If you've been keeping up with things, you might have noticed that I haven't had many traditional DIYs lately. One reason for this is outlined in my previous post, the other is related to my last DIY and a particular piece of highly symbolic jewelry. Because I accepted the ring, I'm now required to plan a big party for all my friends and family (I've heard there's some sort of public declaration of love and commitment involved as well). Apparently, the planning process will be eating up a good chunk of my free time for the better part of the following year so I figured I could chart my journey here. Who knows, there might even be a few wedding related DIYs to share. Today, I am featuring the venue we booked a couple weeks ago.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is the country's oldest art museum and school. It houses an impressive collection of American art ranging from colonial to contemporary, the bulk of which is displayed within their Historic Landmark Building. Constructed in 1876, the ornate Victorian Gothic structure was designed by Frank Furness and features "fanciful floral motifs... richly tiled floors... [and] gothic arches carrying gold rosette-studded walls". It really is a beautifully designed building plopped among the towering concrete structures of center city. I could spend days studying the building itself before even glancing at the collection inside. I know this because I did, PAFA also happens to be my alma mater and former employer. I had countless opportunities to get to know the intricacies of the museum and I still feel like I notice something new every time I visit.
I was never one for planning my hypothetical future wedding at a young age, but I do remember fulfilling that stereotype once when I stumbled upon PAFA's events page at around age 16. I then quickly reminded myself that you have to actually date someone in order to have a wedding and that didn't happen for me until a couple years later so I tabled the idea. I did not considered it again until I actually had a reason to this past summer. My fiancé and I both wanted to get married in the Philadelphia area since it is close to our families, but also because the city itself has special significance to our relationship. After touring a few venues, it didn't take much consideration to land where we did. Despite being a somewhat untraditional venue, the decorative architectural elements along with my personal regard for the arts and our association with Philadelphia make the space feel sacred to us. Step one was a pretty easy decision for us, but I've heard horror stories about wedding planning so stay tuned to witness the slow deterioration of my sanity as this process continues. Should be fun!