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Ellie and Evan’s Kimmel Center wedding was a beautiful and fun day. J & J Studios was honored that Evan and Ellie chose us to capture the photos of their wonderful wedding day. Congratulations, Ellie and Evan!

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Meet Evan and Ellie

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Ellie and Evan met on the dating app, Tinder. At the time, Ellie was new to the area, while Evan wanted to meet someone new. After matching and messaging, they each thought the other was “cute and funny.” So, they agreed to meet in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia for oysters. The rest is history!

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The Proposal

Evan planned a surprise proposal for Ellie in January 2020. He even decorated their home with streamers and flower petals while Ellie was at work. When Ellie returned home, Evan got on one knee and proposed. Ellie said yes!

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Meanwhile, their friends and family waited at Evan’s brother’s house next door. Ellie’s parents even drove all the way from Massachusetts to attend! They told J & J Studios, “It [was] the perfect engagement party, since COVID lockdown happened right after.” Talk about timing!

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The Kimmel Center Wedding Theme

Evan and Ellie described the theme for their wedding as “modern Chinese fusion.” They wanted to incorporate traditional Chinese elements in their wedding. This manifested in a color scheme largely composed of reds and pinks – red is a lucky color in Chinese tradition. They said, “The pinks and pops of blue really helped modernize things.” 

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The couple also included Celtic blessings and traditional Christian elements in their wedding day. They did this to reflect Evan’s Irish heritage and his faith. Their wedding seemed like the perfect blending of two wonderful cultural traditions!

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Kimmel Center Wedding Attire

Evan and his groomsmen wore traditional black tuxedos. It’s a classic look that never goes out of style! All the men looked so handsome on Evan’s wedding day.

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Evan also wore red cufflinks decorated with Chinese characters in gold. This was a lovely nod to the culture of his soon-to-be wife! 

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Evan and his groomsmen arrived at the wedding venue, the Kimmel Center, in style. They rode in a white trolley from the hotel to Center. 

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Ellie wore an ethereal and romantic wedding gown from Essense of Australia. From its delicate straps, the beaded lace extended over the bodice and trailed into the gown’s tulle skirt. Ellie’s dress was also not white or ivory, as is traditional in the United States and some other countries. Instead, you’ll notice that her gown was a dainty shade of blush! 

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Ellie’s bridesmaids wore a muted, medium shade of pink. This particular shade had a hint of warmth to it. The warmth made the color appropriate for a spring wedding. After all, spring is when the Earth begins to warm again, at last!

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First Looks

bride family hug

Some couples do a first look, where the bride reveals her attire to her groom (or bride to bride, groom to groom, etc.). In addition to this, sometimes brides do a first look – with their dad! After all, he’s most likely the first man she ever loved. Either way, first looks with the father of the bride tend to be adorable and sweet! 

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Ellie chose to have a first look with her dad. He looked delighted to see how beautiful his daughter looked! He quickly went in for a big hug. 

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Ellie had a first look with her bridesmaids, too. She and they stood with their backs to one another. Then, they turned around. Clearly, Ellie’s bridesmaids thought that she looked gorgeous!

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Ellie also chose to have a first look with her soon-to-be husband, Evan! First looks can be a great choice for couples. This is because they allow you to take portraits with each other and your wedding party before your ceremony. That way, you can attend your own cocktail hour – or get straight to your reception!

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Evan waited on the steps at the Union League Philadelphia building for Ellie. 

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J & J Studios loved his reaction to seeing her! Evan’s face absolutely lit up! He spread his arms and ran down the stairs to his bride.

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Evan took Ellie’s hands in his and kissed them. Ellie beamed up at him while he did it. It was the sweetest sight! It’s clear how in love these two are with one another.

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The Kimmel Center Wedding Ceremony

Both Ellie’s mother and father walked her down the aisle. Ellie beamed with beauty and joy every step of the way!

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Evan looked so proud and so happy to see Ellie walking toward him. We loved how his face lights up whenever he sees Ellie!

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The decorations at Ellie and Evan’s wedding ceremony were so lush! The reds were wonderfully rich. The pinks helped add a sweetness to the beautiful floral arrangements. 

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After saying their vows, Evan and Ellie shared a passionate kiss! 

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The Tea Ceremony

parents traditional chinese tea ceremony wedding

After their conventional and lovely wedding ceremony, Ellie and Evan had a traditional tea ceremony. The tea ceremony is a Chinese wedding tradition. During this ceremony, the newlyweds serve tea to their elders, typically their parents. In return, the elders approve their marriage. This ceremony symbolizes the combination of two families.

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Evan and Ellie dressed in traditional Chinese clothing. Their scarlet attire featured exquisite gold embroidery and trim. 

traditional chinese tea ceremony wedding

Ellie and Evan served their parents tea. The elegant tea ceremony is a wonderful and important symbol. We’re so happy that Evan and Ellie included it in their wedding day!

