Weddings have one purpose: to unite two people in marriage. But as you will discover, no two weddings are alike. Each one conveys the beliefs, personalities and styles of the bride and groom. Add cultural backgrounds and family traditions, and you have the makings for some very personal weddings. Mix in the variety of venues the county has to offer, and you have the ingredients for one-of-a-kind weddings,
We’d like to thank Ashley (Singer) and Andrew Garrett, Colleen (Jackson) and Rob Murphy, II, Anne (Nikolaus) and Paul Pereira, Briana (Webster) and Justin Hess, and Kelly (Webster) and Daniel Weaver for sharing their big days with the magazine.
We’d also like to thank the following photographers for sharing the images from the aforementioned weddings:
Tony Gibble Photography: Tonygibblephotography.com
Ben Reeder Photography: Benreederphotography.com
Kylene Lynn Photography: Kylenelynn.com
Bill Hunking: Billhunking.ifp3.com
Kate L. Jeffreys Photography: Kateljeffreys.com
Kelly Webster and Daniel Weaver
September 27, 2014
Their Parents: Kelly’s parents are Vandy Garrison and Kip Webster. Daniel’s parents are Linda and Harold Weaver.
How They Met: Kelly, who is a patient registrar, was out for a spontaneous girls’ night, when she and Dan, who is an LPN specializing in home health care, crossed paths. She remembers the “sweet joke” he cracked upon meeting her.
How Dan Proposed: According to Kelly, “He was on one knee, crying and saying the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard.” He then presented her with the “most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen.”
Ceremony/Reception Sites: The wedding was held at the Kirkwood home of Dan’s sister.
Vision/Theme: Kelly describes her wedding as “intimate, DIY, vintage, rustic and harvest” all rolled into one. “I’ve always thought Maid Marian and Robin Hood’s wedding in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was absolutely beautiful,” notes Kelly. “It definitely inspired me.”
Color Scheme: Kelly employed hues such as red, mustard yellow, burnt orange and indigo blue to carry out the “vibrant autumnal colors with a twist” color scheme.
Floral Story: The dried floral bouquets and boutonnieres were comprised of berries, pomegranates and artichokes, which allowed them to serve as mementos of the wedding.
Cake Profile: The confection was equal parts golden-vanilla cake with raspberry filling and lemon buttercream, and pumpkin-spice cake with cinnamon cream icing.
First Dance: Kelly and Dan danced to James Taylor’s Something in the Way She Moves Me.
The Unique Factor: Kelly notes that “almost every detail was created or given to us by a loved one, making everything even more special and personal to us.”
Favorite Memory: Kelly says it was their “first look; the moment Dan and I were able to steal away, just the two of us, in order to focus on what was really important – the true meaning of the day – before the whirlwind began.”
Honeymoon Destination: The newlyweds honeymooned at Ompah Village in Ontario, Canada.
Anne Nikolaus and Paul Pereira
March 7, 2015
Their Parents: Anne’s parents are Don and Betsy Nikolaus. Paul’s parents, Carlos and Augusta Pereira, who emigrated from Portugal, live in Yardley.
How They Met: Anne, who moved to Philadelphia in 2009 and is the marketing manager for DLA Piper, a global law firm, met Paul, who is president of Core Concrete and Masonry, Inc., through mutual friends at a brunch in April of that year. Their friendship blossomed into romance in 2013.
How/Where Paul Proposed: Paul orchestrated a photo shoot for the two of them at the Morris Arboretum (University of Pennsylvania). “It gave me a good excuse to have my hair and makeup done,” says Anne of the beautiful day in May. After moving from location to location, Anne and Paul found themselves in a field of azaleas. “Next thing I knew, Paul was getting down on one knee and holding up a ring,” Anne recalls. “He seemed a little nervous, which made me nervous!” He popped the question, she said yes, and then they popped a bottle of Veuve, which Paul arranged to have on-site.
Ceremony Site: Anne and Paul were married at St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church. “I attended elementary school at St. Leo’s,” Anne explains of her choice. “In addition to Father Peter Hahn as celebrant, Father Michael Rothan, who was my former science teacher, was the co-celebrant. It was very special and meaningful to have him there.”
Reception Venue: Lancaster Country Club. Again, Anne’s choice had special significance. “I grew up playing golf at LCC and always wanted to have my wedding at the club,” she explains. “Paul and I are now members and take joint lessons when we can on weekends.”
