What does the couple who took engagement photos at the Mütter Museum’s medicinal plant garden and eloped on “mischief night” (Oct. 30, 2022) do for the reception? Why, they have it in a cemetery’s conservatory, of course!
The theme? “’Til Death Do Us Part,” with the requisite Halloween-inspired accents throughout. Ali Blair Barwick and Steve Wolff did it their way, and they loved every minute.
How did eloping on “mischief night” go?
Eloping was fantastic! We got married on Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, Colorado, and the views were incredible. Our officiant helped us to create a beautiful ceremony, and our whole Colorado team made the event easy, intimate and special.
Tell us a bit about your reception afterward back at home.
The reception was one big whirlwind! We felt like the whole day went so fast, yet we couldn’t help but smile so hard all day long. It was absolutely a dream wedding down to all the small touches.
How was West Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Conservatory? Was it everything that you’d envisioned?
Everybody on our team — from the catering staff, the florist, the maker, the staff at the cemetery, even our photo booth — made it a memorable wedding. But if there’s someone from West Laurel Hill who gave her all, then it was Joanie Sweeney and her staff. They made sure the space was up to snuff for us to have our party. The space is beautiful and one of this area’s secret gems.
Of course, the Robert Ryan Catering & Design staff was incredibly attentive and made sure the wedding went without a hitch. This is a historic building — no kitchen! — so the catering team had to do some brainstorming on how to get all the food cooked and served. They did a tremendous job. Our Robert Ryan day-of coordinator was great with making sure everyone got fed and keeping up with the schedule.
What stood out about the menu?
During the whole reception guests kept telling us how amazing the food was, and that they’d never been to a wedding where the food was that good. One person said that she never eats at weddings, but she did and she was stuffed. Even the challah bread was literally “to die for.”
How did everyone react to your “’Til-Death-Do-Us-Part” theme?
Some family felt a little weird … “Ali, are you really having a wedding at a cemetery?!?” But once they got there, they saw a lot of the reason why we picked it, and they understood. Ali’s always loved spooky stuff, and as one family member said, “This wedding absolutely screams you.” Ali thrifted all of the candlesticks, table seat signs and mirrors. It added Ali’s own special touch.
Any sage words for anyone else still finalizing their wedding “post-pandemic”?
Take your time. Make lists. Look on Facebook Marketplace, Buy Nothing, or your favorite thrift store for things. And try to have fun with it; this is still a hard time, and we had folks that dropped out due to COVID. Be patient. Our officiant had some lovely literature on taking dates with your spouse in order to really center your love with one another. The stress of a wedding sometimes pushes you to forget that the event is a celebration of the couple’s love, and that the day should be fun.
Anything else that you’d like to tell us?
Word of advice: Ask your caterer to pack a meal for you for the hotel. We were so busy with seeing folks we haven’t seen in forever that we didn’t eat as much as we should have during the event! So, that helped.
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Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.
Featured photo provided by Ali & Steve