On June 21, 2009, Lori Beth Holden and Paul Garfield Hawthorne became husband and wife. The couple wed in an intimate outdoor setting at The Aldie Mansion in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
By: Bridgette Bartlett
Lori, a special events planner, dated Paul, an attorney, for just over two years before the couple were engaged while vacationing in Jamaica. The couple wed about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia where the bride grew up.
Lori actually wore two dresses on her wedding day. This gorgeous tulle princess-inspired creation and a less formal option for her reception. Both gowns were purchased at sample sales.
The groom makes sure he is dapper for his bride on their wedding day.
“Unlike anyone else, she has consistently brought joy and laughter to my life and an inner peace that I have never felt before,” Paul says of his bride.
The bride lost her father whom she was very close to, so, in his absence, her brother walked her down the aisle. She decided to tie the knot on Father’s Day in his honor.
“Seeing my beautiful bride walk down the aisle brought a tear to my eye, okay maybe a couple of tears,” the groom says.
“I was a little nervous before the wedding thinking, ‘Are people really going to show up?’ Seeing how much people love you and will go out of their way to do things for you is an overwhelming kind of feeling,” shares the bride.
The happy couple prepare to say their wedding vows.
“Paul told me afterward that I really took his breath away,” shares the former model.
The newlyweds are all smiles as they join their guests for their reception. As a nod to the groom’s Jamaican heritage, black cake was given to the guests as a wedding favor.
Mr. and Mrs. Hawthorne take their seats at the head of the table for the first time. The newlyweds honeymooned for two weeks in Anguilla and St. Martin.
The bride shows off her unexpected cobalt blue Manolo Blahnik pumps inspired by the film “Sex and the City.”
“I ordered the shoes before I even found the venue,” says Lori with a laugh.
A breathtaking table setting at the couple’s wedding reception. Guests were treated to red snapper as another nod to Paul’s Jamaican roots.
The bride kept this vase of fresh flowers in the chair next to her mother during the wedding ceremony as a tribute to her deceased father.
“There were monsoon-like downpours the entire day but it totally cleared up just in time for the ceremony,” remembers Lori. “I think that was my dad’s way of giving his blessing,” she adds.
The picture-perfect couple was destined to become husband and wife. They traveled in the same circles for years before formally meeting each other at a West Indian Day Parade party in Brooklyn. During this annual event attended by millions, the duo managed to find each other.
As a professional event planner, Lori is paid to pay attention to the details. The creative bride did a lot of the legwork for her wedding herself, like these ribbon-tied programs.
Wedding guests shake a serious tail feather on the dance floor at the reception.
“Seeing the little kids dance and the adults having so much fun was the most memorable part of the reception,” Paul says.
“We served a raspberry butter pound cake. We both really liked it. I fell in love with the way it looked,” explains Lori.
“The obstacles that we have overcome as a couple have made us stronger and shows that we can get through stuff together,” informs Lori.
A wedding photo of the groom’s parents.
“Family is important to both of us. We hung photos of both families throughout the mansion where the wedding and reception was held. We made sure to incorporate family into the day as much as possible,” reflects Lori.