December is here! Now we can shamelessly celebrate the holiday season, and what better way than by showcasing the coziest of winter weddings with a pair whose souls are so blissfully one? These two bring a warmth that surpasses their frosty surroundings, and we are beyond blessed to share their lovely love!
A word from photographer Justine Wright:
“Jessica and John’s wedding took place on a quintessential Midwestern winter day, complete with the smallest flurries of snow. The bride and groom had originally planned for a May wedding — with warm temps and lots of natural light under a tented summer sky — but a last minute move cross-country resulted in the wedding being pushed up. As a nod to the holiday season, pops of red and vibrant greenery were sprinkled into their decor. Their ceremony took place at the bride’s hometown church, which was beautifully decorated for the season. Guests then moved to a local eatery, which was also tastefully decorated in pops of creams, reds, and greens (for the reception). The bride, with a background in graphic design, created her own invitations and her dress was custom-made by a close family friend. Winter weddings are not for the faint of heart — this duo (and their bridal party) tolerated sub degree weather to get beautiful, naturally lit portraits… but if you’re intrigued by the idea of a holiday wedding, look no further for inspiration!”
Love notes from the couple, John & Jessica:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Jess: “I was just settling into my new place when John and his roommates knocked on my door and introduced themselves as my new neighbors. Everything about that moment is so vivid. I was really flustered that four men were standing before me telling me their names and where they were from. Just a few steps away from my front porch, we all instantly became friends. It didn’t take long for me to take a special interest in John. I found him wildly fascinating, I still do.”
John: “New to the city and our neighborhood, my roommates and I took the initiative to meet our new neighbors. One of those neighbors happened to be Jess. I immediately was attracted to her kind attitude and self-assured demeanor. After many a group gatherings, our conversations intensified and we started having deeper one on one discussions about life, family, and our future. Right before she left for a trip abroad, I finally got up the courage to tell her my feelings for her and the rest is history.”
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Jess: “John has a curiosity about life that makes every day with him interesting. He challenges me in ways that I need and that help me grow. His sense of adventure, love for learning, and compassionate heart draw out all the good in me.”
John: “Jess provides a sense of calm and perspective about life that keeps me grounded in the things that really matter. She challenges my many wild ideas when needed and encourages me to be a better person. She provides a perfect balance to my sometimes restless heart.”
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day!
John: “My extended family loves to make things a little more fun. During our wedding reception, my brother gave a beautiful ode to Jess and I. The crowd cheered, ooed and awed at many of his eloquent words. Little did we know that there were bets made on what he would say during the speech. Would he mention how they met? What ‘J’ word would be mentioned first: Jim (John’s Dad), Jessica, or Jesus? Would he or the wedding couple tear up first? Would he mention a story about sports? Needless to say, this made the crowd much more engaged and explained the many outbursts of joy and disappointment throughout his speech.”
Any special ways you incorporated your family into your wedding day?
Jess: “On my mother’s wedding day 39 years ago, she wore a classic, ivory organza gown. Her dress was a little small on me but it had aged very gracefully through the years. I felt very inspired to incorporate her dress into mine. I decided to entrust my dear friend Lauren with the task of designing a wedding dress using elements of my mother’s. The process of creating something that was uniquely my own but also my mother’s was easily the best decision I could have made. It was simply a gown crafted with love, care, and memories.”
What part of your wedding day was most important to you?
Jess: “Something that was very important to John was our rehearsal dinner. We wanted the dinner to be very small with only our immediate family and closest friends. It was quite chilly outside as we all cozied up into a quaint little café in the heart of my hometown. The Christmas lights glimmered around us as we enjoyed a wonderful meal celebrating two families coming together. It’s a tradition in John’s family to honor one another on special occasions. It was in this beautiful setting that those who love us most shared stories of our love and what we mean to them. There was no shortage of tears or laughs that evening. We left with full hearts, ready to enter into the next chapter of our lives together as one.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
Jess: “A wedding is foremost about marriage. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the details no matter how big or small of an event you are hosting. Many brides really enjoy planning, but I was one that found it very challenging. The expectations that come with planning a wedding both personal and external can complicate your feelings about marriage and a wedding, which are not the same thing. This is a great time to lean on each other and ask for help. Your day will be perfect because you are getting to marry your person, not because of the hundreds of little details that make a wedding.”
photographer: Justine Wright Photography / venue: Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church, and Aces Restaurant & Bar / stylist, planner, designer, coordinator: Meredith Deem / floral designer: Meyers Flower Shop / dress designer: Lauren Osmon (custom) / makeup artist: Kati Blair / hair stylist: Katie Nashville / cake designer: Claire Mysliwiec / film lab: The FIND Lab