Love: Krissy Schuck & Cornelius de Groot

Oct. 1, 2011, in Philadelphia

Posted: December 14, 2011

Hello there

It was Krissy's first opening night as a subscriptions department apprentice at the Walnut Street Theatre. Her adrenaline was already running high when she saw casting apprentice Dawn pull carpentry apprentice Cornelius away from his date.

During the previous several weeks, as cast and crew worked toward that March 2006 opening night of Trying, Dawn had urged Krissy, who worked at the theater's Center City location, to find some way to talk to Cornelius, who worked at the shop in Port Richmond. From a sighting at an apprentice lunch, Krissy already knew that Cornelius, who grew up in Revere, Bucks County, was tall and handsome. Dawn told her he was also a really cool guy with a personality much like Krissy's.

The curtain was barely down when Dawn took matters into her own hands and steered Cornelius straight toward Krissy. "Krissy, this is Neil. Neil this is Krissy. You should make out," she told them, then walked away.

"We talked for a few minutes right then," said Krissy, who grew up in Ambler and earned her dramatic arts degree at Coastal Carolina University. "We had a drink at the bar in the lobby."

Cornelius did not mind being pulled away from his date. "She wasn't into the theater, and she had been complaining all night that she had to get home and finish studying," he said.

Krissy and Cornelius promised to meet up at the after-party. Cornelius told his date she was free to go home and study, and walked her to a cab.

Cornelius, who had recently earned an industrial arts degree from the University of the Arts, found Krissy at Coco's, and they talked until the after-party wound down.

"Can I walk you home?" he asked. They kissed for the first time that night, outside Krissy's Locust Street apartment.

How does forever sound?

Matchmaker Dawn was right. Krissy and Cornelius - now the associate ticketing services manager and a carpenter, respectively, at the Walnut - bought a house in Passyunk Square in 2008.

On a Saturday afternoon in April 2010, Krissy stood before the upstairs closet given over entirely to her collection of Lush soaps. It was time for a new bar, and she sniffed a few of the squares with pleasure. "Do you want Sunny Citrus or Bohemian?" she asked Cornelius.

"I don't know," said Cornelius, who Krissy noticed was strangely nervous. "What do you like?"

"I want to know what you like," Krissy said.

"I like you," Cornelius told her.

He got down on one knee, fished out the ring that had been making him a little crazy since he had picked it up a couple of days before, and offered it to Krissy. He could not get any words out.

"You have to ask," Krissy said through her tears.

"Will you marry me?" Cornelius managed.

It was so them

Krissy, now 29, and Cornelius, 28, found the Mask and Wig Club - home to the oldest all-male collegiate musical comedy troupe in the country - the perfect venue for a theater-loving couple and their 85 guests. A dozen of Krissy's family members came early to decorate. Instead of a typical wedding program, best man Adam designed a Playbill for the couple. Krissy and Cornelius relied on the talents of other artistic and performer friends, too. Danny turned a photo of the couple into a stylized illustration for the Playbill cover. Jessi, a professional singer and songwriter, played piano and sang during the cocktail hour. She also played while Peter sang John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith in Me" during the couple's first dance.

The couple kept their ceremony to five minutes. They were married by bridesmaid Leah's uncle, who is a judge. And Dena did a reading "from the book of Johnny Cash," Cornelius said. She read lyrics from "I Love You Because."

This was unexpected

For a very long time, Cornelius had longed for a Fender Precision Bass Special guitar. He regularly tried to convince Krissy that their budget could afford this one big luxury purchase. "You cannot go out and blow a bunch of money on a bass," she told him more than once. "But I'll make you a deal. Once the wedding is over, you can go out and buy it."

These conversations made Krissy, a terrible secret keeper, terribly nervous.

On their wedding day, it was time for the big reveal. The photographer orchestrated a moment when Cornelius would first see Krissy in her dress, just before the pre-ceremony pictures were taken.

Cornelius turned around to see his beautiful bride wearing a beautiful guitar.

Krissy had purchased the Fender of his dreams a year before the wedding.

Awestruck

After dinner, Cornelius and Krissy traveled the room, spending a bit of time with all their guests. They were nearly finished when Krissy proposed meeting in the dressing room behind the stage for a few moments alone while their guests moved downstairs for the first dance. "All of a sudden, we had 10 or 15 minutes of just us," Cornelius said. "No one knew we were back there, and we had a quiet moment to really absorb all that had happened and all that was still going to happen."

After the stolen moments, the couple walked downstairs and their guests burst into applause.

Discretionary spending

A bargain: The Walnut allowed a seamstress to perform "major alterations" on Krissy's dress after hours. She charged $80.

The splurge: The couple paid a Canadian company to research the family coat of arms of each member of the bridal party and immediate family, then create beer steins showcasing the crests. They paid nearly $600 for about 20 steins.

The honeymoon: a week on Palm Island in the Grenadines.


Behind the Scenes

Officiant

Harvey W. Robbins, Philadelphia Municipal Court judge

Venue

Mask and Wig Club, Philadelphia

Catering

Birchtree Catering, Philadelphia

Photography/Videography

Tom Clarke and Josh Berg, Thomas Robert Clarke Photography, Hopewell Township, N.J.

Music

Singer-songwriter Jessi Teich, vocalist Peter Andrew Danzig, and DJ John Romani, Electric Entertainment, Ardmore

Flowers

Almeidas Floral Design, Philadelphia 

Dress

Sposabella, Feasterville

Groom's Attire

The Men's Wearhouse, Philadelphia

Invitations

Designed by best man Adam Scott

Wedding Coordinator

Allegra Fasnacht, Birchtree Catering


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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