My Conshohocken Wedding Reception
My Conshohocken Wedding Reception
by Brian Coll
As many of you may know I got married back in May. I surprised my bride Anna Gibbard with a small ceremony and lunch at Trattoria Totaro’s. It was exactly what we wanted, but we knew we wanted to celebrate with more family and friends at a later date and we started planning. Our ideal situation was something outside without a lot of formality. We ended up going with one of our favorite spots, the Conshohocken Beer Garden.
We worked out the details with Kevin Tierney and Brian Pieri. Brian, his wife Christina and the amazing staff at the entire Pieri Restaurant Group were fantastic to work with. We worked out the food and drink details with Alexandra at Bar Lucca over the course of a few months. We also brought in some of our favorite foods from the Boathouse as well as tomato pie from the Conshohocken Italian Bakery for a late night snack. We wanted a few wedding type things like a photographer or two and we knew to call a photographer who has watched our kids grow since day one Jennifer Lynn. She took photos of Nora when she was born and again with Rocco and on this night she watched our kids dance with friends and took some amazing photos. I had a crazy idea…. what about a green screen, everyone could pose in front of it with different backgrounds like Star Wars. My friend Tom Collins took this idea and ran with it! It was awesome seeing people pose with so many cool backgrounds. Tom will have a showing of his concert photography at my frame shop on October 13th if you are around…
We also knew we needed music. I have spoke many times of my love for a band called Marah. I called Dave and Serge Bielanko and couldn’t believe it when they agreed to do it. We grew up with each other and it was really cool to have them back in Conshohocken. We actually used to go fishing in the Schuylkill river and to have them playing live right by the river was really something cool. I’m pretty sure I heard a song Catfisherman being played by them and it’s a cool tune, very fitting for the setting. I knew Marah couldn’t play all night, well they could, their live shows are legendary, but we asked our old friend Aj Dilworth to be the DJ and he played all the right songs. Even the Dan Band doing the song from Old School…turn around Bright eyes…..
My friend Brian Turtle provided some kids entertainment and the games helped make it slightly easier on the parents.
You know the thing about having more of a party than a reception is the work that goes into it. I had a full crew of friends helping me make it a perfect night. It starts and ends with Tim Donovan. Tim is the guy who just shows up and gets to work and in all reality between him and my dad I think they know what I’m thinking which is rare because most of the time I don’t know what I’m thinking! So, Tim, his brother Kevin, Nick Boscaino, Walt Hauk all showed up the morning of the party and kicked ass building tents, tables, lights, walls. Nick even went to Lowes and bought flowers to make the entrance way look a little better. Not many people would do what these guys did for me. Then the next day, after a long night they all showed up and did it again.
Anna needed a hand getting ready, I don’t want to say getting ready to look beautiful because she always does. But she needed a hand and 2 of the most amazing women I know were there to help her out, our friends Dana and Kim. Thank you for always being there for us and treating our children so well, I can never thank you enough for that.
My sister Jackie Coll, I didn’t ask her to do anything that day because she is busy enough with everything she does on her own, but somehow, she shows up and just gets to work. Making sure everything is ready to go for when our friends got there. She always puts my mind at ease. I mentioned the photographers, but Jackie and my dad Jack were probably the unofficial photographers if you will and they did great.
We had a great idea for favors, we went to the Artist’s Loft and asked about the wine jellies they have for sale there. They come from a local sister in law team called Simply D’Wine and we had them make up a couple hundred wine jellies with champagne so everyone could “toast”. Our friends loved the idea and we have gotten some reports of people having it on their toast over the weekend and loving it. We had little labels printed up and they were happy to attach them to the jars. It was incredible.
We were lucky to have so many family and friends join us. Some people flew over 3,000 miles, some drove for hours, some walked down to it. I need to apologize to some friends who I didn’t get the chance to include in this event. As many of you may know when planning this type of event the list of people you want to include grows and grows and I’m lucky to have so many good people in my life that I simply didn’t get to include everyone that I wanted to.
I actually have to add something I found funny and awesome and how small town we really are at times in the best way possible. I rented my tux from Flocco’s, yes you can rent a tux there and they are awesome to work with. The party was a Saturday, I went to return it Sunday morning and I got there before they opened. We were heading out of town for the week and I didn’t want to keep it a week…. so I went to one of the owners house and knocked on the door, handed it to them and thanked them and off we went to the beach for the week. I don’t see that happening at any of the big box places, or a place at the mall or something like that. It made me proud to be part of a community. I’m not saying this is a policy of Flocco’s, I don’t think they want everyone dropping off at someones house, but I did it and thought it was great.
I hope you had fun if you attended. I’m sorry if I left anyone out of this, it just poured from my heart. I’m not looking at notes, I’m just being me and talking…. One person who I need to thank, Tim O’Donnell from Washies. Tim was the guy who allowed me to sleep the week leading up to the party. Of course we were all watching the weather and Florence and wondering if we’d be able to have our outdoor party. It was Tim at Washies who worked with us in setting up the backup plan and it really relaxed us.
Anna Gibbard, thanks for creating a perfect day for us. Thanks for reading to the end everyone. I know I’m leaving some people out of this and I am sorry.