Love: Megan O'Driscoll & Andrew Melly

Megan O'Driscoll and Andrew Melly.
Megan O'Driscoll and Andrew Melly. (Artistic Imagery Inc.)

October 12, 2013, in Philadelphia

Posted: January 02, 2014

Hello there

It was 9 p.m. on a school night, and eighth-grade teacher Megan would have been sleeping if not for her three brothers pounding on her bedroom door. They were buying inaugural-season tickets for the Philadelphia Union. Was she in, or out?

She'd been waffling for days between her lifelong love of soccer and qualms about tying up 18 Saturdays.

"All right!" she told Pete, Bear, and Ryan. "I'll do it!"

On April 10, 2010, Megan and the boys, who then all still lived with their parents in Holme Circle, found their seats at the first Union match at Lincoln Financial Field - PPL Park wasn't open yet.

They sat next to another sibling set of season ticket holders, Andrew and Kevan. By the end of the second match, Bear and Andrew, who's from Hatboro, were friends. They organized an O'Driscoll/Melly tailgate party for the first game at PPL that June, and the six drove down together.

At the tailgate, Megan and Andrew got their first real chance to chat - mostly about their game-day excitement. The Mellys and O'Driscolls were amazed and delighted when they realized their seats at PPL were also together - all lined up in Section 136, Row H.

After Bear got 50 hamburgers but only 10 rolls for the second tailgate, Megan decided she must take over. "I became the tailgate coordinator for my house," she said. That meant she and Andrew texted before each home game.

It wasn't long, Andrew said, before they were talking about more than just burgers. A friendship grew. And then in August, Andrew had a question: "Do you want to go out?"

Megan, who teaches at St. Cecilia's in Fox Chase, and Andrew, a journeyman linemen with IBEW 126, had a blast at the Great American Diner in Bensalem.

"She's nice, funny, pretty, and smart," said Andrew, now 24.

"He's funny. He works really hard, and he's a good guy. He's really sweet," said Megan, now 29.

Eventually, the brothers O'Driscoll caught on. Feeling a risk to the harmonious fun and great vantage point of Section 136, Row H, they were not pleased.

"If this doesn't work out, they're switching their seats," Bear told Megan. "We're not switching our seats, just so you know."

But Andrew wasn't worried. And by the end of Season One, neither was anyone else.

How does forever sound?

The couple, who now live in Horsham, spent a week in July 2011 in Ocean City with Andrew's family. One morning at 8, he and Megan headed to the beach for an early walk.

Wanting a little privacy, Andrew led them away from the water, up a path into the sand dunes.

"I took her hand, and got onto one knee," he remembered. "I got out the words, 'Will you marry me?' and then Megan proceeded to rip the ring out of my fingers."

"I'm going to be hearing about that for the rest of my life," said Megan, laughing at herself. "I was just so excited!"

When they got back to the beach house for breakfast, Megan's parents were there, at Andrew's invitation. The families celebrated at the beach, and then with a seafood supper, cake, and champagne that night.

Their engagement photos were shot at PPL Park.

It was so them

The Irish couple Irished up their wedding Mass at St. Jerome's Catholic with music: "Our Lady of Knock," "The Irish Wedding Song," and bagpipes played by Doc, the family friend who taught Bear how to play.

The couple entered their reception at the Philadelphia Ballroom to the Union's goal song, commonly called Doop. They and their brothers are all Sons of Ben - the rowdy team supporters who sit on the river end of the stadium. Everyone wore their Union scarves.

The 175 guests received beer cozies festooned with a soccer ball, the couples' names, and the phrase "It's a Winning Match."

It all seemed very appropriate, said Megan. She and Andrew are from different parts of the area, never had a single friend in common, and didn't hang out at any of the same places, until the soccer stadium. If not for the Union, "We never would have met."

Awestruck

Andrew will always remember watching Megan walk down the aisle. "She was just extremely beautiful, and looked very happy, and it made me very happy," he said.

Megan cried the whole way through the vows. "I knew that I was marrying the right person, and I was so happy."

Discretionary spending

A bargain: The couple booked their catering hall before it was built,

based on the reputation of P&P Caterers. "We locked in the price from two years ago," Andrew said.

The splurge: After working an exhausting 27 consecutive 16-hour days, fixing electrical towers damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the normally budget-conscious Andrew reserved

an oceanfront honeymoon suite at the Excellence Resort in Playa Mujeres in Cancun, Mexico, for a week.


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