What made you decide to host your wedding celebration at the Hilton Christiana?We chose the Hilton Christiana for several reasons. Upon arrival for our venue walk-through, we were immediately greeted by Leah Markiewicz, who made us feel welcomed. She gave us the tour of the venue and explained how each area of the hotel could be utilized. Compared to other venues we visited, the Hilton offered the most amenities. The main ballroom was large enough to accommodate our guests and there were options for an indoor/outdoor ceremony. We also liked how the Hilton bundled their wedding packages to include necessities such as a custom wedding cake, floral centerpieces, napkins/linens, etc. Additionally, the hotel was recently renovated to look more modern and luxurious.
What would your advice be for any future brides, currently searching for their dream-wedding venue?When searching for your dream-wedding venue, choose a venue that aligns with your vision and is within your budget. It is important that the venue fits the aesthetic of your big day. In addition, know how much your total budget is and stick to it. It is very easy to lose sight of your budget when selecting venues.
How did you make your wedding reception uniquely "you"?We put a lot of thought into the personal touches for our wedding. We wanted our guests to feel how much we loved them. Each guest was given welcome bags as they checked into the Hilton. The bags were filled with Philly themed treats that were meaningful to Jonathan and I. During the reception, each place setting had a rose gold acrylic nameplate designed with each guest's name. In addition to the personal touches, we had a surprise wedding ceremony. Our guests thought we eloped and they were attending a reception. We knew we couldn't have a wedding without all of our friends and family.
What wedding vision were you trying to achieve? Where did you look to help create this vision? (i.e. magazines? Specific Websites? Pinterest?)We wanted our wedding to be romantic and elegant. We looked on Pinterest as well as Etsy and Instagram for ideas. In addition to online resources, we attended several bridal shows. Thankfully, my mom was able to use her creativity to help execute our vision.
Is there anything you would have wished you would have known going into the planning?We wish we would have known about all of the unpredictable costs associated with planning a wedding. We budgeted for the venue and the vendors, but there were several costs that we didn't anticipate. Save 5% of your overall budget for unexpected costs.
What parts of the wedding were you glad you had Leah for?We were glad to have Leah for the entire wedding, she was an integral part of us pulling off our surprise wedding. If it were not for Leah, our wedding would not have been as fabulous. Two days before the event we met with her and our butler (Alfredo), and she had 10 pages of detailed notes for our big day. She made sure that all of the staff knew the plan and they executed the vision perfectly. She answered every question and concern. No problem was too big or too small for her. She takes each wedding personally, which is clear from the minute you meet her. Leah is definitely the most caring and dedicated venue coordinator we have ever met.
Why did you decide to host your ceremony at the hotel?We wanted to have our ceremony and reception at the same venue. The majority of our guests were traveling from out of town and we didn't want transportation to be an issue.
What was your favorite food or beverage element of your wedding?All of the food was outstanding. However, the highlight was the beignets. They are so delicious and our guests could not stop raving about them. I've had Beignets from New Orleans a few times, but these were even better. Compliments to the chef!
What was your favorite part of your special day?There were so many elements that were special. However, my favorite part was the look on all of my friends and families faces as I walked down the aisle. Although it happened so fast, the love and joy that filled the room was unforgettable. Not only did I get to marry the man of my dreams, I was able to share it will all of my loved ones!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?Due to work conflicts, we are going on our honeymoon in August. During our ten-day stay in Thailand, we plan to visit Bangkok, Chang Mai, and Phuket.
What made you decide to host your wedding celebration at the Hilton Christiana?The recent renovations gave the venue a refreshed and modern look that matched our vision. Also, the very friendly and personable staff were a huge reason why we chose the Hilton Christiana and they made the whole planning and day of fun and easy!
What would your advice be for any future brides, currently searching for their dream wedding venue?The staff truly makes a difference - find a venue with people who are upbeat, friendly, and easy to work with! The Hilton's staff were very attentive and were really committed to making sure the day was stress free for the bride and groom!
How did you make your wedding reception uniquely "you"?We got married on Cinco De Mayo/Derby Day and we really wanted our day to be fun and not uptight. We had margaritas and mint juleps for our signature cocktails, as well as a taco bar for a late night snack. We decorated each table with mini patron bottles and had a big ‘Q' piñata at our sweetheart table. Of course, there were also big sombreros being passed around during the reception.
