Kate McWilliams, who works in brand PR and communications at David’s Bridal, and John Haldy met because Kate’s younger brother was on the lacrosse team with John at the University of Virginia. The players’ families spent a lot of time together, and they had crossed each other’s paths more than once.
A few years later, Kate and her brother moved to New York City and ran into John. “Five minutes into our first conversation, John told me that we were going to get married, and less than two and a half years later, we did!” Kate says. After dating for a year-and-a-half, he proposed on the Friday before his birthday weekend (which Kate was busy planning) with champagne and flowers. “It was perfect. And I think he secretly did that to take attention away from his birthday.”
For their big day, they chose the Merion Golf Club, where John’s family are members and where both of his sisters have gotten married. The club had hosted a U.S. Open, so from an event-planning standpoint, Kate was sure it could handle her much smaller wedding. Because she puts on events for a living, the bride took on most of the coordinating, but the team at the club was a much appreciated help on the day-of.
From the beginning, Kate knew she wanted to wear a simple slip dress down the aisle. She found the brand A LA ROBE, made an appointment at the only salon that carried it: Spina Bride, and found her dress—“very anticlimactic,” she says. The fun part was choosing her jewelry. At the time of her wedding, the bride was the director of communications for Sidney Garber Fine Jewelry, and they let her borrow pieces for the big day—and for nearly every event leading up to the wedding too.
At Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, John’s family church, the bride says she “basically cried the entire way down the aisle. I don’t think we were able to get one good picture because I was such a weepy mess. Happy tears of course!” she says. After saying, “I do,” the pair led everyone to the reception, where the band, Atomic Funk Project, kept guests up and dancing all night!
“We actually had to have the band slow it down for a little, so people would actually sit down and eat their dinner,” Kate remembers. Guests finished refueling with a delicious cake made from The Createrie, and then headed back out on the floor. The newlyweds had their first dance to “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King, chosen by the groom. “The best money we spent was on dance lessons specifically to that song,” Kate reveals.
Toward the end of the night, the two snuck away to the sun room for a quiet moment with dessert, champagne, and to take it all in. And then, to finish the night, everyone hopped on buses and went to the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia to continue the party!