Bride: Amber Massaquoi

Groom: Louie Massaquoi

Wedding Date: 10/20/2012

Location: Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Photographer: Adachi Pimentel of Adachi Photography 

Wedding dress: Philly AIDS Thrift

Makeup: C. Perez of Bobbi Brown

The bride on her special day:

"Louie and I opted for a wedding day that was none like the rest. In a city where lavish weddings and, essentially, big business are a rule of thumb, we sought out a celebration of our union that reflected our mutual character and put the focus completely on the love we have for each other, our family and urban Philly.

"We chose back to basic features for our wedding, keeping it laid-back and intimate. We're not exactly the '150 guests' type. We chose an elopement style wedding with only our parents and siblings. Also like us, casual and completely untraditional, our venue (Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, a beautiful outdoor courtyard museum of mosaic artwork by local artist Isaiah Zagar) was the one detail of our wedding we refused to compromise in the planning process. Both of us hailing from cities outside Pennsylvania, we've loved visiting South Street (where Magic Gardens is located) on many occasions during the course of dating and wanted a fun, unusual backdrop for our vowsone we'd be able to marvel over for years to come, knowing Adachi would be our photographer.

"Choosing a venue and photographer were essentially no-brainers in the planning process. Opting out of most of the traditional elements of an American wedding, the planning details were simple after selecting our venue: what to wear, where to eat. A lover of vintage classics and funky, modern designs, it wasn't easy for me to match my tastes with just any bridal gown. I wanted my dress to be short and a good amount of retro charm without being trendy. I wanted timeless. I found the dress I was looking for two days into a vintage boutique/consignment shopping hunt just blocks from our venue. I chose my mother's favorite color, navy blue, as an accent to compliment the colorful hues of the Magic Gardens for a chic and classy finish in our photographs. A DIY-minimalist at heart, on the day of our wedding, I styled my own hair and made my own flowers as well as Louie's boutonniere. Our reception was held at the Love Lounge in the posh soul food café Miss Tootsie's Restaurant Bar and Lounge. Just two blocks away from Philly Magic Gardens, this offered our guests (all visiting from out of town) an opportunity to further get a glimpse of Isaiah Zagar's work, affixed throughout South Street, before dinner."

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