A Bok Building Micro-Wedding With Playful Meals and Drink Displays


The groom’s sister officiated the ceremony through Zoom.

bok building micro-wedding

Kate Johnston and Charlie Kemmler’s Bok Building micro-wedding was an ode to their Philly love story. Photography by Peach Plum Pear Photography

There is nothing just like the Bok Building, notably when there’s a marriage (of any measurement and form) concerned. And this Bok Building micro-wedding throughout COVID is so candy and inventive that we simply needed to share. Not solely was it an ode to the couple’s love for Philly, nevertheless it additionally had some playful, enjoyable approaches to serving foods and drinks. Peach Plum Pear Photography snapped the celebration, which you’ll see beneath.

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Of all of the locations they’ve been collectively — from their 2019 engagement in South Africa’s Kruger National Park to their 2020 transfer to their present residence in Greenville, S.C. — bride Kate Johnston would possibly simply love the place she and Charlie Kemmler acquired married probably the most. “Philly is where we met and where we fell in love,” says the McConnellsburg native. “We love Philly, with all its quirks.”

The couple matched on Tinder in the summertime of 2016, shortly after Charlie, an emergency medication doctor, moved to the realm for his residency at Penn. (Kate works as the worldwide director of demand technology advertising at 360Learning.) Their first date started at Stateside in East Passyunk, continued at Bing Bing Dim Sum and ended with Charlie strolling her residence.

Four years later, on September 25, 2020, the couple stated “I do” on the Bok Building. It wasn’t their authentic date (their June twentieth wedding ceremony was pushed again because of the pandemic), nor did it have their deliberate visitor depend (218 vs. 23), however they took all of it in stride.

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“At first, we were bummed at all the changes we had to make,” says Kate. “We both come from big families and were looking forward to having [everyone] together in the same room. But in the end, we had the absolute best day and are definitely now team small wedding.”

Their distributors helped them pull all of it off. Birchtree Catering and planner Nicole Hutnyk of Rabbit Rabbit Crew got here up with a intelligent strategy to the drink menu to reduce contact: Guests selected a colourful illustrated drink card (sauvignon blanc, Greenhouse Tonic, ginger ale) that they positioned in card holders on their tables for servers to see. And particular person meal containers have been offered for every visitor.


The general theme leaned on moody jewel tones — plus the eclectic nature of the Bok Building itself. The couple additionally stored it native — Yards beer, Isgro cannolis for favors, Philly pretzels within the welcome luggage.

There was loads of personalization, too. Custom napkins shared enjoyable details concerning the couple — just like the time after they took a dip within the Baltic Sea in December. Charlie beloved their non-public reward trade: “Sharing the whole wedding experience with Kate was wonderful, but it was nice to have a moment in the middle of everything to … take in the moment.”


But the expertise that struck them each probably the most was their ceremony, officiated remotely through livestream by Charlie’s sister, Alexis Simpson, an ordained minister. (Her husband was present process chemotherapy on the time, so it wasn’t protected for her to journey.) “It was really special to us that she was able to still be there in that capacity,” notes Kate.

The bride and groom additionally wrote their very own vows, which they didn’t share with one another forward of time — an essential facet for the couple, who wished to dwell every second of their day in Philly.

bok building micro-wedding

“I’m glad we were able to get married overlooking such a special city,” finishes Kate. “I’m so thankful the pandemic didn’t take that part of our wedding from us.”

Photographer: Peach Plum Pear Photography | Venue: Bok Building | Planning/Design & Signage: Nicole Hutnyk of Rabbit Rabbit Crew | Florals: Jollifier Floral | Catering: Birchtree Catering | Bride’s Gown: Wtoo by Watters from BHLDN | Hair: Kelly Hursh of Namesake | Makeup: Kelley Wohlforth of Parlour Beauty | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Entertainment: Noggin Hill (cocktail hour); No Macarena (reception) | Cake: Whipped Bakeshop | Invitations: Minted | Videography: Stagger Films | Officiant: Alexis Simpson (the groom’s sister) | Rings: Leon’s Jewelry (engagement ring); L. Priori Jewelry (wedding ceremony bands) | Favors: Isgro Pastries (cannolis)

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