SPECIAL- WEDDINGS- Going to the chapel: Seventeen local love stories


Stephanie Bujnak & Brian Ward

January 1, 2010

Ojai, California

Him: 26, renovation contractor

Her: 24, interior designer

Engagement Length: 1 year, 3 days

Our love story: We met in graduate school while studying architecture. Our drafting desks were right next to each other and we spent many long days and nights working on studio projects. We knew each other for 5 months, dated for 3 weeks, then we got engaged!

In sync: After several months of friendship, I knew she was the kind of woman I wanted to marry. Then it was a matter of asking her out and seeing if she felt the same way about me. –Brian There was this one night when we stayed up talking until sunrise. We covered all the important things: life, dreams, plans, beliefs. After that night, I knew this man was going to be a friend for life. –Stephanie

Couple personality: We love the mountains and we love adventures! Stephanie grew up in the Ojai Valley and Brian calls the Blue Ridge Mountains his true him. We wanted an engagement shoot that we felt at home with.

DIY: Almost all of it! The wedding cake was a tower of homemade red-velvet cupcakes; Brian and I made the programs and addressed our invitations together. 

Compromise: We both have undergraduate degrees, but we were in graduate school to be architects. Together, we could never afford to repay the student loans with the jobs and lifestyles we expected after graduating. The economy bust also made it a terrible gamble, so we left school to get married and pursue our passion for old buildings and design down other channels.

Biggest splurge: The honeymoon– a 12 day Mediterranean cruise followed by two days in Rome and three in Dublin.

The secret to wedding planning: We were both surprised everything went so smoothly. Neither of us obsessed about the details and all the important things went just as they were supposed to.

Advice for the newly engaged: Make sure you keep taking plenty of time for each other during the wedding planning process, right up to the last minute. Your relationship is still only just beginning.


Laura Kenney & David Connell

June 19, 2010

Hot Springs, Va & Garth Newel Music Center

Him: 40, project manager

Her: 37, sales executive

Engagement length: A year and a half

Our love story: I met Dave's neighbor at the gym. On August 2nd, 2008, she was having some friends over and invited me. As soon as I walked in the door, I saw Dave  and thought, "Wow, he's cute." He felt the same and asked me out on our first date the following Saturday. –Laura

The "M" word: Dave asked me to marry him after five months. We just knew.

Couple personality: We wanted [our engagement photos] to be relaxed and casual. The city contrast is great since our wedding pictures will be up in the mountains.

DIY: I found invitations at Target on clearance and bought about six boxes! We printed the Save the Dates, invitations, and response cards ourselves– a great way to save money and very easy to do.

Something old and something blue: Years ago, after my grandmother passed away, I found one of her handkerchiefs– it has a blue ribbon and daisies embroidered on it.

Scrimp and save: We received our honeymoon accommodations as a wedding present, that saved us a significant amount.

The secret to wedding planning: There are so many details, it's important to be organized. We were able to communicate with our guests via a wedding website hosted by TheKnot.com. Since ours is a destination wedding, we have relied a lot on my parents for their assistance.

Advice for the newly engaged: It's a stressful time and becomes all consuming; make sure to take time for [yourselves].


Lindsey Tripp & Ryan Layer

August 14, 2010

Enchanted Garden, Edgar Allen Poe Museum & Main Street Station, Richmond

Him: 30, UVA PhD student

Her: 28, lawyer

Engagement Length: We got engaged in May 2009.

Our love story: We met playing kickball in Washington, DC– what could be more romantic?

Couple personality: Lots of laughing [shows through the engagement shoot].

DIY: Lindsey's dad is designing the Save the Dates and invitations, as well as all of the other paper products, and we're making ceremony decorations and the favors for our guests.

Compromise: Not having an open bar, and spending a little less time with our photographer.

Biggest splurge: Our photographer, Sarah. We are very excited that she is photographing our wedding!

Scrimp and save: The dress.

The secret to wedding planning: Our surprise has been how willing vendors have been to work with our budget. The kindness and concern for our happiness from these people who we have only just met has been beyond any of our expectations.

Advice for the newly engaged: When deciding on vendors, spending a little more money on someone you trust is worth it.


Kelly Cox & Brian Chenault

October 26, 2010

Him: 37, IT/software development & musician

Her: 35, LCSW, opening a yoga studio for children on the Downtown Mall

Engagement length: We have been engaged for about two months. At the end of March, Brian took me to Europe for a few weeks and had proposed the morning we left.