Vision/Theme: “From the moment I began planning my wedding, I knew I wanted a consistent and clear wedding brand,” Anne notes. “I thought of things I love. Drama. Chandeliers. Making a statement.” As a result, Anne incorporated their wedding date, initials and a chandelier image into all aspects of the wedding, from the step-and-repeat backdrop for photography to cocktail napkins, restroom hand towels and all the printed materials. Seven chandeliers were brought in to decorate the ballroom. “I wanted a big city grandeur vibe – with a timeless elegance,” Anne explains. “I think my event designers and I really achieved that goal. And, it was so much fun bringing my ideas to life.”
Color Scheme: Black and white – with a dash of silver – were the definitive colors of this wedding. “When people asked me what my colors were, and I told them, they were usually surprised and said, ‘ooh,’ or ‘that’s different.’” Anne loved that it would be different. In her opinion, “Everything translated beautifully through these simple but striking colors.” Event Designer Lisa Wood, whose own wedding employed that color scheme, “totally got what I was trying to achieve,” says Anne. “Special Occasions, who supplied the linens, has incredible black, white and sparkle options that really set the stage.”
Floral Story: In this case, lush and full provided the drama. “Stacia McClune-McComsey of Petals with Style understood the style I wanted and brought great ideas to the table,” Anne notes. “We made sure the three styles of tables had different floral heights, combinations and looks that would set them apart, yet tie it all together. I loved every detail she created.”
Cake Profile: “I designed my cake with Renee Hackman of Bella Manse,” Anne says of the four-tiered cake that featured “a different and amazing flavor” in each tier. Roses made from sugar cascaded down the white and ivory frosted tiers. Roses were placed beneath the glass cake stand. “I loved how we connected the real flowers with the cascading sugar roses,” Anne adds. “It really elongated and expanded the effect.”
Song/Music for First Dance: John Legend’s All of Me … as recorded by Anne. “I grew up singing, and it’s always been a part of my life,” Anne explains. So, she decided to record their favorite song as a surprise for Paul. She worked with Mike Bitts of Mike Bitts Music, who provided accompaniment and put the arrangement together, as well as Chad Kinsey, who owns The Upper Room Studio in Lancaster. “It was a fun way to showcase my art and add great sentimental value to my wedding day,” Anne explains.
The Unique Factor: Anne credits “extensive attention to detail” for making her wedding unique. “I took advantage of every opportunity I could identify to make a mark on the wedding,” she notes, pointing to the first dance song, the Love/Villanova (her alma mater) ice sculpture, photos from the engagement shoot, and the logo that was used throughout as examples of her style and taste. And, she and Paul, “gave back,” as donations were made to several animal-rescue organizations in honor of their guests.
Favorite Wedding Day Memory: Anne’s favorite memories include walking up to her father in the vestibule of the church and having him see her in her dress for the first time, having her father walk her down the aisle, dancing with Paul to their song, and sitting at their sweetheart table and watching all their guests truly enjoying themselves. “Seeing people enjoy themselves makes me happy as a hostess, and knowing that our guests truly enjoyed our wedding was an amazing and satisfying moment for me,” Anne reflects. “I feel like I really delivered on this most important event of my life.”
Honeymoon Destination: The newlyweds honeymooned at the Viceroy Hotel in Anguilla.
Colleen Jackson and Robert Murphy, II
June 27, 2015
Their Parents: Colleen’s parents are Jean Hess and Bruce Jackson. Rob’s parents are Mary and the late Robert Murphy, Jr.
How They Met: Colleen’s job as an occupational therapist requires her to visit school districts and hospitals. Rob, who is now the general manager at Certified Carpet, was working on his degree in health and physical education. He was student teaching at Manheim Central High School, which was on Colleen’s Tuesday itinerary. Every Tuesday Rob would watch for her to arrive. Knowing Rob’s infatuation, his co-op instructor arranged for them to “discuss” a student the two shared. Colleen admits that while she maintained her professional demeanor, she was equally as intrigued. The scenario continued until a custodian at the school took matters into her own hands. She asked Colleen if she was single and, upon receiving verification, divulged that Rob would like to ask her out. Their first date was dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant.
How/Where Rob Proposed: Colleen and Rob’s favorite Friday date night spot was Caruso’s in Neffsville. One night, as they were finishing their pizza, the server approached and asked if they would like to try a special dessert. They agreed to her suggestion. A box arrived at the table. Colleen opened it and saw a sparkling diamond ring. Rob’s proposal was followed by a small gathering he and his family had arranged.
Ceremony Site: Historic St. Mary’s Church in Lancaster.
Reception Venue: The Booking House in Manheim.
The Vision/Theme: Colleen was inspired by the rustic aspect – brick and rough-hewn wood – of The Booking House, as well as the crystal chandelier that brings sparkle to the venue’s main reception room. As a result, she incorporated crystals into every detail of the wedding. The venue’s layout perfectly fit the couple’s desire to host a festive dance party following dinner. The third floor Crow’s Nest provided a lounge where guests could indulge in cigars and candy.
