January 20, 2024
entered under

Romantic Winter Wedding at Excelsior in Lancaster

Where do I even begin?

Somehow, two months have passed since Ben (my husband!💁🏼‍♀️) and I tied the knot at Excelsior, and I’m entirely not over it. November 25th, 2023, was truly the most perfect and magical day of our lives. I can’t help thinking about the lengths our family, friends, and dream team of vendors went to pull it off flawlessly. I can say without a doubt that I will never forget the intentional ways each of these people touched our lives in the months leading up to our wedding day, and I’m so excited to tell the story of how it all came together!

Emerald Green and Champagne Color Palette Details

The saying “it’s all in the details” has never rung truer than on our wedding day. As a wedding photographer, I’ve always felt that the details communicate the vision and feel of your wedding day in a way that nothing else can.

The one and only Every Little Something designed the invitation suite and signage of my DREAMS. Each paper good made such an impression on our guests and set the tone of our day right from the start. Wait till you see the reception pieces!

My engagement and wedding bands were both custom pieces from Finch Jewelers, and I still catch myself admiring them multiple times a day. Ben picked a carbon fiber ring from Sesto Synergy that had crushed pearls on the interior, in honor of our shared June birthstone.

three rings sit on top of wedding invitation with gold script writing

Marina Liana Bridal Wedding Dress

My dream wedding dress was from Wedding Factor and was one of the Martina Liana Bridal trunk show dresses from December. It was officially released for sale last September in the fall 2023 collection. Sew Glorious Creations created a custom “disco dust” veil with floral appliqués from my dress. It was the perfect sparkly touch.

But the story of the sleeves might just be my favorite part.

Custom Groom Tuxedo Design

Ben’s deep emerald ensemble was SO fun to put together. I love that he cared just as much as I did about putting together looks that felt like us.

We took a trip to the Knot Standard showroom in DC to design a custom tux. What’s crazy is that there was nothing to try on! Just us picking his tuxedo based on inspiration photos, fabric swatches, and 10,000 different fabrics. This Italian mohair racing green dinner jacket was a true vision.

Wedding Day Getting Ready Outfit

One of the many “something borrowed” items I had at my wedding included this dreamy bridal robe from @lerose_online. One of my brides from 2023, Courtney, offered me her robe on HER OWN wedding day. She said, “Lauren, if you want to wear this in a couple months, you just let me know.” So that’s what she did. She put her wedding day robe in the mail and just sent it to me to wear.

Getting Ready with The Bridesmaids

My girls wore mismatched gowns from Revelry in a range of gold and champagne colors. I chose to vary design and style in velvet, crepe, chiffon, and satin textures.

Getting ready with my mom, my mimi, and all of my closest friends was one of my most treasured moments. My girls gave me a book of personal letters that they had written to me, along with pictures documenting our friendship over the years. I had to wait until after the wedding to read it because I knew I’d be a hot mess as soon as I did. I was right.

Makeup and hair were flawlessly executed by Vero Leigh Co. and Tousled Beauty Co.

Formal Groomsman Attire

Ben was also surrounded by his best people! Fun fact: He’s the reason our bridal party just kept growing. He couldn’t cut anyone out! Ben would’ve had like 12 groomsmen if he could.

Their black tuxes with emerald bow ties complimented Ben’s statement jacket so well. We are so blessed to have these men in our lives!!

First Look Photos

Our first look was absolutely one of my favorite parts. I’ve never seen Ben cry like this! He was even crying going up the elevator with our planner.

To any of my clients who are nervous about being photographed or videoed during this intimate moment, you truly don’t realize what is going on around you. I tell all my clients they won’t notice us there, but now I really know what that feels like. I want this moment forever ingrained in my memory.

And of course, our son Obi had to be included in the festivities!

Indoor Wedding Ceremony at Excelsior Lancaster

Our absolute favorite part of the day was our intimate, heartfelt ceremony in Excelsior’s Empire Room.

We carefully picked all the songs played by Vivace Live Strings (@vivacelivestrings) while everyone walked down the aisle! The string quartet added so much to our romantic, elegant aesthetic.

  • Parents, Grandparents, and Groomsmen walked into the theme from Succession.
  • Bridesmaids walked into “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap on strings.
  • I walked down the aisle with my dad to “Dearly Beloved” from Kingdom Hearts.

This was a custom arrangement Vivace did for us, and boy did it bring tears to our eyes. Especially Ben’s, because the song was from his favorite video game as a kid. I never imagined I’d walk down the aisle to video game music, but if you listen to this song, you’ll really understand. I’ll never not cry listening to it now.

The Brofficiant really made our ceremony amazing. He gave a personal talk about the two of us and really made it funny, meaningful, and the perfect length. We were hesitant to say our personal vows in front of everyone, but it was both of our #1 favorite moment from the day. Saying promises and reasons why you love each other while family and friends look on is such a powerful moment. One that permanently changes how you think about life and each other. I can’t wait to see the video of us saying our vows again.

Excelsior Wedding Ceremony Space

I was very inspired by the big windows with natural light as kind of our “blank canvas” to dress up however we wanted. In fact, the Empire Room at Excelsior was the main thing that sold me on the venue. I knew that regardless of the time of year and regardless of weather, we would have a beautiful ceremony space no matter what.

