Couple combines historic and new-age elements into their York wedding ceremony and reception
Megan Donley, owner of Lotus Moon Yoga and Creative Healing Arts Center in downtown York, and Jeff Hewitt, a maintenance and set-up employee at the York County Heritage Trust, combined both historic and new-age elements into their ceremony and reception.
Megan Donley's father, Tom, a former president of the county Chamber of Commerce, said the meeting house was the perfect choice for the couple.
"Megan grew up in the Presbyterian church," Tom Donley said after the roughly 30-minute ceremony. "She's taken the concept of love from different religions. The meeting house is a unique, historical place in York. It represents tolerance in faith."
But the location of the ceremony also provided a unique glimpse into York for out-of-town family members, some of whom came all the way from California, Washington and Puerto Rico.
Ben Stephens, who lives and works in Seattle, arrived in York Friday night and has been staying in downtown for the weekend. Stephens, who was born in Korea and moved to the United States when he was three months old, has been to Pennsylvania before. He would spend some summers at the Donley's home in the Poconos.
Stephens said he "attempted" yoga Saturday morning at Megan's studio, and then got lunch at Central Market with his family.
"York has a nice, small hometown feel," Stephens said. "I like the small boutique shops."
Others who came from outside York got a chance to stroll through city streets after the ceremony as the wedding crowd meandered to the Agriculture and Industrial Museum on West Princes Street. Once inside, guests could walk with their beers and learn about York's history.
"I'm a history buff," said Andrew Kennedy (a cousin of the bride), as he walked slowly among historical industrial equipment including old hydraulic pumps and Conestoga wagons.
Kennedy, 39, works in finance in New York City and drove four hours for the wedding.
"This doesn't happen where I'm from. You wouldn't get to have a wedding at the Met," he said, referring to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.
The Rev. Diane Finlayson, an interfaith minister from the Baltimore area, officiated the wedding ceremony.
Sunlight poured in through the windows of the 18th century-era building, which sits on East Philadelphia Street on the outer edge of York.
The meeting house has two smaller rooms split in the middle with a waist-high partition. Megan and Jeff Hewitt stood in the center of one room with about 150 people seated around them, mostly on old wooden benches.
Toward the end of the ceremony, Finlayson had the room speak in unison, stating that the married couple was united as one.
Guest Teresa Vitz, of Red Lion, said the wedding was unique.
"It called upon all sensibilities," she said at the reception. "Jeff has always been a spiritual, earthy person. I think for the two, (the ceremony) matches their personalities."
Megan Donley's friend and yoga mentor, John Protopapas, was also in attendance Saturday.
"It's been wonderful to see Megan flower into the woman she is," Protopapas, 57, said. "Watching these two souls grow together has been wonderful to see."
The historical elements of the day were just an added bonus. bridesmaid dresses australia