Real RVA Wedding: Jessie & Jeff

An online exclusive wedding!


May 26, 2013

How They Met

It was the summer before their sophomore year of high school at the Math and Science High School at Clover Hill in Midlothian when Jessie and her friend decided to beat the heat by going ice skating at Skate Nation. Though Jessie didn’t know him at the time, her friend invited Jeff, their fellow classmate, to meet them at the ice skating rink as friends.

After a few hours of flirting, Jessie realized she had a crush on Jeff and left the ice skating rink that night wanting to get to know him better, so when he called her a few days later “just to talk,” she was so excited! They hit it off on the phone, talking about everything from their favorite hobbies to the sports they played, and realized they had a lot in common. After many more phone and AOL Instant Messenger dates (the texting of 2002!), they finally went on a real date to the movies.

Then, on July 21, 2002, after seeing the movie “Sum of All Fears,” Jeff asked Jessie to officially be his girlfriend — and she of course said yes!

Now, 10 years later — and after graduating from both high school and JMU together — the two are still as happy as ever! In fact, Jessie and Jeff still live in Midlothian with their adorable Golden Retriever, Maggie!




How He Asked

It was Jessie and Jeff’s 10 year dating anniversary, and they wanted to enjoy the day together somewhere they had never been before, so they decided to walk around Maymont Park here in Richmond. They kept checking the weather all week, fearing that it was supposed to rain on Saturday and that their day would be washed out. Fortunately, when Saturday morning came around, the clouds were holding out, so they stuck with the Maymont plan. Jessie didn’t know then just how much Jeff was hoping the weather would hold out!

After walking through the entrance to the park, Jeff suggested that they take the path down to the Japanese Gardens where there was beautiful landscaping, a pond and a bridge overlooking the area. As they were walking toward the bridge, Jeff started recalling their dating history and everything that they had been through together, as well as everything that they wanted to accomplish in the years to come. Needless to say, Jessie was thrown off about the conversation at first, wondering where he was going with all of this. Then, on the bridge overlooking the pond, Jeff got down on one knee and asked Jessie to marry him. She, of course, said “Yes!!” as he slipped a GORGEOUS ring on her finger!


He then said, “Smile!” as he pointed out one of his classmates who was taking pictures of the whole engagement! It was such a great surprise! Jeff and Jessie then had his classmate take a few more pictures of them around the park before, as if waiting for just the right moment, it began to rain.

Later that night, Jeff surprised Jessie with an amazing dinner at The Boathouse at Sunday Park in Midlothian, VA. Though she thought it was just going to be the two of them, Jeff and Jessie’s parents were all waiting for them at the restaurant to celebrate!





The Perfect Place

When it came to choosing The John Marshall Ballrooms, Jessie says it was love at first sight.  ”We chose the The John Marshall Ballrooms because of its classic Richmond charm! We always wanted to have an indoor ceremony and reception (that way we didn’t have to worry about the weather!), but we didn’t want the formality of a church. We also liked the idea of having everything in one place, making it easier and more convenient for our guests. When touring various venues, we absolutely fell in love with the grandeur of the Virginia Ballroom and the fact that we could make it what we wanted – love at first sight you might say! We also loved its location downtown, allowing our guests from out of town to experience the Richmond that we love!”







Decor Details

When it came to choosing a theme, Jessie & Jeff were keeping Spring in mind for their May wedding.  They chose sage green, deep purple and ivory and added tons of flowers to give their wedding a fresh, romantic feel.  Jessie says, “Since we were having the ceremony and reception both in the same space, we wanted to differentiate between the two events. For the ceremony, we went with a more romantic, toned-down lighting, used lots of flowers and had a harp and flute duo from Lyrical Images perform. For the reception, we still used a lot of flowers, but we went with a more casual lighting for dinner and a fun, purple lighting for dancing to the DJ!”


The couple’s Golden Retriever, Maggie, was well represented on their cake table.


Blog-25Jessie & Jeff wanted to wow their guests, so they took dance lessons at Simply Ballroom before their big day.





The JMU Road Dog was there to represent the couple’s alma mater and encourage guests to grab sweets that stayed true to the color scheme.


FloraCulture did a beautiful on keeping the romance fresh and Spring-y in the elegant ballroom, and Classic Party Rentals of VA made sure that the long family-style table and other guest tables were kept sophisticated with deep purple linens over top of ivory.





Jessie says, “We wanted everyone to be surprised that we were using the same space for both the ceremony and the reception, and that we could make them look so different between the two events.”  We definitely think you accomplished it, Jessie!  The dramatic lighting from Blue Steel Lighting and Design made all the difference, especially when it came time to hit the dance floor!Blog-43








At the end of the night, Down Under Limousine was there to whisk the newlyweds away to their St. Lucian honeymoon!

Blog-51Photography: James Linkowitz Photography

Wedding Coordination: Lovebirds Events

Ceremony & Reception Site: The John Marshall Ballrooms

Ceremony Music: Lyrical Images

Invitations: By Invitation Only

Florals: FloraCulture LLC

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals of VA

Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design

Catering: Homemades by Suzanne

Music: Choice Entertainment‘s DJ Reggie Campbell

Dance Instruction: Simply Ballroom

Transportation: Down Under Limousine

Accommodations: Richmond Marriott Downtown & Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown

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