Susquehanna Style

January-February 2010

By Cindy Kalinoski

Reprinted with the kind permission of Susquehanna Style

The Big Day: October 17, 2009

Don admits having his eye on Keely long before she noticed him. Mutual friends set them up and Keely finally really looked at Don. "I was like, wow, he's really handsome!" That night they saw a flyer for Freedom Fest and decided to go. "Our first date was July 4 of 2007," says Keely. "And yes, there were fireworks!" Don says now, "With the wedding behind us, it's been a lot more relaxing. It's wonderful, and I've been walking on clouds since. Keely is an amazing person. I just really enjoy our time together and being with her. She's exciting and a very positive person; she keeps me motivated."

Amidst the beauty of St. Mary's, Keely's childhood best friend , Gigi, sang the Mass. During the vows Keely suddenly keyed in on the depth of the moment: "I could barely get out the 'I, Keely, take you, Don' part! I was just really choked up."

Elegant rusticity/bohemian chic. Rust and lilac, with a vintage glam look. Eco-consciousness also played a key role, from the local fare and table number stands Don repurposed from curly willow and salvaged doorknobs from Building Character, invitations printed on cotton Crane Letra stationary rather than paper from trees—even the minimoon destination had a focus on local fare and an eco spa, which was heated by geothermal and solar energy.

The chefs at The Marriott started with fresh, local fare similar to items Keely likes to pick up at farmers' markets and made seasonal fare of: butternut squash bisque with sweet potatoes and celeriac topped with cinnamon crème fraiche; maple-thyme braised quail with apple cider vinaigrette; and roasted root vegetable lasagna with sage bechamel and honey-roasted chestnuts with a roasted carrot emulsion and Basciani Farms mushroom jus topped with crisp carrots. The entrée was inspired by one Keely saw on the menu at The Sheppard Mansion in Hanover. (She created her own version, which Don jokingly referred to as the "I didn't know you could eat that" dinner the first couple of times she made it.)

The Bride discovered her dress by happenstance when the couple travelled to New Hope. Keely spotted her dream dress with all the requirements (mermaid style, sweetheart top, low V back, albeit in a blush color), and owner Dominique custom-designed one in the champagne shade she wanted with amazing details like a lace accent empire waist that wrapped around the back. The Groom, Don, 6'2" and slim, finds it hard to buy off the rack. Les Schwartzberg of Les Richards in Philadelphia used details like handpicked stitching along the lapels paired with the espresso herringbone stripe fabric and a custom pearlescent basket weave shirt (complete with the left sleeve larger to fit around Don's watch). "They made Don feel like a million bucks on our wedding day and he looked like it too."

Keely would occasionally sing "Forever and Ever, Amen" by Randy Travis just to bother non-country fan Don, but secretly—and coincidentally—they had those very words inscribed in the other's ring. When they played it at the wedding, Keely's mom and step-father stole the show with an authentic two-step.

A motif woven throughout the wedding was artichokes, with Keely set on using artichoke flowers. But the artichoke farmer mowed them down and moved to France without telling Keely—who found out a week and a half before the wedding. Not good. Her florist, Kim McNabb, saved the day with beautiful purple artichokes, and shortly things were back in perspective. As they practiced their vows that same night at the church, Keely realized that, "at the end of the day, all of this is about the wedding, the sacrament of marriage and the spiritual bond that will hold us together for the rest of our lives."

Melissa Weiler of Persnickety handmade a line of paper goods (including rust and lilac save the date cards, bachelor party and bridal shower invites, custom color letterpress wedding invitations, programs, table numbers and favor boxes) along with a sign for a seasonal drink Keely's sister and maid of honor, Brittney, came up with and Don named "Penn Square Spiked Cider": apple cider with amaretto and a touch of triple sec.

Keely's mother, who lives in Washington state, wanted to help. Inspired by a Martha Stewart photo, Keely put her mom, her sister and her stepdad to work for a year creating hanging paper leaf wreaths for the reception.

An eclectic mix courtesy of Keely and Don's iPod. Couple's dance: a nontraditional song Don played for Keely the night he proposed—Ani DiFranco's "Smiling Underneath." (We could be stuck in traffic for over a week. With a car full of quintuplets who are all cuttin' teeth. And around my neck could be a flaming Christmas wreath. And I'd be smiling underneath.); Father's dance: Led Zeppelin's "All My Love"; Mother's pick for her dance with Don: Carly Simon's "Love of my Life".

Groomsman Ray: "Here's to geek meets chic." Don recalls, "It was hilarious; I am a bit of a geek; I get to work with audio-visual stuff, and I'm a great t-shirt and jeans kind of guy. Keely is the stylish one."

St. Mary's, Lancaster; 717-392-2578,

Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square; 717-239-1600, marriott-at-penn-square/

Jen Baltgalvis Photography, Mechanicsburg 717-576-3886,

Lavon Films Wedding Cinematography; 717-490-1398, Check out a clip from Keely & Don's wedding at

Bride's custom gown and mantilla veil by Dominique Daniela, New Hope; 215-862-2022, www. Groom's custom-made suit by Les Richards Menswear, Philadelphia; 215-751-1155, www. Bridesmaids: rust-colored strapless pencil dresses, from Alfred Angelo, (, Bronze ballet flats from Target, and brown pearls (a gift from the bride). Groomsmen: a stylish modern combo of tan suits (an end of summer bargain find from Kohl's!), lilac shirts from the Banana Republic outlet and orange and purple ties from The Tie Bar;

Bride: Platinum and diamond solitaire and wedding band from Brent L. Miller Jewelers, Lancaster; 717-569-5420, Earrings from Dominique Daniela, New Hope. 1930s and 40s vintage bracelet & purse from Zap &Co., Lancaster; 717-397-7405, Groom: Titanium beaded-edged wedding band from Scott and Co. Fine Jewelers, New Oxford; 717-624-3461, Cufflinks by Mio Studio, purchased from JA Sharp, Lancaster; 717-295-9661,

Persnickety Invitation Studio, York 717-741-2324,

Lisianthus, purple artichokes, light blue thistle, spiky mustard protea and rust spider mums, green hydrangeas with green spider mums and eucalyptus, and orange safflower boutonnieres, The Petal Company, Lancaster; 717-394-6423.

Martine at the House of Clarendon was surprised when Keely pulled out her own sketch for the cake. He refined it and added two feathers that echoed the ostrich feathers in the bride's hair. Made with chocolate and carrot cake layers by the House of Clarendon, Lancaster; 717-290-7800,

Karen Dearden & Leigh Lindsay, Salon Fin, Lancaster; 717-396-3891.

Susan Moran, That's It! Wedding Concepts (formerly V&M Wedding Concepts), Mechanicsburg; 717.645.5700,

Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa, Milton, New York; Check out Keely's