One of the things I love about our new editor Lisa is that she shares my affinity for tearing up while reading Real Wedding interviews. And even though she cautioned me while prepping this post that Mariana’s dress story was absolutely precious, I still couldn’t help having to reach for a tissue or two! Be sure to read all about it, but let me say that when Mariana’s dad said “you look like an angel,” I was already two tissues deep!
Don’t think the sweetness stopped at her dress shopping trip, though — Mariana + Jacob’s entire wedding day was filled with heartfelt details and meaningful moments carefully orchestrated by their talented planners, Ooh! Events.
Cheers to Marissa Joy Photography for sharing this delightful day!
I flew into Savannah over Memorial Day weekend of 2012 and met up with one of my two maids of honor who lived there. We then drove into Charleston and met my parents. At this point, I knew we would be getting married in Charleston, which is where my parents were married, so I wanted to find my dress there and leave it until the big day. We went to the bridal salon and I picked out a few dresses and let each of my parents and my MOH pick one as well.
I should have prefaced this story with the fact that my dad is from the Czech Republic, a country well known for its lace exports. As soon as I put on my dress, my dad started to tear up and said that it reminded him of home and the lace doilies my Baba (grandmother) and aunt used to make. I wanted the dress to mean something to me, but I also wanted it to mean something to my parents, so I knew this had to be the dress. When I put my veil on and my dad said, “You look like an angel,” I knew I had found the one!
I had a very random assortment of flowers for the wedding, as I didn’t want anything to look too uniform. We had a very rustic, shabby chic wedding and I wanted the flowers to reflect that. The bouquets were made up of peonies, roses and ranunculus, and the groom and groomsmen wore ranunculus with a touch of rosemary. I wanted rosemary because it is said to increase memory, and I wanted to always have the memories from this day. I have kept Jacob’s dried boutonniere in my purse since the wedding :)
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. The church we were married in required that we follow the Liturgy of the United Methodist Church, and the United Methodist Service of Christian Marriage is the only service used. We could not have been more pleased with our service and were truly grateful for the counseling, prayers, generosity and guidance we received from our Reverend and church coordinator.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings: Ephesians 4:25-5:2, and Colossians 3:12–17 from the New Revised Standard Version.
I love seeing that Mariana included friends in their house party. We love how they wore coordinating dresses in complimentary colors!
I would have to say that M + J didn’t miss any portraits by passing on a first look. Especially when the element of surprise was so important to Jacob!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We would both say the best detail from the wedding (besides the exchange of vows, of course!) was the view from the cotton dock. Having a place to gather on the water, the hanging Spanish moss and lanterns above us, and the old plantation grounds as we pulled up all made for such a picturesque setting.
Describe your wedding flowers. The flowers for the church were all white with mixtures of lilies, hydrangeas, peonies, myrtle, snapdragons, tulips, and Queen Anne’s lace. The flowers at the reception were pink peonies, white and pink garden roses, green and white hydrangea, scabiosa pods, hanging amaranthus, and baby’s breath, all set in vintage tins, blue mason jars, medicine bottles and antique milk glass compotes. It was breathtaking!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Jacob and I wanted the dessert to reflect the rustic look of the cotton dock, and since we aren’t big cake people, we opted for a smaller naked cake with an assortment of pies. The cake was a pound cake with lemon custard icing between the layers, covered in fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The pies were bourbon chocolate pecan, cherry, peach and apple. Everything was absolutely delicious!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Everything! The location alone was the epitome of the South to me. The ceremony was in historic downtown Charleston in a church whose congregation is 222 years old. We headed out to Boone Hall for the reception, which is one of America’s oldest working plantations, known for cotton and pecans. Our menu included fried green tomato BLTs with pimiento cheese on cheddar cornbread, pork tenderloin, mini angus burgers, and pulled pork with blue cheese cole slaw. We sipped on a specialty cocktail that was lavender-infused Firefly sweet tea vodka and lemonade. It was everything I had grown up knowing and loving about the South and the east coast!