Coming in for the entire weekend?  We hope so!  Philadelphia is full of many exciting historic sites, restaurants, museums, events, and more.  We have compiled a list below of some of our favorites, but it is definitely NOT comprehensive.  Philadelphia is the 5th biggest city in the country and brings activities for everyone. 

After sifting through dozens of photographers both locally and up and down the east coast, we finally
settled on one who was right here under our nose all along. In the latest addition to our wedding
festivities, we are pleased to announce that Joe Foley Photography will be the official documenter of our
special day. Located here in DC, we found Joe after perusing a campaign friend’s wedding album online
and fell in love with his strong artistic flair and distinct gift for capturing pictures in just the right light.
After meeting with him over drinks, we quickly realized that he was a perfect fit and we were excited to
officially sign him a few days ago.

As a special treat to make our wedding day that much more memorable, we are pleased to announce that Philly’s own Urban Guerilla Orchestra (UGO) will be providing the music and entertainment throughout all the days’ festivities. Led by Director and trumpeter Henri McMillan, this 14 member band of vocalists and instrumentalists has worked and recorded with such artists as Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Boyz II Men, Alicia Keys, Gladys Knight, Kool and the Gang, the Roots, and many others. We chose this band after seeing them perform at a Toys for Tots event in New Jersey and their combination of high energy, musical versatility, and incredible sound quickly won us over and once you hear them, we think they will win you over too. We are very excited to have them and feel free to check out their individual bios below and hear them perform at previous events on their YouTube site seen here, here, here, and here.

We've chosen a location for our wedding reception!  After  a whirlwind weekend touring nearly every historic site that Philadelphia has to offer, and a lot of follow up research, we've chosen the Constitution Center.  It's only a few years old, so the building itself is not historic, but it's dedicated to history.  It's a museum about the Constitution and founding of the country and it's located directly on Independence Mall.  One entire side of the building is glass, floor to ceiling, so that there is a brilliant view of the greenery.

Despite its young history, the Constitution Center has also already hosted our President twice.  In spring 2008 President Obama (then Senator Obama) gave his seminal speech on race at the site and just a couple months later he returned for his final primary debate against then-Senator Hillary Clinton.

We felt that considering its history and its purpose, the Constitution Center would be perfect.  Of course, it also doesn't hurt that it's absolutely beautiful!  
We're excited to announce that we now have our bridal party set!  Check out the bridal party page.  You'll see it's not the traditional guys on one side and girls on the other.  Matt and I decided we wanted to go a slightly different route (thanks for the idea, Steph!)  We are each including our bridal party on our own side, regardless of gender, so that we can be surrounded by our closest family and friends while getting married.

In tradition to the main bridal party, we also have our wonderful flower girl and the holders of the chuppah.  In Jewish weddings, the couple gets married under a chuppah, or a canopy.  It represents the home that the couple will build and live in together.  Traditionally, this was often carried in and held by 4 people, although today people sometimes use static chuppahs.

Matt and I are using the traditional style chuppah, carried in four very important people to us.  We are so happy they are participating in this way!
You can see Matt's ring here!  (It's the official photo)
Historically, engagement rings in most western societies have been the sole purview of a newly engaged young woman. Since the late 1800s, a future groom has been expected to spend a good amount of his salary to secure a ring which he then presented to his future bride when he first proposes marriage. Since the mid 1930s, this ring has also typically included the largest diamond the groom could afford and this diamond was supposed to provide the woman  the financial security she needed in case the man broke off the engagement and 'ruined' the woman's reputation.

It's probably fair to say our society has changed a fair amount since then. In a world where many women are increasingly catching up with (and in some cases passing) men as full equals in society (well, except at the very top of society), it only seemed fitting that Julia and I decided to challenge some of the conventions that underpinned this very dated tradition. So in this spirit of a new day, we decided that in addition to Julia receiving her own engagement ring and wedding band, I too would also be receiving both an engagement ring and wedding band as well.

While it seemed a bit strange at first, I have to say, I am increasingly feeling very good about the decision we have made. While I have never really been a guy who had much use for jewelry other than a watch, the two ring scenario definitely offers a unique set of benefits. First, not only will I have the flexibility of wearing two different rings at any given time, but  I will also have the ability to mix and match rings based on the circumstances at hand. For instance, if I were to get a titanium engagement ring and a more traditional wedding band, I will always have the ability to wear at least some ring no matter if  am doing work around the house or going to a reception at the White House.

But while this is a really nice perk to have, the most important reason why I really like this arrangement is because of the symbolism that it represents. We will never have a truly equal society until we really take a step back and challenge many of the traditional conventions which underpin much of the historical subjugation of one sex to another and while it may only be a tiny step in the big picture of things, we feel it is a step that makes sense for us and hopefully is one that makes sense to you as well.

Thanks for visiting our new website!  We're just getting started, but we'll be posting regularly as Matt and I start to plan our wedding and honeymoon. Check back for updates on venues, dates, other weekend activities, photos, and more.

We especially encourage everyone to comment below.  We're looking for wedding suggestions and advice, jokes (good ones), and any other feedback you have.