Love: Lorin Riley & Patrick Early

Lorin Riley and Patrick Early were married October 15, 2011 in Gladwyn. (Photos: East Coast Event Group)
Lorin Riley and Patrick Early were married October 15, 2011 in Gladwyn. (Photos: East Coast Event Group)

Oct. 15, 2011 in Gladwyne

Posted: January 11, 2012

Hello there

Lorin knew only one other person at the July 2007 house party. But there was a familiar logo in attendance, and she persuaded herself to walk over to the cute man wearing it.

Lorin had just earned a master's in education from the University of Pennsylvania, where she had also been captain of the women's squash team. She loved squash, but squash did not love her anterior cruciate ligament. After tearing her ACL and having the related surgery three times, Lorin decided to try golf, the sport the rest of her family loved. She had just joined them at the Merion Golf Club, and here was Pat, wearing the club's logo on his chest.

It didn't take long for Lorin and Pat, who had a business degree from Emory University and was an auditor at Ernst & Young, to discover they had more in common than the club. The most important realization was that both valued family above everything, Lorin said. "It's what first drew me to him and a big part of why I love him today."

Growing up, Lorin split her time between the home of her father, William, and stepmother, Hope, in Villanova and that of her mother, Debbie, and her late stepfather, John, in Conshohocken. She has five sisters.

Pat and his family - mother Kathy, father Roger, and brother Chris - lived in Wayne.

"My mother came up in our first conversation," Pat remembered. As a novice golfer, Lorin was playing with the 9-Holers, a group of women beginners. At the time, Pat's mother ran the group. "She and my mom had actually met several times, and I'm sure my mom said, 'Oh, I have a son you should meet,' " Pat said. Lorin, he added, with her great personality and looks, got that from a lot of mothers. "She had options."

Less than a week after the party, Pat came from Manayunk to take Lorin to dinner at Audrey Claire, her favorite restaurant, a few blocks from her Center City apartment.

Soon, many dates centered on the Merion Golf Club.

How does forever sound?

The couple, now both 27, had just returned from a Fourth of July 2010 trip with Lorin's family to Ocean City, N.J. While there, Pat had asked Lorin's father - and the three sisters he could reach - if he could marry Lorin. All gave him their blessing.

On July 6, Pat had the day off. Lorin, a sixth-grade science and social studies teacher at a Philadelphia charter school, was on summer break. Pat had a plan.

Despite the brutal heat and high humidity, he persuaded Lorin to play a round with him at Merion's West Course.

Pat's mind wasn't entirely on his game. He had a ring in his golf bag. "Every time we hit a bump with the cart," he said, "I was worried it was going to fall out - even though it was within three zippers."

Pat's demeanor, Lorin said, should have clued her in that something was brewing. "I thought he was being particularly nice that day."

By nice, Lorin meant that Pat wasn't constantly pushing her to play better. She indulges him because he applies the same pressure to himself.

They approached the 17th hole. In 2000, when Pat was 16, he hit two holes-in-one on consecutive days there. "It's definitely my lucky hole," he said. (Pat hasn't repeated. "I peaked at 16," he said of his golf game.) But he could think of no better place to ask a very important question.

Lorin was up. "I hit my first shot into the sand trap, and I was not happy," she said. "I stormed back to the cart to go to the next hole."

Pat asked her to come over next to him. Lorin ignored him. "I need to tell you something," he said. She thought she was going to get a conciliatory hug, so she moved in close to receive it. There was no room for Pat to take a knee, he said, but he pulled out the ring and asked her to marry him.

Their hands were shaking when he slipped the ring on her finger, Pat said. "She didn't even say yes till somewhere on the 18th hole."

It was so them

The couple married in a Catholic ceremony at St. John Vianney in Gladwyn.

A reception for 200 was held under a tent at Merion Golf Club. They never considered another venue.

Guests were asked for a list of their top five wedding-reception songs, and the couple gave a compilation to the D.J. Every song either had a great beat or begged everyone to sing along, Pat said. The menu consisted of Pat and Lorin's favorite menu items, including the guacamole appetizer they say they couldn't live without.

The centerpieces and bouquets were all arranged by Hope, Lorin's stepmother.

Soon after the wedding, the couple moved to Chelsea in New York City, where Lorin tutors and coaches at the nonprofit youth organization StreetSquash, and Pat works at Barclay's Capital.

This didn't happen at the rehearsal

Lorin tends to run late for things, but late for her own wedding? Ten minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start, Pat began getting nervous. A few minutes after what was supposed to be the 3 p.m. start time, he asked Chris, his best man, to call Casey, Lorin's sister and maid of honor. "If they're not going to come, I'm going to save a little face and get out of here also, so nobody knows which person called it off," Pat whispered. But as Chris started to call, the ladies rounded the corner.

Their trolley driver had gotten lost.

Awestruck

In anticipation of their wedding day, Pat made sure he knew absolutely nothing about Lorin's dress. "When the doors opened up, and she started walking down the aisle," he said, "I had just the biggest smile on my face."

When Lorin was finally standing next to him at the altar, both became very conscious of the magnitude of the step they were about to take. But once the ceremony began, they started enjoying each other's company as always. "We were talking, laughing, and giggling," Lorin said, "and all the anxiety melted away."

Said Pat: "It made for a really, really special day."

Discretionary spending

A bargain: Having a stepmother with a horticultural hobby. Hope supplemented the orchids and other flowers the couple purchased with things grown in her own garden, then did the arranging. They saved at least 50 percent of a florist's costs, Lorin said.

The splurge: The couple had to pinch pennies elsewhere to hold the reception at Merion Golf Club.

The getaway: The couple left Christmas morning for eight days in Costa Rica.


BEHIND THE SCENES

Officiant

Msgr. Donald Leighton of St. John Vianney, Gladwyne

Venues

St. John Vianney and Merion Golf Club, Ardmore

Catering

Merion Golf Club

Photography and Videography

East Coast Event Group

Music

East Coast Event Group, Philadelphia

Dress

Van Cleve Collection, Paoli

Invitations

Hallmark, Wayne

Flowers

Purchased at Waldor Orchids, Linwood, N.J., and arranged by the bride's stepmother

Coordinator

Tara Lyons of Merion Golf Club

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