BM: Tell us about your journey/love story as a couple! How did you meet? How did he (or you!) propose?
Siobhan's story: The first time Ben and I were formally introduced is a little bit of a ridiculous story. One September afternoon, I had been washing my hair and created a soap-made mo-hawk, which of course I thought was hilarious; So naturally I wanted to show Allie! Ben had been hanging out with Allie since they were good friends from high school. I excitedly entered Allie's room to show my mo-hawk (again, hilarious) to find the goofy boy wearing a hideous sweatshirt. I was slightly embarrassed to say the least but this is how Ben and I's friendship began. Our friendship continued when I began searching for a partner for an Economics project. Allie told me that Ben, who was in my class, was very smart and I needed a great partner to get an A+. So under the premise of learning about "absolute advantage" and "supply and demand", our young relationship grew. As an aspiring Communications major and Ben as an aspiring Engineer, that was the only class we had together through our 4 years at Penn State.
I can't say that the very day that I met the boy wearing a funny shark hoodie and tight jeans that it was love at first sight and I knew I was going to marry him – or even date him for that matter; however, as I learned of all the qualities, characteristics, and values I love about him, I learned that I could see myself spending my life with him, doing my best to make him happy, and helping him through the difficult times in life.
Ben's Story: Siobhan and I started dating in the summer of 2008 and have been together ever since. During this time, we have spent years together at Penn State (minus a semester Siobhan spent in Aix-en-Provence, France as part of a study abroad program), one year apart while I worked for Metso traveling the country and even one month I spent in Sweden, living apart for two years while I was working in York, PA and Siobhan was working for Penn State and finishing up her Master's degree in State College, and now finally back in Harrisburg together. It hasn't always been easy, but all the distance between us has only grown us closer together. And now when I have to travel for work , my favorite part of the trip is coming home.
In the summer of 2013, we took a vacation together to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. I had planned a wine tour to some of the different wineries around the lake. We had fun wine tasting and even got to see a waterfall that fed one of the lakes. After the long day, we got back to our hotel room and rested for a little. Around dinner time, I got up and had to ask Siobhan a question. She was exhausted from the day and just wanted to finish watching the Anna Nicole Smith special on E! instead of get up for dinner. Except my question wasn't about where she wanted to go to dinner... She said "YES!" and found the energy to call family and friends to tell them the news before we went to our first dinner as an engaged couple.
We could not be more excited to finally tie the knot and begin our life together.
BM: How did you figure out your wedding style – was it what you thought you were going to go for, or were you surprised at what you picked (your dress, flowers, decor)? How did it come together?
SG: I knew I wanted fall right away as the season for us to get married because it is my favorite time of year. I thought perhaps this would start the inspiration for the "wedding style" as well. Ben and I liked the idea of have a elegant, traditional affair with a unique setting so we selected Columbia Station, a renovated train station for the setting of the reception and the church my parents are members of, Saint Elizabeth. We decided early on that the color scheme would be black and gold- putting the girls and guys in black attire. When we starting looking at flowers I knew I didn't love orange as a color especially with the black as this could be considered "halloweeny". Truthfully, my mom, Eleanor McGroarty, was the woman behind the vision for the flowers. She has also loved gardening and has an amazing eye for detail. She had found several pieces of inspiration in many bridal magazine and of course on Pinterest to propel the vision of elegance of fall without using the color orange!
I was a little nervous at first as to how the gold table cloths, with berry colored flowers, and black thrown in there would all come together. However, was absolutely amazed at the site of our reception site. We had gold table cloths with gold votive, black picture frames, played with the patterns of poka dots and strips and all of this was only enhanced by the beautiful centerpieces by Blue Moon.
BM: What flowers were you drawn to? How was your appointment with Blue Moon? What ideas did you bring with you? How did you feel about your flowers after speaking to one of our designers?
