A Sophisticated, Garden-Inspired Wedding at the Manor House at Prophecy Creek in Ambler, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas-based couple Caitlin Laws (28 and a clinical research assistant) and Hugh Smith (33 and a former US Army staff sergeant) headed north fo

Austin, Texas-based couple Caitlin Laws (28 and a clinical research assistant) and Hugh Smith (33 and a former US Army staff sergeant) headed north for their spring nuptials, planning an elegant, garden-inspired affair at the Manor House at Prophecy Creek Park in Ambler, Pennsylvania. “Family means the world to me and both sets of my grandparents are in their late 80s or early 90s and wouldn’t have been able to travel far to attend our wedding,” Caitlin says. “So we decided to bring the party to them.” Working with Two Little Birds Planning, the pair infused the day with a hint of classic Southern elegance, choosing a soft palette of ivory, gray, green and blush hues accented with gold touches for a hint of opulent flair. Sebesta Design’s lush floral arrangements were key in bringing Caitlin and Hugh’s vision to life, the fresh bunches of peonies, roses, mock orange blossoms, sweet peas, jasmine vines and more adding an organic, natural feel to the stately historic setting. And details like hand-lettered signage, including watercolor escort cards displayed in moss-filled copper planters, and cascading ribbon chair decorations lent the day a whimsical air. Taking advantage of the serene setting, the cocktail hour and reception were held outdoors, giving guests a peak of the estate’s beautifully manicured lawns, quaint ponds and trickling fountains. Guests dined on mouth-watering fare like coconut shrimp, roast prime rib and chocolate pound cake with raspberry filling, before taking to the dance floor, where DJ Jim Gosser of Synergetic Sound was spinning everything from throwback hits to top 40 favorites. A tip from Caitlin: “If you can afford it, hire a wedding planner, even if it’s just for day-of coordination. Our engagement was stress-free and fun because of her. It was so nice to have Jaclyn give us a list of her top five vendors; we’d pick two or three, Skype meetings were arranged, proposals were drafted, and then we would sign contracts. Jaclyn did all the heavy lifting in the months preceding the wedding, and we got to focus on the exciting things.”

The reception decor might have been all-out Southern elegance with a garden-inspired twist, but Caitlin and Hugh took their stationery in a playful, modern direction. Jessica Stalnaker of Empress Stationery designed all the couple’s paper goods, from the invitations to the escort cards and menus. She painted each element with a spectrum of blue watercolor paints and hand-lettered them with white.
Diamond and Black Tungsten Wedding Bands
St. Anthony of Padua Parish Ceremony
Caitlin and Hugh’s wedding party consisted of four bridesmaids and five groomsmen. The pair opted for simple and elegant when it came to their wedding party’s attire, choosing silk chiffon dresses by J.Crew in a soft shade of dusty shale for the bridesmaids and dark charcoal gray suits by Indochino for the groomsmen.
Caitlin’s look was all about sophistication and romance. She visited Julian Gold Bridal in Austin, Texas, with her mother and was instantly won over by the Christos’s Annabelle gown, a striking A-line number with an illusion bateau neckline, silk organza skirt and embroidered Chantilly lace detailing. “The dress made me feel so elegant and feminine,” Caitlin says. She kept her accessories simple, pairing the gown with Nadri crystal drop earrings and her mother’s cathedral-length veil.
After dinner, the couple and their guests enjoyed an upbeat mix of classics and top 40 hits, from Al Green to Bruno Mars, spun by DJ Jim Gosser of Synergetic Sound. For the traditional first dance, Caitlin and Hugh danced to “When I Fall in Love” by Nat King Cole. “I have always loved this song and, fortunately, Hugh did too,” Caitlin says.
Lawn Games at the Manor House
Instead of the standard escort cards, Caitlin and Hugh tied theirs in to the wedding’s garden-inspired theme. Hand-lettered, watercolor gift tags made by Jessica Stalnaker of Empress Stationery were hung on pint-sized silver shepherd's hooks and displayed in copper planters filled with earthy moss. The cards' design matched the wedding invitations', giving the day a cohesive feel.
A garden-inspired theme ran throughout the decor, with Sebesta Design decorating the tables with opulent arrangements of white full blooms and cascading greenery and mossy escort card displays leading guests to their seats. Designer Jessica Stalnaker of Empress Stationery designed the whimsical escort cards, painting them with pale blue watercolor paints and hand-lettering the names of the couple’s guests in white on each.
Though Austin, Texas-based couple Caitlin and Hugh hosted their nuptials  in Ambler, Pennsylvania, the day wouldn’t have been complete without a little Southern charm. To give the day a classic, traditional feel, the pair chose a soft palette of ivory, gold, gray and green, and filled the Manor House at Prophecy Creek with lush arrangements of ivory and white blooms.
The flowers were the highlight of the reception decor with Sebesta Design creating opulent, romantic arrangements of oversized white blooms and cascades of lush greenery displayed in gilded compote vases. Flowers included ranunculus, astrantia, spirea, sweet peas, wildflowers, lisianthus, scabiosa, hellebores, stock, tulips, astilbes, mock orange blossoms, lysimachia and double peonies, while green blueberries, Solomon's seal, dusty miller, gardenia, clematis, jasmine vines, bleeding hearts, silver dollar, lamb’s ear, sea star ferns and viburnum served as filler. Each elegant design differed slightly from the next, giving the reception space an eye-catching, textured look.
Whimsical Ribbon and Garland Chair Decorations
Watercolor Hand-Lettered Table Numbers
While Caitlin and Hugh call Austin, Texas, home, their families and friends are scattered all over the country, which meant a little travel would be involved for all their guests. When they decided on Pennsylvania, the Manor House had the elegance, romance and undeniable old-world charm the couple were after. “I wanted a garden-like feel for the reception, and when Jacylyn of Two Little Birds Planning took us to the Manor House, we both fell in love with it,” Caitlin says.