A ballroom at Ben Wedding ceremony with Phillies announcer Dan Baker



“You grow up with Phillies games and you know this voice,” says the bride, to the great surprise.

Margaret Meakim and Paul Becker’s ballroom at Ben’s wedding included an appearance by Dan Baker of the Phillies. Photography by Ashley Gerrity Photography

Here in Philly, we love it when a local sports figure has a wedding appearance – like when Gritty showed up at a Cescaphe Ballroom wedding in 2018. When Phillies announcer Dan Baker stopped by here Ballroom in the Ben Wedding, we cheered. The surprise visit was courtesy of the bride’s father, who knew how much he would surprise and please his daughter. Ashley Gerrity Photography recorded all of the groundbreaking moments you can see below.

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How many couples Margaret (Maggie) Meakim and Paul Becker met at work – although their story is different from most others. Maggie, who is from Glenside, was the wedding and event coordinator at Huntingdon Valley Country Club, and Paul, a native of Abington, was the senior sous-chef. She was preparing to hold a friends giving at her house – but she had never cooked a turkey before.

So she asked the cook, who passed it on to the future groom, knowing that Paul had a crush on Maggie. Paul started rattling instructions, but Maggie was unprepared and had neither pen nor paper on hand. “Paul could see the look of utter confusion on my face and told me to just take the bird to the club and he would finish it off for me.” He did this to make sure Maggie had a salted, stuffed, and fully cooked turkey – plus a grater, a raspy sauce, and handwritten step-by-step instructions. When he asked her out a few days later, of course, she said yes.


On their first date (dinner at an Italian restaurant), Maggie surprised herself – and Paul – with a request to kiss him. “He laughed because, as he says, ‘nobody’s asked permission before,'” says Maggie, who admits she was captivated by their conversation, sense of humor, and good humor. For Paul? It was a long time coming: he remembers exactly the outfit she was wearing when he saw her for the first time.

The Mount Airy couple had been together for a year and a half before Paul proposed the Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle Loop in Hamburg. He planned for them to hike halfway through the loop, camp for the night, and continue on the trail the next morning. He hid the ring in his sleeping bag and suggested while they watched the sunrise.


Ten months later, the couple became tense in Ben’s ballroom. Maggie and Paul kept things simple. “As the wedding coordinator, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I didn’t want either,” she says. “Everything was very minimalist. I wanted the room to look like the power went out, with candles all over the place. ”And the only flowers were the personals – a bouquet of red roses for the bride and white roses, cane,“ Dusty Miller ”and eucalyptus for the bridesmaids . The groom wore a red rose boutonniere, while the groomsmen and fathers wore white.

When it came to eating, the couple knew exactly what they wanted. They had written the menu before even walking through the venues. During the cocktail hour, entrees such as baby lamb chops, tuna tartare, and grilled cheese and tomato soup were served, while pasta, carving, and Asian stations offered various options for dinner. (There was even a turkey ice sculpture alluding to the couple’s past.) For drinks: Vodka Whatever, a drink made from vodka, fresca, and cranberry juice that Maggie made while vacationing with Paul’s family.


For a sentimental touch, Paul’s sister Leah led the ceremony. She wrote the script and the couple wrote their vows. “It was just like ‘us’,” says Maggie. Also very “she” was the big surprise, with the kind permission of the bride’s father. For years he’d talked about what he would do at their wedding – and all ideas came back to local sports, especially the Phillies. “You won’t find any bigger Phillies fans than the Meakims,” ​​says Maggie. She and her people went to 17 games together in the 2008 season – not to mention every opening game since 2007. He teased Maggie even before leading her to the altar.


So she was shocked when the DJ came over the speaker to share that there was a special guest announcer – Phillies legend Dan Baker. She heard his voice before she saw him and recognized it immediately. “You grow up playing Phillies games and you know that voice,” says Maggie. “I lost it.” The couple even got to wear the World Series ring. “Even if it was on for just a second, it was unreal.” A winning night indeed.

Photographer: Ashley Gerrity Photography | Venue: Ballroom at Ben | Flowers: Robertson’s Flowers & Events | Catering: Finley Catering | Wedding dress: Stella York from Le Bella Donna | Hair: Veronica Tarlo | Make-up: Cindy singer from Dylan Michael Cosmetics | Groom’s clothes: Ike Behar from Le Bella Donna | Entertainment: Pat & Sean Kelly | Cake: Keri Konrad | Invitations: Devon Dadoly | Photo booth: Philly Snap Booth

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