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The couple wanted the party to feel like an evening out with friends.

Steven Borzillo and Chris Vericella celebrated their Giuseppe & Sons wedding on Leap Day. Photography by Elizabeth Gibbs Photography

We, like you, are looking forward to the (hopefully soon!) Day when we can celebrate Big Days again in Philly’s coolest restaurants. Until then, we honor those who happened in the past – like this Giuseppe & Sons wedding on Leap Day 2020. It was one of the last restaurant weddings before the pandemic broke out and it was a beautiful ode to things the couple hold dear. Elizabeth Gibbs Photography captured all of the poignant moments. Check them out below.

detailsostrich“Work surely beats!” It’s an inside joke for NoLibs couple Chris Vericella and Steven Borzillo, who met through the commercial real estate firm they worked for. Steve, who is from Malvern, visited the Chicago offices Chris was in, but it wasn’t until about two years after they first met when he was back in town (for a bachelorette party) that they started hanging out: Steve was up Posted on Instagram; Chris commented and Steve’s “Beats Working!” Answer made history. “I couldn’t have got a lame answer,” he says.

Regardless, they spent a few whirlwind days soaking up each other’s company. Steve suggested a trip to Japan a year later – a special place for Chris, who had planned to travel there with her brother John before he passed away unexpectedly.

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The duo picked February 29, 2020 for their wedding – they thought it would be fun to get married on Leap Day – but the six months before that weren’t easy for the bride. “Knowing that John wasn’t going to be there was really tough,” she says. “He would have wanted us to have a great time so I kept that in mind.” And they are happy that their quick schedule worked out: “It forced us to be decisive” says Chris. “We were one of the last weddings before Pandemic.”

The couple said “yes” at St. Patrick’s Church; the bride carried a loose bouquet of burgundy-red Fuji mothers, scabiosa, ranunculus, dusty pink lisianthus, hypericum-tinted navy, green ball-dianthus, magenta-colored stocks, green hanging amaranthus, thistle and colored pittosporum. The stems were wrapped in a blue silk tie from John.

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Then the party went to Giuseppe & Sons’ reception, which felt more like an evening with friends. “I was against a ‘traditional’ wedding because I didn’t want Steve and I to feel obliged to do certain things,” says Chris.

The couple kept the decor simple so that the look of the restaurant would be the backdrop for their soup club-themed celebration. “I value the service more than anything,” says Steve. “The attention to detail was extraordinary.” Each seat had the threeCourse meal and a hangover kit for a favor.

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Their thoughtful, honest soiree also had a convivial atmosphere, Italian desserts instead of cakes, Don Julio 1942 (the 135 guests cleaned up the restaurant), and an Instagram-worthy neon sign from Etsy. It was attached to a wall of artificial greenery and placed in the private Sinatra room, which became a popular spot throughout the reception. The best part? It carried her signature phrase – one that will make her smile for the rest of her life.

THE DETAILS
Photographer: Elizabeth Gibbs Photography | Venues: St. Patrick’s Church & Giuseppe & Sons | Planning / Design: Beth Koenig from Schulson Collective | Flowers: Wegmans (Cherry Hill) | Catering & Desserts: Giuseppe & Sons | Wedding dress: Vintage Vera Wang by TheRealReal | Bridal shoes: Jimmy Choo | Hair & Make-up: The Philly Hair & Makeup Co. | Groom’s clothes: Zara jacket, Bonobos pants, Suitsupply shirt, Hugo Boss bow tie, Men’s Wearhouse smoking shoes | Entertainment: The other wedding DJ (Chris Ward) | Invitations: ShineInvitations by Etsy

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