Having initially "met" on a dating website, Jennifer and Michael were feeling apprehensive about that first date together, but it wouldn't be long before they both realized there would certainly be a second, and third, and fourth date. Their connection flourished as quickly as their feelings for each other, and it would be on that fourth date that Jennifer would allow herself to completely follow her heart, knowing that Michael was definitely the one for her...
Read all about Jennifer & Michael's loves story, romantic surprise proposal, and experiences in their Manor wedding in Maryland.
Bride & Groom: Jennifer & Michael
Occupations: Account Executive & Police Officer
Wedding date: 09/04/2016
Wedding location: Oxon Hill Manor (Oxon Hill, MD)
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. Michael had never considered himself a "Hill guy," but as he sat intrigued by the last line of Jennifer's OK-Cupid profile that read: "...and if you're a snob with a job on the hill you need not message me," he wondered if his job as a US Capitol Police Officer placed him in that category. Michael decided to throw caution to the wind and send the cute girl a message. There were a dozen or so messages exchanged before Michael and Jennifer were convinced that a first date probably wouldn't be a total disaster. Nervously, Jennifer selected a venue that was metro-accessible and close to home in case she needed to make a quick escape. Jennifer sat shyly at the bar...to her delight her emergency contact went un-contacted that night, and plans for a second date quickly turned to a third and fourth. It was on that fourth date, when Michael arrived with flowers and wine in hand (and dog treats for Sammy!) that Jennifer also threw caution to the wind and embraced this sweet, gentle man as the One for her...and from that day, the rest is history.
Proposal: For months I had been impatiently waiting for the weather to break so that Michael and I could take a trip to one of the local wineries in VA. Michael picked a date and said that we were going no matter what. The day came and it was not the warm spring day that I'd hoped for but I had high hopes that the temperature would be warm. We make it to the winery and by the time we arrive it is packed. There is no more indoor seating so we are left with their outdoor patio. It was freezing and we were the only patrons seated outside. I'm not sure why I thought that thin maxi dress and sandals would be a good idea even though I knew the temperature would be on freezing. Wishful thinking I guess. I'd been waiting to go to this winery all winter so I did my very best not to complain about being cold. Michael ordered a bottle of red and a charcuterie board to ensure that I kept a smile on my face. Sitting there with my teeth chattering, Michael goes to the car to grab his coat for me. While he's gone I continue to help myself to more red wine. Still cold, Michael returns to the car again to retrieve a throw blanket for my legs and I pour myself yet another glass (or two) of wine to stay warm. This time he returns and has a nervous grin on his face that I hadn't seen before. About 15-20 feet away there is a woman nearby who has set up a tri-pod and camera. I mention it being odd to Michael and he shrugs it off saying, "She's probably here to shoot a documentary or something." I side-eye that reply in my head and continue enjoying my wine. Soon after she sets up the tripod, I see her begin to take pictures of us and then it clicks in my head. Michael gets down on one knee struggling to pull the ring box out of his pants pocket and before he can even get the words out I burst into tears. He puts the ring on my finger, I say yes, we take more pictures, drink more wine and celebrate!
What was wedding shopping like for you? I wanted to feel sort of like a hippie bride. No heels. Something flowy and comfortable but still sexy. I scouted out a dress that matched the look I was going for and once I was able to see it in person, I knew it was the one for me!
Bridesmaids: Earrings, monogrammed oxford shirts, personalized champagne flutes, champagne split.
Groomsmen: monogrammed flasks and decanters, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Argyle socks, cigars.
Favorite item on the menu: Braised short ribs and the wedding cake! Lemon cake with passion fruit filling.
First dance song: "Why I Love You" by MAJOR
What is your best memory from your wedding? Having it be even better than we dreamed it could be. The food, drinks, music, scenery and even our waitstaff were excellent! Seeing the look of awe on our wedding guests' faces made all the stress worth it. One of the best decisions that we made was being very selective in who we invited. We decided that we wanted only about 120-130 guests and we stuck to that. We didn't let our parents guilt us in to inviting long lost relatives or old friends that they hadn't spoken to in years. We invited the people that we love and adore and wanted to be in our presence on the most important day of our lives. The best part of that decision was being able to personally connect with everyone we invited. We shared so many special moments with all of our guests.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
1.The intention is to only do this once. So be patient with one another throughout the planning process. Really think about what is/isn't necessary and plan a wedding that represents you as a couple. There may be times where you and your fiance disagree, pick your battles wisely.
2.Some things will not go as planned leading up to the wedding day or on the wedding day. It will be fine. Smile through it all and enjoy yourself! Again, you only get to do this once!
3. I strongly encourage couples to do a "first look." I know its not traditional but your wedding day will fly by. Taking the bulk of your wedding photos beforehand allows you to be able to take in all of the scenery, mingle with guests and enjoy the cocktail hour you've paid for. Even though I saw my groom before the ceremony we both still had the same excitement.
Wedding dress designer: Wtoo by Watters
Wedding dress salon: Katherine's Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaids dresses: David's Bridal
Hair: Ashley LaRue
Makeup: Makeup by Shirin
Shoes: David's Bridal
Ceremony location & reception location: Oxon Hill Manor
Photography: Shannon Evans
Caterer: Occasions Caterers
Wedding planner: Jennifer Holmes
Florist: Duran Floral Design
Cake: Fancy Cakes by Leslie
DJ: DJ Freeez