Claire Krantz and Alan Dyer Jr.
April 27, 2019, in Jamison
Claire was a bit apprehensive about talking to men she didn’t know, but huzzah! Tinder’s first suggestion was no stranger. She hadn’t seen him in two years, but she immediately recognized Alan — a friend of her college friends and, for a time, her neighbor on Jackson Street in York, Pa. She swiped right.
“Hey, didn’t you go to York College?” was Alan’s first message.
“I figured it was a good lead in; it let her know I was not some crazy random guy,” he remembered.
They had never had any sort of real conversation while at York, where she studied early elementary education and he studied supply chain management. But their first phone conversation, in December 2015, was off to an easy start as they enumerated the many people and places they both knew and the events they had likely both attended.
Then they caught up on the years since leaving York. Claire, who grew up in Branchburg, N.J., found a job teaching at a Philadelphia elementary school. She now teachers first grade at James R. Lowell Elementary in Olney. When the commute from her parents’ house got old, she moved to the city.
Alan first worked at a printing and packaging company in Newark, Del. He had lived with his parents in Laurel Springs before getting an apartment in Wilmington.
Before they signed off, Alan asked Claire to dinner the next night — a Friday — which was great by Claire. “I did not want us to be two people hiding behind their phones, messaging back and forth,” she said.
He picked her up for their first date, at Positano Coast in Old City.
Though Claire has since taught him lots about wine, all Alan knew then is that ladies tend to like it. “Let’s get a red,” he said, faking a little cool. “Light, medium, or robust?” she asked. “Umm … medium sounds good,” Alan said, laughing at himself.
That choice was the hardest part of their date, said Alan, now operations manager for Stylex Seating in Delanco. “Our conversation was so great. It was so very easy to talk to her.”
After dinner, Claire asked if he’d like to get a drink. Alan loved that she did the asking. They crossed Second to the Plough & the Stars, where they nursed beers until midnight. “We both didn’t want the night to end,” Claire said.
On Saturday, Alan’s family gathered for his Uncle Pat’s birthday. Alan, who had dated casually but never had a real relationship before, couldn’t stop talking about Claire. His parents, Alan Sr. and Carlene, and sisters Carlene and Amanda were surprised and delighted. They were outright shocked the next morning when Alan announced he was skipping football Sunday to have lunch with her.
They ate at El Vez and walked around the Christmas market. Noting the Eagles’ kickoff was approaching, Alan asked Claire if she’d like to continue their date at McGillin’s Olde Ale House and watch together.
Alan’s parents were also in the city, on their way to see a play. “How’s it going?” Alan Sr. texted his son. “Very well,” Alan shot back. “I’m at McGillin’s with her, and the Eagles are winning.”
Soon came a tap on Alan’s shoulder. His parents had crashed their second date.
Alan felt a mild dread on the inside — what would Claire think?
She thought he was handling a potentially awkward situation with a lot of grace, and she liked his parents. “Before long, we were pouring them beer from our pitcher.”
His parents left for their own date. The Eagles won. “You were their good-luck charm,” Alan told Claire. “Now you have to watch every single Eagles game with me.”
It didn’t take long for Alan and Claire to fall in love. “I fell in love with how loving and giving she is,” Alan said. “Also, I knew I wanted kids, and I could clearly see her being a great mother and a great wife.”
“Alan is very selfless, very kind, and very outgoing,” Claire said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him be mean or say any negative words about anyone. I saw him as being a very good husband and life partner.”
He also loves that she’s a good cook, and she loves that he’s great at laundry.
In August 2017, they got a place together on Passyunk Square.
“Don’t worry, I’m not doing this lightly,” Claire told her parents, Eric and Christine. “This is the guy I’m going to marry.”
Alan was already ring shopping.
In February 2018, Alan told Claire he had a work dinner — the only lie he’s ever told her. He met her dad for drinks and serious conversation. Eric “talked about the importance of making time for my family even when I get busy at my job, that I should always have dinner with my family. That has stuck with me,” Alan said. At the end of the night, Eric gave Alan his blessing.
Claire and Alan Sr. both have March birthdays that the families celebrate together. That year, Alan Jr. suggested the festivities happen at the couple’s apartment. Claire thought they’d be crazy to try to cram a dozen and a half people into their tiny place, but because Alan really wanted to, she agreed.
He was the last person up to their roof deck. “I was shaking. ‘Everyone knows how much I care for Claire,’ I said, and then I blacked out a little bit.’”
He said other sweet things, and then came the best thing of all: He knelt and asked her to marry him.
She said yes. Her sister, Lauren, poured prosecco. The two moms hugged each other and cried.
The couple, now both 28, were wed at St. Cyril of Jerusalem by the Rev. Raymond P. Gormley, Alan’s childhood priest and a close friend of the family.
Alan found it pretty awesome to pick the music and the readings. “I have been going to church my whole life and never got to pick,” he said. “We were designing our own Mass.”
The couple said their first prayer as husband and wife in front of the Blessed Mother.
Among their 190 guests was Claire’s beloved Grandma Stella, who recently turned 99. “It was very special to me that she was able to witness our ceremony, and that she danced with me,” Claire said.
The reception was held at the Aldie Mansion in Doylestown. When Alan saw that even his Uncle Dave was dancing, he knew the band, Marquee, was a huge hit. The keyboardist, Pat, was also a wedding guest — he’s the bride’s mom’s cousin.
Claire was nervous about having all eyes upon her. “It was the weirdest thing, but it was like I had tunnel vision on our wedding day, like it was just me and Alan,” she said. “He kept looking over at me with the biggest smile I’d ever seen on his face.”
When the couple started dating, Claire had introduced Alan to Jamie Lawson’s “Wasn’t Expecting That.” It became the song they danced to on their rooftop deck. It also played during their first dance as married people. “I was just staring into her eyes, and it was really special,” Alan said. “It was almost like it was just the two of us, like when we were dancing on the rooftop.”
A bargain: The bride’s Uncle Tom, a woodworker, made cutting boards that served as the base for flower and candle centerpieces and that now reside in the kitchens of close family and friends.
The splurge: A country club or banquet hall would have cost less, but the bride loved the Aldie Mansion’s character and charm.
A summertime trip to Croatia for 10 days of castles, culture, sun, and sand.
Officiant: The Rev. Raymond P. Gormley, V.F., Church of the Incarnation, Mantua.
Ceremony: St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, Jamison.
Reception: Aldie Mansion, Doylestown.
Catering: Jeffrey A. Miller Catering, Philadelphia.
Music: Marquee, Mount Laurel.
Photography: Tiffany Atlas, Atlas Wedding Photography, Philadelphia.
Videography: New Pace Wedding Films, Ardmore.
Flowers: Mom’s Flower Shoppe, Jamison.
Dress: Designed by Martina Liana, purchased at Philly Bride, Philadelphia.
Hair and makeup: Daneene Jensen & Associates, Doylestown.
Groom’s attire: Jos. A. Bank.
Planner: Andrea Duca, Jeffery A. Miller Catering.