Here’s What Happens When Phillies Announcer Dan Baker Crashes Your Wedding
“You grow up going to Phillies games, and you know that voice,” says the bride of the big surprise.
Here in Philly, we love when a local sports figure makes a wedding appearance — like that time when Gritty showed up at a Cescaphe Ballroom wedding back in 2018. So when Phillies announcer Dan Baker stopped by this Ballroom at the Ben wedding, we cheered. The surprise visit came courtesy of the bride’s father, who knew just how much it would surprise and delight his daughter. Ashley Gerrity Photography snapped all the game-changing moments, which you can check out below.
Like many couples, Margaret (Maggie) Meakim and Paul Becker met at work — though their story is of a different feather than most. Maggie, who hails from Glenside, was the wedding and event coordinator at Huntingdon Valley Country Club, and Paul, an Abington native, was the executive sous chef. She was prepping to host a Friendsgiving at her house — but she’d never cooked a turkey.
So she asked the chef, who, knowing that Paul had a crush on Maggie, passed her along to the future groom. Paul began rattling off instructions, but Maggie was unprepared, no pen and paper to be had. “Paul could see the look of utter confusion on my face and told me to just bring the bird to the club, and he would get it ready for me.” That he did, ensuring Maggie had a brined, stuffed and fully prepped turkey — plus a rub, scratch-made gravy and handwritten step-by-step instructions. Naturally, when he asked her out a few days later, she said yes.
On their first date (dinner at an Italian restaurant), Maggie surprised herself — and Paul — by asking to kiss him. “He laughed because, as he says, ‘No one has ever asked permission before,’” says Maggie, who admits she was captivated by their conversation, his sense of humor and his good spirits. For Paul? It was a long time coming: He still remembers the exact outfit she was wearing when he first saw her.
The Mount Airy couple was together for a year and a half before Paul proposed at Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle Loop in Hamburg. He planned for them to hike half of the loop, camp for the night, and continue on the trail the next morning. He hid the ring in his sleeping bag and proposed while they watched the sunrise.
Ten months later, the couple got hitched at the Ballroom at the Ben. Maggie and Paul kept things simple. “Being a wedding coordinator, I knew exactly what I wanted, and exactly what I didn’t want as well,” she says. “Everything was very minimalist. I wanted the room to look as if the power was out, with candles everywhere.” And the only florals were the personals — a red rose bouquet for the bride, and white roses, stock, ‘Dusty Miller’ and eucalyptus for the bridesmaids. The groom donned a red rose boutonniere, while the groomsmen and fathers wore white.
The couple knew exactly what they wanted when it came to the food, too. They had written the menu before they even toured venues. Appetizers such as baby lamb chops, tuna tartare and grilled cheese and tomato soup were served during cocktail hour, while pasta, carving and Asian stations dished out various options for dinner. (There was even a turkey ice sculpture as a nod to the couple’s past.) For drinks: Vodka Whatever, a libation of vodka, Fresca and cranberry juice Maggie made up while vacationing with Paul’s family.
For a sentimental touch, Paul’s sister Leah officiated the ceremony. She wrote the script, and the couple wrote their vows. “It was just so ‘us,’” says Maggie. Also very “them” was the big surprise, courtesy of the bride’s father. For years, he had been talking about what he would do at her wedding — and all ideas came back to local sports, particularly the Phillies. “You won’t find bigger Phillies fans than the Meakims,” says Maggie. She and her pops went to 17 games together during the 2008 season — not to mention every opening-night game since 2007. He teased Maggie even before he walked her down the aisle.
So she was shocked when the DJ came on 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 going to Phillies games, and you know that voice,” says Maggie. “I lost it.” The couple even got to wear the World Series ring. “Even to have it on for just a second was unreal.” A winning night, indeed.
Photographer: Ashley Gerrity Photography | Venue: Ballroom at the Ben | Florals: Robertson’s Flowers & Events | Catering: Finley Catering | Bride’s Gown: Stella York from Le Bella Donna | Hair: Veronica Tarlo | Makeup: Cindy Singer of Dylan Michael Cosmetics | Groom’s Attire: Ike Behar from Le Bella Donna | Entertainment: Pat & Sean Kelly | Cake: Keri Konrad | Invitations: Devon Dadoly | Photo Booth: Philly Snap Booth
Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Philadelphia Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.