A Romantic, Glam Wedding at Pen Ryn Estate in Bensalem, Pennsylvania

Rustic wasn’t going to cut it for Christina Fils-Aime (26 and a risk-management analyst) and Darnel Clayton (28 and a computer science student) when i

Rustic wasn’t going to cut it for Christina Fils-Aime (26 and a risk-management analyst) and Darnel Clayton (28 and a computer science student) when it came to planning their May wedding. Wanting to host an event that reflected their fun-loving personalities and sophisticated style, the couple gathered their families and friends at the Pen Ryn Estate in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, an elegant mansion on the National Register of Historic Places that boasts a rich history dating to 1744, as well as beautifully appointed rooms, perfectly manicured gardens and views of the Delaware River. The day started with a ceremony on the estate’s lush green lawn. Letting the beauty of the setting take center stage, Christina and Darnel kept the decor on the understated side, adding only a few small arrangements of soft white blooms to the aisles and draping the quaint wooden wedding arbor in panels of light airy fabric. The fabric flowed gently in the wind, lending a romantic, ethereal feel to the ceremony. A reception inside the mansion followed, where guests indulged in a mouthwatering meal of filet mignon and chicken francese, preceded by a selection of inspired appetizers like rosemary-crusted lamb chops, cheesesteak egg rolls and a mashed-potato bar. Christina and Darnel chose a blush, ivory and gold palette to set a romantic tone for the evening, while the Candy Buffet Company struck the perfect balance of elegance and glam with details like sequin-embellished linens, classic arrangements of blush and ivory faux blooms and gilded accents. “We’re not over-the-top people in general, so it fit us perfectly,” Christina says. Before kicking off a night of dancing, the couple surprised guests with a lively fireworks display on the lawn, where they had their cake cutting. “It was sort of the grand finale of the night, but the party continued afterward,” Christina says. A tip from Christina and Darnel: “We read a lot of vendor reviews before making any decisions. Meeting each of them beforehand was very important to us, because we wanted to make sure our vibes worked well together. We got along with and had so much fun with all our vendors, but really got to know our photographer and officiant in particular. It was great to have ongoing communication with them during the process—it made it fun and easy.”

Wanting to a dress to suit her curvy figure, Christina was drawn to both mermaid-style and ball gown silhouettes, but struggled to choose between the two. Her mother brought an intricately embellished mermaid-style Allure gown over to the fitting room and the minute Christina put it on, she knew it was the one. Inspired by Kate Middleton’s bridal look, Christina wore an elegant drop cathedral-length veil for the ceremony and simple diamond jewelry.
Christina had seven bridesmaids stand by her side on her wedding day. She went for a classic look for all her girls, having them don matching blush chiffon gowns by Jasmine B2. Wanting her maid of honor to stand out, Christina chose a similar dress in a soft tea shade. The girls were able to choose their own accessories and hairstyles, which let them channel their individual styles and personalities on the wedding day.
Taking advantage of the Pen Ryn Estate's beautiful setting in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, Christina and Darnel hosted their ceremony outdoors on the estate’s perfectly manicured lawn. The site overlooked the sparkling Delaware River; the lighting was soft, warm and bright for the 6 p.m. ceremony.
While tradition dictates that the father of the bride escorts the bride down the aisle, Christina knew she had to have both of her parents by her side as she made her way to the altar. “It just felt right,” Christina says. “They had both helped so much throughout the entire wedding-planning process, and I wouldn’t be who and where I am today without them both.”
Christina and Darnel exchanged vows on the lawn of the Pen Ryn Estate in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, overlooking the Delaware River. The couple kept the decor on the subtle side to let the beauty of the setting shine through, adding only a few understated arrangements of white blooms to the aisles and panels of light airy fabric to the quaint wooden ceremony arch. The fabric flowed gently in the wind, lending a romantic, ethereal feel to the ceremony.
While Christina designed the wedding invitations herself, including the couple’s monogram that graced each stationery element, the couple’s event planner, Candy Buffet Company, created the escort cards for the reception. They listed the names and seating assignments of each guest in pink script font and featured a shimmery gold border and the couple’s knot monogram.
Playful Pink Candy Buffet
After dinner, the couple treated guests to a decadent three-tier wedding cake with lemon, chocolate chip and raspberry swirl pound cake flavors. The Candy Buffet Company also dreamed up a decadent display of pink-colored sweets for the newlyweds’ friends and families to take home at the end of the night, including champagne bubbles, champagne-flavored jelly beans, macarons, chocolate covered Oreos, cupcakes and cake pops.
The couple’s planner, Candy Buffet Company, carried an elegant, glam theme throughout the reception with arrangements of classic faux florals like hydrangeas and roses and shimmery ivory linens. Gold chargers, compote vases and framed table numbers added a subtle regal feel to the tablescapes, while a candy buffet with bright pink sweets introduced an air of playfulness to the affair.
Though Christina and Darnel didn’t pinpoint a specific theme for their wedding, their soft blush, ivory and gold palette gave the day an undeniably romantic feel. “We’re not over-the-top people in general, so it fit us perfectly,” Christina says. From the flowers to the linens and the decadent dessert display, the palette was incorporated into every element, giving the day a cohesive feel.
Post-Reception Fireworks Display