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College dorm buddies become roommates for life

Even before they became freshmen next-door neighbors at a dormitory at the University of Pennsylvania, it seemed that Naomi Kaplan and Eric Morris were destined to be friends.

In a couple of lighthearted email communications before they even arrived on campus, the two discovered similar senses of humor. And both were certain that they would be, yes, friends.

That first face-to-face meeting had its own quirkiness.

"Eric walked into our first hall dorm meeting having just spent three days camping in the woods as part of an orientation program," recalled Naomi of that long-ago day back in 2007. "He was dirty, but I couldn't take my eyes off of him."

"I saw Naomi, and immediately thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen," Eric said.

But remember, this was to be a great friendship. And it was — at least for a while.

Chick-fil-A mascot

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A surprise guest at the wedding was the Chick-fil-A mascot, a nod to the couple's ongoing love of that chicken, and arranged by the bride's older sister.


They were the kind of friends who spent time together, had lunch together, and shared an unexpected love of Chick-fil-A.

But things got a bit murky when Eric, who definitely felt the same ease and comfort, also began feeling that the friendship had reached a certain decision point.

"I wanted it to be something more, and it was a challenge to both of us to address this issue with a best friend."

It definitely was for Naomi, too.

"At first, I was surprised when after a winter break our sophomore year, Eric told me we either had to date or we couldn't be friends. I couldn't imagine losing my best friend, but I realized that if he was the perfect friend, he might also be the ideal boyfriend."

Yes, the plot really thickened. And the outcome was the kind of happy ending and beginning that makes some movies so enchanting.


Mr. and Mrs. Eric Morris

Naomi Kaplan and Eric Morris after their wedding ceremony.

Contributed"We decided to give dating a chance, and haven't looked back since. We've been together for six incredible years, and we can't wait to spend the rest of our lives together," Naomi said.

But before that commitment turned into marriage last November, there was the small matter of a formal proposal. In student life, formality is rare. But Eric began planning a very special proposal and managed to pull it off brilliantly.

Fast-forward to a very special evening at a restaurant in Tarrytown, New York, the kind of celebratory evening that did make Naomi wonder.

A taxi took the couple to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a farm-to-table restaurant that sits on a former Rockefeller property. Sensing something was up, Naomi looked for signs of nervousness in Eric, but saw none.

The couple had to climb a fairly steep hill overlooking the farm, and suddenly Eric panicked. When he had scoped out the place, he was sure there was an iron bench that would become his proposal spot. It wasn't there.

At that point, he led Naomi into a vegetable garden, and only when he was down on his knee did she comprehend that, indeed, this was "the moment."

The bride and groom are lifted on chairs above the guests at their reception as "Hava Nagila" plays.


"She immediately started crying, big surprise," Eric said. "But I wouldn't give her the ring until she finally said yes."

A prearranged photographer popped up to immortalize the moment, and there was yet another surprise for Naomi.

Off in the distance, the two sets of parents came up that same hill to join in the celebration — with more tears flowing.

Both agree that the dinner that night will forever live in memory as the glorious culmination of a love that bloomed in a freshman dorm.

Planning a wedding while establishing new lives in New York City was both challenging, and fun, with Naomi occupied with law school and Eric launching his career as an analyst at Caspian Capital Advisors.

But the couple knew with certainty that they would celebrate their Judaism with a synagogue wedding, specifically at her family synagogue, Congregation Beth El in Cherry Hill. So attached is the bride to Beth El that back when she and Eric first began dating, she took him to see the place where, as she told him, "This is where I will get married."

A traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, officiated by Rabbi Aaron Krupnick, was highlighted by the reading of a very special Ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, created for the couple by an artist in Israel.

A traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, officiated by Rabbi Aaron Krupnick, was highlighted by the reading of a very special Ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, created for the couple by an artist in Israel.


Its words and message, including the commitment to listen to each other openly and wholeheartedly, will stand as a reminder of what marriage means.

Guests then stepped into an environment that looked and felt like a lush garden, with lots of blush, ivory and champagne tones bathed in candlelight.

A surprise guest at the wedding was the Chick-fil-A mascot, a nod to the couple's ongoing love of that chicken, and arranged by the bride's older sister.

Real life has begun as Eric and Naomi, both 27, pursue their careers, she as an attorney now for a major New York law firm and he as an analyst at Caspian.

Like most couples, they do have adjustments to make. Eric cites some classic examples:

The two have different definitions of what "neat" means, he said. Seems Eric's is a bit looser than Naomi's.

Naomi is a night person and her husband is a top-of-the-morning kind of guy.

Hopefully, they will resolve their differences in the glow of the afternoon.

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13:31 Publié dans Mode, wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


How To Get Married On A Budget, By The Frugality’s Alex Stedman

Getting hitched but don’t have a big budget? The Frugality’s Alex Stedman has been there and blogged about it. Here are her top tips for having a wedding on a budget.

Don’t: Stress About Invites, It’s The Day That Counts

We bought save the dates in bulk; it was a raffle kit where we circled the wedding date. Our invites were just cards with the date and time on. Our thank you cards were on recycled card from Paperchase.

The Frugality's Alex Stedman getting married

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Don’t: Be Too Bling

My engagement ring was £180 from Laura Lee. When I lost it, I could afford to replace it with the exact one. My wedding band was £250 from Georgina Boyce, who makes achievable diamonds. My husband’s ring is H Samuel.

