Today’s stunning Philadelphia wedding is dear to our hearts as it’s the marriage of one of our own wonderful Junebug member photographers, Susan Stripling, to her love (and fellow photographer) Cliff Mautner. And when two of the wedding industry’s most talented and well respected photographers get married, you can only imagine the images that result! (The photos here are by Mary-Beth Tyson Photography and Davina+Daniel.) Read on to hear from Susan what it was like to plan her own wedding after seeing and documenting so many others, and the sweetness of joining their families together, which is what is was all about. Don’t miss the image at the end of the post, of these two newlyweds photographing each other all decked out in their wedding best!
The Goals: We didn’t want to have everyone else’s wedding. Cliff has been a photographer for over 30 years and I’ve been shooting weddings for 12 years. But we didn’t want to be different just for the sake of being different. With both of us entering our second marriage we wanted to honor each other and our children from our previous marriages as well as our family and friends. Our main priority was just to have everyone together – it was really that simple. Something beautiful and honest, simple, timeless, and enjoyable.
The Design: I’ve had 12 years of watching other people design their weddings and I knew very clearly what I wanted to do, and Cliff felt the same. Along with Brian Kappra of Evantine Design we chose the clear ghost chairs and long farm tables. I provided an image of what we wanted the chuppah to look like. And other than that? It was all Evantine. We spent a few hours with Brian choosing the china and I hired a calligrapher to do the place settings but otherwise the execution of the vision was all him. I think the only direction we gave him was really a lot of fire and we don’t really like flowers. Simple, clean, dramatic, and nary a mason jar in sight.
The Look: My style inspiration was simply to find something beautiful. I had no clear idea what I was looking for, but when Debbie Walp at The Bridal Garden showed me the Monique Lhuillier “Candy” dress during a trunk sale that was it – it was simply the prettiest dress I had ever seen. Once the dress was decided everything came together really easily. I hunted down the Rodarte hair stars that I’d been admiring for a few years and found the perfect McQueen clutch – I’m a huge Alexander McQueen fan! I got a beautiful wrap from Carol Hannah and was all set! My husband wore an incredible suit from Tom James – a dear friends husband works for Tom James and he helped us with the whole process. He looked AMAZING. Our daughters wore Jim Hjelm, Watters, and Amsale and they chose their own dresses and colors. I really didn’t care what they wore as long as they were happy!
The Moments: The day was beautiful and the decor and details impeccable, but while lovely, wedding planning details do not make a marriage. The biggest success was that we could officially call each other family. Everything else pales in comparison. That being said, coming down the aisle towards Cliff was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I was supposed to walk to an instrumental version of “Into the Mystic” but Cliff had our band show up early, set up hidden away behind the chuppah, and they sang “Falling Slowly” (our song) as I walked towards him. That was a moment I will never forget. Seeing my youngest daughter cry during the ceremony because she was so choked up. Dancing with my father. Dancing with my brother. All of our friends who came from so far to be near us. It was really, truly, honestly perfect.
The Pros: Learn about all of the amazing professionals involved in this wedding by visiting Susan and Cliff’s page in our Real Wedding Library!
Thank you for sharing your wedding with us Susan and Cliff! Your story and photos are simply to die for!