First off, how and when did you meet?
We both teach at the university level and have our Ph.D.’s. It was a job that brought us together. We became instant friends; and were friends for a few years before we started dating.
We love a good proposal story – how did you get engaged?
Well, we actually proposed to each other two weeks apart. Jill proposed first. She planned a fun weekend in Raleigh – seeing Jamie’s favorite singer. Little did Jamie know she would get to meet her favorite singer AND when they got back to the hotel that night, she would be greeted with roses, chocolates, champagne… and, a beautiful ring! Two weeks later, while Jill was at work, Jamie decorated the house with balloons from which she hung photos. In the middle of it all, Jamie proposing to Jill!
Why did you pick Lesner Inn for your wedding and how long did it take you to find a venue?
Lesner provided us the perfect setting for our wedding… Lesner Hall, with the inside ballroom and outdoor deck, was the perfect setting to make our wedding dreams come true.
What outside vendors did you use and why did you pick them?
- Fluttering Flowers – we heard so many great things about Debbie, and every venue we visited knew of her and loved her, we just had to check her out for ourselves. Her work was absolutely beautiful.
- Valerie Betz Photography – Val is one of Jamie’s best friends from High School, so she graciously volunteered her talent for our wedding day.
- Incredible Edibles Bakery – Jamie needed a gluten free cake, so we contacted those bakeries advertising GF wedding cakes… Incredible Edibles was delicious, so we went with them without even trying any other bakeries.
- Waterford Event Rentals (Table Cloths/Linens/Napkins) – They were highly recommended, so we used them. The ladies there were wonderful to work with. And, they had the most perfect napkins and table linens to match our colors.
- Curtis, with Hampton Roads DJ – We found Curtis through an Internet search, gave him a call for more information, and after a short chat we knew he was the right guy for the job.
Right from the beginning, we wanted something “beachy,” with a hint of elegance. And, we got just that – the deck gave us the water and outdoor feel, and the ballroom gave us our elegance.
How did you pick your first dance song and why did you pick it?
Our first dance song, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran was “our song.” We heard it one day, and felt like it really spoke the words in our hearts. We felt so blessed to have found each other, when neither of us were really looking for love.
What were you most excited about for your wedding day?
Seeing it all come together. We put so much time, energy, and money into planning our special day; we couldn’t wait to see it all come to life. It was just as perfect and beautiful as we hoped it would be!
We also were immensely excited to officially declare our love surrounded by all of our family and friends, those that support us and love us most. It was an incredibly magical moment.
Were there any personal touches that you put on your wedding day that were really special to you?
One thing that we decided to do was create our own little memorials for those who couldn’t be with us on our special day. Jill’s father passed away several years ago, so she cut a heart out of one of his blue shirts… and, Jamie’s grandfather had passed away in February, so she cut a heart out of one of his favorite jean jackets. We pinned these inside our dresses – as our something old and something blue. We also included other memorial pieces in our bouquets, and on a memorial board for the guests to see.
We also decided to create our own photo booth (which our 16 year old amateur photographer nephew was in charge of). It was a lot of fun finding and painting props, and making the backdrop. As a special gift for our guests, we printed all the photobooth photos and sent them with our thank you’s.
We loved all the little personal touches we added, but our favorite personal touch was writing our own vows. This was something that was really important to us. It was definitely a challenge, but was so worth it. We made each other cry, and our guests! And, now, we have those words to hold onto and live up to forever.
Are there any funny or silly moments from your wedding day or the planning process that stand out to you?
The entire wedding day was FUN! But this probably was the most memorable “funny moment” — Jamie’s dress was pretty fluffy… 3 bustles were inserted to help hold it all up for dancing (“They are really easy to find,” said the seamstress). Well, it took several people, and their cellphone flashlights, to find 1 of those bustles. We never did find the other 2! Not so easy to find after all!
What advice do you have for other couples planning their wedding?
Two of the best pieces of advice we could offer would be: 1) Create a budget and stick to it. Period. You can get really lost in all the little additions or extras that add up. You don’t want to get so caught up in planning the wedding that you lose sight of the most important thing– your marriage and commitment to each other. And, 2) Don’t expect your wedding day to be 100% perfect… but, you can choose to accept any imperfections and just enjoy the day for what it is! The most important things are, of course saying “I do” and being surrounded by those who love and support you. Everything else will likely be a detail you won’t clearly remember.
Yes! We couldn’t agree with this more. All of your vendors will be working tirelessly to make sure that your wedding day is perfect but sometimes things happen that are out of everyone’s control. Go into your wedding day knowing that – no matter what happens – it will be perfect because you are marrying the love of your life!
Photos by Valerie Betz Photography!
Want to read about more Lesner Inn couples? Check out Trina & Greg’s Bengali Ceremony & Reception!