Location: The marriage ceremony will be short and simple– we are getting married on my grandparents' anniversary– their 61st, and still going strong! It is on a Tuesday, so we are planning on a very simple ceremony, maybe in the park, and Dave Norris has agreed to marry us. We will have a reception at another point!

Our love story: A mutual friend tried to set us up for quite a while. I thought he was boring, he thought I was high maintenance. Apparently, she knew better.

In sync: We began dating in December of '08, I took him home to meet my family for a few weeks that next August. I knew as soon as I watched him interact with my family. –Kelly

Family matters: My grandmother offered her wedding ring to Brian, so there was a lot of back and forth between he and my family. –Kelly

Couple personality: We were about to leave the country for a few weeks and wanted to bask in the joy of being engaged rather than trying to tell everyone. We walked to Sarah Cramer's studio, asked to sit in her photo booth and then let her tell everyone for us on her blog.

Advice for the newly engaged: Don't worry about what you "should" do or what other people do– make it about you, even if it means breaking all the rules.


Aaron Cardé & Audrea Watlington

September 18, 2010

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, downtown Richmond; reception at the Westwood Club

Him: 30, realtor

Her: 31, CPA

Engagement length: We have been engaged for over a year; by the time we are married, it will have been almost a year and a half. Given that we have been together since 2003, we thought, "What's the rush now?"

Our love story: I used to tend bar at a place called the Blue Martini while I was in school. It was mostly an older crowd, but Aaron came in one night with some of his older friends. He kept trying to leave until he saw me behind the bar, at which point he stole someone's seat, parked himself in front of my drink station, and proceeded to sit there all night.

In sync: Aaron says he always knew. I think we both knew quite soon into our relationship that we were going to be together for the long haul, but neither of us was ready for marriage for a long time.

Family matters: Aaron asked my mother's permission beforehand, and he had told his parents about it.

Couple personality: Our tendency towards the lighter, more goofy side of things is evident from our pictures. We didn't want to end up with loads of boring, posed pictures from our engagement session (or our wedding either) which is why we went with Tom. We wanted some edge, something that really captured who we are.

Compromise: We both have huge families and lots of friends and have had to make some concessions, especially when it comes to the guest list. And thanks to the environmental consciousness of BP, it looks like a raw bar is out now, too!

The secret to wedding planning: I never imagined how exciting and fun it would be– I'm a Type-A planner, while I will bet that Aaron never imagined how tedious it can be– he's more the laissez-faire type. I think I'll be kind of sad when it's all over!

Advice for the newly engaged: Have fun during the planning process, not matter how long your engagement. If planning your wedding is stressful and not fun, find a way to make it enjoyable because it's really about starting your new life together.


Ashley West & Brandon Wooten

June 19, 2010

Oak Ridge Estate

Him: 28, freelance interior & graphic designer

Her: 29, Director of Communications for a non-profit

Engagement length: 7.5-8 months along

Our love story: Brandon was living in New York, but was in Virginia on a trip visiting his roommates from UVA. Ashley's roommate Lindsay (and the wife of Brandon's college roommate, Nick) met Brandon on the trip and decided Ashley needed to meet him. Not knowing Ashley was in the picture, Brandon decided to move back to Charlottesville. Nick and Lindsay arranged for Ashley and Brandon to meet. Ashley and Brandon met but neither knew what to think. They began to run into each other all over Charlottesville. They finally went on their first date, fell in love, and began dating.

The proposal: Ashley and Brandon decided to take a last-minute, poorly planned 6-day trip to Italy with Ashley's twin sister, Laura. On the fifth day of the trip, a year from when they started dating, Brandon proposed to Ashley on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence.

Couple personality: We really wanted our photos to be warm with a vintage feel. We also didn't want to take ourselves too seriously. The photos turned out playful and fun, which we think really represents us as a couple.

DIY: Instead of doing a traditional guestbook, we found a vintage suitcase and gathered postcards from important places in our lives for guests to write us notes on.

Compromise: Brandon really wanted to design and screen-print his own ties, but we ran out of time.

"Bridezilla" moment: Ashley got really anxious about her dress and ended up buying a backup dress– luckily it was returnable!

Something borrowed: We will be using beautiful silver serving pieces for the cake that have been used in all the girls' weddings in Ashley's family.

Biggest savings: We were able to save a lot by bartering some design services for items we would have had to pay a lot of money for.

Advice for the newly engaged: Make sure you put your personality into the ceremony and reception to share with your guests. You don't have to just do what you've seen done, but can feel free to take some risks and make it your own.


