You might remember Jess and Patrick from their tabletop board game engagement photos at Cloak and Blaster. If you don't, you HAVE to check out their photos and love story at Offbeat Wed first. I've been waiting for almost a year for their wedding day, and it has finally come, and I'm so excited to share some of their wedding photos with you!
Taken from their wedding website, the story of how Jess and Patrick met is one for the ages: Jess and Patrick met for the first time to play a board game. But forget any preconceived notions of casual, friendly board game night featuring classic, easy-to-play games like Monopoly or Clue. No, the first game they played together was the Game of Thrones board game: an intense strategy-based wargame with a thirty-two-page rule book, that is basically guaranteed to last a minimum of six hours, test the bonds of friendship, and ensure by the game’s end that at least half of the assembled players will vow to never play again.
Naturally, the complexity of the game scared off a lot of new players, which meant Jess always had a hard time finding anyone to play it with her. Imagine her delight when a friend suggested he knew someone willing to play, bringing their usual group of four players to *five*. The coveted fifth player meant they could play an expanded version of the game that utilized more of the board, a feat previously unachieved since her time in Scotland with her college friends. Because of this, Patrick, as a fully willing fifth player, was already held in high esteem before he even arrived.
But little did Jess know, her esteem of Patrick would soar to unimaginable heights when an unexpected and whacky scheme to fix a broken cell phone led to Jess being over an hour late to their scheduled board game session held at her own apartment, and without a working cell phone to let anyone know about it.
So picture this: Patrick arrives at the gates of an apartment complex he’s never been to before. He uses the call box outside the gate in the hopes of being let in by people he’s never met before. No answer. He calls the number of the mutual friend who set this whole thing up to double-check he has the right place. No answer. Patrick waits, uncertain if he has the right place and time, wondering if there has been a mistake, or if this has all been an elaborate prank and there really ISN’T anyone willing to play a six-hour strategy-based board game with a thirty-two-page rule book themed after the once beloved then subsequently reviled series of Game of Thrones. Oh, and also picture that it’s raining.
By some miracle, Patrick doesn’t immediately leave. Instead, he decides to wait for over an hour, sitting in his car in the parking lot outside of the complex, in the rain, until a profusely apologetic Jess finally arrived. The first words Jess ever spoke to Patrick were several anxious declarations of “I’m so so so so sorry”, that eventually turned into declarations of war once everyone was settled and they began to play the game. Patrick knew better than to rise to the call of war—he decided instead to propose an alliance with Jess.
Then, eight years and so many wonderful memories together later, Patrick decided to propose again.
He used an antique typewriter (a family heirloom!) set up in her office with the words “Will you marry me?” typed out for her to discover. He wanted Jess to be able to help pick out her own ring, so when she leaned in to read what he had typed, Patrick got down on one knee, ready with a tiny piece of velcro to secure around her finger. Overwhelmed with love and joy (and excitement because TYPEWRITER!), Jess did not initially say “Yes!” Instead, she tearfully declared “THIS COUNTS!”
Now, onto the wedding photos :)
When talking about her theme and if she did any DIY projects, Jess says, "My theme was kinda confusing if you ask anyone in my family before they actually saw it all laid out: my wedding planner did SUCH a good job! It was a celestial theme with a vintage twist, that still felt uniquely us. I DIY'd my veil as well as all the personal flowers for my bouquet, the bridesmaid bouquets, and the groomsmen's boutonnières. I also designed the Save the Dates, Invitations, and rehearsal dinner place cards."
When talking to Jess about inspiration, she told me, "More than anything else I used Pinterest to get inspiration and tips and tricks, although I definitely visited Offbeat Wed too to see some non-traditional types of weddings, which helped me widen my scope of ideas. I had a very specific image in mind, but there was so much about weddings I just didn't know, which the internet helped me figure out."
When asked why they chose Howey Mansion as their wedding venue, Jess answered, "There was so much about the Howey Mansion to love, but honestly the part that most appealed to us was its history and the fact that it had once laid abandoned for nearly 20 years before being restored to its original glory. It has a secret passageway into a hidden speakeasy, and has so many interesting elements to its design and so much cool and unique history within its walls that we couldn't pass it up! Not to mention how *gorgeous* it is! Those doors, that staircase, I mean come on!"
