- 3 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
The night before the wedding, I slept better than I’d slept in weeks…no sarcasm, totally serious. I actually slept as well as I did during the honeymoon. I slept so well, in fact, that I almost didn’t hear the hair and makeup artist (from Studio 444) knocking on the hotel room door at 7:15 am. I let them in and went back to bed for a while. At 8, the moms and maids started arriving to my bridal suite to get pretty. The hotel provided a lovely breakfast spread (a bunch of drinks and parfaits, fruit and pastries) and my MIL made mimosas. While I was getting my makeup done, DH’s BM arrived with my wedding gift—a beautiful tennis bracelet…what?!!?!? Meanwhile, one of my MOH’s delivered DH’s gift to him—2 personalized tie bars. One in gold with a tiny map of Philly and one in pewter with his monogram and our wedding date stamped on it. I wasn’t sure which watch he’d want to wear, so I got him both options.
Before I knew it, it was time to get dressed, take a couple quick pics in the suite, and boogie to the trolley (Philadelphia Trolley Works) waiting downstairs. I was the picture of calm leading up to the ceremony. Happy as a clam…cool as a cucumber…insert cliché here. I wanted desperately to be a pretty, happy bride (no ugly crying!) so I wouldn’t let my dad say anything sentimental to me, but instead we danced like goofy fools in the courtyard while we waited for our turn to walk down the aisle. My plan (somewhat) failed. As soon as the doors opened, and I looked down that beautiful Gothic Revival Style aisle to my (then) FI’s smiling face, the tears started rolling, but I kept my smile in tact.
When we reached the end of the aisle, my dad and I had a funny moment when I tried to pull the handkerchief from his tux, not realizing it was fake and was SEWN IN. Cue the giggles from those who knew what was going on. The ceremony was my favorite part of the entire day. The priest is my favorite priest I’ve ever met and she gave the most meaningful, beautiful homily I’ve ever heard at a wedding…I get that it was my own wedding, so obviously it would be more meaningful to me, but Mother Erika went so far as to sing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” in her incredible soprano, because she remembers us as the “Cinderella Castle Couple” (we were engaged on a boat in front of the castle during the fireworks). I think I also really liked the ceremony because it was so quiet and calm, and the priest was in charge…not me (this, coming from a control freak).
After we were officially husband and wife, we went to a side room while our guests filed out of the church and were given ribbon wands and asked to line up in the church’s amazing rose garden (in the middle of a freakin’ city!) As we stepped into the garden, our 140 guests waved their wands and the father of a GM played his bagpipes in his full kilt regalia. After the receiving line, we took a couple quick family pics before the bridal party headed to the trolley. The GM’s had decorated the trolley and there was a cooler with lots of awesome drink options ready to go too. We proceeded to take pictures at Rittenhouse (the bench we first kissed on!), Love Park, The Junior League, the median on Broad Street by City Hall, and of course, The Bellevue.
From there, we went to the tail end of our cocktail hour in the Conservatory where we mingled with guests while my cousin played the grand piano. I don’t think I ate more than one hors d’oeuvre. Upstairs in the Rose Garden Ballroom, we were announced and DH promptly stepped on my bustle, ripping it out, just seconds before our foxtrot was to begin. I was so happy, I really didn’t care, and proceeded to tuck the train up into the back of the dress. Our foxtrot didn’t go exactly as planned, but everyone said it looked great, and the dip/kiss at the end was perfect, so who cares, amiright?!?
The parent dances happened and then first course was served (scallops on risotto that was actually cooked properly) and I spent the next 20 minutes in the ladies’ room while my photographer sewed and pinned my train back up. Once I was finally back at my table, my MOH’s gave a joint speech that made us laugh and cry. For dinner, DH had the beef tenderloin and I had the bomb-ass chicken and his Best Man gave one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard at a wedding…without notes!
The dance floor filled at an alarming rate and our two Irish clans cut some serious rugs. My dad’s cousin came out dressed in a full-on chicken suit and the Chicken Dance happened…yep. Dancing will all of our crazy friends and family was soooo much fun, but seemed to go by too quickly. Before we knew it, the DJ was announcing that the Chickie’s and Pete’s Cheesesteaks and Crabfries were ready in the foyer. For the last song of the night, we chose “Lean on Me” and followed the tradition we had recently seen at a friend’s wedding. The DJ asked all of the guests to circle around us on the dance floor and DH and I stood in the middle while everyone sang along and swayed to the song. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it; it was so moving. Finally, the same cousin in the chicken suit sang Danny Boy, and we thanked everyone for coming and announced the after party.
The after party was at Tavern on Broad, which also in the hotel. We had arranged to have a private area with drink and appetizer specials. When DH and I arrived, we found almost all of our family and friends assembled there and we closed the bar down at 2:30am!
Sunday was Father’s Day, and DH and I treated our Dads (and moms) and my Uncle (and aunt) to a Father’s Day brunch at XIX in the Bellevue. The food was delicious, and it was a perfect way to cap off our wedding weekend before everyone headed home. Sunday afternoon was relaxing—DH and I went to see his friend’s improv performance at the Walnut Street Theatre and went to dinner at the Irish Pub before crashing—we were headed to Jamaica in the morning!
For pics, check out #johnlovesamy on Instagram