Love: Angela DiCocco & Kevin Donnelly

Angela DiCocco and Kevin Donnelly. Saltwater Studios
Angela DiCocco and Kevin Donnelly. Saltwater Studios

April 5, 2014, in Villanova

Posted: May 22, 2014

Hello there

After chatting with several people who seemingly only wanted an online relationship, and meeting others who expected her to pay for both of them, Angela figured she was unlucky in online love.

So in fall 2011, she told Match.com not to renew her subscription. Her access to the dating site would end when the month she'd paid for was over.

A few days later, she got a message through the site from Kevin. "I see you lived in Baltimore," he said, noting her graduate degree from Johns Hopkins. "I did, too. I went to Loyola."

Her profile didn't say so, but Angela was also a Loyola alum. That shared history, plus the photos of Kevin smiling with a thumbs-up and enjoying a Phillies game, was enough for her to e-mail him. It was not enough to make her do the get-to-know-you- electronically thing again.

She e-mailed him her number and suggested they meet in person. Kevin was surprised but game.

Angela, who is now 28, didn't want Kevin, now 30, to pick her up in Villanova, where she then lived with her family. He lived in Manayunk, so on Nov. 18, she met him at Jake's and Cooper's Wine Bar.

"I showed up 20 minutes early," Kevin said. "She was half an hour late."

Once Angela sat down, none of that mattered. "We discovered we had these strange, overlapping connections," he said.

He grew up in Springfield, Delaware County, her mother's hometown. Angela, who was raised in several Main Line towns, went to elementary school with one of Kevin's roommates. She'd recently been in her cousin's wedding, and Kevin's buddy from high school was also an attendant. Both attended Catholic high schools: she Merion-Mercy in Merion Station, and he, Archmere in Claymont, Del.

This first conversation wasn't profound, but it was comfortable. "I felt like I had known him for a long time," Angela said. "And we were laughing a ton."

The next week, they had dinner at the Rose Tattoo Cafe and drinks at Frankford Hall. "Angela was outgoing, fun, and playful," Kevin said. He liked being with her. He told her these things. Angela beamed with the compliment, and loved that Kevin was willing to say how he felt.

They had a bunch of holiday dates: an ugly Christmas sweater party with Angela's friends, family parties, and trips to Longwood Gardens and Hershey Park.

Angela, who teaches Spanish at Merion-Mercy, liked that super-organized Kevin, a commercial banker, always handled the logistics. "He's my planner man."

By New Year's Eve, they were serious.

The couple celebrated their dating anniversary on the 18th of each month. On their one-year anniversary, Kevin gave her a calendar that noted every date they'd had and what they did. Making a little fun of himself, he included some spreadsheets and charts showing things such as how Fridays were the most popular day for their dates.

Angela had also made him a surprise: A scrapbook with photos and mementos from those same outings.

How does forever sound?

On Feb. 18, 2013, Kevin and Angela were traveling back home after seeing her cousin's play in D.C. Kevin suggested a stop at Loyola in Baltimore.

Angela ran from building to building, saying hi to former professors, classmates who now worked there, and cafeteria staff. Kevin stressed. "I don't like to be the center of attention," he said. He had to carry out his plan before the bell rang and students poured onto the quad.

Between the chapel and the Donnelly Science Center, Kevin was about to take action, when Angela noticed the coincidentally named building. "Isn't this funny?" she said. "Let's take a picture and send it to your brothers."

Kevin touched her arm. "You know I love you very much."

"Yeah," Angela said, thinking he was acting kind of weird. "Come on, let's take the picture."

Kevin knelt on the pathway.

"What are you doing down there?" she asked.

He took a box from his pocket, and opened it to reveal a diamond ring.

"You've got a lot of memories here, I've got a lot of memories here," he said. "Now we finally have a memory here together. Will you marry me?"

It was so them

The couple, who live in the Art Museum neighborhood, were married at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, where Angela's family attends. Villanova pastor the Rev. Joseph Narog, and the Rev. Joseph McLaughlin, former headmaster at Archmere and a Donnelly family friend, co-officiated.

The couple wanted lots of family and friends in their wedding. There were 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen. Nieces and nephews carried rings and flowers. Aunts, uncles, and sisters-in-law did readings and carried the cross and gifts.

Instead of boutonnieres, the groomsmen wore a Celtic cross to honor Kevin's father, Martin, who died in 1998.

They rented a luxury bus to transport the wedding party and grandparents to the Inn at Penn, where a reception for 210, an after-party, and the next day's brunch were held.

This was unexpected

At the rehearsal dinner, Kevin announced he would follow Angela's family's Italian tradition of serenading the bride, but since he wasn't musical, he commissioned Angela's brother James as his singing proxy. James sang Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea."

Then at the reception, Kevin contradicted his claim and got on stage with the band. He had asked Del's Groove to learn the Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" and he sang with gusto to his bride. "It was one of the most fun moments of the whole wedding," Angela said.

Awestruck

Kevin walked down the aisle with the two priests. Standing between them and looking at all the family and friends gathered felt great. Then the doors opened, and there was Angela and her father. "It was a pretty big moment for me. It was joy."

They'd been planning this day for more than a year, but that was so abstract, Angela said. Seeing Kevin "finally made the whole thing feel real."

Discretionary spending

A bargain: Florist Tish Long suggested using all those bridesmaids' bouquets as part of the centerpieces. The couple didn't need boutonnieres because of the Celtic crosses. And because Angela's family runs the St. Jude Shop, she was able to get palms at cost.

The splurge: After seeing wedding videos by Saltwater Studios, the couple bumped up the budget.

The getaway

Five days cruising the Caribbean and six days in Belize.


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.

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