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College Sweethearts Rethink Their Main Line Wedding Amid the Pandemic

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Photos by Adrienne Matz Photography

Years after meeting at the University of Pittsburgh, the couple planned a 200-person wedding in Radnor, but COVID restrictions changed their plans.

Right away, Jenn Walsh knew something was different about Brett Lilley. “On our first date, I knew I could see a future with him,” she recalls.

The two met at the University of Pittsburgh, quickly discovering that they grew up just minutes from each other—Jenn in Malvern, Brett in West Chester. “It felt like an entirely new relationship that was mature and open and honest,” says Brett.

Several years after they first met, Brett planned a getaway to Cape May, N.J. Early one morning on a nearly deserted beach, Brett popped the question. “It was really intimate—just us two,” says Jenn of the Aug. 26, 2018, proposal.

Soon enough, the two began planning an elegant affair with nearly 200 guests at Pomme Radnor. Last March, as nationwide lockdowns went into effect, they knew their wedding couldn’t move forward as envisioned. “It was hard, and it was very emotional,” Jenn says. “We just wanted to get married,” says Brett—big celebration or not.

Sticking to their June 20, 2020, wedding date, the couple had help in creating a beautiful, intimate backdrop for their nuptials at the Lilley family home in West Chester. “We were lucky in the sense that our parents were very involved in the entire planning process,” says Brett.

When they decided on a backyard wedding, both moms jumped in to help transform the outdoor space into something out of a storybook. A tent was outfitted with a chandelier, lights and plenty of florals. The couple exchanged vows under an archway covered in white flowers. One of Jenn’s grandmothers offered her wedding ring, which turned out to be a perfect fit. “I was in awe,” says Jenn.

The ceremony included just 12 family members. “We handpicked every part of it, so it was meaningful to us and truly resonated with how we felt about each other and why we were getting married,” says Jenn.

They even incorporated the breaking of the glass, traditional in Jewish weddings. “Our ceremony was a way to weave together the religious backgrounds of each of our families into one cohesive, meaningful spiritual union,” Jenn says.

Number of guests: 12.

Bridal gown: Morilee, The Dress Matters.

Bridesmaids’ gowns: Lulus.

Groom’s and groomsmen’s tuxedos: The Black Tux.

Hair and makeup: Philly Hair and Makeup Co.

Florist: Flowers by Priscilla.

Caterer: Jennifer Personal Chef.

Cake: Clay’s Creative Corner Bakery.

Stationery: Minted.

Officiant: Rev. Dr. Neal Jones, Main Line Unitarian Church.

First dance: Father John Misty’s “Real Love Baby.”

Photographer: Adrienne Matz Photography.

Honeymoon: Bethany Beach, Del.

Careers: Jenn is a speech language pathologist and AAC consultant at Chester County Intermediate Unit; Brett is a consultant at Slalom.


Related Article: Love Overcomes Adversity at Another Local Wedding