What wedding vision were you trying to achieve? Where did you look to help create this vision? (i.e. magazines? Specific Websites? Pinterest?)Our vision was to create something simple and classy with a few tasteful touches of a Cinco de mayo theme. We used Pinterest a lot to search for ideas.
Is there anything you would have wished you would have known going into the planning?It's so easy to get wrapped up into all the small details and stress about them. Your vendors are experienced and have seen a lot of weddings. I think asking them for advice and thoughts can be really helpful!
What parts of the wedding were you glad you had Leah for?Leah was so great in the planning process! It was super fun and helpful to brainstorm ideas with her to make our day unique. She was very flexible and full of personality - if we had an idea, she made sure to find a way to execute it! Leah also made our menu tasting experience great - she was there to answer any questions we had and helped us pick something perfect for our day!
Why did you decide to host your ceremony at the hotel?We really wanted a venue where we could do it all, involving as little travel as possible. The Hilton was perfect for that! It had a beautiful ceremony space in the courtyard, a great space for cocktail hour and reception. Plus, the Market Kitchen & Bar was the perfect place to hang out after the wedding reception and guests could just walk upstairs to their room after.
What was your favorite food or beverage element of your wedding?I really loved that we could make the day unique and festive! We had margaritas and mint juleps as our signature cocktails because our wedding fell on Cinco de mayo and derby day! We also got creative and had a taco bar for a late night snack - which was a huge hit with all of the guests!
What was your favorite part of your special day?This is a tough question to answer, because the whole day was my favorite! But if I had to choose one part, I think walking around the grounds of the Hilton taking our first-look pictures was my favorite. We were really excited to see each other and it was really nice using this part of our day to be with just us. It didn't feel chaotic and it was nice to explore a bit on our own. There were so many different places to take photos too! We got some really great shots of the scenery outside and inside the hotel.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Punta Cana - Secrets Cap Cana Resort
*Photographer - CKR Photography
Wedding Ceremony & Reception
What made you decide to host your wedding celebration at the Hilton Christiana?The location and the "all in one" package deal.
What would your advice be for any future brides, currently searching for their dream wedding venue?I would advise other brides to have their ceremony and reception all in one place.
How did you make your wedding reception uniquely "you"?The little décor that was put out on the card table as well as the favors mixing in with the elegant Hilton style made it match my unique side!
What wedding vision were you trying to achieve? Where did you look to help create this vision? (i.e. magazines? Specific Websites? Pinterest?)I was looking for a simple elegant wedding. Pinterest was my best friend!
Is there anything you would have wished you would have known going into the planning?I wished we had a little more time in the bridal suite after the ceremony. But other than that, everything was perfect!
What parts of the wedding were you glad you had Leah for?I had a LOT of questions for Leah and I gave her my vision and she made it all possible.
Why did you decide to host your ceremony at the hotel?I really loved the view by the fountain! I also wanted my ceremony and reception at the same place.
What was your favorite food or beverage element of your wedding?It was all delicious. My favorite was the Lobster "risotto" side dish that came with our entrée - I was able to substitute the risotto with vegetables and it was incredible!
What was your favorite part of your special day?Reception!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Rivera Maya, Mexico
*Photographer - Allen House Studios
What made you decide to host your wedding celebration at the Hilton Christiana?We decided to have our wedding at the Hilton Christiana after visiting the venue during our search for the perfect place. We immediately fell in love with the outside when we saw the courtyard and knew we wanted to get married with the beautiful backdrop. When we saw the ballroom and cocktail hour area we knew the setup would be perfect for how we envisioned the flow of our wedding.
What would your advice be for any future couples, currently searching for their dream wedding venue?We would strongly recommend going to visit different types of venues to get an idea of what they truly want. We live so close to the Hilton and never thought that such a beautiful venue was right around the corner.
How did you make your wedding reception uniquely "you"?We wanted to do a wine theme and we were able to incorporate that into the decorations for cocktail hour as well as the reception. We both love going to wineries and knew with a fall wedding a winery theme would be perfect. This theme also went well with the decor and setup at the Hilton so we knew it would be a perfect choice.
Is there anything you would have wished you would have known going into the planning?Yes, now looking back there are a lot of things we wish we would have known. However, we enjoyed the journey of planning our wedding and we learned a lot along the way. A few things that stick out are: don't sweat the small stuff, don't argue over money, and remember that all the planning will be worth it because it will be the best day of your life.
