May 5 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Center City. About 170 guests witnessed the evening ceremony in the hotel's courtyard garden, with the Rev. Robert Zimmerman presiding, then moved into the Grand Ballroom for the reception.
In February 2003, through mutual friends. Lani, who lived in Florida at the time, flew up for a visit with pal Lindsay Berman, who arranged a group outing to Atlantic City. Lani's first impression of Colin? Their height difference. "I thought he was too tall for me. He's 6-foot-71/2; I'm 5-foot-4 in heels." But she became Colin's good-luck charm at the casinos - he came out ahead.
Two weeks later, she came up for a first date. Despite their bad luck at a South Philly restaurant - "he ordered clams casino, which were awful, and didn't want to send it back in front of me" - they had a great time.
On Sept. 8, 2006 - settlement day on their new home. Keys in hand, they met up at the house. Colin arrived first, and when Lani walked in, he called to her from upstairs. She found him in their empty master bedroom, rose petals sprinkled on the floor. "He was already on one knee."
9 to 5
Lani, 27, of Saddle River, N.J., is a teacher at the Harris School of Business in Cherry Hill. Colin, 28, of Moorestown, is a disciplinarian for Burlington County Special Services. He also coaches J.V. basketball at Burlington City High School.
Making a home
The couple live in Lumberton.
To "Feels Like Home," by Chantal Kreviazuk.
Doing it their way
Bridesmaid Lindsay wore a black dress with a lilac sash, the reverse of maid of honor Casey Bell, in strapless lilac and black sash. The bride, given away by her father, Martin Samowitz, wore satin and lace Vera Wang and carried a hand-tied bouquet of Cool Water lavender roses and white stephanotis wrapped in white satin ribbon. The event, accompanied by violin, harp and flute, included a sand-pouring ceremony, and two readings: an Irish blessing and sonnet No. 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (that's the one that begins, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
For the ceremony, Evantine Design provided four open-weave iron pedestals, topped with flowering pear branches in glass vases. The branches also appeared as tall ballroom centerpieces. Evantine brought in silver chairs with lavender cushions and ivory tablecloths with a sheer lilac overlay. Menu cards mounted on lavender stock were tucked into folded ivory satin napkins. Pink-tinted water goblets substituted for the hotel's gold variety. Guests took home heart-shaped wine-stopper favors.
Not a dry eye
The toasts, Lani says - by Martin, Casey, and the best man - were especially moving. Colin gave an impromptu, heartfelt speech, about the joining of their two families. He also reflected on the special loved ones who couldn't be in attendance.
Call it an unscripted moment. "I told Colin he should be on American Idol," jokes Lani, after her groom, at the urging of band CTO Soho, got up and sang "I Got You (I Feel Good)."
"You love even more on that day. Enjoy it - it goes so fast."
Eleven days in Maui.
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