they were calm and collected, that is anything short of how Jess felt when she had a slightest feeling that Andrew was going to propose. The two had planned a trip to the UK and she knew that Andrew may want to propose during that trip, she was just so stressed thinking about the trip that she told him and he waited. But…. not too long. Jess said about two hours after they returned home to Philly from their UK trip, Andrew slumped into bed and popped the question!

Most of the time the couples favorite parts of the day include bigger things like the ceremony, or their first dance together, but Andrew and Jess’ answers were different. Not in a bad way though, their answers fit them so well and definitely ties back into them just enjoying their time in the moment. Andrew’s favorite part of the day was taking photos with family and friends before the ceremony. He said that was the moment when he really settled into the day and felt calm and happy and like “it was really going to happen and be great.” Jess had a similar moment where she just soaked up the love from family and friends. Her favorite was a little later in the day, she said that the moment she enjoyed the most was when they walked into the reception room for the first time as a married couple and could feel all of the love filling that space for them.

The two of them both love nature, Andrew worked in a native plant nursery and Jess interned on a farm. Jess said that they knew immediately that the Arboretum was the perfect fit for them, so much so that they didn’t visit any other locations! In fact, they wrote their deposit check upon their first visit!

Jess and Andrew weren’t looking for hours and hours of photos of just the two of them. The both of them were just very keen on being in the moment with family and friends and making it more of a fun night to share the love rather than a night centered around the two of them. We took a short amount of time photographing them in the fernery as well as the rose garden before the two went to cocktail hour while I photographed some of the details in the reception room.

I could tell that Jess’ favorite part of the day might have had something to do with the reception…(this is where I get into how they met) They met in a research lab at Boston Children’s hospital in 2011, They were both woking on stem cell projects and Jess’ project required that she would collaborate with Andrew. Jess was getting into salsa dancing around the same time they began working together. Jess started inviting everyone, including Andrew, to Saturday night dances. Eventually everyone started loosing interest and stopped going…except for Andrew! After another month of dancing and flirting, Jess made her move and like she says, “the rest is history.”

Now for the reason that Jess’ favorite part of the day the way they started dating go hand and hand, it might have a tiny thing to do with dancing. Jess loves to dance, so much so that she changed from her wedding gown into an all white wide legged jumpsuit just so she could bust moves properly without ripping her dress open! I honestly think I saw Jess stop maybe two times the whole night, first one was to say bye to some guests and the second was because it was last call for bar, which meant the entire dance floor turned into a dancing line waiting for their last drink of the night!

I had so much fun watching Jess and Andrew’s day unfold. Everything went so smooth and their day was perfect. It definitely made my first time photographing a wedding at the Arboretum special. Thank you so much for hiring me as your photographer and making my job so fun! You two are amazing!


Venue: Morris Arboretum

Florist: FabuFloras

Wedding gown: David’s Bridal

Shoes: ModCloth

Jewelry: LoveHonorUpcycle

Catering: Company’s Coming

Officiant: Libby Smith

Photographer: Lauren Driscoll Photography

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