Weddings of the year: A look at four couples celebrations

Weddings of the year

In our annual feature, we take a peek inside the celebrations of four couples

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Photo by Christopher Santoro

The wedding: The couple wed on May 3, 2019, exactly five years after their first date. They had 40 guests.

The venue: The couple knew they wanted to marry in their home state to be close to friends and family. They chose the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The venue was a sentimental choice for James, who went to the zoo as a child. He says Madeline was sold the moment she saw the zoo while they were looking at venues. “I’m a big animal person,” Madeline says. “I could see a squirrel and get excited.”

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Photo by Christopher Santoro

The ceremony: James got Madeline into cult classic Doctor Who while they were dating. “She didn’t like sci-fi before,” he says. During the ceremony, their rings were presented in a miniature TARDIS, a blue time machine from the television series. Madeline also wore a TARDIS charm on her garter. “That was my something blue,” she says. The couple wrote their own vows, and when Madeline said, “If there’s anything we can’t solve, at least we have the sonic,” she whipped out Doctor Who’s magical screwdriver. “It’s an all-purpose tool,” Madeline says. “It’s basically his magic wand.” The ceremony was held in front of the eagle den. “One of them squawked during our vows,” James says.

The reception: After saying their “I Do’s,” the couple had pictures taken with some of the animals. “Our first act as husband and wife was getting to feed giraffes together,” James says. One drooled on Madeline’s dress. “I was just like, ‘eh,’ ” she says. The couple walked into their reception to Doctor Who’s “I Am the Doctor.” After dinner and dancing, the couple and their guests rode on the zoo’s carousel.

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Photo by Christopher Santoro

The honeymoon: Madeline surprised James with a mini-moon weekend to New Orleans in the fall. They did a paddleboat tour on the Mississippi River and enjoyed cafe au laits and beignets at Café Du Monde. In November, they went on a honeymoon to Cancun, Mexico, where they spent six days snorkeling, zip lining and visiting Mayan ruins.

Vendors: Bride’s makeup, Linda Charles; cake, Buttercream Bakery; catering, funnel cake and s’mores, Savory Safari; dessert table, Just Desserts by Judy; DJ, Tommy Tunes; gown, Morilee by Madeline Gardner; photographer, Christopher Santoro; tuxes, Bill Troutman.

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