Interviw with our gorgeous couple, Patty + Chris:
How did you meet? Chris and I met in optometry school at Nova Southeastern University. I remember the first time I met Chris (even though he does not remember this 🙂 It was during one of our first Optometry Skills lab in August 2009; we were practicing what is called Case History (this is where the clinician gathers information about the patient, from the complaints they have that day to their medical and family history.) Chris and I were taking turns playing the role of patient and doctor. Chris did a great job, taking this assignment very seriously; I, on the other hand, had a hard time keeping a straight face. He was so serious, in fact, that he intimidated me a little, and for the next assignment, we both looked for different partners. It was a long time before we worked together again. In lecture, I sat in the row right in front of Chris, and I was notorious for getting to class just in the nick of time and periodically taking the occasional nap. This did not leave any opportunities for getting to know each other during class. The next time I clearly remember us working together was during our first clinic rotation in the Summer of 2011. We were the lucky firsts to be assigned to Kid Clinic, performing pediatric eye exams on underprivileged children. Being that this was our first clinical rotation, we had to learn how to perform eye exams on children before adults and before we formally learned special techniques that can be useful when working with a younger population. This proved to be a rewarding challenge, as Chris and I worked and learned quickly together. It was during this time, while carpooling, that Chris and I realized the first thing we have in common outside of school- our personalities behind the wheel and our impatience with South Florida driving.
What attracted you most to your husband/wife?
For Patty– his ambition and love of cooking
For Chris– great family values and unique quirks
How did he propose? Chris was in town visiting friends and me for the weekend from his rotation in Sarasota, FL. On Saturday he wanted to go out to dinner just the two of us, but I really wanted to go a carnival with our friends. He caved and we went to the carnival instead, and I unknowingly messed up his plans for the proposal that night. The next night Chris was determined to go out just the two of us. He took me out to dinner and requested that I wear his favorite dress, which also happened to be the same dress I wore on our first date. Chris also wore the same outfit from our first date, but I didn’t even notice. Chris had planned to re-enact our first date, so he took me to downtown Fort Lauderdale to eat and stroll around in that beautiful Southern Florida evening. At the end of the night we ended up at the same fountain we had our first intimate conversation on our first date. This is where Chris dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him…and I said yes! Because I interfered with his plans the night before, Chris ended up proposing on St. Patrick’s Day- so Chris and Patty got engaged on St. Paddy’s Day which I think is perfect 🙂
What inspired your vision for your wedding? Both Chris and I wanted a simple and intimate wedding. We fell in love with Phipps Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, so when we got engaged and moved to Pittsburgh we knew that was where we wanted to get married. We centered the rest of the wedding around the beautiful venue.
Tell us about finding your venue. Chris and I found this venue on accident when visiting my sister in Pittsburgh while we were still dating. We were lost driving around the town and saw a huge glass house in the distance. After taking several wrong turns and getting lost in the crazy streets of Pittsburgh, we eventually made our way to Phipps Botanical Gardens. Phipps is beautiful on the outside and breathtaking on the inside with endless rooms of different plants and trees. We we got engaged and moved to Pittsburgh we knew this was the perfect place for our wedding.
What was your biggest planning challenge? Chris and I had a very short engagement (less than 5 months!) so immediately after we got engaged we had to get down to business and start booking vendors. We were living in Fort Lauderdale at the time but the wedding was going to be in Pittsburgh, so a lot of the major decisions were made long distance. Luckily, my sister who was living in Pittsburgh was a big help, she ended up meeting with the vendors for the venue, catering, etc.
What was your favorite design element of your wedding? Chris’ dad makes amazing homemade hot sauce and he was generous enough to let us bottle his hot sauce for our favors. Everyone loved it!
Did you have any DIY details? Lots! We made eye chart inspired fans, wooden signs to help guide guests, jenga guest book, table numbers, seating chart, childhood picture frames to decorate the ceremony chairs, card box, centerpieces and flower decorations for the reception, hot sauce favors.
What was the most memorable moment of your wedding day? Chris and I did not take any dance lessons for our first dance and ended up just throwing something together that we practiced a couple of times before the wedding. I was really nervous about the first dance, I’m a terrible dancer and was not looking forward to all eyes on me while dancing. I’ll be honest, I did have some “liquid courage” right before we walked into the reception and started to dance. But what really calmed me down was just looking into Chris’ eyes- he kept me so calm during the dance that I didn’t even notice everyone around us.
Describe your cake. Absolutely delicious! It was a fluffy vanilla cake with fresh strawberries and creamy filling. We topped it with a WALL-E and EVE cake topper.
What was your experience with your photographers? Sara and Jason are absolutely amazing!! I’m usually pretty camera shy, but they made me feel comfortable and at ease in front of the camera. They were extremely creative, flexible, and professional. I was a little worried because they weren’t from the area and weren’t familiar with the venue, but Sara and Jason exceed my expectations! They found the perfect place for each picture and did a great job picking the location for our morning after shoot.
What’s next for you and your husband as a couple? Chris and I are closing on our first house soon and we are slowing getting settled into Pittsburgh.
Can you please list your vendors.
Phipps Botanical Gardens and Conservatory
DJ Master Gee
Hearts and Flowers / Blumgarten
And the next morning in downtown Pittsburgh…this awesomeness happened 🙂