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Excelsior Lancaster Wedding :: Lancaster, PA :: Sarah + John

Excelsior Lancaster Wedding
PA Wedding Photographer 
Unique wedding at the Excelsior in Lancaster PA

I am seriously obsessed with every single thing about this Excelsior Lancaster Wedding! The venue is a one-of-a-kind historic building with multiple levels, each having its own unique look. There are catacombs in the basement, a terrace and garden courtyard draped with string lights, and an awesome “top secret” floor with chippy, peeling paint, raw cement, and red bricks with tons of natural light pouring in, which was instrumental to getting these amazing images, since it was pouring outside! Get ready to have your mouths drop when you see this wedding!


Photographed by:  Susan and Kia


Excelsior Lancaster Wedding Vendors: 

Photographer: Something Blue by Susan Elizabeth
Venue: Excelsior Lancaster
Wedding Planner: Planned Perfection
Caterer:  Jimmy Duffy Catering

Entertainment: Klock Entertainment
Production/Lighting/Furniture : Shumaker PDT

Florist: Petals with Style
Hair and Makeup: Downstreet Salon
Wedding Gown: Alfred Angelo
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN
Brides Robe: Pretty Plum Sugar
Bridesmaids Robes: LoveMeetsCraft
Men’s Attire: Tommy Hilfiger

Invitations: Little Spark Creations
Rings: David Yurman (John’s), Jared Galleria (Sarah’s)
Bakery: Bistro Barberet and Bakery




Rustic bouquet with old window paneBlue Mrs Box with veil and pink floralsWhat is your color scheme and why did you pick those colors?
Our colors are navy blue, mint green, pewter grey, and gold. I had always dreamed of a navy and mint wedding (and had a Pinterest board before John and I were even together titled “my impending navy and mint wedding”…haha). We loved that combination with the gold and pewter added in because it’s subtle, vintage-inspired, and elegant. It complimented the rustic-vintage theme of Excelsior, and especially the mint green paint around some of the windows and on the walls. The gold sparkle touches were just too much fun to pass up! 

bridal details with old window paneI was given permission by one of the owners, John, to feel free to snoop around some of the more abandoned parts of the venue and use anything I find for pictures..which was AWESOME! So of course I took advantage of that and found this old window pane! I immediately pictured using it for some of the detail shots and was so happy with the way they came out! I think it fit into the theme of the day perfectly! 

rustic bouquet with mint silk ribbon and old window panediamond dangle earrings and blue heels rustic industrial wedding details, bouquet on old window sillwedding rings on invitationbride applying lipstick in mirror, bridal suite photos at excelsiorround cut diamond engagement ring in a halo, wedding ring photo on eucalyptus leaftony burch perfume detail, wedding prep detail photos, mr and mrs ring dishBHDLN bridesmaid dresses, gray blue bridesmaid colorssoft blue wedding color details


Description of your gown? Why was this “the one?”
My dress is an ivory lace sweetheart-neck mermaid gown with a mauve-colored ribbon sash around the waist that ties into a bow and falls down the back of the dress. The dress has almost a pink glow in the light! It was the perfect combination of vintage and sparkle, and elegant but fitted all the right places. From the few times I made John watch “Say Yes to the Dress”, I knew that he couldn’t stand shapeless wedding dresses (or “bags” as he called them) so I wanted something that accentuated my body a little!

PS: How lucky was Sarah that this little door just happened to be mint and match her color scheme perfectly! I mean, c’mon!


alfred angelo wedding gown hanging at excelsior wedding venuealfred angelo wedding gown, strapless wedding gown with sweetheart necklinealfred angelo wedding gown detailsmr and mrs wedding dish detail

Describe your florals/bouquet
Our flowers are lush and vintage-inspired with lots of greenery (eucalyptus and olive branch) and cream, ivory, and light pink flowers, with hints of mint green and light blue. The bridesmaids will have long mint green ribbons hanging from their bouquets. My bouquet is relaxed and unstructured, with lots of peonies and roses to offset the dark green leaves beneath them. In addition to the bouquets, you’ll see this style across the top of our chuppah, on our cake, and in a variety of centerpieces during dinner – 8 tables will have high arrangements on a 4-post gold stands, and the other 12 tables will compliment that with lower arrangements to give the room some depth.

mauve white and eucalyptus wedding bouquet, badgley mischka wedding heelsroyal blue mrs. wedding ring box with badgley mischka wedding shoesbridesmaids during bridal prep photos, bridesmaids robe photobridal prep photos, wedding flower detailswedding bouquet on top of veilbridesmaids helping bride dress on her wedding dayalfred angelo ivory wedding gownblue silk ribbon tied to wedding bouquetblack and white photo of bride getting readybridal portraits in Lancaster PAwedding ring detail photo, scalloped wedding veil detailloose wedding bouquet with greenery and roses, white and pink wedding bouquetbridal details at excelsior wedding venuegroom getting ready photosgroom details on a vintage plate, brown dress shoessilver charger with grooms blue tie and detailsgroom getting dress photosthe tie bar, grooms detailsgrooms card to his bride, groom getting ready watch and cufflink detailsgroomsmen toasting photo, groomsmen sitting at a table

John and his groomsmen took their photos down in the was such a different and unique space, I love the way these came out! 

groomsmen in the catacombs of excelsiorfun groomsmen photosblack and white photos of groomsmengroomsmen in navy blue suits with light blue ties

