by Len Lear
Laura Marie Breckenridge, 29, who was born and raised in Flourtown and attended Springside School, was the subject of an article in the Local when she became the youngest girl – at the age of 9 – ever to portray the character of Marie in the yearly performances of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at the Academy of Music.
Today, two decades later, Laura has a most impressive resume as a TV and movie actress, having appeared on numerous long-running network TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy”, both “CSI” and “CSI New York”, “The Mob Doctor”, “Blue Bloods”, “Gossip Girl”, “Boston Public” and numerous others.
In 2005, Breckenridge appeared in her first major film role as Bell Granger in Southern Belles. That same year, she made her debut on “The WB’s Related” as college student Rose Sorelli. She would end up starring in 19 episodes of that television series.
In 2006, she played the role of Colins in the film “Loving Annabelle”, about a Catholic school student who falls in love with her female teacher. Breckenridge also appeared in the films “Let Them Chirp Awhile” (2007), “The Favor” (2007), “Beautiful Loser” (2008) and “Amusement” (2008).
In 2011, Breckenridge guest starred on “Grey’s Anatomy” in the role of Julia, and later that year, she starred in the holiday film “A Christmas Kiss”, which first aired Dec. 11, 2011, on the Ion TV network.
But last Sunday the beautiful localite, who is also a graduate of Princeton University, had a role in the most important episode of her life so far when she was married in her parents’ home on Creek Lane in Flourtown to Benjamin Meir Savage, 35, who owns a consulting business for financial services firms in Los Angeles, where the newlyweds will be living. The service was officiated by Rabbi Lance J. Sussman.
In explaining how he met the Flourtown native, who also trained as a dancer with the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, the School of American Ballet in New York City, and the Royal Ballet in London, Benjamin, who has an M.B.A. from Stanford University, told this reporter last Friday, two days before the wedding, “I was working for a hedge fund in Connecticut, and we went to Princeton in the fall of 2008 to interview and recruit graduates to possibly join our firm.
“Laura was sitting at a table, and it turned out that she was a good friend of Karen, a co-worker of mine. The only open seat was next to Laura, so I took it. About a month-and-a-half later, Karen asked me if I went on blind dates. I said yes, but I’d really like to date Laura. Karen then told me that Laura had just gotten out of a relationship, so we set up a double date in November of 2008.”
Obviously, one thing led to another. After Laura moved to Los Angeles because that’s where most of the TV and movie roles are, Benjamin split his time for two-and-a-half years between New York and LA At the beginning of this year he moved permanently to LA to be with Laura.
One memorable aspect of Sunday’s wedding was that Laura wore the 64-year-old wedding gown that her grandmother and her mother both wore at their weddings. It was restored by Manuela, a Portuguese dressmaker from Chestnut Hill.
“My mom glowed when she saw Laura come out in the dress,” said Laura’s mother, Diane.
Laura changed into a Vera Wang gown made for her in Los Angeles for the reception that followed at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
“We love tradition,” said Diane. “That’s why we love Chestnut Hill and Philadelphia.” In attendance at the wedding were Laura’s maternal grandmother, Doris, 82, and grandfather, Joseph, 88, a World War II veteran who fought in the fierce Italian battle of Anzio. Joseph’s dad was a Philadelphia mounted policeman and Manayunk resident.
Diane (maiden name McCloskey), who was born and raised in Hatboro, is an associate professor of nursing at La Salle University. She has also worked at Abington Memorial Hospital since 1977 and is on the women’s board there. She has a doctorate in nursing from the University of Maryland and has done considerable post-doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the founder and director of the Strategies for Success program at La Salle, which provides tutoring and financial aid to nursing students.
Laura’s dad, Dr. John “Jack” Breckenridge, who was born and raised in Jenkintown, is chairman of radiology at Abington Memorial Hospital. He is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson Medical School and an accomplished tennis player at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, where he and his wife are members.
In addition to Laura, they have a son, Sean, 31, who won a jumping competition at the Devon Horse Show when he was just a 16-year-old student at Chestnut Hill Academy. A graduate of La Salle and Villanova Universities, he is now a vice-president of investments for a financial firm.
Approximately 150 out-of-towners attended the wedding in addition to locals.
“We booked 142 rooms for them at the Four Seasons Hotel,” said Diane. On Monday the family had a brunch for all those guests at the Four Seasons, followed by a trip to the Art Museum of Philadelphia and the Barnes Museum.
One might call this Philadelphia’s wedding of the decade. Afterwards the newlyweds left on a honeymoon at Playa del Carmen in Mexico.