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Alanna and Craig
Sparks didn’t exactly fly when Alanna McManus, a college freshman, first spotted Craig Weiss, a junior, across the dining hall at the University of Richmond in Virginia in 2003. “I didn’t like his shoes!” she laughs. And when the two got reacquainted years later at an alumni event in New York City, where both had moved, Alanna, who works in investor relations, had a boyfriend. Recalls Craig, “I told our mutual friend, ‘Make sure I’m the first e-mail if Alanna’s ever single.’” In 2007, after the friend (and future bridesmaid) hit send, the romance ignited. A first kiss on a Friday night date led to tickets to the U.S. Open that Sunday. “After that, it was official,” says Craig, a real estate developer.
A year later after the proposal, after a Catholic mass at a historic stone church in New Jersey, the newlyweds and their 180 guests drove across the Delaware River to a restored barn in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where the bride grew up. “We wanted it to be a special event for people, but still fun and laid-back, because that’s us,” says Alanna of the black-tie affair.
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Save-the-dates by Cheree Berry Paper, were foil-stamped with a weathervane. (Look closely: The arrows cleverly point to the couple’s initials—A, M, C, W—not the cardinal directions.) A custom crest featuring their wedding date and monogram was used on invitations, postage, cocktail napkins, and matchbooks.
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For the invites, cream cards were letterpressed with charcoal ink and stamped with gold foil.
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The couple wed at the 120-year-old St.John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, in Lambertville, New Jersey.
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Alanna and her bridesmaids, in Jenny Yoo gowns, carried roses, peonies, and lilacs.
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The Ring Bearer
The couple’s nephew, in a tuxedo and bow tie from Hansel and Gretel, got stage fright when it came time for his duties. “His mom held his hand and walked him down the aisle,” recalls Alanna. “It was a very cute moment.”
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The brand-newlyweds see friends and family for the first time as husband and wife.
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During cocktail hour in the barn, celebrants sipped spiked lemonade and nibbled mini Wagyu cheese steaks before a fiddler led a processional to the tent for dinner. Fluted silver vases displayed baby’s breath while mint julep cups held peonies and roses. The bride’s uncle kicked off the meal with a hearty “McManus chant,” a family tradition.
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Notes for the Newlyweds
Partygoers jotted well-wishes in a coffee-table book showcasing the area’s historic homes.
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A Furry Friend
He wasn’t on the guest list, but a baby deer roaming the fields was a welcome wedding crasher.
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Sprigs of sugared rosemary decorated the vanilla cake. The herb was also tied to table napkins and used in lemonade.
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After a first dance to Bob Marley’s “Is This Love,” the 12-piece band played Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight” as Alanna twirled with her dad. Then, the bride traded her Jimmy Choos for Toms, the band stuck to the couple’s “no slow songs” policy, and an all-out dance party ensued. As guests held twinkling sparklers and sent the couple off into the night, sparks flew—this time, quite literally.
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The newlyweds bid their guests adieu after a shimmering send-off.
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Locations: St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church; Silver Buttons Farm
Event Planning: I Do Wedding Consulting
Catering: Max Hansen Caterer
Flowers: Murphy & Klein Floral Studio
Photography: KT Merry
Stationery: Cheree Berry Paper
Calligraphy: Therese Swift-Hahn of Bella Scrittura Calligraphy and Design
Cake and desserts: The Caketeria
Music: New York City Swing; Jay Ansill
Tent and Flooring: EventQuip
Hair: Kimberlee Yampolsky
Makeup: Dana Yeager
Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier
Accessories: Jimmy Choo (shoes); David Yurman (earrings); Cartier (wedding bands)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Groom’s Suit and Dinner Jacket: Brooks Brothers
Transportation: King Limousine
Parking: Alber-Haff Parking Service, Inc.
Beverages: Little Brothers Beverage Outlet