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The Bride Wore Vivienne Westwood and Danielle Frankel to Her Backyard Wedding in Pennsylvania

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

du soleil

|Planning by 

Le Petite Privé

Sofia Schena and Ryan O’Neill first met when they were three years old, but it wasn’t until 2020 when they truly connected. Working in New York and Philadelphia respectively, Sofia and Ryan returned home to Wayne, Pennsylvania, when the pandemic struck. Ryan posted an Instagram Story, and Sofia reacted with the applause emoji. He immediately called a mutual friend to verify if Sofia was single—she was. He swiftly invited her for a Tuesday walk around the neighborhood. By Sunday, he asked her to be his girlfriend.

Four months later, Ryan’s mother told him to propose. “If Ryan had proposed that quickly, I would have been surprised, but I know I would have said yes,” Sofia admits. Instead, he waited a little more than a year to propose.

Their hometown played a pivotal role in their love story, so keeping their wedding local was important. “The setting of the area is spectacular with colonial-style homes in-between tall trees and a fresh air feeling that’s difficult to describe,” Sofia shares. Their families’ church, St. Thomas of Villanova, was the obvious ceremony venue of choice with its history and vaulted ceilings. Sofia’s family’s home with its spacious backyard proved to be the perfect milieu for a black-tie garden party with their 215 guests. It was also a sentimental selection—”Ryan picked me up on our first date here, and it’s where he got to know my family well during those first few months of our dating life,” Sofia notes about the house.

Sofia wanted her wedding to feel and look luxurious without being too “buttoned up” and formal. A difficult balance to strike, but then, she swiped onto Australian actress Nadia Fairfax’s dreamy nuptial pictures on Instagram. “She did bright and colorful flowers in a way I had never seen before,” Sofia recalls. Le Petite Privé planned the exact event she hoped for. “I can’t commend Xin and the team enough,” she gushes about her planner. “Truly a game changer!”

Sofia was additionally inspired by photos from Ryan’s parents’ wedding. His mother, Jeannie, wore lace gloves that Sofia asked to see in person. Ryan’s aunt, however, had repurposed the gloves into her wedding dress sleeves. Sofia was able to convert the sleeves into gloves again for the rehearsal dinner. Already, Ryan’s sister and his cousin have requested to don the gloves for their own weddings.

“Beauty was top of my list in terms of investment,” Sofia says. “I wouldn’t compromise on it and really only wanted the best.” Her favorite Pilates instructor introduced her to Sophia Vallejos, and there was an instant connection. And Xin pulled together two hair stylists from Kristi Hair and Makeup at the last minute.

Dress shopping was a mother-daughter affair that culminated in a trip to the Vivienne Westwood atelier in New York City. Once Sofia tried on the Cora Cocotte gown of heavy satin, she knew it was the one. The bride paired the dress with Ryan’s older sister’s lacy veil and white Saint Laurent heels.

So in love with this outfit, Sofia was unsure if she’d have a second look. But after visiting the Danielle Frankel atelier one month before the wedding and seeing the Liv Dress, she knew she had to have it, even though it was only available on pre-order. Xin was able to have the outfit shipped at record time for the reception.

On September 17, 2022, Sofia and her father walked down the aisle to meet her groom dressed in his Dior tuxedo. “I did my best to try and take mental pictures of the ceremony,” she confides. Instead, she will refer to du soleil’s breathtaking photos. The couple’s longtime priest tailored the service to their relationship, before the bride and groom recited their memorized vows to one another.

The newlyweds drove off with the top down to Sofia’s house. This was the same car Ryan used to pick her up in for their very first date. Before entering, they stood across the street to survey the bustling cocktail hour in the front yard and take a moment together. Their Miles Film videographers even snuck over appetizers for the couple to have while they chatted and admired the house under the trees. Ryan will cite this—witnessing Sofia take in all of her planning coming to fruition—as his favorite part of the reception.

Mood Ginevra Antonini, an Italy and Paris-based chef was flown in for the elegant affair and prepared the entire meal from scratch. Guests enjoyed incredible hors d’oeuvres while listening to live jazz. Then Antonini wowed with a homemade carbonara pasta. Drexelbrook staffed the dinner with white glove service, and sweet family toasts commenced later underneath the tent. The bride and groom then cut their New June Bakery wedding cake.

The couple shared their first dance to Michael Bublé’s “Everything” and spent the rest of the night dancing until 3:00 a.m. Eddie Bruce and the BVT Live band left by 11:30 p.m., but their after-party deejay swiftly took control of the music. “Little did we know, we had two noise complaints that almost led the party to being shut down,” Sofia divulges. “Luckily, my dad convinced the police to let us continue if we moved the deejay inside.” Ryan and his groomsmen moved the dining room furniture and set DJ Adrian Hardy in there. Late-night bites included freshly-made, brick oven pizzas, a dessert station, and Maui Wowi espresso. The bride and groom had so many coffee cocktails, they were wide-eyed until 6:00 a.m. as they debriefed their fabulous night.