We were fortunate enough to be able to celebrate with close family and friends in the first weekends after our engagement. Check out some of those photos below.
The morning after the engagement, we headed to Wildwood for the short vacation we had planned. As is tradition, we stayed with Shannon’s parents in the condo they rent each year from her dad’s cousin.
We spent much of the five-day stay hanging out with some of Shannon’s extended family on the beach and boardwalk, but we did have time for a morning bike ride to Wildwood Crest, where Chris and his family stayed when he was a kid.
Though we’ve been together since 2007, our families didn’t meet until after our engagement. The main reason for that is distance. Shannon’s parents are in Philly and Chris’ dad lives in northwest New Jersey.
But we decided it was finally time to bring everyone together when Chris’ dad came to visit on the first weekend of August 2014, along with his girlfriend Barbara and Chris’ Aunt Nancy and Uncle Joe from Long Island.
Chris’ family accompanied us on two venue visits that day, along with best man Michael Butler. We checked out Morris Aboretum and the Schuylkill Center before stopping in the Iron Hill Brewery in Chestnut Hill for drinks. After that, we headed to the highly recommended Italian BYOB, Bacio, in nearby neighborhood Mt. Airy. The three-hour dinner in this tiny restaurant included a seasonal appetizer made with just-ready Jersey tomatoes and freshly baked ricotta cheesecake that was on the house in honor of the joint celebration.
We spent the second weekend in August in Newton, N.J., visiting Chris’ dad and Barbara in their home. We spent time as we do each year at the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, where we met up with Chris’ dad’s godfather Arthur Wink, and his wife Ronnie. We enjoyed dinner back at the house in Newton, and then Arthur played a beautiful DVD he made with photos of us through the years.