To transform the space, @shumakerpdt installed 5 drapes, 1 entryway drape, and 3 glass chandeliers in the Empire Room. Kate from Forte Florals helped me bring the floral-lined aisle I envisioned to life. 32 floor arrangements lined either side, all of which were repurposed during the reception. Greenery framed each window, which truly made the perfect backdrop. The amount of teamwork and coordination it takes to make something like this come to life is incredible.

Excelsior Reception Details

Rentals, florals, linens, and sweets transformed the Grand Salon into our beautiful reception space. The floral installation above the head table drew your eye to the center of the room and added the “wow” factor.

Every Little Something created oval menus with French toile prints for our plates, escort card scrolls for people to find their seats, and emerald oval table numbers for the reception. She also made all of our signage, welcome sign, and seating chart. The fun scroll detail turned out to be one of my favorite pieces.

Our guests loved using @fetefone for our audio guest book! We can’t wait to hear our loved ones voices wishing us well when we get all the messages back.

Reception Rentals

I visited the A to Z Event Rentals showroom and picked out the royal-looking gold plates and flatware for our wedding. I knew I wanted a regal, gold-rimmed charger with matching gold flatware. We also rented coordinating champagne flutes, water glasses, and dinner plates.

To incorporate some texture into our reception design, I selected a champagne floral print linen for the rounds and a satin blush for the banquet-style tables. We also selected mauve and champagne napkins to alternate between tables.

Wedding Cake

Flouretta Sweet DELIVERED when it came to this cake. It was everything we could’ve dreamed of and more. It also had florals that matched my wedding dress?! Blayre also made an entire spread of mini desserts and mini macarons for each person’s table setting. How cute are these little cloche jars too!?

Excelsior Reception in the Grand Salon

Our reception was as heartfelt as it was a rage, and it was the part of the day that went the quickest! Ben and I entered on the grand staircase and immediately began our first dance to “No One’s Gonna Love You” by Band of Horses.

I shared a dance with my dad to “Edelweiss” from Sound of Music, the first musical I was in as a child. Ben shared a dance with his mom, Judy, to “Hey Ma” by Bon Iver, one of our favorite artists. I also shared a dance to “My Girl” with both of my grandfathers!

After incredibly heartfelt speeches, our DJ threw the biggest party we could’ve ever asked for!! He took our requests and mixed them all together perfectly. We got SO many compliments on DJ Mast (Josh) and cannot get over how fun our dancing was!

It was game over when Mimi hit the dance floor

Wedding Photography at Excelsior in Lancaster

I’d be completely remiss if I didn’t brag on the goddess queen of photography—my friend Lindsey Ford. Our wedding photos are everything we dreamed of and so much more. Lindsey is truly my sister and one of my dearest friends; I cannot recommend Lindsey Ford Photography more highly.

The day of our dreams at Excelsior in downtown Lancaster was full of endless amounts of love and tears. We carefully selected wedding vendors who thoughtfully curated each detail in a way that effortlessly brought our vision to life. We have no words to express our gratitude to our families, friends, and vendors who poured into our lives and our love story. When they say it doesn’t get better than this, they aren’t wrong. These are the most joyous moments we have ever lived, and it’s only the beginning!

Excelsior Lancaster Vendor List:

  • Venue: @excelsiorlancasterpa
  • Photography: @lindseyfordphoto
  • Videography: @davidandsarahfilms
  • Planning: @simple_soiree
  • Florist: @forteflorals
  • Catering: @signaturecateringonking
  • Stationary, Signage, Paper Goods: @every.little.something
  • Rentals: @a_to_z_event_rentals
  • Installations/Decor: @shumakerpdt @designsbyshumakerpdt
  • Linens: @specialoqueenst
  • Officiant: @thebrofficiant
  • Hair: @tousledbeautyco
  • Makeup: @veroleighco
  • Cake/Desserts: @flourettasweet
  • Gown: @weddingfactor
  • Tux: @knotstandard
  • Alterations & Custom Veil: @sewgloriouscreations
  • Bride’s rings: @finchjewelers
  • Groom’s Ring: @sestosynergy
  • Ceremony Music: @vivacelivestrings
  • DJ: @djmastproductions
  • Beverage Service: @thetravelingtap
  • Bridesmaid Dresses: @shoprevelry
  • Bridesmaid Earrings: @oliveandpiper
  • Shoes: @bellabelleshoes
  • Purse: @loefflerrandall
  • Perfume: @tocca
  • Groom’s Shoes: @taft
  • Groom’s Watch: @nordgreenofficial
  • Groomsmen Tuxes: @theblacktux
  • Bow ties: @otaa.brothers
  • Guest Book: @fetefone

Meet    artist

If there’s one thing we have in common, it’s our unwavering commitment to the details -

- the lush cascading bouquet, the elegant wax seal on your invitations, and the seemingly small moments that become dear reminders of your big day. But, most importantly, it’s how we thrive on connection.

I believe the best wedding photography experience happens when we’re connected. That means trusting your photographer, a level of faith I treat earnestly.   

You deserve a custom experience as breathtaking as your final gallery, and that’s what I’ll deliver.

and I can’t wait to capture it.
of a lifetime,
Your wedding day is the

Copyright Lauren Bliss Photography 2024 |  Brand and Website Design by With Grace and Gold