A Chic, Urban Wedding at Front and Palmer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A typical banquet hall simply wouldn’t do for Samantha Kuntz (27 and a historic preservationist) and Brian Lace’s (28 and an accountant) early Septemb

A typical banquet hall simply wouldn’t do for Samantha Kuntz (27 and a historic preservationist) and Brian Lace’s (28 and an accountant) early September nuptials. Wanting a spot that was truly one of a kind, the couple tapped into Samantha’s creativity and began seeking out venues that had a rich past and a chic, industrial vibe. After their first venue fell through, Samantha and Brian quickly came across Front and Palmer, a former barrel factory in the heart of the South Kensington arts district in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “It was at once gritty and soft, and we loved it immediately,” Samantha says. Inspired by the industrial elements of the urban space, like concrete walls, original wood floors and exposed pipes and vents, the couple chose a palette of cool natural hues, like charcoal, ivory, blue and green and focused on creating an intimate, almost-whimsical mood for the evening, rather than choosing a theme. Amy Young of Leaves of Grass was instrumental in putting the couple’s personal mark on the space, infusing the room with energy and life with arrangements of ivy, ferns and wildflowers in soft pastel colors, as well as a beautifully lit canopy that hung over the aisle. The couple passed on a number wedding traditions to make the day their own and incorporated both Jewish and Catholic customs into their ceremony to make all their guests feel included and comfortable. Feast Your Eyes catered the affair, delighting guests with an assortment of inspired passed appetizers, as well as a variety of stations, including Mediterranean, Asian and farm-to-table cuisine. JSV Entertainment provided the tunes that fueled the festivities—including plenty of dancing—and at the end of the night the couple sent friends and family home with homemade soy candles, which Samantha made herself. A tip from Samantha: “ Don’t focus solely on the end product. Our wedding-related memories have nothing to do with the actual wedding. As crazy as it sounds, when I think of the wedding, I think of sitting on the couch with Brian, surrounded by a dozen menus, and trying to choose stations. I think of making 200 candles in my tiny kitchen while trying to keep the cats away from the hot wax. I think of sending my big sister and maid of honor ideas for bridesmaid dresses. And I think of Brian trying on his suit for the first time. Those planning memories were the ones that we had time to savor and enjoy before the mayhem of the wedding day itself.”

Crystal-Embellished Thong Sandals
Amy Young of Leaves of Grass Floral Design put her floral design skills to work, creating eye-catching arrangements with a distinct organic vibe. For Samantha’s bouquet, she put together a beautiful mix of white dahlias, blue delphiniums, dusty miller, eucalyptus and more, which perfectly embodied the day’s palette and feel.
While the decor was largely left up to Amy Young of Leaves of Grass Floral Design, Samantha took on one small DIY project. She made soy candles for all the guests to take home, each decorated with a playful hot air balloon tag displaying the guests’ names and seating assignments.
“I tried to keep everything fairly basic so that certain elements, like the floral arrangements and the vintage-inspired cuffs I got for the girls, would stand out,” Samantha says. She chose a simple strapless chiffon dress by Jenny Yoo in a neutral charcoal gray hue for all the girls to wear, which they then paired with pale clay-colored pumps.
With Samantha and Brian coming from Jewish and Catholic backgrounds, the two fused the two traditions to create an interfaith ceremony that was easily relatable for both of their families. “We brought Jewish and Catholic customs together so that all our guests would feel that it was familiar and inclusive,” Samantha says.
Wanting to keep things simple, Samantha and Brian decided that there were some wedding traditions they could simply live without. The pair crossed things like announcing the couple and the first dance off their list, so they could get right to the good stuff: food, drinks and family. “We didn’t want the world staring at us on our day,” Samantha says. “We didn’t need to remind the guests at every moment that it was about us.”
Decorative Natural Wood Accents
With a background in historic preservation and city planning, Samantha knew that a standard catering hall just wouldn’t do for her September nuptials to Brian. “I wanted an old, adapted space, something that reflected the heritage of Philadelphia,” Samantha says. They settled on the idea of an industrial loft and quickly found a venue that ended up falling through. But it didn’t take long for Front and Palmer in northern Philadelphia to fall onto their radar. “The space was an adapted factory practically underneath the elevated train,” Samantha says. “It was gritty and soft all at once, and we loved it immediately.”
Wispy Fern Centerpieces
Amy Young of Leaves of Grass Floral Design was instrumental in the wedding’s design and transformed the raw industrial event space at Front and Palmer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, into an inviting and intimate backdrop. Warm candlelight incorporated throughout infused the room with undeniable ambiance, while natural elements like vines, ferns and an assortment of wispy pale blue and white wildflowers gave the decor a rustic, organic edge.
Rather than pinpoint a theme to guide their decor decisions, Samantha and Brian looked at creating a mood. “The inspiration was just about the feel—nothing flashing, nothing that would stand out,” Samantha says. The couple drew their palette from the venue’s industrial elements, cool concrete walls, natural wood floors and silvery exposed pipes and vents, infusing the room with shades of ivory, charcoal, blue and green.
Blue Delphinium and Wildflower Centerpieces
Feast Your Eyes catered the event, providing Samantha and Brian with an unparalleled selection of dishes to choose from. “I have to say, picking the menu was the most fun Brian and I had during the whole process,” Samantha says. A variety of hors d’oeuvres were passed during cocktail hour, and guests had their pick of Mediterranean, Asian and farm-to-table stations for dinner. “It was really all about the food,” Samantha says. “Though if the venue hadn’t thought ahead and set aside an entire tray of food for us to take home at the end of the night, we wouldn’t have been able to try it.”
Pillar Candle Table Numbers