If you think our couple today looks familiar, it’s because they’re both personalities in the world of ice hockey and reality cooking shows. But right now, we’re here to celebrate and share with you their amazing love story that boiled down to a beautiful engagement, and finally, their perfect wedding. Most of the events in their lives was a product of fate and I think that resulted to everything looking lovely and flowing smoothly. We won’t be spoiling any more than that for our bride tells everything better. Enjoy their story that just oozes with sweetness and fate from start to finish. And congratulations Justin & Jessie.
What is your love story?
I was working on a luxury yacht when I had some guests that really wanted to fix me up with their best friend. During the week long charter these guests kept telling me that the best man in their wedding would be the perfect match for me and that we had to meet. These guests had only known me for a few days so I didn’t take their comments too seriously. The guests went on to mention that this guy “Justin” played hockey, that got my curiosity up because that’s how my parents met too. My mother was fixed up with my father on a blind date while my dad was playing in the NHL. I was working and living in the Bahamas at the time and Justin was playing hockey in California so the three hour time change and our crazy work schedules led us to emailing for four months before we ever got to meet each other.
Our first date was in his hometown in Minnesota. Needless to say we hit it off. For the next couple of years it consisted of me flying to meet him in whatever city he was playing in or taking the extremely long flight to San Jose, California where he played hockey. In the midst of our long-distance relationship I was chosen to be on the TV show MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay. We had no idea what we were in for. I ended up making it to the top three out of some 30,000 people who auditioned. I was on the show for three months with no contact with the outside world. We weren’t allowed phones or computers which made it the hardest time of our relationship. We wondered if we could last. When the show finally ended it was like something clicked for Justin and I and we knew if we could make it through the show and the long-distance dating for years we could make it through anything. Justin soon after flew out to Georgia and asked my dad if he could marry me.
Justin said multiple times he wanted to propose in a place with good scenery. Keep in mind he asked my dad if he could marry me in July, months go by and he still had not proposed. We had gone on beautiful day trips around California with great scenery, my nails were always done perfectly, and my outfits were always specially put together just in case we had photos of the proposal:) He eventually enlisted my mom’s help to pick out a ring. The ring was one of my favorite parts of our story. Since Justin was traveling so much (their team had to travel more miles than any other of the 30 NHL teams that year) we had to get my mothers help for the ring. My mom and I looked for days for the perfect ring like it was a full-time job. Nothing was quite right.
The very last place we went to was Tom Ross Jewelers, he gave us an experience we never imagined. It was the only jewelry store we went to where they took out more than two diamonds at a time. He put out about 8 diamonds on a white sheet of paper with a black ring around each the one. He handed me a magnifying glass and told me to look at each one carefully and dismiss the ones that weren’t right for me. He wouldn’t tell me any details about the diamonds, I had to go on feeling. I narrowed it down to two diamonds, one was a colorless perfect diamond and the other one was near colorless but I could not tell the difference except in the price tag. I used the long tweezers and placed the stones in the setting like I had done 100 times that week, nothing was out of the ordinary. I ended up picking the near colorless diamond. After thinking about it over the night I called the jeweler back to ask if it is possible to get the other diamond instead.
He said it was the weirdest thing but after I left he could not get the diamond out of the setting, that it never happened to him before and that he had to send the ring and the diamond in together to be properly placed. He said to stick with your original choice it was the right one, the diamond did not want to let go of the setting….the setting he happened to only have one of, the setting that was in platinum, and the setting that was in my size! He said it was a sign it was meant for me! Another unique thing about this jeweler is that he was the manager at Tiffany’s during the time of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Tom Ross picked out Audrey Hepburn’s jewelry! I was sold after hearing that because I have always adored Audrey Hepburn.
The weirdest part of it all is I now know Justin has the ring, it has been SIX months since he asked my dad for his blessing. What is taking him so long?!?!?! I was going broke from how often I was getting my nails done thinking any day would be “The Day.” Well New Year’s is coming and I thought of course that would be the right time to propose. It’s romantic and it just seemed right. Well that didn’t happen either, now it’s New Year’s day and I’m just mad, wearing grungy clothes and tired from putting in the effort to look perfect the night before. All of the sudden Justin asks me to leave the apartment quickly, he had some excuse that made sense so I just grabbed my purse and left. While I’m out it dawns on me….oh my gosh I think he’s going to propose and I look like a homeless person! Just as I realize what’s happening I get another text saying to come back to the apartment immediately. I get back to the apartment and there is a note on the door that says “behind this door are the 5 most important questions for us.”