When recalling their ceremony, the couple stated, "We went a little nontraditional with our ceremony. We borrowed bits and pieces from a humanist ceremony as well as crafted our own bits for our officiant to read. We incorporated our unique version of a handfasting ceremony into it, and provided a reading from Neil Gaiman called "What I know about Love". We also quoted our favorite podcast host, Griffin McElroy, "You're going to be Amazing", as our final blessing." For their handfasting ceremony, they had 5 different ribbons, one given to them by Jess' mother, one given to them by Patrick's mother, one from the Maid of Honor, one from the Best man, and the final one from the officiant, Yinelli, who is a family friend.
When asked about their favorite part of the day, Jess wrote: "My favorite part was absolutely marrying my best friend and the love of my life, and seeing him get emotional during our ceremony. Patrick also said the same, and then I poked him to specify something else and he jokingly said, "The food". Honestly, just seeing EVERYTHING we've been planning come together so perfectly was the best thing, and working with all our fabulous vendors who all went above and beyond... I couldn't ask for a more perfect wedding."
When I asked Jess what the most difficult part of wedding planning was, she responded, "Meeting deadlines! Patrick and I are really, really bad when it comes to procrastinating, and a lot of stuff we should have gotten done super in advance we let wait until the last minute. I only had *one* mental breakdown while finishing up the bouquets a few days before the wedding though, which I consider a real win. Thankfully though, despite all our procrastinating, our wedding planner really had our backs and got so much done for us and made sure everything we wanted, we got, and my bridesmaids helped me with the DIY projects I insisted upon (even my nervewracking need to make a veil 1 hour before leaving for our venue). Our wedding would not have been what it was without our wedding planner, our wedding party, and all the vendors who teamed up to make it truly perfect."
I asked the couple what advice they would give couples planning their weddings. Jess answered, "Don't wait until the last minute to do everything! Especially those DIY projects! Give yourself more time than you think you'll need so you can actually enjoy the week before your wedding instead of panicking about all the stuff you haven't finished. But also find vendors who you vibe with, who you feel connected to, and who you can be a little silly with! You'll know the difference when you're meeting with them, and you'll absolutely be grateful for it on the day of your wedding and you're not at all stressed because your team is cracking jokes and making you feel comfortable and taking care of everything without making you worry for a second. I'm an extremely anxious person who had the best, least-anxious day of my life for an event that everyone says is supposed to be an extremely stressful experience. I fully and completely believe it was because of our vendors who made it all so easy."
THANK YOU TO ALL THE AMAZING VENDORS WHO HELPED THIS DREAM WEDDING BECOME A REALITY
Planner: Rêverie Events by Jessica Reneé @reve.events
Venue: The Howey Mansion @thehoweymansion
Photographer: Koontz Photography @koontzphotography
Second Photographer: Jenn Ross @jennrossphotography
Videographer: Mogue Films @moguefilms
Catering: Arthur’s Catering @arthurscatering
Cake: Sugar Sugar Cake Boutique @sugarsugarcakeboutique
Florals: Alyssa Maldonado Design @alyssamaldonadodesign
Rentals: Ocean Hawks Rentals @oceanhawksrentals
Pipe/Drape: Bryant Productions @bryantproductionevents
Tent: Party Plus @partyplustentsandeventsfl
Signage + Stationery: Bowtie & Brush @bowtieandbrush
Linens: Over the Top Rentals @overthetoprentallinens
Chargers: Echo Event Rentals @echoeventrentals
Entertainment: Metropolis Productions @metropolisusa
Live Band: Sound Society Radio @soundsocietyradio
Photobooth: Photobooth Rocks @photoboothrocks
Audio Guestbook: After the Tone @afterthetone.co
Hair Color: Liced Elias @hairmakeupby_liced
HMUA: LaMoon Beauty Agency @lamoonbeautyagency
Bridal Styling: Definition Bridal @definitionbridal
Dress: Enchanted Bride @enchantedbride.lakemary
Dress Alterations: Thread and Needle @threadandneedlealterations
Suit: Men's Wearhouse @menswearhouse
Bridesmaid Dresses: JJ House @jjshouseofficial
Transportation: VIP Wedding Transportation @vipweddingtransportation
Bride's Handmade Robe: Orlando Sewing Studio @seamstress_lena
Rings: Brilliant Earth @brilliantearth
Favors: Art of Play @artofplay
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