Katie Rohyans & Jon Overdevest

October 29, 2010

Holy Comforter Church & Clifton Inn

Him: 28, MD/PhD student

Her: 28, hedge fund analyst

Engagement Length: A little over a year; the wedding is now four months away.

Our love story: Little did Katie know that five years after opting to go to UVA over Cornell, she would meet her husband-to-be, a Cornell grad of her same year, in Charlottesville.

The "M" word: It was never explicitly discussed. John has a pension for surprises. Nevertheless, once we reached a certain point in our relationship where career aspirations and each of our personal hopes are regularly discussed, it's not hard to assume that marriage will come at some point!

Couple personality: A book I recently read mentioned how in old paintings and pictures of wedding parties, there is typically a dog included, situated between the bride and groom– the dog signifies fidelity in a relationship. Well, it would be impossible not to notice our infatuation with our dog, Javier– he's a big part of our lives right now and has been a fun addition to our relationship.

DIY: We are getting married on the weekend of Halloween, so we are planning on carving some white pumpkins to be situated at the Inn.

"Bridezilla" moment(s): I am limiting myself to three "bridezilla" moments. There have been moments when, as a bride, you get extremely frustrated and overwhelmed by all the options. Sometimes the statement, "it's your wedding, you get to pick," is the last thing you want to hear when you are overwhelmed with choices.

Scrimp and save: We are getting married on a Friday, which helps defray some costs. Our main motivation for this schedule, however, was so that our guests would have the entire weekend to dig in and enjoy Charlottesville.

The secret to wedding planning: The whole process requires a lot more time and thinking than you realize. But it is fun and exciting– the planning has become yet another activity that we can do together as a couple.

Advice for the newly engaged: Don't lose sight of what you are actually doing– getting married! Spending time together discussing aspects of your future married life helps to offer perspective and make you even more excited about your special day.


Brynne Archer & Kevin Sullivan

September 18, 2010

King Family Vineyards

Him: 30, UVA med school, emergency medicine

Her: 25, UVA med school, pediatrics

Engagement length: We have been engaged since June 19, 2009– it will be about 15 months total.

Our love story: We started dating during our second year of med school– after a night of dancing at "80s Night" at Three, Kevin asked me out on a date. Our first date was by both accounts the best first date ever.

The "M" word: On our post-boards trip to California, Kevin mentioned he had a family ring that his mother promised to pass down when either or his brother were ready. It was during this trip that we really talked about the future and both realized we were totally comfortable with the thought of getting married.

Family matters: Kevin made a call to the Archers that they will never let him forget. He called up and asked my father if he could come to Richmond and take him out to dinner, just the two of them. He agreed, but Kevin wasn't sure if he really understood the purpose of the dinner, so he called back not five minutes later.

DIY: We are having four different types of pie at the reception instead of the traditional wedding cake because Kevin has a special love for pecan pie and I would choose any type of fruit pie any day over cake!

Compromise: I pick the wine, he picks the beer.

"Bridezilla" moment: I changed my mind on the bridesmaids' dresses about three times!

Biggest splurge: The food and drink! That's what everyone comes for, right?

Advice for the newly engaged: Have fun, try to focus on the details that matter to you and don't stress about the rest. You are single or dating for a long time, then married for a long time, but only engaged for a year (give or take), so enjoy!


Matthew Fischer & Heather Worthley

June 20, 2010

Centreville United Methodist Church, Centreville; Reception at Heritage Hunt Golf and Country Club, Gainesville

Him: 22, VT graduate and new hire at W.L Gore

Her: 22, JMU graduate

Engagement Length: Seven months total

Our love story: Matt and I met through our youth group at our church, Manassas Assembly of God. We were 13 the first time we met, and in our prime awkwardness had little interest in one another. At 17, we were reintroduced to one another– this time, we bonded over humor and mutual friends. We began dating June 20th, 2006, and dated throughout all four years of college. Our wedding, on June 20th of this year, will be our four year anniversary.

In sync: I knew Matt was the one I was meant to marry the summer we began dating. As I thought through the person I knew Matt to be and the passions he had in life, I knew in my heart what a beautiful match we made and what a strong team we could be together. Matt says he knew I was the one after about a year of searching hard to find if there was something about me that raised a red flag– needless to say, he never found a thing.

The "M" word: After one year of dating, we began talking about marriage and the potential time we would want to get married once we finished school, so that we would both be on the same page and know what direction to move in.

Couple personality: The main aspect of our couple personality that shows in our engagement shoot is our playfulness and love of having fun together– Matt is my companion and best friend; we are never bored together.

