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2 Main Line Couples Tie the Knot After Pandemic Postponements

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Photo by Dave Apple

These Main Line-area couples officially celebrated the weddings of their dreams after pandemic complications postponed their big days.

KELLY ASSENZA & VINNIE FREDA

APRIL 3, 2021

Kelly Assenza and Vinnie Freda went on their first date in Washington, D.C., two days before Christmas Day 2015. “I actually wasn’t feeling well that night,” Kelly recalls. “I’m a teacher, and I was raising my voice often in the classroom. So when I got to dinner, my voice was really raspy.”

happy couple

Photo by Mike Morby

Though Kelly loves everything about being a teacher, she was worried her growl of a voice that night wouldn’t lead to a second date. “Lo and behold, we had a second date—and a third date, and all that,” Kelly recalls. “Luckily, he wasn’t in it for my voice!”

Two years later, in March 2018, a trip to Lake Tahoe, Calif., ended with Vinnie on one knee saying, “I want you to be my person forever.”

The original wedding date was set for April 18, 2020, which they opted to delay a year due to the pandemic. Kelly was heartbroken, but friends and family arrived with cupcakes and donuts on what would’ve been her wedding day. “Our anniversary is now 4, 3, 2, 1,” Kelly notes.

wedding party

Photo by Mike Morby

Both the ceremony and reception were held at Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, with 80 guests in attendance. The former was officiated by Kelly’s cousin Frankie, and the couple wrote and recited their own vows. “Vinnie actually wrote his the morning of,” Kelly recalled. “But, hey, at least they were done.”

The reception that followed was worth the wait. The couple’s dog, Kramer, joined them on the dance floor, and Vinnie’s cover band surprised guests with a performance at the reception. Carvel ice cream wedding cake was served. “He makes me laugh every day,” says Kelly of her husband. “I fall more in love with him every day.”

—Evelyn Melkonian

wedding photo

Photo by Mike Morby

couple

Photo by Mike Morby

dog at wedding

Photo by Mike Morby

couple

Photo by Mike Morby

dance

Photo by Mike Morby

fireworks

Photo by Mike Morby

Ceremony and reception: Penn Oaks Golf Club, West Chester (pennoaksgolfclub.com).
Number of guests: 80.
Bride’s gown: David’s Bridal (davidsbridal.com).
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Lulu’s (lulus.com).
Groom’s and groomsmen’s suits: Jos. A. Bank (josbank.com).
Photographer: Mike Morby (morbyphotography.com).
Music: Garden State Radio (gardenstateradio.net) and 7 Deadlies (7deadliesband.com).
Hair: Looks and Lashes (looksandlashesbeauty.com).
Makeup: Salon Social (slmsalonconcierge.com).
Florist: Matlack Florist (matlackflorist.com).
First dance: “Everything” by Michael Bublé.
Honeymoons: Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Mass.; Italy.
Careers: Kelly is a fourth-grade teacher; Vinnie is a pharmacist and drummer.

married couple

Photo by Dave Apple

LAURA WAGONER & ALEX MANIAN

OCT. 31, 2020

While there are thousands of love stories out there, perhaps one of the sweetest is a marriage between best friends. That’s certainly the case for Laura Wagoner and Alex Manian, who dated through high school but initially went their separate ways for college—Laura to Washington College in Maryland and Alex at Shippensburg University.

The two reconnected when Laura transferred to Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, mostly because of Alex. After dating for the better part of a decade, Alex proposed to Laura in November 2018 under the arch at Valley Forge National Historical Park. “It has a special place in my heart,” says Laura, who’s on the park’s board. “We’ve spent so much time there.”

wedding table

Photo by Dave Apple

When the pandemic struck, the couple held a socially distant legal ceremony in their backyard on May 16. Her aunt officiated, getting a license just for the occasion. The church ceremony at St. Patrick’s, Laura’s home parish in Malvern, was moved to October, with half the original guest list. Everyone celebrated afterwards on the back deck of the nearby Desmond Hotel.

The following May, on the original date of their nuptials, Laura and Alex donned their wedding garb to capture seasonal photos at Valley Forge. Concerning the ups and downs of planning a wedding during a pandemic, Laura says, “It really taught us to go with the flow.”

— Erica Barnes and Kim Douglas

groomsmen

Photo by Dave Apple

couple

Photo by Marissa D’Orsogna Hamalian

bridal party

Photo by Marissa D’Orsogna Hamalian

couple

Photo by Marissa D’Orsogna Hamalian

bride's dress

Photo by Dave Apple

happy couple

Photo by Dave Apple

bridal party

Photo by Dave Apple

Ceremony: St. Patrick Catholic Church, Malvern (stpatrickmalvern.org).
Reception: Desmond Hotel Malvern (desmondgv.com).
Number of guests: 90.
Bride’s gown: Wtoo, Van Cleve Bridal & Evening Wear (vanclevebridal.com).
Bridesmaids’ dresses: JJ’s House (jjshouse.com).
Groom’s and groomsmen’s tuxedos: Calvin Klein, Joseph A. Banks, (josbank.com).
Hair: Maria Weismuller.
Makeup: Molyvan Elliot.
Florist: Blue Moon Florist (bluemoonflorist.com).
Cake: Sweet Jazmines (sweetjazmines.com).
First dance: “River” by Leon Bridges.
Photographers: Dave Apple and Marissa D’Orsogna Hamalian (mhamalianphoto.com).
Honeymoon: Annapolis, Md., and Cliff House, Maine.
Careers: Laura is a lobbyist; Alex is in finance.

bride's shoes

Photo by Dave Apple

Related: College Sweethearts Rethink Their Main Line Wedding Amid the Pandemic