Dress blues have a way of making me weak in the knees. Military weddings in general do, seeing as my own sweetie has dedicated 10 years of his life serving our country, and I’ve been proud to stand beside him 9 of those years. So when Rachel Pearlman and La Petite Fleur sent this beautiful day our way, complete with a handsome Marine Groom and his glowing Bride, my heart felt as if it doubled in size.
From Rachel Pearlman Photography…Following a Christmas proposal at Longwood Gardens, Colleen and Nick knew from the start that their wedding would be held at Villanova University’s Chapel – the site where they met – and immediate began to plan for what was one of the sweetest and most romantic weddings I have had the pleasure of photographing. Colleen wanted her wedding day to represent the couples’ love for one another : sweet, simple, and effortlessly romantic. Nick is a Marine, and the couple is stationed in North Carolina, so everything was planned from afar. As a military man, Nick had to travel around the U.S. during their engagement, but that only made their love grow stronger. Skype, frequent airway miles and the pure excitement of being with each other made the time pass quickly. From an emotional father-daughter reveal, to a tear jerking letter reading session prior to the ceremony and lastly, a classic Military Sword exit following the ceremony, their wedding was filled with memorable moments. The bridesmaids wore classic navy, which looked perfect against Marine dress blues and gorgeous Summer blooms designed by La Petite Fleur. Centerpieces were rustic, and contained twigs, bark and wildflowers. The reception venue, Normandy Farms, provided twinkle lights and barn doors that created an intimate ambiance.
From the beautiful Bride…It wasn’t love at first site, nor do either of us remember the first time we met. It was sometime during our freshman year at Villanova University, and over the next few years we shared some of the same friends and always greeted each other in passing. In November of senior year, Nick needed a date for the Navy Ball and because we saw each other more frequently that year, he decided to ask me. We had a wonderful time that night, and Nick asked to take me out to dinner that weekend. I remember getting ready and when I heard the doorbell ring I became so nervous that I asked my two roommates to go to the door and let me know what they think. He showed up with a bouquet of flowers and instantly won their approval.
Nick and I were inseparable as we finished that year at Villanova. After graduation Nick began training with the Marine Corps in Virginia, and I began law school in North Carolina. We filled the time by watching movies over skype, and every weekend that he could Nick would drive four hours down to see me and then four hours back home. I remember one time I was excited about watching a Christmas special on Skype with him, and when the time came he knocked on my door. He drove four hours down to watch the two hour special with me, and then drove four hours home. I remember being so happy and telling him through tears I couldn’t believe he did that for me. He simply responded that he missed me and just wanted to see me smile.
On December 20th, 2011 Nick took me to see the Christmas display at Longwood Gardens which was absolutely breathtaking. At the end of the night, we sat on a bench and marveled at the outdoor lights. It was then that Nick got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t be more ecstatic, or more sure as I said yes. Afterwards, he took me to the little Italian restaurant where we had our first date, and I was so happy to see all of our family was there to celebrate with us.
Over the next two years while I finished school in NC, Nick spend time stationed in Florida and Texas. Luckily I was able to find summer internships in these places so that we could spend the summers together. When we were apart, we continued to have date nights where we would watch the same movie and laugh over it on Skype, or make the same recipes and have “dinner together.” It made our time apart pass by, and we had this level of commitment that made me sure we would make it through anything.
We planned all of our Pennsylvania wedding from afar. We knew we wanted to have the wedding at the Villanova University chapel. We picked our May 31st, 2014 date and everything fell into place from there.
Photography: Rachel Pearlman Photography | Floral Design: La Petite Fleur | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Reception Venue: Villanova University | Hair And Makeup: Daneene Jensen