Color Scheme: Summer lent itself to coral (bridesmaids’ dresses) and navy (groomsmen’s three-piece suits and bow ties). Ivory served as the accent color.
Floral Story: Colleen and floral designer Tara Folker from Splints & Daisies were on the same page from the get-go: Go big or go home. Colleen’s vision of trumpet vases (for the head table) overflowing with ivory hydrangea and roses was readily met. Guest tables were topped with similar designs that were scaled back in size so as to not interfere with conversation.
Cake Profile: Even the cake played to the crystal theme, as each of its three tiers was placed atop a crystal-embellished cake stand. “Rosie [Rohrer] did a fabulous job,” Colleen reports.
First Dance: Colleen and Rob danced to Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud.
The Unique Factor: It’s said that rain on your wedding day brings good luck. If that’s the case, Colleen and Rob have a blissful life ahead of them. “We were planning for a beautiful, warm, sunny day,” the June bride recalls. It was anything but that! It poured from morning to night. The temperature rose to a high of 62 degrees. But, when Colleen and Rob think back to their big day, rain is the last thing that comes to mind. Instead, they remember their “talented vendors,” as well as their “amazing friends and family, who were happy from the time they arrived to the second they left.” According to Colleen, those sentiments made them realize that “perfect outdoor pictures don’t compare to the ones taken with the people who shared our day.”
Favorite Memory: While the entire day was memorable, Colleen and Rob loved seeing the packed dance floor. “From young friends to grandparents using walkers, there was not a single person left sitting in their chair,” says Colleen, who credits the band, Lima Bean Riot, for infusing the venue with nonstop energy.
Honeymoon Destination: The Murphys honeymooned at Sandals LaSource Grenada.
Briana Webster and Justin Hess
October 10, 2015
Their Parents: Briana is the daughter of Roger and Sandra Webster of Nauvoo, Alabama. Justin’s parents are Robin and Marilyn Hess, and Lenny and Deb Droege.
How They Met: Cyberspace, specifically Christian Mingle, gets the credit for this match. After many hours of conversations via telephone and Skype, Briana, who is this magazine’s assistant editor, relocated to Lancaster in order to be near Justin, who is a lead at XPO Logistics in Harrisburg, and his daughter Danielle. Incredibly, the two only met in person a total of three times before she moved 900 miles in order to be with him. She calls the move, “Best decision ever!”
How/Where Justin Proposed: Justin wanted to have his and Briana’s families present when he proposed. It just so happened that Briana’s parents were in Lancaster over the 2014 holiday season. It is also customary for Justin’s family to host a New Year’s get-together. So the stage was set. After the ball dropped in Times Square – and the family offered a prayer for the year to come – Justin dropped to one knee and asked Briana to marry him.
Ceremony Site/Reception Venue: Union Meeting House in Marietta.
Vision/Theme: Briana loves antiques and vintage items and sometimes thinks she was born in the wrong era. “As soon as I toured the Union Meeting House, I knew it was the site where I wanted our wedding to take place,” she says. “It perfectly meshed with the romantic and intimate ambiance I wanted to create.” From there she went to work in order to add personal touches to the historic building that dates to 1818. For example, her sister borrowed an old typewriter from a family member, while Briana scoured Pinterest for other ideas. The décor was fashioned from burlap, lace, tulle, white twinkle lights and organza. The couple exchanged vows in front of a backdrop that was crafted from old windows Justin found in his grandfather’s barn. The frame was embellished with lights and flowers.
As for the mid-afternoon reception, Briana wanted to do it Southern style: No sit-down, multi-course dinner, but rather more like a church social. The buffet featured ham balls, tea-style sandwiches, cheese, fruit and vegetable trays and chicken fingers (both fried and grilled). Ice-filled galvanized tubs held bottles of water and soda. Of course, Southern sweet tea was also on the menu. The dessert station offered everything from donut holes to their favorite candy.
In order to transform the building from a ceremony site to a reception venue, guests were invited to visit the nearby museum that is devoted to the history of Marietta.
Color Scheme: Dark plum, a variety of pinks, cream and shades of green.
Floral Story: Pinterest helped Briana convey her vision to Jill Hoffines-Erb of Floral Designs of Mount Joy. And, according to Briana, Jill nailed it. Mason jars filled with flowers and candles lined the aisles. A garland accent hung from the window-backdrop. Toolboxes that were overflowing with flowers and greenery were positioned by the backdrop. Bouquets comprised of purple cala lilies, roses, baby’s breath and astilbe provided the perfect color story for early fall.
