Love: Amy Winheld and Craig Deiley

LORI OLIVERAS
LORI OLIVERAS (LORI OLIVERAS)

September 10, 2011 in Pennsauken

Posted: November 16, 2011

Hello there

Amy had looked forward to substitute-teaching at her alma mater, Cheltenham High. Then she got her assignment.

"All you have to do is sit in the room with Mr. Deiley," the principal told her.

That name took her back to her sophomore year math class. She remembered Mr. Deiley as a strict teacher with a booming voice who expected students to do a lot of hard work. Her friends on the girls' tennis team he coached loved him, but Amy vividly remembered sitting in his class thinking, "Don't call on me! Don't call on me!" And she was an A student.

Even though it was 2003, and Amy was in her 20s with a college degree and plans for graduate school, she walked toward that classroom with a knot in her stomach. Her memories were scary enough. But what had Mr. Deiley done to require a second teacher to monitor him?

A quick peek through the door revealed a man who was definitely not her former teacher - this guy was her age. She was walking away when the man inside asked "Who are you looking for?"

"Not you," Amy said. "I'm looking for Mr. Deiley."

"I am Mr. Deiley."

She had just met Craig Deiley, the son of her former math teacher, Tom Deiley. Craig's teaching paperwork and background check were not yet complete, so Amy was brought in to monitor his Algebra II classroom.

"You've got really beautiful eyes," Craig said, in front of the students.

Just as in 10th grade, Amy wanted to disappear in Mr. Deiley's classroom.

After class, Craig - and therefore Amy - had back-to-back free periods. Craig asked if she'd like to get breakfast, then realized he had left his wallet at home. When they pulled up to the house so Craig could retrieve it, Tom Deiley was watering his flowers. Amy had no choice but to talk to him.

By the time Amy had ordered and eaten her bagel, she realized that she no longer found Mr. Tom Deiley scary - and she agreed to go on a date with his son.

How does forever sound?

For the next eight months, Craig and Amy yelled at the TV during Flyers' games, searched for the area's best slice of carrot cake, and fought only over who got to do the daily Jumble in The Inquirer.

Craig got his teaching credentials, and his substitute teaching job became permanent. Amy began studying for her master's degree in counseling psychology at Temple University.

Then Craig chaperoned a student trip to Costa Rica. "I was unable to talk to him for 10 days. It felt like my left leg had been cut off," Amy said.

On the plane ride home, Craig created a jumble puzzle just for Amy. The solution: Will you marry me?

Amy loved Craig. But they were still in their early 20s, and had not been together that long. She knew her family would not approve. "I do really want to marry you," she told him. "But now's not the time."

"I took that to mean no," Craig said. He took the ring back to his Cheltenham apartment. They continued to date, but what had been easy was strained. Several months after the proposal, they broke up. The engagement ring was stolen. The thieves left Craig an empty box.

For about a year, the two did not speak. They dated other people. And then in fall 2005, about the time Amy started her job as a school counselor with the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, Amy started missing Craig. She wanted to talk to him, but was unsure if he'd want to talk to her. She still had his old, beat-up Temple University baseball cap, so she placed it in his car.

Craig called when he found it.

By late 2010, the couple was talking marriage again. Because of the way things went the last time he proposed, Craig took a decidedly different tack: "You tell me when you're ready, and we'll just go from there," he said.

The couple together planned an engagement trip to Jamaica in April 2011. No question was popped, but flying home in first class, the couple declared themselves engaged, and began telling people after they landed. Amy ran the Broad Street Run in May, and right after, the couple sauntered into a jewelry store and picked out a ring.

It was so them

Craig, 31, and Amy, 30, who now live in Lafayette Hill, kept their traditional Jewish ceremony simple. Instead of having a bridal party, they walked in the company of their families to the chuppah that Craig's father made for them. Amy's sister Stephanie led the procession. Craig was escorted by his father and his mother, Karen; Amy by her parents, Linda and Michael.

In the program, the couple honored their late siblings, Amy's brother Josh and Craig's brother Mark.

When it was almost time to sign their ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, Amy, flooded with emotion, began to cry. "Why are you crying?" Craig quietly asked. "I can't put words to it," Amy said. "I just need to know," Craig said, "are you crying because you don't want to marry me, or crying because of anything else?" Amy smiled through her tears, "Anything else," she said.

At the reception for 150, Craig and Amy were hoisted high on chairs as everyone danced the horah. Craig narrowly averted falling off by planting his foot on a friend's shoulder. As the dance ended and the couple was back on the floor, Craig tossed Amy straight up into the air, then caught her. "That was the most enthusiastic end to a horah I've ever seen," remarked one friend.

Unforgettable

When the couple was getting their photos taken, pre-ketubah signing, three little girls, guests at another wedding, kept peeking around a big chair to look at Amy. "They were calling her a princess," Craig said. "It was so cute, and it made a tense moment for Amy and me a little easier."

Amy cried throughout the ketubah signing and the whole way down the aisle. "Then I got under the chuppah, and I was there with him, holding his hand. And all of a sudden, I just stopped crying. It was just me and him. It was just us."

Discretionary spending

A bargain: With the help of a pile of coupons, Amy purchased lanterns and mirrors and candles and assembled them into 18 centerpieces for less than $25 each.

The splurge: A DJ would have been cheaper, but this couple had to have a live band.

The getaway: A trip through Italy over summer vacation.


Love: BEHIND THE SCENES

Officiant

Lance J. Sussman, senior rabbi at Keneseth Israel synagogue in Elkins Park and a Winheld family friend

Venue

Colleen's at the Savoy, Pennsauken

Food

Colleen's Catering

Music

Philly Party Band, Philadelphia

Photography

Lori Oliveras, who is also the photography teacher at Cheltenham High School

Flowers

Elite Florals, Roslyn Valley, Pa.

Dress

La Bella Moda, Conshohocken

Groom's attire

Macy's, Willow Grove

Invitations

Party Please, Jenkintown


Love: DO YOU HAVE THE DATE?

Tell us in a short e-mail – at least six weeks before your ceremony – why we should feature your love story.

Send it to weddings@phillynews.com. Unfortunately, we can't personally respond to all submissions. If your story is chosen, you will be contacted in the weeks before your wedding.

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