Colorful Restaurant Wedding in Philadelphia

July 7, 2023

For a couple who shares passions for travel, family, and food, a restaurant wedding is a great way to get married. Jane and Owen wanted to treat their closest friends and family to a decadent meal in a beautiful space, and Suraya in Philadelphia delivered. This wedding was full of joyful moments, amazing food, and beautiful design.

A colorful bridal bouquet sits beside a place setting at a restaurant wedding venue in Philadelphia.

A Joyful Restaurant Wedding

As soon as I spoke with Jane and Owen about their restaurant wedding, I knew the event would be special. My candid style was a good fit for their low-key wedding day. Jane said that they wanted “a photographer who can capture our joy in the most authentic way.” That’s exactly what I aim to do with my storytelling through photography and Super8 video. 

A floral wedding arch and chairs sit in the courtyard at Suraya Philadelphia.
A server sets plates on two long tables for a restaurant wedding in a private dining room in Philadelphia.
A groom and wedding guests climb down the stairs of a Philadelphia trolley.

In particular, it was important to Jane and Owen to preserve spontaneous moments rather than pose for portraits. They said, “We aren’t interested in having posed photographs to frame per se — we want relics that will remind us of how our wedding FELT, and how we felt being surrounded by so much love.” Throughout their wedding day, I prioritized the intimate, honest m moments. Jane and Owen laughed so much and shared so many romantic moments when they felt no one was looking. Those are the images that will remind them how their wedding felt.

A Philadelphia bride walks into a courtyard with white walls and strings of lights.
A bride and groom smile at each other during a first look at a restaurant wedding.
A Philadelphia bride poses in the courtyard of a restaurant with white walls and wooden tables around her.

That all goes for interactions between guests too! The wedding arch provided a unique perspective on the guests at Jane and Owen’s courtyard ceremony. I love the way the florals frame their bursts of laughter and happy tears.

A bride and groom sit against a blue wall on a bench in a Philadelphia restaurant.
A bride sits on a groom's lap, and he kisses her cheek.
A bride and groom are silhouetted against a tile floor of a restaurant wedding venue in Philadelphia
Older family members sit at a table in a courtyard.

Colorful Design at Suraya

As a Philadelphia wedding photographer, I’ve seen weddings in all kinds of venues. I love a restaurant wedding because the “design” is already determined for you. Usually, it’s modern and beautifully thought through. That takes a lot of work off your plate when it comes to planning. Suraya, for example, has such an incredible color scheme with earthy reds, deep blues, and warm wood furniture. Jane and Owen didn’t need to add anything to make it feel special. 

Wedding guests turn to watch a bride and groom walk up the aisle together in Suraya's courtyard.
A bride reads her vows from a piece of paper at an outdoor wedding ceremony in Philadelphia.
Wedding guests laugh and wipe away tears in a restaurant courtyard.
A groom steps on a glass wrapped in a napkin while holding a bride's hand.

The colorful florals elevated the space even more, though. Their floral arch complimented the botanical mural and multi-hued tiles for their courtyard ceremony. In the dining room, the florals on the mantle added a lush touch. 

A server carries a tray of drinks to a group of wedding guests.
Servers carry cocktails and hors d'oeuvres through the Suraya courtyard at a restaurant wedding cocktail hour.
Through a window, guests gather in the Suraya courtyard for a wedding cocktail hour.

If you’re going to have a wedding at a restaurant, it’s always nice to have access to outdoor space. Guests could enjoy the indoor/outdoor experience at Jane and Owen’s Suraya wedding. It made it easier to transition between parts of the wedding day (such as cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing). The courtyard added to the Mediterranean charm at Suraya, too.

Guests eat small plates of Mediterranean food in a private dining room at a restaurant wedding.
French fries and plates of food sit under warming lamps on a long counter.
Guests sit in a courtyard under strings of lights.

As gorgeous as Suraya is, the best part of a wedding here is that they serve some of the best food in town. Jane and Owen’s guests got to share endless decadent small plates and fresh pita bread. Even the drinks at cocktail hour were crafted meticulously. It really made for a perfect evening. 

A bride and groom cut into a wedding cake decorated with vibrant flowers.
A bride and groom dance beside a wedding arch in Suraya's courtyard.
A wedding guest wearing a blue dress leans against an outdoor bar.

The choice of cuisine was very personal for Jane, too. She studied Arabic in Syria and feels very connected to the Levant region of the Middle East. When I first spoke with Jane and Owen, they said they were “huge foodies and SO excited to have a wedding menu that we think will blow our guests’ socks off.” That wasn’t hard to achieve at Suraya!

Wedding guests hold hands and dance in a circle at a restaurant wedding.
A groom makes a silly face as wedding guests lift him in a chair for the hora.
Wedding guests gather at a table and beside a bar at a Suraya wedding reception.

Owen and Jane’s Intimate Celebration on Super8

In addition to digital photography, I documented Jane and Owen’s wedding on film and Super8 video. I’m really passionate about Super8 for wedding videography. It’s nostalgic and intimate, but it’s also so minimalist in a really modern way. Like film, Super8 is a really unique addition to wedding coverage because it’s not something that you can overproduce or edit beyond recognition. I love the way the colors and joyful moments from Jane and Owen’s wedding translated into Super8. Check out their video below!

Would you like to see other restaurant weddings in Philadelphia? Check these out:

Thank you to the vendors who made this restaurant wedding unforgettable:
Photographer and Videographer: Jason Moody Photography
Assistant Photographer: Devon Dadoly
Planner: SLC Event Company
Venue and Caterer: Suraya
Florals: Walter Pine Floral Studio
Cake: HB Cuppycakes
DJ: Philly Custom DJ
Hair & Makeup: Cheekadee Makeup Artistis
Dress: Justin Alexander
Suit: Oscar Jacobson
Jewelry: Rendrag Jewelry