Occupations: Jessica is finishing up her MBA at the NYU Stern School of Business; Ross is a software developer
Wedding date: November 11, 2017
Number of Attendees: 175
Number of Attendants: Seven bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, two usherettes, four flower girls, and two ring bearers.
How You Met:
His Story: We met at the Baltimore Magazine Top Singles Party of 2015. I went to the event with my buddy Gerald. Not too long after arriving I saw two pretty girls on the other side of the room, it was Jessica and her friend Na Young, who was one of the Top Singles. I suggested to Gerald that we go talk to them, so we went over and introduced ourselves. I immediately thought Jessica was gorgeous. While talking to them I got interrupted by someone else I knew at the party, so my conversation with Jessica came to an abrupt end. As the party went on I kept looking around the room for her, I knew I had to find her or I would regret it forever. I wasn’t able to find her until the very end of the night right before she was about to leave. I reintroduced myself and eventually asked for her phone number. The rest is history.
Her Story: In 2015 one of my best friends, Na Young, was voted one of Baltimore’s top singles. I went to the Baltimore Magazine Top Singles Party to celebrate her, and it was literally the best decision of my life! That night I met Ross, a sweet, handsome and funny fellow redhead. The crazy thing is that in true Smalltimore fashion, we have a number of connections. It turned out that one of my closest friends from high school is actually his second cousin and that we were both at her wedding a number of years ago. But we hadn’t actually met until the party that night!
The Engagement: I came home from hot yoga and was soaking wet with sweat. I walked into our apartment and Ross had moved one of our bookcases to the front door and used it to set up a display with pictures of us, flowers, stuffed animals, a card, and a PowerPoint that said, “I love you Jessica. Will you marry me?” He was dressed nicely and got down on one knee and proposed. I said yes, but I was so gross from yoga I didn’t even want to hug him until after I had showered. I hopped in the shower and Ross was so excited that he started making calls. Ross has a super close family, so by the time I got out of the shower word had spread and everyone had already heard the news.
Wedding Design Inspiration: The Sagamore Pendry was designed to honor Baltimore’s heritage but with a modern and luxurious twist. We extended that theme to the wedding and went with a fresh take on an elegant vintage look. The ivory, black, and metallic color scheme was classic, and the pops of blush went with my dress.
What Was Unique and Special About Your Wedding Day: It’s funny because I was really focused on planning the reception; I just wanted everyone else to have a great time at our wedding. But the ceremony was what ended up making our day unique and special. Before the larger ceremony, we had a ketubah signing with just the wedding party. It was an intimate gathering and our cantor, Jan Morrison, asked each person to give us a blessing. The blessings were so touching, heartfelt, sweet and funny.
Our cantor also did a beautiful job making the larger ceremony feel personal, spiritual and special. We stood under a chuppah, which symbolizes the home that the couple will build together. Our parents were under the chuppah with us too; we are so lucky to have such loving and supportive parents. And I wore both of my grandmothers’ wedding and engagement rings around a necklace Ross gave me, so even though they couldn’t be there with us in person they were close to my heart.
We also did something a little different for our first dance. We had everyone join us for the twist! I love the Beatles and if you listen to the lyrics it sounds like a love song.
Favorite Details: There were so many! One of my favorites details was our escort cards. A few weeks before the wedding we happened to get a silhouette of us done at the Fells Point Festival. MLC designs was able to incorporate it into our menus and escort cards, which went perfectly with our vintagey theme. The escort cards featured a custom wax seal with our silhouette in different metallic colors that indicated guests’ meal choices.
There was also a super cute vintage wagon that my mom and her friend Manuele brought back to life for the youngest members of the wedding party to go down the aisle in, and our signature drink, a Moscow Mule that we called Ginger Soul. Since we both have red hair we thought it would be funny to have something with ginger in it, and the name was a play on the ginger beer in the drink and the South Park episode that claims gingers have no souls.
Most Unexpected Event On Your Wedding Day: Definitely the Best Man toast! There is a running joke in Ross’s family that the mailman must be his real dad because no one else has red hair. Ross’s brother Ryan said that as a wedding gift he decided to track down Ross’s birth parents and had friends dressed as Ronald McDonald and Wendy Thomas deliver a happy meal during the toast. Then the Hamburglar ran in and carried Wendy out over his shoulder. Ryan did wrap up with some nice comments about us!
Piece of Advice:
His Advice: Let the bride do what she wants.
Her Advice: Hire a day of wedding coordinator. At first we weren’t sure that we needed this, but that was the absolute best investment we could have made. Our coordinators from Elizabeth Bailey Weddings were amazing and made the day so much easier and more fun. All day people were saying that I was the most relaxed, happiest bride they had ever seen.
One other tip: Hire talented vendors who you connect with and communicate clearly about your vision but don’t be too prescriptive about what you want. With so many pictures everywhere, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of saying I want exactly that. We gave our vendors an idea of what we wanted but also a lot of room to do their thing. A bunch of our vendors ended up incorporating new elements into their work that turned out beautifully and were unique, memorable, and personal touches at our wedding.
Beauty Cerissa McKinley, Hair Rebel Designs (hair) Caitlyn Meyer (makeup) Bridesmaids The Bridal Boutique Cake La Cakerie Caterer Sagamore Pendry Baltimore Day Of Wedding Coordinator Lee Kendall from Elizabeth Bailey Weddings Flowers Edge Floral Event DesignersGroom and Groomsmen Tuxedo House Honeymoon TBD! Invitations mlc designs Location Sagamore Pendry Baltimore Music DJ Kopec (In a funny coincidence, we actually hired DJ Kopec to play at our wedding without realizing that he DJ’ed the Baltimore Magazine party where we met!) Officiant Cantor Jan Morrison Photo Booth Top Tier Photo Booth Photographer Rachel Smith Wedding Dress Hayley Paige dress from Kleinfeld Bridal