What parts of the wedding were you glad you had Leah for?Everything. From the bottom of our hearts we are grateful to have had Leah help us along the way. She answered every question we had, any concern we had, and made everything that we wanted happen. She made the planning process go very smoothly and took a lot of the burden off of us.
Why did you decide to host your ceremony at the hotel?We wanted to keep the ceremony site and reception at the same location to limit travel time and really enjoy ourselves without having to worry about getting all of our guests from point A to point B. The outside ceremony site was beautiful and we knew it was perfect for how we imagined our ceremony.
What was your favorite food or beverage element of your wedding?We loved all of the amazing food and the Hilton made sure that our guests were very well fed. People still comment on how amazing the food was and it's been almost a year. One of the biggest hits of the night was the cheese steak bar. We also loved our bartenders and the fact that we could select a signature drink for our guests.
What was your favorite part of your special day?We loved the entire day. If we had to pick a favorite part, we would say the ceremony. The weather could not have been more perfect, the decorations/backdrop turned out beautiful, and with the help of the Hilton staff everything was setup promptly.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went to Aruba for 10 days and would definitely recommend it to any couples getting married.
*Photographer - Enchanted Celebrations
What made you decide to host your wedding celebration at the Hilton Christiana?My husband and I are from different sides of the country so our family and friends are from all over. We were searching for a venue that could offer our out-of-town guests comfort and convenience before, during and after our wedding. When we met with Leah we were absolutely floored at all the amenities included in the wedding package. The Hilton Christiana was able to make our wedding dream a reality and offered unbeatable features for our guests throughout the length of their stay.
What would your advice be for any future brides, currently searching for their dream wedding venue?With so many options for a wedding venue, brides and grooms really need to have a vision of what they want their wedding day to look and feel like. Devin and I agreed on an overall aesthetic we wanted to go for and made a list of venue "must haves". Looking at venues online was a fast way to shorten our list, but what really made the Hilton Christiana stand out was the feeling we got when we walked throughout the wedding space. We knew instantly that we had found what we were searching for.
How did you make your wedding reception uniquely "you"?My husband is a cinematographer and much more creative and daring than I am. He planned a few surprises for me involving a 72 inch monitor and some help from his groomsmen. He made me a video that became part of our ceremony and part of the introduction to our reception. Both were an absolutely perfect representation of us and our relationship.
Is there anything you would have wished you would have known going into the planning?Leading up to the wedding nearly everyone told us that the day was going to be over in the blink of an eye. I had heard it so many times, and yet I was not prepared for just how fast everything it all went by. There were a few details that I had stressed so much about and then in the excitement and mild chaos of the day, I completely forgot to worry about those details.
What parts of the wedding were you glad you had Leah for?Leah was unbelievably helpful throughout the entire process. From our first meeting to our last, she was available at every step along the way. At our tasting Leah sat with us, explained every food item we tried, and took notes on what we liked and what we didn't. Months later when we forgot which appetizers were our favorite, she had it all written down. The night of our rehearsal I was definitely worried about how it was all going to come together. Leah sat with us and went through our entire wedding day minute by minute.
Why did you decide to host your ceremony at the hotel?We have both been a part of weddings where we felt like a lot of time was spent just getting from the salon to the pictures, or the ceremony to the reception, or even the reception to the hotel. While the party bus was fun, we knew we wanted to have as much time as possible to celebrate our day. From the beginning we searched for a venue that could do it all, and the Hilton Christiana was that and more! The convenience of not needing to worry about transportation or guests getting around was one major benefit while the other was the incredible wedding package. The food and drink options were seemingly limitless and the package even included the wedding cake and centerpieces. There were a handful of wedding details we didn't have to stress about because the Hilton and Leah took care of it!
What was your favorite food or beverage element of your wedding?The late night cheesesteak and old bay French fry station was a huge hit with our guests! They could not believe that more food was coming out as part of our reception. Unfortunately Devin and I were dancing and missed the cheesesteaks, but our wedding Butler thoughtfully packaged up cheesesteaks and fries for us. When we got to our room that night, take out boxes were waiting for us!
What was your favorite part of your special day?Definitely the first look. It was such a special moment and time seemed to just stand still for the two of us. There was so much going on throughout the day that it felt like an absolute whirlwind, but the first look was just about us!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We took a mini-moon to Boise, Idaho (my husband's hometown) and had a mini 2nd reception with friends and family that were unable to make it all the way to Delaware for our wedding. Our actual honeymoon will be somewhere warm and relaxing in Spring 2020.
*Photographer - Creative Image Weddings