A PAFA wedding with a playlist that celebrates different musical genres

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The couple included Italian and Arabic music in honor of the bride’s background.


Alexandra Nader and Jeremy Dionson’s PAFA wedding was filled with great music. Photography by Love Me Do Photography

Whether you’re doing just a first dance or throwing a party on the dance floor, music is a crucial part of your wedding. The songs that make up your playlist are often of special importance to you, your family, and your friends. In the case of this duo, they’ve designed a playlist spanning genres and cultures, to make sure all of their guests can find something to dance to. Here’s a sample from their PAFA wedding, pictured by Love Me Do Photography, below.

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JEremy Dionsonthe first impression of Alexandra Nader says it all: “Authentic and beautiful, inside and out,” he recalls. “His willingness to explore a more in-depth conversation about spirituality and faith when we first met assured me that my feelings were correct.” The two were introduced by mutual friends after their prom in high school.

Their first date took them to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where they wandered the galleries and sat on the steps, discussing life. Seven and a half years later, Jeremy, an advertising professional, proposed to Alexandra, who works in fashion production, on Long Beach Island. “It was empty, giving us a private moment,” she shares. This was followed by surprise drinks with family and friends.

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Their marriage, celebrated a year and a half later, was a tribute to their common values. The ceremony at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul was particularly touching. Alexandra and her stepfather were greeted halfway by her father, who gave the bride to Jeremy. the the aisle was flanked by two urns filled with flowers and branches. And the couple also kept the traditional things, so they first saw each other at the altar. “The organ and the cantor song made this moment so beautiful,” says Alexandra.

The reception that followed at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts was romantic and elegant, with a lot of wit. Alexandra and Jeremy enjoyed taking photos amidst art and sculpture; the bride looked like kings walking up the stairs with her groom.

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The duo hoped to draw attention to the museum’s beautiful artwork rather than overclothing it in decor, so they kept their color palette to a simple ivory, white, and green. (By hosting their wedding at PAFA, they supported the nonprofit academy; the rental fees go towards its educational mission.)

Alexandra wanted bridesmaids to choose the style of their own dresses to make them feel comfortable; each wore a different emerald green velvet pattern. And portraits of deceased family members have been placed at the reception table to honor those dear to the couple.

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Then there was the music and the entertainment. The biggest surprise was when Alexandra and Jeremy walked into the reception with a zaffa, a traditional Lebanese musical procession with tubel drums and dabke dancers. And TThe couple spent months putting together a playlist featuring disco, salsa, 90s, hip-hop, funk, Italian and Arabic music (the mother of the bride is from Sicily and his father from Lebanon).

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“We made sure to have an eclectic mix that everyone, of all ages and cultures, can identify with,” Alexandra sums up: “We haven’t left the dance floor!

THE DETAILS
Photographer: Love Me Do Photography | Places : The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (ceremony); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (welcome) | Planning / Design: The bride, her mother and the groom | Flowers: Ivy on Main Floral | Caterer: 12th Street Traiteur | Wedding dress: made to measure by Sew Pretty Studio | Hair: Sofia Kozhushko from Air Hair and Makeup | Reconcile: Kinza Amer | The groom’s outfit: made to measure by Joseph Abboud | Entertainment: Amber Mei Li Mecke (harpist), KevLov (DJ), Afrah Events US (dabke dancers) | Cake: Classic Cake | Invitations: Remember Me Stationery | Transport: Philadelphia Cart Works | Videography: Frank Ahn Films

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