Beginning as what appeared to be a coincidental meeting on the surface, Jill and Dubraska’s love story would in time reveal itself to be destiny. Working as a bar manager at the time, Jill hired a friend of Dubraska’s – creating the opportunity for their initial meeting. The magnetism between them was immediate, but it would be a few visits before Dubraska worked up the courage to ask Jill out on a first date, an evening that would set them on the path to happily ever after.
Their elegant industrial chic wedding featured traditions of Venezuelan culture, a ten-piece band, multiple catering options, a scenic city first-look, whiskey-pour ceremony, and more.
Continue reading all about Jill & Dubraska’s love story, romantic proposal, and wedding experiences.
Wedding Couple: Jill & Dubraska
Occupations: Entertainment Logistics Manager & Youth House Outreach Worker
Wedding date: November 25, 2017
Wedding location: 23rd Street Armory – Philadelphia, PA
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. Jill was working as a bar manager in West Philadelphia, and hired a bartender that played Roller Derby with Dubraska. Jill and Dubraska met when they ended up in the same place at the same time, and then Dubraska started coming into the bar more often…mostly to watch Jill nervously break pint glasses behind the bar and forget how to use words. Luckily, Dubraska happened to come in one night when Jill was super busy and didn’t have time to be nervous. After a few drinks, Dubraska decided to [finally] ask Jill on a date. After an awesome first date the next day, they’ve been together ever since.
The Proposal: On the Sunday after Thanksgiving of 2016, Jill and Dubraska went to see the Paint the Revolution exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibit focused on Mexican Modern Artists in the early half of the 1900s, including works by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and other artists that Dubraska loves.
After the museum, they walked along the Schuylkill Trail. Under one of the bridges along the river, Jill got down on one knee. As she scuffed up her suede shoes, Dubraska exclaimed, “Jill I’m FREAKING OUT right now!” Finally, she said yes. After Jill proposed, they walked to a favorite bar in Center City West to celebrate with a drink with their nearest and dearest.
How did you know they were “the one”?
Jill: “I jokingly told a friend that I was going to marry Dubraska after our first date, but I didn’t realize how true that statement was. I’ve never met someone who makes me laugh as much as she does. Since day one, we’ve approached our relationship and everything else as a team, and I know that this is the main reason why we are so good together. Our love grew completely organically and continues to grow every single day. No matter what challenges we could come across, I feel confident that we would get through them as long as she holds my hand. So, I guess that I’ve known since day one.”
Dubraska: “A couple of summers ago, Jill was having some medical issues and we ended up going to the Emergency Room in the middle of the night. We had only been dating for a short while, but I stayed by her side with her mom through the several hours we were there with no answers and a million misdiagnoses. I remember seeing her there in so much pain and I thought to myself ‘if something happens to her, I really don’t know what I am going to do.’ Something clicked in my head and I just knew that she was the one.”
Wedding Style: Jill wore a gown and Dubraska wore a jumpsuit. Neither knew what the other was wearing until the first look, though they did go shoe shopping together and ended up wearing the same shoes.
Jill went shopping with her mom and sister to try on some different styles of dresses so she knew what she should look for, and ended up finding the (almost) perfect dress. After searching for the perfect custom straps, a seamstress friend built in a bustle and attached the straps to create her perfect dress.
Dubraska couldn’t decide between wearing a suit, a dress, or to start in a dress and change to a suit. Because her family lives in Houston, TX, Dubraska went dress shopping with Jill’s mom, sister, and her best friend, PJ. She found the jumpsuit and fell in love – it was the perfect happy medium.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Yes! Dubraska’s family is Venezuelan, so we celebrated La Hora Loca! La Hora Loca, or “The Crazy Hour” is a tradition where props and giveaways are given out to all of your guests and the music is traditionally upbeat Venezuelan and Spanish music for an hour. We put a twist on it and did a mix of traditional La Hora Loca music with Top 40 and other upbeat 90s-00s throwbacks mixed in.
What is your best memory from your wedding? We laughed the entire day…you can see it in the photos. We honestly had the time of our lives and it was so amazing to have Jill meet a lot of Dubraska’s family that traveled in from all over the world.
We both agree that our favorite part of the whole day was the ceremony. It was so personalized and unique to us, and we had a good friend officiate. Jill wrote a beautiful excerpt for our Whiskey Pour and we were so proud of it. There were very few dry eyes in the building, and people are still telling us how much they loved the uniqueness of the ceremony. (Though the whiskey pour took much longer than anticipated, which created a lot of laughter!)
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? The only people who care about the small stuff are you two and potentially your mom(s). There will be flaws and hiccups, but no one will notice but you. Your day will be perfect because you two are perfect for each other. Everything else is just background noise. Oh! And sit back and take it all in as much as you can. Everyone says this, but it’s true – it’ll be here and gone in a flash!
Planning & Design: Jill and Dubraska
Jill’s Wedding Gown: Oleg Cassini
Dubraska’s Wedding Jumpsuit: Jill by Jill Stuart from BHLDN
Jill & Dubraska’s Wedding Shoes: Audrey Brooke
Jill’s Veil: Jules Veils
Jill’s Engagement & Wedding Ring: JeenMata
Duby’s Wedding Ring: Luxuria Jewelers
Hair Team: Ahlee Kweli and Ronnie Tarlo from Juju Salon and Organics
Makeup Team: Angel Simpkins from Angelic Hair + Makeup Designs
Photographer: Colin Coleman from Colin Coleman Photography
Videographer: Andrew Gormley from Andrew Gormley Wedding Films
Getting Ready Location: Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia Center City
First Look: Sister Cities Park
Ceremony & Wedding Venue: 23rd Street Armory
Floral Design: Kristi Lynn Shinn
Flowers Ordered From: Achin’ Back Garden Center
Band: EBE Imagine from EBE Events & Entertainment
Bandleader: Janine Diaz Whitt from EBE
Production & Lighting Design: Tara Buchanan & Nick Maraia from EBE Events & Entertainment
Photo Booth: EBE Events and Entertainment
Catering: Dos Hermanos Tacos, Baby Blues BBQ Philly, Hai Street Kitchen, Jules Thin Crust Pizza, The Chilly Banana