Linda and John (known as Jay) met while working together 10 years ago. Both eventually moved on to different jobs but kept in contact and remained friends. “Five years after meeting for the first time, timing finally clicked, and we began dating,” says Jay.

Back in 2016, Linda planned a three-day birthday celebration for Jay full of non-stop surprise activities. “The very last item on my list was to take him to his favorite restaurant for a relaxing dinner,” she remembers. “He managed to find out where we were going for dinner, and apparently had called the restaurant a week before to make sure everything went as planned. If his goal was to surprise me, it totally worked, because I never would have expected him to propose on his birthday weekend!”

Both Linda and Jay set their sights on a small wedding with close friends and family held in an intimate setting. Linda admits that neither of them enjoys planning. “Having a magic wand that knew all my style and design choices to do all the work would have been preferred,” she laughs.

Jay’s sister acted as officiant, a choice that made the ceremony more intimate and meaningful for the couple. “We also exchanged unique vows that reflected who we are individually and together,” shares Linda. “We had a few people do readings and finished with a handfasting ceremony.”

The wedding day provided lots of memories for the couple. The groom’s favorite moment of the day came with the couple’s first dance, “It was the one time where we were totally alone and in the moment.”

But one moment stands out for both Linda and Jay. “We had a lot of great memories but there is one that stands out the most and we still laugh about,” shares the bride. “We had a kissing menu set on all the dinner tables where guests would have to perform a kiss for us to replicate. My matron of honor and her husband blew it out of the water. Let’s just say there was a very sexy, frisky kiss, a comment not appropriate for young ears and finished with a motor boat. I couldn’t stop laughing knowing my father was in the crowd watching this all go down. Good thing he has a sense of humor because this was definitely a highlight of our day.” 

—Darren Elms