DIY: My sister, Megan Daubert, will be singing during our ceremony while our life-long friend is accompanying her on the piano.

Scrimp and save: My wedding gown actually! I would have guessed this would be the area of splurging. We found out later that the young woman working [at the store] was new and actually sold it to us for $200 less than what it was supposed to be!

The secret to wedding planning: I was surprised at how hard it was to find a church that would allow you to use their sanctuary without being a member.

Advice for the newly engaged: This short period of your life goes by so fast, so enjoy it and don't allow yourself to get too stressed out over the details. A few must haves: a wedding coordinator and a photographer you love and feel comfortable with! This really can make or break your experience.


Valerie Schultz & David McFarland

July 24, 2010

St. Paul's Episcopal Church & Farmington Country Club

Him: 24, investment banking analyst for Barclay Capital

Her: 24, investment analyst for Citi Private Bank

Engagement length: 13 months total

Our love story: We both graduated in 2008 from UVA's McIntire School. We met the beginning of our third year during morning block, which meant we were in every class together throughout the 2007 school year. We did not start dating until after our spring break plans coincided and we were both in Puerto Vallarta for the week– after we got back from the trip, we both realized how much we liked each other. The rest is history.

In sync: We both knew at different moments, but we share recognizing the moment during long car trips. For Valerie, she knew when we took a long road trip together before graduation. For David, he knew on Valentine's Day of 2008– we spent the weekend going to dinners and parties as well as traveling to visit David's sister.

The "M" word: We moved apart after graduation; we had a long distance relationship for about a year before talks of marriage and one of us moving to the other became serious. For us, it was a natural and exciting conversation.

Family matters: Our families will always be involved in our big life decisions. Valerie's dad did keep it a secret from her mom when David asked for Valerie's hand in marriage– Valerie's mom is not the best at keeping secrets from her and her dad worried she would spill the beans.

Couple personality: We were nervous that it would be awkward to be taking couple pictures in front of the entire University; however, Jen made us feel so relaxed and natural during the shoot– you can tell how happy and excited we were to be together.

Compromise: The guest list! We had hoped to invited everyone we could think of. However, because of the location of events and the wedding budget, we had to keep the size manageable.

Something blue: My mom gave me a gorgeous blue diamond ring to wear as my something blue.

Advice for the newly engaged: Truly try to enjoy every step in the process, it goes way too fast! Spend time with your friends and family and make sure to throw plenty of parties!


Daniel Clifford & Maureen Toole

May 22, 2010

St. Mary's Catholic Church, Alexandria, and Hilton Old Town, Alexandria

Him: 24, electrical engineer

Her: 28, Head of School at a Montessori School

Engagement Length: Engaged for 15 months

Our love story: Neither of us were supposed to be out that night– Daniel had come home early from a business trip and I had gone out after a lot of coaxing from a friend. Daniel and his friends happened to be out with a friend of mine from high school and when I ran into my old friend, he introduced me to Dan. We ended up talking all night; Dan asked for my number, but me being skeptical said that he could have it, but probably wouldn't call; Dan being stubborn said he would call the very next day at 1pm. The next day he called at exactly 1 and asked me out for that very night.

In sync: It was April 19, 2008 at a Phillies game at Citizen's Bank Park. We are both HUGE Phillies fans and he took me to a game up in Philly so I could also meet his parents for the first time. I was already pretty sure about Daniel, but after seeing him with his family, I knew I had a keeper.

The "M" word: I kept telling him he had to wait until we were together for a year... he waited one year and one week.

"Bridezilla" moment: I did almost have to go a little bridezilla on the church's flower lady who tried to tell me I had to have red flowers because we were getting married the weekend of Pentecost and my colors were ivory and amethyst– not exactly a great match with red.

Something old: My engagement ring– it belonged to my grandmother who left it to me when I was a baby because I had never had the opportunity to meet my grandfather who passed away before I was born. When Daniel asked my mom if he could ask me to marry him, she gave him the ring.

The secret to wedding planning: We were surprised by how many tiny little details have to be taken care of in the last weeks leading up to the big day.

Advice for the newly engaged: Take your time and have at least a year-long engagement. Not only will it alleviate planning stress, give you time to save your pennies, and help ensure availability of all the things that you've always dreamed of, it will also allow you time to savor the anticipation.


