In summer of 2006, Courtney's parents, Renee and Don, were selling their home in West Chester and buying a new one under construction in Chester Springs.
Courtney, excited to get a glimpse of the place they would all live, told her mother and father she would meet them on site for the walk-through. She drove straight from her job as a bridal show production manager in Phoenixville, and arrived first.
Adam was the construction manager. "We met on the driveway," Courtney said.
The Harris family continued meeting with Adam at every step toward a finished house. And after they moved in, it was Adam who came by to touch up paint or add a piece of molding where Courtney or her mother, Renee, thought one would look nice.
Renee wanted to thank Adam for all he had done, so she invited him to dinner - an Italian feast. "It was very unusual," Adam said. So why did he accept? "I don't know," he said. "They were just very nice, very understanding of circumstances, and easy to work with."
Even when there was no more work for him at the Harris place, Adam was always in the development, working on other homes. Renee would see him working late, through the uncurtained windows of unfinished houses. She knew he had a long drive back to New Holland, Lancaster County, where he lived with his parents, Roger and Karen. More dinner invitations followed.
"I think she fell in love with him before I did," Courtney said.
But that wouldn't take too long, either.
Right from the beginning, "I knew I liked her," Adam said. "But I didn't know all the details. As I learned more over [the next] two months, I finally asked her out."
After one dinner in December, Adam asked Courtney to have a drink with him at Iron Hill Brewery in West Chester.
How does forever sound?
In early December 2009, Adam, who is now 28, suggested to Courtney, now 27, that they get tickets to see the Princess Diana exhibition at the Constitution Center and spend the day in the city.
Courtney knew this day was about her - Adam couldn't care less about the princess exhibition. What she didn't know was why Adam was hugging her sort of sideways. And why at dinner, he wouldn't check his coat.
There was a ring box in his pocket, that's why!
The weather turned slushy and cold, so popping the question outside a pretty building or landmark was out. But Adam wasn't about to rush things - he knew the right moment would come eventually. Adam found a quiet spot beneath the Ritz-Carlton's rotunda, but a noisy group of friends invaded. Dinner was at a steak house where the meat sizzles tableside, and their table was in the middle of the waitstaff's paths - no room to kneel. The ring was still in Adam's pocket when he and Courtney sat down on the couch at the house Adam had helped build. Renee and Don were sleeping.
"He got down on one knee at my parents' house, right where we first met, and proposed," Courtney said.
The couple live in Chester Springs.
Adam is now a construction manager for Orleans Homes. Courtney is an accounts manager and wellness coordinator for Gallagher Benefit Services.
It was so them
The couple wed at the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr on the wedding day of Courtney's late paternal grandparents, Martha and Harland. Martha had lived with the Harrises when Courtney was growing up, and they were very close. Courtney's something old: Martha's wedding and engagement rings, a wedding-day gift from Courtney's parents.
It was really important to Adam that his nieces and nephews have a role in the wedding. Twins Zachary and Emily, 3, were the ring bearer and flower girl. Their big sister Katelyn, 11, was a junior bridesmaid, and big brother Jacob, 9, a junior groomsman.
The reception for 175 was held at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington.
This didn't happen at rehearsal
"We got about three blocks from the hotel where the reception was, and our rental limousine - a vintage Rolls - broke down," Adam said. "All the groomsmen were in the party bus behind us. They got out, I got out, and we all started pushing."
Said Courtney: "It was one of the funniest, best parts of the whole day, seeing the guys filing off the bus." The bride's offer to help push was declined.
Within a few yards, the driver got the engine running, and, with the car moving, the groom jumped back in.
Adam remembers the moment the church doors opened. The love of his life was walking toward him. His brothers were standing next to him. His parents, sister, and sister-in-law were in the front pew. "It was one of the biggest moments in my life," he said.
During the ceremony, the minister had the couple kneel. The bridal party made a circle around them, and everyone put a hand on Courtney or Adam and said a prayer.
Courtney couldn't help but peek. "Looking up, I could see all my bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and Adam," she said, and it was the most amazing feeling to be surrounded in the circle and beyond it by everyone she loves.
A bargain: Courtney found a flower girl dress she loved in a magazine, but she did not love the $800 price tag. Her mother and her mother's friend collaborated on a replica. Cost of materials: $70.
The splurge: Choosing a band instead of a DJ. "Music can make or break any party," said the bride.
Eleven days in Hawaii.
Behind the Scenes
Rev. Peter Vanderveen of Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr
Church of the Redeemer and Hotel du Pont, Wilmington, Del.
Hotel du Pont
Tony and Sal Baiada of Baiada Photography, Media
Bruce Garner of Clair Pruett, Greenville, Del.
Harpist Alisa Coffey, Philadelphia; Dynasty Orchestra, with Dynasty Entertainment, Manalapan, N.J.
Passion for Petals, Exton
Reem Acra, New York
Vera Wang from Invitations by Design, ExtonEndText
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