It was during college orientation of freshman year when the first chapter of Jessica and Christopher's love story began. With both of their roommates being friends from back home, they had a convenient bridge to bringing them closer together - and the more they learned about each other the closer they became. Friendship grew from an acquaintanceship, and from friendship blossomed love and romance. It wouldn't be long before they both began to realize that what they shared was more than just your average relationship, it was meant to be...
Read all about Jessica & Christopher's love story, proposal, and experiences in their timelessly sophisticated wedding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Bride & Groom: Jessica & Christopher
Occupations: AR Specialist at UPMC & Digital Campaign Manager at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Wedding date: October 7, 2018
Wedding location: Pittsburgh, PA
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. Freshman year at college our roommates were friends from back home and we were introduced during campus orientation.
Our first Christmas at our new home, after opening our gifts, Chris decided to call my family via Face time on our computer while they witnessed Chris surprising me with one more gift, a ring! I was totally shocked and happy that he included my family in his proposal, family means everything to us! Best Christmas ever.
Describe your wedding attire. I wanted my dress to be detailed and intricate, feminine and romantic just like my personality. Christopher wanted a custom suit that he can wear again. He went with sophisticated black to reflect our evening wedding. He also had a custom bow tie to match our color palate, finishing with patent leather shoes.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? At first It was confusing, I did not know what I wanted, and I wasn’t familiar with fabrics and silhouettes. But I did know I wanted a dress that reflected my style and that is true to me. Once I tried on my dress I was happy, until I got home, I was still looking online at other dresses and questioned if I made the right choice. But after thinking it through and trusting myself by picturing how I would look in my gown, I did fall in love with my dress.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Yes I am Afro Latina and my dance with my father was a salsa song by Marc Anthony Valio La Pena
Wedding party gifts: Customized gift boxes with silk robes, name champagne glasses and jewelry for the bridesmaids, and custom bowties for the groomsmen.
Gifts for each other: Sofia Webster shoes, customized gold lapel pins with photos of deceased grandmothers.
Ceremony entrance song: "Make Me Whole" by Amel Larrieux
First dance song: "Let’s Stay Together" by Al Green
What is your best memory from your wedding? Our first look, the day was going so fast and I was starting to become overwhelmed, we have not seen each other or spoken to each other since the day before. I missed him. Once we did our first look I instantly felt relaxed. After the wedding Chris did say he felt the same way thinking about me and once we did our first look he felt weight lifted. That moment of just us and our son was the normalcy we needed.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Plan, Plan and PLAN! Always negotiate, find out what is important and what are your must haves. Tackle those first. Planning a wedding involves teaching moments on compromising. Also include your fiancé, if he says he doesn’t know ask again another time. Even if he says what he doesn’t - want listen, that helps a lot when planning. And also focus on you and your wedding, try not to compare or out-do anyone, stay true to who you and your partner are.
Wedding Coordinator: Jessica Transue - The University Club
Photographer: Ryan Zarichnak
Videographer: Traveling Heart Productions
Photobooth: Lux Booth
Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals
Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental
Florals: Gidas Flowers
Cake: Bethal Bakery
DJ: Dj Selecta
Lighting: EF Lighting
Hair: Mark Anthony Hair Salon
MUA: Julea Lash and Beauty Bar
Stationery: Loree Mayer Designs