When P.J. first walked into the hair salon where Jessica worked as a stylist, it was an instant connection. Two years later, P.J. proposed to Jessica on a horse-drawn carriage in front of the State Capitol on his birthday. “Then we went to dinner and P.J. surprised me with my family—we had a little engagement party with our family that evening,” Jessica recalls.
The newly engaged couple decided to take their time, giving themselves about two years to plan their nuptials. “We wanted to do a longer engagement so that we had plenty of time to plan the wedding; that way we weren’t rushing,” Jessica explains.
From the beginning, Jessica had a vision for her dream wedding, which she kept true to, using light pinks, light greens and creams with lots of crystals, on everything from the chandelier above the dance floor to the bouquets. “Everything was just very soft and romantic…it was just beautiful,” the bride remembers.
The couple held their ceremony in one of the rose gardens on the grounds of the State Capitol, officiated by a close family friend. After releasing butterflies at the conclusion of their vows, the newly married couple and their 145 guests moved to a reception at The Citizen Hotel. The pair fondly recalls the photo booth their guests loved, and the candy bar they offered instead of traditional wedding favors. Jessica purchased a variety of pink-colored candies, which she placed in apothecary jars. Throughout the evening, guests could select their candies and place them in silver Chinese food take-out boxes with the couple’s butterfly wedding logo on it.
When remembering their special moments, Jessica talks about showing her father and grandmother a special token to her grandfather she had sewn into her wedding dress. “My grandpa died when I was younger, and I had one of his old shirts that I cut a heart out of and had it sewn into my dress,” she says. “When I was getting ready, I called my dad and my grandma into the room and showed it to them for the first time. That was a really special moment for me with my grandma, and it was one of my favorite moments of the day.”
As for P.J., next to “marrying the love of my life,” his second favorite moment was seeing all of the hard work his bride had put in to making their wedding day a special one. “I think Jessica did a spectacular job with her vision,” he says. “Leading up to it, I said, ‘Oh, you may not need this, you may not need that.’ But the day of, seeing it put together, just blew my mind. Seeing it all come to life for her was special.”