“Because the wedding was in our home, we had a pretty small guest list, of course. It was filled with family and our closest friends. So it was no small thing that "Sarah the Real Estate Agent," as she was introduced that night, was invited to our big day! She was very much that big of a part of our making this happen.”
Represented by Sarah LoGiudice.
How long have you known each other?
Met in 2014.
Was the wedding proposal a surprise? How did it go?
Heather and her daughters planned a city-wide scavenger hunt for Chandler and their young son. A few days prior, the girls hid clues at our family's favorite places: the Phillies ballpark, Navy Yard picnic tables, the local library, and, of course, our community garden across the street. On the big day, a friend snuck in to decorate the house while we romped around the city tracking clues with the boys, so we returned home to a beautiful space and really surprised Chandler! Heather got down on her knee to ask him, a detail my daughters insisted on! He was surprised, and there was a lot of confetti thrown! And, because life still happens, we were making sandwiches for the kids at the kitchen island while we toasted champagne, the bottle left by our lovely Real Estate Agent, Sarah, when we moved in!
Why did you choose to get married in your home?
Our happiest place on earth is dancing in the kitchen on Saturday mornings with coffee and Chandler's famous scones, with the extras sometimes making their way to the neighbors if the kids don't fuss too much! Those mornings in our new house was actually what sparked the idea of getting married there. Why not bring everyone here? Eat and drink (and dance!) and be merry here in our favorite place in the world? Just as we hoped, the ceremony and reception all in our main floor was both intimate and fun.
What does your home represent for your family?
We believe in, as The Highwomen sing, a "crowded table."
What tips do you have for planning a wedding in a rowhouse that you've learned from this experience?
Guests said over and over again what a joy it was to come to such a relaxed wedding where they could interact with people without all the formality of a wedding. We kept saying to each other in our planning "Let's make sure it feels like our house, but nicer!" We wanted it to still look like our home, but we added decorative touches to elevate the space. Heather walked down the stairs to everyone in rented chairs in the living room, then guests went out into the street while my family "flipped" the room into a reception space. Everyone pitched in picking up the chairs and tossing them into the basement to clear out space for dancing.
If you were to do it all over again, is there anything you would do differently?
Don't overestimate the average guest's ability to tackle rowhome stairs! We're so used to it here in Philly, but it's not the norm. We didn't think much about asking guests to go up to the roof for toasts between the ceremony and reception, but four flights up/down is a lot for some folks! Instead, at the last minute, we ended up sending everyone out the front door into the quiet street, which was perfect on a sunny, cool October afternoon!
What's your favorite room in your home? Why?
The middle of our first floor where the living room and dining room and kitchen meet--if you're in a rowhome, you know what we mean! It's the heartbeat of the house.
What is one thing you need in your home to make it yours?
The five of us around the kitchen island. Whether it's homework spread out or some more damn bowl of oatmeal or spilled coffee or the latest craft-project, those kids seated at the island is what makes our home HOME.
How would you describe your neighborhood?
Everyone wanted to pitch in for the wedding! Our new(!) next door neighbors literally hauled their roofdeck furniture over the wall into our empty space when last-minute rehearsal dinner plans meant we were hosting at-home. The other neighbors delivered a mop the morning-of when ours busted. When we ran into neighbors while taking photos outside, they offered to bring by drinks or block parking spots. Everyone's first reaction was: How can we help? I believe in raising the kids in a village, and that's exactly what we have here.
A date night in the neighborhood: where are your favorite date night spots?
We walk out-of-town guests to Community for great local dinner out, but our stay-in favorite is ordering Tiffin Indian Cuisine. Plus, you can't host anyone without a last-minute run to Ms. Lee's bodega on the corner!
What's your favorite memory of your home?
We'd been renting for a few years on a very busy intersection with no yard, and lockdown was rough. The community garden right across the street for our new home's stoop was a huge selling point. A few weeks ago, the kids were outside playing for hours while we sat on the stoop, reading and talking to neighbors and talking to various neighbors walking by and distributing band-aids whenever the kids came running back. To give them some outdoor space for freedom and autonomy in the city has been a gift. That day on the stoop felt like what we'd dreamed about when we bought the house.
What's your favorite piece of Philly culture?
Whenever we cross the street that opens up to the skyline or cross the bridge, we got into the habit of saying "Hi, city!" when the kids were little, and we still do it. Whether it's returning home from a big road trip or simply crossing the street on the way to water ice, we want the kids to have a reminder of what it was like to grow up in the heart of this great city.