Kyle Boynton & Marissa Jenkins

August 6, 2011

Sugarman Estate, Maui

Him: 26, police officer

Her: 27, attorney

Engagement length: 18 months

Our love story: I was working as an intern in the Commonwealth's Attorney's office during my 3L year of law school. He had arrested someone, and I was prosecuting the case. The defendant was found not guilty, but I feel like it was a win overall. Our minds were evidently focused on other things!

In sync: Within a month of being together, Kyle told me that he was going to marry me.

Family matters: I called Marissa's mother to ask if I could come up to talk to her and Marissa's dad about something. She was extremely concerned that something was wrong. It was Marissa's thirteen-year-old sister who first realized what I was coming up to talk about. –Kyle

Couple personality: I think our engagement shoot shows off our fun, playful side– it shows how we can be doing pretty much anything and we always make each other smile. I guess it also shows that we enjoy wine!

DIY: Japanese paper cranes are significant to both of us, so we are planning on enlisting our family and friends to make 1000 of them to use throughout the wedding!

Compromise: We discovered that Hawaii's ordinances require everything to be shut down by 10pm– the compromise is that we're going to have an after party!

Scrimp and save: I bought my wedding suit in a buy-one-get-two-free sale. Somehow I suspect that will be the only component that comes in under budget... -Kyle

Advice for the newly engaged: Have fun with the planning process!


Victoria Wilson & Gregory Sagstetter

August 7, 2010

Veritas Vineyard & Winery

Him: 25, UVA law student

Her: 24, english teacher

Engagement length: We will have had a two-year engagement. We wanted to get married at Veritas on our 11th anniversary.

Our love story: We're high school sweethearts– we've been together since we were 14 years old.

Family matters: We grew up down the street from one another, so our families have been blended for a long time. They have watched us grow from young, naive adolescents to mature adults ready for the next step.

Couple personality: We are very flirty and affectionate on a daily basis, and this shows in our engagement pictures.

Compromise: We've had to compromise with each other on things like the size of the wedding, location, etc. Overall, Gregory has decided that it's easier if guys just say "yes" when it comes to wedding planning.

Something old: I'm wearing a necklace that my future mother-in-law had made for me– it contains a diamond that was her great grandmother's, a diamond that was her grandmother's, and a diamond that Greg's father gave to her.

The secret to wedding planning: We thought people treated us differently, took our relationship more seriously, once we were engaged even though we've been in a committed relationship for 10 years. Also, I don't think we realized how difficult planning a wedding is– there are so many details to think about!

Advice for the newly engaged: Take some time to just enjoy being engaged before diving into wedding planning. 


Jennifer Renee Hawkins & Michael Anthony Farley, Jr

January 1, 2011

Sweely Estate Winery

Him: 26, parts and accessories sales rep at Coleman Powersports

Her: 26, Health and Fitness Specialist for HealthFitness Corporation

The "M" word: We definitely talked about getting married before the engagement. This is how the conversation went: Jennifer said, "You know I want to marry you Mikie?" and he said, "You know I want to marry you?" so I said, "Well, when are we going to get married then?" and he said, "Now," and I looked at him and said, "I'm not kidding," and he said, "Neither am I."

Family matters: Our families have known each other for a very long time– our dads were friends in middle school. His mom and my mom have said they've been planning this all along.

Couple personality: We really value old fashioned love– pretty much the reason we did the old fashioned pictures. We want our love to stay old fashioned and not become too fast paced and disposable like so many things today. 

Compromise: I wanted a really small wedding in a foreign country; now we're having a huge wedding in the country. I wanted something a little more intimate, but I know that having this big wedding with as much family and friends as possible will never be a compromise I regret.

Something borrowed: My grandmother's bible that she carried at her wedding.

The secret to wedding planning: I'm surprised at how much work planning a wedding is! Something that has surpassed my expectations is the fact that I'm going to need every single day of the year and two months to plan it! I thought it would have been much easier than this.

Advice for the newly engaged: There's a few songs out there that pretty much sum it up: "I keep on loving you," by Reba McIntyre; "Love like crazy," by Lee Brice; "Johnny & June," by Heidi Newfield


Keri Althoff & John Sperati

August 14, 2010

Ash Lawn-Highland

Him: 36, Nephrologist

Her: 30, Epidemiologist

Engagement length: We were engaged January 9, 2010 and will be married August 14, 2010– we are in the home stretch!

Our love story: We met playing on the same flag football team a mutual friend organized. After three months of waiting for John to ask me out, he finally did after a Saturday night Halloween party. Monday morning I walked into the start of a new school term in which I was a teaching assistant and John was a student sitting in my classroom!

