April 27 at the Old Mill in Rose Valley, with Diane Smith-Hoban from Journeys of the Heart officiating. A reception for 160 followed.
Kristy-Ann, 38, is a hairdresser. Her client and friend Collette was a classmate of Josh's at Swarthmore College. Every six months or so, Collette would mention Josh to Kristy-Ann, but nothing ever came of it - until June 2004, when Josh, 46, and Collette both attended a Swarthmore reunion.
"I said it was OK, if he was single, for her to give him my number," Kristy-Ann said. He was. Collette did. And Kristy-Ann and Josh met in person about two weeks later, at the Cosi on Headhouse Square.
Kristy-Ann is half Irish, so Josh had a ring made with a traditional Celtic design. Then last May he invited her to join him in San Diego for a post-business-trip vacation. Josh went to work contacting concierges and friends, searching for a romantic spot to propose and nailing down other details.
He took her to the Marine Room in La Jolla, a restaurant where during high tide, waves splash against the windows. But despite all his planning, some of the details didn't quite work out.
"I wanted to take her for a walk along the beach first, but by the time we got there, it was high tide. There was no more beach," Josh said. He had made a copy of "Only You" by the Platters - a song he sings to her. But no one knew how to use the music system. He wanted the couple to have the best table, but it was reserved for a regular.
Kristy-Ann didn't notice. "It was amazing," she said.
During dessert, Josh got down on one knee. The waves finally cooperated, and splashed romantically against the windows. And a nearby table of twentysomethings added to the scene by sending over a bottle of champagne.
9 to 5
Kristy-Ann works at the Joseph Anthony Retreat, Spa and Salon in Glen Mills. Josh does research for the Department of Homeland Security.
Making a home
The couple live in Collingswood.
Doing it their way
The couple crafted their own ceremony, weaving together Josh's Jewish traditions and Kristy-Ann's Catholic ones. Josh's niece, Arriel, and Kristy-Ann's niece, Siobhan, read a contemporary version of the traditional Seven Blessings, and Josh broke the glass. Their chuppah was fashioned from the prayer shawl that Josh wore at his bar mitzvah.
From the Catholic tradition, Josh's niece, Megan, and nephew, David, read from Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. And from the Irish tradition, they did a Celtic Caim - seven of their nieces and nephews surrounded them in a circle of Gerber daisies. That circle stands for home and love and safety, so it is similar in meaning to the chuppah.
Josh's nephew, Jason, sang the Beatles' "In My Life," and Kristy-Ann's sister, professional singer Gina Roche, sang April McLean's "Head Over Heels" during the procession.
None, to the couple's amazement - especially since they did not have a rehearsal.
"Getting family together for the photographs is like herding cats."
Don't feel compelled to follow tradition. "Make it your own, do what has meaning to the both of you."