Why did you choose your wedding venue?
We fell in love with Excelsior the moment we walked in. We had visited a few other venues in Hershey (where I grew up) and had driven to Lancaster that day to see another site that ended up not working out, but they recommended that we take a look at Excelsior, which wasn’t yet open. We knocked on the front door and almost walked away, but one of the owners answered (in the midst of sanding and painting in preparation for opening before their first wedding in 3 weeks!!) and showed us around. It had everything we wanted in a wedding venue – beautiful, spacious, and unique, even completely unfinished and covered in dust. We especially loved that the entire venue and all its spaces were ours for the night, so we could use it all however we wanted. Kelly and John, Excelsior’s owners, were so warm and kind. We loved them instantly and their vision for Excelsior was so clear, even still in the works. The decision was easy!  

first look at the excelsiorgrooms reaction to seeing his bride at the excelsiorbride and groom kiss at lancaster wedding venue


bride and groom portrait at excelsiorblack and white portraits of bride and groom, excelsior wedding photosOK, we need to discuss this bridal party!  22 of the most fun individuals EVER! No, seriously, they were sooooo loud and rowdy, and HILARIOUS..they had us cracking up all day! But on the flip side, we were able to settle them down enough to get this amazing modelesque, vogue inspired shot, which was one of my favorite images of the day! This group was so fun..I literally want to hang out with them all every weekend! LOL

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This image was in the elevator..YUP! It was painted in chalkboard paint and hand drawn, and inside the elevator there was chalk for the guests to write love notes and letters of advice to the bride and groom! How cool is THAT?!!?!?

elevator chalkboard sign, guestbook in the elevator, unique guestbook ideasindustrial chic wedding ideas, chandeliers and pillarsbride and father walking down the aisleexcelsior wedding ceremony detailjewish chuppa, floral overhang at excelsior wedding ceremony, eucalyptus and roses ceremony floral detailbride and groom at ceremony, ceremony chandelierbride and groom kissing at the altar

Even in the pouring rain, Sarah and John (without hesitation) gave me an astounding “YES” when I asked for 5 min to go outside! They were such troopers!!!! Oh, and we learned that getting a “blowing veil shot” when it’s raining outside is actually quite difficult! LOL

industrial green planter wall outside excelsior in lancaster PA, bride and groom with umbrellasbride and groom rain photobride and groom kissing in the rain, edison bulbs as wedding decorwindblown veil wedding photobride and groom posing in front of a brick wall


What are some of the unique items that you will be incorporating in to your wedding?
1. I love chalkboards – you will see calligraphy chalkboards all over the place! I had fun learning calligraphy for those! 
2. The Ketubah that we’re signing before the ceremony was created for us by a designer that I worked closely with through my job who lives in Chicago. We wrote most of the text ourselves and are so excited for that special moment with our grandparents before the ceremony begins. 
3. The glass that we will share wine out of during the ceremony was given to and engraved for John’s great-grandparents for their 25th wedding anniversary, so it’s over 100 years old. 
4. A piece of lace from my mom’s wedding dress will be wrapped around the stems of my bouquet. 


handmade chalkboard calligraphy signs, placecards, freshwater displayguestbook calligraphy signwelcome to our wedding calligraphy sign by bridevintage mirror with custom calligraphyvintage wedding centerpieces, eucalyptis with roses and ranunculus floral centerpiecessmall round sweetheart table for bride and groom, mr and mrs sign on sweet heart tablegold votive candle holderslow loose floral center pieces, glasswaresmall frame photobooth picture holderschampagne glass details, gold table numbersgold wedding reception details, chandeliers, excelsior wedding detailspastel colored wedding bouquets with silk ribbonround table seating arrangements, wedding table setupchic and vintage candle lantern on window sillsweetheart table floral piece, mr and mrs signbride and groom reception entrancemaid of honor and best man speeches at excelsiorbride and groom at excelsior sweetheart tablecustom calligraphy signature cocktail signsbouquets sitting on windowsillexcelsior wedding venue staircase, bride and groom first danceclose up of bride and grooms first dancefather daughter dance at excelsior wedding venuemother and son dance at excelsior wedding venue

What flavor is your cake?
Vanilla with buttercream frosting..John and I are purists when it comes to cake


classic vanilla with buttercream frosting wedding cake, three tiered wedding cake, classic wedding cake ideasJ & S wedding letter signageJOY wedding cake topperbride and groom cutting their cake at excelsior wedding venue in PAexcelsior wedding dessert hour detailsfun wedding guest photos, excelsior wedding guest photos, wedding receptions at excelsior venue in Lancaster

Where are you going on your honeymoon?
We’re going on a Mediterranean cruise! Flying to Venice the Saturday after our wedding and stopping in Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia, Olympus and Athens, Greece, and Ravenna, Italy, and spending a few days in Venice after the cruise before we come back to the US. We’re so excited!!!! 

Jewish weddings at Excelsior, hora dances



Advice for other brides planning their wedding?
Don’t procrastinate – take care of everything you can take care of early in your engagement so that you can have some down-time before all the details kick in during the last few months. There’s no way to avoid some stress near the end, so don’t make it worse than it has to be! ! Also – don’t forget the point of the wedding and why you’re doing it all. In the last few weeks I’ve reminded myself over and over that I have a dress, we have food and alcohol, everyone we love will be there, and at the end of the day I get to marry John, so everything else is really extra.





Love this wedding? PIN the image below or any of the pictures in this post! 🙂

Unique rustic wedding At the Excelsior in Lancaster PA

comments +

  1. Gorgeous wedding and stunning imagery! Beautiful work, Susan!

  2. Phylanne Morganstein says:

    I was a guest at this wedding – these photos are so stunning! You are a true artist. And you had the most gorgeous models in Sarah and John. Just amazing!

  3. Mark Reed says:

    This was a wonderful wedding! We provided the photo booth entertainment. Everyone was so much fun!

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