Margery & Torsten: A Declaration of Love in Philadelphia

by Allison Micarelli

It may have been a short courtship, but it was certainly sweet and definitely intense -- the proof lies in a bound book of 500 email messages. Margery met Torsten when he was in the U.S. for an internship at a law firm and was invited to observe her company's arbitration case. "I immediately loved his accent," says Margery. And Torsten liked having someone to hang out with while in the U.S. Although he returned to Germany once his three-month assignment ended, the two kept in touch. After a couple months of being apart, Torsten moved to the U.S. for good.

THE BRIDE Margery Spivack, 32
THE GROOM Torsten Geers, 32
THE DATE October 20
THE SCENE Ceremony and reception at Davio's in Center City, Philadelphia

When they decided to hold the ceremony and reception at Davio's, they chose to embrace a Philadelphia theme.

Save-the-date announcements were fashioned in the style of The Declaration of Independence; tied with twine and sent in brown tubes, parchment scrolls were printed in a similar font style and with a title that read, The Declaration of Margery and Torsten.

Their formal wedding invitations combined an old-world elegance with a pop-art feel, featuring a photo of a favorite Philadelphia landmark -- Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture that rests in JFK Plaza. It was a perfect fit to their overall theme, "classic with a twist."

On Friday night, Margery and Torsten followed the German tradition of hosting a polterabend -- a feast for friends and family -- in lieu of a rehearsal dinner. The meal featured both German fare, such as bratwurst and potato pancakes, and Philly selections, including mini-cheese steaks. Traditionally, invitations aren't extended for the Polterabend; instead, anyone and everyone is welcome to attend. All who join must bring an old piece of ceramic, porcelain, or pottery, which will be smashed in attempt to scare all evil spirits away.

The next morning, the couple rented a trolley-style bus for a group tour of Philadelphia. Onboard the trolley were Philly hot pretzels and mustard for guests to enjoy as they cruised along the bustling streets, viewing many notable Philly landmarks including, of course, the LOVE sculpture.

The Jewish ceremony took place that evening at about 5:00 p.m. Guests were greeted with programs printed on red paper featuring the LOVE graphic, and glassine bags filled with silk autumn leaves.

In an ivory duchesse satin gown, Margery processed toward the white birch huppah, trimmed with bittersweet and fall foliage, to the gentle sounds of a golden harp. Upon the breaking of the glass, guests cheered, "Mazel Tov!" and tossed their fall leaves as the newlyweds escaped into a sea of color.

Cocktails and hors d'ouevres were served that evening on the 13th floor balcony. The elevator to the balcony was decorated with a photo collage of friends and family. The images surrounded a scripted quote of endearment by C. T. Davis: "One who walks the road with love will never walk the road alone."

The view of Philly at sunset kept everyone engrossed as Margery and Torsten took their formal portraits. When the sun went down, guests trickled into the main reception hall, which was kept warm and cozy by two fireplaces on either end.

Margery and Torsten were seated at a long table with 50 family members and close friends. Menus displaying the same LOVE graphic from the invitations were written in English and German and were placed in a fold of each coffee-colored napkin.

Ornate candelabra, antique urns that held arrangements of deep red, burnt orange, and gold blooms and berries, and large silver candleholders graced the tables, which were dressed with spectacular camel-color burnout velvet tablecloths. Romance reverberated to the ceilings, as the space was dimly lit and awash in glowing candlelight.

After dinner, guests turned their attention to the band, New York City's The Second Step. "They are a powerhouse of hefty funk, wailing soul, screaming horns, and great, memorable tunes," says Margery, whose friend is one of the lead singers and horn players. The night became a blur the more everyone spun around the dance floor.

At the end of the evening, guests were sent home with packages containing replicas of The Declaration of Independence (with the real words), miniature Ben Franklin glasses, and favorite Philadelphia treats like Tastykakes, Liberty Bell chocolates, and pretzels. And Margery and Torsten enjoyed a quiet walk across the street to their honeymoon suite.

-- Allison Micarelli
Photography © Trevor Dixon and Dina Rose

For the ingredients that make up this wedding, see right-hand column of this page.

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