Lindsay Pio received the surprise of her life when boyfriend Matthew Blank proposed to her on his birthday. “I was shocked he was proposing to me on his own birthday – on a Tuesday evening!” says Lindsay. Matt had prepared a scavenger-hunt proposal, which left Lindsay dashing from clue to clue in her apartment. “I was half dressed, makeup on half of my face, and reading the clues that would change my life forever,” remembers Lindsay. She eventually found Matt on bended knee in her kitchen, where she excitedly accepted his offer of marriage.

Choosing the wedding date proved to be more difficult for the couple than expected. Matt was in the midst of completing graduate school, while Lindsay was busy teaching a class of first graders and packing for their move to New York. “It was really only one of two weekends that we could marry due to our busy schedules,” explains Lindsay. An early May wedding was settled upon and the couple was able to concentrate on the details of their spring celebration. They chose the former Philadelphia Navy Yard as their reception venue because of its distinctive qualities. “I loved the industrial feel of the space, plus it has a fascinating history,” explains Lindsay. “You would never find the same incredible details in a traditional ballroom,” the groom agrees. The naval yard’s multiple buildings showcase remarkable salvaged navy lighting fixtures, wall materials, and timber, and sit alongside the Delaware River providing visitors an extraordinary view of ships as they pass.

Lindsay, having recently converted to Judaism, was excited to participate in Jewish wedding traditions for their ceremony at Matt’s childhood synagogue. The one nontraditional Jewish aspect of the nuptials was that Lindsay’s father walked her down the aisle by himself. “My dad had been picturing my wedding day my entire life, and I wanted to share that special moment with him,” the bride fondly recalls. Lindsay carried a bouquet of white orchids and roses, while bridesmaids held sprays containing a mixture of vibrant peonies, cymbidium orchids, and roses to complement their slate-grey gowns. As Lindsay made her way down the aisle, Matt couldn’t help but think to himself how proud he would be to call her his wife. “I couldn’t wait for the ceremony to be over so that it would be official,” he reveals.

Guests transitioned from a classic ceremony to a very unique type of environment for the reception. “The area was breathtaking that evening… Matt, our photographers, and I stopped in our tracks to admire it,” Lindsay remembers. “It looked like it was glowing from within.” The couple had decided that the décor needed to be comparable to the immensity of the space, so tall trees were hung from huge overhead beams and embellished with twinkling lights, candles, and hundreds of orchids. Long tables covered in grey-hued satin linens and white pique runners were lined with alternating centerpieces of tall glass vases holding white orchids, and short vases with either fuchsia peonies or white tulips.

As a nod to Lindsay’s Italian heritage, dinner was complemented with wines paired from her family’s Italian winery. In addition, bottles from the winery were given as favors to guests. Slices of the couple’s four-tired wedding cake covered in hand-rolled balls of white-chocolate ganache were paired with biscotti as a sweet delight for dessert. Lindsay and Matt enjoyed their evening on the dance floor with loved ones, and agree their big day couldn’t have been more perfect. In hindsight, the bride laughs at how stressed she became during the planning process. “I’m usually such a calm, patient person – I still can’t believe how frazzled I became over things like napkin arrangements!” The couple urges others not to become consumed with minor details. “Everyone will be too Happy To Notice!”