Technology had a big hand in Colleen and Chris Patterson’s happily ever after, thanks to MySpace and some creative Googling.
In 2007, Chris found Colleen Campbell’s MySpace profile and messaged her. Colleen had just finished grad school and was new to Chris’ hometown of Salisbury, Md. She almost ignored the message, then figured she was looking for friends in her new area and thought he seemed interesting.
“We went on our first date … and that was it,” Colleen recalled. “Well, to be fair, we had a great time, had dinner, hung out after and I felt really comfortable with him. But he was kind of keeping his distance, so I thought, ‘well, at least he’ll be a good friend.’”
As fate would have it, Chris called the next day. Turns out he was just being a gentleman and taking it slowly. From that point on, that was definitely “it.” Dating morphed into living together, and eventually led to a proposal. Colleen was sure “the day” was coming when she decided she really wanted to move back home to New Jersey — and Chris decided he’d be coming along.
The surprise proposal happened during a vacation to New York’s Finger Lakes. Although Colleen was usually the vacation planner, this time Chris stepped in and handled it all.
“He found a house on a lake — it was just gorgeous!” Colleen said. “The first night, after dinner, we came back to hang out on the beautiful deck overlooking the lake. Chris said he had a surprise, and he brought out a new version of a t-shirt I’d ruined long ago. I loved the gesture, but then he said he had another surprise, and got down on one knee!”
Colleen says she’s a very emotional person, so she started crying, so much so that she asked him to repeat his proposal because she’d missed some of it! That was the start of a magical vacation and their new life together.
Colleen, 36, a speech pathologist specializing in early intervention and providing services in clients’ homes, and Chris, 37 a parts and service representative for a generator company, currently call Washington Township, N.J., home. How, then, did they find The Gables at Chadds Ford for their dream wedding?
That’s where the creative Googling stepped in. Both Colleen and her mom were searching Bucks County for rustic wedding venues, but no matter what search words they used, Delaware County’s own The Gables at Chadds Ford kept popping up. It was the first venue the couple visited.
“We met with Sam Westenberger and were blown away when we saw the barn and the outdoor area out back,” Colleen explained. “We loved the bridal suite, the bar, the reception area and that it fit into our budget.”
“From the outside, you can’t really see everything The Gables offers,” Chris added. “You walk inside, and it’s, like, ‘Wow!’ We visited a few other places because we’d made appointments, but after seeing The Gables, every other place was just meh. Nothing compared.”
The couple also was taken with the fact that nearly everything could be done on-site, from getting ready in the bridal suite while sipping on champagne and nibbling on cheese and fruit to the ceremony and leading right into the reception.
“It was a really relaxing day because we didn’t have to drive around to different places for things like hair, makeup and the rest of getting ready,” Colleen said.
The Pattersons also took advantage of our preferred vendor list, using Wooden Arrow Paperie for save-the-date cards and invitations, Fresh Designs Florist for flowers and The Master’s Baker for the cake. Colleen was also delighted to work with our team and rent decor rather than having to buy it.
“We loved the look and feel of The Gables; it’s rustic, simple and elegant, so we didn’t have to add a lot of decorations,” Chris added. “We liked working with everyone there, but especially Sam as our go-to person. She was with us from the first visit through the tastings to the end. She’s friendly, always smiling and answered all questions with a quick email response.”
Our outdoor space was a big draw for the Pattersons. The couple was married outside, and since it was a beautiful fall day, many guests lingered out back to enjoy the cool weather among the fire pits.
“We can’t forget the food!” Colleen said. “We ordered everything from our tasting: French chicken breast, filet mignon and salmon; they were all amazing. We had a pasta station and butlered hors d’oeuvres like crab-stuffed mushrooms, bacon-wrapped shrimp and our favorite, the grown-up grilled cheese. It was great that we could customize. The best part? Our guests let us know how much they enjoyed the food.”
What started as a flirtatious MySpace message ended with a dream wedding on Oct. 13, 2017. We’re grateful the Pattersons found us online, and even more delighted they visited and chose to start their life together with us.
The Gables at Chadds Ford is nestled in the heart of the historic Brandywine Valley. Our combination of fresh seasonal cuisine, rustic yet elegant charm and enchanting outdoor dining will keep you coming back time and time again. The Gables is also the perfect venue to host your next special event, whether you are planning a wedding, rehearsal dinner, baby shower or corporate event.
Featured image: First Impression Photography; other photos, top to bottom: Chris Patterson; First Impression Photography (all other photos)