Hello there

In September 2003 in Boston, one of Kimberly's two roommates was moving out abruptly, and Kimberly needed to find a quick replacement. Meanwhile, the condo Michael was renting had just been sold. "I needed to find a place to live in less than 30 days or I was going to be homeless," he said. Roommates.com brought them together.

Michael and Kimberly shared an address before they started dating, but it wasn't long before they shared more. "We knew there was a connection right away," said Kimberly, now 30.

Kimberly grew up in Greenfield, Mass., graduated from Northeastern, and was working as an applications engineer when they met. Michael, 32, attended law school at Boston College. The native Philadelphian always had his sights set on moving back home. But when a job offer came, Michael postponed starting so he could see where things with Kimberly were heading.

The couple had been together six months when they decided to move to Philadelphia. Michael is an attorney at Morgan Lewis; Kimberly is a commercial contractor for Benner & White.

How does forever sound?

Michael proposed on March 10, 2008, after what was, for Kimberly, two months of torture. "It was killing me. I knew he had the ring," she said. "Every day, I thought, 'Will today be the day? Will today be the day?' "

March 10 was the one day Kimberly didn't wake up asking herself the usual question, because it was Michael's birthday, and Kimberly had a big party planned for him. "It was his day," she said.

The couple live in Center City, and Michael had a LOVE Park proposal planned. But that morning Kimberly started reminiscing aloud about the early days of their relationship.

His birthday party was also their engagement party.

It was so them

Kimberly and Michael were married at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul by Msgr. Michael T. McCulken. The reception at the Bellevue was attended by 155 guests.

"It was so completely overdone," Kimberly said. "We had three different kinds of centerpieces. The band was a 10-piece band. We hired a trumpet player for when I walked down the aisle."

Said Mike: "We had a DJ, too, for the younger people." Luckily, Lounge 125 DJ Joe Pitts is a friend, so that didn't increase the bottom line.

It's not that they didn't try to show some restraint. "We had a much smaller budget, but things just kept snowballing," Kimberly said. "It is so our personalities to try to rein things in, but then end up doing what we think is best."

This didn't happen at rehearsal

One minute, Michael was with Kimberly, moving from table to table to greet their guests. The next thing she knew, he was up on the stage - with the band and his buds - dancing up a storm.

Awestruck

Kimberly loved the brief moment when she stood with two of her favorite men, and both were showing their softer sides. She had just walked down the aisle with her father, who was very emotional and as nervous as the bride. "I kissed my father goodbye, and went to join Michael, and he had tears in his eyes," she said.

The moment was special for Mike, too. He had often thought about what Kimberly would look like walking toward him on their wedding day, but "it was better than anything I could have imagined. I was overwhelmed," he said.

Discretionary spending

A bargain: The wedding planner was able to work out a good deal with the Bellevue that brought the price within the realm of possibility.

The splurge: Kimberly found a gown within her budget that she liked, but when the couple decided to wed at the cathedral, well, it just wasn't grand enough for that venue.

Then she found an ivory designer ballgown-style dress that suited her dreams, and at the reception wore the sleeker mermaid dress, which was much easier to dance in. When the prices of both dresses were added up, the cost was more than three times what the couple intended to spend.

"It was worth every penny," Michael said - a sentiment reached only after seeing Kimberly walk down the aisle.

The bride hopes to get some money back by selling both dresses on eBay.

The getaway

A weekend in the Poconos, and then a spring week in Maui.

 Behind the Scenes

Officiant

Msgr. Michael T. McCulken

Venues

Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, and the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue

Catering

The Bellevue

Photography

Ryan Estes, Philadelphia

Music

The band Contagious, via BVT Entertainment, Philadelphia

Dresses

St. Pucchi Couture and Tara Keely

Planner

Veronica Venonsky of Perfect Weddings, Conshohocken

Invitations

Christina Carnevale of Carnevale Designs, Plymouth Meeting

Florist

Frannie's Fancies of Philadelphia{12410028793701}