SM: My mom and I both loved the idea of texture in floral arrangements! So naturally, looking at berries, and different leaves seemed to be a great fit. We knew we wanted some high centerpieces as the ceiling at Columbia Station is very high and we need to add height to the table. My mom had the idea of using some sort of branch. We tried to articulate our vision of berry colors (purples, dark marrow, and pinks with out ORANGE!), the use of branches, and incorpoting texture. In addition, for the church, we wanted two pieces on either side of the alter with a similar feel to the high center pieces.
Amy was absolutely amazing. She knew we liked the texture and the berry colors. She offered to put together some samples for us so we could see if what we were thinking connected with her. After seeing what she had put together my mom, Ben, and I were all very excited. She had really captured the idea of the textures and colors. I also ABSOLUTELY loved the girls bouquets and my bouquets. The succulents were such a nice added touch and the colors within the girls bouquets really pop against the black of their dresses. I am obviously biased but these were the most beautiful wedding flowers I have ever seen (and I have been to a lot of weddings in the last 3 years ;)
BM: The day of – walk us through your emotions and the day! How did you personalize your day? What was your reaction to your flowers?
SM: Oh my gosh... this is such a hard question! HA! I feel like the day went so incredibly fast! It started out at my house around 7 am with the make-up and hair girls arriving and my bridesmaids coming to the house to get all dolled up. I had given them silky robes to get ready in! We enjoyed mimosas and some food while we all got ready. The flowers arrived around 11:00 am as the photographer was getting there as well. The flowers looked beautiful and I could start to see that our vision was going to come together! I remember thinking... wow my bouquet is so heavy! We took pictures together and then got into all of our dresses! My mom and dad looked awesome in their wedding attire!
We struggled to tie the girls bows on their dresses so that was boarder line stressful ha! Then we got on the shuttle to take us to the church... this may have been one of my favorite parts of the day... all the ladies serenaded me with an impromptu to signing of "Going to the Chapel"! It was very funny. Next, we arrived at the church and I opened the gift Ben had given me which was a beautiful jewelry box with my new name inscription "Siobhan McGroarty Klein".
Then it was time to walk up the aisle - which is such a a surreal experience. You have all these people staring at you and smiling and all you can do is smile back! To see Ben at the end of the aisle was a surreal experience... we have been engaged for 2+ years so it was crazy that it was finally hear. The ceremony seemed to go so fast... in a whirlwind! My cousin sang beautifully and everything we had planned for the ceremony went seamlessly. We then proceeded to take pictures at Valley Forge park. The park proved to be a great fall setting and complimented our colors very well. It was just a wee bit chilly but everyone put on their best smiling face!
Once we had taken all of our photos, we headed to our reception site... at this point it had already been a really long day. We all need some red bull :) but once we got to the reception - the bridal party and guest were definitely ready to get the party started! The cocktail hour gave Ben and I the time to take a peek into the reception and see how great of a job the florists and Columbia Station staff did at putting our vision together! It was absolutely perfect! The way the centerpieces complemented the stripped table cloths with the gold votives and then also the pinspotting on the centerpieces really brought them to life! We also had time to mingle with guests and say hello to everyone that had traveled so far. We felt so loved as we interacted with friends, family, neighbors, and relatives all there to support us in this new adventure. It was then time to do the introductions starting with our parents, then our bridal party, and next up was us!
I was very nervous for the next part, Ben says he wasn't...., for our first dance to "Loving you Easy" by Zac Brown Band. We had been taking dance lessons for the weeks before and put together a fancy new dance as the Mr. and Mrs. I was nervous because we had never practiced with me in a big dress! Although, I had one slip... apparently I pulled it off pretty well, the dance went really well and everyone really enjoyed it! At one part, Ben actually had to pick me up and everyone ohhhed and awwed. I think everyone was very impressed!
The rest of the night full of speeches, father-daughter and son-mother dances, and cake cutting went by so quickly but I certainly had the time of my life! Ben and I had some much fun dancing with friends and family and also being able to mingle with everyone.
Afterwards, looking at how the event went, I can honestly say I wouldn't have changed anything. It was perfect! I'm sad it is over and it feels strange to not be doing wedding stuff everyday but all of our attendees keep talking about how much fun they had, how great the food was, and how beautiful the ceremony and reception was so it confirms that it was a successful event!