Sam + Michael | Lazaro Real Wedding From Kirk Hoffman Photography

The amazingly different and stunningly gorgeous Franklin Institute was host to this Philadelphia wedding, and we were hooked from the start. I mean really, how perfect would it be to get married under the moon and stars? Talk about dramatic. The only thing else you’d need to make the wedding totally unique is a one-of-a-kind wedding dress.  And of course, the bride had that too. Looking for ideas to make your wedding stand apart?  You’ll find them here.

Sam + Michael | August 5, 2016 |  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

bodiceLazaro Real Wedding From Kirk Hoffman Photography | PreOwnedWeddingDresses.comsam_dressbridal_party

The Ceremony
Our non-religious ceremony was officiated by a good friend of my husband and held in the planetarium of The Franklin Institute Science Museum. As guests seated themselves, we projected tree silhouettes onto the dome, which were replaced with stars as the groom and bridal party processed. I walked down the aisle to Moonlight Serenade, as a full moon rose over the alter. We exchanged self-written vows, exchanged rings, and exited to the theme song from the sci-fi show, Firefly.


The Reception
Our reception was preceded by a substantial cocktail hour held in one of the museum’s current exhibits: “The Brain” allowed guests to navigate giant tangles of neurons as they sipped cocktails and nibbled on mini-cheesesteaks.

Afterwards, guests entered the palatial Ben Franklin Hall, where stars were projected onto the domed ceiling in hues of blue and purple. Tables were dressed with moss and lanterns, bringing the outdoors inside. A sit-down dinner was interspersed with frequent bouts of dancing and mingling.


Sam’s Wedding Dress Search
I tried on upwards of 20 dresses and initially bought a different gown from David’s Bridal. The first dress was pretty and fit like a glove, but it didn’t feel “special.” I continually compared it to a gown I had tried on at a sample store when my friend visited me in San Francisco. I decided to sell the first dress and purchase the sample gown. The delicate beadwork on the bodice and layers of flounces were only augmented by the knowledge that the dress was a one-of-a-kind Lazaro that had never entered production. I purchased the only runway sample.


How She Felt In Her Lazaro Gown
Magical, whimsical, ethereal


Why She’s Selling Her Wedding Dress
Memories and experiences are far more important to me than objects. I’d rather use the money for a trip that my husband and I can take together.



Wedding Dress: Lazaro (runway sample) | Photography: Kirk Hoffman Photography  | Venue: Franklin Institute  | Floral Design: Beautiful Blooms  Cake: Frosted Fox Cake Shop