Mark and I met in January 2013 in physical therapy school at Temple when both of our classes were at a conference in San Diego and have been together since then.
August 8th, 2015 in LBI. I absolutely thought he was going to propose the night before since we were going to have dinner at our favorite restaurant in Philadelphia and was pretty bummed when I was wrong! But little did I know, both of our families were totally in on the surprise for the proposal to happen in LBI where Mark’s parents own a beach house. My parents and sister had planned to come down to LBI for the weekend and my mom suggested that we take “family photos by the beach” before dinner. This was actually the ploy to get everyone to the beach for Mark to pop the question.
After I said “YES!” our parents brought over a bottle of champagne to celebrate and then Mark’s parents surprised everyone with a catered dinner back at their house…we walked in and the house was full of food and drinks!
Some Pre-Planning Details:
We knew we wanted an October 2016 wedding but we had to coordinate with our 3 other friends who all got engaged around the same time. We were originally hoping for October 22nd but our friends ended up booking their wedding that weekend in California so we chose the 14th. It ended up being PERFECT weather on our wedding day – it was 65 and sunny! (The following weekend’s weather was not so great so that worked…)
We were really drawn to the romantic feel of a mansion-style venue. I actually went to look at Aldie with my mom one night when Mark was working late and immediately fell in love! Every aspect of the home has so much character and there were so many interesting areas to take pictures…and who could pass up the amazing Oak tree and super long pathway leading to the garden where we were married!
I had a pretty easy time figuring out the style of dress but I didn’t know exactly what type of material I wanted. I have some curves to my figure so I knew fit-and-flare would be the perfect style! I ended up making appointments at 3 bridal salons and narrowing it down to 2 dresses. I knew the Enzoani Jenny dress from Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo was mine when I never wanted to take it off and would stare of pictures of it on my phone almost every day. Finally, I made the appointment to say YES to my dress and my parents and sister (on face-time) got to celebrate with me in the store! Since we had such an awesome experience with the bridal shop in Bucks County for dress shopping, we didn’t even consider going anywhere else for the guys’ tuxes.
More Planning Fun:
The accessories I wore (Swarovski earrings and necklace) were given to me by Mark’s mom, Charleen, as a gift prior to the wedding. My favorite color has always been purple and I also absolutely love the color gray… so those were our colors. We even painted our new home in these colors since I love them so much!
My Maid of Honor was my sister Nicole and I had 7 bridesmaids. Blair and Sarah have been my best friends since 2nd grade, Kristen (Kree) has been my best friend since 7th grade when we bonded over both playing the flute. Katie (KP) and I became best friends when we both played on the Penn State Altoona basketball team our sophomore year of college. And Kara, Kristen, and Annie are my best friends from PT school at Temple. I also had the best flower girl in the world… my little cousin Grace. Mark’s Best Men were his brother Brett and his best friend since 6th grade, Adam. His 5 groomsmen were his best friend from 3rd grade Brian, his cousins Matt and Jordan, and his best friends from PT school Joe and Cameron.
The Pre-Wedding Parties:
My sister did an absolutely amazing job planning my bridal shower and bachelorette party! She is still in college so I know she got some help from my mom and bridesmaids but she definitely was the mastermind behind a lot of it and it blew me away! My bridal shower was at Rose Bank Winery and 10 of my best girlfriends traveled to Chicago for my bachelorette weekend. During the weekend in Chicago we did a brewery tour of Goose Island (Goose Island IPA is one of mine and Mark’s favorites!), went out in Wrigleyville, walked around to some of the touristy spots (The Bean, waterfront, etc.), went on a prohibition bar tour, and of course ate deep dish pizza!
The Walk Down the Aisle:
Walking down the VERY long aisle of Aldie Mansion was absolutely one of my favorite parts of the wedding day. I walked down the aisle to the instrumental version of 1000 years by The Piano Guys. I loved how long the walk was because I couldn’t even see anyone yet when my Dad and I first started walking until we turned the corner by the Oak tree. It was very emotional (especially for Mark!) but so awesome to have everyone who loves you watching you walk toward the man you love so much.
Mark and I love to cook together and one night as we were making dinner before we even got engaged I heard a song come on Pandora that I instantly knew would be our wedding song. It’s called Never Stop (wedding version) by SafetySuit.
My something borrowed/something old was my grandpa’s purple heart from WW1 and my great grandmother’s handkerchief which I had wrapped around my bouquet. My mom also had my great grandmother’s handkerchief tied around her bouquet when she and my dad got married.
When the song Jump Around by House of Pain came on, our Photographer Dan (Daniel Moyer Photography), ran up to me and goes “HEATHER! This is my karaoke song! Can I please jam to this?!” He grabbed the mic from the DJ and rapped the entire song. It was AWESOME and everyone was going nuts!
I really just want to give a HUGE thank you to our parents and bridal party for making our day so perfect and putting up with all my craziness for 14 months.
I also want to thank every single one of our vendors. We worked so hard on surrounding ourselves with people who genuinely cared about our wedding and who felt more like friends than vendors. We were definitely successful in that:
Bridal Gown – Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo Bridal Shop in Bucks County
Tuxedos – Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo
Photography – Daniel Moyer Photography
Wedding DJ – Total Entertainment DJ (Rodney & Michelle Smith)
Wedding Florist – Posey Hill Flowers (Hilary Hogan)
Videographer – Above & Beyond Wedding Studio
Day of Coordinator – Table 1 Event Planning (Lauren Schmitz)
Bridal Hair Stylist – Christina Cracchiolo, RIAH Hair Studio
Wedding Make-up – All Dolled Up (Jacqueline Cipullo)