A Dream Come True
Mary Douglas and Matt Klimas, married October 22, 2011. Wearing a regal, lace wedding gown with a scalloped sweetheart neckline, Mary Douglas stood with her 10 bridesmaids and father behind closed door at the back of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church. After her dad said a prayer, he and his daughter, a stunning bride-to-be, shared a special moment together. For Mary, these were the most emotional minutes of her wedding and wedding planning. “That’s when it felt like everything was really happening. The whole thing was just so surreal,” she says.
The oldest of nine, Mary grew up attending St. Mary on the Hill Church and school, and Aquinas High School. Her parents were married at the church as was her sister, Maggie, in March 2011. Mary’s childhood and sense of family and community are very much connected to this place of worship, igniting a rush of reminiscence as she prepared in the church vestibule on her big day, an all-white bouquet of peonies, roses and hydrangeas tight in her clutch.
Out in the church proper, 300 guests stirred in the pews. And then began the procession of bridesmaids, who wore ginger-colored dresses with purple-blue sashes and carried arrangements of purple-blue hydrangeas accented with peach roses and green berries. Mary had deliberated over the colors, wondering whether to go seasonal with autumn oranges and browns or something less obvious. “I thought about [how I wanted my wedding] since I was little and always imagined it being very traditional and classic. So I chose the [pairing of] ginger and purple-blue because it’s dressier,” says Mary.
Accompanied by 12 groomsmen, Matt Klimas waited near the altar to receive his bride. Through a mutual friend, the two met in 2009 when Matt was in town playing professional minor league baseball—at the time, for the Augusta GreenJackets. “We clicked right away,” recalls Mary. “At first I was not looking for a serious relationship, especially since he was traveling for his baseball career. So we hung out as friends for a while. And then I finally went on a first date with him. We were engaged in the summer of 2010.”
During their engagement, the two participated in Pre-Cana, a series of marriage preparation couples must complete before they can be married in the Catholic Church. The course name is biblically derived from John 2: 1-12, which recounts the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, where Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine. “We received a booklet of options to use for readings and responses,” says Mary. “Matt and I sat with my parents, who helped us pick the readings. It was a very meaningful part of the wedding because it was something we all did together.”
After the traditional ceremony with full Catholic Mass, the guests and bridal party enjoyed a reception at Saint Paul’s Church River Room, complete with buffet stations offering tenderloin, pulled turkey and shrimp and grits. Appetizers included an array of fruits and cheeses and, as a personal touch, mini hot dogs and Coney dogs to add a baseball-themed flavor for Matt.
Two Moms Cookies, a cookie shop on Central Avenue that Mary’s mother co-owns, baked monogrammed cookies as wedding favors along with a batch of Chicago Bears cookies (Matt is a big fan) and Chick-fil-A cookies since Mary had just started working as a marketing director for the franchise. Of course, cookies weren’t the only sweets served at the reception. A five-tier wedding cake reigned at the dessert table and included luscious layers of chocolate and vanilla pound cake with alternating lemon and strawberry filling.
Playback and TuTu Devine provided music for most of the evening; however, a friend of Mary’s was selected to sing “I Love You This Big” for the couple’s first dance and “I Loved Her First” for the father-daughter dance.
Looking back on her special day celebrating not only the union of two people but also the beauty of family love, Mary describes her wedding as a dream come true. A day when childhood imagination, memories and wedded bliss intersected with perfect timing.