Whitehall-Coplay Press

Thursday, February 20, 2020
From left, Shane (son), Shawn (groom) and Richard (father) Fillman pose for a wedding photo Oct. 26 on the baseball field at Schadt Avenue Playground, Whitehall.Press photo by Scott M. Nagy Copyright - Scott M. Nagy From left, Shane (son), Shawn (groom) and Richard (father) Fillman pose for a wedding photo Oct. 26 on the baseball field at Schadt Avenue Playground, Whitehall.Press photo by Scott M. Nagy Copyright - Scott M. Nagy
Wedding guests sign a baseball, next to skull bride and groom pieces on display, during the reception.Contributed photos Copyright - Scott M. Nagy Wedding guests sign a baseball, next to skull bride and groom pieces on display, during the reception.Contributed photos Copyright - Scott M. Nagy
Barbie (Hucaluk) and Shawn Fillman, of Whitehall, celebrate their love with a baseball- and skull-themed wedding Oct. 26 at Schadt Avenue Playground, Whitehall. Copyright - Scott M. Nagy Barbie (Hucaluk) and Shawn Fillman, of Whitehall, celebrate their love with a baseball- and skull-themed wedding Oct. 26 at Schadt Avenue Playground, Whitehall. Copyright - Scott M. Nagy
The wedding invitation has the look of a sports ticket, keeping in line with the baseball theme. Copyright - Scott M. Nagy The wedding invitation has the look of a sports ticket, keeping in line with the baseball theme. Copyright - Scott M. Nagy
At left, Toni Fillman, mother of the groom, and Barbara Hucaluk, mother of the bride, get together for a photo. Copyright - Scott M. Nagy At left, Toni Fillman, mother of the groom, and Barbara Hucaluk, mother of the bride, get together for a photo. Copyright - Scott M. Nagy

Batter up!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 by Stacey Koch skoch@tnonline.com in Local News

Themed wedding celebrates interests of bride, groom

When you attend a wedding, many times the bride and groom’s interests shine through. That is very much the case for the wedding of Barbie (Hucaluk) and Shawn Fillman, of Whitehall. The couple had a baseball- and skull-themed wedding. The colors purple and black were used throughout.

Barbie Fillman is originally from Catasauqua. Her son, Jayden, is a student in Catasauqua Area School District.

The ceremony and reception took place Oct. 26 on the grounds of Schadt Avenue Playground, Whitehall. Unfortunately, because of inclement weather, the wedding was moved indoors — but a few photos were still able to be taken outside and on the baseball field.

The couple got engaged about a year ago. That special occasion had a skull theme, too — the bride’s engagement ring has a skull representation.

Everything from the location, to the invitation, to table centerpieces, to the bride’s shoes incorporated baseball and skulls. The top of the cake was even bride and groom skulls.

When Barbie Fillman showed Toni Fillman, mother of the groom and Whitehall-Coplay PTO PLUS president, a photo of her wedding gown, they were on the baseball field at DeSales University.

The Fillman family, of Whitehall, are huge baseball fans.

“Our backyard was a baseball field,” Toni Fillman said. “All my lights are broken in my yard, and my windows are broken. But that’s all OK because he got a scholarship,” she added with a laugh.

Toni Fillman is talking about one of her grandsons and a son of the groom, Shane Fillman, who is currently a senior at Whitehall High School. He will be attending East Stroudsburg University on a baseball scholarship.

“Shane played baseball with my husband since the day he could hold that ball,” Toni Fillman said. “That’s why he’s as good as he is, honestly.”

He played for Lehigh Valley Prospects. Now he plays for Rising Stars, in addition to playing for WHS.

Her husband and father of the groom, Richard Fillman, played in the world softball tournament in Detroit, Mich., years ago. He also coached Allentown Central Catholic High School girls softball and Little League, among others. He has played baseball since he was 5 years old, Toni Fillman said.

Her son, Shawn Fillman, played baseball for WCSD. The Fillman men have mostly played short stop but can also play other positions.

Tragically, Shawn Fillman was in a skiing accident and broke his back. He didn’t get to play in his last two years of school at Moravian Academy. He was in a body cast for two years.

“It was awful,” Toni Fillman said. “That’s why he now plays on five teams. He can’t give it up because he lost two years. My son pitches a lot.”

But on a brighter note, Shawn Fillman made MVP during the world softball championship in Las Vegas, Nev., a few months ago. What makes this even more special is all the players of the team came to the wedding.

“He was overwhelmed,” Toni Fillman said, “because they’re not all close by.”

Many of the players live in other states, such as Maryland and Virginia.

When it was crunchtime right before the wedding, Toni Fillman and Barbara Hucaluk, mother of the bride, helped with the centerpieces, which, of course, included baseballs and skulls.

Barbara Hucaluk recently retired from Northampton Area School District.

Another fun baseball-themed item at the wedding was a popcorn machine.

The meal was sports/cookout food, too, some of which included hamburger barbecue, hot dogs and sauerkraut.

Toni Fillman has a few memorable moments of the wedding she will never forget. First, she’ll always remember the loving sentiments her son and her daughter-in-law said to each other.

Another is the speech made by one of Shawn Fillman’s baseball teammates.

“He said the most wonderful things about Shawn,” Toni Fillman said. “It was very touching.”

Other segments of the wedding she’ll forever treasure included when Shane Fillman walked her down the aisle and the song she and Shawn Fillman danced to — “Close Your Eyes” by Michael Bublé.

The song Barbie and Shawn Fillman danced to was “Greatest Love Story” by Lanco.

Toni Fillman said she was very touched when Barbie Fillman gave her an engraved bracelet that read, “Thank you for raising the best part of my life.” Barbie Fillman also gave Shane Fillman an engraved keychain that read, “You are now part of my heart, too.”

“That was beautiful,” Toni Fillman said.

What’s next for the newlyweds? Barbie and Shawn Fillman are taking their children to Walt Disney World at the end of this month, so they are all together to celebrate.

Maybe they’ll bring home a baseball signed by Mickey Mouse.