Old-fashioned porch wedding

to come with photo. Photo Credit Tom Woodworth.

When Michelle Miller and Rob Patrick purchased their 1898 Victorian home, they instantly knew that their wedding would happen on the charming 40-foot porch.

Located on the northwest corner of Somerton and Middlehurst roads in Cleveland Heights, the yellow and white home features a welcoming porch and highly fanciful details, including a three-story turret.

With a little imagination, the entire setting (except for the valet parking to serve 150 guests) easily transported one back to the turn of the 19th century when outdoor summer weddings were the norm.

The wedding took place on Sept. 6. The bride, Ms. Miller, is the women's division director at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and she will continue to use her last name. Dr. Patrick works for the Cleveland Clinic as a hospitalist.

Lay minister Judie Perelman presided over the inter-religious ceremony. 

"It was a very natural and relaxed wedding, in a natural setting and enjoyable to be part of from start to finish," said Perelman.

Ted Cowan, a close friend of the groom, painted a beautiful ketubah (Jewish wedding contract) with the motif of the ginkgo tree, which is a major feature of the bride and groom's front yard. Signing the contract were Cowan and Karen Leventhal.

In this ceremony the porch roof represented the chuppah, which in a Jewish wedding represents the home, so in a creative sense the circle is complete. Michelle and Rob wrote their own vows, which emphasized their deep love and—most importantly—their respect for each other.

As the ceremony ended, the newlyweds prepared to exit the porch through the front door to get to the reception in the back yard. They were surprised to encounter a locked door, perhaps a sign that that the road ahead may include an occasional bump. But that small jam was preceded by the cheers of their guests, joined by the couple's Middlehurst neighbors who had left their annual block party to view the joyous occasion from the street, displaying warm support for the newlyweds on all sides. 

The backyard reception, which featured entertainment by the Silver Strings Band, capped off a memorable wedding.

Ann Reichsman M.D. is the medical director of Neighborhood Family Practice. Tom Woodworth is a retired advertising and public relations professional and currently volunteers as a business counselor with SCORE. Both enjoy being neighbors of Michelle and Rob.  

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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 4:54 PM, 09.20.2009