Betsy and Pete met in late October 2006 on Match.com. Right away, the e-mail communication came easy for them. "He shared my interests, he made me laugh, and he told me cute stories," Betsy remembered.
The two had medicine in common - she's a physical therapist at Good Shepherd Penn Partners, which is part of Penn Medicine, and he's a pediatrician at Lansdowne Park Pediatrics. From the start, Betsy saw that Pete was willing to put in some effort. Her profile included a movie quote, and Pete Googled it, then mentioned in his first e-mail that it was from Good Will Hunting.
Things felt so right so soon that it scared Betsy. She disappeared for a month, then got back in touch. Pete responded, and she disappeared again, for another month. Right around Christmas, Betsy got back in touch for the second time, and was brave enough to move on to phone calls. Their first date, to see Pippin and have drinks, was Jan. 14, 2007 - Betsy's mother's birthday.
How does forever sound?
In late April 2009, Betsy, who is now 34, and Pete, now 37, were at the mall, and she showed him a silver and crystal necklace, earring, and bracelet set she really loved. She suggested that if he was looking for something to buy her for her birthday, or Christmas, or some other occasion, he could pick up that little number.
Pete said he would buy it then, so he didn't forget about it.
The following week, "We were going to go to dinner, and then stay in and watch a movie," Betsy said. She was getting ready when Pete, who lived in Broomall, arrived at her South Philadelphia home. "He came into my room, and put the bag of jewelry we bought on the bed." Since this was no gift-giving occasion, Betsy couldn't figure out why. She kept getting ready.
"Are you going to open the bag?" Pete asked her. She did, and there on the top was a copy of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18. She read the beginning: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate."
Then she opened the silver jewelry.
As Pete walked out of the room, he said, "There's something else in the bag."
Betsy was excited to find a small red box. But when she opened it, it was empty. Just then, Pete came back in, handed her two dozen red roses, got down on one knee and pulled an engagement ring from his pocket.
It was so them
Betsy, who grew up in King of Prussia, is of Irish and English descent, and was raised a Roman Catholic. Pete, who grew up in Broomall, is first-generation Greek. The couple, who now live in St. Davids, were wed at St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church in a ceremony that combined both traditions. The Greek Orthodox ceremony does not include vows, Betsy said, but vows were important to her.
The Rev. Christ Kontos allowed the couple to say the traditional Roman Catholic vows before the start of the Greek ceremony. Each part of the ceremony is performed three times as a symbol of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Betsy explained. That included the crowning, in which the priest blesses two crowns and places them on the bride and groom. Then a sponsor, called the koumbaros - in this case, Pete's best man, Dimitri - switches the crowns between the bride and groom three times.
The couple's reception for 250 featured tables named after Philadelphia landmarks. Pete and Betsy sat at LOVE Park.
Pete is a sports fanatic, and Betsy had a special groom's cake designed to honor his favorite sports and teams, including Villanova basketball and bobsledding, and the Flyers.
This didn't happen at rehearsal
Betsy surprised Pete with a special reception welcome. The DJ played Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part II" - that's the "Hey!" song played at sporting events - as the couple walked under an archway of black, white, and orange hockey sticks held up by the 14 adult members of the bridal party.
One of the couple's most important wedding guests, Betsy's mother, could not attend. Margaret "Bunnie" Grace has been battling cancer, and was ill.
But modern technology brought her daughter's old-fashioned wedding ceremony right to Bunnie. "We Skyped her in," Betsy said. Bunnie watched the whole thing from the skilled nursing facility where she is staying. "After the ceremony, the priest spoke about my mom, and said, 'Let's say hi to her,' " Betsy said. "We all turned around and said hi."
Before the ceremony, Betsy and her bridesmaids, in all their finery, paid Bunnie a visit. And Betsy called Bunnie as soon as she got to the reception. "She was so happy and so proud of me," Betsy said.
The splurge was also a bargain. At Macy's Bridal Salon by Demetrios in Cherry Hill, Betsy found the perfect dress: strapless, sweetheart neckline, white satin, lots of beading, and a ballgown cut. It sure felt like the right one, until she looked at the price tag. "It was about 60 percent over my budget," she said.
Betsy went to six more shops and tried on many more dresses, looking for the one that would make her forget about the one at Demetrios. When that failed, she went back to Demetrios and pleaded for help. The salesperson brainstormed ways to discount the dress - things like paying the full amount up front - and Betsy got about 25 percent off. Betsy decided this dress was worth it.
Ten days in Hawaii, followed by five days in Toronto, where Betsy had to make a presentation at a conference.StartText
Behind the Scenes
Rev. Christ Kontos, the priest at St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church in Broomall
St. Luke and Presidential Caterers, East Norriton
Photography and videography
Clair Pruett Photography, Springfield, Delaware County, photographer Crissy Everhart;videographer Bruce Gardner
Neo Kyma, Philadelphia and New York
Macy's Bridal by Demetrios in Cherry Hill
The couple got a family discount on all of their stationery from The Fine Print in Mullica Hill, which is owned by Pete's sister, Dimitra.
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