Real New England Weddings: Leah Francona & Paul Michael Rice
January 15, 2011
Old South Church and Boston Public Library, Boston
Tennessee Native Michael Rice met his future brother-in-law, Nick Francona, while on watch duty one night at Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia. And a few months later, on a trip to Boston to spend Memorial Day with his new friend’s family, Michael met — and fell in love with — his future bride: Nick’s younger sister, Leah. After a year of dating, Michael proposed on the Fourth of July. And then? The first lieutenant was deployed to Africa the very next day.
The couple decided to get married sooner rather than later, planning the wedding in just six months. “My mom was completely organized,” Leah says. “I trusted her judgment with so many decisions.” And despite her father’s affiliation with the Red Sox — Terry Francona manages the team — the weekend was relatively baseball-free.
The couple honeymooned for a few days in Vermont before Michael had to leave again — this time for a year in California and Afghanistan. “It’s heartbreaking to say goodbye to your husband, especially after you just get married,” Leah says. “But I cannot tell you how much I appreciate him and the men and women who serve our country.”
Officers from Michael’s unit conducted an Arch of Swords ceremony at the church and greeted guests at the reception.
A variety of rich hues gave the wedding a wintry theme.
(From left, top to bottom) The bride fell in love with the Boston Public Library for the reception venue the minute she saw it.
The Catered Affair sculpted a decadent six-tier cake infused with vanilla, raspberry, and chocolate, which the couple cut with Michael’s military saber.
Thanks to the short distance—and shoveled sidewalks—between the church and the library, Leah’s Stuart Weitzman peep-toe pumps managed to stay clean despite the elements.
Leah surprised Michael and his pals with a craft-beer bar that served up an assortment of microbrews. “I wanted something for the guys,” she says.
After dinner, a young crowd danced until half past midnight. “It was the best day of my life,” says Leah. “But it goes by so fast.”
Dress Priscilla of Boston
Makeup Stacey Frasca
Caterer and Cake The Catered Affair
Flowers Table and Tulip
Event Planning Rafanelli Events
Videography Afterimage Productions
Music Night Shift Entertainment
Linens Nüage Designs
Transportation lti Worldwide Limousine
Lighting Port Lighting Systems