The "M" word: We both believed the decision to be married should be reached only after a true decision-making process that incorporates both the heart and the mind. We asked each other very raw questions like, "Why do you want to marry me?" and "What do you think it takes to wake up together everyday for the rest of our lives?"

Family matters: I was a bit offended by the idea of John asking for my father's permission, until my Dad said, "Of course he asked me, Keri, as any gentleman would." I realized it wasn't about permission; it was about becoming family.

Couple personality: Tammy and Jason captured all sides of our individual personalities and our relationship with their photos. The book store photos capture our humor and our love of knowledge; the downtown shots show our love for exploring the culture and personality of a community.

Compromise: We have decided to go with standard china, glassware, linens, and lighting because those items are not as important to us.

"Bridezilla" moment: I have been a bridesmaid eight times, so it is important to me to be a grateful and gracious bride.

The secret to wedding planning: [John's] motivation and initiative in the planning process has been amazing– he researched and comparison priced all our major vendors. I'm taking the lead now on the details, but he is still weighing in with his great ideas!

Advice for the newly engaged: Don't listen to advice as to what to do for your wedding. Do what feels right for you to express yourselves as individuals and as a newly joined couple– it's your day to celebrate together with your friends and family.


Nilay Patel & Sarah Baber

October 9 & 10, 2010

Hindu ceremony: Cultural Center of India, Chester, VA; Christian ceremony: The Wilton House, Richmond, VA

Him: 27, social worker

Her: 23, student

Engagement length: 16 months total

Our love story: We met at work, but we didn't work together– Sarah was teaching at a preschool summer camp, and Nil was working in the office in the same building. We smiled and said "hello" and "goodbye" everyday for three months before Nil finally made a move! Our first date: our boss' wedding!

In sync: On our first date, passing the time at Chili's waiting for our boss' reception to start, I made a passing comment on how much I liked the pretty blue, yellow, and white tiles. For my birthday a few months later, Nil gave me a table top and a couple of boxes of the same tiles, so I could let my artistic side loose a little. I was blown away by how closely he was listening to me and how hard he worked– calling Chili's in the closest three states– to track down my gift.

The "M" word: We both knew we were interested in the same things, had the same ideas about work and fun and family. Also, I studied abroad in Spain for a semester not long after we started dating– I wanted to make sure I was really in it for the long haul before committing to such a long distance relationship.

Compromise: The venue for the Christian ceremony.

Biggest splurge: The saris were really expensive– Nil picked them out when he went to India last winter.

Scrimp and save: The Hindu ceremony is in the morning on the same day as a local dance, so the venue charged less than they would have for a typical weekend.

Advice for the newly engaged: Peruse photographers' websites and blogs! They are photos of real people and real weddings, which will give you great ideas for centerpieces, colors, hair, jewelry, dresses, shoes, everything! Focus on your relationship, your marriage, and what's important to you. Make sure that every aspect of your wedding reflects those beliefs.


Jon Higgs & Jessi Waggener

April 17, 2010

Old Trail Pavilion

Him: 29, lead systems analyst

Her: 28, contract administrator

Engagement length: 10 months

Our love story: We met playing kickball for the Charlottesville Sports and Social Club– we were on opposing teams that had an intense rivalry. After Jessi's team beat us in the playoffs, we recruited her to play with us and our love grew. –Jon

Couple personality: Our love of the outdoors and our silliness [shows through the engagement shoot].

DIY: We did all the signage, the programs, favors, photo shoot props, guest book. We even did some of the decor, which included framed photos from our engagement shoot sitting around on the cake table and guest book table.

Compromise: Jon is mainly into '80s rock and country, while Jessi is mainly into pop and indie rock– this made it difficult to pick a first dance song and we went back and forth with a lot of different choices. Finally, Otis showed us the light and we chose "That's How Strong My Love Is."

"Bridezilla" moment: My mother had a MOBridezilla moment when she discovered I used printed mailing labels on the wedding invitations. She was horrified– I was all about efficient simplicity. We'll just chalk that one up to a generational shift in attitudes maybe?

Something old & borrowed: Both of my grandmother's engagement rings, tied with a ribbon around my bouquet.

The secret to wedding planning: As time-consuming and all-encompassing as the planning was, by necessity, I was very pleasantly surprised by how smoothly everything went on the day. –Jessi

Advice for the newly engaged: Your wedding is going to be one of the best celebrations that you will be part of. Make sure that your decisions and ideas are reflected during the day. Most of all, relax– you are about to marry your best friend and go on a sweet trip.