Katie and Patrick’s engagement started with the typical question and answer and then, a ticket. In October 2013, under the guise of a picnic in Central Park, Patrick asked Katie to marry him, she said yes, and they popped champagne to celebrate. While they were enjoying the champagne, the Park Rangers came by and wrote a ticket for public consumption of alcohol. After paying the fine, Katie and Patrick started planning their wedding.
Having attended 30+ weddings since 2008, Katie knew what she liked best about weddings – the party. With 75% of their guests being from out of town, Old Town Alexandria provided the perfect home base for the celebration. Hotel Monaco and Carlyle House Historic Park provided the perfect backdrop for wedding pictures by NKSwingle before they tied the knot at Calvary Presbyterian Church and celebrated at Belle Haven Country Club.
Knowing that the wedding was going to go by in a flash Katie and Patrick planned the weekend to maximize time with their family and friends – a special lunch with their parents, a Nationals game, a round of golf, manicures, welcome drinks, an after-party at Irish pub, and a farewell brunch.
To find the perfect dress Katie shopped with family and friends at Kleinfeld’s. After initially leaving empty-handed she returned to “Say Yes to the Dress” after she confirmed she had found the one, a Paloma Blanca dress with a lace bodice and an organza skirt.
Patrick took two friends and bottle of Scotch to the Willard Hotel to get a custom-made suit. After a few tumblers and more than a few test runs, Patrick chose his suit. The ties and pocket squares took a bit longer, but after several trips to stores around DC and multiple online orders, they found the right shade of navy and kelly green in a tie found in the back of Katie’s brother’s closet (the colors not so coincidentally were Notre Dame’s, Katie’s, her mom’s and her little brother’s alma mater). Luckily, Tie Bar still had the ties in stock.
There was one last item for Patrick to get, his clothes for the morning of the wedding. Several years prior, at a wedding of one of Patrick’s groomsmen, Dave, Patrick went to the groom’s apartment several hours early to help him get ready. Patrick arrived to find Dave clad in an obscure basketball jersey and “jorts.” Upon seeing Patrick’s quizzical look, Dave replied “It’s tough to take yourself too seriously or get too nervous when you’re wearing a basketball jersey and jorts.” Patrick vowed that when he got married he would do the same. After several failed eBay bids, Patrick had his powder blue Larry Bird Indiana State basketball jersey. During the rehearsal dinner he informed Dave that he had his obscure jersey but he did not have jorts because he didn’t want to cut up either pair of his jeans. The next morning Dave called Patrick from T.J. Maxx for his size. Using scissors purchased from CVS and the jeans supplied by Dave, Patrick’s wedding morning attire was complete.
Katie and Patrick had several personal touches that made their wedding day special. Katie carried a handkerchief made from her mother’s wedding dress and had an Irish coin in her shoe for good luck that her mother had in her shoe on her wedding day. Patrick carried a 1924 pocket watch that belonged to his grandfather (which was given to his father on his own wedding day) and had cuff links engraved with their initials, the date of the wedding and the longitude and latitude of where they got engaged and where they got married. On display at the reception were photos of their deceased grandparents and a Red Sox pennant from the (now closed) bar in NYC where they had their first date, The Hairy Monk.
Katie, being the exact opposite of a DIY bride, loved that Belle Haven Country Club was a beautiful venue that would take care of the details and didn’t require any decorations. She managed just one “DIY” project which was Patrick’s brain child – wine bottle table numbers from wineries they had visited together in Spain, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey. Patrick wanted Potbelly sugar cookies as the wedding favor, so they placed an order to be picked up day of the wedding. Unfortunately the cookies did not come individually wrapped like they do in the store. That morning Katie’s brother and brother-in-law-to-be placed each cookie into sandwich bags with the personalized stickers (no one told Katie about the snafu).
Instead of DIY projects, Katie and Patrick focused on a very important element of a great wedding, the playlist. Their much-too-detailed list was the result of listening to every top 40 song from the early 1990s to the present, soliciting wedding playlists from friends, and taking requests from family members. Luckily, their amazing deejay, Sean Johnson from MyDeejay, expertly navigated the list and kept the dance floor packed.
The whole weekend was a whirlwind but they relished every minute of their time with family and friends. Patrick’s dad said it best at the end of the weekend, “you wanted a party, and you had a party,” just like Katie envisioned.