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The Kimmel Center Wedding Reception

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Ellie and Evan held each other closely as they danced their first dance as husband and wife. It was so romantic!

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kimmel center wedding reception dance

The newlyweds were super focused as they cut their wedding cake!

red and pink flowers three tier wedding cake

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After cutting the cake, Ellie shared a dance with her father. She smiled the whole time!

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Then, Evan danced with his mother. Their mother-son dance ended with a tight hug. 

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Finally, the wedding guests flooded the dance floor. They looked like they were having an awesome time! Their best dance moves looked so fun!

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wedding guest dancing at reception kimmel center

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Ellie threw her bouquet to the single female wedding guests. Ancient English tradition says that the woman who catches the bouquet will be the next to marry! 

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Some of the groomsmen put on Spiderman masks. It was a wacky and very fun thing to do!

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Later in the wedding reception, Ellie changed into an ivory slip dress. The silk looked so soft and supple! We also loved the sparkly jacket she wore atop it. 

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bride dancing kimmel center wedding reception philly

The Lion Dance

Perhaps our favorite part of Ellie and Evan’s wedding day was the lion dance. Additionally, some call this event the dragon dance.

lion dance dragon wedding guests Chinese traditionThe lion dance is a Chinese tradition. Many believe that performing the lion dance at a wedding will bless the newlyweds. This blessing usually includes a long and happy marriage. Many also believe that the lion dance helps to ward off evil spirits. 

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Some other blessings a lion dance can grant couples include fertility, growth, prosperity, and longevity. So, a lion dance is a perfect feature for a wedding day!

Chinese wedding tradition dragon dance lion dance

dragon dance lion dance chinese wedding tradition

The lions in this lion dance are the Southern Chinese version. These are also known as Cantonese lions. You can tell these are Cantonese lions because they have one horn atop their heads. Northern Chinese lions look more like Pekingese dogs. 

chinese wedding tradition lion dance dragon

The lion dance includes drumming, as you can see from this photo. The drumming represents the lion’s heartbeat. Some lion dances also include cymbals and gongs, too. You can see the cymbals in this photo!

Chinese lion dragon dance tradition drummer

Evan and Ellie on their Wedding

When J & J Studios asked Ellie and Evan what their favorite part of their wedding day was, this is what they told us. Their favorite part of their wedding was the speeches. They specifically mentioned their dads’ speeches and the speeches given by the best man and the maids of honor. 

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father of the groom speech wedding reception

They also mentioned the lion dance. “It was fun to share something with people that they hadn’t seen or experienced before,” Evan and Ellie told us.

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We also asked Ellie and Evan what advice they’d give to other couples planning their wedding. They said, “We would advise hiring a month-of wedding planner. Take it as an opportunity to learn how you work, plan, and organize things as a duo.” 

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Evan and Ellie also wanted to give engaged couples a reminder. “You’re in it together, on the same team, so don’t get too stressed out!”

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Ellie and Evan said of J & J Studios, “We thought [J & J Studios] did a great job in particular.” Thank you, Evan and Ellie – we appreciate it!

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Congratulations to the Newlyweds, Ellie and Evan!

J & J Studios wants to wish Evan and Ellie many years of joy, love, and togetherness! We’re thrilled you chose us to photograph your beautiful wedding. Congratulations, Ellie and Evan! We hope you choose J & J Studios again in the future. We’d be more than happy to work with you again!

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Contact J & J Studios Today!

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If you loved the photos from Evan and Ellie’s wedding, you can hire J & J Studios as well! You can contact us using the link here. We can photograph any and all important events in your life. This includes graduations, engagements, maternity and family shoots, and more. We can’t wait to hear from you! 

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Accommodations: The Bellevue Hotel, @bellevuehotelphilly

Hair and Make Up: Aleksandra Ambrozy: Ashley for makeup and Angela for hair, @aleksandraambrozy

Floral Designer: RAM Floral, @ramfloral

Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia, @essenseofaustralia

Wedding Dress Store: Le Bella Donna Bridal Boutique, @lebelladonnabridal

Caterer: Garces Events Group, @garcesevents

Cake Designer: Bredenbeck’s, @bredenbecks

Invitations: The Knot, @theknot

Favors and Gifts: East Meets Dress (chopsticks), @eastmeetsdress

Tuxedo Store: Men’s Wearhouse, @menswearhouse

Officiant: Kipp Gilmore-Clough: Journeys of the Heart, @journeysoftheheart

Rings: Marrow Fine, @marrowfine

Band/DJ: John – Eclipse DJ Entertainers, @eclipsedjs

Videography: J&J Studios

Other Vendors: Lion dance – Penn Lions (@pennlions), tea ceremony


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