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I moved to Dallas from North Carolina in the summer of 2009, knowing no one. To beat the heat in Dallas, you basically have to live by the pool, and I quickly made a friend that I hung out with on the weekends. One Saturday, we were laying out when Jacob and his best friend walked in. I could not take my eyes off of him! I think I blabbered to my friend about him for thirty minutes or so before she actually acknowledged me and looked over at him. She suddenly said, “Oh, I know him! We were neighbors last year!” She introduced us right away and to say we were inseparable after that is an understatement. We went on eight dates over the next seven days and the rest was history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Jacob and I had been dating for about a year and a half when his company approached him with the opportunity to work on a job site in Frederick, Maryland. He would be helping manage the building of a cancer and AIDS research facility, and since cancer has touched so many of our family members’ lives, we knew he had to take the job. His company was truly wonderful and covered the expenses to fly Jacob home or me there twice a month! With me being from the east coast, I was so excited to show Jacob new cities and places I had visited growing up. The 18 months he was there allowed us chances to travel that we wouldn’t have otherwise had. We visited Baltimore and DC several times, and Gettysburg and Annapolis with both his parents and mine. One weekend before Valentine’s Day, he was back in Dallas and we were celebrating early over dinner. He gave me a card and inside he had written, “I hope you enjoy your late Valentine’s gift” and drawn a giant red apple. He then told me that on my next trip to Maryland, we would be driving into New York City. I just assumed it would be like any of the other trips we had been on, but I knew it would be special because it was the first place we had ever traveled together, and probably one of our most memorable trips. When we got there the next weekend, we re-created our date there two years earlier with dinner in Little Italy at SPQR, and then he surprised me with a trip to Rockefeller Center to go ice-skating. We had been there literally ten minutes when another man got down on one knee in the Center and proposed. I was so excited for this couple, but Jacob looked like he was going to be sick! We kept skating but he was acting strange and after about thirty minutes, I asked if we should go. All of a sudden, he tripped and fell and we both laughed and I said it was definitely time to head back to the hotel. We skated for a few more minutes, but he kept rubbing his knee. Finally he started to bend down and I kept saying, “What are you doing? Are you okay? Get up!” When I finally realized what was happening, everyone was cheering and clapping and I barely made it out as he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. To which I, of course, responded yes!
When did y’all get married? June 15th, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 110
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. One thing everyone knows about Jacob is that he loves surprises and hates when people give anything away—something that I am always guilty of. I can’t keep a secret to save my life, and it was so hard not to show him pictures of me in the wedding dress, because he was the one person that I wanted to see them. I knew this was one surprise I had to give him and I wanted, more than anything, to see that look on his face when the doors opened at the church. To me, that was worth it more than getting pictures out of the way early with a first look.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our ceremony music was played on the organ. My bridal processional was to Rondeau by J. Mouret, and our recessional was to Trumpet Tune by H. Purcell. For the reception, we played a lot of western music because many of our guests were from Texas and Jacob and I love to two-step! Our first dance was to “Just Got Started Lovin’ You” by James Otto, we cut the cake to “Sweet Thing” by Keith Urban, and I threw my bouquet while Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine” played.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My dress, veil and shoes were my something new. Old and borrowed was a beautiful vintage diamond bracelet that Jacob’s grandfather had given his mother. She asked if I would want to wear it on the wedding day, and I could not have appreciated the gesture more. It was absolutely stunning and it meant so much to me to have it on my arm. My something blue was a pair of hanky pankies (!) that my maid of honor had given me that had Swarovski crystals on it that said “I Do.”
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning from Texas and not being able to meet with vendors or see the venue whenever I wanted to.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Hands down, Ooh Events!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jacob had just whispered “you look beautiful” during the ceremony and missed the beginning of his vows. It made everyone laugh but it meant so much to me.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take your time with the planning, if you can. I had 15 months and thought it all had to be done right away. Once I got over the initial high of being engaged, I realized I had plenty of time to figure out all the details, and in the end every single thing was perfect.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are in the process of buying our first home in Uptown Dallas and we look forward to starting our family and enjoying every bit of each other!
Photographer: Marissa Joy Photography | Planner: Ooh Events | Ceremony Venue: Trinity United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: The Cotton Dock at the Boone Hall Plantation | Florist: Ooh Events | Wedding Cake/Dessert Baker: DeClare Cakes | Caterer: Newton Farms | Rentals: Ooh Events | Lighting: Ooh Events | DJ: Eklipse Productions | Bride’s Gown: Wtoo, Bristol Gown Style | Paper Products: LaHa Design | Bride’s Veil: Vera Wang | Bride’s Earrings and Vintage Sash: White Salon Charleston | Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka, Alessandra D’Orsay Bridal Shoe Style | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan, Crinkle Silk Chiffon in Powder Blue | Groom’s and Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang Tuxedo, Men’s Warehouse | Additional Vendors: Absolutely Charleston for Trolley Rental, Limos for Less for Bentley Getaway Car Rental
Ooh! Events is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!