Don’t: Dismiss The High-Street

My bridesmaids were flung across the world, so I went to J Crew because they deliver to everyone. ASOS’s bridal range is amazing. My bridesmaids’ flower garlands came from Topshop.

Don’t: Fall For The Photo Booth

Go for small, local companies, who are cheaper. Buy a brown card photo album from Paperchase instead of the leather-bound book they bring, and instead of paying £100 for props, go to a fancy dress shop. Ask for old-school analogue strips instead of postcard prints – they’re cheaper. We used Coco Photo Booths, and then my Dad made a photo backdrop, a frame with linen fabric over it, for people to take photos against.

Do: Negotiate

Everyone has a standard price, then you can shave the excess off. I halved the price of my photo booth, even my brass band quoted me a ridiculous price and I came back with half. They didn’t come down to my half, but they were closer to my bid then theirs. It’s easier to haggle over e-mail if you’re scared.

Don’t: Have A Crazy Hen Party

I’m all up for having afternoon tea and spa day, where everyone can go home to their own beds. Going away with friends from different circles is always a bit hard.

Do: Get Crafty

I couldn’t see any napkins I liked, so I made my own. We cut napkins out of a linen tablecloth – it doesn’t matter if the edges are a bit raw, you only use them once. We printed our seating plan with the rubber stamps you can buy from Marks and Spencer. You can buy paper hanging decorations from Ikea, and linen table runners from H&M Home. Instead of big candles, I just used tea lights, and sparklers in zinc pots from Ikea.

Do: Get Personal

I live in London, but places here overcharge. I used a florist who gave me wholesale prices because she was so excited – she usually gets bog standard orders for a ball of roses bouquet and said ‘your flowers are more what I want to do and I really want to make it work’. She dropped them round and I tied them with ribbon the day before. It cost me a couple of hundred rather than a thousand.

Do: Go Wild

Flowers in fashion at the moment are wild, so baby’s breath is cheap and can really fill up a bouquet. My bridesmaids had a stem of lavender each.

Do: Wash Up Old Pasta Sauce Jars

My family saved me pickled onion and Ragoo pasta jars throughout the year, which I used as table settings. Milk bottles are too thin and let in a lot of condensation, so you need wide neck bottles.

Do: Scrap Favours

They’re so old fashioned. We left gifts for ushers and maids of honour, and Poundland sparklers and glow sticks on the table, but a free bar was our gift for everyone.

…And A Fancy Car

I also thought why am I spending hundreds on a car nobody will see us turning up in, so we just got a local taxi and I turned up in a Ford Tourneo. It did the job.

Do: Make Your Own Music

My brother-in-law made us a mix of our favourite music, with no breaks. A lot of friends have done iPod or Spotify playlists.

Do: Lean On Friends And Family

A family friend baked our wedding cake as a present. Some people had a cake table, so everyone made sponges, or had cupcakes instead of a three-tier cake. There’s nothing to say you even need to have a cake, a lot of people have had cheeseboards.

Do: Bring Your Own

Some people have said instead of gifts, everyone bring a dish and their wedding is a buffet. For drink, check the corkage fee for BYOB, and see if it’s cheaper to pay or put money behind the bar. We did a few runs to Sainsburys when there were wine deals on throughout the year and stocked up.

Also see:

Do: Crowdsource Your Honeymoon

We wanted to go somewhere expensive, so we used for our wedding gifts. We went to Japan, and you can pick things like a day dressing up in a kimono or a trip to Disneyland Tokyo –but it comes into your account as cash so it makes them feel like they’ve bought you something specific.

09:23 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Gross - Hoffman

Emily Gross and Cory Hoffman were married July 16, 2016, at Park Inn by Radisson Ballroom, West Middlesex, with Natalie Jordan officiating.

The bride is a daughter of Richard and Andrea Gross, Sharpsville. The bride was given in marriage by her parents.

Gross - Hoffman

Images: Beach Bridesmaid Dresses

Parents of the bridegroom are Angel Hoffman, Grove City, and the late Joe Hoffman, formerly of Sharpsville.

Matron of honor was Sheila Farr, Indiana, Pa., bride’s sister.

Bridesdmaids were Sarah Hart, Moundsville, W.Va., and Shelby Hoffman, Sharpsville, both groom’s sisters.

Best man was Vinnie Pagliaroli, Hermitage, groom’s best friend.

Groomsmen were Ryan Maurice, Sharpsville; Darren McAninch, Mercer; Ted Margiean, Sharpsville; Cody Donaldson, Pittsburgh; Brett Beshero, Pittsburgh, and John Leyshon, Sharpsville, all friends of the bride and groom.

Ushers were Kevin Farr, Indiana; Travis Gaines, Sharon, and Chris Groscost, Anaheim, Calif.

A reception was held at Park Inn by Radisson ballroom.

After a weekend honeymoon to the Poconos, the newlyweds live in Drumore in Lancaster County, Pa.

The couple graduated from Sharspville High School in 2008 and Clarion University in 2012. Mrs. Hoffman earned a bachelor’s degree in library science with a minor in English literature. Her husband earned bachelor’s degree in environmental biology.

Mrs. Hoffman is an elementary librarian in the Conestoga Valley School District in Lancaster, Pa.

Her husband is a fisheries biologist at Normandeau Associates in Drumore.

The couple were high school sweethearts and were married after dating for 10 years.

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12:45 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)