Real Weddings

Night at the Adventure Aquarium

In May 2009, Danette Fisher, a cosmetologist in Royersford, Pennsylvania, and her girlfriends went to a Philadelphia Phillies game. As soon as they got there, she noticed Mark Fitzpatrick in the parking lot.

They hit it off, and all of their friends hung out after the game. They exchanged numbers, but didn’t start seeing each other until about a month later. After the first date, “I knew I wanted to marry her,” Mark says. “Of course, I didn’t tell her until later on because I didn’t want to weird her out. I loved her carefree attitude and willingness to have a good time. It didn’t hurt that she was drop-dead gorgeous either.”

The couple likes to go hiking or to the beach, though sometimes they’ll spend a weekend on the couch and “power watch” a TV series. “We’re not big planners,” says Mark, who is a member of the ironworkers’ union. “Most of what we do is on a whim.” But what happened two years after they met was definitely planned: They spent July 4 in Wildwood. That morning, Mark set his alarm for 5:48 a.m. so they could wake up and see the sun rise together.

“As we walked along the beach,” Danette says, “Mark put a treasure-chest box with a ring in the sand. I said, ‘We should get a metal detector.’ Mark spun me around and got down on his knee, saying, ‘You don’t always need a metal detector to find buried treasures!’ Then he proposed.”

The wedding was set for October 13, 2012. While looking for venues, one place really stood out: Adventure Aquarium in Camden. “Our first vacation together was at Atlantis in the Bahamas,” Danette says. “As soon as we saw this aquarium, we booked it.” “Plus, the ballroom, which has a wall of shark tanks, is just stunning,” Mark says.

Danette, 28, loves black and white, so they went formal: Her gown had a sweetheart neckline, the top was covered with Swarovski crystals and had a flared satin skirt. She carried a bouquet of calla lilies, hydrangeas and roses, all wrapped in crystals. Mark, 27, wore a tux from Jos. A. Bank.

“One of my favorite moments was the ceremony,” Mark says. “I’ve never been so nervous. At one point, I said ‘I do’ before the officiant was done, and he said ‘Not yet.’ I said, ‘Sorry, I’ve never done this before,’ and everyone laughed. After that, it was a breeze.” After a honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, the couple is at home in Sicklerville.

wedding details

Hometowns

Sicklerville

Ceremony Location

Camden

Reception Location

Adventure Aquarium

Photographer

Ivy Darling, Wandering Bohemian Photography

+ more