I find out once I open the door he had cleared out all of the furniture in the apartment and filled it with every flower imaginable. He had made an aisle way of these flowers to his back window overlooking all the mountains. It was the right scenery he had wanted, it was personal and it was beautiful! There were note cards with questions lining the aisle way he created. Some were sweet, some were serious, but ultimately the last question was in Justin’s hands and that’s when he got down on one knee and asked will you marry me.
Due to Justin’s hockey we had to figure out our wedding date around his off-season schedule which basically gave us two months to choose from: July or August. unfortunately all of our friends play hockey too. There were five of us girls on the team that were engaged at the same time and we all had to get married in the same two months. We didn’t want to use the same wedding date as one of our friends so we finally agreed on August 2 as the perfect wedding date for us.
What inspired the wedding outfits?
I have been modeling for about 13 years, I’ve probably modeled a thousand wedding dresses in my lifetime and I knew I did not want anything I’d worn or seen before. Turns out the bigger issue was time! We could not get any dress I liked in time for the wedding because we had only a few months to plan and I thought three months would be fine apparently you need eight months for a dress. I finally found my dream dress that they could even have ready for my wedding in time, it was $10,000 needless to say I was crushed when I heard the news of the price. I remembered about a dress designer who makes dresses for Miss USA. I competed in Miss Georgia USA and got to see his work first hand. I got first runner-up and his girl and his gown won. Randall Smith was his name and I called him immediately and he was willing to work with me and create my beautiful dream wedding dress.
I brought pictures of the dress that I liked and then pictures of other dresses that I would like to make into one perfect dream dress. Through countless fittings of the dress, he finally created my dream dress he even made the most exquisite long beautiful veil, he made my earrings, hand stoned the dress and my shoes with diamonds and pearls. The dress was finally hanging in my closet the week before the wedding, a little too close for comfort but the end result was flawless.
The Bridesmaid’s Dresses: The dresses were by “Mori Lee”. The color was a blush peach keeping in line with the Georgia peach idea.
Tell us about the wedding & the reception:
We had our ceremony in front of the original home that dates back to the 1800s. We had beautiful blush and light peach flowers all around, a harp player on the porch of the main mansion. I arrived in the coolest 55′ Chevy to make a wow factor entrance. The car was another last minute detail that we saw on the side of the road and tracked down the owner. One of my most favorite parts of the wedding was my dad walking me down the aisle. We were not sure he would even be alive to see me get married let alone walking. He was diagnosed with acute leukemia about a year before the wedding.
Once the ceremony finished the guests gathered for a cocktail hour in the. Sprawling living room of the great house. Signature cocktails and appetizers were passed. The French doors were all opened leading the guests to the backyard where the reception took place. Lights and chandeliers gave the tent a luxurious feeling. The head table was stunning g. Over sized wooden farm tables with gold candelabras with dripping candles really set the tone. I felt like I was living out the best dream I ever had. My husband looked stunning in his Hugo Boss suit and all my most loved ones were there with me to celebrate.
The cake was 6 layers of gourmet heaven
- Chocolate Hazelnut Mocha Crunch – Chocolate cake drizzled with frangelico liquor, crushed Ferrero Rocher truffle cream filling
- Southern caramel cake with praline filling – Caramel cake with a cooked praline and toasted pecan filling
- White chocolate truffle with Chambord – Melted white chocolate cake drizzled with Chambord and a dark cherry filling
- Chocolate Pistachio with Chocolate Mocha Buttercream
- Fresh strawberry with cream cheese filling
- Grand Marnier butter cake with blackberry filling
Beach Bellinis and Dark n Stormies were hand passed as quests toured the sprawling Southern mansion and gardens. Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat cheese were passed alongside sour cream biscuits with homemade pickles and BBQ – all little bite sized nibbles of the Souths great dishes. It was a seated dinner with synchronized plating – it was quite a show. Everyone was served a filet and sea bass. It was divine!
Where did you have your honeymoon?
With Justin’s hockey schedule and my modeling jobs we didn’t have time for a proper honeymoon but we had the most memorable and perfect “mini-moon.” We went to Savannah Georgia, only a 3 hour drive from where the wedding was held. We had a horse drawn carriage take us through the beautiful southern mansions with tree lined roads dripping with Spanish moss. It was so romantic and beautiful and continued our Southern charm theme.
Photographer: Brandy Angel Photography
Equipment Rentals: Goodwin Events
Hair Stylist:Jessica Butler Hair Stylist
Dress Designer:The Randall Effect
Caterer: A Divine Event
Cake Designer:Cakes by Debra
Hair Stylist:Conrad Heller Hair
Makeup Artist:Katy Medrano Make Up Artist
Floral Designer: Le Petit Jardin
Event Planner: No Regrets Events
DJ: Peavy Entertainment
Event Venue: Serenata Farm