DIY Wedding

A Whimsical Hotel Du Village Wedding With a Harry Potter Theme

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Think suitcases, engraved luggage tags for guests to take home, and lush blooms.


Ashley Monticello, in a Lazaro gown, and Nicholas Gully, whose bow tie was by Brackish, based in Charleston — one of the couple’s favorite travel spots — posed for photos at their Hotel Du Village wedding. / Photography by Jess Palatucci

Who doesn’t love brunch, that marvelous midmorning or early afternoon meal that caters to whatever you’re craving? It’s even better when it serves as a wedding reception. This couple turned their fall Hotel Du Village wedding into a brunch extravaganza filled with their favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner bites — not to mention desserts. There were other magical elements of this Big Day too. Photographer Jess Palatucci snapped them all below.

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As lovers of the outdoors, Ashley Lynn Monticello and Nicholas Gully envisioned hosting their nuptials at a venue that was intimate, secluded, and surrounded by fall foliage. Hotel Du Village, a charming French manor in New Hope, checked all the boxes.

The couple became engaged in 2018 — Nick, a procurement manager, surprised Ashley, a graphic designer, with a sweet at-home proposal — but their original 2020 wedding was postponed to October 2021 due to the pandemic. The extra year proved to be a blessing, since it gave them more time to plan a perfect brunch celebration that would allow for catching up with treasured family and friends.

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Before the ceremony, the couple did their first look and posed for portraits, during which they heard bells ringing from a church hidden behind the venue. The nuptials took place in the lovely garden, where Ashley and Nick hugged and cried tears of joy after walking back down the aisle together. “Nick asked if I was happy. I nodded yes and started to cry,” says Ashley on finally getting married after their pandemic postponement.

The duo’s Big Day paid homage to their love of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. An escort-card display featured suitcases, engraved luggage tags for the attendees to take home at the end of the nightand lush blooms such as ranunculus, garden roses, sweet peas, eucalyptus, hydrangeas and dahlias. The eye-catching arrangement was designed around the bar’s vintage grand piano.

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Floral installations continued throughout the venue, adding to the whimsical vibe. Ashley wanted the flowers to be a highlight of the decor. She worked with Courtney Rees of Winsome Floral to design the natural installations, including one that seemed to grow from the fireplace.

Outside, four lounge areas invite guests to relax. The pair wanted the cozy vignettes to lure guests outdoors to spend time in nature.

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Equal heed was paid to the menu. During cocktail hour, appetizers included breakfast staples like chicken and waffles and brioche French toast sticks. Vanilla-pear margaritas and apple-honey-rosemary gin cocktails were also served.

Later, the reception featured cocktail-style bites reflecting the pair’s favorite foods: butternut squash ravioli, a grilled-cheese-and-soup station and more. For dessert? A vanilla and chocolate wedding cake, pumpkin spice crème brulée, caramel popcorn clusters and DIY s’mores.

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Even a brunch wedding has an after-party, which wrapped up the festivities with an espresso bar by Top Hat and food trucks from Jules Thin Crust and Nina’s Waffles & Ice Cream.

THE DETAILS
Photographer: Jess Palatucci Venue & Catering: Hotel Du Village | Event Design, Coordination & Invitations: House of Catherine | Florals: Winsome Floral | Cake: Palermo Bakery | Gown & Veil: Lazarus from Castle Couture | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Sachin & Babi from BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein | Wedding Bands: Zales | Hair: Ariel Katrina Hair | Makeup: Makeup by Emily Dimant | Videographer: Atomic Tangerine Film Co. | Music & Entertainment: Pat and Sean Kelly | Officiant: Raymond “RJ” Clawson | Favors & Cookies: Park Ave Cake | Vintage Furniture: Lilac & Lace Co. | Ribbon & Table Runners: Native Ribbon Co. | Rentals: Party Rentals Ltd. (vintage plates); Nüage Designs (linens) | Photo Detail Styling: Hazel Dust Creative Studio

Originally published as “Ashley & Nicholas” in the summer/fall 2022 issue of Philadelphia Wedding.

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