Cake Profile: Briana worked with Joanne Pinkerton, owner of The Gathering Place (which catered the reception), to design her cake. Again, Pinterest provided the inspiration for the design that entailed edible flowers and lace and marble cake. Briana also incorporated another Southern tradition by providing Justin with a groom’s cake, which typically conveys a favorite sports team, hobby, etc. For Justin’s cake, Briana borrowed from his favorite superhero – Superman.
Song/Music for First Dance: The newlyweds danced to Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years. Briana also walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of the song.
The Unique Factor: Family was another theme that wove its way through Briana and Justin’s wedding. Briana even had her late grandfather with her as she walked down the aisle, as her sister gave her a photo of him to tuck into her bouquet. “He was one of the main heroes in my life,” Briana explains. “He was a great role model, husband, father, minister, veteran and perfect grandpa, or ‘Pa,’ as we called him.” Briana also felt it was important to include Danielle in the ceremony; hence, she served as one of the two flower girls (her niece served as the other, while her nephew was the ring bearer). After exchanging vows with Justin, Briana then turned to Danielle, sharing vows and presenting her with a special locket. “I got the idea from our minister, who said he had seen something similar at a wedding he had attended. It allowed me to not only make a vow to Justin to be his wife, but I also made a vow to Danielle to be her mother.”
Favorite Memory: Briana names “seeing Justin’s face” as she walked down the aisle, “dancing with my daddy,” and saying goodbye to her sister and niece, “who had me bawling and squalling as I left for the night.”
Honeymoon Destination: Justin surprised Briana with an overnight stay at the Hotel Hershey. They will be honeymooning in Palm Springs, California, in February.
Ashley Singer and Andrew Garrett
July 4, 2015
Their Parents: Ashley’s parents are Cindy and Glenn Singer. Andrew is the son of Mary Ann and Daniel Garrett.
How They Met: Both are graduates of Warwick High School, but because of their three-year age difference, their paths didn’t cross in high school. However, after graduating from college, they found themselves in the same social circle. The next thing Ashley knew, Andrew asked her for a date. “The rest is history!” she says.
How Andrew Proposed: Ashley, who is a first-grade teacher in the Hempfield School District, and Andrew, who is a math teacher in the Cocalico School District, were enjoying Thanksgiving Day (2013) with the Garretts. Conversation swirled around the dinner table. Suddenly, Andrew stood up and announced he had something to share. Ashley began to cry. “They were tears of joy,” she says. Still, she says she can’t believe “he was asking me to marry him in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner and in front of his entire family!”
Ceremony Site/Reception Venue: The Inn at Leola Village.
Vision/Theme: It just so happens that the Fourth of July is one of Ashley and Andrew’s favorite holidays. When they discovered it fell on a Saturday in 2015, there was no question regarding the date for their wedding. “We usually spend the Fourth with family and friends, so it was a logical choice,” Ashley explains. Plus, they wanted to host a weekend-long wedding, so again the date made sense, as did having the wedding at The Inn at Leola Village. “We fell in love with the entire site,” she continues. “We wanted a more formal, classic-style wedding, and the gardens and architecture were perfect.” Plus, you never know about July weather. Not wanting to make last-minute changes due to rain or heat, Ashley and Andrew felt the ballroom, with its views of the gardens, provided a wonderful fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces (alas, it did rain throughout the day).
Color Scheme: Purple and gray, with homage paid to the red, white and blue.
Floral Story: Touches of purple – cala lilies, roses and lisianthus – brought a pop of color to Ashley’s all-white bouquet. Her bridesmaids carried bouquets that exuded shades of lavender and purple. The aisle, which was strewn with rose petals, was lined with large pillars that flickered with floating candles. Guest tables were topped with various sizes of pillars in which orchids and candles floated.
Cake Profile: The four-tier cake featured alternating flavors of Snow White with Chocolate Chunks and Champagne Chiffon. Raspberry filling defined the layers.
Song/Music for First Dance: Your Mess is Mine by Vance Joy. “We chose this song together, so it’s a memory that means a lot to us,” Ashley explains.
The Unique Factor: Andrew’s father, The Honorable Daniel B. Garrett, performed the ceremony, which according to Ashley, “made the day even more special.” Ashley and Andrew not only wrote their own vows, but the ceremony, as well. Then, according to Ashley, it was time for fun: As members of the wedding party were introduced at the reception, they made their way into the room wearing red, white and blue accessories. The day was also saluted with a Fourth of July themed signature drink and a sparkler exit.
Favorite Memory: “The first look was very special,” Ashley recalls of the private moment the two shared prior to the ceremony. “Seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day was very memorable and is something we will both cherish forever. It allowed us to get the first-look jitters out of the way and enjoy our ceremony.”
Honeymoon Destination: Riviera Maya, Mexico.