Art Nouveau-Inspired Wedding at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia | Sara Jane + Alan

Two black and white images of a couple getting ready together for their Philadelphia wedding.

When Sara Jane heard a piece on NPR about Youthphoria, she wrote our info down as a reminder to tell her genderfluid child about it. Months later, when Sara Jane and her partner Alan were looking for a photographer for their wedding, she recalled the story and reached out.

Sara Jane and Alan met in alcohol recovery five years ago and recently celebrated their 5 year sober anniversaries. She is a mom of two and professor, while Alan is a Scottish stone mason. They wanted to share their pride and excitement for love and life with their friends and family at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia. Their wedding florals were inspired by Outlander-meets-The Great Gatsby vibes. South Stems Flowers even included nods to Alan’s Scottish homeland, with pops of thistle and heather.

The hotel’s art nouveau beauty appealed to them, as did the idea of having a naturalistic photography experience. Sara Jane explained how she didn’t want to be pulled away or disconnected from family and friends, but rather, she simply wanted documentation of the day. The two got ready together with their immediate family before checking out the views from the balcony on the 19th floor.

Thoughtful floral repurposing

Guests arrived for some mingling at the Conservatory room, which resembles a European courtyard, before Sara Jane and Alan exchanged vows. During their reception at the XIX Nineteen Restaurant, a Ceili dance was led by Poor Man’s Gambit–a trio of Celtic musicians–in the Pearl Room.

At the end of the evening, flowers by South Stems Flowers were collected by Forget Me Knot (a floral repurposing nonprofit ), who created 50 arrangements that were donated to Temple University Hospital.

On sober wedding celebrations

When I asked Sara Jane if I had consent to share their sobriety as part of their journey, she said how she felt it was part of their job as sober people to show folks that there’s a wonderful life waiting out there with sobriety. She expressed pride for every part of their story. I’m so grateful I was able to join them in celebrating each other and themselves.

Getting ready photos from a wedding at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.
A father looks out the window in a black and white photo.
A child twirls in his dress while getting ready for his mother's wedding.
A bride helps her groom put on his kilt for their Philadelphia wedding.
A bride helps her groom put on his boutonniere for their Philadelphia wedding.
A bride and groom at The Bellevue Hotel Conservatory for their wedding.
A couple stands in the Conservatory at The Bellevue Hotel for their wedding.
A family stands on the balcony of the 19th floor of the Bellevue Hotel for wedding photos.
A couple stands on the balcony of the 19th floor of the Bellevue Hotel for wedding photos in Philadelphia.
A couple stands on the balcony of the 19th floor of the Bellevue Hotel for wedding photos in Philadelphia.
A close-up shot of a bride's bouquet with her jewelry.
A Scottish groom adjusts his bowtie while wearing a kilt and sporran.
The pearls drape down from the ceiling of The Pearl Room in The Bellevue Hotel.
A couple looks up as pearls drape down from the ceiling of The Pearl Room in The Bellevue Hotel.
A black and white portrait of the couple looking to the side at The Bellevue Hotel.
A mini session with the bride's oldest child at The Bellevue Hotel reception space in Philadelphia.
A mini session with the bride's oldest child at The Bellevue Hotel reception space in Philadelphia.
The couple smiles for a photo on the stairs at The Bellevue Hotel.
A couple smiles on Broad Street in front of City Hall for their wedding photos at The Bellevue Hotel.
A couple smiles on Broad Street in front of City Hall for their wedding photos at The Bellevue Hotel.
A mother and child look at each other warmly. Flowers from the reception.
Purple and yellow wedding flowers with bokeh
A cake with florals at a reception at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.
A couple walks in for their processional together at a ceremony at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.
A couple walks in for their processional together at a ceremony at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.
A wedding ceremony at The Bellevue Hotel Conservatory in Philadelphia.
A wedding ceremony at The Bellevue Hotel Conservatory in Philadelphia.
A first dance at The Bellevue Hotel Conservatory in Philadelphia.
A first dance at The Bellevue Hotel Conservatory in Philadelphia.
A first dance at The Bellevue Hotel Conservatory in Philadelphia.
The bride reunites with family in a black and white photo during social hour.
A photo of the pearls draped from the ceiling of the 19th floor at The Bellevue Hotel.
A wedding reception at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.
A Celtic band performs at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.
A Celtic band performs at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.
A couple laughs during their toasts at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.
A couple dances a guided Ceili dance with guests at their Bellevue Hotel wedding reception in Philadelphia.
A couple dances a guided Ceili dance with guests at their Bellevue Hotel wedding reception in Philadelphia.
An older, sober couple kisses after cutting their wedding cake at their Bellevue Hotel wedding reception in Philadelphia.

Venue: The Bellevue Hotel; Conservatory and XIX Nineteen (The Pearl Room)
Flowers: South Stems
Flower donation: Forget Me Knot
Musicians: Poor Man’s Gambit
Styling: Salon Royale

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