Real Weddings Archive
Please select the links below to view previously featured Real Weddings

Maria And Christopher - A Valentine's Day Celebration in DC

Tracy and Duane - A Celebration of the Arts in DC

Sheeva and Brendan - Elegance and Magic at a Pennsylvania Mansion

Ariana and David - An Oceanside Celebration in Newport, RI

Allison and Andy - Hurricane Katrina Can't Breach their Determination to Marry

Bonnie and Michael - An Elegant Boston Fairytale

Cori and Jeff - Southern Hospitality
in Georgia

Sara and Justin - Classic Seaside Style in Connecticut

Marcy and Nick - Oceanfront Elegance in La Jolla, California

Melanie and Tim - Southern-Style Splendor in Alabama

Chaney and Chris -
Birmingham Romance

Lindsey and Tim - Relaxed Seacoast-style
in Rye, NH

Mary and Toby - Palm Beach Florida

Jessica and Dante - Bermuda
Read inspriational Real Weddings stories. This month:
Tragedy and Triumph - A Destination Wedding, a Natural Disaster, a Re-Creation
The Bride:
Randi Budd

The Groom:
Christian Gatti

The Date:
December 30, 2005 - Philadelphia, PA
A Chance Meeting...

Spring break often brings to mind images of wild debauchery and meaningless encounters; relatively few college students ever embark on a plane to Cancun planning to meet “the one.” After all Cancun is a place not exactly known for its, er, romance. (unless you equate tequila shots with romance)

But images can be deceiving….

Sometimes when you least expect it, in the unlikeliest of scenarios, true love is born. During a fateful spring vacation in 2001, that is exactly what happened. An instant connection…
An Unlikely Courtship

Randi and Christian spent the remainder of the vacation cramming as much getting to know each other time as possible into a finite number of days. That’s the thing about spring breaks – they have expiration dates. Yes, they exchanged numbers - but after parting ways, Randi did not necessarily expect to hear from Christian again. However, a month later Randi found herself answering the phone to a familiar voice on the other end. It was Christian, explaining that he was planning a trip to Philadelphia to visit some friends, and would she like to get together? The rest, as they say, is history.

And so it was that after nearly three hears of dating, Christian moved to Philadelphia to be closer to Randi. A proposal soon followed over dinner; when dessert arrived, Randi got more than a sweet ending to a wonderful meal. With the words, “will you marry me” glazed upon the decadent chocolate cake, she also got a sweet beginning to her future with Christian.
A Destination Wedding in Cancun

As the wedding planning ensued, the choice of location seemed obvious - Cancun, the site of that fateful first encounter in Mexico. The couple immediately wrapped themselves into the process of planning a destination wedding. Seventy of their closest friends and family members were to attend the celebration. After 10 long months of planning, the stage was set for what was sure to be a momentous affair.
A Change of Plans

As the couple stood poised to enjoy their upcoming nuptials, disaster struck in the hands of Hurricane Wilma. In October 2005, Wilma hit heavy in the Atlantic basin, devastating parts of the Yucatan Peninsula and southern Florida and destroying the location of their upcoming wedding. The couple struggled to make sense of the ramifications; their months of meticulous planning were for naught. The wedding was cancelled.
From the Ashes...A Celebration

A bitter reality hit Randi and Christian when Hurricane Wilma forced them to cancel their wedding plans, yet a phone call to Randi’s aunt revealed the disaster in a new light. She reminded Randi that a hometown wedding would ensure a celebration that included all of the family’s friends and loved ones, not just those who were able to make the trip to Mexico. Suddenly, Randi realized that a Cancun setting wasn’t a prerequisite for the perfect wedding; the perfect wedding could still take place in Philadelphia. And even if the their wedding was not ultimately the same event that she had planned over the past year, it would still be her wedding day - the day she married her best friend while surrounded by her closest family and friends. From the devastation arose a blessing that promised an affair filled with love and friendship.
A Re-Creation
With only 2 months to plan, the couple set out to create an event as extraordinary and meaningful as the original. Randi and Christian chose the lavish and elegant Cescaphe Ballroom in downtown Philadelphia to host their remodeled plans for a wedding celebration. They were delighted to find that their chosen photographers, Capone Photography, were still able to document the event. Capone Photography strove to capture images that reflected the original Mexican destination theme. They scoured the city of Philadelphia prior to the big day in search of unique locations that reflected the personality of Mexico. A seemingly unremarkable graffitied wall in the city set the backdrop for a scene that featured the couple adorned with sunglasses and festive drinks (with umbrellas, of course), while a truck emblazoned with the word MEXICO colorfully painted on the side was the focal point of other images. The unique shots all tied together the spirit of two significant settings: Mexico, the place they met, and Philadelphia, the place where their relationship blossomed.

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